Four lose their lives in the line of duty in 2014
The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #81 of Jackson and Macon Counties held the annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service last Friday on the courthouse square.
With flags flying and law enforcement officers from across Western North Carolina in attendance, guest speaker Ashley Welch addressed the crowd.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to speak to you, my hometown, today and to honor the servicemen and women who lost their lives protecting us," said Welch. "But I wish I was here under different circumstances. I wish I was just here to thank you for your service and dedication to your community, but unfortunately I am not. I am here to remember those who lost their lives in the line of duty."
During its annual budget retreat, the town of Franklin presented a budget reflecting a one cent tax increase for the coming year.
Due to the property tax revaluation in Macon County this year, the town's property value declined by $7,281,676 in assessed value, equating to a 1.014 percent reduction. Factoring in the new tax base, the town would need to increase the current tax rate of .27 to .2727 to maintain a revenue neutral budget.
Since 2007, the town of Franklin's tax base has grown on average by 2.07 percent. In applying a growth factor to the town's current tax rate of .2727, to produce a revenue neutral tax rate, the town would need to increase the rate to .2784 cents per $100 valuation.
After Stephen Siller lost his life in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, his family set out to honor his life and legacy by establishing The Stephen Siller Tunnels to Towers Foundation.
One Franklin businessman was honored this week for his support of the Staten Island based charity, and was given a piece of steel from Ground Zero.
Tom Tastinger, of Tastinger's Floor Covering, Carpet One, was presented with a piece of steel from the fallen World Trade Center by Charlie Gussamann, a retired FDNY (Fire Department of New York City) member.
How county contributions compare to state allocations.
Over the last 10 years, public education in North Carolina has shifted, as the state's structure has changed in order to accommodate for student enrollment growth, the rise of charter and virtual schools, and other factors that have caused state dollars to be stretched a little further.
Looking at data over the last decade, school enrollment in Macon County has increased by about 250 students. Funding from the state has gone from $20.3 million in 2005 to $24.6 million in 2014 with a difference of more than $3 million between 2008 and 2009. On the local level, beginning in 2007, the county provided $6 million, and by 2014, was up to $7.3 million. After the jump is a look at public education funding in Macon County over the last 10 years.
Citizens in Macon County officially have a new location to seek treatment when needing dental services. The Macon County Public Health Department has expanded the dental clinic options as the grand opening for the new adult dental facility was held last Thursday. More than 100 visitors stopped in to tour the new facility and about 70 participated in free health screenings. The clinic provides services for patients 18 and older.
The facility actually opened a few days prior to the ceremony. The new clinic, located at 108 Macon Center Drive, is a 2,000 square foot facility, more than twice as large as the last clinic.
“The facility was expanded from 800 square feet to 2,000 square feet,” said Jimmy Villiard, Personal Health Section Administrator at Macon County Public Health. “In addition, we were able to expand from three dental chairs to four. Panorex x-ray capability was also added. The Panorex allows for full-mouth x-rays.”
Dr. Villiard is responsible for managing the dental services for the health department. He was also the project coordinator for the construction of the new clinic.
In addition to the extra space and upgraded equipment, the clinic's expansion will allow the health department to begin offering dentures for adult clients. The clinic also offers comprehensive dental care and can serve as a patient’s primary dental provider. Dr. Bruno Kaldre and his staff offer a full spectrum of preventive, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency care.
“Access to dental care has been a consistent need identified in Macon County’s Community Health Assessment,” said Villiard. “This clinic is open to all residents of Macon County. Because fees are assessed on a sliding scale, based on the income of the client, the services are accessible to almost everyone in the community, regardless of income. In addition, the clinic is one of the few in Macon County that accepts Medicaid reimbursement for dental care. Oral health is an important component of overall wellness. Most significantly, poor oral health can lead to cardiovascular medical complications.”
While the dental clinic's upgrade was approved and supported by county commissioners, Macon County Public Health was able to use Medicaid reimbursement monies to cover the project costs, so no local funding was allocated to the project. According to Villiard, the project came in on budget.