Last week, the Franklin Town Board met with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) to discuss the Nikwasi Indian Mound located in the center of town. Based on the belief that the mound was part of Cherokee heritage, the EBCI has expressed a desire to possibly own the mound once again. The belief was that a resolution could be reached between the town and the Cherokee, possibly pursuant to some sort of partnership concerning the mound. That feeling of goodwill changed the day after the meeting when a resolution on behalf of Chief Michell Hicks and the Tribal Council went public demanding for the return of the mound.
“We met with the tribal council on Wednesday and had no idea that this was coming,” said Franklin Mayor Bob Scott.
Macon County residents will take to the polls this November to cast their ballot to fill multiple offices up for reelection. Candidates for commission seats, school board, and other local, state and national seats will be appearing on the ballot this year. With early voting starting Oct. 23, The Macon County News is running weekly profiles of each open seat.
The Macon County Board of Education has two open seats that will be decided in November. District II, currently held by incumbent Tommy Cabe, and District IV, which was left open when Gary Shields decided not to seek re-election.
Cabe will face off against Bill Taylor for the District II seat and Fred Goldsmith and Carroll Poindexter will both be seeking votes for the District IV seat.
Cash mobsters descend on downtown Sylva
The fountain at the bottom of the old Jackson County courthouse was a sight to see last Friday, as more than 150 people gathered all waving $20 bills. Shoppers from Franklin and Sylva all joined together to support Main Street Sylva businesses affected by an August 16 fire that still has a portion of the street blocked off.
Organized by Macon County grass-roots group Venture Local Franklin, the event was deemed a cash mob with the intention of pushing a ton of business into the downtown economy all over the span of a couple of hours, for a short, quick, financial boost for businesses.
Traveling exhibit educates parents on what to look for.
Last Thursday, the P.E.A.C.E Foundation brought its "Bedroom Project" to Franklin. The presentation took place at Tartan Hall of the First Presbyterian Church. The organization's mission is to educate the public about the dangers of prescription drugs and empower them with the knowledge to recognize and stop abuse before it starts.
P.E.A.C.E, or Prescription Education Abuse Counseling Empowerment, was founded by Shannon Rouse Ruiz whose own personal tragedy helped fuel the call for action. On June 21, 2011, her 16-year-old daughter Kaitlyn suffered a fatal overdose.
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.