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.
In accordance with a new state law passed during the 2013 legislative session, the State of North Carolina has begun issuing no-fee voter identification cards.
Beginning in 2016, North Carolina will require voters to have a valid photo ID to cast a ballot when voting in person. A list of photo ID that will be acceptable for voting is available on the State Board of Elections’ website. No-fee ID cards are available for people who have no other valid forms of photo identification.
Applications for no-fee voter ID cards can be made at any North Carolina DMV driver license office.
Applicants will need to present documents that verifies their age and identity. Applicants will also need to provide a valid Social Security number.
NCDMV has posted the requirements and documents acceptable for the Voter ID card on its website.
Voter ID cards are mailed to applicants within 10 to 15 days following application.
Under the leadership of Commissioner Kelly Thomas, the Division of Motor Vehicles conducted five rehearsals and training sessions last month for all examiners and information technology personnel to ensure the examiners and IT professionals are trained in the procedures to issue voter identification to all North Carolinians seeking that form of ID.