25th Annual Leaf Lookers GEMBOREE :: Friday, October 17 - Sunday, October 19 at the Macon County Community Building

- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

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Initiative to protect rights of farmworkers, educate employers

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division is conducting an enforcement initiative focusing on the agricultural industry in North Carolina, particularly among producers of hand-harvested crops, in which the division previously has found widespread labor violations. The goal of this initiative is to increase employer compliance and remind workers of their rights under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and the federal H-2A temporary nonimmigrant worker programs.

Since 2008, the Wage and Hour Division’s Raleigh District Office has conducted more than 260 investigations of agricultural operations in its jurisdiction alone, recovering nearly $473,000 in back wages for 878 employees. Significant and persistent violations in this industry have resulted in low wages, unsafe housing and transportation, and harsh working conditions for vulnerable workers such as minors, seasonal employees, and migrant or temporary foreign farmworkers.

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The holiday season is a time for celebration, gathering of family and friends and gift giving. Often our celebration results in a tough impact on our environment. All are welcome to join in a group discussion of what each of us does to lessen the negative environmental impact of our holiday celebrations. This sharing circle is open to members, friends, neighbors, students, the general public, everyone.

Some topics we will talk about will be gift-giving, decorations, holiday greetings, special meals, rituals, etc. You are welcome to bring your ideas and any items or ways you have of reducing, re-using, recycling, re-purposing, re-thinking during the holiday season.

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Sarah Wilkins is the new Senior Coordinator for the Macon County Senior Games.

In a recent presentation to the Franklin Kiwanis Club, Wilkins explained that with more than 200 county wide contestants, the Macon County program is one of the most successful.

Local games are in April and May, with state finals in September, but in between, the Senior Games supports CareNet and sponsors the Health Fair with the help of local donors.

Every holiday season on the day after Thanksgiving, Americans are regaled with stories of the pandemonium that ensues in retail chains throughout the country.

Known as “Black Friday” it is a day known for huge retail sales with some of the biggest and best deals for hot selling items all year. Accompanying the hordes of jovial holiday shoppers, are stories of violence and even death.

This year, for instance, a 61-year-old man in Charleston, West Virginia was trampled to death by fellow shoppers who reportedly did not even slow down to help. On the west coast, two men in Palm Desert, California gunned each other down on Black Friday after the women shopping with them fought over items at a Toys “R” Us.

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