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The bidding war for the old Cullasaja School property began last December and after bids from four different interested parties, the highest bid on the property has reached $139,700.

The initial bid on the property was first submitted to the school system on December 1 in the amount of $75,000, and now nine bids later, the new minimum upset bid required for the property is $146,735.

The school has long since been listed as a surplus property for the district, and at its last tax appraisal was listed at $1,631,000. Despite the more than a million dollar price tag, the school system has had little to no interest in the property over the last five years.

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Free food, giveaways and the opportunity to win scholarships and other prizes will be a part of Southwestern Community College’s 50th-anniversary open house celebration from 4-6 p.m. on Friday, April 10, at the Jackson Campus.

Barbecue and t-shirts will be available while supplies last, and visitors will have a shot at scholarships of $1,000 or more and gift certificates to the SCC bookstore through a scavenger hunt.

If needed, a rain date has been set for April 17.

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Schools in Macon County are on track to receive $660,000 for Internet connectivity upgrades this year through the federal government's E-Rate Program.

E-Rate (also known as the Universal Service Program for Schools and Libraries) is intended to make it more affordable for schools and libraries across the country to connect to high-speed Internet – with the goal of making the gigabit speeds seen in cities like Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Chattanooga, Tenn., the norm in schools across the country.

Funds are available for 73 districts across North Carolina, with $660,000 available for Macon County. The use of the funds are specific and as Macon County Schools IT Director Tim Burrell noted during the Monday night Board of Education meeting in Highlands, are earmarked for upgrades to the district's wireless infrastructure.

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Monday night, Macon County's Board of Education approved the 2015-16 school calendar, but not without first discussing how the district will approach snow days next year without help from the state.

Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin explained that despite 39 school calendar related bills being filed with the state legislature, it is unlikely that any legal change will be heard this year.

The Rules Committee Chair, Senator Tom Apodaca who represents Henderson County, supports the state's current calendar law and recently said that none of the existing calendar legislation would get consideration this year, Dr. Baldwin informed board members.

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