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News Education

With Macon County students starting classes Thursday, volunteers in the school system are gearing up to make sure students have all the supplies they need to kick-off the school year.

Macon County’s 9th annual “Fill the Bus” school supply drive will be held this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Franklin Wal-Mart, Kmart, and Big Lots locations.

The event runs during tax-free weekend in order to fully take advantage of the statewide event. Each year, in accordance with state statute, the first weekend in August is designated to give shoppers a break on their purchases. State sales tax will not apply to clothing, footwear, schools supplies, sports equipment and even computers purchased during this time.


Jackson County Clerk of Court Ann Melton, left, swore in new Southwestern Community College Board of Trustees member Dewayne Elders, right, along with re-appointed members, from left, Jerry Sutton, Terry Bell and Libby Knight during the board’s July 26 meeting.

Elders, son of Jackson County Commissioner Charles Elders, fills the seat of former commissioner William Shelton. Elders, who received his degree in business, is a graduate of Southwestern.

Sutton, reappointed by Gov. Bev Perdue, has served on SCC’s board for 28 years, including seven terms as chairman.


James Zhang will be serving as interim dean of Western Carolina University’s Kimmel School of Construction Management and Technology, effective Monday, Aug. 1.

Currently associate dean of the Kimmel School, Zhang will fill a vacancy created by the upcoming departure of the current dean, Robert McMahan, who recently was named the new president of Kettering University in Flint, Mich.

Kettering University, formerly General Motors University, is known for its topranked undergraduate programs in engineering, mathematics, science and business, Beth Tyson Lofquist, WCU interim provost, said in announcing the Kimmel School leadership changes.


Despite bipartisan support among the county’s state legislators, two bills that would grant Macon County Schools additional teaching allotments for its two K-12 schools seem to have stalled in committee.

Senate Bill 733, sponsored by Sen. Jim Davis (R-Franklin) and House Bill 815, sponsored by Representatives Phil Haire (DSylva) and Roger West (R-Marble), were both introduced in the spring session. Both bills were referred from their originating committee to other committees in the chamber, and both are technically still under consideration.

Of the three non-alternative, K-12 public schools in the state of North Carolina, two are in Macon County – Nantahala School and Highlands School. Both schools are in remote areas of the county, separated from other schools in the district by mountainous terrain.


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