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With an entire week of school missed last week, a snow day on Tuesday, and additional days that will inevitably be missed before the week's end if current forecasts are correct, local school districts are close to having to figure out how to make up missed instructional time.

As of Monday night's board of education meeting, if Macon County students did not miss another day all year, they would finish the school year with 1,050 instructional hours. State law requires local school districts to have 1,025 instructional hours, leaving the district with 25 hours to work with before makeup days were planned. That number was quickly decreased on Tuesday when school was cancelled in Macon County due to more than three inches of snow that fell overnight.

Macon County Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin said that even if the school district is able to make it the rest of the year and meet the state's minimum requirement of 1,025 instructional hours, there is a larger issue on hand.


Catch the Spirit of Appalachia is providing four opportunities for a scholarship in the amount of $500 each for “Appalachian Studies,” to be presented to four deserving seniors in the Western North Carolina counties. Each scholarship is focused on a different aspect of Appalachian heritage, and established in honor of someone in our society who has made a difference.

View the available scholarships after the jump!


Currently in its 50th year, Southwestern Community College serves Jackson, Macon, Swain counties and the Qualla Boundary in such a myriad of ways that its value can be especially challenging to measure.

A report released this week attempts to do just that.

Prepared by Economic Modeling Specialists Intl., a fact sheet demonstrates that the college’s overall economic impact is $126.9 million in added regional income for its service area.

“We are grateful for the information provided in this fact sheet,” said Dr. Don Tomas, SCC president. “We believe these statistics are a direct result of the dedication our faculty and staff have for serving our communities and helping our students succeed.”


N.C. Cooperative Extension will hold a class on "Growing Shiitake Mushrooms," Tuesday, March 5, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Macon County Environmental Resource Center. Preregistration is required. A $10 materials fee is due at registration. Each participant should bring two hardwood logs (oak is preferred; no walnut or locust), 4 to 6 inches in diameter and 3 to 4 feet long. The logs should be fresh cut.

This will be a hands on workshop. A classroom session will explain Shiitake growing and participants will then drill their logs and inoculate them with Shiitake mushroom "seed." Participants will leave the class with two inoculated Shiitake logs and the ability to inoculate more. The program is geared toward hobby growers. Most of the program will be outside, so dress warmly. If you have an extra log to donate, we would like to build a Shiitake demonstration area at the Environmental Resource Center. Register at the Macon County Cooperative Extension Center by Friday, Feb. 27. Call (828)349-2046 if you have any questions.

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