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News General

Editor’s Note: This is the last of the candidate profiles for the 2014 midterm election. Early voting begins Oct. 23.

Both candidates vying for the open 30th Judicial District Attorney seat have more than a decade of experience each as assistant district attorneys under the current DA Mike Bonfoey and are ready to face the challenges in representing Western North Carolina.

“Prosecutors in this district spend a lot of time in the car traveling from county to county because of the vastness of our district,” said Macon County resident and DA candidate Ashley Welch. “Some districts in the state only include one county. Several others are made up of two or three counties. With seven counties, this district is one of the largest in the state…

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Despite a few bumps in the road, Macon County’s Parker Meadows Recreation Complex is on track, and currently $21,000 under budget.

County Manager Derek Roland updated commissioners during the October board meeting Tuesday night, informing them that weather permitting, all grading on the project should be wrapped up in the next two weeks allowing for building construction to begin on Nov. 1.

“Everything is moving along great,” said Roland. “If things continue the way things are going and weather permitting, if the people who are working on this project have anything to do with it, we will be knocking the doors down come Spring.”

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Editor’s note: All commission candidates were asked the same questions and were given ample time to answer the questions. After receiving the interview questions via e-mail, County Commissioner Ron Haven elected not to participate in the Macon County News’ candidate profile article and said via email, “Sorry, Not interested, I don't have any comments.”

Four candidates are vying for the two open seats for District II of the board of commissioners. With two open seats, the top two vote getters after the election will win the seats.

Gary Shields was born and raised in the Cartoogechaye Community of Macon County to Clara and Rev. W.K. Shields. He attended Franklin High School before moving to Walhalla, S.C., and then Waynesville, N.C., where he attended and graduated from Waynesville Township High in June 1966.

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Fifty years ago this week, torrential rain falls pounded the southeastern United States causing dams to give way, rivers to swell and floods to destroy communities in a three state area. With a month left in hurricane season and reports of Hurricane Isbell forming off toward Cuba, rains from Hurricane Hilda put Macon County underwater.

Hurricane Hilda wreaked havoc on the east coast in 1964 from Sept. 28 until Oct. 5, causing 38 deaths and $126 million in damages as a result of the 150 mile per hour winds and record-breaking rain accumulations.

With reports of water rising some five feet around local businesses such as the old De Soto Trail Restaurant building and stories like this one from Macon County resident Rick Franklin, the flood of 1964 will forever be a part of Macon County’s history.

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