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News General

In 2011, Macon Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation Center set out to prove the facility's exemplary standards through achieving various awards with the American Health Care Association's National Quality Award Program. In just a few short years, Macon Valley accomplished something that takes most facilities more than a decade.

"We completed an application on the Organizational Profile for our organization, submitted it for review, were notified in October 2011 that we were a recipient for the Bronze Award 'Commitment to Quality,'” said Richard Brady, Administrator at Macon Valley. "Then for the next three years, 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014 we changed our operational procedures, processes and focused on our clinical programs and outcomes. We completed the 25-page Silver application and were awarded the Silver Award Achievement in Quality in October 2014."

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Macon County Schools and county officials are stepping up to make improving Union Academy a priority in 2015. Housed in a building that hasn't been touched in decades, and that was previously placed out of commission entirely, Union Academy has reached the point where minor repairs will no longer suffice.

With no expectations to see a decrease in student enrollment, the alternative learning facility, which is mandated by the state, serves about 111 students. The building was first taken out of commission when Union Elementary closed down during a consolidation process resulting in the establishment of South Macon Elementary. It remained vacant until Union Academy began operations.

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New DA brings many ‘firsts’ to position

For more than 30 years, the 30th Judicial District Attorney has been housed in Haywood County. The 30th judicial district serves the seven westernmost counties and until November, held its main office in Waynesville under former N.C. District Attorney Mike Bonfoey. In November, in a landslide victory against Jim Moore, Ashley Welch secured the seat.

Welch, who resides in Macon County, will bring the district attorney's office to Macon County for the first time in the state's history.

Bringing the office to Macon County is not the only milestone Welch achieved when she was elected. At 36, Welch is one of the youngest prosecutors in the state. Welch is also the first female to serve the 30th Judicial District and stands as one of only 10 female district attorneys in North Carolina's 44 districts.

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Roadway panhandlers must adhere to specific rules.

For months now, even years, the town of Franklin has discussed how to handle the panhandlers who set up shop several times a year at the intersection of Main Street and the Highlands Road. While some groups who frequent the intersection are local, oftentimes the groups who go car to car, buckets in tow, are outside groups claiming to be collecting donations for outside organizations.

With complaints about the solicitation ranging from the legitimacy of the groups soliciting funds, to the safety hazard posed by donation seekers standing in traffic, the town of Franklin finally decided to seriously consider a town ordinance regulating the activity. During its December meeting, the Franklin Board of Aldermen directed town attorney John Henning Jr. to draft an ordinance to report to the board in January, which he presented Monday night.

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