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News General

Board looking at $500k reduction in revenues this year.

Three years ago, the state lawmakers implemented a plan to withhold 10 percent of North Carolina counties' Medicaid Cost Settlement funds, while reviewing local departments' programs. After three years, those funds were expected to be released back to local departments. According to Macon County Board of Health Director Jim Bruckner, when it came time to release those funds, the state failed to do so. For Macon County, that means $125,000 over three years that the health department is having to scramble to make up. The 10 percent withholding, paired with the fiscal year 2015 Medicaid Cost Settlement funds that have yet to be released to the county, has left the local health department looking at an unanticipated $484,121 reduction this budget year.

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Mayor wants to address issue before problems occur.

July's Franklin town board agenda covered everything from approving a new antenna for an existing cell tower, to sending items to the planning board for review before final approval by the board.

The board unanimously voted to allow wireless provider T-Mobile to add an antenna to the cell phone tower located on Cunningham Road. Justin Setser, Franklin's Town Land Use Administrator reviewed TMobile's request and recommended its approval to the board. T-Mobile will be adding three new antennas and associated appurtenances to the existing tower, which will boost cell reception for the phone provider within Franklin.

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Grant funding builds transit bus stops around Franklin

Macon County Transit has been busy this week putting the final touches on Franklin's first two bus stops. Located on East Main Street near Hot Spot and on Siler Farm Road by the Macon County Public Library, Franklin's first two transit bus stops are intended to better serve residents who rely on the transportation service.

"In an effort for the Mountain Gem Route to have the look and feel of the public transportation service that it is," said Kim Angel, Macon County Transit Director. "We also felt that adding the shelters in certain locations would encourage ridership on the route. The cost to operate this route is much less than our traditional door to door service we offer..."

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Citizen cites violation of the fourth amendment.

Monday night the Franklin Town Board of Aldermen were presented with agenda items regarding minimum housing code and nuisance ordinance violations for properties within the city limits. While the town board was addressing enforcing the ordinances, one Franklin resident was questioning the constitutionality of their existence.

Angela Moore, who has run for town board in the past and has filed to run again this November, signed up during public comment to express her concerns regarding the town's regulations.

"The enforcement of the minimum housing ordinance as it is written is a gross violation of the 4th amendment of the U.S. Constitution," claimed Moore. "Violating the rights of people to be secure in their persons and their homes against unreasonable searches and seizures is personal. If you are violating the rights of even one person you are trampling the freedom of all of us."

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