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News General

Officials skeptical of population figures

Macon County is no longer the fastest growing county in Western North Carolina, according to population figures released by the U.S. Census earlier this year. But Macon officials are skeptical of the census findings, and are preparing to examine them with federal workers in the coming months, said County Manager Jack Horton on Friday.

“The preliminary population figures were higher than the final count of the census. We thought that was unusual, given the fact that most of the preliminary estimates in other counties actually ended up being lower than what their final count was,” said Horton.

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House budget proposal would cut support for Small Town Main Street Programs

Highlands town manager Jim Fatland believes that in these economic times, it is more important than ever to support local small businesses.

“When you have a down economy, you need to be proactive in stimulating jobs,” said Fatland. “We feel the Main Street Program does just that.”

The Town of Highlands, which was selected a year ago to participate in the North Carolina Small Town Main Street Program, has made great strides in moving its downtown forward, in part through the strong support from staff who coordinate the program in the Western North Carolina region, says Fatland.

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‘On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive’

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol along with the Wildlife Resources Commission and the Alcohol Law Enforcement Division are combining efforts to save lives this summer. Whether on the road or on the water, law enforcement officers will be on the look out for impaired drivers by conducting DWI checkpoints near recreational boating areas as well as educating motorists on the dangers of drinking and driving.

“On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign is a multi-agency initiative that combines law enforcement resources to ensure that all motorists can safely travel on highway and waterways during the summer months.

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Three North Carolina nonprofits have filed an administrative complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice, claiming that the North Carolina court system has failed to provide interpreters for individuals with limited English proficiency in civil and some criminal court proceedings. Without an interpreter, many plaintiffs and defendants do not understand critical court proceedings.

The complaint – filed by the Latin American Coalition, Muslim American Society and Vietnamese Society of Charlotte – requests an investigation into the state’s justice system to determine whether the lack of foreign language interpreters violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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