25th Annual Leaf Lookers GEMBOREE :: Friday, October 17 - Sunday, October 19 at the Macon County Community Building

- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

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News General

On Tuesday, May 3, the Cowee School Heritage Group will meet to introduce and discuss the results of an August workshop which collected public input on possible future uses of Cowee School.

Built in 1943 by Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WDA), the Art Deco-inspired, native-stone school building is on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the last three WDA project schools from the Depression era still in operation. The school building has been a center for the north Macon County community for generations, but after the completion of the new K-4 Iotla Valley School, Cowee School is scheduled to be decommissioned.

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During a special called meeting Wednesday, April 20, Highlands’ Board of Commissioners considered ways to reduce the Town’s costs. Chief among the discussion was the benefit package for each of the Town’s employees. The Town covers 100 percent of the package per employee. Currently the average yearly salary among the Town of Highlands employees is $37,336. The average yearly cost of the benefit package for each employee is $17,349.40, bringing the average total cost per employee to $54,685.40.

Commissioners discussed the fact that a $30,619 salaried employee in Franklin and Macon County pays $4,739 and $3,106 out-of-pocket respectively for his or her benefit package. Moreover, new employees in Highlands receive dental and life insurance coverage from the first day of employment and health insurance after 30 days.

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Final approval of the plan will follow a public hearing scheduled for May 17

After nearly two years of intensive labor by the Macon County Planning Board and a number of other all-volunteer advisory sub-committees, a comprehensive plan for development and growth in the county for the next 20 years has been delivered to the board of commissioners.

At a meeting of the commissioners on Tuesday, county planner Derek Roland presented the plan, a 164-page document which includes an exhaustive analysis of the county’s history, population and economic trends and gives recommendations for future growth in five major areas. Roland read the names of the more than 50 committee volunteers, including the 11 members of the planning board, who collectively invested more than 1,000 hours over the past year to produce the plan.

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A affiliation agreement between Angel Medical Center and Mission Health System in Asheville is set to be finalized in the coming months, according to retiring Angel CEO Tim Hubbs. Hubbs, who announced his plan to retire last week, said he believed an announcement on the partnership would come before he officially steps down from his position sometime next fall.

Discussion of a partnership between the medical providers has been under discussion for almost a year. “Our staff and our board, as well as those at Mission, have worked diligently over the last few months to develop a mutually beneficial relationship,” said Hubbs. “We want a win-win. We want something good for Mission, but we also want something good for our community, where we have local input, local decision authority on key items.”

Hubbs says agreement has already been reached on most issues and that now the parties are mostly focused on legal matters.

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