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News General

After several months of discussion and two public hearings on the issue, the Macon County Board of Commissioners has asked the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to consider a compromise on its planned improvements of Needmore Road. Last week the board unanimously passed a resolution indicating its support of a compromise alternative to the controversial $13 million option the NCDOT has put forward as its “preferred” option.

The improvements to Needmore Road – a picturesque, gravel road that runs from Macon to Swain County along the Little Tennessee River through a 4,500 acre tract of preserved game land – have been the source of much controversy since NCDOT began its public input process on the project last summer.

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Macon County and the Town of Franklin will seek to name a bridge after a local man and veteran of the Vietnam War who was held for six years as a prisoner of war.

At their last meeting, the Macon County Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution requesting that the North Carolina Department of Transportation designate the Bridge over Highway 441 South Business/U.S. 64 bridge near Westgate Plaza as the “Nathan B. ‘Nat’ Henry Bridge.” The Town of Franklin is expected to pass a similar resolution in the near future.

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The city of Asheville recently hosted its third annual HATCH Experience which broke loose throughout the downtown area, bringing together creative professionals from all over the world. Hatch began in Bozeman, Montana in 2003 and is held every October 5-9. It was brought to Asheville in 2009 and is held from April 14-17.

A lofty concept, HATCH is a four-day festival, featuring panels, workshops and events in architecture, film, music, photography, journalism, fashion and design and technology.

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The State Highway Patrol has completed its Operation Slow Down Initiative that began on March 28 and ended on April 3. The purpose of the operation was to reduce speed related collisions on North Carolina Interstates. Last year 1,110 motorists died on North Carolina highways. Of those, 279 deaths were attributed to speed.

During the week long initiative, troopers stepped-up enforcement and patrols across the state, focusing on motorists speeding on interstates and major four-lane highways.

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