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News State / Region

Jill Westmoreland Rose is now the Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina (WDNC), following the departure of U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins on March 9. Rose served as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney to Tompkins.

Rose has been an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) in the Western District since 1999. During her 16-year tenure with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Rose has served as lead attorney for WDNC’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) Program, Deputy Criminal Chief, Chief of the Criminal Division and First Assistant United States Attorney.

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There are a slew of bills moving through the legislation right now geared toward changing the way local elections are handled, and Macon County officials are speaking out against them.

House Bill 325 is written to make all school board elections in the state partisan elections, instead of the nonpartisan balloting which is currently employed. Rep. George Cleveland, R-Onslow, the bill's primary sponsor, has been quoted saying the intent of the partisan measure is to allow voters a better feel for the candidate they are voting for, something school officials in Macon County do not agree with.

In addition to the house bill to make school board elections partisan, a similar measure is passing through the senate to go a step further to change city councils and judgeships to partisan races under Senate Bill 650.

 

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Wayne Goodwin meets with firefighters, county leaders.

Being 317 miles from Raleigh, it isn't often that state officials make their way into Macon County. Last week, Wayne Goodwin, who serves as North Carolina's Insurance Commissioner as well as the State Fire Marshal, visited counties in the western part of the state in hopes of bridging that gap.

"As Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal, it is necessary and vital for me to reach out to all counties across North Carolina," said Goodwin. "Growing up in a rural county myself, I empathize with how many western counties feel when 'Raleigh' wrongly thinks the western part of the state ends in Asheville or Hickory. Macon County residents deserve service from statewide officials just as much as every other county. So, I spend much of my time traveling in-person to all corners of the state and being as accessible and helpful as possible. It's always a pleasure of mine to visit Macon and surrounding counties."

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In an attempt to restructure the distribution formula for sales tax in the state, Senate Bill 369 (Sales Tax Fairness Act) would mean an annual loss of more than $1 million in revenue for Macon County.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown, ROnslow, introduced a bill that would move North Carolina to a plan of distributing sales tax revenue based on a per-capita basis rather than based on the location of the sale, which is the system the state currently employs.

Essentially, S369 would convert 2 percent of local sales taxes to a state sales tax over three years. The state would allocate 2 percent of the 6.75 percent state sales tax to counties and cities on a per capita basis. The timeline for the bill would introduce the redistribution over a three year period, being fully implemented by January 2018.

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