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Law enforcement agencies in Macon County joined officers across the country this past weekend in ramping up patrol to keep drivers safe on the road. With summer coming to an end and families making time for one more vacation over the Labor Day weekend, law enforcement agencies were extra cautious in hopes of preventing crashes and saving lives. Macon County law enforcement joined agencies across the state with added patrol and checkpoints set up to keep the roads safe.

"We have an obligation to utilize every tool available to keep our community safe and checkpoints are one of those tools that help keep drunk drivers off our area roadways," said Macon County Sheriff Robert Holland.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2009-2013, nearly 500 drunk drivers died in Labor Day vehicle crashes across the country. During the 2013 Labor Day holiday alone, almost half of the 18- to 34- year-old drivers killed in crashes were drunk. But the drivers are not the only ones who lose their lives.


MCN summarizes findings on a variety of topics.

Editor’s note: When referencing Western North Carolina or WNC, The Macon County News is including the following 21 counties: Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Swain, Macon, Jackson, Haywood, Transylvania, Henderson, Buncombe, Madison, Yancy, Mitchell, McDowell, Rutherford, Cleveland, Burke, Avery, Watauga, and Caldwell.

The research division of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners published a new “County Snapshots” summary last week which highlighted the demographic, social and educational statuses of all 100 counties in the state.


By state statute, North Carolina was supposed to have a budget in place by July 1. After missing that deadline, state law makers extended the budget deadline to August. A continuing budget resolution was passed to allow the state to continue operating at current levels while the state Senate and House of Representatives nailed down a budget. By Aug. 12, no budget has been reached which prompted the state to once again continue the budget until Aug. 31, the longest the state has gone without a budget in 13 years.

Last week, the two chambers were able to agree on a maximum budget of $21.74 billion, which sits at $265 million more than the Senate proposed spending and $415 million less than the budget originally proposed by the House.

According to Macon County Commissioner Ronnie Beale, he is concerned with where the $400 million reduction will come from.

"Right now, we aren't sure where that money will come from," said Beale. “The most likely place will be teacher assistants, and that is just not something our local district or other schools in the state can handle."


Commissioners meet in Pitt for 108th conference.

Beginning today, commissioners across the state will head to Pitt County North Carolina for the annual North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) Conference. While the conference has an extensive agenda planned, commissioners will pause from shaping the state's leadership to recognize Macon County Commissioner Ronnie Beale, who has served as the association's president for the last year.

“Ronnie has been a tremendous leader for counties," said Kevin Leonard, NCACC Executive Director. "He understands the statecounty partnership and has a knack for seeing controversial issues from all different perspectives. He is a consensus builder who wants to find solutions to problems and challenges that are facing counties. His great sense of humor keeps everybody focused on what is truly important."


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