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News State / Region

Horseback riders in Western North Carolina are joining forces with citizens in surrounding states to combine their riding skills with life saving techniques. A volunteer organization known as the County Mounties trains horseback riders to aid law enforcement agencies in an array of circumstances.

The County Mounties was founded in 2007 by Lawrence Beal of Hayseville, N.C. The mounties is a non-profit organization that operates out of Hayesville but reaches beyond the area and into many other states and jurisdictions.

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Criminals who make meth could face more time behind bars and be banned from having the drug’s main ingredient under a law that would help fight a recent surge in meth labs, according to Attorney General Roy Cooper.

“Meth labs threaten our communities with crime, addiction, and even fires, explosions and toxic chemicals,” Cooper said. “We’re working hard to find and stop these dangerous drug labs, and stronger laws will help us.”

House Bill 29 would make it a felony for any convicted meth cook to possess products containing pseudoephedrine, found in some cold medicines and the key ingredient needed to make the highly addictive illegal drug methamphetamine.

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The N.C. Department of Transportation will hold an informational workshop from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 14, on proposed safety improvements to U.S. 23/441 east of Franklin. The workshop will take place at the Franklin Town Hall Board Room, located at 95 East Main Street in Franklin.

NCDOT proposes to make the following safety improvements to U.S. 23/441 between Cat Creek Road and U.S. 441 Business:

• Median modifications on US 23/441 that will prohibit left turns from Cat Creek Road and allow for Uturns approximately 650 feet north of Cat Creek Road;

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With budget cuts looming within the Macon County School System, taxpayers have begun asking questions about where education funds come from. Local school systems are afforded funding from three sources, the state, federal, and local governments. Each of those funding sources has its own avenue of generating revenues to fund education.

By North Carolina state statute, the state is responsible for the majority of public education funding, with both the federal and local governments acting as a supplement. In addition to taxes collected in North Carolina, the state has also implemented other programs to help fund the state's education system.

Since its inception in 2006, The North Carolina Education Lottery has touted its role as a significant contributor to the state's educational programs. State officials claim to have created the lottery to further support the state's education system and it was intended to provide additional funding to allow North Carolina to be competitive with the rest of the country.

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