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A road project in Jackson County has transformed from a somewhat small safety concern to a boiling issue that seems to have run over.

The project, dubbed R-5000, entails the construction of a connector road of 0.7 miles running from NC 116 through the Southwestern Community College (SCC) campus, and ending at US 107. For an institution that began as a single building on the side of a hill and has grown to nine buildings since, the need for safety of the student-body, faculty and staff has also grown. With only one entrance and one exit to the campus, concerns of a possible disaster began to surface and in 1994, plans to address the issue started to develop. The new road was included in SCC's Master Plan before tragedies such as the Columbine High School shooting and the attacks of 9/11, in hopes that another exit would alleviate the stress on a bottle neck evacuation of the grounds if a campus-wide emergency ever did take place.


Decline to pursue state-based health exchange and Medicaid expansion

North Carolina Senate leaders introduced legislation last Wednesday to opt out of participation in several costly provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Senators Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson), Harry Brown (R-Onslow) and Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg) filed Senate Bill 2 to exempt North Carolina from establishing a statebased health insurance exchange or a state-federal partnership exchange.

The bill also directs the N.C. Department of Insurance to return unspent taxpayer funds awarded by the federal Department of Health and Human Services earlier this month to create a state-federal partnership exchange.


Corbin and Beale travel to Raleigh to prioritize goals.

Macon County Commissioners Kevin Corbin and Ronnie Beale spent last week in Raleigh lobbying for changes to be made at the local level of government.

Corbin was selected as one of about 30 county commissioners throughout all 100 counties in the state to be a member of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) Legislative Goals Committee.


The 2011-2012 budget called for extensive cuts across North Carolina in an array of different sectors, most of which provided a public service to the citizens of the state. With the controversy surrounding the spending reduction of the public educational system, as well as health and human services, other cuts went largely unnoticed. Here in Macon County, one that has had a subtle, yet significant impact on the citizens has come with the de-funding of the Highlands Magistrate position.

The Town of Highlands has a population of around 1,500 in the winter months which in the past, required the magistrate to preside only a few times during the week. That number grows significantly to more than 20,000 in the summer months and before the budget cuts took effect, required the service of a magistrate every day. With these latest cuts, Highlands has been left without a magistrate, for the first time in 30 years.


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