Benefit for Caleb Watson :: Saturday, January 31 at South Macon Elementary School :: Click here for more details

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Law will provide opportunities for first-time offenders.

North Carolina has introduced the first law to provide broad expungement opportunities to adults convicted of crimes. The law, allowing expunctions of first-time nonviolent misdemeanor and low-level felony convictions, went into effect Dec. 1

The new law will offer a new beginning to thousands of individuals who have long since paid their debts to society.+

The law allowing for expunctions of firsttime nonviolent misdemeanor and low-level felony convictions 15 years after an individual has fully completed his or her sentence was signed into law on July 16, and went into effect on Dec. 1, 2012. If eligible, an individual must demonstrate he or she possesses good moral character and has been on good behavior throughout the 15-year waiting period. The law will benefit those who have long demonstrated a sincere dedication to contributing to society through their upstanding behavior, but are still being denied opportunities to reintegrate with and contribute to their communities.


Even though the sale of synthetic marijuana is legal in Macon County, Sheriff Robert Holland says that illegal versions of the drug are being sold and it is a problem that his department is currently taking measures against.

“We are aware it is an issue and a problem and we are taking measures to address it,” said Holland. “It is very difficult when you are talking about chemical compounds and scientific makeup of the substances.”

Synthetic marijuana, which is sold under many names including K2, incense, and Spice, is typically a blend of herbal mixtures that when consumed create effects similar to cannabis, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The product can be found in gas stations and in smoke shops. The packaging for the substance clearly states "not for human consumption," but people often buy them for their psychoactive effects.


The Division of Employment Security (DES) will be expanding the weekly process by which unemployment insurance claimants certify they are eligible for benefits. This is another effort on the Division’s part to strengthen the state’s unemployment insurance program and emphasize a commitment on fraud prevention.

Weekly certification is the process used to verify that the claimant was unemployed during the week and is eligible for benefits. A claimant will need to certify for eligibility for every week that they want to receive a benefit payment. This certification can be filed through the Internet and over the phone.


State Transportation Secretary Gene Conti has announced that state and local law enforcement officers will be out in force as part of the Holiday “Booze It & Lose It” campaign. Checkpoints and stepped-up patrols will be conducted beginning Friday, Dec. 7, through Wednesday, Jan. 2, across North Carolina in an effort to remove impaired drivers from the roads.

“Make the responsible decision to designate a driver if you plan to drink this holiday season,” Conti said. “The choice you make could save a life.”

In 2011, there were more than 950 alcoholrelated crashes in North Carolina during the holiday campaign, which ran from Dec. 3 through Jan. 2, resulting in 44 fatalities and 702 injuries.


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