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News State / Region

After former Democratic state Senator John Snow announced his bid to oust incumbent Senator Jim Davis for the District 50 seat of the General Assembly earlier this month, he immediately began working on his campaign strategy. Last Saturday, Macon County’s Democratic Party held a rally for the former Senator at South Macon Elementary School to celebrate his announcement to seek another term in office.

Snow served six years as a state Senator before narrowly losing to Davis in 2010. According to Snow, the new redistricting maps should help his run for Senate. The newly drawn districts took out Transylvania County, which was predominantly a Republican stronghold, and added Haywood County, which has historically been strongly Democratic.

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The Board of the Hospice House Foundation, along with Four Seasons and Compassion for Life, has announced that the State has issued a Certificate of Need (CON) for a free standing hospice inpatient facility/ hospice house for Macon County.

“The support and prayers of everyone has helped us accomplish yet another step toward our mission,” said Michele Alderson, President of the Hospice House Foundation of WNC. “Now we are focused on obtaining a location for the hospice house. We are also reaching out and establishing contacts with other care giving agencies that may need use of the facility in the future.”

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Macon County’s Economic Development Commission met for the first time this year on Tuesday, Jan. 17. EDC Director, Tommy Jenkins, offered a review of his latest efforts to retain and attract businesses to the area, while welcoming Macon County’s JobLink Career Center manager, Dale West, to the meeting. West attended the meeting to inform EDC board members about their organization’s latest initiative to put people back to work.

The new liaisons to the EDC board, Commissioners Ronnie Beale and Jimmy Tate, attended the meeting. Commissioner Beale, county manager Jack Horton, and Dale West gave their support to Jenkins, stating that they are really pleased with what Jenkins has done so far as the leader of Macon County’s EDC.

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Some good news for a change, at least nationally, as the unemployment rate dipped to 8.5 percent last week while the U.S. economy added 200,000 jobs. The statistics produced by the U.S. Department of Labor on Jan. 6 show a slowly improving economy, and marks the sixth consecutive month the U.S. has posted a net gain of at least 100,000 jobs. The national unemployment rate is at it lowest point since February of 2009.

Meanwhile, Macon County’s reported unemployment numbers for the month of November were not as positive, and that holds true for most of Western North Carolina (WNC). In November, 1,624 Maconians were listed as unemployed, out of a labor force of about 15,737 citizens, according to the N.C. Employment Security Commission. In October of last year the county’s unemployment rate was 9.7 percent.

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