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Students who entered third grade this year became the first batch of students to be affected by the state’s new Read to Achieve law. The law, which requires local districts to retain students who do not test proficient on the end of grade reading test, was predicted to cause nearly 50 percent of third grade students in Macon County to fail third grade at the end the school year.

Monday night, Carol Waldroop, director of Elementary Education for Macon County, informed school board members that the district had been approved for a one-year waiver that allows the district to view alternative assessments in addition to the end-of-grade test when determining which students should be retained at the end of the year.

“We think the retention rate would be about 50 percent statewide if the state board had not added some alternatives to the original law besides the portfolio,” said Waldroop.


On Friday, Feb. 7, President Barack Obama signed the 2014 Farm Bill into law after three years of back and forth battles in the United States Congress concerning a variety of measures.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the 959 page legislation is predicted to reduce the national deficit by almost $17 billion. As a result of the passage, funding for food stamps will be decreased by $8 billion over the next 10 years.


Jane Hipps of Waynesville has officially announced her candidacy for the North Carolina Senate seat held by Jim Davis.

To kickoff her campaign, an “Announcement Celebration” is being held for Hipps Thursday evening at 5:30 pm at the Junaluska Elementary School. The public is invited.

Having spent more than 38 years in public education, Hipps understands firsthand what it means to be an educator. Working first as a vocational rehabilitation counselor in Haywood County and eventually as a science consultant for the Western Area Regional Alliance, she has been a school psychologist, a teacher, a program developer, and a National Math and Science Consultant. Hipps states that while she looks at her time in the classroom with pride, she believes recent moves of our North Carolina Legislature have left monumental concerns.

Hipps says she is running for the NC Senate because she is concerned about the future of this state. She highlights how opportunities for our children have been eroded by the massive cuts and threats to public education, including the community colleges and universities. Hipps states that the impact of these cuts at the local level has meant that our counties have fewer teachers, teacher assistants and assistant principals.


With more than 59,000 letters hitting the mail Tuesday, Feb. 11, the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles is making a final push to reach out to North Carolina CDL drivers who have not yet complied with the federal requirement to certify the type of driving they do with NCDMV.

Since Jan. 30, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has required all CDL holders to certify to NCDMV whether they drive interstate or intrastate and for what purpose. If required, they must also provide their current DOT medical card to NCDMV. Drivers must continue to carry paper copies of their medical cards through January 2015 for review by federal or state inspectors on the roadside or to protect against being cited for violations.


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