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- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

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This winter, Macon County residents have seen record low temperatures invade the area. Often times, the only reprieve that can be had comes when the dial on the thermostat is turned up. Seeking warmth is only natural when the temperatures are as low as they have been, but what are people supposed to do when the power bill comes and the cost of that warmth is over their monthly budget?

One option that may be be considered are funds provided by the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) that can be applied for at the Macon County Department of Social Services (DSS). LIHEAP is a federally-funded program that provides a one-time vendor payment to help eligible households pay their heating bills.

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Sales of the Friends of the Smokies specialty license plate in North Carolina increased in the fourth quarter, benefiting priority projects in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) including science education programs. The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles has released fourth quarter figures with $93,520 going to Friends of the Smokies from specialty plate sales, an increase from the same period last year. Total contributions from the Smokies plate now top $3.5 million since the program launched in 1999.

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The N.C. Department of Transportation wants to hear from North Carolinians regarding their transportation priorities as part of its efforts to implement the state’s new Strategic Transportation Investments law.

Signed into law by Gov. McCrory last summer, House Bill 817 “Strategic Transportation Investments,” overhauls the way North Carolina funds transportation improvements, allowing NCDOT to make more efficient use of its existing revenues to fund more investments that improve the state’s transportation infrastructure, create jobs and help boost the economy.

The law establishes the Strategic Mobility Formula, which uses a data-driven approach to provide more flexibility in funding transportation improvements on the statewide, regional and division level with the goal of meeting the state’s top priorities while still addressing individualized local needs.

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Rep. Mark Meadows (NC-11) has released a statement after being selected to serve on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s newly-established special panel on the use of and opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s) across all modes of transportation, economic development, public buildings, water and maritime infrastructure and equipment.

The panel will examine the current state of public-private partnerships in the United States to identify: (1) the role P3s play in development and delivery of transportation and infrastructure projects in the U.S., and on the U.S. economy; (2) if/how these partnerships enhance delivery and management of transportation and infrastructure projects beyond the capabilities of government agencies or the private sector acting independently; and (3) how to balance the needs of the public and private sectors when considering, developing and implementing P3 projects. It will also play a crucial role in the reauthorization of surface transportation programs, which the Committee plans to develop this year.

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