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By state law, Macon County must undergo a financial audit each year, conducted by an outside third party. The audit delves into the records and financial reports of the county to look for any inaccuracies and ensures that all the books add up.

During their February meeting, Macon County commissioners were informed that for yet another year, Macon County was given a "clean audit" report.

The 2014 fiscal year audit was presented to commissioners by Ko Tang Cha- Moses from the auditing firm Martin, Starnes, and Associates. According to Cha-Moses, Macon County received a good report.

"A clean audit means the auditors issued an unmodified opinion - the best opinion they can give," explained Macon County Finance Director Lori Hall. "An unmodified opinion means that the auditors found no material misstatements that led them to believe the financial statements would be misleading to the reader."


When looking for a job, the Internet can be a great place to search. However, knowing how to search and what sites to look at can be overwhelming. To get advice and guidance, job seekers are invited to a one-hour workshop at the Macon County Public Library on Wednesday, March 4, at 1 p.m. One-on-one help will be available after the class, until 4 p.m.

As part of a partnership between the library and SCC's Educational Opportunities Department, SCC Employability instructor John Mitchell will offer a class at the library for job seekers on how to use the Internet to find and apply for a job. He will discuss not only specific websites and how to use them but also the best techniques for keeping track of your efforts and working efficiently on the search. This onehour class, which will be held in the library’s Board Room.

This workshop is free but space is limited, so reservations are strongly suggested. To reserve a space, or if you have questions, please call the Reference Desk at the Macon County Public Library at (828)524-3600.

In the past week, emergency personnel in Macon County and across western North Carolina have had their hands full with everything from a forest fire to vehicle accidents caused by an ice storm. Working around the clock to keep residents in Macon County safe, both paid and volunteer personnel have more than earned their keep this week.

"All of the emergency responders, both volunteer and career, are an asset to Macon County," said Warren Cabe, Macon County's Emergency Services Director. "Many of them were out late into the night with the recent round of severe weather while most people were safely at home and we really appreciate their efforts."


Photos by Vickie Carpenter and Shana Bilbrey



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With just a little rearranging and a few new walls, Macon County is in the process of making history. After Ashley Welch was elected as District Attorney for the 30th Judicial District last November, Macon officials decided it was important to establish office space for Welch in her home county.

When Welch, who represents the westernmost counties of North Carolina, was elected, she took over the reigns which included an office in Haywood County, which stands as the busiest office in the district. With Macon County being her home county, and in order to have better accessibility to far western counties such as Cherokee and Graham, officials got to work on finding space for Welch.

County Manager Derek Roland informed commissioners earlier this month that for just $1,000 and some rearranging, office space for Welch was available within the courthouse.


Nicky ListThe Macon County Sheriff's Department is seeking help locating Franklin resident Nicky List.

List, who is identified as a 26-year-old white male, is wanted by the MCSO on charges that include felony breaking and entering, felony larceny, felony larceny after a breaking and entering, felony probation violation, and felony interfering with an electronic monitoring device.

List was serving a probation sentence after being convicted of several local break-ins last March, but cut off his electronic monitoring device last week and is currently on the run from law enforcement officers.

According to the North Carolina Department of Corrections, List was released from incarceration in December and was placed on parole, which is scheduled to end in August 2015. He was given a concurrent probation sentence for his charges and was expected to serve a total of 30 months of supervised probation.

Anyone with information to List's whereabouts are asked to call 911 or contact Macon County Crime stoppers at (828)349-2600.

With plans to expand Macon County's landfill in order to increase capacity, Solid Waste Director Chris Stahl presented commissioners with an analysis of alternative landfill sites within the county during February's monthly meeting.

Stahl's presentation to the board, which was completed with the help of McGill Associates, a consulting engineer firm out of Asheville, was state mandated.

"In accordance with General Statute 153-136(c), a landfill that is seeking to expand its volume by more than 10 percent is considered a new landfill," explained Stahl. "Even though most of the Phase III landfill has been permitted for almost 20 years, with the proposed expansion, and since none of the Phase III area has been developed as a landfill, all of an expanded Phase III would be considered a new landfill."


Panhandlers could soon be back on the streets in Franklin. Despite an ordinance passed by the Franklin Board of Aldermen earlier this year, a group of people who line the intersection of the Highlands Road and East Main Street may soon be out again with buckets in hand.

According to Franklin Police Chief David Adams, the group that is known for frequenting the intersection claiming to be a church group with ties to both Kentucky and Florida stopped by the Franklin Police Department to show proof of a $2 million insurance policy as required by the town's new ordinance.

The group also paid the newly adopted $25 application fee and received the application from the police department for the privilege of collecting funds in that intersection. According to Adams, the application has yet to be returned and approved, but so far, the group has done everything outlined in the town's new ordinance in order to be approved to solicit funds in Franklin streets.


Many apps can track your location and share your information

You just had a flat tire along a dark country road. Luckily, you downloaded a flashlight app into your cellphone and now can put it to use.

But that flashlight, handy as it is, may be just one of many doors you unwittingly opened to let spies take up residence inside your phone.

“Most free flashlight apps are creepware,” says Gary S. Miliefsky, CEO of SnoopWall (www.snoopwall.com), a company that specializes in cybersecurity.


Older employees more focused on the satisfaction of a job well done

America's aging workforce is a good thing for employers and the economy, according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens, noting that a new Gallup poll shows that "employee engagement increases with age, even well into workers' 60s and 70s."

The poll concluded that older workers are more "involved in and enthusiastic about their work and more productive members of their workplace — than younger workers."

Weber said it is no secret that over the next 20 years Americans will be turning 65 at a rate of 10,000 a day. "It's not surprising, therefore, that seniors are staying on the job much longer than in the past. Some seniors continue to work well past traditional retirement to make ends meet; many stay because they find fulfillment in their jobs."


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