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

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Macon County Commissioners recently directed the county planning board to review county owned property to determine potential uses for individual sites or the possibility that the properties be designated surplus.

The planning board completed the assessment and Macon County Planner Matt Mason reported the board’s finding to commissioners at the February meeting.

According to Mason, the planning board reviewed nine different properties owned by the county and one owned by the school board.


2014 election filing deadline February 28

Filing for the 2014 election cycle concludes on Friday, Feb. 28.

As of noon Wednesday, the following candidates have been added to the list of those running for office:

view the full list after the jump!


With the March 31 deadline approaching for all Americans to have access to health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Mountain Projects is hosting a free seminar Saturday, March 1 to explain and review how the ACA may impact health care coverage for individuals and businesses. This free seminar will review the individual mandate in detail, discussing the benefits, the penalties, and the tax implications.

Beginning in 2014, every U.S. resident will be required by law to have health care coverage or pay a tax penalty. Macon County Certified Healthcare Navigator Cynthia Solesbee will provide a basic overview of the law, followed by a brief discussion of the program's new requirements, along with some of the plans available for consumers, small business employers, and employees of small business. Solesbee represents Mountain Projects, the nonprofit community action agency responsible for Head Start and many other programs which provide vital services to the elderly, disadvantaged and general public throughout Western North Carolina.


Haven, Higdon object to financing $1.8 million for the project

In a split 3-2 vote, the leaders of Macon County opted to fully develop the new recreational facility at Parker Meadows over the next year. With Commissioners Jim Tate, Ronnie Beale, and Kevin Corbin voting in favor of the project, the board had the majority vote to move forward.

Macon County commissioners had already approved the project, but were only obligated to minimally develop the project to obtain money from the state. After research into the cost of developing the project in phases compared to completing the project all at once, Recreation Director Seth Adams asked the county to consider different development options.


Snow barreled down in Macon County last week, with totals ranging from 4 to 11 inches.

From Otto to Cowee, the county was blanketed white.

Spring like temperatures quickly melted the snow, but not before giving Macon residents a few days to enjoy the winter wonderland.

Photos by Vickie Carpenter, Betsey Gooder, Shana Bilbrey, John MacLean, Kayla Robb, Cindy Thompson, Patricia Williams, Betsy Campbell and Sherry Hays

more after the jump!


Three more sign on to run for Jackson County Sheriff.

On Monday, Feb. 10, Assistant District Attorney Ashley H. Welch (R) officially filed her notice of candidacy for the Office of District Attorney, 30th Prosecutorial District, in the 2014 election. Welch filed at the State Board of Elections Office in Raleigh. The 30th District consists of Macon, Swain, Clay, Cherokee, Graham, Haywood and Jackson counties. Welch has been a North Carolina Assistant District Attorney for more than a decade and has been in the 30th District since May 2005.


Last week the Macon County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) made arrests in a recent burglary incident totaling more than $40,000 in personal property loss. Law enforcement first arrested Joshua Wiggins and Dalton Bates after an investigation was launched into the burglary of a local residence.

Dalton Bates was arrested and held under a $75,000 bond. Charges against Bates include four counts of injury to real property, four counts of second degree burglary, three counts of felony larceny, two counts of possession of stolen goods, breaking and or entering and larceny after break/enter.


MCSO arrested registered sex offender Donald Muncey, 86, of Franklin on Friday, Feb. 7, for indecent liberties against children. His bond was set for $300,000.

Holland reported that during the course of the sheriffs department's investigation involving Muncey, MCSO detectives received information that Muncey was working in a children's orphanage in Belize with a ministry.

"We are in the process of trying to seek additional information," said Holland. "We are seeking the public’s help with that information. Contact Detective Amy Stewart if you know what organization has this registered sex offender working for them in a children's orphanage.”


Macon County is in the process of contracting with a forensic auditor to more fully probe into the county’s Board of Elections department. After discovering that more than $50,000 had been embezzled from the department, Board of Elections Director Kim Bishop was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of a full investigation.

The State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) along with the District Attorney’s Office suggested that Macon County obtain a third party forensic auditor to look into the situation at the Board of Elections. According to County Manager Derek Roland, the county began the search for a forensic auditor immediately following the initiation of the investigation by the SBI and Macon County Sheriff’s Office.


The average snowfall in Macon County last week measured anywhere from six to 12 inches in various areas. A lot of people found themselves knocked out of work, unable to leave their homes as a result of ice covered roads. Despite being stranded, a silver lining accompanied the storm — very few power outages occurred in the area.

In anticipation of Winter Storm Pax as it was dubbed, Duke Energy began to move crews from other areas of the country into North Carolina and South Carolina. A total of 150 workers from the company's Midwest operations and another 250 from Florida moved to the region in order to work with existing crews of line technicians, service crews and other personnel employed by Duke.

“The severity and impact of the storm depends on several factors, including temperatures and wind. But the clouds are gathering and we are prepared for whatever comes our way,” said Jeff Corbett, senior vice president of Duke Energy's Carolinas Delivery Operations on Monday, Feb. 10, just before the storm set in.


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