61st Annual Macon County Fair :: September 17-20 @ Wayne Proffitt Agricultural Center - 441 South, Franklin, NC

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

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Farm Service Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) assistance for losses to bush or tree fruit crops due to frost or freeze during the 2012 crop year. The program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides supplemental NAP payments to eligible producers.

Farmers who did not have access to crop insurance and are in primary and adjacent counties that received a secretarial disaster designation because of frost or freeze in 2012 are eligible for NAP assistance. Losses due to weather damage or other adverse natural occurrences may also qualify for program assistance.

NAP enrollment began July 22. Applications must be submitted to FSA county offices by Sept. 22, 2014.

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The Town of Franklin's Board of Aldermen met on Monday night and without any discussion, passed a resolution to oppose hydraulic fracturing in North Carolina, but especially in Franklin and its surrounding areas. There was no discussion from the board because there was no need for discussion as a result of a vibrant turnout from the local population to voice their opinions about “fracking,” none of which were positive.

In 2012, the Clean Energy and Economic Security Act was ratified. The law, reconstitutes the state's Mining Commission as the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission and also gives the commission the power to develop a modern regulatory program for the management of oil and gas exploration in N.C. – including the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

The room was near capacity with members of the community taking the opportunity to speak during the public session portion of the meeting.

A major concern with the act of horizontal drilling is the displacement of the plates that are under the earth's surface. The fear being that earthquakes may become likely and of larger impact as Franklin resident Larry Stenger told the board.

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On Saturday, August 2, Rolando Duvergel Jr., 18, of Potts Branch Road in Franklin was arrested and charged with felony first degree sex offense with a child according to an arrest warrant obtained from the Macon County Clerk of Court.

According to Sheriff Robert Holland, the incident was reported after a witness walked in as the assault was being committed on a young boy.

“Duvergel is a member of the boy's family. Another family member walked in during the act and from there detectives were called in,” he said.

A medical exam was then conducted of the victim. Duvergel was arrested and remains in the Macon County Detention Center on a $50,000 bond.

If the defendant were to make bond, he will be required to provide fingerprints and a DNA sample to remain on file.

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Ballfields will shift to accomodate possible gravesite.

When Macon County commissioners voted to move forward on the Parker Meadows Property, they were well aware of the potential for setbacks. Acknowledging such potential, commissioners made the decision to have an archaeologist onsite during the grading phase of the project to watch for any possible remains in the area due to the project site’s location near a creek bed.

Macon County was home to members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) during early settlement, and before ever considering the possibility of constructing a state-of-the art facility at Parker Meadows, commissioners wanted to work with the Tribe to ensure that the project wouldn’t insult or interfere with the EBCI’s culture or heritage. Being sensitive to the EBCI’s rich tradition, when what appeared to be remains were found in what would be an outfield to one of the planned ballfields, Macon County officials took extra precautions to respect the Tribe’s heritage.

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Police chief Harrell takes advantage of photo op.

If you were strolling around the streets of Highlands last week, you may have been surprised to see the 39th president of the United States of America shopping in local boutiques and taking in the fresh mountain air.

President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, spent last week in Highlands for a little vacation while attending a fundraiser for Mercer University. Carter, who served as the governor of Georgia before serving as president of the United States from 1977 until 1981, has been a member of the Mercer University Board of Trustees since December 2012.

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Democratic candidate for N.C. Senate Jane Hipps was in town this week, meeting and greeting with constituents discussing issues important to North Carolinians including education, healthcare and fracking.

Pictured with Hipps are teachers and supporters, from left, Shirley Reynolds, Mildred Swafford, Evelyn Pangle, Hipps, Terri Hunter and Nancy Scott.

Photo by Betsey Gooder

The First United Methodist 27th annual bazaar will be held on Friday, July 25, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday, July 26, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the fair building at the Wayne Proffitt Agricultural Center on 441S.

Proceeds from the bazaar go to support mission work. Some of the programs that have benefited from the annual fundraiser are CareNet, Mountain Intermediate School, Smoky Mountain Pregnancy Care Center and the Rathbun Center in Asheville among others. The fundraiser also supports youth mission trips.

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In recent months, the treatment of veterans around the country has made headlines, and not necessarily for the right reasons. Excessive wait times, and lack of access to medical care have taken the forefront when it comes to veterans services. Franklin has the only VA clinic west of Asheville and serves veterans that would typically have to travel more than an hour to receive care.

Despite national attention to veteran care lacking in the country, Macon County is working overtime to ensure that local veterans are offered and receive the highest standard of care possible.

 

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Water and sewer lines operating below capacity.

The Macon County Planning Board was recently tasked with looking at some requests made by the Town of Franklin and the Town of Highlands in regards to some infrastructure issues. At the urging of the county commissioners, the board members took on the issues at last Thursday's meeting.

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In the Republican runoff election for the Jackson County Sheriff primary election, candidate Curtis Lambert defeated Jimmy Hodgins. The North Carolina Board of Elections website reported that out of 15,243 eligible ballots in Jackson County, 239 or 1.57 percent were cast.

Lambert, who, at 424 votes received the most votes during the May primary election, once again beat out Hodgins in the runoff with 129 votes. Although Lambert received the majority of the votes in May, he did not procure the 40 percent of votes needed to secure his place on the November ballot. Hodgins, who garnered 376 votes in May, requested the run-off election that wrapped up Tuesday night.

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