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Phil Drake, chief executive officer of Drake Enterprises, and Kenny Messer, an executive with Milliken Corp., are the two newest members of the Western Carolina University Board of Trustees.

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors elected Drake, of Franklin, and Messer, of Greenville, S.C., to four-year terms on the WCU board. The UNC system governing body also re-appointed current trustees Edward Broadwell Jr. of Asheville, retiring in November as chairman and CEO of Home Trust Bank, and Southern Pines businessman George Little to four-year terms.

The appointments, effective July 1, are contingent on submission of statements of economic interest and vetting by the State Ethics Board. The UNC board is scheduled to confirm the appointments at its June meeting.

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Macon County began the year with one less magistrate than it has had in past years. The 2011-2012 budget put in place a variety of cuts across the board in North Carolina and as a result, Highlands is without a magistrate for the first time in 30 years.

The Town of Highlands may get a reprieve in next year’s budget if Gov. Pat McCrory gets his way. In the budget that he has presented to the N.C. General Assembly, he has included language to restore positions to many of the rural areas in the state.

When asked about the 2013-2015 biennial budget, the Hon. John W. Smith, director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, stated that the AOC will be asking for the restoration of 28 magistrate positions statewide, news Macon County officials were happy to hear.

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The Macon County Planning Board gathered last Thursday to discuss the current floodplain ordinance that was established in 2008. Of particular note was the no-fill portion of the ordinance that states that no dirt may be used to fill in land that is located in the floodplain.

By definition, a floodplain acts as a reservoir. Its function is to provide land and space for floodwaters to slow down. FEMA allows the use of fill in a floodplain. though the county has stricter reegulations.

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The North Carolina National Guard's 210th Military Police Company hosted a mobilization ceremony yesterday at Southwestern Community College's Sylva campus.

More than 25 soldiers will be deploying to Afghanistan to provide security and enforcement operations for military bases.

The North Carolina National Guard's 210th Military Police Company hosted a mobilization ceremony yesterday at Southwestern Community College's Sylva campus.

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After a lengthy debate Friday night, Macon County is set to close on the Parker Meadows property by the April 30 deadline. During a special called meeting Friday night, the Macon County Board of Commissioners listened to testimony from County Planner Matt Mason regarding the feasibility of developing the Parker Meadows Property with the intention of constructing a recreation facility.

Friday's meeting was a continuation of last Tuesday night's regularly scheduled meeting and was planned to allow time to answer questions concerning the property. Commissioners Ron Haven and Paul Higdon originally voiced concern last Tuesday night about the possibility of developing Parker Meadows...

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Young leadership steps up to rejuvenate Macon County Democratic Party

During its annual convention on Saturday, the Macon County Democratic Party voted to elect Corey Duvall as its next chairman. At just 21 years old, Duvall stands as the county's youngest chairman in recent history, and the second youngest Democratic chairman in the state. “My initial reaction was that of surprise,” said Duvall. “But I also knew that I could not back down from this. Macon County deserves to have a bright future, and I know that I am willing to work hard so that we have strong leaders such as Ronnie Beale on our county board of commissioners.”

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Great Smoky Mountains Parkway reopens after January landslide

Just 90 days after a devastating landslide erupted in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson, North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Principal Chief Michell Hicks, and Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) Construction Operations Engineer Emmett Melton reopened the road to traffic, finishing the project 30 days ahead of schedule. On January 16, torrential rainfall caused a landslide to wash away a portion of U.S. 441 near Newfound Gap Road, taking away thru-access from Cherokee to Tennessee.

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County, town offers letters of support for grant funding.

The addition of a new child care facility in Macon County is one step closer to reality since Franklin Town Manager Warren Cabe issued a letter of approval on behalf of the town in support of the Macon Child Care and Educational Center (MCEC). The letter was issued on March 18 to the Rural Economic Development Center in Raleigh. MCEC is currently in the process of securing a grant from the Building Reuse and Restoration Program that would allow them to proceed with their plan to open the childcare facility. The center was also required to get a letter from the county commissioners expressing the same sentiment.

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It has been brought to the attention of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office of a scam taking advantage of local church organizations’ generosity. The scam involves one or more con-artists making an appearance and/or calling and trying to elicit money.

The story used is that a family’s vehicle has broken down or has been involved in an accident on their way home, usually out of state. To make the story more convincing, names and numbers of law enforcement, a tow truck company, or a mechanic may be provided.

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Officers with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina State Bureau of investigation executed a search warrant for the residence located at 3941 Pine Creek Road, Cullowhee, N.C.

As a result of the search, Claude Gregory Coggins, 50, was charged with felony possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, trafficking methamphetamine, possession with intent to sell and deliver Schedule II controlled substance, maintaining a dwelling to keep controlled substances, possession of drug paraphernalia, assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer and resist, obstruct or delay a public officer.

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