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

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

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A new version of the state’s Move Over law goes into effect Monday, Oct. 1, requiring motorists to change lanes or slow down to avoid roadside utility and maintenance crews bearing flashing amber lights.

The General Assembly voted in June 2012 to include utility and road maintenance operations displaying amber lights – including some N.C. Department of Transportation work sites – on the list of situations where drivers legally are required to steer clear to help prevent accidents.

The state established move-over requirements for drivers in 2001. The law previously covered emergency responders, law enforcement vehicles, tow trucks, and Incident Management Assistance Patrols operated by the NCDOT.

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The Governor’s Highway Safety Program announced today that state and local law enforcement officers cited more than 14,000 motorists for traffic and criminal violations and more than 200 of those were cited for improper child restraints during the “Child Passenger Safety Week” Campaign, which ran Sept. 17–23.

“State and local law enforcement agencies across the state increased patrols in an effort to make young passengers safe as well as our highways,” said GHSP Director Becky Wallace. “We commend them for their dedication.”

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Prosecutor says he will not pursue capital punishment.

An Otto couple facing the charge of first degree murder in the death of their son will not face the death penalty, prosecutors declared earlier this week.

On Monday, Frank Kelly Pruitt, 62, sat in his wheelchair, awaiting the outcome of his Rule 24 hearing. The proceedings, held in Macon County Superior Court, would determine whether or not he would face the death penalty.

Pruitt, who on July 8, allegedly shot and killed his 34-year-old son Robert Pruitt at his Coweeta Lab Road home, faced the possibility of either life in prison without parole or the death penalty, pursuant to his first degree murder charge. Around the time of the incident, Frank Pruitt had called 9-1-1and declared to dispatch that he was going to shoot his son on the grounds that he was armed and drunk.

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Toddler undergoing another surgery this Friday.

A year and two months after then 28-month-old Kirsten Simpkins was brutally attacked by her stepgrandmother in Dillsboro, the case has finished up in court. Last Wednesday, Lisa Plank Hart of Dillsboro, who in May pled guilty to felony child abuse for inflicting serious bodily harm, was sentenced to 63 months in jail, with the option of early release based on her behavior. After time served of 13 months, Hart is facing 50 months behind bars, a sentence that Simpkins' mother, Jennifer Hart, said does not come close to making up for what she did to her daughter more than a year ago.

“Lisa only got 63 months, then minus the 13 months she has already served, so about 50 months but she can get out on good behavior,” said Jennifer. “I feel that she should have gotten a lot longer for nearly killing my child. I have not had contact with Lisa and will continue to not have any contact with her. Lisa took my child's normal childhood and she gets a light sentence.”

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Although the economy is slowly starting to improve, people across the country are still looking for ways to save a penny wherever possible. Without having to increase taxes in the county and operating on the lowest tax rate in the state, the Macon County Board of Commissioners continues to closely examine the budget to find new ways to save taxpayer dollars to help the county through the recession.

With the best interest of citizens in mind, commissioners voted Tuesday night to approve modifications to two existing loans with BB&T bank, which will save the county $51,000 the first year.

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In a continuation meeting of the Franklin Town Board of Aldermen, the board voted to spend all of the $40,000 appropriated in the town's budget for grant requests. With little discussion, the board voted to honor the requests of the nine non-profits applying for funding because of the services they offer Franklin residents.

Non-profit grant requests that were approved include:

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September 29 is “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day” and the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) has partnered with local law enforcement agencies in Western North Carolina to give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by safely disposing prescription drug medications at designated locations. Members of the community will be able to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs by bringing them to one of the 42 sites open on Saturday. The service is free.

Franklin will have two locations operating on Saturday, one in the Kmart Plaza and the other in the Walmart shopping center. Both locations will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Macon County Commissioners are moving forward with plans to transform the old Cowee School into a cultural heritage center for the community.

Last Tuesday, the Macon County Board of Commissioners approved $69,448 to be allocated over a nine and a half month period to contract with Stacy Guffey to coordinate the project and to provide additional supplies and furnishings to help get the project started.

Because of his continued dedication and involvement with the Cowee School, Guffey was hired as the coordinator for the project. The nine and a half month contract will pay Guffey $27,000, or $3,000 per month. Guffey's contract includes the business plan developed by Guffey for the old Cowee School property that designated the school as the Macon County Heritage Center.

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Homeowners in the Nantahala community will soon be able to expect lower insurance premiums due to the addition of a new substation located about a quarter of a mile above the Nantahala School on Winding Stairs Road.

According to Macon County Fire Marshal Jimmy Teem, the district maps have been approved by Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) and the Macon County Board of Commissioners. “OSFM has also been notified for an inspection to be scheduled so this substation can be brought on-line and the residents and business owners affected by this sub-station can get a lower insurance premium,” said Teem.

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Mary Tallent, CIC, of Wayah Insurance Group was recently recognized for professional leadership and advanced knowledge by the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC), a leading national insurance professional organization.

Tallent was awarded a certificate marking more than 15 years of participation as a designated CIC, which requires annual completion of advanced education and training.

“Mary’s ongoing allegiance and support of the CIC Program is a testament to the value she places on “real world” education and customer satisfaction. Your clients, associates, and the insurance profession as a whole will benefit from such dedication,” cited Dr. William T. Hold, CIC, CPCU, CLU, President of the Society of CIC.

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