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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Paul Higdon and Rick Snyder to challenge Kuppers.

Anyone who wants to make a difference and be directly involved with public policy at the local or state level has until next Wednesday, Feb. 29, to officially put their names in the hat to run for office or a particular seat in government. The filing period began on Monday, Feb. 13, and so far, several incumbents and candidates in Macon County have formally filed to run, including chairman of the board of commissioners, Kevin Corbin, as well as commissioners Bob Kuppers and Jimmy Tate.

Three district seats for the board of commissioners will be decided on this November. District one of Highlands, one seat in district two, and district three within Macon County will be challenged this spring and fall.

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Representatives of Macon County’s planning department and the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) met with residents of Clarks Chapel on Feb. 13, to discuss a new roundabout that will be built at the juncture of Dowdle Mountain Rd and US 441. The project, which also includes a new left turning lane on US 64/441, seeks to improve traffic congestion and traffic flow in the area, before the new Wal-Mart Supercenter opens its doors later this year. The Clarks Chapel Community Club hosted the event.

Matt Mason, supervisor of environmental services with Macon County’s planning department, assisted NCDOT engineers with answering citizen inquiries at the Clarks Chapel community center.

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On Thursday, February 16, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office responded to a fire at Smoky Mountain High School, and after investigating the incident, arrested 16-year-old student, Cody Perry, around 8:30 p.m. the same day.

According to a report from the Sheriff’s Office, the fire was located in the men’s restroom on the second floor of the school’s “C” building.

After reviewing the school's surveillance video and interviewing several students and school staff, the Sheriff’s Office was able to obtain enough information to arrest Perry. School staff and the school’s resource deputy sheriff were the first to respond and were able to extinguish the fire by using several portable extinguishers. Jackson County Deputies responded to assist in the evacuation and to secure the scene.

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With a lot of help from Tony Angel, of Tony Angel Media, Macon County’s Economic Development Commission has a revamped website with a variety of new features designed to assist existing businesses in Franklin, while also promoting more investment in the area.

When the Economic Development Director, Tommy Jenkins, showcased the website’s new features to the EDC board last Tuesday evening, Feb. 21, members were impressed. “I think that’s the best economic development website I’ve ever seen,” said county manager Jack Horton.

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Keller Williams kicked off their new project to support the “Back Pack Program” with a $400.00 donation to Care Net. The program is to provide school children in need with meals for the weekend. The Back Pack Program has grown from 40 deliveries to local schools to over 400 every Thursday. Thanks to Marcia and Jon McGarity for starting the program and organizing volunteers and supporters to make this much needed program a reality.

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Victoria Stilwell to present at Mountain View Elem.

Macon County Animal Control (MCAC) and Homeless Pet Clubs welcomes Animal Planet Star and Host of “It’s Me or The Dog” Victoria StilWell to Franklin on February 23rd, at 3:30 p.m. at Mountainview Elementary.

Stilwell is traveling to Macon County to support the “Save A Life” campaign. While in Franklin, Stilwell will deliver her message about spay/neuter programs, responsible pet ownership, animal rescue, training tips and pets as a means to reduce bullying to 700 Macon County students, as well as a special presentation for community members.

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Many people think Habitat for Humanity Macon County NC (HFHMCNC) is funded by some type of government agency. Funding for Habitat for Humanity Macon County NC comes primarily through donation. We hold several fundraisers during the year.

On Feb. 25th, Rathskellers Pub and Coffee Haus is hosting a “Cabin Fever” fundraiser for us and we have the Annual Smoky Mountain Shrimp Boil every August. These along with private, corporate and church donations are what keep us running.

Another misconception is that we build houses and give them away. HFHMCNC does try to build one home a year, but sometimes it takes longer due to funding restraints.

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Taxpayers needing help filing their tax returns can make appointments to meet with trained AARP volunteers at The Jackson County Public Library in Sylva on Tuesdays, beginning February 14th and continuing until April 3rd. Appointments will be available on the half-hour from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday. To make a free appointment, please call the Jackson County Public Library at 586-2016. This is not a walk-in service— you must have an appointment. This service is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Jackson County Public Library.

Think spring and consider fruit-bearing plants in your landscape. The Macon County 4-H Council is taking orders for raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, and strawberry plants, grape vine, and peach, pear, cherry, and apple trees. These plants are bare root, except for blueberries, and come directly from the nursery. Place your orders by February 20 with Cooperative Extension at 193 Thomas Heights Road. Order blanks are online at macon.ces.ncsu.edu. Just drop off your order at the Agricultural Services Center. Plants will be available for pick-up March 7 and 8 at the Agricultural Services Center.

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The staff attorney for the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a national organization dedicated to preserving the Constitutional separation of church and state, has sent a second formal letter to Macon County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Dan Brigman, requesting that he “refrain from including religious references in email correspondence from your official public school account or on future blog postings.”

The letter from the nonprofit organization, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), is the second response Dr. Brigman has received this school year, the first letter being a direct response to the sermon delivered last June by Rev. Daniel “Cowboy” Stewart during a commencement address given at Nantahala School.

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