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When North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue, a Democrat serving her first term in office, presented her budget to the legislature last summer, counties were alarmed at the details of her plan. Gov. Perdue’s proposed budget would have shifted more than $100 million of unfunded liabilities to counties, according to estimates provided by the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) last March.

Gov. Perdue’s budget proposal had no chance at becoming law, but as state officials continue to cope with budgetary constraints, some county leaders are wary of what may lie ahead. North Carolina, unlike the federal government, is required to submit and pass a balanced budget. As a consequence, when revenues plummet during recessions, state policymakers are forced to either raise taxes or make cuts, and sometimes do both. Counties and municipalities within North Carolina are forced to do the same. The GOP-led state legislature, thus far, has chosen to exclusively concentrate on scaling back state spending.

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At their last scheduled meeting for 2011, which took place on Tuesday, Dec.13, Macon County Commissioners unanimously voted to accept Jimmy Tate to fill the District 1 seat of Highlands vacated by former Chairman Brian McClellan. Tate was nominated by the county’s GOP executive committee at a special meeting last week. Tate will serve on the board throughout 2012 and will be up for reelection in November.

The Board of Commissioners also voted on a new Chairman. Republican Commissioner Kevin Corbin will step into the leadership role in 2012.

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After continued community concern, school board members once again discussed the cost analysis of the fall intersession, at December’s regularly scheduled board meeting. Board members also discussed the possibility of canceling the spring intersession all together.

During November’s meeting, board member Jim Breedlove requested that the topic of intersession be placed on December’s agenda and requested further information including cost, expenditures and revenue in regards to the fall intersession.

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On Monday, a Nantahala woman filed three separate temporary civil no-contact orders against fellow community members, after her 15-year-old daughter alleged that an elected official had inappropriate physical contact with her. The family is now claiming they are victims of intimidation.

Melonie Elkins-Howard filed the orders against Macon County Board of Education member Thomas Baldwin, his daughter Melissa Baldwin and Heather Evans. District Court Judge Richlyn Holt issued one of the orders for Melissa, but found no grounds to issue the orders on Thomas Baldwin or Evans.

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With this summer’s completion of the newly expanded airport runway, and the construction of the new Iotla Elementary school expected for spring of next year, the area north of Franklin is steadily developing. With this in mind, officials with the Airport Authority, Macon County Board of Commissioners and the Town of Franklin are jointly seeking to bring municipal water to the burgeoning area.

The goal of getting a steady water supply to the area is nothing new.

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Law enforcement officials are still trying to apprehend the suspect accused of raping a female on Sunday, Sept. 25, in the Nantahala National Forest. The incident occurred at the intersection of Forest Service Road and Wayah Road. The female told authorities that she stopped after seeing a man she thought was incapacitated on the side of the road. She attempted to give the man aid, but upon approaching the suspect, the female told authorities that she was subdued with a firearm and forcibly raped.

The USDA Forest Service is working in conjunction with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office, and the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) to ascertain and capture the person suspected of the rape.

 

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Jackson County Commissioners approved $179,000 in Economic Development Commission (EDC) funds and $110,000 in Revolving Funds Loan (RFL) to be loaned to Roy Burnette to bring the WRGC radio station back to the air. According to Jackson County Manager Chuck Wooten, Burnette approached the county four or five weeks ago requesting a loan, as did other residents. “We had a couple of inquiries about a loan ... however, those parties chose not to pursue the purchase of the radio station,” noted Wooten.

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Highlands’ Jimmy Tate to replace McClellan

Jimmy Tate, a sixth generation Highlander, has been selected by Macon County’s Republican Party to replace Brian McClellan, former chairman of the Macon County Board of Commissioners. Tate will serve out McClellan’s term as the District I representative of Highlands, but will be up for reelection in 2012, as mandated by the North Carolina General Statutes. Tate challenged Brian McClellan for the seat in the May 2010 primary, losing by 226 votes.

The executive committee of Macon County’s GOP had to pick a replacement for McClellan after he resigned from the board following a DWI arrest in Jackson County on Nov. 18. The Board of Commissioners unamiously accepted Mc- Clellan’s resignation during a special meeting on Dec. 1.

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At its Monday meeting, the Town of Franklin Board of Aldermen, along with the Macon County Clerk of Court Vic Perry, swore in Joe Collins as Mayor, along with Verlin Curtis, Joyce Handley, Farrell Jamison and Bob Scott for their renewed positions of the board.

 Photos by Davin Eldridge.

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Dozens of people gathered to wish former Franklin Fire and Rescue Chief Pete Haithcock a fond farewell last Friday at a retirement reception held at Town Hall in his honor.

After a total of 34 years of working at the department, starting as a regular fireman, Haithcock officially retired from a long career with a reputation for leaving his post in top notch condition. For the last 15 years, he has reigned as chief of the department.

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published: 10/18/2013
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