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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“Wow! We didn’t realize just how intense it would be!” said first-timers participating in a critical incident drill recently on Southwestern Community College’s Jackson Campus.

“We were behind closed doors but the shots were still so loud.”

“As I heard the shooter race down the hall it made my heart race, too.”

“Even though I knew it was just a drill, I was so glad when I heard the deputies arrive.”

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Twenty-nine year old Daniel Wayne Forse of Cashiers was airlifted to Mission hospital in Asheville after obtaining serious, but non-life threatening injuries during a two vehicle collision at approximately 12:15 p.m. on Friday afternoon on the Highlands Road in Franklin.

According to Trooper Crawford of the N.C. Highway Patrol, Carol Johnson, 74, of Franklin, was attempting to make a left turn into the Highlands Road Convenience Center (recycling center) when Forse was headed west toward Franklin on a Honda motorcycle.

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For a variety of reasons, the Macon County Board of Commissioners decided to adopt a resolution to push back the revaluation process until 2015. The decision came after a special meeting in September where county tax administrator Richard Lightner explained the costs and benefits of prolonging the process two more years, from the scheduled 2013 to 2015. The board also decided to go back to the county’s traditional eight year revaluation cycle.

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Doctors transfer child to Atlanta to be closer to family and friends

Kirsten Simpkins, the 28-month-old victim of a brutal attack which occurred in Dillsboro on Aug. 31, was released from Mission Hospital in Asheville last week to be transferred to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to continue the recovery process closer to her family. “She is making progress everyday, she isn’t the same little girl as before this attack, but she is better than what she had become after the attack,” said Kirsten’s mother, Jennifer Hart, of Kirsten’s current condition.

Kirsten was originally transported to Asheville Mission via helicopter in critical condition. Amongst other visible injuries to her face and body, Kirsten suffered from a hematoma and extensive damage to the left side of her brain. She had to undergo surgery to have the left bone flap of her skull removed to reduce the swelling of her brain. Kirsten’s injuries are a result of alleged attacks that occurred over a three-day period while in the care of her step-grandmother.

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Listen to any politician talk these days and they will tell you that their number one concern is jobs, jobs, and jobs. Unfortunately, their concern has not translated into higher employment numbers. North Carolina’s unemployment rate increased to 10.3 percent in August, as 471,319 North Carolinians are currently out of work. Macon County’s numbers are also bleak, with unemployment increasing from 10 percent in July to 10.3 percent in August. A listed 1,613 Maconians were out of work in August, compared to 1,577 people in July. Macon County’s unemployment rate has increased nearly one percent since August of 2010.

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Macon County superior court convened last week to hear cases ranging from possession of methamphetamine to the sexual exploitation of a minor.

Jarrett Dane Holland faced numerous felony counts of possessing and selling methamphetamine to undercover police officers on more than one occasion in 2010. Holland made a plea bargain with the court to plead guilty to said charges as well as evading officers while they were serving a warrant for his arrest of previous breaking and entering charges. Holland was also listed as a habitual offender from 2003, 2006 and 2009. All other charges were dropped as part of the plea deal. While Judge Sharon T. Barrett clearly stated that Holland could have received 24 years, she only sentenced him to spend 10 and a half years in prison and to pay $1,800 in restitution.

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After the Town of Franklin Board of Aldermen unanimously voted in August to allow the Franklin Fire and Rescue Equipment Committee to solicit bundle bids to update the department’s equipment, Fire Chief Warren Cabe presented the Town with a bundle price for two vehicles to be leased for 10 years at $104,117.05 annually.

According to Town Manager Sam Greenwood, the bundle pricing for the two vehicles is a feasible amount and provides the town and Franklin Fire and Rescue (FFR) with the best option. “We have basically come to the recommendation of the board that we use the 10- year period, the recovery period,” explained Greenwood. “That maximizes the point value, basically, to the fire department and the town and also provides the maximum utilization of the vehicle ... that’s going to put the town in the best position to get the best dollar value and also to get that equipment turnover fresh so we are benefiting from technology change.”

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Phil Drake of Drake Software currently holds the highest bid for the old Cartoogechaye school property, with a bid of $272,420.

The old Cartoogechaye school was considered surplus in October 2007 after a new school was built. A local farmer, Wayne Moss, started the bidding process with a bid of $235,000 and the intention of using the property for tomato fields. County Commissioners voted to bid on the school just before the 10-day “upset period” was set to expire, upsetting the original bid with a $259,400 bid.

The county’s interests in the property involved converting the old school site into a recreational park equipped with two softball fields and a concession stand. Moss quickly submitted an upset bid, at which point the commissioner's decided against pursuing the property further.

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Mike Grubermann represented the TDA (Tourism Development Authority) at the aldermen meeting to ask the board’s approval to appoint Matt Bateman to fill the vacancy on the TDA board. After Mayor Joe Collins opened the issue for discussion to the board, Aldermen Bob Scott interjected to reaffirm his skepticism toward the TDA, which he previously addressed during September’s board meeting. “I think we need to clarify the relationship of the TDA with the town board,” noted Scott. He continued by suggesting that until reservations regarding the TDA are satisfied, any decisions regarding the TDA should be tabled and held off until a later date.

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A comprehensive job classification and payroll study has been authorized by the Macon County Board of Commissioners and the project is set to begin this month. County administrators contracted out to Springsted Incorporated, a highly touted firm closely associated with the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, to perform the project.

Springsted specializes in human resources and organizational management best practices, and the firm has been advising local governments and public agencies about the latter topics for more than 25 years. Springsted has completed similar studies for Transylvania, Craven, Brunswick, Cabarrus, Camden, Onslow, and Pender counties, just to name a few. The North Carolina League of Municipalities also highly recommends Springsted, as the firm has undertaken similar projects for their organization in the recent past.

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