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Classes start three weeks earlier to end first semester before Christmas

At a meeting of the state board of education last Thursday, a calendar waiver for Macon County Schools was approved that integrates two, week-long periods for catch-up or enrichment of students in various subjects. The alternative calendar for the 2011/12 school year, which was approved by the county school board at a February meeting, begins classes on Aug. 4, three weeks earlier than last year's calendar and the Aug. 25 start date proscribed by North Carolina law.

 

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A small, lazy fishing village on the northeastern coast of Japan, Rikuzentakata was the kind of town memorialized in the sentimental “enka” pop songs of the postwar 60s and 70s. The graceful cedar trees which lined the harbor helped to shield the town from the cool sea breezes that constantly blew in from the Pacific Ocean. Behind the trees, a 20-foot high concrete embankment with gigantic flood gates spanned the bay-shore and gave the citizens of Rikuzentakata assurance of protection in the event of a tsunami, the ocean waves frequently triggered by earthquakes.

Before moving to Franklin and reporting for Macon County News, I lived in Japan for almost eight years. During that time, I had the privilege of visiting Rikuzentakata on numerous occasions.

 

 

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Facilities expansion continuing as Airport Authority seeks financing

As the Macon County Airport continues to develop the extension of its runway, the Airport Authority is now looking to increase its water supply. Obtaining the additional water supply is something Authority officials said they have been seeking since 2008.

At a recent meeting of the Airport Authority, Chairman Milles Gregory said that the current well water supply the Airport has is inadequate, and asked County Commissioner Bob Kuppers whether the county could extend its water supply from the Riverbend community, along Hwy. 28 North, to the airport property.

 

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Local businessman Tim Hubbs has announced that he will retire as CEO of Angel Medical Center in the next six months in order to pursue other business interests.

Hubbs stepped in as Angel’s CEO in July 2008, following a period of upheaval at the hospital. “Tim had the local knowledge and the business acumen we needed,” said Randolph Bulgin, chairman of the Angel Medical Center Board of Trustees. “But Tim also made it clear that the time would come when he would turn his attention to other pursuits. That time has come.”

Upon assuming the role of CEO, Hubbs focused his attention on stabilizing operations and adding services.

 

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For those in Franklin suffering from cardiac and pulmonary illnesses, the rehabilitation they need after treatment may now become affordable.

Last Saturday, Angel Medical Center held its first annual “Macon Your Heart Beat” 5K walk/run event, to raise funds for its Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program on the Little Tennessee Greenway. The program allows patients to properly recuperate from treatment, which according to program director Tom Forkner, is rarely fully covered by insurance plans.

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Department Firefighters of the Year announced at annual banquet

County Ranger Bobby Mashburn with the North Carolina Forest Service (NCFS) was honored on Saturday for his hard work and service to the county at the annual Firefighter of the Year Banquet of the Macon County Firefighters Association (MCFA). The special accolade came as a surprise to Mashburn, who was described at the banquet as someone who preferred to remain out of the limelight and behind the scenes.

Mashburn, who has worked with the Forest Service in Macon County since 1987, took over from Donnie Seagle as County Ranger in 2001. Only two full-time NCFS employees and a seasonal forest service firefighter are responsible for protecting more than 170,000 acres of state and private forestland in the county from wildfires.

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Figures obtained from the Franklin Board of Realtors MLS Data of homes sold through a Realtor says that homes are selling. In 2010, 300 homes were sold in our area versus 269 in 2009; a 10.33 percent increase. This data along with continued near all-time low interest rates may suggest that the area home market is trending upwards; good news for anyone involved in related fields. As of April 8, 2011, a 30- year conventional fixed rate loan was under five percent as reported by Advantage Loans, Inc., Fayetteville.

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Over 18,000 without power for days - Duke Energy struggling to repair area lines

A severe weather system moving through the Carolinas on Monday night and Tuesday morning caused widespread power outages and significant structural damage in the mountain region and as far east as Charlotte and Greensboro. More than 250,000 customers reportedly lost power in Duke Energy’s Carolinas service area. While power for many has already been restored, some customers should expect to wait until Friday or even the weekend before they have electricity again.

Sixty- to 70-mile-per-hour wind gusts and driving rain uprooted large trees and downed electric poles and power lines in various parts of the region.

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For the second time in less than a year, deputies with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office arrested a couple from the Ellijay community for operating a lab used for manufacturing methamphetamine. Authorities were assisted in dismantling the lab last week by the Cullasaja Fire Department and State Bureau of Investigation.

The lab belonged to David Lee Holland, 43, and Pamela Ledbetter Holland, 40, both of Ralph Taylor Road. The couple was arrested Thursday, March 31, at approximately 4:30 p.m.

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Franklin hosts hiker celebrations

The Town of Franklin kicked off its first festivities of the year last weekend by celebrating the Appalachian Trail and the thruhikers now passing through Franklin on their northbound trek to Maine. To open the weekend’s celebrations, a special ceremony was held at Town Hall Friday recognizing the AT’s positive impact on Franklin, as well as the individuals involved with the trail.

“Hikers are great,” said Franklin Mayor Joe Collins to more than 40 people at the ceremony. “When they come into town, it’s like a car on empty. They are needing things.”

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published: 10/18/2013
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