Notice

I am working on the template of this blog today in order to chase down some problems that have developed with my template and widgets.

Macon County Commissioners

Coverage of the meetings of the Macon County Board of County Commissioners.

Franklin Town Board of Aldermen

Coverage of the meetings of the Franklin Town Board of Aldermen.

Macon County School Board

Coverage of the meetings of the Macon County School Board.

Photoblog

Photos from my photoblog.

Nothing is here yet

I haven't decided what to put here yet, so look at this pretty photo.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Franklin TDA - Feb 2016 Meeting

Feb 2016 Franklin TDA Meeting

The Franklin Tourism Development Authority met today, February 8, 2016 in the lower level of town hall. The video and agenda packet that is share with members of the press are posted below. The next meeting will be on Monday, March 14, 2016.


MEDIA ROLL CALL
(Members of the local media present at the meeting)

Macon Media (me)
Macon County News and Shopping Guide
The Franklin Press




Governor Proclaims School Bus Driver Appreciation Week

 Macon county School Bus

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has proclaimed the week of Feb 8-12, 2016 as 'School Bus Driver Appreciation Week." A copy of the proclamation is below.



2016 Proclamation School Bus Driver Week

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Landslide Temporarily Closes Ellijay Road

Barricade on Ellijay Road

A small landslide has closed Ellijay road for a day or two just past Rocky Branch Road in the 3200 block. The Supervisor at the scene expects the road to be closed most of the day and may not be re-opened until tomorrow. The overall cleanup at the slide location will take longer. You can check whether or not the road has been opened to traffic at the NCDOT TIMS website.


NCDOT TIMS Detour Route

The NCDOT detour is as follows: Slide is 1 mile south of SR 1528 (Little Ellijay Rd).


Residents south of SR 1528 will travel south on SR 1001(Ellijay Rd) to US 28/64.

Residents north of SR 1528 will travel north on SR 1001 to SR 1521(Mtn Grove Rd) to SR 1513(Cat Creek Rd) then to US 441.

Video and Photos taken at the scene earlier this morning are posted below. Click on the images to embiggen them to a larger size.





NCDOT Dumptrucks lined up to carry away dirt and debris

NCDOT workers discuss the next steps in clearing the debris

A look at the landslideMailbox damaged by a tree carried downslope by the slide
/>

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

US Action Committee Installs US Motto on Macon County Courthouse

US Motto being installed on side entrance of courthouse


The US Motto Action Committee installed the US Motto on the outside of the Macon County Courthouse on the Iotla Street and Main Street entrances, and thanks to members of the public who messaged Macon Media about it, I was able to capture some photos and video of the event and have put the video to music and sped it up.



The Macon County Commissioners heard a presentation from Rick Lanier in September 2015 and approved the request to put the US Motto on the courthouse. The Us Motto Action Committee paid for the materials and did the labor on their own dime. The committee is funded through donations from the public. See video of that meeting at this link.




US Motto being installed on side entrance of courthouse

US Motto being installed on side entrance of courthouse

Monday, February 1, 2016

Franklin Aldermen Attend 2016 Retreat

Franklin Aldermen hold annual retreat

The Franklin Town Board of Aldermen and Staff held a retreat in the lower level of town hall on Saturday, January 30, 2016. A copy of the agenda and the full video of the retreat are posted below.

Town of Franklin Board of Aldermen
Retreat
Agenda Saturday January 30, 2016 9:00 a.m.


1. Call to Order- Mayor Bob Scott

2. Adoption of the January 30, 2016 Retreat Agenda

3. Public Comment Session

4. Upgrade Existing Tablets for Town Board Members

5. Update on Computer Software for Accounting, Tax and Utility Billing

6. Guidelines for Street Closing Requests

7. Update on Crosswalks

8. Speeding

9. Littering Campaign

10. Parking

11. Festivals

12. Whitmire Property

13. Other Considerations/Discussions

14. Adjourn





MEDIA ROLL CALL
(media outlets physically present at the meeting)

Macon Media (me)
WFSC-AM/WNCC-FM
The Macon County News and Shopping Guide
The Smoky Mountain News
The Franklin Press




PREVIOUS RETREATS COVERED BY MACON MEDIA




2013 Retreat (Video is split into multiple parts)






Saturday, January 30, 2016

Not Enough Homes or Businesses Damaged in 2015 Christmas Holiday Storm to Qualify for State Assistance in Recovery


Flooded Building at Parker Meadows Recreational Complex

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety has notified Macon County that not enough damage was caused by the storms that struck Macon County over the Christmas holidays to qualify for state assistance. A press release from the Macon County Emergency Management and a copy of the memo from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety are posted for your convenience.



Press Release
Macon County Emergency Management
Released Jan 29, 2016
Posted Jan 30, 2016

Macon County has been notified that damages the occurred as a result of severe weather during the Christmas holidays will not be eligible for assistance through the Individual Assistance Program of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. Although the damages that occurred were overall a significant amount, there were not at least 25 primary homes, businesses or other eligible institutions that sustained major damage to request additional assistance.

End Press Release

A copy of the memo to Macon County Emergency Services regarding the results of the PDA (Property Damage Assessment) conducted by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety on January 7th and 8th is posted below.



Wednesday, January 27, 2016

2016 Mid-Year Review Begins Annual Budget Process for Macon County

2016 Mid Year Budget Review



The Macon County Commissioners held their annual mid-year budget review and budget work session on January 26, 2016. Video and supporting documents are posted in this article. A text play by posted from the meeting can be seen on Facebook.


VIDEO




MEDIA ROLL CALL
(media outlets present at the meeting)

Macon Media
Macon County News and Shopping Guide
WFSC-AM/WNCC-FM
The Franklin Press


Here is the agenda and the proposed calendar for the budget planning process:


Proposed 2016 Budget Process Calendar



Here is what the process looked like the last three times the commissioners met to begin the annual budget process:

2015

2014

2013

Monday, January 18, 2016

Nathan Henry
March 13, 1947 - January 11, 2016

Nathan Henry 
Rest in Peace



Nathan Henry, of the Burningtown Community, was laid to rest on Sunday, January 17, 2016 in cemetery of Burningtown Baptist Church.

He was born on May 13, 1947 and was drafted into the Army in Septmeber 1966 and was serving in Vietnam in February 1967. His unit was overrun by the NVA on July 12, 1967 and he was captured and held prisoner by the Vietnamese until March 5, 1973. He retired from the Army in 1974.

Below are video and photos taken on Sunday, January 17, 2016 at Macon Funeral Home and at the Burningtown Baptist Church Cemetery for those of you who could not attend due to weather and space considerations. Also, a list of his authorizations and Acknowledgements, then some videos taken of Nathan in 2012 when Macon County sought to recognize his service to the nation and the community.


Rifle Salute



Excerts of Graveside Rites


Photos

Thunder-Pig's 0117 Nathan Henry album on Photobucket

Flickr Album




Nathan's Authorizations and Acknowledgments

USS Pueblo Crises and National Security Alert
Appreciation of Honorable Service
Cold War Medal
Combat Infantryman Badge
Good Conduct Medal
Honorable Service Lapel Pin
Marksman Badge
Honorable Discharge
National Defense Medal
Ocean Crossing Acknowledgment
Overseas Service Bar
Prisoner of War Medal
Professional, Infantry Corps
Retirement Acknowledgment
Valorous Unit Ribbon
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Advisory
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Air Defensive
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Defense
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Counteroffensive
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Air Counteroffensive
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Air Offensive
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Air/Ground
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Tet Counteroffensive
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Air Offensive Phase III
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Counteroffensive Phase IV
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Counteroffensive Phase V
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Air Offensive Phase IV
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Counteroffensive Phase VI
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Tet 1969 Counteroffensive
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Summer-Fall 1969
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Winter-Spring 1970
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Sanctuary Counteroffensive
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Southwest Monsoon
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Counteroffensive Phase VII
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Commando Hunt V
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Commando Hunt VI
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Consolidation I
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Commando Hunt VII
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Consolidation II
Vietnam Combat Campaign: Cease Fire
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Vietnam Service Medal Medal
Vietnam, Civil Action
Vietnam, Cross of Gallantry, Indiv Medal
Vietnam, Cross of Gallantry, Unit Ribbon



A Conversation with Nat Henry by Catherine Roberts

A Conversation with Nat Henry from Catherine Roberts on Vimeo.
This is a conversation with Nat Henry who is a Vietnam Vet. He was a POW for 2.094 days. He talks about being drafted into the army, his capture and release. This is followed by his reflection on being awarded a Quilt of Valor.

Medallion of Honor Presentation Ceremony
September 26, 2012



Article with text of resolution

Nathan B Henry Bridge Dedication
October 12, 2012



Article with photos



Sources

Patriot Guard Riders Forum

Macon Funeral Home Obituary

POW Network Bio


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Macon County Board of Education Changes Jan and Feb Meeting Times,
Plans to Begin Meetings in Closed Session



JANUARY AND FEBRUARY MEETING DAYS CHANGED

The Macon County Board of Education has rescheduled the Thursday, January 28th meeting of the board to Monday, February 1st and the meeting that was scheduled for Monday, February 22nd has been moved to Monday, February 29th.

MEETING TIMES CHANGED

All regular scheduled meetings of the school board in 2016 are to start at 6 pm with an Executive, or Closed, Session. The board will then come back into Open Session at 6:30 pm.

Macon Media will be there covering these meetings, but there will be no live video stream from these meetings.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

County Commissioners to begin 2016/207 budget planning




The Macon County Commissioners will be holding their annual mid year budget review on Tuesday, January 26th at 1 pm and here is the meeting agenda and proposed budget calendar for the budget process.


The meeting is open to the public.

Here is the agenda and the proposed calendar for the budget planning process:


Proposed 2016 Budget Process Calendar



Here is what the process looked like the last three times the commissioners met to begin the annual budget process:

2015

2014

2013

Macon Media intends to be there and will stream live video from the meeting.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Macon County Commissioners
January 2016 Regular Meeting Agenda

**update Jan 14th** Here is the video and a copy of the Hazard Mitigation Plan for Macon and Clay County that was approved during the meeting.



VIDEO 

(now with a Table of Contents and internal navigation between segments of the meeting for those without the intestinal fortitude to watch the whole meeting)




During the meeting, commissioners approved a Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan for Macon and Clay Counties. A copy is currently available on the county website. I have also posted it below in case it disappears from the website.

REGIONAL HAZARD MITIGATION PLAN



MEDIA ROLL CALL
(the media outlets that had reporters physically present at the meeting)

Macon Media (me)
Macon County News and Shopping Guide
The Smoky Mountain News
WFSC-AM/WNCC-FM
The Highlander
The Franklin Press

The commissioners will be meeting again on Tuesday, January 26th at 1 pm in the commissioner boardroom to hold an abbreviated version of the annual start of the budget process. The county manager said this meeting would probably only last a couple of hours.


The remainder of the supporting documents were posted before the meeting and are below.



County Commissioner Agenda Title Card



The Macon County Commissioners will be meeting tonight at 6 pm in the county commissioner boardroom on the third floor of the Macon County Courthouse. Here is the public agenda, the press packet and a copy of the comprehensive financial report of the Fiscal Year 2015 that ran from July 2014 to June 2015.


Public Agenda



MACON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
JANUARY 12, 2016
AGENDA
NOTE: The presentation of county service awards will begin at 5 p.m. in the commission boardroom, followed immediately by a reception for service award recipients to be held in the third-floor hallway of the courthouse. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m.
  • Call to order and welcome by Chairman Corbin
  • Announcements
  • Moment of Silence
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • Public Hearing(s) - NONE
  • Public Comment Period
  • Additions to agenda
  • Adjustments to and approval of the agenda
  • Reports/Presentations
    • Presentation of the Fiscal Year 2014-15 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report - Jill Vang, Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs
    • Presentation regarding U.S. Forest Service recommendations for wilderness in the Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Management Plan - Michelle Ruigrok, Outreach Coordinator for The Wilderness Society
  • Old Business
    • Macon County Public Health Billing Guide and Fee Schedules - Public Health Director Jim Bruckner
    • Change to building inspections fee schedule (follow up to fee analysis) - County Manager
    • Consideration of Golden LEAF Foundation commitment letter - Lynda Parlett, Southwestern Community College
    • Change orders for Union Academy and Highlands School renovation projects - Terry Bell, Macon County Schools
  • New Business
    • Bond counsel engagement letter for 2016 financing of landfill expansion - Finance Director
    • Resolution to adopt the Clay Macon Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan - Emergency Services Director Warren Cabe
    • Ratification of December 28, 2015 e-mail poll of the board regarding consensus on Co-Op property - County Manager
    • Contract with Kimble's Commissary to provide services for the Macon County Jail - County Attorney and Sheriff Holland
    • Consideration of easement dissolution - County Manager and County Attorney
  • Consent Agenda - Attachment #12
      All items below are considered routine and will be enacted by one motion. No separate discussion will be held except on request of a member of the Board of Commissioners.
    • Minutes of the December 8, 2015 regular meeting and the December 18, 2015 called meeting
    • Budget Amendments #82 and #83
    • Tax Releases
    • Monthly ad valorem tax collection report
  • Appointments
    • Planning Board (one seat, Town of Highlands representative)
  • Closed session - Per G.S. 143-381.11(3), with regard to attorney-client privilege
  • Recess until January 26, 2016 at 1 p.m. in the commission boardroom on the third floor of the Macon County Courthouse, 5 West Main Street, Franklin, NC 28734.

Press Kit





Financial Report




Franklin Tourism Development Authority
Regular January 2016 Meeting

Title Card


The Franklin Tourism Development Authority met late yesterday afternoon in the lower level of the Franklin town hall for their regular January 2016 meeting. the board heard from the Financial Subcommittee and the Franklin Appalachian Trail Community Committee and voted to decline an advertising opportunity with Allison Outdoor Advertising. The video, public agenda and the agenda that is shared with the local media outlets are posted below. The next meeting is scheduled for February 8th at 5:30 pm at the same location and time.



MEDIA ROLL CALL
(members of the media that are physically present)

Macon Media (me)
Macon County News and Shopping Guide
The Franklin Press

VIDEO (now includes a table of contents for easier internal navigation)




PUBLIC AGENDA


Public Agenda for the Jan 2016 Franklin TDA meeting


PRESS PACKET





Saturday, January 9, 2016

Sustainable trail work to start on the Upper Chattooga Wild and Scenic River

Access Points for the Upper Chattooga Wild and Scenic River

PRESS RELEASE
National Forests in North Carolina
160A Zillicoa Street
Asheville, NC 28801
Mike Wilkins (828) 524-6441

January 8, 2016


Gainesville, Ga. (January 8, 2016) - Beginning in December 2015, forest visitors may notice new signage and trail work at some access sites on the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River. These improvements are part of the continuing implementation of the 2012 Chattooga River final decisions.

"Boaters, hikers and fisherman alike will now have designated and safe access to this incredible resource" said Nantahala District Ranger, Mike Wilkins. "We are pleased to protect the wild and scenic values of the river while providing sustainable trails, put-ins and take-outs."

Within the river corridor, the agency will implement sustainable river access trails for boaters and other forest visitors at the following locations:

North Carolina: Nantahala Ranger District
  • Greens Creek trail (put-in only), construct 0.28 miles of trail with access at the Greens Creek trail and Chattooga intersection.
  • County Line trail (put-in and take out), designate and reconstruct 1.2 miles of an old road bed as a trail with access just downstream of Norton Mill Creek.
  • Bullpen Bridge (put-in and take out), designate a river put-in less than 100 feet upstream of the bridge and construct and designate a short trail below the bridge.
Georgia: Chattooga RiverRanger District
  • Burrell Ford Bridge(put-in and take-out), designate and reconstruct about 200 feet of trail,decommission two user-created trails and conduct maintenance work at the parking areato reduce sediment impacts on the river.
South Carolina: Andrew Pickens Ranger District
  • Lick Log Creek (take-out only), construct and designate about 500 feet of new trail.
 "Work through out the river corridor  may take several seasons to complete" added Wilkins."Currently existing interim access points will remain open for use until work at the approved access sites is completed."

The final decisions do not reopen the 2012 final decision allowing boating in the upper segment ofthe Chattooga Wild and Scenic River, and boating in this corridor will still require permit withregulations in place for seasons and flow. Additionally, all put-ins, take-outs and other access workis strictly limited to National Forest System lands.
For specific details on district final decisions, please contact the following individuals:
  • North Carolina, Mike Wilkins at (828) 524-6441
  • Georgia, Holly Krake at (770) 297-3095
  • South Carolina, Gwyn Ingramat (803) 561-4007

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Franklin Aldermen -- January 2016

The January 2016 regular meeting of 
the Franklin Town Board of Aldermen

The Franklin Town Board of Aldermen met last night for their first meeting of 2016. The full video is posted below and has a Table of Contents that will allow you to navigate to segments within the video if you have neither the time nor the intestinal fortitude to sit through the whole thing. You may wish to pause the video after the Table of Contents appear to choose what segment you wish to watch. In order to return to the Table of Contents to chose another segment, please click on the Table of Contents annotation on the upper left of the video.


The agenda that is shared with the public and the agenda that is given to board members and shared with members of the media is posted below that. A text play by play of the meeting is posted over on Facebook.

MEDIA ROLL CALL
(media outlets physically present at the meeting)

Macon Media
Macon County News and Shopping Guide
WFSC-AM/WNCC-FM
The Franklin Press
The Smoky Mountain News

Next Meeting

The Aldermen will be meeting next for their annual retreat on Saturday January 23, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. in the lower level of Town Hall. It is the intent of Macon Media to stream live video the whole retreat for the public who cannot attend.


Town of Franklin Board of Aldermen

Regular Scheduled Meeting
Agenda Monday January 4, 2016 7:00 p.m.

1. Call to Order- Mayor Bob Scott
2. Pledge of Allegiance- Vice Mayor Patti Abel
3. Adoption of the January 4, 2016 Town Board Agenda
4. Approval of the December 7, 2015 Town Board minutes
5. Public Hearing 7:05 p.m. for Special Use Permit Application for Scenic Ridge Development
6. Public Session
7. New Business
     A.) Board Action on Special Use Permit Application for Scenic Ridge Development
     B.) Presentation on Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Town of Franklin Audit- Martin Starnes Associate Cassie Wilson
     C.) Update from Appalachian Trail Committee- Bill Vanhorn
     D.) Set Public Hearing for Text Amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance Regarding Tasting Rooms- Land Use Administrator Justin Setser
     E.) Forward Re-Zoning Petition for Carolina Mountain Drive to the Town Planning Board- Land Use Administrator Justin Setser
     F.) Entegra Bank Account Signatories- Town Manager Summer Woodard and Town Finance Officer Kyra Doster
     G.) Competitive Bidding Purchasing Program NJPA and HGACBUY for the Town of Franklin- Town Manager Summer Woodard and Town Finance Officer Kyra Doster
     H.) Town Board Appointment to Orchard View Apartments Board- Town Manager Summer Woodard
     I.) Town Board Committee Appointments- Mayor Bob Scott
8. Legal
     A.) Discussion Regarding Town of Franklin Code of Ordinances Chapter 32 and Chapter 91- Town Attorney John Henning Jr, Town Manager Summer Woodard and Town Clerk Chad Simons
     B.) Policy for Police Body Camera's- Town Attorney John Henning Jr, Town Manager Summer Woodard and Police Chief David Adams
     C.) Town of Franklin Mercury Minimization Plan- Town Attorney John Henning Jr and Town Manager Summer Woodard
9. Announcements
     A.) Town Hall Offices will be closed Monday January 18, 2016 for Martin Luther King Jr Day
     B.) Town Board Retreat will be Saturday January 23, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. in the Town Hall Board room
10. Adjourn

AGENDA PACKET
This agenda packet was shared with the media and Macon Media, in the interest of transparency, is sharing this public document with the public.




Monday, December 21, 2015

Minor tremor in eastern Tennessee felt in Macon County


The location of the December 18th earthquake
The location of the December 19th earthquake

A small quake of 2.3 magnitude occurred last night at 11:45 pm in eastern Tennessee and many people in Macon County felt it and reported hearing a loud boom and the ground shaking. There was also another loud boom and shaking that many felt around 8:30 pm, but geologists are not reporting the earlier event as an earthquake.

If you felt the 11:45 pm event, you can let the USGS know by clicking the "Did You Feel It?" on the USGS Impact Page.

For those of you who felt something at 8:30 pm, you may report that event at the USGS Tell Us Page.

I will post an update if they decide the earlier event was a quake, too.

The red dot in eastern Tennessee on the map included with this post shows where the 11:45 pm quake happened.

You can read more about this quake and others that occur in this region at the USGS Event Page for this tremor.

Earthquake Hazards Map
Earthquake Hazards Map

This map show the relative hazards for earthquakes in the region with the scale showing highest risk as red progressively lower risks as orange, yellow, peach, green dark blue with light blue being the lowest risk for an earthquake. Most of Macon County is within the middle range and usually less than a dozen of these minor tremors are felt in Macon county in most years.


Most of this material was previously published on our Facebook Page.




CROWD FUNDING 

If you receive value from what Macon Media provides to the community, please consider becoming a supporter and contribute at least a dollar a month. If you have a business or event you are interested in sponsorship opportunities or underwriting coverage, send an email to editor@MaconMedia.com for more information. Serious inquiries only.

You can find out more information on how to do that and some of what I plan to accomplish if I reach certain levels of funding at https://www.patreon.com/MaconMedia

Friday, December 18, 2015

Dec 2015 Meeting of the Macon County Planning Board

December 2015 meeting 
of the 
Macon County Planning Board

MEETING SUMMARY

The Macon County Planning Board met December 17th at the Environmental Resource Center on Sierra Drive and reviewed the latest changes to the Wireless Telecommunications Ordinance, discussed the ongoing efforts of the various subcommittees to update the Macon County Comprehensive Plan and discussed what future tasks the board wanted to take on after these two projects are completed.

Brittney Burns, reporter for the Macon County News and Shopping Guide, declined her appointment to the board and Board member Becky Ramey resigned due to not having enough time to devote to the planning board because of her involvement in other boards and work. The Highlands Town Board of Commissioners still has not appointed a replacement for their unfilled seat, this brings the number of empty seats on the board to three.

The board will meet next on January 21, 2016 at the Environmental Resource Center.

VIDEO OF MEETING

This meeting was streamed live on Livestream and a copy of the video is embedded here so you can see and hear for yourself exactly what transpired at the meeting. This was made possible thanks to donations from Patreon subscribers.



WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS ORDINANCE

A draft copy of the Wireless Telecommunications Ordinance is embedded here for your review. You may follow along with the video as you read the document and the board members discuss the latest revisions to the document. This document, once the planning board approves the changes, will send it to the Board of County Commissioners, then a public hearing will be held before they vote on the changes.




MEDIA ROLL CALL
(media outlets that had reporters at the meeting)

Macon Media (Bobby Coggins)
The Franklin Press (Ryan Hanchett)

No other media outlets were present.


CROWD FUNDING 

If you receive value from what Macon Media provides to the community, please consider becoming a supporter and contribute at least a dollar a month. If you have a business or event you are interested in sponsorship opportunities or underwriting coverage, send an email to editor@MaconMedia.com for more information. Serious inquiries only.

You can find out more information on how to do that and some of what I plan to accomplish if I reach certain levels of funding at https://www.patreon.com/MaconMedia