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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.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Early Voting in Congressional Primary Begins Today
Ends Saturday, June 4th at Noon

File Photo of the Macon County Courthouse



Early voting in the 2016 Congressional Primary begins today at 8 am and will end at noon on June 4th. Primary election day will be June 7th, and polls will be open from 6:60 am to 7:30 pm.

Voters will need to have Photo ID in order to vote. Learn about the acceptable forms of identification at the North Carolina Voter ID website.

There are two ballots for this election, one for Democrats and one for Libertarians, Republicans and Unaffiliated voters.

On the Democratic ballot, there is a little-reported or acknowledged primary race between Tom Hill and Rick Bryson for Congress. The winner will face Congressman Mark Meadows this fall.

On both the Democratic and Nonpartisan ballots, four candidates are running for Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Here they are presented in the order in which the candidates appear on the ballots: Michael R. (Mike) Morgan, Daniel Robertson, Robert H. (Bob) Edmunds and Sabra Jean Faires.

Here is an election calendar for this primary, courtesy of the Macon County Board of Elections.



2016 ELECTION CALENDAR
CONGRESSIONAL PRIMARY JUNE 7, 2016 SCHEDULE 




*One-stop Voting Begins

Thursday, May 26, 2016 Hours 8-5
One-stop Voting EndsSaturday, June 4, 2016 Hours 9-1
Last Day to Request an Absentee Ballot by MailTuesday, May 31, 2016 at 5:00 pm
*Last Day to Return an Absentee Ballot by Mail In-PersonTuesday, June 7, 2016 at 5:00 pm
Congressional Primary DayTuesday, June7, 2016 (6:30 am - 7:30 pm)
County CanvassTuesday, June 14, 2016 at 11:00 am

*One-Stop Voting is held at the Macon County Courthouse only for this election; hours are May 26-27 (8-5), May 31-June 3 (8-5) & Saturday, June 4 (9-1)

All Macon County Polling locations will be open for this election from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. 

* If mailed, your ballot will be timely only if the envelope is postmarked on or before June 7, 2016 and received by June 10, 2016. 

If you are mailing your ballot on or near the deadline, you should ensure that your container-return envelope is postmarked by a postal official.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The City Restaurant Seized for Nonpayment of Taxes




Earlier today, the North Carolina Department of Revenue seized the City Restaurant for nonpayment of taxes. More information will be added here as it becomes available.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

NC Wildlife Commission Seeks Public Comment for Periodic Review of 10F and 10H Rules

NC Wildlife Resources Commission





PRESS RELEASE
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
1701 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1701


The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is seeking public comment on classifications of its existing rules for the periodic review process, as required by the General Assembly (150B-21.3A).

On April 21, 2016, the Commission approved initial determinations classifying each of its Motorboats and Water Safety rules (15A NCAC 10F) and Regulated Activities rules (15A NCAC 10H) into one of three classifications: (1) unnecessary; (2) necessary with substantive public interest; or (3) necessary without substantive public interest. The initial determination reports for 10F and 10H rules are posted on the agency’s Periodic Rules Review page.  

Public comments on these classifications may be submitted from May 16, 2016-August 1, 2016.  Public comments may be submitted online or in writing via the US Postal Service to the following address:

Erica Garner
NCWRC Periodic Review
1701 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1701  

For more information on the periodic review process for the Wildlife Commission or to comment on a rule, visit the agency’s Periodic Rules Review page.

A “public comment” is defined by G.S. 150B-21.3A(a)(5) as a written objection to all or part of a rule. Additionally, pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A(c)(2), in order for the Rules Review Commission to determine whether the public comment has merit, the public comment must address the specific content of the rule.

Monday, May 16, 2016

2016 Law Enforcement Memorial Day Observed in Franklin

2016 Law Enforcement Memorial Day

Bobby Coggins
Publisher and Editor
MaconMedia.com
May 16, 2016

FRANKLIN
- This past Friday, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #81 of Macon and Jackson Counties hosted a ceremony observing Law Enforcement Memorial Day to remember those law enforcement officers who fell in the line of duty in 2015.

Mike Anderson, Deputy Director North Carolina Center for Safer Schools, was the guest speaker.

The officers remembered by the ceremony were:

Fallen North Carolina Police Officers 2015


February 19, 2015
K-9 Mako
Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office


May 21, 2015
Inspector Robert J. Bowling

North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles & Theft Bureau



FOP Lodge #81 also remembers the following officers from Western North Carolina


October 3, 2001
Master Trooper Calvin E. Taylor
North Carolina Highway Patrol


May 31, 2003
Senior Trooper Anthony G. Cogdill
North Carolina Highway Patrol


June 17, 2008
Trooper David Shawn Blanton Jr.
North Carolina Highway Patrol


June 28, 2008
Deputy Sheriff Robert “Bob” Killian
Macon County Sheriff’s Office


October 29, 2013
Senior Police Officer Robert A. Bingaman
Asheville Police Department



Video and a photo essay of the ceremony follow.

Click on the images to see them at a larger size, then you may navigate through them using the right and left arrow on your keyboard.


Guest Speaker Mike Anderson

2016 Law Enforcement Memorial Day




2016 Law Enforcement Memorial Day




Panoramic Shot of Crowd


Veteran


Press Photographers



Colors and Piper



Piper



Wreath Detail



Crowd and Cruisers



Cruisers



Wreath Detail



Honor Guard



Salute



Bell Detail



Wreath

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Over 2,000 Duke energy Customers Out of Service in Clarks Chapel and Cullasaja Communities
Restoration Estimated by 8:30 Tonight

Map of Area Impacted by Outage

Duke Energy reports that 2, 030 of their customers are currently without service in the Clarks Chapel and Cullasaja area indicated on the map included with this post. Restoration is tentative estimated at 8:30 pm this evening.
As always click on the image to embiggen to a larger size.



Franklin Police have just reported a power line down on Fox Ridge Road.
time 5:42 pm on May 14, 2016


Radio Traffic www.MaconScan.com



**6:00 pm** Franklin Police have not been able to locate a downed power line on Fox Ridge Circle.  If any of you know the cause of the outage, let us know in the comments.

**6:20 pm** Duke Energy reports a tree or tree limbs have fallen, taking out the electrical service. Power restoration has been moved up to 7:30 pm. Several readers in the Belleview Road area report their power is back on.


Tree down on Fox Ridge Road

**6:25 pm** This is the tree that was in the road on Fox Ridge Road that sparked the report this was where the outage was originated. Someone has cut and removed the bulk of the tree from the roadway.



Reduced Outage Location



**6:30 pm** Duke Energy has restored service to all by 12 customers in the Holly Springs Estate Road area. 12 customers remain without service. Duke estimates the power will be restored by 9:30 pm this evening.

**7:15 pm** Duke Energy has restored service to all customers in Macon County.

-------------------

For continuous updates please refer to the facebook post embedded below.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Regular May 2016 Meeting of the Macon County Commissioners

The Macon County Courthouse



The Macon County Commissioners will be meeting tonight at 6 pm in the Commissioners Boardroom on the third floor of the Macon County Courthouse. This meeting is open to the public.





Supporting documents, including the public agenda and the full agenda packet are posted below for your convenience. 

Macon Media will be streaming video of the meeting live. Follow Macon Media News, Weather and Information on Facebook to check it out. After the meeting is over, video of the meeting will be embedded here.

**update** The meeting lasted over three hours, so it has been divided into three parts to facilitate viewing. The annual budget message from the county manager is in the second video, and will be uploaded as soon as possible.



PART ONE OF THREE



PART TWO OF THREE (BUDGET PRESENTATION)


PART THREE OF THREE



Here are downloadable copies of the Budget Message that was delivered by the County Manager and the proposed budget for the 2016-2017 Fiscal Year.










MACON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

May 10, 2016

AGENDA


1. Call to order and welcome by Chairman Corbin
2. Announcements
--A. NCACC Update Video
3. Moment of Silence
4. Pledge of Allegiance
5. Public Hearing(s) – None
6. Public Comment Period
7. Additions to agenda
8. Adjustments to and approval of the agenda
9. Reports/Presentations
--A. Presentation of the recommended Fiscal Year 2016-17 budget –
County Manager
----(1) Schedule public hearing on the recommended FY 2016-17
budget for Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 6 p.m.
----(2) Schedule time(s) for budget work session(s)
--B. Upcoming total solar eclipse – David Hubbs
--C. Update on Smoky Mountain LME/MCO – Shelly Foreman
10.Old Business
--A. Capital Project Ordinance Amendment/Union Academy and
Highlands School – Finance Director
--B. Cancellation of contract with Shade America – County Manager
11.New Business
--A. Addition of Mountain Breeze Road to the state maintained road
system – County Manager
--B. Lease agreement between Macon County and Bonita Hamstra
for Highlands Road Convenience Center site – County Attorney
12.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.
--A. Minutes of the April 12, 2016 regular meeting and the April 18,
2016 called meeting
--B. Budget Amendments #196-204
--C. Tax Releases
13.Appointments
--A. Social Services Board (1 seat)
--B. Southwestern Community College Board of Trustees (1 seat)
14.Closed session (if necessary)
15.Adjourn/Recess





Monday, May 9, 2016

Controlled Burn Taking Place Today at County Landfill

Panoramic Shot of Debris Burning at Landfill

Bobby Coggins
Pusher and Editor
MaconMedia.com
May 9, 2016


FRANKLIN, NC
-- A controlled burn is taking place today at the Macon County Landfill. The construction company that is building the new new cell of the landfill is burning away debris from their land clearing operation at the location where the new cell of the county landfill will be built. Construction on that cell is expected to be complete by March 2017 and is expected to last several decades.

Macon Media took video and photos of the burn and they are posted below.






Some photos taken of the controlled burn from various locations have been posted below. Click on the images to view them at a larger size. You may also navigate through them be using the right and left arrow key on your keyboard or by swiping the images right and left if you are on a mobile device that uses a touch screen.
































Where to Watch the Transit of Mercury Today

Path of Mercury across Sun


Bobby Coggins
Publisher & Editor
MaconMedia.com

May 9, 2016


FRANKLIN, NC -- A relatively rare transit of Mercury will occur today and the entire event is visible from Franklin, provided you have a telescope and the proper solar filters to watch. The last transit happened on November 8, 2006 and the next one will happen on November 11, 2019.

WARNING: Never look directly at the sun without special equipment.

If you do not have the proper equipment to observe the transit, don't despair. Several amateur astronomer and astronomy-oriented organizations will be streaming the event live online, and links to each event has been included below for your convenience. You will probably have to sign up for a free account in order to observe the event on Livestream unless you watch on a Roku, Apple TV or Fire TV over the set top box.

Sky and Telescope



SLOOH Community Observatory

Sky for All

Griffith Observatory

SC State Museum


2017 Solar Eclipse Information

And, of course the event of several lifetimes will be happening next August as the path of a total solar eclipse will cross Macon County, with the center line passing just south of Nantahala Lake and exiting Macon County near US-441 South at the Georgia line. There are several online resources to assist you in preparing for the event at the links below:

Sky and Telescope 


2017 Solar Eclipse Website (the best one stop resource on the internet)

NASA Eclipse Website (the best place for geeks because it has the data)





Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Fire Claims RV on Rose Creek Road

Firefighters conduct overhaul and salvage operations



Bobby Coggins
Publisher & Editor
MaconMedia.com

May 3, 2016

FRANKLIN-- Burningtown Fire Department was called out to report of an RV (Recreational Vehicle) that was reported to be fully involved in fire. The caller reported that the RV was within five feet of another trailer. Franklin and Cowee Fire departments were mutual aid on this incident.

The fire took place just north of the intersection of Rose Creek Road and Saldeer Mountain Road. The road was briefly closed to through traffic during the firefighting operation and was quickly reopened. No injuries were reported.

At the time of this post, determination of the cause had not been made by firefighters. Other photos taken at the scene are posted below, beginning with a Google Map image showing the location of the fire.

All these images may be clicked on to view at a larger size. Once the images are full screen, you may navigate back and forth through them using the right and left arrow on your keyboard. If you are on a mobile device, you may navigate through the images by swiping them from side to side.


Location of fire 
Image Courtesy Google Maps


Smoke from the fire from a mile away


Panoramic shot of the fire scene


A truck from Franklin Fire Department


A truck from Burningtown Fire Department


Fire apparatus line Rose Creek Road



Monday, May 2, 2016

Regular May 2016 Meeting
Franklin Town Board of Aldermen

**8:37 am on May 3, 2016** The proposed budget for the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 is available: (scroll down to see the video of the meeting)






The Franklin Town Board will be meeting tonight in the lower level of town hall on Main Street at 7 pm. This meeting is open to the public.


Macon Media will not be posting a play by play due to the expected arrival of storms this evening, but if you are not at the meeting and you wish to watch the meeting live from your phone, tablet, computer or Roku-type device, please check out our Livestream. [LINK] The video has been added below:


After the meeting is over and the video has been processed, a recorded version of the meeting will be posted here in this article, so bookmark it if you can't be at the meeting or can't watch live.

The public agenda and the press packet are posted below in the interest of transparency:


Town of Franklin Board of Aldermen

Regular Scheduled Meeting

Agenda Monday May 2, 2016 7:00 p.m.


1. Call to Order- Mayor Bob Scott

2. Pledge of Allegiance- Vice Mayor Patti Abel

3. Adoption of the May 2, 2016 Town Board Agenda

4. Approval of the April 4 and April 18, 2016 Town Board minutes

5. Public Hearing 7:05 p.m. on Proposed Flood Ordinance

6. Public Session

7. New Business

A.) Board Action on Proposed Flood Ordinance

B.) Road Name Request for Harrison Oaks Drive- Land Use Administrator Justin Setser

C.) Forward ETJ Request to Town Planning Board- Land Use Administrator Justin Setser & Town Attorney John Henning Jr

D.) Budget Amendment- Finance Officer Kyra Doster

E.) Street Closing Request for Freedom Rocks the Square- Town Manager Summer Woodard

F.) Appointment of Wayne Swank as Chairman of the Alcohol Beverage Control Board- Town Manager Summer Woodard

G.) Proposed Improvements to Memorial Park- Town Manager Summer Woodard

H.) Official Notification and Acceptance of State Revolving Loan for $3,578,750- Town Manager Summer Woodard

I.) Budget Amendment for Water Plant Upgrade and Expansion Project- Finance Officer Kyra Doster

J.) Proposed Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Town Budget- Town Manager Summer Woodard

1.) Presentation of Proposed Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Town of Franklin Budget

2.) Set Budget Work Session for Saturday May 14, 2016 at 9:00 a.m.

3.) Set Public Hearing for Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Town of Franklin Budget for Monday June 6, 2016 at 7:05 p.m.



8. Announcements

A.) Meet and Greet with Fire Chief Kevin Rohrer Wednesday May 11, 2016 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Franklin Fire Department.



B.) Town Hall Offices will be closed Monday May 30, 2016 in observance of Memorial Day



9. Adjourn
















Macon County Library to Observe Choose Privacy Week




PRESS RELEASE

Choose Privacy at Your Local Library

Franklin--
Choose Privacy Week, celebrated this year May 1-7, is an education and awareness campaign that invites citizens into a national conversation about the right of privacy in the digital age. The campaign by the American Library Association gives libraries the tools they need to educate and engage users, and gives citizens the resources to think critically and make more informed choices about their privacy.

Public Libraries in Macon, Jackson, and Swain Counties, as members of Fontana Regional Library, are partnering with the American Library Association to focus attention on privacy issues. The emergence of the modern information society and its increased emphasis on the collection, use, and storage of personal data can pose a threat to privacy.

In an era of social networks, online databases, and cloud computing, more and more individuals’ personal information is now available online and elsewhere. Libraries recognize that privacy is essential to the exercise of free speech, free thought, and free association—all strongly held American values—and protecting user privacy has long been an integral part of libraries’ work and mission.

The goal of Choose Privacy Week is to raise awareness and provide a forum for libraries to help educate and engage their users—giving individuals the resources they need to think critically and make more informed choices about their privacy.

Fontana Regional Library has created a guide to digital privacy issues and tools and made it available on its website, www.fontanalib.org. For more information, please visit your local library and ask about resources related to privacy protection.

Law Enforcement Memorial Service Scheduled for Noon on Friday, May 13, 2016


The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #81 of Macon and Jackson Counties will be hosting a Law Enforcement Memorial Service at the Gazebo on Itola Street at noon on Friday, May 13, 2016.

Macon Media has included copies of the program [click on the images to embiggen them to a readable size] so you can see what has been planned for this event. Please come out and show your support for those who put their lives on the line to serve and protect us.



Tuesday, April 26, 2016

NC General Assembly Legislative Calendar
Tuesday, April 26, 2016


The NC Legislative Building



The state legislature [link] will convene today, the NC Senate [link] at 9:15 am and the NC House [link] at 10:00 am.

I have posted the calendar of scheduled legislative activity along with links to where you can listen online to our state legislators as they go about their tasks. The calendar link in the Senate and House section lead to a list of bills that are on the calendar to be considered today. The PDF file includes links to the bill page. On that page is a history of actions on the bill, and the bill text, as well as past versions of the bill.


If I have time, I'll listen and record the audio from some of the meetings.






Tuesday, April 26, 2016
9:15 AM Session Convenes (Senate) [CALENDAR] SENATE [LIVE AUDIO]
10:00 AM Session Convenes (House) [CALENDAR] HOUSE [LIVE AUDIO]
1:00 PM Finance (Senate) [MEMBERS] [WEBSITE]544 LOB [LIVE AUDIO]
1:00 PM Press Conference -- Rep. Grier Martin  PRESS ROOM [LIVE AUDIO]
3:00 PM Select Committee on Nominations (SENATE) [MEMBERS]
Agenda: To consider following nominees: Linda Combs, Controller; Lyons Gray, Utilities Commission; Chris Loutit, Industrial Commission; Anne Faircloth, Faylene Whitaker and James Lambeth, Board of Agriculture.
1027/1128 LB [NO AUDIO]









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