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.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Lynn Corbin Wright Graduates from the UNC CGCIO™ Certification Program



Lynn Wright and Shannon H Tufts
Pictured (L-R) Lynn Wright and Shannon Tufts



PRESS RELEASE
Macon County
June 23, 2016

Chapel Hill, NC, June 17, 2016. Lynn Corbin Wright, Assistant Information Technology Director for Macon County, has successfully graduated from the 2015-2016 Certified Government Chief Information Officers Program™ at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Government.

The CGCIO™ program is the first local government specific program for CIOs in the nation and began in 2005. The program is designed for local government Information Technology Directors and Chief Information Officers whose challenging responsibilities require a broad understanding of management, leadership, legal, regulatory, and enterprise topics. The course is approximately 240 hours in length and course instruction covers strategic technology planning, communication, project management, emerging trends, risk assessment and management, acquisition management, change management, leadership, security, legal issues and financial trends. The program’s director, Dr. Shannon Tufts, has been recognized by Government Technology magazine as one of the 2010 Top 25 Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers for the creation and expansion of this nationally acclaimed program. The program seeks to elevate the position of the dedicated  and talented cadre of public sector technology leaders who work tirelessly to serve the public good through strategic investments in technology.


Lynn Wright is one of the fifty-seven local government, state agency, community college, and K-12 IT leaders in the state of North Carolina who successfully completed the course this year. Over the course of its existence, the CGCIO™ program has graduated over 1500 public sector technology leaders across the nation.

                         ###

For more information about this program please visit the SOG website.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Cradle of Forestry Celebrates Bug Day and National Pollinator Week

A female Monarch butterfly 
Scientific name is Danaus plexippus



PISGAH FOREST, N.C., June 21, 2016 - The Cradle of Forestry in America invites all ages to come learn about insects and their relatives on Saturday, June 25 in honor of National Pollinator Week.


Activities and displays around the Cradle's Forest Discovery Center explore the fascinating and important world of arthropods from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Learn about monarch butterflies, their migration, and how you can help their survival. See an enclosed observation hive containing thousands of live honeybees. Learn about the fascinating lifecycle of these social insects, how honey is made, and how to get started as a beekeeper.  Meet a naturalist along the Cradle's paved trails and discover evidence among the forest's many leaves that bugs are excellent botanists.

Activities include pond explorations at 10:00 and 2:00, bug hunts at 11:30 and 3:30, and on-going buggy games and crafts. 

At 1:00 p.m. Cradle of Forestry interpreter Devin Gentry will present a program "Why Are We Letting the Grass Grow?" addressing a continuing project to convert selected lawn areas around the Cradle's Forest Discovery Center to native landscaping. This effort to sustain the interdependence between plants and pollinators, including monarchs, can be duplicated by homeowners. 

Admission to the day-time Bug Day event at the Cradle of Forestry is $5.00 for adults and free for youth under 16 years of age. Friends of the Cradle Annual Pass, America the Beautiful, Golden Age and Every Kid in a Park passes are honored. Admission includes the new film, First in Forestry: Carl Alwin Schenck and the Biltmore Forest School, hands-on exhibits, a scavenger hunt, the Adventure Zone, and historic cabins and antique equipment on two paved trails. The Cradle of Forestry is located on Hwy. 276 in the Pisgah National Forest, six miles north of Looking Glass Falls and four miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 412.

For more information call 828-877-3130 or go to www.cradleofforestry.com. Informative web resources related to Bug Day and National Pollinator Week are www.pollinator.orgwww.monarchwatch.org, and www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators.   

To find many on-line nature-oriented resources visit the USDA Forest Service's NatureWatch website, www.fs.fed.us/outdoors/naturewatch/.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Policy Notice Regarding Arrest Reports

Policy Notice

Policy Notice

Several readers have sent Macon Media messages and mugshots over the past few days, beginning on Saturday morning, regarding the arrest of a local law enforcement officer while off duty.

I appreciate the heads up, but have declined to post about the incident unless it makes it to Superior Court or if the Sheriff decides to fire the person before the case is adjudicated. This is a personnel matter, not a public matter until a trial or sentencing occurs.

Macon Media currently follows a policy of not posting about arrests of individuals unless it is for a notorious or violent crime. The only exceptions are if the arrest of public safety personnel occur while they are on duty or if the offense occurred while on duty. Any known arrest of an elected official or local county or city department head will be reported upon because these people are never off duty.


This is why there is no "Arrest Report" carried by this news outlet that names names. These people deserve their day in a court of law, not in the court of public opinion. 

This is an evolving policy and it is my belief that it is not in the public interest for media outlets to be reporting on such things. It is a thing best reserved for whispers, alleyways and tabloids like Fuzz Busted.

Bobby Coggins
Publisher and Editor
MaconMedia.com
June 20, 2016

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Keynote Address at the Moral Mountain Monday Event in Sylva, NC


Macon Media covered the Moral Mountain Monday rally that was held on Monday at Bridge Park in Sylva, NC.

A full article, including video of the whole event and video of individual speakers will be posted later this week. Until then, here is the speech given by the keynote speaker and founder of the Moral Monday series of protests in Raleigh, Rev Dr William J Barber.






IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST

**note** Macon Media covers political events like this because it is in the public interest for the electorate to be exposed to all sides of an issue without it it first being filtered for time or space in a broadcast or in a newspaper. These events also need to be shared in their entirety without being filtered through the personal or organizational agendas of reporters or news outlets.


 


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Macon County Commissioners
Regular June 2016 Meeting

Macon County Courthouse


The Macon County Board of Commissioners will be meeting tonight at 6:00 pm. Macon Media will be there and, as usual, streaming live video [click here to watch] from the meeting. After the meeting is over, the video will be processed then posted here.

 
                             RECORDED VIDEO TO BE ADDED HERE LATER

Meanwhile, here is the short form agenda and the agenda packet for those who wish to see what will be discussed at tonight's meeting.



                   MACON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
                                                 JUNE 14, 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) – 6:00 p.m. – Recommended Fiscal Year 2016-
17 budget
 

6. Public Comment Period
 

7. Additions to agenda
 

8. Adjustments to and approval of the agenda
 

9. Reports/Presentations
    A. Consideration of resolution regarding Increasing Per Pupil
Funding and Fully Funding Public Schools – John deVille
 

10.Old Business
     A. Capital Project Ordinance Amendment – Parker Meadows
Recreation Complex – Finance Director
     B. Capital Project Ordinance – Airport Taxiway Pavement &
Lighting Rehabilitation – Finance Director
     C. Capital Project Ordinance – Airport 2015 Non-Preliminary
Entitlement 36237.1.NPE.15 – Finance Director
     D. Capital Project Ordinance – Airport 2014 Non-Preliminary
Entitlement 36237.1.NPE.14 – Finance Director
     E. Grant Project Ordinance Amendment – Duke Energy Income
Qualified Weatherization Program – Finance Director
     F. Grant Project Ordinance Amendment – Duke Energy’s Helping
Home Fund – Finance Director
     G. Follow up on proposed economic development “Project Tech” –
County Attorney
     H. Contract with Draper Aden Associates – County Attorney
11.New Business
     A. Appointment of new Animal Cruelty Investigator
     B. Public Health fee changes – Tammy Keezer, Operations Section
Administrator, Public Health
     C. Grant request to the Evergreen Foundation – Emergency
Management Director Warren Cabe
     D. Discussion/consideration of award for hosted IP telephony
project – Information Technology Director Andy Muncey
     E. Memorandum of Understanding regarding Duke Energy’s
Helping Home Fund – Finance Director
     F. Tentative approval for Independence Day fireworks displays in
Franklin and Nantahala
     G. Consideration of Macon County Wellness Policy – County
Manager/Human Resources Director
 

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 May 10, 2016 regular meeting and the May 31,
2016 continuation meeting
     B. Budget Amendments #266-#273
     C. Tax Releases – None
     D. Closure of inmate account at First Citizens Bank
 

13.Appointments
     A. Board of Health (3 seats)
     B. Region A Aging Advisory Council (3 members and 3 alternates)
 

14.Closed session (if necessary)
 

15.Recess until Tuesday, June 21, 2016 at 6 p.m. in the commission
boardroom on the third floor of the Macon County Courthouse, 5
West Main Street, Franklin, NC











Thursday, June 9, 2016

Structure Fire on Sunset Ridge Road

Bobby Coggins
Publisher & Editor
MaconMedia.com
June 9, 2016


FRANKLIN - Several local volunteer fire departments responded to an early morning structure fire on Sunset Ridge Road. A neighbor reported the fire shortly before 4:00 am and noted there were explosions occurring. (These turned out to be propane tanks).

Burningtown-Iotla Fire Department was the initial responding VFD and Franklin and Cowee Fire Departments provided mutual aid. Clarks Chapel Fire Department was called out to assist after the initial units arrived at the scene. The Command Post reported the fire knocked down at 4:37 am.

No one was known to be at home at the time of the fire and the Fire Marshall is investigating the origin of the fire.

VIDEO AND PHOTOS


The photos are presented in the order they were taken and some of them have been processed so firefighters and the structure can be better seen by the reader.





















Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Second Primary Election Day Is Today
Polls Open from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm
Preliminary Results Added

**10:10 pm** Scroll down for the preliminary results. Macon Media and The Franklin Press were the only local new outlets present at the Board of Elections and Macon Media was the only one transmitting the results in near real time on the internet, posting results on Facebook before the state website.

Election Coverage Card

Today is the second primary day in the 2016 election cycle. All regular polling locations are open and posted below for your convenience.

Only 328 of the 24,756 registered voters in Macon County availed themselves of the opportunity to vote early in this primary. Statewide projections are that only 5% of voters will participate in this second primary.

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. Democrats are the only ones voting in this Congressional primary in the 11th district since there are no challengers to the Republican incumbent.

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.





The poll workers will mark buffer zones on Election Day with "No Campaigning Past This Point" at the following polling locations:

North Franklin - Franklin Town Hall - 95 Main Street, Franklin, NC 28734

South Franklin - Macon County Public Library - 149 Siler Farm Rd. Franklin, NC 28734

East Franklin - Macon County Environmental Resource Center - 1624 Lakeside Drive, Franklin, NC 28734

Iotla - Macon County Airport - 1241 Airport Road, Franklin, NC 28734

Union - Robert C Carpenter Community Building - 1288 Georgia Road, Franklin, NC 28734

Millshoal - Holly Springs Community Building - 2720 Cat Creek Road, Franklin, NC 28734

Ellijay - Cullasaja Gorge Fire & Rescue - 104 River Road, Franklin, NC 28734

Sugarfork - Pine Grove School - 38 Peeks Creek Road, Franklin, NC 28734

Highlands - Highlands Civic Center - 600 North 4th St, Highlands, NC 28741

Flats - Scaly Mountain Fire Department - 169 Hale Ridge Rd, Scaly Mountain, NC 28775

Smithbridge - Otto Community Building - 60 Firehouse Rd, Otto, NC 28763

Cartoogechaye - West Macon Fire and Rescue - 564 Charles Nolen Road, Franklin NC 28734

Nantahala - Nantahala EMS Building - 1096 Junaluska Road, Topton NC 28781

Burningtown - Burningtown Community Building - 250 Burningtown Baptist Church Road, Franklin, NC 28714

Cowee - Cowee School - 51 Cowee School Drive, Franklin, NC 28734





UPDATES WILL BE POSTED BELOW THIS POINT 
IN REVERSE CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

******************************

**10:10 pm**

Preliminary totals for Macon County

1,708 voted out of 24,755 voters for a 6.9% turnout.

Congressional Race

Ricky Bryson 551 -- 72.69% (Won in district wide race)
Tom Hill -- 207 -- 27.31%

NC Supreme Court 
(Top Two face each other in the General Election this fall)

Edmunds -- 946 -- 58.79% (Finished first in statewide race)
Morgan -- 457 -- 28.40% (Finished second in statewide race)
Faires -- 204 -- 12.68%
Robertson --83 -- 5.16%


Jackson County passed a quarter cent sales and use tax by a margin of 63.54% for and 36.46% against.

Results by precinct, district and state:




US HOUSE DISTRICT 11 DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY
MACON COUNTY BY PRECINCT



Precinct          Bryson  Hill

01 North Franklin 29       25      
02 South Franklin 20       23      

03 East Franklin  35       21   

04 Iotla          12       13   

05 Union          43       26     

06 Millshoal      16       14           

07 Ellijay        30       23             

08 Sugarfork      11       12    

09 Highlands      68       54      

10 Flats           9        8   

11 Smithbridge    36       33   

12 Cartoogechaye  32       24   

13 Nantahala       7       12    
14 Burningtown    14       19    
15 Cowee          45       27   
ABSENTEE          11       10     

EARLY VOTING     133      113   

PROVISIONAL        0        0    

TRANSFER           0        0              




NC SUPREME COURT

MACON COUNTY BY PRECINCT





Precinct          Edmunds  Morgan  Faires   Robertson

01 North Franklin 56       25      9        2
02 South Franklin 22       23      6        0
03 East Franklin  54       21     17        4
04 Iotla          32       13     10        1
05 Union          55       26     10        6

06 Millshoal      61       14      9        5

07 Ellijay        65       23      8        5

08 Sugarfork      16       12      2        3

09 Highlands      87       54     33       15
10 Flats          29        8     10        3
11 Smithbridge   100       33     10        2
12 Cartoogechaye  56       24     16        5
13 Nantahala      14       12      1        1
14 Burningtown    46       19      3        2
15 Cowee          78       27     12        7
ABSENTEE          22       10     10        5
EARLY VOTING     153      113     38       17
PROVISIONAL        0        0      0        0
TRANSFER           0        0      0        0


US HOUSE
DISTRICT PRELIMINARY TOTAL

Bryson   9636    50.75% (winner)
Hill          9351    49.25%


US House Results



NC SUPREME COURT PRELIMINARY STATEWIDE RESULTS

Edmunds   234,142    48.06%
Morgan     167,221     34.32%
Faires          58,588     12.03%
Robertson  27,220       5.59%


Statewide Judicial results



**6:17 pm** 45  votes cast in the South Franklin precinct.


**6:09 pm** 91 votes cast in the Union precinct.

**5:54 pm** 75 votes cast in the Millshoal precinct.

**5:41 pm** 81 votes cast in the East Franklin precinct.

**5:30 pm** 80 votes cast in the North Franklin precinct.

**12:10 pm** 28 votes cast in the South Franklin precinct.

**11:53 am** 38 votes cast in the Union precinct.

**11:44 am ** 17 votes cast in the South Franklin precinct. 

**11:25 am ** 29 votes cast in the Millshoal precinct.

**10:55 am** 24 votes cast in the East Franklin precinct.

**10:25 am 19 votes cast in the North Franklin precinct.

*6:49 am** 

Here is video of the polls opening in the North Franklin precinct this morning.




Monday, June 6, 2016

An evening walk in Franklin NC

I was out walking around trying to figure out why my Youtube Livestream at the town hall wouldn't work when this happened...



Power Outage Rose Creek/Meadows Road Area

Map of outage area provided by Duke Energy

Power Outage Rose Creek/Meadows Road Area

A tree fell on some power lines earlier this morning near 4000 Rose Creek Road and electrical service was cut to 160 Duke Energy Customers. Restoration of power is estimated to occur by 1:00 pm today.

Burningtown Fire Department responded to a report of a tree on some power lines and smoking. 


Facebook Mirror of this post.



UPDATES

**12:28 pm** Duke reports electrical service has been restored.

Franklin Aldermen
Regular June 2016 Meeting

Franklin Town Hall Building


The Franklin Town Board of Aldermen will be meeting tonight at 7 pm for their regular June meeting. Macon Media will be there and will be testing a live stream on Youtube. The video will be embedded below during the meeting.




Included in the agenda are:

A public hearing on the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 budget will begin at 7: 05 pm and then the board will vote on the proposed budget after the public hearing is closed. A copy of the Town Manager's Budget Message and the proposed budget is included in the agenda packet embedded at the end of this article.

Aldermen will also be hearing a request to close Stewart Street on Saturday, August 6th from 6 pm to 11 pm for the 80's Flashback 8K that will be raising money for the Shriner's Hospital in Greenville, SC.

Another street closing request will be heard to close Main Street for the Folkmoot Parade that is scheduled for July 28th at 4 pm.

The board will also be requested to set a public hearing at 7:05 pm on July 5th (the July meeting of the board) for a Special Use permit Application for an Indoor Gun Range on Carolina Mountain Drive.

The board will also consider appointing Sissy Patillio to the unexpired term of her late husband on the Alcohol Beverage Control Board. 

The last item of business will be a discussion of the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. A gentleman appeared before the board last month urging the town to market the local area for the upcoming eclipse.

Macon Media notes that all hotel/motel rooms priced below $1,000 a night in the Franklin area have already been booked for that weekend. [Expedia Search]


More details about the eclipse:

The eclipse will take place on Monday, August 21, 2017 and the total solar eclipse will last for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

The partial phase begins at 1:00 pm.
Totality will begin at 2:35:26
Totality will end at 2:37:56
The partial phase ends at 4:00 pm


Path of totality

Image showing the areas in western North Carolina that will see the total eclipse. The shaded area between the two red lines sow all the places from which the total eclipse will be visible, barring clouds.


Timing for the Eclipse

A table showing the timing of the eclipse for Main Street and Phillips Street. The times are in Universal Coordinated Time, a system of time used by astronomers, to get the local time for the events, just subtract 4 hours.


Path of the Centerline of the Eclipse

A graphic showing in more detail the center line of the eclipse that passes through Macon County.

Here is a video from NASA showing the path of the eclipse. It will be the most viewed eclipse in American history.




The last total solar eclipse to occur in Franklin was on July 20, 1506 and the next one will be on October 17, 2153.

Here is a video of the 2006 total solar eclipse in Libya that is about the same duration as the one we'll be seeing in 2017:




Here are the public agenda and the agenda packet for tonight's meeting:


Town of Franklin Board of Aldermen
Regular Scheduled Meeting
Agenda Monday June 6, 2016 7:00 p.m.


1. Call to Order- Mayor Bob Scott

2. Pledge of Allegiance- Vice Mayor Patti Abel

3. Adoption of the June 6, 2016 Town Board Agenda

4. Approval of the May 2 and May 16, 2016 Town Board minutes

5. Public Hearing 7:05 p.m. for Proposed Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Town of Franklin Budget

6. Public Session

7. New Business

A.) Board Action on Proposed Fiscal Year 2016-2017 Town of Franklin Budget

B.) Street Closing Request for 80's Flashback 8K Race- Town Manager Summer Woodard

C.) Street Closing Request for Folkmoot- Town Manager Summer Woodard

D.) Set Public Hearing for Special Use Permit Application for Indoor Gun Range- Town Manager Summer Woodard

E.) Set Public Hearing for ETJ Boundary Addition- Town Manager Summer Woodard

F.) Budget Amendment- Finance Officer Kyra Doster

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

H.) NCDOT Bridge Project B-5125 Aesthetic Design- Town Manager Summer Woodard

I.) Appointment to the Alcohol Beverage Control Board- Town Manager Summer Woodard

J.) Update on Great American Solar Eclipse- Town Manager Summer Woodard

8. Announcements

A.) Town of Franklin Employee Luncheon will be Friday July 1, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. at Fat Buddies.

B.) Town Hall Offices will be closed Monday July 4, 2016 in observance of Independence Day.

C.) Town of Franklin will be hosting a July 4th celebration downtown Monday July 4th 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.



9. Adjourn





Saturday, May 28, 2016

Members of the Franklin Garden Club Spend a Saturday Afternoon Beautifying Franklin



Members of the Franklin Garden Club were spotted spending a sunny Saturday afternoon working to beautify the Clock Tower Square, Rankin Square and the Courthouse Square Gazebo with hanging flower pots.

If you see them while you're out and about please thank them for their service to the community!







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.