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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.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Macon County Airport Authority June 2014 Meeting

Macon County Airport Authority Meeting Coverage

The Macon County Airport Authority met on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 for their regular monthly meeting. A quorum was not present, so the board could not conduct any regular business. Here is the video of the informational session that was held in lieu of an official meeting.

Chairman Miles Gregory announced that he had polled members of the board and found that there was a consensus to recommend to the county commissioners that Richard Rose of Highlands be selected to replace the recently deceased Harold Corbin on the board.

The next meeting will take place at the airport on the last Tuesday in July, which is the 29th of the month.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Speeches at the 2014 NCGOP State Convention

Delegates at the 2014 NCGOP State Convention

This past weekend, a once in a generation political event occurred in western North Carolina...a political party held it's annual state-wide convention here. Over 600 delegates gathered at the Convention Center at Harrah's Cherokee Casino to conduct their annual business, to take workshops to assist them learn how to win elections, and to hear from candidates for public office.

I was credentialed as a member of the press and covered the activities that took place on Saturday. I would have recorded the entire thing, but could only afford the fuel to attend one day, so I chose the day with the most happening.

I recorded several speeches and most of the general session that took place that day, minus part of the morning session.

Here are the speeches that I recorded from lunch onward. Tomorrow and Wednesday, I will post speeches from the District/County Chairman's Annual Breakfast and the activities on the convention floor as viewed from my position in a suite reserved for the press.

I hope this gives you an insight on the political process that I believe it is our civic duty to participate in if we wish to remain a free society.

It is also my belief that this is the most complete and neutral coverage of the convention you'll find anywhere in North Carolina.


LUNCHEON WITH BILL BENNETT

A luncheon was held in the Council Fire Ballroom that featured speeches by Dr William Bennett, former Secretary of Education, and Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana and presumed to be a candidate for President in 2016. The event was sponsored by Congresswoman Renee Ellmers and here are the videos from that event:





SPEECHES DURING THE AFTERNOON SESSION

After delegates had returned from lunch in the convention center, they were welcomed by Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians Michell Hicks, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. Jim Snyder, Heather Grant, Ted Alexander and Mark Harris, who ran in the US Senate primary, all gathered on stage and endorsed Thom Tillis, won won the Republican primary. Thom Tillis then spoke. Here are those videos:





DINNER WITH FORMER US SPEAKER DENNIS HASTERT & GOVERNOR MIKE HUCKABEE

At 7pm, delegates and guests gathered in the Council Fire Ballroom in Harrah's Cherokee Hotel to eat and hear Former Governor or Arkansas Mike Huckabee speak. He was a candidate for President in 2008 and there is speculation he could be positioning himself for another run in 2016. Dennis Hastert, former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, spoke last on the program. The videos from this event are below:



Maybe next year, the Democratic Party of North Carolina will hold their convention in Cherokee and I'll get to cover that event, too. They were holding their annual convention this weekend in Raleigh.

PATREON CAMPAIGN

It costs money to do what I do. Please consider helping me out by visiting my Patreon crowd funding page and look at ways you can donate to help me.

Friday, June 6, 2014

On the 70th Anniversary of D-Day

Normandy American Cemetery as viewed from the air. More than 9,000 Americans are buried here.


The above photo is an aerial view of the Normandy American Cemetery maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission. More than 9,000 Americans are buried here.

70 years ago today, the Allies launched an invasion of Europe to liberate her from the clutches of Nazi Germany. Learn more about this momentous day in world history at the National D-Day Memorial.

The Allied casualties figures for D-Day have generally been estimated at 10,000, including 2500 dead. Broken down by nationality, the usual D-Day casualty figures are approximately 2700 British, 946 Canadians, and 6603 Americans. However recent painstaking research by the US National D-Day Memorial Foundation has achieved a more accurate - and much higher - figure for the Allied personnel who were killed on D-Day. They have recorded the names of individual Allied personnel killed on 6 June 1944 in Operation Overlord, and so far they have verified 2499 American D-Day fatalities and 1915 from the other Allied nations, a total of 4414 dead (much higher than the traditional figure of 2500 dead). Further research may mean that these numbers will increase slightly in future. The details of this research will in due course be available on the Foundation's website at www.dday.org.



Source: UK D-Day Museum FAQs


Here is a little background on the Normandy Landings on D-Day via Wikipedia:


The Normandy landings were the landing operations of the Allied invasion of Normandy, also known as Operation Neptune and Operation Overlord, during World War II. The landings commenced on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 (D-Day), beginning at 6:30 AM British Double Summer Time(UTC+2). In planning, D-Day was the term used for the day of actual landing, which was dependent on final approval.
The assault was conducted in two phases: an air assault landing of 24,000 AmericanBritishCanadian and Free French airborne troops shortly after midnight, and an amphibious landing of Allied infantry and armoured divisions on the coast of France commencing at 6:30 AM. There were also subsidiary 'attacks' mounted under the codenames Operation Glimmer and Operation Taxable to distract the German forces from the real landing areas.[4]
The operation was the largest amphibious invasion of all time, with over 160,000[5] troops landing on 6 June 1944. 195,700[6] Allied naval andmerchant navy personnel in over 5,000[5] ships were involved. The invasion required the transport of soldiers and materiel from the United Kingdom by troop-laden aircraft and ships, the assault landings, air support, naval interdiction of the English Channel and naval fire-support. The landings took place along a 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: UtahOmahaGoldJuno and Sword.
















This is the entire broadcast day on the radio from June 6, 1944. This will give you a feel for how people back home learned of the invasion of Europe. You can download the audio for yourself at the Internet Archive.

And here are some documentaries about D-Day, including a prayer by President Roosevelt that was broadcast over the radio to Americans, and a speech by President Ronald Reagan at the 40th Anniversary of D-Day.



























D-Day: The Normandy Invasion by crazedigitalmovies


















And here is FDR offering a prayer on national radio for the troops invading Europe.


Transcript:




My Fellow Americans:


Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest -- until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them -- help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.
And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keeness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment -- let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace -- a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.

Amen.


And, on the 40th Anniversary of the invasion, President Ronald Reagan gave an unforgettable speech paying tribute to those boys who stormed a beach and began the liberation of Europe...













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Monday, June 2, 2014

Macon County Commissioners Hold Work Session for FY 2015

FY 2015 County Budget Work Session

Here is my video coverage of the budget work session that the Macon County Board of Commissioners held this past Saturday morning at the Cecil Groves Center on the campus of Southwestern Community College.

The commissioners will be holding a public hearing on the items in the proposed budget on Tuesday, June 10th at 6pm to hear what members of the public have to say about the budget. 

Here is a copy of the proposed budget:



If you wish to hear what Macon County Manager Derek Roland had to say when he delivered his budget message a few weeks ago, click here.  There are also copies of the 2014, 2013 and 2012 budgets at that location if you want to compare this year's budgets with those in years past.

Instead of filtering the news of this meeting and trying to tell you what I think is important, these videos will allow you to see for yourself what happened...and you can formulate your own opinions about what you think are the important takeaways from the work session. I have divided the meeting into ten videos so you don't have to wade your way through a three hour meeting just to watch one or two segments that interest you.

MEDIA ROLL CALL

Local media organizations who had reporters present at this meeting were:

Macon Media (me)
WFSC-AM/WNCC-FM
The Franklin Press


Part One
Welcome and Parker Meadows Construction Bid Award



Part Two
Projected Revenues



Part Three
Expentitures by function
--General Government



Part Four
Expenditures by function
--Public Safety
Macon County EMS
Macon County Sheriff's Office



Part Five
Expenditures by function
--Health and Human Services
--Recreational and Cultural



Part Six
Expenditures by function
--Education I
Southwestern Community College



Part Seven
Expenditures by function
--Education II
Macon County Public Schools



Part Eight
Presentations by Volunteer Fire Departments I
--Clarks Chapel VFD



Part Nine
Presentations by Volunteer Fire Departments II
--Mountain Valley VFD



Part Ten
Miscellaneous Items
Adjournment after Closed Session



PATREON CAMPAIGN

I am still seeking funds to help me get new equipment and to develop a website to better deliver the news and weather to you in a timely and organized fashion. If you are interested in helping me out, visit my Patreon page. There is also information there if you want to instead send me a one time donation, which most people are choosing to do.