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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, March 22, 2017

Daily Weather Briefing for Wednesday, March 22, 2017




NATIONAL OVERVIEW

...Rain and potential for thunderstorms across the western U.S over the next few days....

...Thunderstorms, potentially strong-to-severe, across western portions of the Southern and Central Plains on Thursday...

Coastal and valley rain will begin to taper off over portions of the Pacific Northwest/California this afternoon as a cold weakens upon moving inland. However... another disturbance entering the West/Southwest U.S. will a round of widespread precipitation to much of the western U.S. over the next few days. Some of the highest terrain could see some snow mix in with the rain, while scattered thunderstorms will be possible. Several inches of snow will be possible for the higher peaks from the Great Basin to the Central/Northern Rockies by this weekend. Snow is also expected to continue for portions of the northern Cascades during this time.

Across the southern tier states a frontal boundary will slowly sage toward the gulf of Mexico over the next few days. The convergence of warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and colder air pushing southward from Canada, will be enough to spawn showers and thunderstorms, potentially strong, along and just north of this frontal boundary. The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted an area spanning from the Texas Panhandle to the southwest corner of Nebraska as having a slight risk for severe thunderstorm development on Thursday. Additional information on the threat for severe weather can be found on the Storm Prediction Center website (www.spc.ncep.noaa.gov).

Snow is forecast to stick around portions of Maine over the next couple of days as a low pressure system lifts north and east toward the Canadian Maritimes. Cool and mainly dry conditions are expected for much of the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Ohio Valley region with a broad area of high pressure in place.

LOCAL OUTLOOK

A cold front will move through the area later tonight, increasing the chances for widespread showers and thunderstorms. A few of the thunderstorms could be severe. Cooler air will return behind the front to end the work week before another frontal system approaches the area next weekend.

Weather Almanac for March 22nd (1872-2016)

Record weather events for this date in Macon County

Highest Temperature 80°F in Highlands in 1935
Lowest Temperature 10°F in Franklin in 1965
Greatest Rainfall 3.49 inches in Highlands in 19552
Greatest Snowfall 6.0 inches in Franklin in 1872

THREE DAY OUTLOOK




TODAY

Patchy dense fog in the morning. Partly sunny with decreasing clouds. Highs near the upper 50s to lower 60s and winds out of the north and northwest 5 to 15 mph.


TONIGHT

Partly cloudy with lows near the upper 30s and north winds calming before midnight. Slight chance of rain after midnight.



THURSDAY

Partly sunny with highs near the lower 50s. Calm winds in the morning, then from the east southeast in the afternoon.

THURSDAY NIGHT

Mostly cloudy with lows near the mid to upper 30s and light winds out of the southeast.



FRIDAY

Partly sunny with highs near 60.

FRIDAY NIGHT

Mostly cloudy with near the mid to upper 40s.


HAZARDS

Hazardous weather is not expected today.

As always, you can check to see what advisories, watches and warnings are in effect for Macon County by visiting http://is.gd/MACONWARN


MACON CALENDAR

If you have an event you wish to be added to this calendar, please send the information, along with a flyer in pdf format or a high quality photo, to editor@maconmedia.com
There is no charge for civic, educational or non profit groups.


BENEFIT 4 BRITTANY & DIANE

Saturday, March 25 at 5 PM - 9 PM
at Cartoogechaye Elementary School

Learn more about it on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1271875169584301/



CROWD FUNDING OR DAY SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

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.

Thank You to the people who have been sending in donations and those businesses who are underwriting coverage of news and events. You have kept Macon Media online. You have made it possible for Macon Media to begin purchasing state of the art equipment and begin work on building a real website with features not employed by any local news outlets.

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


Published at 3:49 am on March 22, 2017

#WNCscan #MaconWx #MaconSafety

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

March 21st Continued Session
Macon County Commissioners



The Macon County Commissioners will be continuing their regular meeting this afternoon at 4:30 pm in the Commissioners Boardroom on the third floor of the courthouse.

The public agenda has been posted below, but so far, no press packet has been released. It will be posted here when it becomes available.

The video will be added here sometime tomorrow.



MEDIA ROLL CALL
(media outlets with reporters/photographers present

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

OTHER ELECTED OFFICIALS
(elected officials other than those serving on this board)

Sheriff Robert Holland



MACON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

CONTINUED SESSION

MARCH 21, 2017 – 4:30 P.M.
AGENDA

1. Reconvene and welcome by Chairman Tate
2. Presentation of the Macon County Fire Protection Study – Emergency
Management Director Warren Cabe
3. Approval of report of unpaid taxes – Tax Collections Supervisor Teresa
McDowell
4. Presentation and award of bids for Robert C. Carpenter Community
Building renovations – County Manager and Tom Ritter
5. Update on allowing elected officials to accrue leave time – County
Attorney
6. Other items as needed
7. Adjourn



CROWD FUNDING OR DAY SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

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.

Thank You to the people who have been sending in donations and those businesses who are underwriting coverage of news and events. You have

kept Macon Media online. You have made it possible for Macon Media to begin purchasing state of the art equipment and begin work on building a real website with features not employed by any local news outlets.

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


Published at 2:29 pm on March 21, 2017



Daily Weather Briefing for Tuesday, March 21, 2017




NATIONAL OVERVIEW

...Heavy snow possible over the Sierras...

...Heavy rain over parts of Northern California...

...Snow over parts of the Northern/Central Plains...

Low pressure over the Ohio Valley will move eastward off the Mid-Atlantic Coast by Tuesday afternoon. The associated front will advance southward to the interior Gulf Coast States and eastward off the Southern Mid-Atlantic Coast by Wednesday morning. The system will produce showers and thunderstorms over parts of the Ohio Valley/Central Appalachians that will move to parts of the Mid-Atlantic/Tennessee Valley on Tuesday morning that will end over the Mid-Atlantic by Tuesday afternoon. On Tuesday, moisture will pool along the boundary from parts of the Southern Plains to the Southeast. Also on Tuesday afternoon, showers and thunderstorms will expand along the front over the Tennessee Valley into the Middle Mississippi Valley that will expand into parts of the Southeast by Tuesday evening into Wednesday. Overnight Tuesday, the showers and thunderstorms will expand into parts of the Southern Plains.

Meanwhile, upper-level energy over the Northern Intermountain Region/Northern Rockies will move eastward and dissipate over the Ohio Valley by Tuesday evening. The energy will develop snow and rain over parts of Northern Intermountain Region/Northern Rockies into parts of the Northern/Central High Plains that will move eastward into parts of the Northern/Central Plains by Tuesday morning and Middle Mississippi Valley that will end by Tuesday evening. A second area of upper-level energy will move out of the Northern Rockies into the Central Plains Tuesday into Wednesday morning. The energy will produce rain and some snow over parts of the Central Rockies/Central High Plains that will move into parts of the Central/Northern Plains by Wednesday.

Additionally, a plume of moisture and onshore flow will move into the West Coast producing rain and higher elevations snow over the Northern/Central California into the Pacific Northwest that will expand eastward into the Northern Rockies/Great Basin on Tuesday. The rain and higher elevation snow will continue over the West Coast through Wednesday while rain moves into Southern California overnight Tuesday into Wednesday.

LOCAL OUTLOOK

A cold front will approach the forecast area today into Wednesday, increasing chances for rain and thunderstorms. A few of the thunderstorms could be strong this evening. Cooler air will return behind the front to end the work week before another frontal system approaches the area next weekend.

Weather Almanac for March 21st (1872-2016)

Record weather events for this date in Macon County

Highest Temperature 81°F at the Coweeta Experimental Station in 1968
Lowest Temperature 8°F in Franklin in 1965
Greatest Rainfall 2.80 inches in Franklin in 1980
Greatest Snowfall 4.5 inches in In Nantahala in 1936

The state record for the amount of snow to fall on this date is 29 inches on Mount Mitchell in 2001.


THREE DAY OUTLOOK




TODAY

Patchy fog early. Partly sunny early with increasing clouds. Highs near 70 and winds out of the northwest 5 to 10 mph, gusting to 25 mph in the morning. 60% chance of rain and thunderstorms, some of which may become severe, mainly after 2 pm. Rainfall amounts between a tenth and a quarter of an inch are expected.


TONIGHT

Mostly cloudy with patchy fog before midnight and lows near the upper 40s. Winds out of the northwest 5 to 10 mph. 70% chance of rain and thunderstorms, mainly before 2 am.



WEDNESDAY

Mostly cloudy with highs in the upper 50s and winds out of the north 5 to 10 mph. 50% chance of rain.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT

Mostly cloudy with lows near the upper 30s and winds out of the east. 30% chance of rain.



THURSDAY

Partly sunny with decreasing clouds and highs near 50.

THURSDAY NIGHT

Partly cloudy with increasing clouds and lows near the mid 30s.


HAZARDS

Severe weather is possible. There is a slight risk for severe thunderstorms this afternoon and evening. Some of the thunderstorms may produce large hail and damaging wind gusts.

Spotters are asked to report large hail and damaging winds to the National Weather Service on Tuesday.

As always, you can check to see what advisories, watches and warnings are in effect for Macon County by visiting http://is.gd/MACONWARN


MACON CALENDAR

If you have an event you wish to be added to this calendar, please send the information, along with a flyer in pdf format or a high quality photo, to editor@maconmedia.com
There is no charge for civic, educational or non profit groups.


BENEFIT 4 BRITTANY & DIANE

Saturday, March 25 at 5 PM - 9 PM
at Cartoogechaye Elementary School

Learn more about it on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1271875169584301/



CROWD FUNDING OR DAY SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

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.

Thank You to the people who have been sending in donations and those businesses who are underwriting coverage of news and events. You have kept Macon Media online. You have made it possible for Macon Media to begin purchasing state of the art equipment and begin work on building a real website with features not employed by any local news outlets.

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


Published at 4:15 am on March 21, 2017

#WNCscan #MaconWx #MaconSafety

Monday, March 20, 2017

Daily Weather Briefing for Monday, March 20, 2017




NATIONAL OVERVIEW

...Moderate to heavy snow possible over the Sierras...

...Heavy rain over parts of Northern California...

A wave of low pressure over the Central Plains will move eastward to the Mid-Atlantic Coast by Tuesday. Rain will develop overnight Sunday over parts of the Upper Mississippi Valley/Upper Great Lakes that will move into parts of the Lower Great Lakes by Monday evening and into parts of the Northern Appalachians by Tuesday morning. Showers and thunderstorms will develop over parts of the Western Ohio Valley by early Monday morning that will move to parts of the Tennessee Valley and the Central/Southern Appalachians as well as parts of the Southern Mid-Atlantic by Tuesday. Overnight Monday, rain will develop over parts of the Northern Mid-Atlantic into Tuesday.

A lingering front extending from parts of Northern California to the Northern High Plains/Central Rockies will be mainly stationary over the region through Tuesday. In addition, a plume of moisture from the Pacific will move into parts of Northern California that will move into Central California by Tuesday morning. Rain and highest elevation snow will develop from parts of Northern California/Pacific Northwest to the Northern High Plains through Monday morning and into Tuesday. On Monday, rain will expand into parts of Central California and into Southern California by Tuesday. Overnight Monday, snow will develop over the Sierras into Tuesday. Also by Tuesday morning, rain and snow will develop over parts of the Northern/Central Plains. 


SPRING BEGINS TODAY

Spring officially begins at 6:29 this morning. Meteorological Spring began on March 1st, and the spring that starts today is referred to as Astronomical Spring.

LOCAL OUTLOOK

.Dry high pressure will settle over the Southeast states through Monday. A cold front will approach the forecast area Tuesday into Wednesday, increasing chances for rain and thunderstorms. Cooler air will return behind the front to end the work week before another frontal system approaches the areA next weekend.

Weather Almanac for March 20th (1872-2016)

Record weather events for this date in Macon County

Highest Temperature 83°F in Franklin in 1968
Lowest Temperature 14°F in Franklin in 1956
Greatest Rainfall 2.61 inches in Highlands in 1901
Greatest Snowfall 8.5 inches in In Franklin in 1876

All the weather records for today in Macon County are at least 52 years old, and a couple of them are over a hundred years old!


THREE DAY OUTLOOK




TODAY

Sunny with highs in the lower 60s and winds out of the north west, shifting to coming out of the southwest by mid afternoon.


TONIGHT

Increasing clouds, becoming mostly cloudy before midnight. Lows in the upper 40s and winds out of the west 5 to 10 mph.



TUESDAY

Mostly cloudy with highs near the upper 60s and winds out of the west 5 to 10 mph. 40% chance of rain with thunderstorms possible in the afternoon.

TUESDAY NIGHT

Mostly cloudy with lows in the upper 40s and winds out of the northwest 5 to 10 mph. 70% chance of rain and thunderstorms.



WEDNESDAY

Mostly cloudy with highs in the upper 50s. 50% chance of rain.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT

Mostly cloudy with lows in the mid 30s.


HAZARDS

Hazardous Weather is not expected today.


As always, you can check to see what advisories, watches and warnings are in effect for Macon County by visiting http://is.gd/MACONWARN


MACON CALENDAR

If you have an event you wish to be added to this calendar, please send the information, along with a flyer in pdf format or a high quality photo, to editor@maconmedia.com
There is no charge for civic, educational or non profit groups.


BENEFIT 4 BRITTANY & DIANE

Saturday, March 25 at 5 PM - 9 PM
at Cartoogechaye Elementary School

Learn more about it on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1271875169584301/



CROWD FUNDING OR DAY SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

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.

Thank You to the people who have been sending in donations and those businesses who are underwriting coverage of news and events. You have kept Macon Media online. You have made it possible for Macon Media to begin purchasing state of the art equipment and begin work on building a real website with features not employed by any local news outlets.

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


Published at 4:12 am on March 20, 2017

#WNCscan #MaconWx #MaconSafety

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Daily Weather Briefing for Sunday, March 19, 2017




NATIONAL OVERVIEW

...Record warmth over much of the western U.S. expected to spread into the northern and southern Plains...

...Cold temperatures and wintry precipitation today across portions of the Northeast and northern Mid-Atlantic...

A mix of rain and snow is currently falling over portions of the Northeast and the interior mid-Atlantic into the western slopes of the central Appalachians and is forecast to continue through the day and into Monday morning. Snow will likely linger from Massachusetts to eastern Maine as the low pressure center deepens offshore and continues to track northward toward the Canadian Maritimes. Cold air filtering in behind the front will drop temperatures well below normal for much of the Eastern Seaboard on Monday before a moderating trend begins on Tuesday.

Across the West, a strong cold front will bring lower elevation rain and mountain snow across the Pacific Northwest over the next few days. A portion of the front is expected to become stationary, keeping the rain and snow across northern California, much of Oregon, the Great Basin, Intermountain West, and Northern Rockies today. The northern portion of this system will push through the Northern High Plains and Upper Midwest before sagging into the Central Plains on Monday. Showers and thunderstorms are forecast to initiate along and ahead of the advancing boundary, spanning from the Mid-Mississippi valley to the Great Lakes region by Monday morning then expanding eastward into the Tennessee/Ohio valleys and the Appalachians by late afternoon. Cold air trapped in some of the valleys of the northern Appalachians and northern New England could see resulted in snow or a wintry mix. Onshore flow in conjunction will another Pacific system approaching the West Coast will result in another round of widespread rain with possible higher elevation snow.

LOCAL NEWS



A 5K and benefit was held yesterday in Otto to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Otto Community Development Organization. A video and photo essay will be posted tomorrow.

LOCAL OUTLOOK

Dry high pressure will build into the region today, and settle over the Southeast states through Monday. Another cold front will approach the forecast area Tuesday into Wednesday, increasing chances for rain and thunderstorms.

Weather Almanac for March 19th (1872-2016)

Record weather events for this date in Macon County

Highest Temperature 82°F at the Coweeta Experimental Station in 2011
Lowest Temperature 12°F in Highlands in 1893
Greatest Rainfall 4.20 inches in Highlands in 1881
Greatest Snowfall 4.0 inches in Highlands in 1947




THREE DAY OUTLOOK




TODAY

Mostly sunny with highs near the lower 50s and winds out of the northwest 5 to 10 mph.


TONIGHT

Clear with lows near freezing and winds out of the northwest expected to become light and variable before midnight.



MONDAY

Sunny with highs near the lower 60s and winds out of the west.

MONDAY NIGHT

Partly cloudy with cloud cover increasing to mostly cloudy by midnight. Lows in the upper 40s and winds out of the west 5 to 10 mph.



TUESDAY (Severe thunderstorms possible)

Partly sunny with increasing clouds. Highs near the upper 60s and winds out of the west 5 to 10 mph. 50% chance of rain and thunderstorms, mainly in the afternoon. Some of the storms could be severe.

TUESDAY NIGHT

Mostly cloudy with lows near the upper 40s. Rain and thunderstorms expected, mainly before midnight.


HAZARDS

Hazardous Weather is not expected today.


As always, you can check to see what advisories, watches and warnings are in effect for Macon County by visiting http://is.gd/MACONWARN


MACON CALENDAR

If you have an event you wish to be added to this calendar, please send the information, along with a flyer in pdf format or a high quality photo, to editor@maconmedia.com
There is no charge for civic, educational or non profit groups.


BENEFIT 4 BRITTANY & DIANE

Saturday, March 25 at 5 PM - 9 PM
at Cartoogechaye Elementary School

Learn more about it on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1271875169584301/





CROWD FUNDING OR DAY SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

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.

Thank You to the people who have been sending in donations and those businesses who are underwriting coverage of news and events. You have kept Macon Media online. You have made it possible for Macon Media to begin purchasing state of the art equipment and begin work on building a real website with features not employed by any local news outlets.

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


Published at 5:12 am on March 19, 2017

#WNCscan #MaconWx #MaconSafety

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Daily Weather Briefing for Saturday, March 18, 2017




NATIONAL OVERVIEW

...Record warmth expected over much of the western U.S. as heavy snow moves across the northern Cascades...

...Cold and wintry precipitation expected to spread from the Great Lakes into the Northeast during the weekend...

An upper-level trough is forecast to deepen and dig southeastward across the Great Lakes and the mid-Atlantic states before moving off the coast on Sunday. Unseasonably cold air will once again overspread much of the northern and northeastern portions of the country along with a swath of wintry precipitation. A surface low pressure system is forecast to deepen rapidly as it moves off the mid-Atlantic coast Saturday night and should pass about a couple hundred miles off Cape Cod on Sunday. Much of the wintry precipitation in the Northeast should be tapering off on Sunday with the exception of Cape Cod where the storm could be close enough to produce a period of heavier snow along with strong gusty winds. Ahead of the trailing cold front, rain will be the primary precipitation type from mid-Atlantic southwestward through the mid and lower Mississippi Valley where some scattered thunderstorms are possible.

Out West, a progressive upper-level trough will usher in a strong cold front across the Pacific Northwest into the northern Rockies during the weekend. Temperatures ahead of the cold front are expected to reach record levels from the Desert Southwest through much of the Rockies on Saturday, spreading into the central Plains on Sunday. Behind the front, snow is expected to be heavy in the northern Cascades before tapering off later on Sunday. The front is forecast to become nearly stationary across the Intermountain West on Sunday with coastal/valley rains and higher elevation snows. Meanwhile, the northern portion of the front should continue to move steadily eastward into the northern Plains on Sunday with rain in the upper Midwest and possibly thunderstorms farther south in the Midwest.

LOCAL OUTLOOK

A cold front will move through the area this morning. Dry high pressure will overspread the region in the front's wake and persist into early next week. Another cold front is expected to approach the forecast area from the north by the middle of next week.

Weather Almanac for March 18th (1872-2016)

Record weather events for this date in Macon County

Highest Temperature 81°F in Franklin in 1982
Lowest Temperature 4°F in Highlands in 1902
Greatest Rainfall 5.30 inches in Highlands in 1884
Greatest Snowfall 1.50 inches in Highlands in 1958

The rainfall recorded in Highlands on this date in 1884 is also the state record for the date.


THREE DAY OUTLOOK




TODAY (Outdoor burning is not recommended due to high winds )

Patchy fog before 10 am. Cloudy early, gradually become mostly sunny b y 6 pm. Highs near the mid 60s. Winds start out the day about 5 mph from the northeast and will shift to come out of the northwest before noon. Winds will increase to 10 to 15 mph with wind gusts between 20 to 30 mph with winds peaking between 4 pm and 6 pm. Outdoor burning is not recommended due to the high winds.


TONIGHT

Partly cloudy with lows near 30 ans winds out of the northwest 10 to 15 mph, gusting to 20 mph.



SUNDAY

Sunny with highs near the upper 50s and winds out of the northwest.

SUNDAY NIGHT

Clear with lows near freezing and winds out of the northwest, calming before midnight.



MONDAY

Mostly sunny with highs near the mid to upper 60s.

MONDAY NIGHT

Partly cloudy with lows near the upper 40s.


HAZARDS

Hazardous Weather is not expected today.


As always, you can check to see what advisories, watches and warnings are in effect for Macon County by visiting http://is.gd/MACONWARN


MACON CALENDAR

If you have an event you wish to be added to this calendar, please send the information, along with a flyer in pdf format or a high quality photo, to editor@maconmedia.com
There is no charge for civic, educational or non profit groups.


BENEFIT 4 BRITTANY & DIANE

Saturday, March 25 at 5 PM - 9 PM
at Cartoogechaye Elementary School

Learn more about it on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1271875169584301/





CROWD FUNDING OR DAY SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

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.

Thank You to the people who have been sending in donations and those businesses who are underwriting coverage of news and events. You have kept Macon Media online. You have made it possible for Macon Media to begin purchasing state of the art equipment and begin work on building a real website with features not employed by any local news outlets.

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


Published at 2:25 am on March 18, 2017

#WNCscan #MaconWx #MaconSafety

Friday, March 17, 2017

Daily Weather Briefing for Friday, March 17, 2017




NATIONAL OVERVIEW

...Heavy snow possible over the Northern Cascades...

...Snow possible from the Upper Mississippi valley to parts of the Northern Mid-Atlantic and Northeast...

Snow... possibly with pockets of mixed precipitation... is forecast from the Upper Mississippi valley/Great Lakes region to the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast as a surface low pressure system tracks across the central U.S this weekend. Moisture from the Gulf of Mexico will stream into the Southern Plains and pool along the advancing front. Showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop along and ahead of the boundary as it passes through the Midwest/Mississippi valley into the Ohio/Tennessee valley/Appalachians. High pressure will slide into the Northern and Central Plains as the system continues to track toward the East Coast.

An upper-level trough will move inland over the Pacific Northwest today ushering in a plume of moisture to the Pacific Northwest. Coastal/valley rain and higher elevation snow over parts of the Pacific Northwest and eastward into parts of the Northern Rockies will continue over the next few days. Portions of the Cascades may observe heavy snowfall this weekend. Numerous flood watches and warnings are in effect across portions of the Great Basin and the Intermountain West.


LOCAL OUTLOOK

Cold high pressure will drift off the East Coast today, allowing temperatures to rebound over the weekend. A cold front will pass through the area on Saturday, followed by dry high pressure that will persist into early next week.

Weather Almanac for March 17th (1872-2016)

Record weather events for this date in Macon County

Highest Temperature 83°F in at the Coweeta Experimental Station in 1945
Lowest Temperature 11°F in Highlands in 1895
Greatest Rainfall 3.32 inches in Nantahala in 1973
Greatest Snowfall 10.0 inches in Nantahala in 1936

The highest temperature recorded in Macon County in the month of March was 86°F at the Coweeta Experimental Station on March 15, 1967.


THREE DAY OUTLOOK




TODAY (Outdoor burning is not recommended )

Partly sunny with highs near the mid to upper 50s. Winds will start the day calm, then shift to come from the south in the afternoon.


TONIGHT

Cloudy with lows near the lower 40s and winds out of the east. Fog is expected to develop around 5 am. Rain chances will increase from 20% at 6 pm to 60% around 6 am with rainfall amounts between a tenth and a quarter of an inch expected.



SATURDAY

Patchy fog in the morning. Cloudy with temperatures starting off in the lower 40s and clearing skies. Highs in the low to mid 60s. Winds will start out from the east 5 to 15 mph, shifting to come from the northwest and gusting to between 20 and 35 mph. A high wind field is expected to cross the county in the afternoon between 2 pm and 6 pm. 60% chance of rain, mainly before 10 am with rainfall amounts between a tenth and a quarter of an inch expected. Relative humidity levels are expected to drop below 30% in the afternoon.

SATURDAY NIGHT

Mostly clear with lows near 30 and winds out of the northwest 5 to 10 mph.



SUNDAY

Sunny with highs near the mid to upper 50s.

SUNDAY NIGHT

Clear with lows near freezing.


HAZARDS

Hazardous Weather is not expected today.


As always, you can check to see what advisories, watches and warnings are in effect for Macon County by visiting http://is.gd/MACONWARN


MACON CALENDAR

If you have an event you wish to be added to this calendar, please send the information, along with a flyer in pdf format or a high quality photo, to editor@maconmedia.com
There is no charge for civic, educational or non profit groups.


BENEFIT 4 BRITTANY & DIANE

Saturday, March 25 at 5 PM - 9 PM
at Cartoogechaye Elementary School

Learn more about it on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1271875169584301/





CROWD FUNDING OR DAY SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

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.

Thank You to the people who have been sending in donations and those businesses who are underwriting coverage of news and events. You have kept Macon Media online. You have made it possible for Macon Media to begin purchasing state of the art equipment and begin work on building a real website with features not employed by any local news outlets.

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


Published at 4:27 am on March 17, 2017

#WNCscan #MaconWx #MaconSafety

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Daily Weather Briefing for Thursday, March 16, 2017




NATIONAL OVERVIEW

...Remaining cold over the eastern U.S. with rain and snow for the northwestern U.S. states...

A quieter weather pattern has settled in across the eastern half of the nation now that the nor'easter has exited New England and weakened. A gradual moderating trend in temperatures is expected over the next few days as the arctic airmass retreats and milder air flows in from the west. Another cold front is forecast to track towards the East Coast by this weekend, but it won't be nearly as strong as the last front. A band of showers is likely along and ahead of this front from the southern Plains to the Mid-Atlantic region.

Out West, a Pacific front crossing the Intermountain West on Thursday will bring periods of rain and mountain snow to the Pacific Northwest and northern Rockies. This system is expected to reach the northern Plains and Upper Midwest by Friday morning, bringing rain for the middle Mississippi River valley, and a wintry mix across Wisconsin and Michigan. It will continue to stay warm and dry across the Desert Southwest through the end of the week.

LOCAL OUTLOOK

Cold Canadian high pressure will continue to bring below normal temperatures to our region until Friday when a warm front moves up from the south bring warmer temperatures. Temperatures will moderate ahead of another cold front which passes Saturday. Temperatures will be above normal in the first half of the upcoming week.


LOCAL NEWS

The Macon County Commissioners met for their regular monthly meeting for March 2017 Tuesday night. Full video and supporting documents are posted on the blog. [LINK] The commissioners recessed the meeting until 4:30 pm on Tuesday, March 21st. They will begin hearing budget presentations during that meeting.

Weather Almanac for March 16th (1872-2016)

Record weather events for this date in Macon County

Highest Temperature 80°F in at the Coweeta Experimental Station in 2002
Lowest Temperature 6°F in Franklin in 1916
Greatest Rainfall 4.10 inches in Franklin in 1880
Greatest Snowfall 3.3 inches in Highlands in 1915

The greatest one-day rainfall in Macon County was 21.15 inches, recorded in Highlands on July 19, 1879. It is also a state record for that day. Can you imagine what it would be like to receive that much rainfall in a day?


THREE DAY OUTLOOK




TODAY (Outdoor burning is not recommended )

Sunny with highs in the 40s and winds out of the northwest 5 to 10 mph. Gusts could be up to 25 mph this morning. Relative humidity levels will be below 30% this afternoon, so outdoor burning is not recommended.


TONIGHT

Mostly clear with lows near the mid 20s and winds out of the northwest 5 to 10 mph.



FRIDAY

Mostly sunny with increasing clouds and highs near the mid 50s and winds out of the southwest 5 to 10 mph.

FRIDAY NIGHT

Mostly cloudy with lows near the mid 40s and winds out of the southwest 10 to 15 mph. 50% chance of rain.



SATURDAY

Cloudy with decreasing clouds and highs near the upper 50s. Winds out of the west 15 to 20 mph, gusting to 35 mph. 70% chance of rain.

SATURDAY NIGHT

Mostly clear and breezy with lows near 30.


HAZARDS

Hazardous Weather is not expected today.


As always, you can check to see what advisories, watches and warnings are in effect for Macon County by visiting http://is.gd/MACONWARN


MACON CALENDAR

If you have an event you wish to be added to this calendar, please send the information, along with a flyer in pdf format or a high quality photo, to editor@maconmedia.com
There is no charge for civic, educational or non profit groups.


BENEFIT 4 BRITTANY & DIANE

Saturday, March 25 at 5 PM - 9 PM
at Cartoogechaye Elementary School

Learn more about it on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1271875169584301/





CROWD FUNDING OR DAY SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

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.

Thank You to the people who have been sending in donations and those businesses who are underwriting coverage of news and events. You have kept Macon Media online. You have made it possible for Macon Media to begin purchasing state of the art equipment and begin work on building a real website with features not employed by any local news outlets.

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


Published at 4:13 am on March 16, 2017

#WNCscan #MaconWx #MaconSafety

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Daily Weather Briefing for Wednesday, March 15, 2017




SCHOOL DELAYS

Franklin and Nantahala area schools are on a two hour delay today, March 15th.

NATIONAL OVERVIEW

...Heavy snow possible over Northern New England...

...Heavy rain possible over parts of the Northwest Coast...

...Temperature will be 10 to 25 degrees below average over most of the eastern third of the country...

Deep low pressure along New England Coast will slowly move northeastward into the Canadian Maritimes by Thursday morning. The storm will produce snow from the Lower Great Lakes/Central Appalachians eastward to the Northern Mid-Atlantic Coast and the Northeast Coast with heavy snow over parts of Northern New England into Upstate New York. The heavy snow will slowly tapper off by Wednesday morning over Upstate New York and Northern New England. Light scatted snow will continue over parts of Northern New England into parts of Northern Mid-Atlantic on Wednesday afternoon, that will slowly retreat to parts of the Northern New England by Thursday morning. On Wednesday morning, upper-level energy rotating around the associated upper-level low, over the Northeast, will aid in producing light snow over parts of the Northern Mid-Atlantic Coast Wednesday afternoon into late Wednesday night. Additionally, cold air rotating around the storm will aid in producing lake effect snow south of Lakes Michigan through Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, a front just off the Northwest Coast will move inland to the Northern High Plains to Northern California by Thursday. A plume of moisture associated with the boundary will stream into the Pacific Northwest that will slowly move southward to Northern/Central California Wednesday night into Thursday. The system will produce rain as far inland as the Northern Intermountain Region/Northern Rockies through Wednesday morning into Wednesday afternoon. On Wednesday morning, the storm's associated upper-level trough will begin to move onshore over the Northwest. The snow levels will start to lower on Wednesday evening into Thursday as snow begins to develop over the Northern Cascades and the Northern Rockies. Furthermore, rain will begin to move into parts of Northern California on Wednesday morning. 


LOCAL NEWS

Five years ago today, a pilot and four passengers perished in an accident at the Macon County Airport. Macon Media coverage of the accident is on the blog [LINK]. The FAA report can be read on the FAA website. [LINK]

LOCAL OUTLOOK

Cold Canadian high pressure will continue to bring below normal temperatures to our region through Thursday night. Some of the coldest air in weeks is expected Wednesday night. Another low pressure system will approach the area on Saturday. Expect seasonably mild temperatures over the weekend.

Weather Almanac for March 15th (1872-2016)

Record weather events for this date in Macon County

Highest Temperature 86°F in at the Coweeta Experimental Station in 1967
Lowest Temperature -5°F in Franklin in 1993
Greatest Rainfall 4.01 inches in Highlands in 1912
Greatest Snowfall 1.0 inches in Highlands in 1960

Greatest Snowfall in one day recorded in Macon County was 25.5 inches at the Coweeta Experimental Station on March 13, 1993


THREE DAY OUTLOOK




TODAY (Outdoor burning is not recommended )

Sunny with highs near freezing and wind chills in the 20s. Winds will be out of the northwest 10 to 15 mph, with gusts in the range of 25 to 30 mph as a wind field crosses Macon County between 6 am and 6 pm today. Relative humidity will be below 30% between noon and 6 pm, so combined with the winds, outdoor burning is not recommended today.


TONIGHT

Clear with lows near the mid to upper teens and wind chills near the upper single digits and lower teens. Winds out of the northwest 5 to 10 mph.



THURSDAY

Sunny with highs near the upper 40s and winds out of the northwest near 10 mph.

THURSDAY NIGHT

Partly cloudy with lows near the mid 20s and winds out of the northwest, calming before midnight.



FRIDAY

Patchy frost before 8 am. Highs near the mid to upper 50s. 20% chance of precipitation, with snow showers possible until 10 am, when a changeover to rain is expected. Little or no accumulation is expected.

FRIDAY NIGHT

Mostly cloudy with lows near the upper 30s and a 40% chance of rain showers after 8 pm.



HAZARDS

High winds and low humidity will combine to make today a day that outdoor burning is not recommended. Winds will also be a little high today. A wind field will be crossing Macon County from around 6 am today until 6 pm tonight. There may be scattered power outages as limbs or trees fall on power lines. IF you're driving or hiking in the high country, be on the lookout for falling limbs. If you see a downed power line, please do not attempt to touch it. Call 911 if there is fire or a life safety issue.

HOW TO REPORT AN ELECTRICAL OUTAGE

Duke Energy

Call 800.769.3766 or in Spanish 866.4.Apagón (866.427.2466).

If you see a fallen power line or safety hazard, call Duke Energy at 800.Power.On (800.769.3766) or in Spanish 866.4.Apagón (866.427.2466) or contact your local emergency services immediately. Do not touch a power line or anything in contact with it and keep others away until help arrives.

Haywood EMC

To report or inquire about power outages, call 1-800-951-6088


As always, you can check to see what advisories, watches and warnings are in effect for Macon County by visiting http://is.gd/MACONWARN


MACON CALENDAR

If you have an event you wish to be added to this calendar, please send the information, along with a flyer in pdf format or a high quality photo, to editor@maconmedia.com
There is no charge for civic, educational or non profit groups.


BENEFIT 4 BRITTANY & DIANE

Saturday, March 25 at 5 PM - 9 PM
at Cartoogechaye Elementary School

Learn more about it on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1271875169584301/





CROWD FUNDING OR DAY SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

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.

Thank You to the people who have been sending in donations and those businesses who are underwriting coverage of news and events. You have kept Macon Media online. You have made it possible for Macon Media to begin purchasing state of the art equipment and begin work on building a real website with features not employed by any local news outlets.

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


Published at 3:56 am on March 15, 2017

#WNCscan #MaconWx #MaconSafety

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Regular March 2017 Meeting
Macon County Commissioners


The Macon County Commissioners will be having the regularly scheduled monthly meeting tonight in the Commissioners Boardroom on the third floor of the Macon County Courthouse at 6:00 pm. If you wish to attend in person, please be there at least 15 minutes or more early if you want a seat. 

Video will be added here sometime Wednesday. Patreon supporters will have early access to the video once it is published.






MEDIA ROLL CALL
(media outlets with reporters/photographers present)

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

ELECTED CRITTERS
(people not serving on the board who were present)

Sheriff Robert Holland (first part of meeting)




Supporting documents are posted below in the interest of promoting transparency and participation in local government.



MACON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
MARCH 14, 2017
AGENDA

1. Call to order and welcome by Chairman Tate

2. Announcements
    (A) Presentation to Commissioner Higdon

3. Moment of Silence

4. Pledge of Allegiance

5. Public Hearing(s)

6. Public Comment Period

7. Additions to agenda

8. Adjustments to and approval of the agenda

9. Reports/Presentations
    (A) Cooperative Extension Annual Report - Alan Durden
    (B) Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) regarding colon cancer awareness - Lynn Wright
    (C) FInancial analysis and capital improvements - Davenport & Company LLC
    (D) Building a Recovery Community - Christy Newell Wyatt
    (E) Litter - Jerry Anselmo

10. Old Business

11. New Business
    (A) Foster Care Social Work position - DSS Director Patrick Betancourt
    (B) Letter of approval for Smoky Mountain Relay - County Manager

12. Consent Agenda - Attachment #12
      All items below are considered routine and will be enacted in one motion. No separate discussion will be held on request of a member of       the Board of Commissioners.

    (A) Minutes of the February 14, 2017 regular meeting and the February 16, 2017 continued session
    (B) Budget Amendments #136-138
    (C) Tax Releases

13. Appointments
    (A) Board of Equalization and Review (5 seats)
    (B) Library Board (3 seats)
    (C) Review Officer
    (D) List of upcoming appointments - Deputy Clerk

14. Closed Session (if necessary)

15. Recess until Tuesday, March 21, 2017 (at a specific time to be determined by the board) in the commission boardroom located on the third floor of the Macon County Courthouse, 5 West Main Street, Franklin, NC.






Play by play
(the timeline will be replaced after the meeting with tweets presented in chronological order)






AGENDA PACKET







CROWD FUNDING OR DAY SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES



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. 

Thank You to the people who have been sending in donations and those businesses who are underwriting coverage of news and events. You have kept Macon Media online. You have made it possible for Macon Media to begin purchasing state of the art equipment and begin work on building a real website with features not employed by any local news outlets.

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


Published at 1:11 pm on March 14, 2017


The 2017 State of the State Address



North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has delivered his first State of the State Address before a joint session of the North Carolina Legislature in Raleigh.

A full video of the State of the State Address and the Republican Response are posted below.



The State of the State Address



Transcript

Mr. Speaker, Mr. President Pro Tem, Members of the General Assembly, Council of State, Judiciary and my Cabinet and fellow North Carolinians:

            The North Carolina Constitution directs the governor come to the legislature, to and I quote, “give to the General Assembly information of the affairs of the State and recommend to their considerations such measures as he shall deem expedient” end quote.

            Our Constitution mandates that we work together to make North Carolina better, and it charges the governor to participate in the legislative process. That constitutional directive, and your kind invitation, is why I come tonight.

            I didn’t come alone. In the gallery are four strong women whom I thank for their never-ending love and support: First Lady, Kristin Cooper, and my daughters Hilary, Natalie and Claire.

            I want to begin by reporting to you that the state of our state is promising.

            It is promising because of our universities and community colleges, because of our farms and factories, our Research Triangle Park, our banking headquarters, but most of all because of the hardworking people of this state who want it to succeed.       

            North Carolina is one of the fastest-growing states in America. By 2025, we will have one million more residents. Many of these people will come to North Carolina because we are the state of promise.

            People come because of the climate. The mountains and coast. The schools and higher education. They come because of good jobs and opportunity. And people come to our state for the promise of a great life and of good communities. And when they come here, they are welcomed.

            There is warmth in the nodding of heads as we walk down the sidewalk. There is a welcoming handshake at the ball field. There are the open arms of entire communities welcoming home veterans who served our country. Our people are welcoming.

            Our people are welcoming. 

            But some of our laws are not. 

            I’m going to say this first thing because of the urgency and to go ahead and get it out of the way. Tonight, I call on the legislature once again to repeal House Bill 2. The law has damaged our state. The legislature must erase this law from our books. Pass a clean repeal of HB2 and I will sign it the same day.

            Pass a compromise repeal that works to eliminate discrimination and brings back jobs, sports and entertainment and I will sign it – as long as it truly gets the job done.

            I also raise this issue at the beginning because HB2 is the dark cloud hanging over our state of promise. It drains the energy from what should be our work for the people of this state.           

            Citizens from Cherokee to Chocowinity are sick of it and they are wondering when we’re going to cut away this heavy anchor weighing us down. Let’s do it this week. It’s time to move on. 

            HB2 might be a dark cloud, but even the darkest clouds blow over, and I believe we are a state of promise at our core.

            Being elected to serve the people of every county, every city, every legislative district, and every community in between helps me realize just how big and diverse our state really is.

            It also demands that we listen to the concerns of the people who will hold us accountable, whether they voted for us or not.

            I bring their concerns to you today, boiled down this way: I want North Carolinians to be better educated, healthier and have more money in their pockets.

            Too many people feel stuck in the middle – not wealthy by any measure, but doing just well enough that the social safety net isn’t there for them. They feel left behind by a system that isn’t listening to them and an economy that isn’t rewarding them for their hard work.

            The budget I shared two weeks ago reflects the priorities of North Carolina’s hard-working people. It contains no increase in taxes. It rejects the false “either/or” choice of either saving or investing. Instead, my budget puts hundreds of millions of dollars in our rainy day fund while committing to a future of growth.

            I call this budget “Common Ground Solutions” because it contains many areas of agreement.

            In Raleigh, partisan battles, power struggles and lawsuits might grab the headlines, but we have to work together where we can. To look beyond ourselves to see what’s right for the state, regardless of who’s in power.

            That’s what the people of North Carolina want us to do, and what common sense demands us to do. So let’s get to work.

            Job recruitment, raising teacher pay, fighting the opioid crisis, boosting our infrastructure and recovering from natural disasters that have damaged our communities. These are areas where we already agree more than we disagree. These tasks don’t come with a party label for a reason. They are priorities we all share.

            Let me first address making North Carolinians better educated. As I have traveled the width and breadth of North Carolina, it doesn’t matter where I am or who I’m talking to, people want us to make education better.               

            When I’m recruiting a business to come here - to your legislative districts, the first thing they ask is whether North Carolina has the workers skilled enough to fill the jobs they create.

            Improving education is an area where we can find common ground. We have to measure our progress and hold ourselves accountable.

            That’s why I’ve laid out aggressive goals to make North Carolina a Top Ten Educated State by 2025 – emphasizing early childhood education, increasing enrollment in pre-kindergarten, improving our high school graduation rate and increasing the percentage of adults with a higher education degree.

            My budget creates nearly 4,700 additional Pre-Kindergarten slots to eliminate the wait-list of at-risk four year olds. Getting more kids in pre-K means they’ll arrive at school ready to learn. It’s the foundation for a lifetime of success, showing economic and health benefits well beyond their pre-K years. And it allows both parents to stay in the workforce, a necessity for many North Carolina families.

            Top CEOs in our state are promoting early childhood education because they know it makes a difference.  Research proves that investing in quality early childhood education generates high returns, where $1 of investment yields $7 in return or even higher.

            To help families afford the cost of quality childcare, I’m also proposing that we reinstate the Child Care and Dependent Tax Credit, which also applies to those caring for aging parents.

            As our children move from early childhood to grade school, we entrust our teachers with their futures every single day. Let’s put our money where our trust is and raise teacher salaries.

            My plan gives an average 10% raise over the next two years. On this pace, we can bring teacher salaries up to best in the Southeast in three years and to at least the national average in five years.

            And my budget gives every single teacher a raise, valuing the experienced teachers as well as those new to the job.

            Wendell Tabb, with us here tonight, is a 30-year veteran teacher in Durham whose experience in the classroom is a benefit for his students, and other teachers. Wendell is here representing thousands of veteran teachers who are making education better.

            Thanks for all you do, Wendell!

            Despite paychecks stretched too thin already, our teachers often dip into their own pockets to buy basic school supplies. Wake County teacher Jasmine Lauer, who is here with us tonight, is all too familiar with this crunch. She wants her students to have everything they need. For her, that means buying books for her students online, one at a time, until they eventually have a full set. Jasmine represents so many selfless teachers who want their students to have what they need. Thanks for your sacrifice, Jasmine!

            My budget proposes an annual $150 supply bonus to help teachers cover the cost of supplies. It won’t cover everything, but it’s a tangible sign of our appreciation and respect.

            We’re also joined tonight by Sabrina Peacock, a teacher from Guilford County. Sabrina entered the classroom as a North Carolina Teaching Fellow and today teaches 3rd grade at Oak Hill Elementary, a Title One school, working to ensure that every student has access to a quality education.

            We must recruit our best students to become teachers. That’s why my budget would create $10,000 Best and Brightest scholarships for students who commit to spending three to four years in the classroom, like Sabrina did. I understand some legislators want to do this, too. Let’s find common ground so we can get more of these great teachers. Thanks for bringing your talents to the teaching profession, Sabrina!

            In my talks with business owners, I hear time and again that they have job openings, but can’t find workers with the skills necessary to fill them.

            We know the problem and we have the answer: educated workers with high-tech critical thinking skills, earned at our high schools, community colleges and universities.

            To give people in the middle class more opportunity to afford higher education, let’s pass a workforce program we call NC GROW - Getting Ready for Opportunities in the Workforce. It means free community college—a scholarship to cover last-dollar tuition and fees for recent high school graduates to attend a North Carolina community college.

            To earn it, young people have to make good grades and apply for already-existing scholarships, loans and grant programs. It’s an idea that Republican and Democratic governors alike have supported in other states. We can make it a bipartisan reality here in North Carolina.

            Yes, there’s a price tag on these investments in education. But now that the economy is rebounding, it’s time to make smart, strategic investments in our people.

            We cannot sacrifice education at the altar of even more corporate tax cuts or giveaways that are mostly for the wealthiest. Changes to our tax code need to focus on relief for working families – not corporations and millionaires.

            Next, let’s work together to get more money in the pockets of North Carolina families by bringing and growing more good-paying jobs to our state and to your legislative districts.

            One of the most important steps that the legislature can take is to fund our education budget. An educated workforce is a competitive workforce, and companies are in a global search for talent. Let’s take advantage of our intellectual capital.

            There are other strategic steps we can take to make our state more competitive – funding to prepare mega-sites to attract large-scale, advanced manufacturing.

            Workforce technical training that is more nimble and customized to what companies say they need.

            Encouraging more people to get into high-paying trades, like plumbing and electrical work, or medical research and high tech engineering.

            Incentives to bring the film industry back to North Carolina. Initiatives to harness the innovation and entrepreneurship happening right now at our world-class universities and in our cities.

            Encouraging renewable energy which is already bringing good jobs to our state.

            Providing help for small business. And a focus on rural broadband access, which is a must for economic success in our rural communities. We cannot leave them behind.

            Tonight we’re joined by Charlotte Vick. Vick Family Farms in Wilson has expanded its sweet potato crops in recent years and is rapidly increasing production to meet global demand, including building a new 50,000 square foot packaging facility.

            Sixty percent of Vick Family Farms’ customer base is overseas and access to broadband internet has allowed the company to compete, manage shipments, and grow their business.

            We must do more to help rural small businesses and family farms grow. High-speed broadband access is key to their success, in fact, a necessity, in a global marketplace. Thanks for your hard work and innovation, Charlotte!

            Finally, our economy is recovering. But our unemployment rate is still 5.3 percent, the same as last January, and that is still slightly above the national average. Meanwhile, our Unemployment Trust Fund has grown to more than two billion dollars.

            That’s good. But we must use this opportunity and these funds to help for those who can’t find work, while also taking a deeper look at those who are chronically unemployed.

            The Governor and the legislature need to work together to get better-paying jobs for North Carolina. We have good opportunities to make that happen in the coming months.

            We also need to see that North Carolinians are healthier. While we’ve made progress in getting more people health insurance, we still have an alarming gap in coverage that we’re all paying for with high-priced indigent care.                       

            Yet there’s a new healthcare landscape in our country, filled with uncertainty. We have to sit down and have serious discussions about improving access to care for people who don’t have it.

            Most of these are people who work hard but find it tough to afford to see a doctor. We also have rural hospitals that struggle to stay open and provide good health care across the state.

            If we work together, we can improve the health of thousands of North Carolinians.

            One of the most frightening developments in our country and state is the opioid and substance abuse crisis. It threatens lives, rips apart families and can create a shortage of qualified workers.

            In my hometown of Nashville, North Carolina, Police Chief Tom Bashore is working to combat this addiction crisis. Last February, Chief Bashore and the Nashville Police Department launched the “Hope Initiative,” the first program in North Carolina encouraging opioid addicts to walk into a police station seeking treatment without fear of arrest.

            Recognizing that addiction is a disease, Chief Bashore has engaged with the community to eliminate the stigma surrounding opioid addiction and encourage addicts to seek treatment. He knows that prevention is part of strong and effective law enforcement. I’m proud to have Chief Bashore join us here tonight. We must support his work and the work of those offering treatment in communities across our state. Thanks, Chief!

            My budget directs mental health and law enforcement funding in a multi-pronged approach to combat the substance abuse crisis. This is an area where we must find common ground to help our friends and neighbors gripped by addiction.

            Being healthy also means clean air and water. An emphasis on renewable energy can achieve that, and it will help our economy sustain good-paying jobs. We’ve seen the positive results already.

            Finally, I urge cooperation as we work to rebuild the thousands of homes, businesses, schools and roads damaged by last year’s storms. No solution is as easy or as quick as we want it to be, but I pledge to continue working with North Carolina’s Congressional delegation and you in the General Assembly to help residents rebuild in those 50 hard-hit counties.

            We have made progress in a few key categories that I am pleased to report to you tonight. In just the past couple of months, we’ve been able to repair and reopen more than 100 roads, and help hundreds of families return home or find other places to live.

            But nearly 600 households are still in need of permanent housing. We will not forget these families, and must keep working together to help them.

            One thing that has become clear during the disaster recovery is the lack of affordable, available housing in eastern North Carolina that has hindered relocation efforts. That’s why I am asking you to work with me to restore allowing the use of federal money for housing so we can start to build our way out of this affordable housing shortage.

            Tonight, we have a remarkable young lady with us who represents the very best of our state’s resilient spirit. In 2015, before the storm, 12-year-old Mackenzie Hinson, from Grantham, founded “Make A Difference Food Pantry” to help people in her community. After the devastation of Hurricane Matthew, Mackenzie and her volunteers went into overdrive. Following the hurricane, her pantry’s shelves were empty and friends and family members lost homes.

            But Mackenzie and her team were not deterred. With the help of businesses and volunteers, they restocked and got to work.

            After Hurricane Matthew, Make A Difference Food Pantry was open for 42 straight days, serving 6,914 hot meals and distributing food boxes and toiletry items to over 8,000 people in Wayne, Johnston, and Sampson counties.

            Mackenzie, thank you for being here tonight and for being an inspiration. By following your example, we will rebuild our communities and be a stronger state than ever. Good work, Mackenzie!

            Serving the people of North Carolina is the honor of my lifetime.

            Standing in this well tonight, I’m reminded of my years in these seats, serving with Democratic and Republican governors who worked together to solve problems.

            You make the decision to sacrifice your privacy, time with family and in some cases, your income, to be here. For that, I salute you.

            When we take the oath of office, we take on the weight of tremendous responsibility. A responsibility to uphold our constitution, in voting laws, in classrooms, in health care. To act in the best interest of the people who elected us. To leave North Carolina better than we found it.

            To do that, we must put politics aside and work together.  And in order to maintain North Carolina as a state of promise, I will make a few promises.

            I promise to listen, to engage, to build consensus, to compromise when possible. I promise to fight only when we can’t come to agreement or when you leave me no choice. I promise to make sure state government employs people who look like the people it represents.

            To find the common ground we seek, let’s listen to North Carolinians urging us to set aside divisive social issues and political power struggles. Instead, let’s focus on teacher pay and jobs — the issues families face and talk about every day around their kitchen tables.

            Back in the late 1990s, this House was controlled by Republicans while I was in the Senate, controlled by Democrats. We disagreed and fought. And I spent many late nights here, talking and negotiating. But we found common ground on raising teacher salaries to the national average. We found common ground on expanding Smart Start and cutting taxes for the middle class. Republicans and Democrats can find common ground if we work on it.

            We can find common ground on education. We can find common ground on health care and the opioid epidemic. We can find common ground on raising the juvenile age. We will find common ground on jobs, economic development and further hurricane and wildfire recovery. We will find this agreement because too much is at stake if we don’t.

            The people of North Carolina are watching us. Over the next few months, let’s fulfill our promise and demonstrate to North Carolina and beyond, that there is enough room for all of us on that common ground. God bless you, our country, and the great state of North Carolina.


The Republican Response



Transcript

“Good evening. This is the second time I’ve had the privilege to give the Republican response to a Democratic governor’s State of the State address.

“Six years ago, Republicans had just assumed leadership of the General Assembly for the first time in more than a century. Former Speaker and current U.S. Senator Thom Tillis and I stood before you then to chart a new course for our state. Our vision was simple: trust more in the people of North Carolina, not in the institutions of government. This is what we said:

“There are new majorities and 43 new lawmakers in this General Assembly.

“The state of our economy is grim. And North Carolina faces serious challenges.

“But instead of maintaining the status quo, and continuing the failed policies that got us in this mess, we’re working to usher in a new era of government responsibility and accountability.

“For far too long, decision-making in these halls has been driven by the belief that government has all the answers…and government can fix almost any problem.

“Republicans have a better plan. House and Senate Republicans are passing legislation that empowers citizens to make their own decisions about health care, create their own wealth, control their own education, and pave their own way to a brighter future.

“You’ve heard politicians promise to curb government growth and return money to taxpayers before. But I want you to imagine something with me for a moment:

“Suppose a group of candidates launched a campaign promising to do some very big, very different, and very bold things. A platform guided by the simple maxim: ‘That government is best which governs least.’

“These candidates are crystal clear about the direction they want to take the state.

“And when they get elected, they immediately start doing exactly what they said they’d do.

“As promised, they slash the unemployment rate in half by empowering the private sector to create half a million new jobs.

“They stop spending and borrowing beyond their means. They prioritize what matters most, like public education. They turn a $2.5 billion deficit into a half billion dollar surplus.

“They pay back a $2.7 billion unemployment insurance debt to the federal government.

“They dramatically cut taxes and move their state’s tax climate from 44th to 11th best in the nation – because they believe citizens and job creators are better stewards of their own money than politicians.

“They invest generously in the state’s depleted rainy day fund, so they will be well-prepared for recessions or natural disasters.

“They tackle the affordability of college. They guarantee no tuition increases during a student’s four years at state universities and cut the cost of tuition to just $500 per semester at three campuses – because they understand a college degree gives people the freedom to pursue their dreams.

“They put students first in public schools. And after years of teacher pay freezes and furloughs, they raise average teacher pay by more than fifteen percent in just three years.

“They expand public charter schools, create new education grants for children with learning disabilities and provide opportunity scholarships for low-income families, giving parents new freedom to choose schools that best fit the needs of their children.

“And they develop a Read to Achieve Program to improve student literacy. Because they know a society that fails to teach a child how to read by the end of 3rd grade fails to give that child the most important tool for success.

“And the state’s reading scores and graduation rates rise.

“Think about that.

“What would you think about a group of elected officials who kept those promises?

“And then, those promises worked.

“Because in the last six years, that is exactly what House and Senate Republicans have accomplished in our state.

“If anyone but Republicans had accomplished all of this, the press would herald North Carolina as a national success story.

“Instead, the institutions of the Left – the press, the Democratic Party, and liberal special interests – have ginned up great controversy and false outrage. They organize vulgar rallies and protests. They disrupt public meetings. They attempt to sabotage our state’s economy and put regular North Carolinians out of business.

“They call Republicans ignorant, dishonest, immoral, racist, bigoted, anti-women, anti-voter, anti-education – even treasonous.

“They call their neighbors who vote conservatives into office stupid, uninformed, dupes, and deplorables.

“Tonight we heard the Left’s new champion – Roy Cooper – push their vision for the future of North Carolina.

“Except it is not a vision for the future of North Carolina at all – it’s a mirage. It’s merely a retreat to our troubled past.

“What the press will undoubtedly praise as a return to a golden age is in reality a step back to out-of-control spending, back to high taxes, back to blindly throwing money at an education bureaucracy that fails to put students first. It is, ultimately, a step back to rising unemployment rates and joblessness.

“Across the state, Republican legislators received hundreds of thousands more votes than their Democratic opponents. Yet Roy Cooper, who squeaked into office by a mere ten thousand votes, has treated his election as a mandate to fight Republicans rather than an opportunity to work together.

“Instead of seeking middle ground, he’s sued to block commonsense, popular reforms like Voter ID. And laws he doesn’t like, he simply ignores.

“Gov. Cooper talks often of compromise, but works behind the scenes to kill real compromises.

“Like he did in December, when he ordered Senate Democrats to vote against a repeal of House Bill 2. And like he did earlier this month when he slammed the door on a bipartisan state House proposal to repeal House Bill 2 supported by our state’s business community.

“Divisiveness and hyper-partisanship have diminished the public’s faith in their elected officials. And where there is opportunity to work with Gov. Cooper, we will be the first to extend a hand. But we need – and the voters expect – the governor to reciprocate.

“In closing, know that Speaker Tim Moore and I, together with House and Senate Republicans won’t allow North Carolina to move backwards. We will continue to trust you – not government – to make the best choices for your family. And we will continue to be guided by the principle: ‘That government is best which governs least.’

“Thank you. And may God bless the state of North Carolina.”





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Published at 10:01 am on March 14, 2017