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.


Photos from my photoblog.

nullspace for future use

nullspace for future use


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Macon County Board of Education March 2014 Meeting

Board of Education Title Card

The Macon County Board of Education met Monday night in Highlands for their regular March 2014 meeting. The full video and press kit from the meeting are below.

For those unwilling to sit through the full video, I have culled five excerpts (including the school calendar discussion) from the meeting and posted them below.

Excerpt #1: iPad Textbook Demo

Tim Burrell demonstrates the use of textbooks on iPads for the board members. 

Excerpt #2: Top 25% Discussion

The Macon County Board of Education members discuss how they are going to implement the pay increase for the top 25% of teachers in the district as mandated by the North Carolina General Assembly. The board has decided to identify the top 25% of teachers by a lottery.

Excerpt #3: Trailblaze Challenge Request Discussion

The Macon County Board of Education members discuss, and ultimately approve a request by the Trailblaze Challenge request to use an activity bus to transport hikers to Bartram Trail so they can participate in a charity event that is associated with the Make A Wish Foundation.

Excerpt #4: School Calendar for 2014-2015

The Macon County Board of Education members discuss and approve the school calendars for FY 2014-2014 for both the public schools and Macon Early College, copies of which are posted below for your convenience. Just be aware that they may be subject to change.

Macon County Schools FY 2014-2015 Approved Calendar

Macon Early College FY 2014-2015 Approved Calendar

Excerpt #5: MVI Outdoor Play Areas

The Macon County Board of Education members discuss how they are going to purchase and install playground equipment at Mountain View Intermediate School

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Macon County Airport Authority March 2014 Meeting

Macon County Airport Authority General Title Card

The Macon County Airport Authority met this afternoon amidst flurries for their March 2014 meeting. The video of the proceedings is posted below.

The board approved a budget to submit to the Macon County Commissioners to consider during their annual budget process. Here are the figures:



Legal Fees
Contract Services
Maintenance Supplies
Property/Bldg Maintenance
Telephone Expense
Property Insurance
Capital Equipment

Macon Media (me)
Macon County News

I try to include a media roll call in my coverage notes in order to help keep the local media present. If you see coverage of a meeting and the organization wasn't there, then they either got the information about what went on from a member of the board or by using other media organization's coverage of the meeting. If your media organization wishes to do a write up of this meeting based on my video, and you did not have a reporter present, please credit me in the story byline as "Information contributed by Bobby Coggins of"

I posted some of the photos I took before and during the meeting on Flickr.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Macon County Commissioners meet with SCC Board of Trustees

The Macon County Commissioners met last night in the Groves Center on the Siler Farm Road Campus of Southwestern Community College. I have the full video below and I have also cut it into segments for those who are only interested in a segment of the meeting. The last meeting of the county commissioners can be viewed by clicking here.

The agenda of the meeting:

6 P.M.
MARCH 18, 2014
1. Reconvene at the Cecil L. Groves Center on the Macon County campus of Southwestern Community College (SCC) and welcome by Chairman Corbin

2. Discussion regarding master plan for SCC Macon Campus - Dr. Don Tomas, President of SCC
  • Introductions
  • Overview of master plan and rationale
    • Groves Center
    • Public Safety Training Center (PSTC)
    • Annex
  • Discussion/question and answer session
  • Request for consideration of a Memorandum of Understanding between SCC and Macon County

3. Consideration of resolution honoring Robert "Bob" Carpenter

4. Consideration of lease for Highlands Road convenience center site

5. Consideration of engineering proposals for Parker Meadows Recreational Park

6. Consideration of architectural proposals for Parker Meadows Recreational Park

7. Adjourn

Here is the press kit that was distributed to members of the media:

Macon Media (me)
The Franklin Press
Macon County News

The videos:

Full Meeting

Video of the joint meeting between the Macon county Commissioners and the Southwestern Community College Board of Trustees that took place in the Groves Center on the SCC Siler Road Campus on March 18, 2014.

Part 1 Honoring Senator Bob and renewing the lease for the Highlands Convenience Center

Topics covered include:

Honoring the late Senator Bob Carpenter by voting to rename the Macon County Community Facilities Building after him.

The vote to renew the lease for the Highlands Road Convenience Center.

Part 2 Workforce Solutions seeks office space

Dale West and Jim MCMahon of the North Carolina Department of Commerce's Workforce Solutions (formerly known as the NC Employment Security Commission or Unemployment Office) approach the county commissioners for assistance in obtaining office space since the state of North Carolina will no longer be paying for their current office building ($4,000 a month).

Part 3 Parker Meadows Engineering Proposals

The Macon County Commissioners consider engineering proposals for the Parker Meadows Recreation Facility.

Part 4 The SCC Master Plan

The Southwestern Community College Board of Trustees present their Master Plan for the next 25 to 30 years to the Macon County Commissioners and lock down a 19 acre tract that is currently owned by Macon County for future expansion of the community college.

Here is a better copy of the video that Dr Tomas used as part of his presentation to the Commissioners:

Success in the New Economy from Brian Y. Marsh on Vimeo.

REACH of Macon County launches fundraising campaign to build new shelter

Front view of Proposed REACH Shelter
REACH Word Cloud

REACH of Macon County held a press conference yesterday afternoon to publicize the launch of a Capital Campaign to raise money to build a shelter that will, according to Bonnie Peggs, President of the Board of Directors, " provide a safe place for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault" to be away from their abuser while they learn how to break the cycle of violence.

The current shelter has 6 beds and the new shelter will provide 10 beds at a location closer to town and the REACH main offices will be located on the same property.

The cost of the project is estimated to be in the neighborhood of $1.2 million. The Board is applying for a grant from the Carolina Housing Finance Agency that will take care of around $900,000 and the Board will be raising around $300,000 locally for the project, which is being overseen by Andrea Anderson, Executive Director of REACH, and Cindy Trevathan, R.E.A.C.H. Board member and Secretary.

Construction of the facility is expected to begin this fall and the first residents will be accepted in September 2015. The architect is Ritter Architecture and the General Contractor will be Beale Construction. Both are local companies.

To learn more about the project and to contribute online, please visit the REACH of Macon County website.

Below is additional information that was provided by Board members before the press conference:

Monday, March 17, 2014

Town Hall Discussion Series Introduced at Press Conference

Joint Press Conference
Pictured (L-R) Matt Bateman, Patti McClure, Nancy Scott, Kristina Moe and Angela Moore

The League of Women Voters and Venture Local Franklin held a joint press conference at the town gazebo in downtown Franklin to introduce their upcoming Town Hall Discussion Series. The first topic will be a discussion about proposed designs for the new town gazebo. 

It will be held on March 31, 2014, beginning at 6pm in Tartan Hall on Church Street.

A copy of the press release (with full details) is below:

Macon County Republicans Hold 2014 Convention

2014 Convention of the Macon County Republican Party

On Saturday, the Macon County Republican Party held it's annual convention (video excerpts are posted below) at the Community Facilities Building on the Georgia Road. Some 160 people attended the event, socializing and meeting with candidates for various local and state offices. The musical group Blue Ridge performed a couple of songs in tribute of America and Congressman Mark Meadows and the Seniro Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court spoke to the standing room only crowd. The party recognized Richard and Kate Robb for their contributions of a life of service to the country and to the party.

During the precinct meetings, a record 68 people signed up to become delegates to the district and state conventions (there are only 40 allotted slots).

Party Chairman Carla Miller reminded everyone of the candidate forum that will be held in the community facilities building on Saturday, March 29th at 2pm and the grand opening of the new Republican party headquarters at 555 Depot Street at noon on April 1st.

Other events on the calendar are:

GEM Country Republican Women's Club Luncheon
Tuesday, March 18th at 11:15AM
Speaker: NC Court of Appeals Judge Donna Stroud

District 11 GOP Convention
Saturday, April 26th
Lunch: 11:00AM
Convention: 1:00PM
Tuscola High School in Waynesville, NC

North Carolina State GOP Convention
June 6th and 7th
Harrah's Casino, Cherokee, NC

Here are video excerpts of the convention:

I Introduction, Invocation and Musical Tribute to America

II Recognition of Richard and Kate Robb

III Remarks by Congressman Mark Meadows


Macon Media (me)
The Franklin Press (a reporter AND a photographer)

The other media outlets were absent from this event.

The Macon County Democratic Party will be holding their annual convention on Saturday, April 5th at 11am in the Macon County Courthouse. Macon Media plans on being their to cover this event also.

I have decided to start selling DVDs of events again in an effort to raise funds so I can replace aging and borrowed equipment that I use to record and process videos of the various meetings and events.

DVDs of this event are available. 
Please send a check or money order for $10 to:

Robert Coggins, Jr
39 Phillips Street, Suite #2
Franklin, NC 28734

Please indicate "Macon GOP 2014" in the memo section of the check or money order and I will send you a DVD in the mail.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Franklin Aldermen to hold special meeting on Tuesday, March 18th

Aldermen Meeting Agenda Title Card
The Franklin Town Board of Aldermen will be holding a special called meeting to discuss an offer to purchase the old town hall and town bridge improvements. The agenda is posted below. Due to a previously scheduled meeting of the Macon County Board of Commissioners with the SCC Board of Trustees, I will not be able to attend and record this meeting.

Town of Franklin Board of Aldermen

March 18, 2014
5:30 p.m.

1. Call to order- Mayor Bob Scott
2. Adoption of March 18, 2014 Proposed Agenda
3. Offer to purchase Old Town Hall- Town Manager Warren Cabe
4. Town Bridge Improvements- Town Manager Warren Cabe
5. Adjourn

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The League of Women Voters and Venture Local Franklin to announce details for the upcoming Community Town Hall Discussion Series at Monday Press Conference



WHO: League of Women Voters and Venture Local Franklin

WHAT: Press Conference to announce the upcoming Community Town Hall Discussion Series.

WHEN: Monday, March 17th, 11:00 AM

WHERE: The Gazebo in Downtown Franklin

WHY: Details for The Community Town Hall Discussion Series will be announced. The goal of this first discussion is to bring together ideas about the design and use of the gazebo.

INTERVIEWS: Organizers will be available to answer questions after the press conference.

Macon County Commissioners 03-11-2014

Macon county Commissioner March 11th Meeting

The Macon County Commissioners met Tuesday night for their regular monthly meeting.


The agenda and press kit for the meeting is posted below. I understand that Scribd has started charging people for the ability to download documents I have posted on that website, so I have included a link [right click to download PDF] to where you can download the document for free.

I posted a live text play by of the meeting on my Macon Media facebook page.

There will be another meeting of the commissioners as they meet with the SCC Board of Trustees on March 18th at 6pm in the conference room of the Cecil Groves Center on the SCC Campus to discuss the Master Plan for the expansion of the Southwestern Community College Campus.

MARCH 11, 2013
1. Call to order and welcome by Chairman Corbin

2. Announcements

3. Moment of Silence

4. Pledge of Allegiance

5. Public Hearing(s) - None

6. Public Comment Period

7. Adjustments to and approval of the agenda

8. Reports/Presentations
  • Update on Smoky Mountain Center activities - Shelly Foreman
  • Cooperative Extension Program Impact Report - Alan Durden, County Extension Director
  • Presentation of survey findings by Mission Critical Partners

9. Old Business

  • Consideration of N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Project Agreement
  • Agreement with Appalachian Tree
  • Resolution regarding transfer of playground equipment to Macon Middle School
  • Consideration of resolution honoring Robert (Bob) Carpenter

10. New Business

  • Requests from J&B Disposal - Bonita Hamstra, President
    • Lease renewal for Highlands Road convenience center site
    • Rate increase for residential trash service
    • Franchise extension
  • Request for funding from Macon Program for Progress - Chuck Sutton and Garry Roper
  • Consideration of proclamation declaring Macon County as a Purple Heart County

11. Consent Agenda - Attachment #11

    All items below are considered routine and will be enacted by one motion. No separate discussion will be held except on request of a member of the Board of Commissioners.
  • Minutes of the February 11th and February 18th meetings
  • Budget Amendment #105
  • Tax Releases
  • Tax Refunds
  • Macon County Public Health Fee
  • Monthly ad valorem tax collection report

12. Appointments

  • Board of Equalization for 2014
  • Macon County Heritage Center Advisory Board (1 seat)

13. Closed session

  • Attorney-client privilege per NCGS 143-318.11(a)(3)

14. Recess until Tuesday, March 18, 2014 to the boardroom of the Cecil L. Groves Center on the Macon County campus of Southwestern Community College, 44 Siler Farm Road, Franklin, NC 28734 (Starting time to be determined)

Here is a brief slideshow of photos I took during the meeting.

View the slide show on Photobucket.

Strong winds knock out power to over 700 in Macon County
Duke Energy estimates power restoration by 4pm today

WNC Power Outages for March 13th

Strong winds last night knocked out power to over 700 people in Macon County and around 3,000 people in surrounding counties.

Duke Energy estimates they will have the power restored to most of these locations by 4pm today.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Victor Drummond Withdraws Challenge to Gary Shields Candidacy

**UPDATE** 11:53AM

Victor Drummond is withdrawing his challenge to the candidacy of Gary Shields, candidate for one of the two seats in the District II County Commissioner race.

Challenge to Haven's Candidacy Fails

Haven Challenge

The Macon County Board of Elections met yesterday to consider a challenge to the eligibility of Macon County Commissioner Ron Haven to run in the District II race for county commissioner issued by Charles "Scoon" Nichols.

After the hearing, the board voted 3-0 that Ron Haven did indeed maintain a domicile in the district. A brief video of just the decision is below:


Full video of the entire proceeding and a copy of the paperwork filed by Nichols is below:


A similar hearing will be held this coming Tuesday, March 18th, in Courtroom 4A on the fourth floor of the Macon County Courthouse to hear a challenge issued by Victor Drummond to the candidacy of Gary Shields to run in the same district. A second hearing relating to the challenge issued by Charles nichols against Ron Haven has been scheduled immediately thereafter. I will post the official notice when it becomes available from the Macon County Board of Elections.

**UPDATE** 11:53AM 

Victor Drummond is withdrawing his challenge to the candidacy of Gary Shields, candidate for one of the two seats in the District II County Commissioner race.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

One Person Dead After Stabbing on Kirkland Road

Kirkland Road Stabbing

One man is dead, another in custody after a caller reported a fight that was still in progress when they called 911. First Responders from the Franklin Fire Department and two ambulances from the Macon County EMS Franklin Base responded to the call and entered the scene after the scene was secured by officer of the Macon County Sheriff's Department.

No names have been released and here is the initial audio of the radio traffic of the call. There have been no edits for time.

More information will be released as it becomes available.
Some people have indicated the audio embed is not showing for them, so clink this link to see the player on another website.

Updated at 3:53pm to include radio call signs and radio codes

Guide for call signs used in this call:

MAMA-1 Medical Air Ambulance stationed at Memorial Mission

MAMA-2 Medical Air Ambulance stationed at Angel Community Hospital
Medic-4 and Medic-11 are Macon County EMS Ambulances
5700 units are Macon County Sheriff Officers
1100 units are Firefighters of the Franklin Fire Department

Radio Codes Used:

Code 4 means CPR is in Progress
10-17 Enroute

10-18 Urgent
10-23 On Scene
10-40 Fight
10-72 Subject in Custody
10-82 Firearm (some dispatchers use it to mean any weapon, including knives)

Updated at 5:53 pm. The Sheriff's Department released a statement at 5:29pm on their facebook page, but it contains no real new information beyond what I posted here a couple of hours ago.

It reads:

MCSO is on scene at a Kirkland Road residence after calls to 911 reported an altercation involving a knife. Upon arrival, deputies were able to locate the two individuals involved in the altercation. First Responders from the Franklin Fire Department and MCSO deputies immediately rendered aid to one of the individuals who later died from his injuries. The investigation is ongoing and at this time the MCSO is not looking for any additional suspects.

Here is an embed of the facebook post:   

Update 6:35pm

Adam Hensley has been arrested and charged with the murder of Larry Wilt, both of Franklin. Hensley is currently being held without bond at the Macon County Detention Center.

Update 7:15pm

The Sheriff Department has finally gotten around to posting an update. It reads:

Sheriff Robert Holland confirms that 1st Degree Murder charges have been filed against Adam Lee Hensley age 31 of Franklin in the death of Larry Nelson Wilt. Mr. Wilt was found earlier today at a Kirkland Road residence after someone called 911 reporting a fight involving a knife. Wilt was found by deputies and first responders on the front porch area unresponsive and suffering from multiple stab wounds. Those on scene immediately rendered aid to both Hensley and Wilt for injuries they both received from an apparent altercation. All efforts to save the life of Mr. Wilt were unsuccessful. Sheriff Holland will have an official press release on Monday. Meanwhile, the investigation continues and condolences go out to the families of those involved.