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.

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nullspace for future use


Monday, March 30, 2015

2015 Vietnam Veterans Day in Franklin, NC

On Saturday, March 28, 2015, Chapter #994 of the Vietnam Veterans of America held a parade and ceremony in observance of Vietnam Veterans Day, a holiday that started here in 2009.

Veterans marched in a parade from town hall to the Gazebo at the corner of Main Street and Iotla Street, where speeches and ceremonies were held. Videos and Photos of the complete event are posted below for those of you who either didn't know of the event or could not attend.

View a slideshow of photos either below or on Flickr.

The Parade

Part 1

Welcome -- Gary Shields
Opening Prayer -- Sam Hastings
Pledge of Allegiance -- Sgt Maxwell
National Anthem -- Dwayne Cabe

Part 2

Introduction -- Bob Scott
Remarks -- Ronnie Beale
Remarks -- Jim Davis

Part 3

Introduction of Speakers -- Gary Shields
Guest Speaker -- Nat Henry
Guest Speaker -- Thomas Pyle

Part 4

Awards to the Media for Coverage
Presentation of Awards -- Gary Shields
Award Acceptance -- Michael Parks for The Franklin Press
Award Acceptance -- Betsey Gooder for Macon County News and Shopping Guide
Award Acceptance -- Harry Taylor for series on Vietnam Veterans

Closing Remarks -- Rick Norton

Part 5 End of Ceremony

Wreath Laying -- VVA Chapter #994
Rifle Salute -- VVA Chapter #994
Taps -- VVA Chapter #994
Closing Prayer -- Joe Hastings

Rifle Salute

Here is a view of the rifle salute performed by Chapter #994 of the Vietnam Veterans of America from a different angle.

May we never forget to honor the veterans who served in Vietnam.


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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Macon Co School Board -- March 2015

The Macon County Board of Education met in Highlands, NC for their March 2015 meeting. An agenda packet and video of the complete meeting are posted here for your information. The sound has been enhanced so some low talkers may be heard, this has resulted in other sounds being amplified too much. I apologize for the inconvenience.

During the meeting, the board attorney, John Henning, Jr, relayed to the board that another bid has been made on the Cullasaja School property in the amount of $139,700. This opens up an upset bid period from March 20th to March 30th at 5 pm. Minimum bid is $146,735.

The bid history is listed below:

n  Initial bid: $75,000.00
n  By: Jim Bell
n  Date: December 1

n  Upset bid: $80,000.00
n  By: Van’s Electric
n  Date: December 12

n  Upset bid: $84,100.00
n  By: Jim Bell
n  Date: December 22

n  Upset bid: $88,355.00
n  By: Fred Crane
n  Date: January 9

n  Upset bid: $99,000.00
n  By: John Martin
n  Date: January 16

n  Upset bid: $105,000.00
n  By: Jim Bell
n  Date: January 26

n  Upset bid: $110,300.00
n  By: Fred Crane
n  Date: February 9

n  Upset bid: $115,865.00
n  By: Jim Bell
n  Date: February 13

n  Upset bid: $133,000.00
n  By: John Martin
n  Date: March 2

n  Upset bid: $139,700.00
n  By: Fred Crane
n  Date: March 16

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Minor earthquake in Cherokee, NC

A minor earthquake with a preliminary rating of magnitude 2.1 with the epicenter at a depth of 3.2 miles below the surface occurred at 11:14 pm last night 1.9 miles ESE in Cherokee, NC. This information is temporary and may be revised after being reviewed by a seismologist.

The map shows the quake near Cherokee (to the northeast of Franklin) and one that occurred on March 5th in Hiawassee, Georgia (to the southwest of Franklin). The quake registered on the Helicorder at Lake Jocassee, SC and I have included that display in the map.

Franklin Main Street Board Goes Inactive

The Franklin Main Street Program Board of Directors met last night. Macon Media was there and a text play by play of the meeting may be seen on Facebook [LINK].

Here is a video of the entire meeting:

First on the agenda was a presentation by the Chairman of the Franklin Appalachian Trail Community Committee on what the organization has been doing. After this, the town manager, Summer Woodard, announced the resignation of four members from the Main Street board.

They are: Bo Bryant (Chair), Janice Cummings (Vice Chair), Jane Hopper (Secretary) and Tommy Jenkins (Macon EDC Director).

The remaining members of the board that were present, Sissy Patillo, Christine Basey (Treasurer), Joyce Handley (Town Alderman), Ken Murphy and Judy Chapman then discussed the future of the board and what steps were necessary to go inactive for a time. Board members Tony Hernandez (Town Merchants) and Donald Holland (Franklin Chamber of Commerce) were not present.

The board voted 5-0 to go inactive and discussed the trip two board members (Judy Chapman and Ken Murphy) were taking to the 2015 Main Street Conference being held next week in Morganton, NC.

Tony Angel, consultant to the board, announced that the town was expanding the July 4th celebration an hour. The festival would be from 10 am to 2 pm and he said he thought it could grow to become a larger festival like Pumpkinfest. He also mentioned that there would be a free concert on the evening of July 3rd in town called "An Evening of Red, White and Blues in Downtown Franklin."

The board then voted to return the remainder of its funds, a little over $18,000, to the town. Summer Woodard, the Town Manager, also discussed with the board the procedure for reactivating the board. 

Macon Media (me)
The Franklin Press
Macon County News and Shopping Guide

I try to include a listing of which media organizations are present at these meetings so you can know which local press organizations are actually attending these meetings or not.

Here is a Press release from the town regarding the decision by the Franklin Main Street Program to go to inactive status:

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Macon County Commissioners March 2015

The Macon County Board of Commissioners met last night in a meeting that lasted, minus a break and a closed session, just over two hours and 36 minutes. You can read the text play by play I posted on Facebook [LINK] for the general gist of the meeting if you're unwilling or unable to watch the video posted above.

The public agenda is posted immediately below and the agenda that is shared with members of the press can be read blow that. A copy of the proposed Nuisance Ordinance, aka Noise Ordinance is posted below the agenda that is shared with the press.

The board recessed the meeting until 6 pm on March 31st.

MEDIA ROLL CALL (members of the local press who were present)

Macon Media
Macon County News and Shopping Guide
The Franklin Press
The Smoky Mountain News

MARCH 10, 2015

  • Call to order and welcome by Chairman Corbin
  • Announcements
    • NCACC Update Video
  • Moment of Silence
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • Public Hearing(s) - None
  • Public Comment Period
  • Adjustments to and approval of the agenda
  • Reports/Presentations
    • Flag Presentation to Paul Carlson of the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee
    • Request for update on relocation of buoy and no wake zone at Nantahala Lake- Daniel Lopp
    • Proclamation for Colon Cancer Awareness Month - Michelle Brooks
    • Program Impact Report - County Extension Director Alan Durden
    • Presentation of proposed Noise Ordinance- County Planner Matt Mason, Planning Board Chairman Chris Haners
    • Highlands track and softball field renovation presentation- TBD
  • Old Business
    • Approval of recommended site for landfill expansion - Solid Waste Director Chris Stahl
    • Presentation of due diligence findings - Chris Stahl
  • New Business
    • Resolution regarding Designation of Applicant's Agent - County Attorney and Emergency Services Director Warren Cabe
    • Resolution and renewal of lease with Drawbridge Secure Network Solutions - County Attorney and Economic Development Director Tommy Jenkins
    • Audit contract for Fiscal Year 2014-15 - Finance Director
    • Request from Macon County Schools regarding use of supplement funds - Finance Director
    • Consideration of Courthouse 4th floor "Attorney Access Procedure" - County Attorney
    • Consideration of Mutual Aid Agreement between Macon County Sheriff's Department and WNC Counties- County Attorney
  • 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 10, 2015 regular meeting
    • Budget Amendments #127-128
    • Tax Releases
    • Monthly ad valorem tax collection report
  • Appointments
    • Macon County Heritage Center
  • Closed session (if necessary)
  • Adjourn/Recess

Monday, March 2, 2015

Franklin Aldermen March 2015 Meeting

Aldermen Meeting Agenda Title Card photo AldermenMeetingAgenda_zps1eaafee4.jpg

The Franklin Town Board of Aldermen will be meeting tonight at 7pm in the town hall on East Main Street. The public agenda and the press packet shared with the local media are posted below in the interest of transparency.

After the meeting, the video will be posted here so you can see for yourself what transpired.

Town of Franklin Board of Aldermen 


Monday March 2, 2015 7:00 p.m.

    1.    Call to Order- Mayor Bob Scott 
    2.    Pledge of Allegiance- Vice Mayor Verlin Curtis 
    3.    Adoption of March 2, 2015 Proposed Agenda 
    4.    Approval of the February 2 and February 23, 2015 Board Minutes 
    5.    Public Session 
    6.    New Business         
    A.)    Street Closing Request for the Arts Council- Town Manager Summer Woodard         
    B.)    Discussion on Banners- Mayor Bob Scott         
    C.)    Set Public Hearing for Re-Zoning Petition for three (3) parcels on Siler Road- Land Use Administrator Justin Setser         
    D.)    Forward Special Use Permit Application to the Town Planning Board- Land Use Administrator Justin Setser         
    E.)    Update on Various North Carolina Department of Transportation Projects- Land Use Administrator Justin Setser         
    F.)    Update on Town Bridge Design- Town Manager Summer Woodard & Land Use Administrator Justin Setser         
    G.)    Re-Appointment of Candy Presley to the Tourism Development Authority Board- Town Manager Summer Woodard         
    H.)    Set Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Town Budget Schedule- Town Manager Summer Woodard          I.)    Water Line Easement for Industrial Park Road- Town Manager Summer Woodard 

     7.    Legal         
    A.)    Resolution to Appoint Town Manager to the Tourism Development Authority Board- Town Attorney John Henning Jr         
    B.)    Annexation Policy- Town Attorney John Henning Jr         
    C.)    North Carolina Department of Transportation Deed for Highway Right of Way- Town Attorney John Henning Jr.         
    D.)    Minimum Housing Code Violation at 14 Brittany Lane- Town Attorney John Henning Jr 
     8.    Announcements         
    A.)    Town Hall Offices will be closed Friday April 3, 2015 in observance of Good Friday 
     9.    Adjourn 
 The press packet: