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Plans to memorialize a Cherokee gravesite found earlier this year in the midst of construction for a new baseball tournament complex in Macon County now have some hard costs attached to them, and the county has requested funding from the Cherokee Preservation Foundation to make them happen. 

 “It was well received,” Commissioner Ronnie Beale said of the request, which he brought to the foundation’s director, Annette Clapsaddle, earlier this month.

fr maconwildernessA roomful of hunters and hikers turned out at last week’s Macon County Commissioners meeting. It was the first meeting after Franklin Mayor Bob Scott went public with a plea for the county to reconsider a resolution it passed in July against any additional wilderness designations in Macon County.

A noise ordinance could be in Macon County’s future as the planning board starts in on writing a set of draft rules this week. 

The board’s been taking comment and researching similar ordinances in nearby counties since September, and last week County Planner Matt Mason came to the county commissioners’ meeting to get their thoughts on the issue.

Macon County’s tying up the loose ends on a property revaluation that will likely cause tax hikes for some and breaks for others, and the county’s tax director gave commissioners a heads up that they’ll probably be getting some phone calls over the next few months. 

fr libraryThose who frequent downtown Franklin may have noticed an odd-looking birdhouse taking up residence outside town hall in recent months, but the white structure isn’t a habitation for birds — it’s for books.  

“They’re sort of large birdhouse-style kiosks where books can be available to people wherever they are,” explained Karen Wallace, librarian at Macon County Public Library. “Our library is not in our downtown, and we thought it would be nice to make some reading available on Main Street in downtown Franklin.”

Construction on the Parker Meadows sports complex is moving forward, but with some alterations to the original plan following the July discovery of a Cherokee gravesite in the midst of the future ballfields. At the Macon County commissioners’ November meeting, County Planner Matt Mason presented some sketches of what a memorial to the gravesite might look like. 

fr homelessmaconThings have been moving quickly for New Hope Center in Franklin. Just a few months ago, the homeless shelter was merely a vague idea in the back of Lowell Monteith’s mind, an awareness that there was a need for some way to help the homeless of Macon County. He’d first witnessed the need during his time at Lifespring Community Church, where he and his wife used to run a soup kitchen. 

fr rolandA surprise agenda item at this month’s Macon County Commissioner’s meeting put a smile on County Manager Derek Roland’s face. Just shy of his one-year anniversary on the job, the 29-year-old county manager was given a contract for his position. 

fr womenscareA shake-up in the medical world of maternity care and childbirth means more choices for pregnant women in Jackson, Swain and Macon counties, but also heightened competition for the profitable labor and delivery line.

Two new obstetrics practices were launched within weeks of each other this fall, both catering to women in Jackson, Macon, Swain and beyond. The number of existing practices in the region doubled nearly overnight. 

With its landfill nearing capacity, Macon County is taking steps to add a new cell before the existing area fills up about two years from now. They’ve had another phase permitted for about 20 years, but rather than just install a liner in that property and call it a day, the Solid Waste Management Department is looking to buy an adjoining property to add to that already-permitted cell. 

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