With the last Macon County Airport runway extension project barely in the rearview, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has approved another $4.5 million airport project to make the runway even longer.
The last expansion project in 2011 extended the runway from 4,400 feet to 5,000 feet for safety reasons — the same reason why local officials say the runway now needs to be expanded to 6,000 feet.
The tidal wave of negative political news in 2016 was staggering in its magnitude and emotionally overwhelming. Thankfully all that is behind us. But we can’t say adios to the year’s local news until our writers and editors sift through those events and mold them into our annual tongue-in-cheek spoof awards. With apologies in advance to those who can’t take a joke, here’s our tribute to the people and events that left an indelible mark on 2016.
Harry S. Truman’s Secretary of State Dean Acheson said upon his return to private life, “I will undoubtedly have to seek what is happily known as gainful employment, which I am glad to say does not describe holding public office.”
• To serve, Haywood Commissioners leave money on the table
• Carrying commissioner duties a juggling act in Jackson
• Macon commissioners not there for money
• Swain commissioners give little thought to salary
• Cherokee council makes more than state reps, less than congressmen
While holding public office in the United States isn’t usually all pain, it is usually no gain. American culture has long held disdain for those who enrich themselves by suckling at the public teat, and a Smoky Mountain News investigation proves that — at least locally — the salary and benefits offered to county commissioners in Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties aren’t making any of them rich.
Macon County Commissioner Ronnie Beale was pouring concrete on a job site when he was contacted about this story.
A Franklin man is facing federal arson charges after admitting to setting fire to two separate areas in Macon County about a month ago.
With an unexpected increase in sales tax revenue, Macon County commissioners voted in favor of paying off a $5 million loan early for the Parker Meadows Sports Complex project.
One of the largest conservation easements to ever be donated by an individual in North Carolina history has been finalized in Rutherford and McDowell counties.
Republican incumbent Paul Higdon will keep his District 3 seat on the Macon County Commission while Republican Karl Gillespie claimed the District 2 seat.
In the last five years Macon County Sheriff’s Office has responded to 627 calls where guns were involved, and 137 of those have occurred in just the last 10 months.
Macon County residents will more than likely recognize the names of the four commissioner candidates who will appear on their Nov. 8 ballots.