Community shows support for arts education
A packed room of Macon County residents pleaded with county commissioners during a May 13 meeting to provide the school system with more funding for arts education.
Macon requests more funds for the arts
Last year, Macon County Schools requested a nearly $2 million budget increase to fund additional staff positions. When the pandemic shuttered school doors during budget season last year, the request was dropped. But now, over a year into the pandemic, MCS has again requested the money to fill staffing needs within its schools.
Franklin manager delivers last budget proposal
Longtime Franklin Manager Summer Woodard will be leaving for a new job in June, but before she goes, she presented her final budget proposal to the town council.
Swank named Macon Matriarch
By Theresa Ramsey • Guest writer | The Women’s History Trail project of the Folk Heritage Association of Macon County adopted an activity in 2018 that continues each March as a part of Women’s History Month.
This annual celebratory event honors a special “WHT Macon Matriarch” and her role as trailblazer to help shape a better future for Macon County.
A woman with vision: Barbara McRae leaves her mark on Macon County
Barbara McRae loved history — learning about it, sharing it with others and making it herself.
The long-time community organizer lost a long battle with cancer on March 2, but the projects she set in motion in Macon County will live on for generations to come, including the Macon County Women’s History Trail and the Nikwasi Initiative, both of which were created to preserve parts of Appalachian history that have gone untold for generations.
Unusual COVID case wreaks havoc on Macon EMT
It’s not easy to slow Wendy Barker down. She’s been an EMT for 15 years. She’s used to working 24 hour shifts under some of the most stressful and strenuous conditions, so she wasn’t ready for COVID-19 to put her out of commission for more than six weeks.
Vaccine availability increases
Macon County became the first county in The Smoky Mountain News’ four-county coverage area to break the 20 percent mark on first doses, with the 7,759 people receiving first doses there as of March 8 equivalent to 21.64 percent of the county’s estimated population.
Macon moves forward with middle school renovations
At the 11th hour, Macon County Commissioners called a special meeting to discuss whether to move forward with an $8 million renovation project at Macon Middle School or to take a step back and reevaluate the county’s school infrastructure needs.
Macon budget remains agile through pandemic
Despite dire predictions of how local governments would be financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Macon County has fared well so far. Still, County Manager Derek Roland recently ensured commissioners that he’d continue to manage the budget conservatively moving into the 2021-22 fiscal year.
Macon steps up COVID response
When Macon County Commissioners met on Jan. 12, health department staff was having a difficult time meeting the demands of the COVID-19 Pandemic, but the county departments have since come together in a joint effort to streamline their processes for vaccinations and testing.