Jackson wrestles with budget crunch
With the deadline to adopt a new budget drawing ever closer, Jackson County Commissioners are still deliberating how to handle $1 million in last-minute budget requests. That’s on top of an already planned $979,800 public safety increase that’s spurred a 1-cent per $100 property tax increase in the proposed budget.
Pickin’ potties: Franklin council debates best bathroom options for events
Tempers flared at the Franklin Town Council meeting Monday night as board members tried to find a solution to a public bathroom dilemma for its summer Pickin’ on the Square series.
Something is wrong with this picture
I’ve been covering local governments in North Carolina for 30 years, and a small item in Macon County’s budget for 2018-2019 caught my attention like a flash of lightning: the public education budget is $8.5 million, or 18 percent of the total budget; the public safety budget (law enforcement and jails) is $13.9 million, or 28 percent of the county’s budget.
For decades, education and human services (DSS and health departments) have traditionally been the most expensive items for county commissioners. Now we’ve reached a point where it seems law enforcement and jails will take an equal amount or more of our local tax dollars, which inevitably means local schools will be squeezed even tighter.
Supporters rally around Scott Knibbs family
More than 100 people gathered at the Macon County Courthouse on May 8 to rally in support of Scott Knibbs’ family, who are still grieving his unexpected and tragic death.
A firm foundation: SCC graduates 100th class of future National Park Service officers
It’s been a full morning on top of a full week, and I’m tired when I file into the fluorescent-lighted classroom Tuesday afternoon. A large, laminated topo map of the Cashiers area is sitting on the table when I arrive at my seat, a dry erase marker and protractor tool arranged on top.
Franklin man shot and killed by Macon deputy
The lawyer for a Franklin resident killed by a Macon County deputy claims the shooting was not justified and that the victim was just trying to protect his family.
Governor, Haywood leaders meet on opioid crisis
As the opioid crisis continues to rage across the nation and the state, legislators, law enforcement and medical professionals are placing a renewed focus on stopping the next generation of addicts from starting.
Macon sheriff now able to seize digital forfeitures
Drug dealers are constantly finding new ways to protect their assets and the Macon County Sheriff’s office is trying to keep up with the latest trends.
Student threats taken seriously after Parkland shooting
The latest mass shooting on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has spurred a number of potential threats across Western North Carolina.
• Jackson County leaders plan to prevent Jackson County leaders plan to prevent school violence
• Swain High students walk out of class
School officials and law enforcement officers are investigating several students who’ve made comments about school shootings while others have dealt with social media threats. Not all of the student comments have been found to be a credible or eminent threat, but local law enforcement agencies have made it clear such statements will be taken seriously.
Breaking the cycle: Restricting opioid access won’t solve the epidemic
Limiting the number of prescriptions written for addictive painkillers like Percocet and Oxycontin is definitely a good start, but addiction specialists say it is just the beginning of solving the opioid epidemic in this country.