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With all the controversy and uncertainty about the right and wrong way to do it, the town and county governments in Macon County err on the side of caution when it comes to praying at meetings.

Macon County’s concerted efforts to bring better broadband capabilities to residents are moving right along.

Court-appointed lawyers are the crux of the U.S justice system because it is their duty to ensure every U.S. citizen is granted their constitutional right to a fair trial, but many lawyers in Western North Carolina are concerned a new pilot program implemented by the state could threaten that right.

Macon is one of six counties across the state that is being included in a pilot program in which court-appointed lawyers are compensated using a flat-fee schedule instead of an hourly rate. According to data from the Indigent Defense Office of North Carolina, indigent defense costs increased 168 percent between 1989 and 1999 while caseloads increased by 90 percent. Capital defense costs rose 338 percent during the same time period.

Macon County Commissioners hope a newly established Fire Task Force will be able to create more consistency among the county’s 11 fire districts.

By Kurt J. Volker • Contributing Writer

Following a somewhat contentious debate leading up to final budget approval, Macon County Commissioners last week approved a $49.6 million spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017, with no hike in property taxes. That rate will remain 34.9 cents per $100 of property valuation.

Mission Health leaders finally agreed to hold a meeting in Franklin to discuss their controversial decision to close the labor and delivery unit at Angel Medical Center, but the public and the media were not allowed to attend.

By Kurt J. Volker • Contributing Writer

Broadband internet service is vital for future economic growth in Macon County, but it will take time.

By Kurt J. Volker • Contributing Writer

A program designed to offer free I.D. cards to Macon County veterans for discounted goods and services by participating businesses should be underway shortly, according to Register of Deeds Todd Raby.

To combat the rising cost of feeding inmates, Macon County commissioners chose to ditch a $360,000 food contract with Mission Health and Angel Medical Center for a less expensive option.

The Macon County commissioners have some challenges in balancing the proposed 2017-18 budget, but County Manager Derek Roland said those challenges are the same ones every local government is facing right now.

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