News in briefWritten by Admin
Beale is new NCACC president
Macon County Commissioners Vice Chair Ronnie Beale was sworn in as the 98th President of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) recently during the NCACC’s 107th Annual Conference, which was held in Buncombe County from Aug. 14-17. As president, Beale will lead the NCACC Board of Directors on legislative and administrative issues affecting counties throughout the year.
Beale becomes the second Macon County Commissioner to lead the state organization. Former Macon County Commissioner Milles Gregory served as NCACC President in 1983-84. Gregory was on hand to see Beale be sworn in as President.
“It is an honor to be following in the footsteps of all of the presidents who have come before me, including Milles Gregory,” said Beale during his acceptance speech. “I look forward to an exciting and productive year as your president.”
Beale’s major initiative will be to emphasize the county role as the state continues to revamp its mental health organizational structure. Beale said it is important for counties to remain focused on the consumers of mental health services while the state works on organization.
“We have an opportunity to help the state with a problem they have been struggling with for a long time,” he said. “For this reason, I am creating a special task force to study the impact on counties of the current system. I believe it is crucial that clients remain the focus at the county level.”
Beale has served as a Macon County commissioner since 2006. He was elected NCACC Second Vice President in August 2011, and in 2013, he was named the Outstanding County Commissioner by the NCACC for his work on mental health reform, among other issues.
REACH seeks volunteers for expanded store
REACH of Haywood County is looking for volunteers, both women and men, who would like to assist in their newly expanded resale store, Within Reach, located at 456 Hazelwood Avenue. They welcome volunteers who can donate any amount of time — from a few hours one day per week or month to several days per week.
Volunteers will help in accepting donations to Within Reach, sorting and sizing clothing and other donations, preparing items for resale, pricing items, testing electrical appliances, cleaning the store, helping at the register or with displays and other tasks. Training is in-house and as needed. Funds raised at Within Reach go towards assisting survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse, and the store’s proceeds are crucial to the mission of REACH of Haywood to help insure that survivors of abuse are able to achieve a life of peace and independence, free from violence. For more information or to make a donation, contact Jennifer at Within Reach, 828.454.5998, call REACH of Haywood, 828.456.7898 or go to www.reachofhaywood.org.
WCU seeking questions for three upcoming political debates
Western Carolina University’s upcoming Political Debate Series will feature both national and state candidates on the ballot this November.
The WCU debate series will get underway Thursday, Sept. 4, with opponents for the U.S. House of Representatives District 11 – incumbent Mark Meadows, R-Jackson, and challenger Tom Hill, D-Henderson. The debate will be held in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center on the WCU campus.
That opening event will be followed on Tuesday, Sept. 23, by candidates in the N.C. House of Representatives District 19 race, which pits incumbent Joe Sam Queen, D-Haywood, against Mike Clampitt, R-Swain. The debate will be held in Room 204 of the Health and Human Sciences Building on WCU’s West Campus.
Wrapping up the series Thursday, Oct. 2, will be the contenders for the N.C. Senate District 50 seat, with incumbent Jim Davis, R-Macon, and opponent Jane Hipps, D-Haywood. That debate also will be held in Room 204 of the Health and Human Sciences Building.
All debates will begin at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live online by WLOS-TV on www.wlos.com. All three debates are open to the public free of charge.
WCU’s debate series is sponsored by the Public Policy Institute and Department of Political Science and Public Affairs. The institute is currently seeking questions from Western North Carolina voters to be asked during the series.
For more information about the WCU Political Debate Series, contact the Public Policy Institute at 828-227-3898.
Forum addresses nations, language
The Franklin Open Forum’s monthly meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3. The topic will be “Are nations necessary and should there be a universal language?”
Franklin Open Forum is a moderated discussion group, meeting on the first Wednesday of the month at the Rathskeller Coffee Haus & Pub, located in downtown Franklin at 58 Stewart St. Those interested in an open exchange of ideas — dialog, not debate — are invited to attend.