Future for Macon gallery uncertain, help sought

art frAll is not well at the Uptown Gallery in Franklin.

“It’s pretty bad,” said Sue Weathers. “We’re losing money, and keeping the gallery open is getting pretty hard.”

Co-director of the gallery and a member of the Macon County Art Association, which runs the gallery, Weathers is putting an open call out to the local residents, visitors and greater Western North Carolina that help is needed to ensure the longevity and survival of the 52-year-old nonprofit business.

WCU awaits state budget, bemoans staff retention

Western Carolina University is sweating out the North Carolina General Assembly’s budgetary process, but perhaps not as much as some institutions of higher education.

Petition drive steers toward education funding

fr teachersAdvocates calling for increased state education funding made a stop in Haywood County Monday as part of a statewide tour en route to Raleigh, where they will deliver a stack of petitions signed by 61,000 state residents later this week.

Macon County tightens retirement benefits

In its quest to cut the fat ahead of the looming county revaluation, Macon County is turning to its retirement policies. Commissioners recently voted unanimously on a pair of personnel policy changes that will tighten up post-retirement health benefits for county employees. 

NCCAT searches for salvation in Raleigh

fr nccatThe North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching is sweating out the legislative short session. Gov. Pat McCrory didn’t include any funding for the Cullowhee-based center in his proposed budget, and unless legislators carve out a place in the final budget, the center will close June 30. 

Stemming the sequester squeeze

The federal sequester came back to haunt Macon County last month when commissioners voted to spend $13,000 to keep the county’s housing assistance program up and running. Commissioners had given Macon Program for Progress $12,000 at the beginning of the fiscal year to make up for the 30 percent reduction in administrative funds that the federal sequester caused. 

State, counties play hot potato over teacher salaries

Stagnating pay for North Carolina teachers is prompting some local school leaders to dig a little deeper for salary bonuses at the county level.

Law enforcement lobbies for speedy, dependable fleets

fr policecarsEquipment replacement schedules were some of the first line items on the chopping block for local governments when the economy tanked.

Districts grapple with directive to identify top 25 percent of teachers

fr declinetosignUsually, you’d expect a school system to jump at the chance to give its teachers a raise, but superintendents statewide are now rolling up their sleeves for an unpleasant task: figuring out a process to determine the top 25 percent of teachers in their district and offering those people a pay increase. 

School leaders frustrated by teacher pay raise plan

fr protestUnder normal circumstances, Mike Murray would be thrilled to pass out raises to the hard-working teachers in Jackson County.

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