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News and Weather Briefing for Thursday, October 1, 2020

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A strong, dry cold front will cross our region today ushering in below normal temperatures for the rest of the week. Expect the coolest night to be Friday night, followed by a slight warming trend, as our weather stays somewhat cool into next week. Little if any rain is expected for at least a week.



Macon Media is being underwritten today by Franklin Health & Fitness, home of #ResultsForEveryone.

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News Brief

Governor Cooper Moves North Carolina to Phase 3 With Stable Numbers 

Safety precautions set for large outdoor and some indoor venues [LINK

Executive Order 169 begins Oct. 2 at 5 p.m. and continues for three weeks through October 23. Its new provisions include:

•Large outdoor venues with seating greater than 10,000 may operate with 7% occupancy for spectators. •Smaller outdoor entertainment venues, like arenas or amphitheaters, may operate outdoors at 30% of outdoor capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less.
•Movie theaters and conference centers may open indoor spaces to 30% of capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less.
•Bars may operate outdoors at 30% of outdoor capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less.
•Amusement parks may open at 30% occupancy, outdoor attractions only.
•The limits on mass gatherings will remain at 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.
•The 11 pm curfew on alcohol sales for in-person consumption in locations such as restaurants and outdoor bars will be extended to October 23.

State and public health officials will continue watching the key COVID-19 trends over the next several weeks to determine if any further restrictions can be eased when the current Executive Order expires on October 23rd.

COVID-19 Cluster identified at Macon County Sheriff’s Office

Macon County Public Health has identified a cluster of employees at the Macon County Sheriff’s Office who have tested positive for COVID-19. A cluster is defined as a minimum of 5 cases with illness onset or positive results within a 14-day period. All staff who have potentially been exposed to these individuals have been contacted and will be tested for COVID-19.

In addition to Macon County Sheriff’s Office staff, MCPH is working to identify any additional close contacts of these individuals. The CDC defines close contact as being within approximately 6 feet of a person with an infection with COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time of 15 minutes or longer. Based on information provided by each staff person, county health officials will assess risks of exposure, determine which if any additional measures are needed such as temperature and symptom checks, quarantine and/or testing.

MCPH’s Medical Director and Macon County Sheriff’s Office are working together to limit the spread of COVID- 19 among staff and the community.

See the Sheriff’s social media post about the situation. [LINK]

County Commissioners Select New County Attorney

After a closed meeting lasting almost an hour and a half, the Macon County Board of Commissioners returned to open session and voted 3-2 (Higdon and Gillespie voting no) to instruct Derek Roland (the county manager) to enter into negotiations with Fred Jones to replace the retiring Chester Jones as new County Attorney after October 31st. Macon Media and The Franklin Press were the only media outlets present in the boardroom. Videos are posted below. A more complete article and edited video will be published later.

Part 1 (Before the closed session)

Part 2 (After the closed session)

September 28, 2020, Macon County Board of Education Meeting

General forecast through Saturday night


Patchy fog in the morning. Otherwise, partly sunny, then gradually becoming sunny, with highs in the 60s to near 70 in the lower elevations. Calm winds in the morning increasing to come out of the northwest 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon.


Clear, with lows ranging from the mid-30s in the higher elevations to the low-to-mid 40s in the lower elevations. Winds out of the northwest wind 5 to 10 mph.


Sunny, with highs ranging from the upper 50s in the higher elevations to the mid-60s in the lower elevations. Calm winds in the morning increasing to come out of the northwest around 5 mph in the afternoon.

Friday Night

Mostly clear, with lows in the 30s. Some locations may see temps dip below freezing. Calm winds.


Patchy frost in the morning. Otherwise, sunny, with highs in the 60s.
Saturday Night

Mostly clear, with lows ranging from the mid-30s in the higher elevations to the mid-40s in the lower elevations.


As cool high pressure settles into the mountains tonight, areas of frost will be possible, especially above elevations of 3500 ft.

Air Quality

Air quality is in the upper range of green for most of the county, including the ridges and other higher elevations today.


Pollen levels are expected to be in the low-medium range (4.7 out of 12) with ragweed, chenopods, and grasses being the main culprits. Tomorrow is expected to be low-medium also (4.3 out of 12).

October Weather Extremes for Macon County

Highest Temperature 91°F in Franklin on Oct 5, 1954 Lowest Temperature 12°F in Highlands on Oct 30, 1910 Greatest One-Day Rain 9.91 inches in Highlands on Oct 4, 1964 Greatest One-Day Snowfall 1.0 inches in Highlands on Oct 20, 1913 

(The North Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1st to Nov 30th)

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