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One dead in officer-involved shooting

Two Franklin Police officers have been placed on paid administrative leave after a gun battle resulted in the death of Clay Alan Lickteig, 52, of Hayesville.

Around 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, two Franklin police officers, who are not being identified at this time, were attempting to serve Lickteig with a felony probation violation warrant for arrest, when Lickteig became confrontational and brandished a weapon.

The FPD officers met Lickteig in the driveway of a residence at which he had been staying, and when ordered by officers to show his hands, he refused. According to Police Chief David Adams, the officers first attempted to subdue the suspect with a taser gun, which was deployed twice. Lickteig then opened fire on the officers.

Macon County School Board leaves positions unfilled

Uncertainty on the state level has led Macon County School leaders to leave a slew of positions unfilled for the coming school year. Monday night, Terry Bell, a consultant working with Macon County Schools handling responsibilities such as school personnel, informed board members that the school system had a long list of vacancies, some of which will have to remain unfilled in the coming school year due to the lack of guidance from the state’s budget.

Out of the roughly 19 vacancies within the district, Bell informed board members that at least eight will go unfilled in the coming school year, many of which include teacher assistant positions.

Kimsey, Shields awarded highest honor in N.C.

Order of the Long Leaf Pine recipients honored

"Here’s to the land/ of the long leaf pine, The summer land/ where the sun doth shine, Where the weak grow strong/ and the strong grow great, Here’s to “down home”, the Old North State!”

When it comes to being a North Carolinian, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine is the highest honor the state can bestow on one of its citizens. The award, doled out by the governor of the state, is a prestigious recognition that has been earned by some of history’s greatest individuals. The honor, which was first established in 1965 has since been awarded to about 15,000 people in the state which include the likes of Maya Angelou, Billy Graham, and Andy Griffith.

Longer days added to school calendars

Highlands, Nantahala planning ahead for snow days.

Winter weather has always been difficult for all Macon County students, causing school to be cancelled or delayed several times a year, but for students attending school at Highlands and Nantahala, winter always seems to hit a little harder and disrupt the annual calendar a little more.

With a calendar waiver approved during Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, students in those areas of the county will see some relief when it comes to the school calendar next year.

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Officers of The Scottish Tartan Society are (L-R) Bob James, vice president; Eleanor Swift, president; Dr. Lloyd Swift, games chair; Matt Newsome, chair of the directors of the Scottish Museum; Cathy James, temporary corresponding secretary; Sue Ann McMaster, treasurer; and Bob McMaster, business manager. Not pictured, Chris Morton, secretary and Barbara MacInnis, corresponding secretary. Photo by Abigail JamesThe 17th Annual Burns Night Dinner will be held at Tartan Hall on Saturday, Jan. 19. This supper, with a traditional five course menu, is held world wide on Jan. 25 or as close to the date as possible. This year is the 254th anniversary of Robert Burns’ birth.

Celtic customs are dramatic and colorful and contributed to the politics of Great Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries. After centuries of fighting across the border, the English monarchy conquered the clans of the Scottish Highlands in 1745. Every attempt was made to eradicate Scottish customs. Speaking Gaelic and Olde Scots was forbidden, for example, and schools and businesses were required to use only English. Born a generation after the Battle of Culloden, Robert Burns, a farmer and a poet from Ayrshire in Scotland, wrote down many of the Gaelic folk songs and pub melodies that were almost forgotten. He also set many of his poems to old tunes.

Burns was a handsome, musical young fellow and not a very good farmer. Instead, he became an entertainer in the salons of Edinburgh.

Although he died in his 40s in 1796, he is considered the National Poet of modern Scotland to this day for retaining a rich musical culture that was almost lost. Robert Burns suppers are now held on every continent. It is often asked, “How did a country musician become a worldwide celebrity?” During the 19th century, Great Britain was an imperialist super power. Its military was largely staffed by Scots. Wherever these soldiers were stationed (India, Australia, South Africa, Canada. etc), they loved and taught Burns’ songs around the campfires and in the classrooms until the songs were known universally.

The Burns Night meal incorporates a number of Scottish events including the “Calling Out of the Clans,” a parade of present guests carry their clan banners, form a pattern, a circle or an “x” and call out the name of their district or clan. The Haggis, a meatloaf of liver, other meat and oats is carried at the head of a parade of officials and the “Ode to the Haggis” by Robert Burns is performed in Scots dialect. Arthur Hays, a lawyer from Murphy, does this at the dinner here. Other recitations may include the “Immortal Memory of Robert Burns,” and Scottish songs by local vocalists. This year, an octet from the “Carolines” and “Men Macon Music” will perform. The entertainment is held together with piping by Jean Hayes and music by the “Caledonia Swing Band” from Georgia. Scottish Dancing completes the evening (Elaine and Bob McCollum will be instructing) and concluding with “Auld Lang Syne.”

Burns Night, sponsored by the Friends of the Scottish Tartans Museum, begins at 5:30 p.m. at Tartan Hall on Church Street in Franklin and lasts about three hours. Scottish Dress is optional. Tickets are available at the Scottish Tartans Museum for $38 or $35 if purchased by Jan. 11. For reservations and information, call (828)524-7472 or visit This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .





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