Last week, the Franklin Town Board met with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) to discuss the Nikwasi Indian Mound located in the center of town. Based on the belief that the mound was part of Cherokee heritage, the EBCI has expressed a desire to possibly own the mound once again. The belief was that a resolution could be reached between the town and the Cherokee, possibly pursuant to some sort of partnership concerning the mound. That feeling of goodwill changed the day after the meeting when a resolution on behalf of Chief Michell Hicks and the Tribal Council went public demanding for the return of the mound.
“We met with the tribal council on Wednesday and had no idea that this was coming,” said Franklin Mayor Bob Scott.
Macon County residents will take to the polls this November to cast their ballot to fill multiple offices up for reelection. Candidates for commission seats, school board, and other local, state and national seats will be appearing on the ballot this year. With early voting starting Oct. 23, The Macon County News is running weekly profiles of each open seat.
The Macon County Board of Education has two open seats that will be decided in November. District II, currently held by incumbent Tommy Cabe, and District IV, which was left open when Gary Shields decided not to seek re-election.
Cabe will face off against Bill Taylor for the District II seat and Fred Goldsmith and Carroll Poindexter will both be seeking votes for the District IV seat.
Cash mobsters descend on downtown Sylva
The fountain at the bottom of the old Jackson County courthouse was a sight to see last Friday, as more than 150 people gathered all waving $20 bills. Shoppers from Franklin and Sylva all joined together to support Main Street Sylva businesses affected by an August 16 fire that still has a portion of the street blocked off.
Organized by Macon County grass-roots group Venture Local Franklin, the event was deemed a cash mob with the intention of pushing a ton of business into the downtown economy all over the span of a couple of hours, for a short, quick, financial boost for businesses.
Traveling exhibit educates parents on what to look for.
Last Thursday, the P.E.A.C.E Foundation brought its "Bedroom Project" to Franklin. The presentation took place at Tartan Hall of the First Presbyterian Church. The organization's mission is to educate the public about the dangers of prescription drugs and empower them with the knowledge to recognize and stop abuse before it starts.
P.E.A.C.E, or Prescription Education Abuse Counseling Empowerment, was founded by Shannon Rouse Ruiz whose own personal tragedy helped fuel the call for action. On June 21, 2011, her 16-year-old daughter Kaitlyn suffered a fatal overdose.
Last Thursday, William Shilling, 51, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor counts of simple physical assault and simple non-physical assault. Shilling is an attorney with the Macon County Department of Social Services.
According to documents on file at the Macon County Clerk's office, an arrest warrant signed by magistrate Miciah Leatherman states that there was probable cause to believe that Shilling inflicted physical injury to his child, who is less that 16 years old. “The physical injury inflicted caused a red mark on the victim's abdomen, and was inflicted by other than accidental means,” reads the warrant.
The complaint and motion on file states that Shilling assaulted the child after an altercation over the child's grades. According to his wife Cheryl's testimony, the child “got a ‘C’ last grading period in Algebra, Bill took a steak knife, punched it into the wall, jerked and removed it off the wall, removed all of [the child's] gaming systems devices, and told him if he didn't improve his grades, he would beat them into him and clear his room so it looked like a prison cell.”
The warrant continues to claim that Shilling allegedly threatened to physically harm his wife Cheryl Shilling and their son by saying, “I will kill you and I will burn the dogs alive and I will burn the house down.”
An additional warrant states charges of assault on a female after Leatherman found probable cause that Shilling forcefully used his chest to push the victim into a wall in the couples’ residence.
District Court Judge Donna Forga issued a Domestic Violence Protective Order forbidding Shilling from contacting his wife or minor son until Feb. 24.
Additional documents on file at the Clerk's Office signed by Judge Forga, report that in Cheryl Shilling’s request for the domestic violence protective order, on Feb. 9, William Shilling threatened to have Cheryl involuntarily committed and to remove their son's limbs to torture the child. Forga's report states that on Feb. 8, Cheryl claims that Shilling threatened to blow his own brains out and has threatened to drive their vehicle into a ravine making the child an orphan. It also states that Shilling has reportedly said that he wants to bludgeon the child. The document also states that the couple owns two handguns, one in their home and one in the law office.
Shilling was originally released on a $500 bond under orders not to have any contact with his wife or son due to a domestic violence protective order. On Feb. 15, he was once again arrested after sending an email to his wife, and leaving a letter addressed to the child, violating the protective order. Due to the violation, Shilling had to spend 48 hours in jail.
In response to the allegations against him, Shilling has filed a series of documents with the Clerk of Court’s office claiming that his wife's allegations are “baseless and wholly exaggerated.” He requested that the court release monies, personal items, his vehicle; grant visitation with the minor child and custody of his dog, and return office items.
Shilling is scheduled to appear in court on March 7.