A picture perfect Christmas
Beautiful weather and one of the largest number of entries ever added to the enjoyment of the festivities and excitement at this year’s annual Christmas Parade on Sunday, December 1.
All along the route, record crowds gathered to enjoy the festivities and get a glimpse of Old St. Nick, who was the traditional last entry in the parade.
The categories being judged were Grand Champion, Best Use of Theme and Most Original.
Newly-elected aldermen Barbara McRae and Patti Hallyburton Abel joined the other members of the Franklin Town Board Monday night along with new mayor, Bob Scott.
The new board set to work right away when Town Planner Derek Roland brought to their attention an application to amend the text of the Unified Development Ordinance for Outdoor Display of Goods. The action that would be taken at the meeting would be whether or not to send the application to the Town Planning Board for its consideration and recommendations.
Last Tuesday night Macon County Commissioners unanimously voted to hire Franklin native Derek Roland as the next county manager. The application process to replace long-time county manager Jack Horton began after Horton announced his retirement earlier this year. For the past three months, commissioners reviewed the 38 applications received and carefully considered each applicant's requirements. After narrowing the applicant pool to two individuals and conducting extensive interviews with both candidates, the unanimous decision was made to offer the job to Roland at an annual salary of $100,000.
Christmas season officially under way
The holiday season kicked off last Friday night with Franklin's Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. According to Linda Schlott, Franklin's Main Street Director, the 22-foot tall tree took four people three hours to set up and another three hours to get it fully decorated. Standing tall next to the Gazebo on Main Street, this year's holiday centerpiece is garnished with approximately 250 ornaments and 1,500 twinkling lights.
“This year’s Tree Lighting was the largest crowd yet,” said Schlott.
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.