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The Macon County Board of Commissioners seem to pass some sort of a resolution just about every month. A resolution honoring a local boy scout troop; a resolution recognizing a business that kept its doors open for 50 years; a resolution declaring a history week in October. The verbiage of the resolutions are all relatively the same. Whatever entity is being recognized, is named and an explanation is offered on what impact that entity has had on the community at large, and wraps up with the commissioners thanking or recognizing said entity for their accomplishment, whatever that may be.

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Building construction expected to begin in October

Despite a short hiccup in the Parker Meadows Recreation Facility project after finding what is believed to be burial remains, County Manager Derek Roland reported to commissioners Tuesday night that the project is still on time, and within the original budget.

In early July, while grading a portion of the outfield for one of the clover leaf ball fields, what is believed to be a tooth from a Native American burial site was uncovered. The project was temporarily halted and Macon County officials were careful to make sure the project remained in compliance with both the state’s archaeologist office, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

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Last Wednesday night, the League of Women Voters in Macon County organized their monthly meeting to take place later than its usual noon program so that local educators could attend and talk about education in Macon County.

Macon County Schools Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin opened the meeting by giving an overview of the school system and the impacts that the newly passed state budget will have on the schools in the upcoming 2014-2015 fiscal year.

“First, the teachers received a welldeserved salary increase for the first time in several years. We're really grateful that teachers are earning more,” said Baldwin. “But it does impact our local budget due to our locally paid employees. We must provide the salary increase for our local employees out of our local appropriation.”

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Authority to decide what to do with leftover money.

On Tuesday evening the Macon County Airport Authority met for its monthly meeting to receive an update on the runway widening project and to get a run down of grants being awarded by the state.

Two weeks ago, the airport was forced to shut down for some essential work on the project, but now it's up and running.

“If you look out there now, you'll see that the runway is, in fact, widened,” said James Luther, Senior Project Manager of W.K. Dickson, the consulting firm who coordinates the airports projects.

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No charges have been filed; search warrant issued

Autopsy results released by the Macon County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday showed that the cause of death for the body found in the Middle Burningtown home on Saturday, Aug. 2, was strangulation. The body of Day Williamson, 71, was found in the upstairs back bedroom following a fire that destroyed the home. Although the body was recovered after the fire was put out, the findings of strangulation as a cause of death means that Williamson was deceased before the fire.

Macon County Sheriff Robbie Holland said that Charles Andrew Cochran, the inmate that escaped earlier this month remains a prime suspect.

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Two charter buses rolled up town hill last Thursday, carrying county commissioners from across the state. As part of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) Annual Conference being held in Asheville, commissioners from all across the Old North State ventured to Macon County, many of which did so for the very first time.

The NCACC's newest president, Macon County Commissioner Ronnie Beale spearheaded the event.

“The visit to Macon County by dozens of county commissioners, along with their families, was important for several reasons,” said Beale.

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Downtown businesses affected as traffic is rerouted.

As of Wednesday morning, the fate of Sylva’s Main Street remained uncertain after an early morning fire on Saturday wreaked havoc on local businesses.

Authorities got the call a little after 6 a.m. on Saturday morning, and firefighters from around the region immediately responded to Sylva’s Main Street. The building, built in the early 1920s, which according to Sylva Town Manager Paige Roberson is owned by Joan Stearnes, had apparently caught fire due to what authorities would later rule as an electrical fire that started on the roof. The blaze could be seen for miles and more than 10 agencies and fire departments responded to extinguish the flames.

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At the August Board of Aldermen meeting, representatives from McGill Associates updated officials on the current water system and provided an outlook of the future and potential upgrades that will be done.

The water treatment plant upgrade and expansion has been on the "to-do" list for some time now. The plant at its current state supplies the town with about two million gallons of water per day from the Cartoogechaye Creek. It is located at the Industrial Park off of Highway 64 West.

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Saturday night, Franklin residents received a “code red” call on behalf of the Franklin Police Department to notify them of shots fired in town.

The code red call, which is a service offered for all residents in Macon County in case of emergencies such as critical community alerts and weather emergencies, advised residents to stay inside and lock all windows and doors.

The call was made after members of the Franklin Police Department responded to a call around 11 p.m. on Saturday night to a residence on West Palmer Street where shots were being fired at the homeowner.

After hearing what he thought were gunshots, the resident of the home went out behind his house and noticed what he thought was a prowler, according to Franklin Police Chief David Adams. The resident saw someone walking down the driveway of the Church of God and called out for the person to stop, at which point the suspect turned and fired two rounds toward the resident and his home.

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The Macon County School Board held its monthly meeting on Monday night. Tracy Tallent, maintenance director of the schools, presented the board with some infrastructure issues that are in need of attention in the coming days.

Tallent said that two HVAC systems are needed at Macon Middle School. The maintenance on the system would cost $64,673.

“These units that are on top of the cafeteria and band area are '85 models and we've done a lot of work on them in past 10 years, just since I've been here,” Tallent told the board. “Under the sixth grade addition, there are parts hanging out just to make them operate. We've replaced the compressors on that particular unit three times just since I've been here.”

Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin informed the board that the project needed to be under way before the weather turns cold.

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published: 10/18/2013
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