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News General

Jackson County Sheriff's Department announced last week that Deputy James "Jimmy" Henry, was informed that his services were no longer needed with the law enforcement agency. Henry was suspended in October after an investigation into a party revealed he may have been involved in underage drinking and other activities.

Henry was placed on paid administrative leave on October 27 pending the outcome of the investigation. Henry's wife, Maria Henry, who worked as a dispatcher for Jackson County, was placed on paid administrative leave beginning Nov. 5, but returned to work for the county on Dec. 9, when she was given an administration assistant position within the Emergency Management Department instead of returning as a dispatcher.

Henry and his wife were both identified as being present at a Halloween party that occurred on Oct. 25 at Dillard Excavating in Jackson County. According to police reports, in addition to an investigation into underage drinking, an investigation was launched into an alleged rape that occurred that night.

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The search continues for a wanted Macon County man who led law enforcement officers on a chase through the Sanderstown community Monday afternoon.

Franklin Police Officer Kevin Breedlove attempted to pull over Michael Passafume, 45, Monday afternoon. Passafume was wanted for a probation violation for removing his ankle monitor. When Breedlove attempted to pull over Passafume, he fled, leading police to a chase into Sanderstown near the Wildflower subdivision. Passafume, who had an unidentified white female in the vehicle with him, eluded police after turning onto a logging road.

Road conditions prohibited law enforcement officers from driving up the road, forcing officers to continue on foot. While pursuing Passafume on foot, law enforcement officers found Passafume's Ford Expedition, which he had crashed while fleeing police. According to Franklin Police Chief David Adams, Passafume and the female suspect escaped into the wooded area surrounding the road. A search for the suspect was unsuccessful.

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Planning board defines exemptions

Over the last few months, Macon County's Planning Board has been working to develop a nuisance ordinance intended to regulate malicious noise in the county. If adopted by commissioners during their March meeting, the ordinance would regulate loud, unnecessary, and disturbing noise that occurs outside of the city limits of Franklin or Highlands.

After numerous complaints to commissioners regarding excessive noise, county leaders directed the planning board to look at an ordinance with "teeth" that would give law enforcement officers the means to resolve complaints. As its stands, with no ordinance, the sheriff's department can respond to noise complaints, but legally, have no recourse.

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Daniel Williamson has been appointed the new curator at the Scottish Tartans Museum.The Scottish Tartans Museum Board of Directors has announced the appointment of Daniel Williamson as curator, effective Jan. 24. Williamson’s knowledge of Scottish history and tartan as well as his enthusiasm and innovative ideas makes him a wonderful asset to the Museum and the Scottish community at large.

Williamson’s interest in his Scottish heritage began in his teenage years and blossomed during his time in college. He holds a Bachelor’s of Music degree in performance from Florida Southern College, class of 2003. He first worked with the Scottish Tartans Museum back in 1998 between college, a time that greatly impacted his life in regards to Scottish history, genealogy, and historic clothing. When he returned to college full time in 2001, Williamson considered majoring in history versus a music degree. However, he has few regrets over his course of study and realizes that the demands on being a musician makes him capable of handling almost any challenge.

While living in Florida, Williamson formed a Scottish history group known as the Jacobites who were involved as group members with the New World Celts: Lakeland Chapter. He returned to Franklin, to care give for his late grandfather in 2011. His grandfather’s parents were from Glasgow, Scotland, UK and immigrated to the United States in 1903. Upon his return to Franklin, he started volunteering at the Scottish Tartans Museum, and was eventually hired as a part time employee in the spring of 2013. This past summer, Williamson started a living history group at the Scottish Tartans Museum called “Breacan Clann” (pr. Brek-an Klan, means: tartan clan). A group which has been gaining in popularity at the museum and here in Franklin.

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