Benefit for Caleb Watson :: Saturday, January 31 at South Macon Elementary School :: Click here for more details

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News General

New DA brings many ‘firsts’ to position

For more than 30 years, the 30th Judicial District Attorney has been housed in Haywood County. The 30th judicial district serves the seven westernmost counties and until November, held its main office in Waynesville under former N.C. District Attorney Mike Bonfoey. In November, in a landslide victory against Jim Moore, Ashley Welch secured the seat.

Welch, who resides in Macon County, will bring the district attorney's office to Macon County for the first time in the state's history.

Bringing the office to Macon County is not the only milestone Welch achieved when she was elected. At 36, Welch is one of the youngest prosecutors in the state. Welch is also the first female to serve the 30th Judicial District and stands as one of only 10 female district attorneys in North Carolina's 44 districts.


Roadway panhandlers must adhere to specific rules.

For months now, even years, the town of Franklin has discussed how to handle the panhandlers who set up shop several times a year at the intersection of Main Street and the Highlands Road. While some groups who frequent the intersection are local, oftentimes the groups who go car to car, buckets in tow, are outside groups claiming to be collecting donations for outside organizations.

With complaints about the solicitation ranging from the legitimacy of the groups soliciting funds, to the safety hazard posed by donation seekers standing in traffic, the town of Franklin finally decided to seriously consider a town ordinance regulating the activity. During its December meeting, the Franklin Board of Aldermen directed town attorney John Henning Jr. to draft an ordinance to report to the board in January, which he presented Monday night.


Director Stahl urges quick action on road to expansion.

The county's landfill expansion plan gained ground Monday night when the town of Franklin unanimously voted to approve the county's re-zoning request for two properties located on Pannell Lane.

The two parcels of land, when combined total about 22.9 acres, and are located at 198 and 256 Pannell Lane. The county purchased the properties, which were zoned as residential properties, with the intention of expanding the county's current landfill, which is nearing capacity. The expansion is expected to add 40 years to the life of the landfill.

Franklin's Board of Aldermen unanimously voted to follow the town's planning board recommendation to approve the zoning request. The planning board noted in their recommendation that spot zoning was not an issue with the petition as the parcels are bordered by the Macon County landfill, which is already zoned for industrial use. The Little Tennessee River abuts to parcel two, 256 Pannell Lane, to the north.


The residents of Macon County may soon have a noise ordinance to adhere to. After commissioners tasked the Macon County Planning Board with deciding the feasibility of a potential noise ordinance, Matt Mason, county planner and member of the planning board, informed the board Tuesday night that a noise ordinance is something that the county should pursue.

Earlier this year, several residents spoke to commissioners with noise complaints regarding altercations with their neighbors. In the complaints spoken during public comment periods, several residents told commissioners about deliberate, malicious acts that involved confrontation with loud, unruly neighbors. Law enforcement was unable to mitigate the situation because there is no law about being too loud on your own property, even if it disturbs others.


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