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News General

A federal criminal indictment unsealed in Asheville charges 16 men and women with narcotics conspiracy operating in Swain, Cherokee and surrounding counties, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Of the 16 defendants named in the indictment, 15 have been arrested by law enforcement.

The indictment is the result of a joint federal, state and local investigation, targeting the distribution of methamphetamine in Western North Carolina.

Acting U.S. Attorney Rose is joined in making the announcement with Daniel R. Salter, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which oversees the Charlotte District Office; Charles Addington, Deputy Associate Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Division of Drug Enforcement; C.J. Hyman, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Charlotte Field Division; Christopher Kuvlesky, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Atlantic Field Office, National Park Service, Investigative Services Branch; Colonel William J. Grey, Commander of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol; Sheriff Curtis A. Cochran of the Swain County Sheriff’s Office Chief Ben Reed of the Cherokee Indian Police Department Sheriff Robert L. Holland of the Macon County Sheriff’s Office; and Sheriff Danny Millsaps of the Graham County Sheriff’s Office.


After being given a list of local organizations requesting grants from the town's nonprofit funding pool two weeks ago, members of the Franklin Town Board of Aldermen spent Monday discussing each grant request and how to stretch the $40,000 budget allocation to cover the 13 applications which totaled $66,000.

First, the board of aldermen arranged the non-profit requests into alphabetical order and then went down the list one-by-one to discuss each request. The board took each request and either funded the full amount requested and the maximum amount allowed of $5,000, which they did for three organizations, REACH, KIDS Place, and Habitat for Humanity, or decreased the amount requested enough to ensure that each qualified organization received funds.

Halfway through the process, Alderman Farrell Jamison noted that the board was running out of available non-profit funding and the organizations that were lower on the list were going to get less based on how they appeared on the list alphabetically.


United States currency may not be the only place to find the national motto, "In God We Trust," in Macon County. Macon County Commissioners could vote as early as October on whether or not to add the motto to public buildings at the request of the U.S. Motto Action Committee.

Last week, former Davidson County commissioner and current member of the U.S. Motto Action Committee Kevin Lanier spoke to Macon officials about adding the motto to public buildings in the county. Lanier spoke on behalf of the action committee who have been petitioning local governments across the state to display the motto since 2002 when Davidson County voted to do so.


Electricity will be shut off if violations go uncorrected.

Over the last couple of months, volunteers and members of Father's House located on Jim Mann Road have been working to bring the facility up to code in hopes of avoiding being shut down by the county.

Earlier this summer, citing building and environmental issues at Father's House, which operates as a church and homeless shelter, Macon County officials advised the center's pastor, Lowell Monteith, that the power would be shut off to the building if the violations were not corrected by month's end. While the building was not brought up to compliance, the county was unable to cut the power to the operation because the building's electricity was connected to neighboring buildings.

While the county debated their next move, members of Father's House have been taking advantage of the extra time to improve the facility in hopes of meeting the county's requirements. Dr. Gordon Mercer, church member and WCU professor, updated commissioners last Tuesday to let them know of the improvements made to the shelter.


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