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News General

Attendance requirements, voting rights are questioned.

With a revolving door of members, either from terms expiring or shifts in leadership, the Franklin Tourism Development Authority (TDA) will once again be seeking legal advice from town attorney John Henning Jr.

During its January meeting, members of the TDA discussed discrepancies in policies and practices of the authority and decided that soliciting advice from Henning would be prudent. One issue plaguing members over the last few months has involved the board's membership as well as its attendance policies.

According to Session Law 2004-105, which established local TDA boards, individual authorities are statutorily obligated to be comprised of a total of nine members, onethird of which must be individuals who are affiliated with businesses that collect the room occupancy tax in town, such as hotels, and at least three-fourths of the members must be individuals who are currently active in the promotion of travel and tourism in the town.

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With Macon County's recreation facilities virtually doubling with the addition of the Parker Meadows complex, Recreation Director Seth Adams informed commissioners of increased budget needs to adequately manage the county's facilities.

Adams was one of several department heads within the county to present to commissioners earlier this month during a special called budget work session, signifying the beginning of the county's budget season.

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After a six month investigation, the Macon County Sheriff's Department successfully apprehended eight individuals with ties to drug tafficking.

“We understand that drugs and those that distribute them continue to be a menace to our community but our citizens can rest assured we are working to seek those individuals out, diligently building strong cases in an effort to arrest and prosecute them," said Sheriff Robert Holland. "Many times it appears nothing is being done about an individual who is suspected of drug activity in your community, but the reality is that the traffic you see just might be one of our undercover operations in action."

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When Highlands Police Chief Bill Harrell was hired, he understood first hand the importance School Resource Officers (SRO) play in the community. As one of two of the first SROs in Macon County, Harrell knew as Chief, he wanted to make an SRO at Highlands School a priority.

"As I was one out of two of the first SROs in Macon County, I travelled to all of the county schools and I can say it was very difficult and challenging to provide adequate services they each deserve," said Harrell. "Also, in light of past tragedies across our nation and abroad with active shooters in our schools it has always been a priority of mine as a father and a law enforcement director to do everything within my power to make our school as safe as reasonably possible for our students to learn and our faculty to educate."

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