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News General

Like Macon County, Jackson County commissioners are considering a salary increase for all employees. According to Jackson County Human Resources Director Danielle Wittekind, the county is currently considering a two percent increase for all employees based on the Consumer Price Index and the associated increase in the cost of living.

The last increase Jackson County employees received was during FY 2012-2013. “This was a one-time payment of $650 to employees who earn less than $40,000 per year,” said Wittekind. “Prior to this there has not been any pay increase (step, merit, COLA or otherwise) since the Mercer salary study was implemented that had planned adjustments in FY 2008-2009 and FY 2009-2010 based on aligning Jackson County salaries with the results of the survey.”


On Monday, March 4, the Town Board of Aldermen held its monthly meeting for the public to comment about their concerns and to discuss a variety of different issues. Among the agenda items were the possible opening of an indoor firing range and the approval of an updated nuisance ordinance.

Indoor firing range

Bob Simpson, owner of Bob Simpson Contracting and Mountain Firearms located on East Main Street, approached the board during the public comment period to discuss the proper route needed to take in order to open a sound proof indoor firing range. Simpson proposed using 10,000 square feet of the old Burcliff Industries building located on Ulco Drive. According to Simpson, the closest indoor ranges are located in Asheville and Brevard.


Jackson County Sheriff’s Office employee Major Shannon Queen has been accused of domestic violence. According to court documents on file at the Jackson County Clerk of Courts Office, Major Queen's wife, Katherine Queen, filed a Feb. 20 complaint alleging that her estranged husband threatened her and mistreated their children.

According to Katherine's signed statement, “Shannon had a weekend visit with our children the weekend of Feb. 15-17. On Feb. 19 my daughter (a 5-year old) showed me a mark across her right thigh she said was caused by Shannon hitting her leg,” she writes. “(My daughter) said she is scared of her dad but does not want him to get into trouble but she is afraid he will hit her again.”

In addition, Katherine Queen writes in the complaint that in February 2012 Shannon Queen “grabbed my arm and left bruising.”


On Saturday, Southwestern Community College’s Public Safety Training Center in conjunction with the Franklin Fire Department conducted a training exercise at 2235 Georgia Road which culminated in the demolition of a structure by fire.

This exercise allowed local fire departments an opportunity to train in realistic firefighting scenarios.

Photo by Vickie Carpenter

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