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The Nikwasi Mound, a monument of deep and spiritual significance to the Cherokee Indians, has been a site of controversy as of late within the Town of Franklin. At the request of members from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, (ECBI) an informal meeting was held at the Macon County Historical Museum regarding the stewardship of the mound by the Town of Franklin. The purpose was simple: To express to locals the site’s deep meaning to the native people as well as their frustration with the herbicide application that occurred in April.

The Nikwasi Indian Mound, which predates the Cherokee themselves, is in fact one of the largest intact mounds located in Western North Carolina. Present at the meeting were people from throughout the region who, in some way, are impacted by the mound socially or politically.

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Kathy Paulette Pruitt, an Otto woman charged with the first degree murder of her son, will not be facing the death penalty.

At Monday’s session of Macon County Superior Court, prosecutors declared that they would not pursue the death penalty for Pruitt, in what is known as a Rule 24 hearing. According to the sheriff’s office, it was a special murder case proceeding wherein a prosecutor declares what sentence will be sought.

Instead, if convicted of the offense, Pruitt will face life in prison without the possibility of parole. Kathy, 53, along with her husband, Frank Pruitt, 62, was present for the proceeding.

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Ordinances were proposed and discussed at a brief meeting of the Town of Franklin Board of Aldermen on Monday. It also proved a vocal one for Alderman Carolyn “Sissy” Pattillo who voiced her concern for working through recent controversies faced by the town.

Unified Development Ordinance amendment

The Board of Aldermen voted to amend the town’s Unified Development Ordinance. According to Town Attorney John Henning, the original ordinance contained an oversight since it was passed in 2007. A public hearing on the matter was held, but no one from the public spoke.

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A Franklin man arrested a year ago on multiple charges related to child pornography was recently indicted on several new similar charges.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 48, of Shady Cove Lane, was arrested last year after being initially investigated following a complaint from a concerned citizen in early August 2011.

Initially, Macon County Sheriff's Office detectives searched Kennedy's residence during an identity theft investigation, but during a search for his identification, the suspect “admitted that there was child pornography in the residence,” according to search warrants from August 5 of last year.

During an interview with the suspect, Kennedy reportedly admitted to trading hundreds of pornographic photographs of children. Investigators seized evidence during the execution of the search warrants, where numerous items were taken as evidence.

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