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News General

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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During a joint meeting of the Town of Franklin, the Town of Highlands and the Macon County Board of Commissioners, Warren Cabe informed local officials that fire departments in Macon County are in jeopardy due to a decrease of volunteers.

Of the 11 fire districts in the county, there are approximately 400 volunteer firefighters. According to Macon County Fire Marshal Jimmy Teem, each fire department has to have a minimum of 20 members (18 firefighters, two traffic control officers). “If a department has a substation then that would require that fire department to have an additional eight firefighters for each substation in that district,” explained Teem. “Cowee, Otto, Clarks Chapel, Mountain Valley and West Macon have one substation each and Nantahala is working to get a substation online in the near future.”

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A traffic accident that occurred around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday on U.S. 441 South in Otto has left one dead and two in critical condition according to Trooper Leah McCall with the North Carolina Highway Patrol.

The fatal crash resulted in the death of Sylvia Bolick, 70, after she was involved in a head-on collision with a truck driven by Christopher McMahan, 39, of Sylva.

According to McCall, as of Wednesday afternoon both McMahan and Mrs. Bolick’s husband, Ellard Bollick, 76, who was driving, are in critical condition at Mission Hospital in Asheville.

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