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News General

Project expected to take up to two years to complete.

Renovations to the town bridge in Franklin have officially been given a schedule by the N.C. Department of Transportation, with a completion date anticipated sometime in 2018.

The Department of Transportation is in the process of planning an improvement project for the older section of what is known as the town bridge. According to Town Manager Summer Woodard, the DOT plans to acquire easements needed for the project this month, accept bids on the project in March with plans to begin the project in May 2016. Once the project is started, the DOT anticipates it will take 18 months to two years to complete all of the renovations.

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An Amber Alert issued in South Carolina over the weekend resulted in Macon County law enforcement officers searchin the Oak Grove Community for 43-year old suspect Harland Donnell Melton Jr.

According to reports, Alexis Ann Deas, 14, from Chesterfield County, S.C., was abducted from her school on Friday morning around 10 a.m. Melton is accused of taking the girl from her school, and transporting her to Macon County. Melton is the stepfather of the victim.

A BOLO (Be On The Lookout) was issued for Melton and his 1999 Nissan Maxima on Saturday morning. The Amber Alert for Deas was cancelled after she was returned home to South Carolina on Sunday. Deas was transported from Macon County, back to South Carolina by Melton's father, Donnell Melton Sr.

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The Board of Trustees of the Endowment Fund of Western Carolina University has issued a request for qualifications for a project to develop a medical office building to be constructed near the university’s Health and Human Sciences Building.

The building will be the first privately developed structure to be built on WCU’s 344- acre West Campus as part of the university’s Millennial Initiative.

Expected to encompass at least 30,000 square feet of space, the building will become home to a mix of office space for health care professionals, along with space for health-related businesses, said Tony Johnson, executive director for the Millennial Initiative.

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Moses Danny BowenThe Franklin Police Department has identified a suspect in a string of convenience store fraud incidents which occurred last month.

Video surveillance footage revealed a white male suspect purchasing small items from convenience store clerks, then when the clerk returned his change, he would argue that he had given a larger bill than he actually did.

Bowen successfully defrauded several convenience stores in this manner. Franklin Police Department Sgt. Pellicer continued investigating the footage and was able to identify the suspect as 59-year-old Moses Danny Bowen.

Four arrest warrants have been issued in the case for obtaining property by false pretenses. Bowen has been entered into the Nation Crime Information Center (NCIC). According to Franklin Police Chief David Adams, Bowen has ties to Macon County as well as an address near Atlanta, Ga. Anyone who knows his whereabouts should contact Crime Stoppers at (828)349-2600 or the FPD at (828)524-2864.

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