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News General

Warren Cabe, current director of emergency services for Macon County, will be leaving the position later this month to take a new job with the Town of Franklin.

On Monday, the town announced that it had hired Cabe as the director of fire and emergency management, a new position that will allow the town to develop its own emergency operations plan and tailor such planning to the town's specific needs. The position will absorb to role of the town's fire chief, a job which is soon to become vacant with the retirement of Pete Haithcock.

Cabe says establishing the new department will help the town as it plans, not just for fire or standard emergencies, but for natural disasters and other catastrophes. He added that many towns in North Carolina have begun looking at the advantage of having a person on staff that is specifically responsible for such planning.

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After careful consideration, members of the Franklin Fire and Rescue Equipment Committee made recommendations to the board concerning the future purchases of department equipment. At the behest of Town Manager Sam Greenwood, the committee was charged with examining the equipment needs of the department last June.

Chairman of the committee, Warren Cabe, recommended to the aldermen that they consider the purchase of a new ladder truck.

“For practical purposes, this device, if we were to need one for firefighting or rescue purposes, the closest one we could possible call if available is at least 40 to 45 minutes away,” said Cabe, adding that the closest of the types of fire trucks were in Highlands, Cullowhee or Cherokee. “So obviously we felt like the need was there.”

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Last Monday, the public along with Town of Franklin officials, met with members of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to discuss the pros and cons of adopting a flood plain ordinance for the town during the regularly scheduled meeting.

In the event of a major storm, FEMA official Roy McClure explained a flood could prove costly for property owners who do not qualify for federal protections from flooding if the town does not adopt such an ordinance.

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The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) is investigating a breaking and entering at Scotts Creek Baptist Church located on Steeple Drive in Sylva. The break-in occurred during the night of July 31 and/or the early morning hours of August 1. The perpetrators took items such as credit cards and damaged the church with estimates around $700.

The Sylva Police Department is investigating similar break-ins at the First Baptist Church of Sylva and Sylva Methodist Church, both located downtown. Anyone with any information is encouraged to contact the investigating detective, Sergeant John Buchanan at (828)631-1131 for the Scotts Creek Church break-in or Detective Aimee Watson with the Sylva Police at (828)586-2916. A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect(s) related to this crime.

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