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News General

Macon County is looking to acquire a new building in downtown Franklin to relocate offices from leased properties and prepare for possible expansion in the future. Last Tuesday, June 21, at a recessed meeting of the Board of Commissioners, Chairman Brian McClellan announced the county's intention to purchase the property on the corner of East Palmer Street and Patton Avenue in downtown Franklin for $300,000.

The two-story, bright yellow building, which sits on a 0.37 acre double lot, is actually comprised of three office suites with the addresses 16, 18 and 20 Patton Avenue. One of the three suites formerly housed the Franklin Police Department before it was moved to its new offices on West Palmer Street; the other two suites remain unfinished spaces. In total, the building will add approximately 10,000 square feet of office space for county offices.

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The entire debate between absolute historic preservation and increased historic knowledge hangs on one word contained in the deed for the Nikwasi Mound, that being the word “explore.”

Steven Rice, curator of the Macon County Historical Museum, says that the town’s current beautification plans are a direct violation of the property deed. “The deed is very explicit on what can and cannot be done,” Rice said. Town officials state that no definite plans have been made yet.

The deed, which was drawn up in 1946, clearly states that the Nikwasi Mound “shall be preserved for the citizens of Macon County and for posterity, and the same shall be kept as it now stands and shall not be excavated, explored, altered, or impaired in any way or used for any commercial purpose ...”

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A Franklin couple and a Highlands man feel very fortunate to have received only minor injuries after they were involved in a plane crash on Saturday.

Tony Shuler and his wife Janet were flying with veteran pilot Gary Schmitt from Franklin to Brasstown, N.C., in a small single- engine plane when the engine stalled around 5 p.m. Shortly after it crash landed in a field on Waldorf Drive in the Brasstown community.

Schmitt and the Shuler's were airlifted to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, Tenn. The couple was released the following day, but as of Tuesday, Schmitt remained at the hospital in stable condition.

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In a stroke of serious luck, Darren Cagle, 45, of Waynesville, was miraculously saved from drowning last Saturday at Nantahala Lake.Cagle was canoeing with friend Ronnie McClure when he came up missing.

Christine Boyter, a Gastonia nurse, was nearby the ramp that McClure and Cagle were coming into and she noticed Cagle's hat in the water. 

McClure immediately went into the water to find Cagle.  McClure was finally able to locate him and bring him to the surface. 

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