11th Annual FRANKLIN FOLK FESTIVAL :: Saturday, July 19 from 9am - 4pm in Historic Downtown Franklin

- published 3/27 (Larry) - unpublished ?

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In 2009, Franklin became the first town in the nation to gain the Appalachian Trail Community Designation. Now, almost five years later, 35 towns are known as AT communities. In 2015, the designation is up for renewal. At Monday's Board of Aldermen meeting supporters spoke out to recommend keeping the designation.

Rob Gasparro, co-owner of Outdoor 76 – an outfitters store that specializes in outdoor recreation specific to the region and located on Main Street – was among the first to address the board.

“Our market is the AT community. If there's one thing that our town has to hang on to, it's that designation,” he told the board.

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On Tuesday, board members from REACH announced plans to begin a capital campaign in order to raise funds for a new domestic violence shelter that is projected to be constructed by the end of 2015.

At a price tag of $1.2 million and an awarded state grant of $900,000, the campaign will seek to raise the remaining $300,000.

According to board president Bonnie Peggs, the current shelter has six bedrooms for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault. The new shelter will have 10 bedrooms, each having two beds and a connecting door to an adjacent bedroom so that the bedrooms can be used to serve larger families who may require two bedrooms.

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Board to draw up new plan before its March meeting.

The Town of Franklin held its monthly meeting on Monday where members of the community attended to voice their opinions in regards to issues such as the decision to keep a liaison from East Franklin Elementary School, the fate of the Gazebo on Town Square and the Town Hall meetings proposed by Mayor Bob Scott.

Brittney Burns spoke to the board first to show her disapproval of the decision made at last month’s meeting to not establish a liaison at East Franklin.

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Macon County Sheriff Robbie Holland requested a $19,000 increase in his department's budget to purchase drugs for undercover operations. During Macon County’s board retreat last month, department heads presented commissioners with a preview of what to expect during the upcoming budget cycle. Holland informed commissioners that a new request this year would be to increase the existing $1,000 provided by the county to purchase drugs used during undercover operations, to a total of $20,000.

Holland insisted that the additional monies are crucial in fighting the county’s drug problem. The $1,000 line item specifically for the sheriff’s office undercover drug operations has remained the same since it was first established in the 1990s. Holland pleaded with commissioners, explaining that undercover drug buys have proved to be the most effective method in fighting the county’s drug problem and stands as the best way to provide evidence during a trial to lead to convictions.

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Franklin has been a participant in the North Carolina Main Street program since 2007. The staff of the North Carolina Main Street Center, a part of the Department of Commerce, Division of Community Development - Urban Development Division, has been working with the program through the years and continues to help Franklin’s MSP with their efforts to revitalize the downtown area. As the center of the community, the health and vitality of the downtown area is of critical importance.

For that reason Franklin Main Street Program is hosting a Downtown Economic Vision Forum on Feb. 13, at the First Baptist Church fellowship hall. The purpose of the forum is to gather input from citizens regarding their views of what is good about downtown, what needs improvement, and what downtown should become in the future. MSP believes that the participation of the community is important as they develop their vision because from that, they will plan activities and set priorities for the next several years.

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North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley will be the keynote speaker for Western Carolina University’s Black Heritage Expo to be held Monday, Feb. 10, through Wednesday, Feb. 12.

Beasley’s address, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center. She also will participate in an event only for students while on campus.

In 2008, Beasley became the first black woman to win election to statewide office in North Carolina without the benefit of incumbency or appointment by the governor when she was elected as associate judge on the N.C. Court of Appeals. In 2012, she was appointed an associate justice to the N.C. Supreme Court.

WCU’s Black Heritage Expo also will include a walk-through exhibit in the Grandroom displaying African-American artifacts and information.

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On Friday afternoon, Jan. 24, a search warrant issued by Superior Court Judge Bradley B. Letts for the Macon County Board of Elections became available to the public. The search warrant, which cites Assistant Special Agent in Charge T.D. Ammons of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation as the applicant on the warrant, states that there is “probable cause to believe that the Office of the Macon County Board of Elections has been used to commit the offense of embezzlement.”

The search warrant states that on Friday, Jan. 17, both Macon County Sheriff Robbie Holland and District Attorney Mike Bonfoey requested the SBI’s assistance regarding possible financial crimes at the board of elections office. Ammons was assigned to the investigation.

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Last Friday, Jan. 24, at approximately 9:55 a.m. a fire broke out in the Holly Springs community.

The fire occurred at 86 Hollyview Circle at a home owned by Bill Marcello.

Franklin, Cullasaja and Mountain Valley Fire Departments were called on to put out the fire.

The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

 

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Property owner objects to installation of a sewer line.

Last week, the Town of Franklin held a special meeting to discuss a legal matter in a closed session about a pending lawsuit according to town attorney, John Henning Jr.

In documents obtained from the Macon County Clerk of Court's office, it has come to light that there is a pending lawsuit against the Town of Franklin.

Paperwork was filed on April 2, 2012, on behalf of John W. Mitchell, Jr. Revocable Trust and lists Jones P. Byrd of Van Winkle Law Firm in Asheville as the legal representation for the plaintiff.

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The Parker Meadows Recreational Complex may be finished sooner than originally expected. Last week, Macon County Recreational Director Seth Adams and County Planner Matt Mason presented commissioners with three development options for the Parker Meadows property.

The preliminary proposal for the recreation complex was designed to comply with county’s obligation of the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) grant. Macon County received $500,000 in PARTF funds for the development of the project. After reviewing the plans, Adams and Mason found that the county stands to save a significant amount of money in the long run if they develop the complex all at one time, versus in phases over time. The three proposals are each a little more in depth than the one proposed before it, eventually building up to the final option, which includes a full scale, completed recreation facility.

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published: 10/18/2013
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