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News

Local law enforcement officers are searching for any information in connection with a breaking and entering at the American Legion. On Jan. 23, American Legion Post 108 reported a breaking and entering in which two MI Grand Military Rifles were stolen.

Franklin Police Chief David Adams noted that the rifles were stolen from a coat closet and that the serial numbers for the rifles have been entered into the National Crime Information Center.

The rifles stolen from the American Legion are utilized during military funeral detail and carry a value of about $400 each.

Because there is no video surveillance, the Franklin Police Department currently have no leads on the case and are reaching out to the public for any information related to the crime. If you have any information on the incident, contact the Franklin Police Department.

Even though the last of the United States combat troops were pulled out of Vietnam on March 29, 1973, the official end of America’s commitment to the war in Vietnam came on April 30, 1975. On that day, forty years ago, the last of the civilians, some South Vietnamese military and a small contingent of United States Marines were removed from the American Embassy by a massive helicopter airlift effort.

It was thus that the United States evacuated Southeast Asia following more than two decades of warfare. The American involvement dates back to the 1950s with support given to the French in their resistance to the rising communist power in what was then called French Indochina. In the beginning, the French were supported by American Military Advisors and were provided American military equipment. By 1965, the United States had inherited the war effort and American military boots were on the ground, leading to hundreds of thousands of American soldiers serving in the Vietnamese jungles. In the end, the United States lost more than 58,000 young men (average age about 23 years old). Thousands more were maimed, mangled, wounded and held in Viet Cong prisoner of war camps.

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The cold front that caused significant snowfall in much of the northern parts of the nation resulted in very cold temperatures in Western North Carolina.

Parts of Macon County received a dusting of snow on Tuesday morning which lingered into Wednesday in Winding Stairs Gap and in the higher elevations where the temperatures hovered near the freezing mark.

Photo by Vickie Carpenter

Attendance requirements, voting rights are questioned.

With a revolving door of members, either from terms expiring or shifts in leadership, the Franklin Tourism Development Authority (TDA) will once again be seeking legal advice from town attorney John Henning Jr.

During its January meeting, members of the TDA discussed discrepancies in policies and practices of the authority and decided that soliciting advice from Henning would be prudent. One issue plaguing members over the last few months has involved the board's membership as well as its attendance policies.

According to Session Law 2004-105, which established local TDA boards, individual authorities are statutorily obligated to be comprised of a total of nine members, onethird of which must be individuals who are affiliated with businesses that collect the room occupancy tax in town, such as hotels, and at least three-fourths of the members must be individuals who are currently active in the promotion of travel and tourism in the town.

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With Macon County's recreation facilities virtually doubling with the addition of the Parker Meadows complex, Recreation Director Seth Adams informed commissioners of increased budget needs to adequately manage the county's facilities.

Adams was one of several department heads within the county to present to commissioners earlier this month during a special called budget work session, signifying the beginning of the county's budget season.

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After a six month investigation, the Macon County Sheriff's Department successfully apprehended eight individuals with ties to drug tafficking.

“We understand that drugs and those that distribute them continue to be a menace to our community but our citizens can rest assured we are working to seek those individuals out, diligently building strong cases in an effort to arrest and prosecute them," said Sheriff Robert Holland. "Many times it appears nothing is being done about an individual who is suspected of drug activity in your community, but the reality is that the traffic you see just might be one of our undercover operations in action."

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When Highlands Police Chief Bill Harrell was hired, he understood first hand the importance School Resource Officers (SRO) play in the community. As one of two of the first SROs in Macon County, Harrell knew as Chief, he wanted to make an SRO at Highlands School a priority.

"As I was one out of two of the first SROs in Macon County, I travelled to all of the county schools and I can say it was very difficult and challenging to provide adequate services they each deserve," said Harrell. "Also, in light of past tragedies across our nation and abroad with active shooters in our schools it has always been a priority of mine as a father and a law enforcement director to do everything within my power to make our school as safe as reasonably possible for our students to learn and our faculty to educate."

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Improving the town's infrastructure was at the top of the list at the town of Franklin's annual board retreat on Saturday, as town officials discussed long-term plans to upgrade water and sewer facilities as well as improve the town's sidewalks.

Franklin Town Manager Summer Woodard presented aldermen with a longterm, 10-year plan to implement a complete overhaul of the town water and sewer systems as part of a Capital Improvement Plan.

Woodard presented the board with various debt packages to consider that would include phasing in renovations to the town's facilities over a 10-year period to bring the facilities up to par.

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The Appalachian Animal Rescue Center (AARC) thrift store reopened Monday, Jan. 12, with new managers.

The AARC shelter depends on donations to the store and purchases made by shoppers to continue to care for the cats and dogs in their care until they find their forever homes.

Volunteers are needed that have a true desire to help the animals of Macon County.

The store is located at 1526 Old Murphy Rd, Franklin.

 


 

After 20 years in Macon County, Caterpillar Precision Seals (CAT) will be closing their doors and moving to Mapleton, Illinois, taking 150 jobs with it.

Since 1995, Caterpillar has operated a plant in Macon County at the county’s Industrial Park off 64W. Generations of family members have worked for the plant and as of Thursday, will now have to find some other means to make ends meet.

The announcement doesn't mean the plant is closing tomorrow, instead it gives a timeline to have the Franklin location closed by 2016. The news was a surprise for local residents.

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