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Friday morning, Franklin Police Chief David Adams as well as other deputies will be gathering at Main Street Coffee and Yogurt for the first annual, “Coffee with a Cop” meeting.

“We hope that this builds better community relations and that through talking with the public first hand, we can improve our department,” said Chief Adams. “We want to listen to what citizens have to say about our community and the police department and we see this as an excellent way to do that.”

A local officer brought “Coffee with a Cop” to the attention of Chief Adams. The idea originated out of California and has since swept the nation as an opportunity for law enforcement agencies to work more closely with the community. From answering questions, to seeking advice on procedures and protocol, Chief Adams said no topic is off limits.

"We want to know how the public thinks we are doing, and what we can do to get better,” he said.

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North Carolina’s Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker spent last Friday afternoon touring a handful of the “homegrown” businesses in Macon County.

Starting at Drake Software, Decker met with business owners and employees to discuss what makes living in Macon County so great.

After Drake Software, Decker, who was accompanied by Macon County Commission Chair Kevin Corbin and Economic Development Director Tommy Jenkins, Decker stopped at Duotech to receive a tour of the manufacturing facilities from Engineer Rich Peoples.

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It has been more than a week since Alec Lansing walked away from a camping trip in Jackson County. That means it has been more than a week since his mother Pamela, or any friends and family have heard from the teen.

The camping trip Alec was on hosted by Trails Carolina Wilderness Therapy Program in Lake Toxaway, was intended to be a wilderness therapy camp for the group of high-risk teens. Alec, a slim young man at 5 feet, 11 inches tall and 140 pounds, the 17-year-old was last seen wearing a red, long-sleeve fleece and boots, before he walked away from the camp last Monday.

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Winner won’t be eligible for state pageant until 2016.

Most of the residents of Franklin don't realize that there was once a Miss Franklin pageant. Local women would vie for the chance at the title and then they were able to move on to the Miss North Carolina pageant. According to Cindy Cavender of the Franklin Chamber of Commerce, those pageants ended in the early 1990s but now they're about make a comeback.

“We just thought that this would be a really good thing for the Franklin area and the people that live here. Something fun to bring back and take pride in,” she said.

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More than 108,000 QOV quilts made since 2003.

Recently, two veterans were presented with Quilts of Valor by the Smoky Mountain Quilters Guild and Susan Gordon, executive director of the Quilts of Valor Foundation.

Ed Holcomb was honored for his Army service in Vietnam and Susan Jones was honored for her Air Force service as an Operating Nurse in Iraq. Both quilts were made by members of the Quilts of Valor Bee of the Guild, and made with patriotic colors. Both recipients were visibly moved as the quilts were wrapped around them in the final minutes of the presentation. The act of wrapping a recipient in their quilt symbolizes the respect, care, and love that the quilters feel for the servicemen and women to whom these quilts are presented.

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A Friday morning routine traffic stop in the south end of Macon County sent police on a search for 20-year-old Derek Nichols.

Around 5 a.m. on Friday morning, Macon County Sheriff’s deputies attempted to pull over a vehicle near Prentiss Bridge Road due to a taillight being out. After police activated blue lights to pull over the vehicle, the driver turned down Clarks Chapel Road onto Tessentee Road trying to evade police.

After a brief chase, the vehicle was stopped after a minor accident with a trailer. The suspect, who was later identified as Nichols, took off on foot. The MCSO K9 unit was called in to track Nichols. During the foot search, officers recovered several items believed to belong to Nichols including a shoe, a hat and a cell phone.

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Mayor urges caution when giving to private businesses.

On Monday the Franklin Tourism Development Authority held its monthly meeting at the Franklin town hall to discuss potential funding opportunities for some previously proposed projects coming to the area. One in particular drew lengthy discussion among the board members. Last month, Paul Garner, general manager of the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts approached the board to ask for $15,000 to go towards advertising for events at the facility.

Board member and Franklin town manager Summer Woodard informed the members that the county's Tourism Development Commission had approved a matching grant of $15,000 last week.

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Shortly before 8 p.m. election results started to roll into the lower level of the Macon County Courthouse at the board of elections office. With candidates patiently waiting with their friends and family, and the news media anxious to report results to the public, one by one Macon County’s precincts began delivering results.

While the official election results won’t be available for a couple of days, the unofficial results were tallied and proclaimed some incumbents victorious, as well as named a few new faces to open seats.

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Principals and administrators trying to fill the gap.

Early each morning, most days before the sun comes up, school bus drivers around the county brave the elements to take the community’s young residents to and from school, ensuring that they get to school safe in the mornings and get home safe in the evenings. While some routes take three to six hours a day, the average route for a bus driver in Macon County is about four hours.

North Carolina has long since battled bus driver wages, finding it hard to keep fulltime bus drivers in the districts, when they are technically considered part-time employees based on hours worked. The state’s bus driver debate is as divisive as ever and in Macon County, has resulted in buses at Franklin High School having to be parked due to the lack of drivers.

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With about 25 months left on the county’s current landfill lifespan, Macon County commissioners voted during the October meeting to move forward with allowing the solid waste department to purchase two parcels of land totaling $1.5 million.

As an enterprise agency, the funds to purchase the property will come from the solid waste department, and not from the county budget. Chris Stahl, the county’s solid waste director, informed commissioners that by purchasing the property now to complete the expansion, more than 40 years will be added to the life expectancy and save the county $36 million in operating costs over that time.

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