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Legitimacy of organizations top list of concerns.

On Monday night the Franklin Board of Aldermen held its monthly meeting at Town Hall. With a short agenda and no one signed up to participate in the public session, the board members got down to business and quickly moved through the items of discussion.

Town attorney John Henning Jr. addressed the possibility of passing an ordinance that would regulate the actions of solicitors that function in the roadways and intersections around town. For at least a couple of years now, there has been concern from citizens and town officials alike about the presence of various groups collecting money from motorists in Franklin.

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Earlier this month, the United States Forest Service released a proposed management plan that includes opening up 700,000 acres of the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forests for timber management.

By designating the additional forest service lands for timber management, the door would be open for additional logging as well as other gaming and recreational opportunities.

The plan has drawn both opposition and support, with the Macon County Commissioners proclaiming their support of the endeavor. Earlier this year, the Board of Commissioners voted to pass a resolution against designating additional areas of the Nantahala National Forest as wilderness areas.

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Over the last few months, Drake Enterprises has organized card creating events to help generate holiday cards for the American Red Cross’ Holiday Mail for Heroes program.

From having a booth at PumpkinFest, to partnering with Franklin-area schools, and even getting Drake employees in on the fun, Drake Enterprises has worked with the community for months to create fun, festive cards of thanks and support to be sent to members of the military for the holidays.

The cards, which will be sent to service members, veterans, and military members recovering in the hospital, will be sent during the holidays in hopes of providing a little bit of joy for our men and women in the military.

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The Macon County Planning Board met last Thursday to consider whether a noise ordinance is needed in the county. After hearing some complaints from members of the public – some of them brought to tears in their pleas – the commissioners tasked the planning board with making the decision.

In the first meeting upon taking up their new task, members of the public turned out to discuss issues they had with neighbors. One in particular stressed how close her and her family were to just calling it quits all together.

“My husband came to me the other night and said 'this is it, we have to list the house,” she said about the late night noises that are regularly produced by her neighbor.

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Original predictions for Macon County’s property tax revaluation reported that the average homeowner in Macon County would experience an estimated 20 percent decline in property value. With the process wrapping up and the Macon County tax office finalizing information, County Manager Derek Roland is reporting that homeowners won’t be taking as big of a hit as expected.

“Revaluation results currently are showing around a 14 percent decline in property values in the aggregate,” said Roland. “At the beginning of the budget year we were expecting this percentage to be as high as 20 percent, but as the economy has continued to recover during this time period, our tax base values have shown improvement as well.”

During an address at the League of Women Voters forum, Roland reported that the revaluation is on track to be completed this month and county tax administrator Richard Lightner will be presenting to the board in December the final results.

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Alec LansingMid-day on Saturday, Nov. 22, a body which is believed to be that of Alec Lansing, was found in the Nantahala National Forest.

On Saturday, Nov. 22, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office along with multiple volunteers coordinated by the Jackson County Emergency Management Office conducted further searching of the forest where Lansing was last seen. The body was found in a remote portion of the forest by searchers.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office investigators along with investigators with the United States Forest Service Law Enforcement are working together to continue to investigate the death. An autopsy has been requested by investigators to determine the cause of death.

Lansing has been missing since Monday, Nov. 10, 2014.

Just after midnight on Friday, Nantahala Volunteer Fire and Rescue were dispatched to a report of a structure fire in the Topton Community of Macon County. The dispatch received a call of a structure fire on Briartown Church Road in Topton. When firefighters arrived, they found the house was fully engulfed in flames and as they began to extinguish the flames, then discovered something else.

The fire they were battling was at the home of one of their own, 36-year-old Bradley McCoy. As firefighters made their way into the house, they found McCoy’s body. McCoy was pronounced dead on the scene.

At the time of the fire, McCoy was home with his wife and two children. McCoy’s nineyear- old daughter was airlifted from the scene to the Burn Center in Augusta, Ga., with severe injuries, while McCoy’s wife and other child received treatment at the scene. McCoy’s wife was later admitted to the hospital for further treatment.

The residence endured heavy fire damage and the family’s personal belongings were close to a total loss.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, but investigators in Macon County are looking at a wood stove that was inside the home.

The first Highlands fire substation came one step closer to becoming reality on Thursday, Nov. 6, with an official ground breaking ceremony at the intersection of Cherrywood Drive and Highway 64E.

A group of interested individuals listened to opening comments from Diane Riddle, president of Cullasaja Homeowners’ Association. She praised fellow HOA board member and chairman of the Fire Substation Task Force, Deane Briggs, for his diligence in the past two years.

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On Thursday, Nov. 20, between the hours of 6 and and 11 p.m., SCC’s Public Safety Training Center in conjunction with Franklin Fire Department and other local Fire Departments will be conducting a training exercise at 11 First Street. This exercise will allow local fire departments an opportunity to train in realistic firefighting scenarios. This exercise will culminate in the demolition of a structure by fire.

During this training evolution flames and smoke will be visible and at times prevalent in the area of Downtown Franklin, around East Franklin School and the Highlands Road.

Also fire apparatus and other emergency service vehicles will be utilizing these roads as part of the training drill so minor traffic delays are possible.

The Macon County Board of Elections has released the official voting results for Macon County.

Board of Commissioners District I
Jim Tate 7,735
Michael David Rogers 3,597

Board of Commissioners District II
Gary Shields 7,722
Ronnie Beale 6,085
Ron Haven 4,248
John Martin 1,356

Clerk of Superior Court
Vic Perry 8,180

Register of Deeds
Todd Raby 6,469
Jamie Cochran 5,086

County Sheriff
Robbie Holland 9,538

Board of Education District II
Tommy Cabe 5,751
Bill Taylor 4,109
Write-In 33

Board of Education District IV
Fred Goldsmith 6,218
Carroll Poindexter 3,793
Write-In 26

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