- published 3/27 (Larry) - unpublished ?

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County looking at options as landfill nears capacity.

County leaders met Tuesday night to discuss the future of the Macon County Landfill. With an average of 30,000 tons of trash a year being piled into the landfill, the current plan's days are numbered.

Commissioner Paul Higdon, who acts as the liaison to the solid waste department brought the capacity issue to the attention of the board during its regularly scheduled monthly meeting, requesting a special called meeting to discuss possible solutions. Tuesday night, commissioners heard from Chris Stahl, director of Solid Waste Management for Macon County, on possible solutions to avoid reaching capacity at the landfill.

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This Friday, Nov. 22, will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States of America. Shortly after 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 22, 1963, Kennedy was fatally shot while riding in a presidential motorcade in Dallas, Texas with his wife Jacqueline, and Texas Governor John Connally, and his wife Nellie. After nearly a year of investigations, it was determined that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone and was responsible for Kennedy's death.

Newspapers all around the country dedicated front page headlines spreading the details of Kennedy's death to a nation in mourning. Macon County News' founder, the late Gary Gooder, was working as editor of the Del Ray Beach News- Journal in Florida at the time and authored a front page editorial memorializing the tragic day that will forever go down in history.

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Franklin Alderman and mayor-elect Bob Scott (left) and Franklin Police Chief David Adams (right) attended the North Carolina FBI National Academy Associate's Fall Training Seminar in Asheville, Friday, where Daniel Linskey, Superintendent in Chief of the Boston Police Department (center) conducted a training session on how the Boston Police handled the 117th Boston Marathon terrorist bombing.

Linskey was the on-scene commander for the bombing and hunt for the bombing suspects. Linskey talked about lessons learned, how the bombing scene was secured and evidence gathered and the information amassed that led to the arrest of one suspect and the death of the other in a gun battle. The pressure cooker bombs left three dead and 264 injured.

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Runway widening postponed waiting for grant authorizations

The Airport Authority met recently to discuss plans concerning the future of the airport.

Present at the meeting were Richard Rhodes from Rhodes Construction, Reuben Moore, division operations engineer at North Carolina Department of Transportation, and Erik Rysdon from W.K. Dickson, an engineering, planning, and design firm out of Charlotte who has worked with the authority for many years.

The board members discussed potential projects that had been proposed through the year 2020, but decided to prioritize four specifically, beginning with the paving and lighting project that has been discussed at the last few meetings.

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In the 2013-14 fiscal year budget, commissioners made a commitment to emergency services in Macon County. Funds were appropriated to update emergency vehicles including two new ambulances and six new patrol cars.

After completing the bidding process, Macon County commissioners formally approved a bid from Franklin Ford for six new 2014 Police Interceptor Sedans at $23,996.33 each. The bidding process attracted two bidders, Franklin Ford with a total project bid of $143,978 and Iiderton with a total project cost of $145,134 for six 2014 Dodge Chargers.

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Voters took to the polls last Tuesday and decided on new leadership for various municipal boards in Jackson County. Current Sylva Town Board member Christina Matheson was elected as Sylva's new mayor after defeating newcomer Jeremy Edmonds with 162 votes to Edmonds' 36.

“I am extremely excited, honored and humbled,” Matheson said.

After learning that outgoing Mayor Maurice Moody was not seeking re-election, Matheson felt compelled to step up. “I have served on the Sylva Town Council for four years and have learned much about municipal government,” said Matheson. “When Mayor Moody decided not to run for another term as mayor, I felt it was the right time for me to 'throw my hat into the ring. I loved Sylva and was committed to all that it represents. I felt I could be effective in the position of mayor and be a positive catalyst for Sylva’s growth and prosperity.”

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The Macon County Community Building once again hosted the Franklin Gun Show. Travelers who used Highway 441 to enter into Franklin likely ran into the lines of cars ready to find a parking place in the area. Despite the traffic, Ron Haven of Gem Capitol Shows doesn't think the turnout was what it had been in the past.

“I don't think there were as many people at this show as there usually is,” said Haven. “It was still a good show, but I don't think it was as good as the last one we had. It's actually something that has been affecting a lot of the shows lately. I was talking to a promoter out of Asheville recently and he was saying that his attendance was down also.”

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Franklin's Tourism Development Authority (TDA) held its monthly meeting on Tuesday night at Town Hall. Members had a light agenda to consider and promptly got to work, but before diving in they reviewed the financial report which showed that the TDA acquired $9,262.61 in room occupancy taxes for the month of September.

“If you look at July, August and September, all three months are down from previous years,” member Summer Woodard said. “We almost revert back to worse than 2009, 2010. I don't really know what the difference is between what is going on this year and this time last year, but I think it's definitely something the board should take under consideration.”

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Last Sunday, the Sylva Police Department in Jackson County responded to the Jackson Plaza off Highway 441 due to an apparent suicide.

Following an investigation, primary investigator Detective Daniel Peoples, with the assistance of NC SBI agents Shannon Ashe and Lee Tritt, was able to determine that Claude Bolton, 19, of Sylva, had apparently committed suicide by inhaling toxic chemicals.

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North Carolina Highway Patrol ended its Operation Stop Arm campaign on Friday, Oct. 25. The campaign which began on Monday, Oct. 21, was focused on promoting traffic safety around North Carolina schools, school buses and school bus stops.

During the weeklong enforcement campaign, troopers followed more than 671 school buses across the state to remind motorists of the dangers that exist in and around school buses and school zones. Troopers issued 18 citations to motorists who failed to stop for a school bus. It is estimated that each school day, more than 2,000 drivers violate North Carolina’s school bus stop arm law.

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published: 10/18/2013
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