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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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Drunk drivers wearing even the most creative costumes could not hide from law enforcement officers across the state during the Halloween “Booze It & Lose It” campaign. They arrested 842 people for driving drunk from Oct. 25 to Oct. 31.

“Participation in this important campaign from our law enforcement partners is up across the state, and it shows in our results,” said Don Nail, director of the NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “Halloween can be a scary time, but thanks to local and state agencies patrolling our roads day and night for drunk drivers, they prevented countless real-life nightmares."

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Voters took to the polls yesterday, resulting in new leadership for Franklin and Highlands.

In Franklin, two candidates were vying for the open Mayoral seat, left vacant after Joe Collins announced earlier this year he would not be seeking reelection. The mayoral candidates, Bob Scott and Sissy Pattillo, were both sitting aldermen on the Franklin town board. Both Scott and Pattillo ran on the platform of supporting local business and moving Franklin in a new direction. With a total of 493 votes, or 72.82 percent of the votes cast, Scott won the election and will take the helm of the town board in December.

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In the early morning hours last Tuesday, the Macon County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call involving a sexual assault in the Windy Gap area of Franklin. According to the 911 report from October 29, dispatch reported receiving a call from a 42-year-old female shortly after 3 a.m. reporting she had been raped.

The victim reported that two men came to her residence on two separate occasions. The first time the men approached the victim's residence was reported to be earlier in the evening under the pretext of looking for a dog.

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On Thursday, Oct. 31, a man who was putting gas into his vehicle just north of Coweeta Lab Road on 441 South was struck and injured.

According to North Carolina State Trooper Leah McCall, the suspect left the scene and was thought to be driving a 2000-2013 Chevrolet dually truck.

Anyone who may have information about the incident can call Trooper Leah McCall or Trooper Brody Crawford at 1-800-445-1772.

On Monday, the night before Tuesday's election, the meeting of the Franklin Board of Aldermen served as the last time that the board would meet with its current members. Mayor Joe Collins had decided not to seek reelection back in May, leaving the seat up for grabs. Aldermen Bob Scott and Sissy Pattillo both threw their hats into the race, therefore vacating their seats on the board. Only board member Billy Mashburn would be running for reelection.

No last minute policy changes or sweeping decisions were to be made by the board, though an amendment of the Wireless Communications Ordinance was under consideration. According to Town Attorney John Henning Jr., the changes stem from actions taken by the federal government and the passage of the Middle Class Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012.

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At Monday night's board of aldermen meeting, town officials received an update concerning the sewer plant renovations that began in May 2012. The project totaled around $5.5 million with $4.4 million coming from a loan and $1 million coming from a North Carolina Rural Center grant.

Town Manager Warren Cabe was on hand to offer the update.

“We are basically in the final stages. The substantial and final completion date was actually the first of October,” said Cabe. “We've actually been going through a punch list over there to make sure that we have all of the t's crossed and i's dotted. We're down to two or three very very minor things that the contractor needs to clean up, but essentially that project is finished.”

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The North Carolina Department of Labor's investigation into the August incident at Norton Creek Farms that resulted in one death and multiple injuries has resulted in an $8,400 fine for business owner Wayne Moss. After being overcome with carbon monoxide, Bobby Ammons, 57, a worker at Norton Creek Farms was pronounced dead.

The Occupational Safety and Health division of N.C. Department of Labor's report found that Norton Creek Farms was in violation of two NCDOL policies.

According to Neal O'Briant, spokesperson for the NCDOL, the report was issued on Oct. 31, and Norton Creek Farms now has 15 working days to file an appeal with the state to contest the NCDOL's findings.

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Spencer repeating rifle worth up to $20,000.

Gerald “Mack” McCall has donated a rare Spencer Rifle to the Macon County Historical Museum.

The Spencer repeating rifle is a manually operated lever-action, repeating rifle fed from a tube magazine that was inserted into the stock. The gun was widely used by the Union Army, especially the cavalry which is evidenced by the ring this particular rifle is equipped with to hold the rifle while riding horses.

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published: 10/18/2013
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