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News

Donald Lee Dowdle, 34, of Highlands has been placed under arrest and charged with the rape of a child. Information was submitted to the Sheriff's Office regarding multiple incidents over several years. Detective Amy Stewart of the Macon County Sheriff's Department obtained a search warrant for Dowdle's Buck Creek home.

Investigators entered the home on Sept. 27 and confiscated among other things three cell phones, kindle tablets, three sd cards – typically used for storing files, tubes of numbing creams, an eyeglass case with drug paraphernalia inside, a “Vaultz” case with 21 cds/dvds and other items believed to possibly contain evidence on them.

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A resolution has been found in the murder case of Thomas Larry Ramsey. Last Wednesday, Sept. 28, Randall Boyd Fouts, 46, of Franklin pled guilty to second degree murder, first degree kidnapping, and first degree burglary.

On Aug. 12, 2010, the grisly murder scene on Johnson Road in the Cartoogechaye community was discovered by a concerned family member of Ramsey's. The camper in which Ramsey resided was found in a state of disarray with the door ajar, a broken window, and blood throughout.

Once investigators arrived at the scene, they found Ramsey, age 61 at the time of his murder, inside the camper, deceased. He had been wrapped in a blanket after being bound with electrical cords and beaten, likely with a bloody hammer that was found near the body. A television was also found on top of the body. The officers on the scene were initially unable to identify the body as a result of the crime.

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On Thursday, Oct. 10, the Macon County League of Women Voters will host a forum for mayoral candidates for the Town of Franklin. Long-time mayor, Joe Collins, is stepping down.

Two candidates, Sissy Pattillo and Bob Scott, are vying for the position. Both currently serve as aldermen on the town board.

Three alderman seats are available, with ten candidates competing for those seats. Two seats are being vacated by Scott and Pattillo; Billy Mashburn is running for reelection.

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On the afternoon of Tuesday, Sept. 24, a vehicle accident occurred in front of Arby's on 441S.

A black Ford F250 driven by Samual Hastings of Franklin pulled out from Bojangles in front of an Anderson Trucking Co. tanker truck out of Anderson S.C. that was traveling south on U.S. 441, driven by Kevin Shirley from Abbyville S.C.

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Sewer, water infrastructure among items discussed.

The ballot for November's election for Franklin's Town Board is full of candidates. With 10 people vying for the three open aldermen seats and two candidates signed up for the mayor seat, there is no shortage of choices for the town's next representatives. Venture Local Franklin and the League of Women Voters hosted a candidate forum Tuesday night at the Macon Bank Corporate Center to give voters the chance to get to know the candidates better.

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A 10th Mountain Division Soldier, stationed at Fort Polk, La., with the 94th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team died in Gamberi, Afghanistan, Thursday, Sept. 19, in a non-combat related incident.

Deceased is Sergeant William D. Brown III, age 44 of Franklin, N.C. He was a healthcare specialist.

Brown joined the Army in May 2010. After completing training at Fort Jackson, S.C., he was assigned to Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Brown arrived at Fort Polk in December 2012.

Brown deployed with his unit to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in July 2013.

 

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Franklin's Tourism Development Authority (TDA) held its monthly meeting Monday night at Town Hall. At the meeting, board members were given an update of the marketing strategy that is currently being implemented and they also considered the grant request to fund PumpkinFest.

Jessica Mason of Premiere Marketing was present to provide details about the results of the strategic campaign that focuses on the city of Atlanta, Ga.

According to Mason, from Aug. 15 through Sept. 3, 3,153 visitors logged in to Franklin's website.

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The Macon County Airport will soon be getting much needed improvements to the runway. The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and DOT (Department of Transportation) approved Macon County for a $2.9 million grant to ensure the airport continues to meet federal and state standards.

In order to get the $2.9 million grant, the airport would need a 10 percent local match from the county, which amounts to $290,556. Commissioners voted to approve the funding in their last regular board meeting.

Macon County's airport is one of 76 airports in the state and has been identified by the FAA as needing the grant to make much needed improvements to the facilities infrastructure. According to Airport Authority Chairman Milles Gregory, the monies were allocated to the county to resurface the runway. During the FAA's last bi-annual inspection, the airport was rated as in fair condition, but the strength of the runway's surface was nearing the poor condition side. “It’s been years since the runway has been resurfaced, and the strength of it is deteriorating,” said Gregory. “That is why we were able to get the funds, because of the recognizable need for improvements.”

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Mission Health President and CEO Dr. Ron Paulus informed employees in a letter at the end of August that the hospital will be laying off some employees as part of an effort to reduce costs.

According to the letter, the hospital is being forced to eliminate about 70 positions to reduce the hospitals overall operating costs. “There will be some caregivers (fewer than 70) who are nonetheless impacted by a job loss,” reads the letter.

Paulus explained that the 70 positions do not necessarily mean 70 individuals, as the hospital will try to save as many jobs as possible through attrition. “For any job elimination, we will work hard to find an alternative role that is appropriate for the skills and experience of that individual,” the letter states.

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In anticipation of receiving a $500,000 grant from the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) later this year, Macon County commissioners voted to allocate $21,000 from the county's fund balance to begin Phase I of the project.

Funds totalling $17,000 will be used to pay the project engineer Mike LoVoy of Civil Engineering Design of Asheville, to design a rough grading and storm drainage plan for Phase I of the project. Phase I of the project will cover the development of the adult ball fields and parking area of the recreation facility.

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published: 10/18/2013
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