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- published 3/27 (Larry) - unpublished ?

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Nearing the three-week mark since the federal government shutdown first began, departments in Macon County went before the Macon County commissioners Tuesday night to voice their concerns on budget shortfalls.

Jane Kimsey with the Department of Social Services (DSS) informed the board that if the shutdown did not end soon, several vital mandated services would be out of operational funds.

"There is still uncertainty regarding the federal government shutdown as it relates to the funding of Social Services,” said Kimsey. “But based on conference calls and administrative letters over the past week, there are specific services that stand to be immediately affected as of this month.

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After months of back and forth conversation about the rezoning of Pauline Avenue, the Town of Franklin Board of Aldermen finally voted to allow the parcels in question to be rezoned from an R-2 residential to an R- 1 residential area at Monday night's monthly meeting. An R-2 residential would allow mobile homes to be placed on properties while R-1 would not.

The rezoning application for 32 parcels of land on Pauline Avenue was initially submitted on May 17 by Richard Brady. Sixteen of those parcels, exactly half were submitted by a third party—Brady. According to North Carolina statute, Brady was required to notify those property owners thus giving them the opportunity to attend public hearings that were arranged in the ensuing months to voice their support or opposition. At those meetings, most in attendance were in support of changing the zoning designation to an R-1. One attendee, Bruce Koehler and was adamantly against the change and was on hand Monday night to stand his ground.

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At Monday night's monthly board of aldermen meeting, members of the public approached the board with their concerns of the seemingly growing wood pile that is located in the middle of town, just behind the Nikwasi Indian Mound.

Emmanuel Carrion, owner of Carrion Tree Service uses the lot for his business and stores cut wood in the area that was formerly vacant and mostly used as a parking area.

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Past and current elected officials and employees from all over Western North Carolina joined members of the community last Friday to honor the nearly four decades of public service Jack Horton has given during his tenure in local government.

Horton, who officially retired as Macon County's manager on Tuesday, has spent the last 36 years working in local government all across the state. The Southwestern Community College Annex building was filled with people who have worked with Horton at different points during his career.

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Individuals are calling and telling citizens that they are working for a company and represent the Macon County Sheriff’s Office and that there is a debt owed by the person receiving the telephone call. The caller then informs the citizen that they owe a certain amount of money and if the debt is not paid immediately that the Sheriff will come at a specific date and time to retrieve property from their home worth the value of that debt.

This is a scam and a method frequently used to defraud individuals of their personal funds. The Macon County Sheriff’s Office will not have anyone call your residence or business to conduct business. Only uniformed officers assigned to “Civil Process Unit” will conduct business related to any seizures or forfeitures pursuant to North Carolina Law and with the proper legal documentation signed by a Judge or other Judicial Official – no exceptions.

If you have been a victim of any such scams you are asked to contact your local law enforcement agency and report it.

A vehicle accident occurred on 441S. last Thursday morning. A Werner Enterprises Inc. tractor trailer driven by Mebrahtu Abraham from Washington D.C. and a Macon County tractor trailer driven by James Banta of Franklin, were both traveling south on 441.

Victoria Wood was traveling north in a black Toyota car when she swerved into the southbound lane. Abraham saw Wood heading into his lane and tried to move over into the right lane that was occupied by Banta to avoid hitting Wood head on.

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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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published: 10/18/2013
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