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Twelve out of 17 non-profits receive community funds.

Each year, the Macon County Board of Commissioners sets aside $50,000 in a community funding pool to be distributed to local non-profit organizations whose purpose is to help members of the community. Commissioners formed a task force charged with the task of reviewing the funding pool applications and distributing the money.

While the community funding pool was established to help the Macon County Board of Commissioners allocate tax-generated funds to local non-profits in a fair and efficient way, the Macon County Community Funding Pool (CFP) Task Force is comprised of citizens chosen by the board of commissioners...

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Macon County commissioner Ronnie Beale brought home the 2013 John Baggett Award earlier this month from the annual NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) North Carolina conference held in Raleigh.

Named after NAMI North Carolina's first executive director, the John Baggett Award is given each year to recognize the local community effort of a non-member on behalf of people living with mental illness and their families.

“I appreciate this award and this recognition,” said Beale. “There were a lot of other deserving people across the state. I also appreciate the support of this board when it comes to mental illness and the efforts to reduce the effects in Macon County.”

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On Oct. 11, at approximately 07:05 a.m. the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Qualla Motel in the Whittier community of Jackson County in regards to physical injuries on a four-year-old child. Deputies were requested after first responders and EMS arrived on scene and noted the injuries to the child.

The child was transported to Harris Regional Hospital then onto Mission Hospital, where the child died on Saturday, Oct. 12.

The investigation surrounding the circumstances in this case is still ongoing. Further charges will be considered pending the results of the autopsy which has been scheduled for next week.

The Sheriff’s Office has charged a suspect in the injured child investigation at the Qualla Motel in Whittier. Eric Lorenzo Davis, 23, is in custody and has been charged and served with warrants. He is charged with one felony count of intentional child abuse-inflicting serious bodily injury.

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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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published: 10/18/2013
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