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News

July

Town board explores future water options

The Franklin Board of Aldermen looked at the future of the town's water system at its July meeting.

Brian Tripp from the consulting firm W.K. Dickson was at the meeting and provided a presentation on a plan that would expand the current infrastructure of the town's water system to meet the demand up to and beyond 2035.

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On Monday night the Franklin Board of Aldermen held its first meeting of the new year. On the agenda was a variety of issues to be discussed, but the extremely low temperatures kept two presenters – representatives of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Venture Local – from attending the meeting. As a result of the reduced agenda items, the meeting was shortened significantly, but produced some significant highlights before adjourning for the evening.

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At Monday night's Franklin Board of Aldermen meeting, Town Manager Warren Cabe announced that Macon County employee Justin Setzer would be serving as the new Town Planner of Franklin.

“I'm honored to receive this opportunity,” said Setzer following the announcement. “I'm looking forward to working with the administration, the town board and the citizens of Franklin.”

Setzer, a Franklin native, will officially begin his duties on Jan. 29. In the meantime, he will finish up his stint with Macon County. The Franklin High School and Haywood Technical College alumnus began working with the county in 2006 in the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Department as a GIS Analyst. He also serves as Lieutenant for the Franklin Fire Department and spent some time with the Town of Franklin Planning Board.

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With the New Year’s holiday being a time of celebration and new beginnings, once again this year, the Macon County Sheriff’s Department (MCSO) wanted to start the year off right by working to keep the roads as safe as possible by hosting the Operation Think Twice Program.

Each year, the MCSO holds Operation Think Twice on New Year’s Eve to provide a safe way for residents to get home after a night of celebration. With a “no questions asked” policy, anyone needing a safe ride home on New Year’s Eve was encouraged to call dispatch and an officer would take them home.

This year 30 individuals called and requested rides home and the MCSO worked with local businesses such as Mixers and Mulligan’s to ensure their customers would have a ride home if needed.

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A Macon County man was arrested on New Year’s Eve after allegedly firing a shot at his girlfriend’s head.

After a domestic dispute erupted in the Nantahala community of Macon County, 22-year-old Alexander Bryant, of Topton, was arrested by the Macon County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday night for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. According to police reports, Bryant shot a rifle toward his girlfriend, Ashley Slaton, following an argument. The victim was able to escape the scene to contact authorities, and after a search in the Nantahala community for Bryant, he surrendered himself to law enforcement officers.

The incident report on file states that Slaton called 911 to report that Bryant was shooting at her from a window at his residence in Topton. Slaton told police she went to Bryant’s to retrieve her car that was sitting in the front parking lot when he opened fire on her. Slaton was able to hide behind a tree to contact authorities, but informed dispatch that Bryant was watching her from his window.

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In the summer of 2011, state and local investigators broke up a large scale methamphetamine ring that was being operated out of the then-Budget Inn located off of Highway 441 in Jackson County that was owned by Michael James Taylor of Sylva.

The operation was led by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and assisted by the State Bureau of Investigation as well as the Macon County Sheriff's Office.

Since it was a federal investigation, the details of the case were not forthcoming.

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Since a new salvage yard reporting law went into effect a month ago, the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles’ License and Theft Bureau has received 41 reports of stolen vehicles, stopping 22 from being sold to salvage yards and confiscating 19 following sales.

The new law requires salvage yards and metal recyclers to verify vehicle information before selling parts or crushing vehicles they buy. Of those identified, the Bureau and several local law enforcement agencies have recovered 33 vehicles and also uncovered three fictitious IDs still under investigation. Additionally, the Bureau is beginning to receive reports of illegal activities in buying and selling junked cars.

“This is a great example of how one new law has already made a big difference in a very short amount of time,” said Motor Vehicles Commissioner Kelly J. Thomas. He said the number of vehicles stolen in North Carolina during 2012 totaled more than 15,876.

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Another year comes to a close and the country as well as the state has experienced a year of ups and downs. We saw the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and President Obama's fight with the United States Congress to keep in moving forward.

We saw a house divided when it came time for the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and their attempts to reach a deal on the budget in order to avoid default and we were helpless as the sequester tightened around various aspects of our lives.

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Recognizing the dedication and willingness to serve the residents of Macon County, each year the Macon County Sheriff’s Department holds an annual banquet to honor the outstanding men and women in law enforcement. In appreciation of local law enforcement, Congressman Mark Meadows attended the MCSO annual banquet at the Dillard House. Meadows thanked Macon County law enforcement officers for their sacrifices made by the officers and their families and assisted Holland in presenting the awards.

The Macon County Sheriff’s Department named Joshua Stewart Deputy of the Year during their annual banquet.

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Moody appointed to two-year term

When voters took to the polls in the Sylva Municipal election, they voted to elect Christina Matheson as the new mayor, but when it came time for Matheson to take her Oath of Office, she had other plans in mind. Matheson, who started her professional career as a lawyer, turned down the position as Mayor of Sylva to accept a position with the District Attorney’s Office.

Because Matheson decided against taking the mayor's seat, Sylva’s Town Board voted to unanimously reinstate long time Mayor Maurice Moody to another term in office. “Maurice will serve two years until the next election,” explained Sylva Town Manager Paige Roberson. “In the 2015 election, someone will be elected to the mayor’s seat to serve the remaining two years of the term. In 2017, the election schedule will resume as normal.”

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