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News

Authorities in Franklin launched an aggressive campaign this month to increase motor vehicle safety.

Dubbed “Safe Streets,” the multi-agency campaign was held from Aug. 16-19 and was spearheaded by the Franklin Police Department. The operation yielded several arrests and citations, as officers aggressively sought speeders, reckless and drunk drivers.

Nineteen officers from several jurisdictions participated in the Safe Streets campaign, including officers from the Franklin Police Department, Macon and Jackson County Sheriff’s Offices, the State Highway Patrol and the Highlands Police Department. Officers set up roadblocks in and around Franklin city limits.

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With the coming of autumn, the grand opening of Franklin’s new Walmart Supercenter also draws near.

Last week, the company announced its search for potential employees, signifying the highly anticipated grand opening of the store almost two years since contruction began in 2010. With a tentative opening date of Oct. 26, the corporation is looking to hire 85-100 additional employees to work at the new Wells Grove Road store.

As the new Walmart hits its growth spurt— from 90,000 square feet to 118,000 square feet— the need for additional employees must be met.

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Board secures $1.5 million loan for upgrade.

During a brief meeting of the Macon County Board of Commissioners Tuesday, August 14, commissioners voted to finance the new computers that will bring the school system's technology up-to-date.

Originally commissioners were going to pay for the $1.5 million upgrade out of the county's fund balance for this fiscal year, but after county attorney Chester Jones and finance director Lori Hall explored financing options, commissioners decided to break the payments up over two fiscal years.

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With the advent of social media on the rise in American culture, The Macon County News & Shopping Guide has now come into the technological fold.

This week, MCN’s website, maconnews.com, is proud to present a new feature that will allow its readers to interact with one other in a whole new way. We hope to generate public interest and discourse on local matters with the new feature. It serves to further involve readers in the issues that matter most. We want to know; What are your thoughts? At the bottom of each news article, our online readers can find a comment box and “like” button, which will allow them to interact with one another via Facebook. There they can share their thoughts or questions on any given subject. User generated content will be moderated in order to avoid inappropriate or gratuitous language. The new feature mirrors the activity generated on the Macon County News’ Facebook page.

MCN invites you, the reader, to not only get involved in online discussion, but to also “like” our Facebook page for all current news and updates for the Macon, Jackson and Rabun county areas. We look forward to hearing your views.

Deputies with the Macon County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) arrested Scott Cole IV on Thursday, Aug. 16. Cole was charged with felony counts of manufacturing marijuana, marijuana possession and maintaining a vehicle for a controlled substance. Cole, who is expected to appear in court on Aug. 30, was also charged with a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to an application for a search warrant from MCSO Detective Chris Murray, after Cole became the owner of his residence, the power records indicated a dramatic increase in power consumption. The search warrant shows that the power consumption ranged from being 2045 kilowatt hours at a cost of $188.83 for the period of Nov. 22, 2011, to Dec. 22, 2011, and steadily increased until reaching a high of 4144 killowatt hours at $404.16 for June 21, 2012 to July 2012.

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While toxicology reports are still pending in the case of James Robert Pruitt—the deceased victim of a July 8 shooting in Otto—details from an autopsy report released by the state Chief Medical Examiner’s Office, reveal that he did, in fact, die by a single gunshot wound.

The report, released on July 23, determined that Pruitt died from a gunshot wound to his left leg, and that there was evidence of hypertensive type cardiovascular disease. According to Dr. Lawrence Selby, who performed the autopsy at Harris Regional Hospital on July 9, Pruitt was shot in the upper left thigh by a .22 caliber handgun while walking up steps. The bullet traveled “through the region of the femoral artery,” read the report, which added that “copious blood is present through and about this wound. No projectiles are recovered.”

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Franklin Fire and Rescue responded to a reported structure fire at Caterpillar Precision Seals located at 517 Industrial Park Road Friday, Aug. 10, at approximately 4:30 p.m.

Smoke was visible when crews arrived and the building had been evacuated.

Crews conducted an interior attack extinguishing the fire in a large equipment area within 15 minutes.

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Live dealers at the gaming tables beginning this week.

After the Department of the Interior signed into law the amendment to the gaming compact between the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the state of North Carolina two weeks ago, the casino acted fast and dealt out the first live hand Wednesday night at 6 p.m.

This compact expands the Eastern Band's gaming enterprise and is creating more than 500 new jobs at Harrah's Cherokee Casino & Hotel in Western North Carolina.

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Initiative enforces registration of sex offenders.

The Macon County Sheriff’s Office participated in the U.S. Marshals Service Operation Mountain Top on Aug. 1. This was a multiagency, multi-county initiative to verify that registered sex offenders were in compliance with all Federal and North Carolina registration requirements. Participating agencies included the U.S. Marshals Service, Macon County Sheriff’s Office, 30th District Attorney’s Office, FBI, N.C. SBI, N.C. Division of Community Corrections, and the Sheriff’s Offices in Clay, Graham and Cherokee counties.

The purpose of this initiative was to enforce the provisions of SORNA, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act which is Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-248). SORNA provides a comprehensive set of minimum standards for sex offender registration and notification in the United States. SORNA aims to close potential gaps and loopholes and strengthen the nationwide network of sex offender registration and notification programs. In addition to the initial registration requirements, North Carolina law requires registered sex offenders to verify their information in the registry twice a year.

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With the holidays in sight as summer draws closer to an end, Franklin’s Tourism Development Authority was faced with numerous grant requests for several upcoming events to be held locally. TDA Chairwoman Candy Pressley was on vacation, therefore Summer Woodard substituted in her place.

NHC event

A grant request made by Dr. San Ho Choi, Nantahala Hiking Club (NHC) Vice President, was made in the amount of $500 to help advertise in print media the upcoming national Family Hike Day on Sept. 29. The event is scheduled to be held at Standing Indian.

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