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Mayor Joe Collins has decided that he will not seek reelection this fall.

“I've spent 16 years on the board and I think it's just time to take a step back,” said Collins. “I've enjoyed my service over the years, both as an alderman and as mayor of Franklin.”

Collins, a Franklin native is a lawyer by trade who graduated from Franklin High School in 1973 and UNC at Chapel Hill in 1977. Ten years later, he received his law degree from Campbell University's School of Law. In 1997, he was elected to the Town Board of Aldermen and served in that capacity until 2003 when he was elected as mayor.

“I've been doing this for a while now and I think I'm just going to take some time off to spend with my family,” he said. “At the moment, I'm the youngest person on the board and if there comes a time when I want to try it again then I'll still have that option.”


Fate of teachers positions still uncertain.

At the school board meeting Tuesday night in Nantahala, citizens from Macon County filled the room to hear first hand what the future of 31 teacher positions would be for the 2013-2014 school year.

Macon County Schools had initially requested about $9.6 million from county commissioners for the upcoming year, but commissioners were only able to grant $7.1 million.


Proposed land swap would create area in town park.

The Town of Highlands may soon be getting some recreational soccer fields if County Commissioner Jimmy Tate sees his plan come to fruition.

At the county commissioner's board meeting held in Highlands on May 20, citizens of Highlands joined Tate to convey the need for new soccer fields.

“We have a lot of youth soccer players here. They start at the age of three and play through high school,” said Jeff Weller who coaches the Highands High School girls varsity soccer team.


Local fire departments responded to a house fire on Trimont Mountain Road shortly after noon last Saturday. As a result of the fire, the home is believed to be a total loss. Along with the house, a Dodge Ram pickup truck was also burned.

A woman who was pulled from the structure was taken to Angel Medical Center to be examined and/or treated for smoke inhalation.


Falling in line with Macon County, Jackson County Manager Chuck Wooten has presented commissioners with a balanced budget for next year, that does not include a tax increase. The $60.7 million General Fund balance was developed while maintaining the tax rate at its current rate of $.28 per $100 and is .4 percent less than the current year's budget.

Of the proposed $60.7 million, the majority of the budget, at 25.83 percent goes to Human Services, followed by Education at 19.16 percent, public safety at 18.71 percent, general government operations at 14.93 percent, debt services at 10.56 percent, cultural/ recreation at 5.17 percent, transportation at 1.97 percent, economic development at 1.15 percent, environmental projects at .4 percent and other expenses accounting for 2.12 percent of the budget.


The Big Bear Bark Park in downtown Franklin was closed temporarily starting May 1. The Friends of the Greenway, with a grant from the Nutro Dog Food Company Room to Run Project, and with technical help from Habitat for Humanity, closed the park in order to build a shelter over the “people” benches inside the Park.

Because the proposed construction would require the moving of some interior fencing, the dog park was scheduled to be closed during construction.

According to representatives with Friends of the Greenways, the shelter that was proposed would be located within a Duke Energy easement.


The Town of Franklin had a discharge of untreated sewage of approximately 1600 gallons.

The discharge was first discovered on May 22 at 12 p.m. and lasted for nearly four hours. The untreated wastewater entered Cartoogechaye Creek.

The spill occurred because a directional drill went through the sewer line due to construction work.

This notice is required by North Carolina General Statues Article 21.

For more information, contact Assistant to the Town Manager, Summer Woodard at (828) 524-2516.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office is seeking information regarding an illegal dump site just off of Greens Creek Road. A large amount of used roofing materials were dumped in a hay field prior to May 12, 2013.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office inmate work crew assisted the property owner in the cleanup efforts to remove the dumped materials from the land and properly dispose of them.

The sheriff’s office is asking for assistance in locating potential suspects.


The Franklin Farmer’s Market was up and running on Saturday morning. Held downtown on Palmer Street, the tailgate market is open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon throughout the growing season.

John Boertjens, one of the market’s founders, usually has all sorts of greens and vegetables to sell, but only had radishes this weekend. He said the weather is to blame.


Local livestock farmers who have stressed about the mechanics of selling cattle in the past now have a reprieve. They no longer have to worry about hooking up the trailer or making the trek required to sell their cows. Rising fuel costs will no longer have a direct impact on when a farmer heads to the “sale” beyond Macon County because there is now a cattle pick-up Station for those interested.

The destination of the cows will be the WNC Regional Livestock Center located in Canton, N.C. For years, those who dealt in livestock like cattle, goats, sheep, etc... went elsewhere to sell off their herd. Towns in North Georgia like Eastanollee and Carnesville benefited from the southern migration of many WNC farmers, but in an attempt to keep money in N.C., several pick-up sites have been established.


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