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At the Board of Aldermen meeting Monday night, Town Manager Warren Cabe presented the board with his budget for the 2013- 2014 fiscal year. This is the first step towards finalizing a budget for the year and the budget could see changes in the upcoming weeks before it is adopted. The fiscal year begins on July 1.

At the town retreat last month, Cabe had expressed to the board that he did not want to see any tax increases and the budget as presented reflects this sentiment. The current tax rate is $0.25 for every $100 and will remain at that rate.

Cabe's plan for town personnel calls for a two percent cost of living adjustment for all positions and for one management position in the fire department budget to be split into two entry level staff positions. He has also suggested that funds should be allocated to hire a part time employee to assist with mowing and general maintenance in the spring and summer.


A bill that recently passed the North Carolina Senate could allow municipalities in 10 counties to refrain from issuing public notices to local newspapers informing citizens of governmental meetings. The Town of Franklin's Board of Aldermen discussed this issue at its scheduled meeting Monday. Macon is one of the counties listed in the bill that provides municipalities the option to publish the notices in local newspapers.

“In North Carolina, there is about $11 million a year spent to provide public notices in print,” said Senator Jim Davis who represents Macon County. “This bill will give counties and municipalities the option to continue doing as they are currently doing, or they can put it on their website to reach the public.”


Last Thursday, school officials arrived on the Franklin High School campus to find that overnight the school had fallen victim to a senior prank.

Franklin High School Principal Dr. Chris Baldwin said school officials are continuing to investigate a senior prank at the school.


Authorities with the Macon County Sheriff's Office have shut down and seized property in two indoor marijuana growing operations since Saturday. According to documents on file with the Clerk or Courts office, Macon County Magistrate Miciah Leatherman issued a search warrant at 7:14 p.m. in the matter of 526 Coweeta Church Road to Macon County Sheriff's Office Detective Chris Murray. The search warrant allowed Murray to search the premises, vehicle, and person of Christopher Michael Belvedere.

Belvedere was arrested and charged with one count of manufacturing a schedule VI controlled substance.


Nearly six years after the brutal murders of a Hendersonville couple in the Pisgah National Forest, Gary Michael Hilton was sentenced to four life sentences on Thursday, April 25, in U.S. District Court for the kidnapping and murder of John D. Bryant and Irene W. Bryant. He was also sentenced to 15 years in prison for a related robbery offense, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

In March of 2012, Hilton first pleaded guilty to murdering the Bryants, who were in their 80s. He also pleaded guilty to robbery, kidnapping and firearms offenses.

Hilton was able to avoid the death penalty in North Carolina in exchange for a plea arrangement.


Work will be completed for Memorial Day opening.

As the weather starts to warm up, families in Macon County can start to look forward to to a new pool facility at the recreation park. During a recent joint meeting of the Macon County Board of Commissioners, Town of Highlands and Town of Franklin, County Commission Chair Kevin Corbin announced that the renovations to Macon County's community pool would be complete and ready for opening day by Memorial Day weekend.


The Town of Franklin had a discharge of untreated sewage from its pump station located at 3174 Wayah Road of approximately 4,500 gallons. The discharge was first discovered April 29, at 9 a.m. and lasted approximately 1 hour.

The untreated wastewater entered Wayah Creek. The spill occurred because of pump station failure, due to heavy rain.

This notice is required by North Carolina General Statutes Article 21 Chapter 142.215.C.

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

Phil Drake, chief executive officer of Drake Enterprises, and Kenny Messer, an executive with Milliken Corp., are the two newest members of the Western Carolina University Board of Trustees.

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors elected Drake, of Franklin, and Messer, of Greenville, S.C., to four-year terms on the WCU board. The UNC system governing body also re-appointed current trustees Edward Broadwell Jr. of Asheville, retiring in November as chairman and CEO of Home Trust Bank, and Southern Pines businessman George Little to four-year terms.

The appointments, effective July 1, are contingent on submission of statements of economic interest and vetting by the State Ethics Board. The UNC board is scheduled to confirm the appointments at its June meeting.


Macon County began the year with one less magistrate than it has had in past years. The 2011-2012 budget put in place a variety of cuts across the board in North Carolina and as a result, Highlands is without a magistrate for the first time in 30 years.

The Town of Highlands may get a reprieve in next year’s budget if Gov. Pat McCrory gets his way. In the budget that he has presented to the N.C. General Assembly, he has included language to restore positions to many of the rural areas in the state.

When asked about the 2013-2015 biennial budget, the Hon. John W. Smith, director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, stated that the AOC will be asking for the restoration of 28 magistrate positions statewide, news Macon County officials were happy to hear.


The Macon County Planning Board gathered last Thursday to discuss the current floodplain ordinance that was established in 2008. Of particular note was the no-fill portion of the ordinance that states that no dirt may be used to fill in land that is located in the floodplain.

By definition, a floodplain acts as a reservoir. Its function is to provide land and space for floodwaters to slow down. FEMA allows the use of fill in a floodplain. though the county has stricter reegulations.


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