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News

Promoters have till Tuesday to obtain proper insurance.

At the request of Candy Presley, member of Franklin's Tourism Development Authority (TDA), a special called meeting was held Tuesday afternoon to discuss insurance coverage for the Smoky Mountain Rumble Rally that is slated to be held Aug. 17 and 18 on the Highlands Road.

According to Presley, she called the meeting after discovering that the event promoters and owners of USRiders Magazine, Scott and Sylvia Cochran, failed to meet the Friday deadline to present the TDA with proof of adequate insurance for the motorcycle rally.

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An Otto couple allegedly involved in a murder case earlier this month face additional charges, including first degree murder.

According to police reports, Frank Kelly Pruitt, 62, was initially charged with second degree murder for fatally shooting his son on July 8 following a heated argument at his Coweeta Lab Road residence. He had called authorities moments before the incident requesting assistance according to 9-1-1 recordings. Nearby neighbors also reportedly made calls to authorities. His wife, Kathy Paulette Pruitt, 53, was charged at that time with resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer.

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During the July meeting of the Macon County Board of Education, the board voted to approve $97,000 from the school's capital outlay budget to fund some much needed upgrades to schools within the district.

Among renovations projects to get under way this school year are overall renovations to Union Academy that total $20,000. The renovations include basic improvements that are intended to bring the school to the same functioning level as other school sites in the districts. The board also allocated $20,000 of the $97,000 to be used to finish upgrading the windows at Nantahala. As funding has allowed over the years, outdated windows have been replaced at Nantahala so the board decided to fully fund that project so it can be completed.

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An Otto man who allegedly shot and killed his son earlier this month in Macon County is now facing first degree murder.

During the July 18 session of Superior Court, Assistant District Attorney Jason Arnold issued a notice of dismissal for the count of second degree murder faced by 62-year-old Frank Kelly Pruitt. According to the dismissal, the state will proceed on an alternate charge of first degree murder.

Such a charge is contingent upon malice aforethought and premeditation being found by prosecutors prior to a fatal incident, according to General Statute 14-17. First degree murder can carry two possible punishments; life without parole or capital punishment.

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Ruby City surrenders remains of Japanese soldier.

The skull seemed a daunting thing, amid the trove of worldly antiquities, fine jewelry, rare gems and ancient fossils. It was an austere war relic, and for more than half a century it loomed in the vast collection of Franklin’s Ruby City Gem and Mineral museum.

From temple to temple, crossing the tip of the skull, grim words were written in black.

“Made in Japan. Tried in the Solomons and Found Wanting.”

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During the July meeting of the Macon County Board of Commissioners Phillip Cochran with Franklin-based Watson Contractors spoke to the board regarding his discontent with the county's Airport Authority's decision to award an Asheville business, Taylor Murphy Construction, the bid to upgrade the airport's apron.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded a grant to the Macon County airport, that after a 10 percent match from the Macon County Board of Commissioners would total $2,326,340. The board unanimously approved the designated 10 percent grant match of $232,634 during its regular scheduled meeting in January.

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In conjunction with this Saturday's 9th annual Franklin Folk Festival, Franklin Fire and Rescue Department will hold a celebration marking their 100th anniversary.

The Folk Festival, which is a celebration of Appalachian heritage, shows what life was like at the turn of the century. The Fire Department Celebration will be located on West Main Street in front of the downtown Macon Bank, and will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a fire engine parade with about 25 trucks ranging from new ladder trucks to old antique fire engines, all of which are vehicles that have been used throughout the 100-year history of the fire department.

Franklin Fire & Rescue was formed in 1911 after the town of Franklin completed its first water system. According to Justin Setser, who has headed up the celebration event, Joe Ashear was Franklin's first Fire Chief and was paid $1 a month for being Chief.

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Investigators in Macon County arrested an Otto man Sunday night after a heated argument reportedly escalated to the fatal shooting of his son.

According to reports, deputies with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office arrived at 1920 Coweeta Lab Road between 7:30 and 8 p.m. on Sunday, in response to complaints of a domestic disturbance and possible gunplay. Upon arrival officers discovered the victim, who was identified onsite as 34-year-old Robert Pruitt.

The incident occurred at the home of Pruitt’s parents, Frank Kelly Pruitt and Kathy Paulette Pruitt.

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Finds it to be a building block for Franklin’s economy

As part of the Venture Local Franklin (VLF) initiative, Macon County News is teaming up with VLF to highlight local businesses throughout Franklin. Each week, MCN will select locally owned and operated businesses in a different industry ranging from retail to tourism, to manufacturing. It is our goal at MCN to work with VLF to encourage residents to shop locally and utilize the resources Franklin has to offer.

One of the industries hit the hardest by the recession was construction. Across the nation, when the economy began to plummet in 2006, construction projects came to a screeching halt, family businesses were forced to close and thousands of workers were laid off.

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Taxpayers plead with aldermen to reconsider.

During July's regularly scheduled meeting of the Franklin Board of Aldermen, taxpayers addressed the Town Board during a public hearing to voice their opposition of relocating the town's ABC store at an initial estimated cost of $1.25 million.

The public hearing was required by law due to the potential use of town property including the town hall, public safety and public works buildings as collateral to secure the loan to cover the expenses of the new facility. Residents spoke in opposition not only to spending $1.25 million to fund the store, but also the location of the proposed building.

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