Benefit for Caleb Watson :: Saturday, January 31 at South Macon Elementary School :: Click here for more details

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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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Will purchase meat; bolster federal nutrition programs

As part of the Obama Administration's commitment to help farmers, ranchers, small businesses, and communities being impacted by the nation's persistent drought, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced USDA's intent to purchase up to $170 million of pork, lamb, chicken, and catfish for federal food nutrition assistance programs, including food banks. The purchase will help relieve pressure on American livestock producers during the drought, while helping to bring the nation's meat supply in line with demand while providing high quality, nutritious food to recipients of USDA's nutrition programs.

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The Franklin Police Department is launching a “Safe Streets” campaign Aug. 17 through Aug. 31. Officers from surrounding jurisdictions will participate in several safety checkpoints and saturation patrols this coming weekend. Officers will be aggressively looking for speeders, aggressive drivers and drunk drivers.

With this weekend’s upcoming motorcycle rally Franklin will likely see an increase in motorcycle traffic on its roadways. Motorists should be aware that motorcycles are more difficult to notice than a car or truck so are advised to look twice before changing lanes, entering a roadway, and traveling through an intersection. Remember to allow a greater following distance behind motorcycles; they can stop much faster than your car or truck.

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With the Macon County School District kicking off the start of the 2012-2013 school year today, Macon County officials held the opening and dedication of the brand new $14 million Iotla Valley Elementary School last Monday.

Both current and past members of the Board of Commissioners and Board of Education who have worked on the long range plan of improving the infrastructure of schools in the county since 1995, were joined by school system staff and community members for the ribbon cutting ceremony.

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The Nikwasi Mound, a monument of deep and spiritual significance to the Cherokee Indians, has been a site of controversy as of late within the Town of Franklin. At the request of members from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, (ECBI) an informal meeting was held at the Macon County Historical Museum regarding the stewardship of the mound by the Town of Franklin. The purpose was simple: To express to locals the site’s deep meaning to the native people as well as their frustration with the herbicide application that occurred in April.

The Nikwasi Indian Mound, which predates the Cherokee themselves, is in fact one of the largest intact mounds located in Western North Carolina. Present at the meeting were people from throughout the region who, in some way, are impacted by the mound socially or politically.

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Kathy Paulette Pruitt, an Otto woman charged with the first degree murder of her son, will not be facing the death penalty.

At Monday’s session of Macon County Superior Court, prosecutors declared that they would not pursue the death penalty for Pruitt, in what is known as a Rule 24 hearing. According to the sheriff’s office, it was a special murder case proceeding wherein a prosecutor declares what sentence will be sought.

Instead, if convicted of the offense, Pruitt will face life in prison without the possibility of parole. Kathy, 53, along with her husband, Frank Pruitt, 62, was present for the proceeding.

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Ordinances were proposed and discussed at a brief meeting of the Town of Franklin Board of Aldermen on Monday. It also proved a vocal one for Alderman Carolyn “Sissy” Pattillo who voiced her concern for working through recent controversies faced by the town.

Unified Development Ordinance amendment

The Board of Aldermen voted to amend the town’s Unified Development Ordinance. According to Town Attorney John Henning, the original ordinance contained an oversight since it was passed in 2007. A public hearing on the matter was held, but no one from the public spoke.

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