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News

After months of back and forth between the Town of Franklin and the Tourism Development Authority (TDA) regarding the location of the August Biker Rally dubbed, the “Smoky Mountain Rumble,” the TDA hopes to have found a solution.

The rally, which has been slated for Aug. 17- 19, is now set to be held on property on US 64 East near the 441 interchange, the site of the Shriners carnival and several Gem Shows. Event promoter Sylvia Cochran attended the special called TDA meeting last Wednesday to announce that property owner James Vanderwoude has agreed to rent the site out for the rumble at a rate of $500 per day.

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Town employees to see an increase in base salaries.

Little changed in the Town of Franklin’s annual budget at last Tuesday’s budget workshop, held by town officials.

In a handout of the 2012-13 fiscal year’s proposed budget, Town Manager Sam Greenwood noted that this year’s budget “continues to reflect the effects of the most disordered economic conditions in memory.”

Greenwood added in the document that attempts at economic forecasts on the state and federal levels were “little better than guessing,” and cautioned about the prospect of weak economic recovery.

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Plans are to purchase property at new Wal-mart.

Town of Franklin Board of Aldermen met in a special called meeting on May 21 to discuss contract negotiations to purchase a building in the new Wal-Mart Supercenter location in order to relocate the town's ABC store.

Mayor Joe Collins and Alderman Bob Scott voiced concerns on whether the town should move forward and buy the new store at a cost of $1.25 million. Currently, town attorney John Henning Jr. is working out contract negotiations with the Tennessee-based company, Meyers Franklin Associates, LP in order to outline a preliminary offer to purchase the property.

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Officers with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) arrested a Franklin man last week for the alleged sale of illegal substances at a local alternative gift shop.

According to a press release by the JCSO the day following the arrest, Brad Douglas Aiken, 20, of Franklin, was charged with possession of a schedule VI controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a place to keep controlled substances. A $1,500 secured bond was set at the time of Aiken’s arrest.

On Nov. 23, 2011, Jackson deputies issued a search warrant at Doobie’s Party Accessories located at 22 Steeple Drive in Sylva. Approximately one half ounce of suspected synthetic cannabinoids was seized during the search. The suspected substances — commonly referred to as “Spice” or “K2” — were sent to the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation Laboratory for analysis.

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Macon County native Matt Mason has been hired as the new county planner. Mason, who began his career with Macon County in August of 2006 as an erosion control inspector, currently serves as the county’s Environmental Services Supervisor.

“I am very excited to be the county planner for Macon County,” said Mason. “The new position has changed slightly, along with the traditional responsibilities of the planner. Our department is evolving and also incorporating the administration of the Flood and Watershed Ordinances. Going through the interview process and eventually accepting the position was very exciting, and I am very proud of the fact that our county leaders placed such a high level of confidence in me for the position of county planner.”

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A Law Enforcement Memorial Service was held on Tuesday, May 15, at the Macon County Courthouse Square.

The service is held to honor North Carolina officers who gave their lives in the line of duty.

Seven N.C. police officers were killed in the line of duty in 2011.

Officers remembered from WNC were Master Trooper Calvin E. Taylor, Senior Trooper Anthony G. Cogdill and Trooper David Shawn Blanton Jr. Franklin Police Chief David Adams was the guest speaker.

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On Monday, Franklin’s Tourism Development Authority formally set their sights on 441N alongside which August’s upcoming biker rally is scheduled to be held.

Last July, the TDA unanimously voted to sponsor a three-day motorcycle rally, giving promoters $14,800 of TDA funds to kick off the first ever event in Macon County. While nothing was set in stone for the location of the event, several ideas were considered, including holding part of the event in downtown Franklin.

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Patterson appointed as newest member

The Macon County Board of Commissioners filled two vacancies on the Planning Board during Tuesday night’s meeting.

After the Board of Commissioners approved new three year term limits for the Planning Board in February, two members of the Planning Board faced expinning terms on April 23, 2012. After years of service on the board, both Susan Ervin’s and Mark West's terms expired last month, and both members submitted applications for reappointment.

West, who has served on the Planning Board for numerous years and served Macon County as a former County Commissioner, originally submitted an application for reappointment, but after being informed that seven other individuals had also submitted applications for the volunteer board, told commissioners that he wanted to withdraw his application.

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During a special called meeting of the Macon County Board of Education Monday morning, Otto resident, Dr. Finley James Duncan was named as the interim superintendent, pending background checks and a salary negotiation.

“I appreciate the confidence of the board and the opportunity to serve Macon County as the interim superintendent,” said Dr. Duncan on Tuesday morning. “I hope to provide some direction and guidance for the district while the board searches for someone to take on the full time position.”

Although he has enjoyed retirement since 2006, Dr. Duncan felt that his 43 years of experience with the public education system could benefit Macon County schools while they search for a permanent replacement for Dr. Dan Brigman. Last week, Dr. Brigman notified the board of his resignation to assume a position as the Superintendent of Catawba County Schools on July 1.

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A two vehicle accident occurred last Friday on 441N, Sylva Hwy.

Lolita Garber, from Franklin, made a left turn out of the Gem Show in front of Judith Bryant from Tiger, Ga. who was traveling north. The two vehicles collided. Garber’s vehicle came to rest on the roadway and Bryant's vehicle traveled off to the left and collided with an embankment.

Lolita Garber was given a citation for failure to yield.

Lolita Garber, Judith Bryant, and Harold Bryant, who was a passenger, were all transported to Angel Medical by Macon County EMS.

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