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News

Town, county officials issue twin proclamations to welcome David O. Belcher

Officials from the town of Sylva and Jackson County government issued twin proclamations welcoming David O. Belcher as chancellor of Western Carolina University as activities marking his installation as the university’s new leader hit high gear Monday, March 26.

The proclamations by Maurice Moody, mayor of Sylva, and Jack Debnam, chairman of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners, capped a busy Monday of installation-related events that began with a midday performance at WCU by the Catamount Singers and Electric Soul, followed by a dancing flash mob boogying across the Central Plaza as the water fountain affectionately known as the “Cata-Fount” was turned back on for the season.

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The Macon County precincts of Smith Bridge and Flats met to organize and energize democratic and independent voters over breakfast on Saturday.  Guest speakers included candidate for the 50th Senate District, John Snow, and John deVille, vice-president of the Macon County chapter of the North Carolina Association of Educators.

Senate hopeful John Snow discussed that he believes incumbent Jim Davis isn’t working for the people of Western North Carolina.  Snow highlighted how he was an independent-minded advocate for WNC, while Davis was towing the party-line, whether it was to benefit WNC or not.

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The Macon County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin Police Department and Highlands Police Department collected a total of 32,310 dosage units of medication during the third annual Operation Medicine Drop last Saturday, March 24.

Macon County’s Sheriff's Office holds Operation Medicine Drop as part of a statewide event which allows citizens to dispose of unused prescription drugs without being questioned by authorities. The drug take-back event is collecting unused and expired prescription drugs in order to properly and safely dispose of the medications.

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Chester Willette of Otto took the initiative to purchase and install a pro-life billboard along the Georgia Road on 441 South.

Willette worked with the free National Life Center Hotline out of New Jersey to develop the billboard to bring awareness and rally support for the pro-life cause in Macon County.

 

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Children in Between, a divorce education class for parents and children, will now be offered in Macon County on Tuesday and Wednesday April 3 and 4, 2012. The class is free but registration is required so there will be enough class materials of all participating. The classes are being sponsored by two local organizations: Mountain Projects and Prevention Rocks.

Divorce is a traumatic experience for children of any age but it is something that affects more than 1.5 million children every year. Research shows that how damaging the affects of divorce are for children is directly correlated with the length and severity of the conflict between the divorcing parents, especially when it involves loyalty conflicts for the children.

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Transportation Secretary Gene Conti announced that state and local law enforcement officers cited 819 motorists for driving while impaired during the St. Patrick’s Day “Booze It & Lose It” campaign, which ran March 15-18. A total of 23,222 traffic and criminal citations were issued statewide.

“This statewide partnership is effective in helping make our roads safer by removing impaired drivers,” Secretary Conti said. “Please remember to do your part and make responsible decisions before getting behind the wheel.”

During the Governor’s Highway Safety Program campaign, officers statewide conducted 2,122 sobriety checkpoints and dedicated patrols. Counties with the highest number of DWI citations were Robeson (90), Wake (67) and Mecklenburg (52).

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Five people were killed in an airplane crash at the Macon County Airport in Franklin, N.C. Thursday, March 15, when a twin-engine Cessna Citation 501 mid-size executive jet exploded just off the runway following an unusual landing.

Terry Bates, Macon County Emergency Services Coordinator, stated Thursday afternoon at approximately 4:45 p.m. that at least three people were killed in the accident, but that it was possible there would be more accounted for as the investigation continued.

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Bob Gretz, a senior air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), held a press conference at the Macon County Airport last Friday afternoon. Gretz explained the investigative process and issued a brief report about the jet crash to the media, an accident that took the lives of five people last Thursday, March 15.

Gretz met with representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration last Thursday night– the day of the crash– and conversed with state and local emergency management officials the following morning.

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Local authorities gear up for Operation Medicine Drop

A new law, which aims to help fight prescription drug fraud and abuse, officially went into effect last week. Under Senate Bill 474, pharmacies will be required to check photo identification before filling prescriptions for certain drugs including Oxycontin, Morphine, Methadone, Fentanyl and Vicodin. The new requirement applies to all Schedule II drugs and certain Schedule III drugs, as classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

 

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The Town of Franklin hosted a special meet and greet on Wednesday afternoon for citizens to have the opportunity to meet Franklin Police Department’s new police chief, David Adams.

Adams’ first day on the job was March 5 and he has been hard at work settling into his new position and learning the ins and outs of the town.

Before being hired to replace long time Chief of Police Terry Bradley, Adams worked with the Hendersonville Police Department for 17 years.

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