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The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners will be hosting for the fifth year an essay contest on county government. The topic of the essay is, “How does my county government improve the lives of its citizens?”

The annual contest is open to 9th and 10th grade students in North Carolina public and charter schools. Students are asked to write a 500-word essay. The entry deadline is April 30, 2012. The winning student and the teacher who submits the winning essay will each win $500 and will be recognized at a meeting of their county’s board of commissioners.

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Last Thursday afternoon, Jan. 5, a two car accident occurred off of the Highlands Road exit ramp in Franklin.

According to Franklin Police Officer Dwayne Cabe, a 1989 Chevrolet Celebrity driven by June Conley, 80, of Franklin, collided with a Ford F-150 driven by Chuck Cocke, 50, also of Franklin.

Witnesses to the accident told law enforcement officials at the scene that Conley ran a red light and struck Cocke's vehicle. Cocke is an employee with City Plumbing and Electric Supply.

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Democratic Senator seeking reelection, this time as challenger.

Former state Democratic Senator John Snow announced Tuesday that he will be seeking reelection to his former seat in the 50th Senatorial District that covers Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties. Incumbent Senator Jim Davis defeated Snow in 2010 by a slim margin of 161 votes, which could make for an interesting campaign season this summer and fall.

 

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Newsmakers & Top Headlines of the Year (continued from the Jan. 5th issue)

July

The Macon County Board of Commissioners appointed school board member Gary Shields to fill a vacancy on the Southwestern Community College’s Board of Trustees in July.

Shields, former principal of Franklin High School, was appointed to complete the term of Charles Leatherman, who resigned from the SCC board effective June 1. Shields’ term is set to expire on June 30, 2012.

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The Macon County Board of Commissioners recognized county employees for their service and dedication at its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 10.

Once a year, commissioners host a reception in honor of employees reaching the 10, 15, 20 and 25 year mark in their career with the county.

Each employee received special recognition before the monthly board meeting and were presented with a pin and a plaque to commemorate their accomplishments.

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The Town of Franklin hopes to be able to announce the new Police Chief by the first of February, said Ashley Hyder, human resource officer for the Town.

The search to replace Chief Terry Bradley after he announced his retirement back in September began on Oct. 1. After 25 years of service to Macon County and 18 years as Franklin’s Police Chief, Terry Bradley announced that his last day with the Town will be on Jan. 27, 2012.

“I have had a wonderful career,” said Bradley. “The citizens of Franklin and of Macon County are great people to have served, and it has been a pleasure serving them.”

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Two weeks after receiving notification of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant, the Macon County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved of the designated 10 percent grant match of $232,634 during its regular scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 10. In order to receive the grant, given and allocated out by the NCDOT Division of Aviation, Macon County and the state each had to pitch in 10 percent of the total project cost of $2,326,340. The grant match will be appropriated from the county’s fund balance.

The size of the grant is warranted due to the fact that the parking apron has not seen any improvements since the 1970s, according to officials with the Division of Aviation and Milles Gregory, chairman of Macon County’s Airport Authority.

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The Macon County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Lawrenceville, Georgia couple on Dec. 29 for drug trafficking charges. According to a report filed by Sheriff deputy Robert Rovegno, Lee Winston Cabe, 40, was charged with trafficking opium, simple possession of a scheduled IV controlled substance, possession of a concealed weapon, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Cabe’s secured bond was set at $12,000.

Rovegno also arrested Charlotte Ordway Cabe, 59, for trafficking opium, simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her secured bond was set at $10,000. Both suspects have been released from the Macon County Detention Center.

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Newsmakers & Top Headlines of the Year

2011 was certainly an eventful year — internationally, nationally, and locally. From the Japanese tsunami to the death of Osama bin Laden and the advent of the Arab Spring, events around the world sparked triumph and tragedy.

There were at least 12 natural disasters, and several unnatural ones in America and throughout the globe that resulted in devastating loss of life and crippling financial losses. Bin Laden’s death at the hands of Seal Team six ignited huge celebrations throughout the United States, and successfully concluded the decade-long manhunt for the world’s most wanted person.

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Transport program made New Year’s Eve safer.

For its third consecutive year, sheriff’s deputies in Macon County kept roads safer during the New Year for Operation Think Twice.

With no questions asked, party-goers were given rides by deputies after calling the Macon County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) to request a ride home. “Think Twice,” a local initiative seeking to lower the rate of drinking and driving during the New Year’s celebrations, has seen moderate success in recent years. From 9 p.m. on Dec. 31 to 6 a.m. on Jan. 1, the public was encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office to request a ride.

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