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State and local investigators uncovered a large scale methamphetamine distribution ring earlier this month, following a 10 month investigation that spanned two states and various Western North Carolina counties.

According to a criminal complaint and affidavit released last week by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, nine individuals from WNC were rounded up in the investigation which began last fall. The investigation was spearheaded by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and was assisted by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and the Macon County Sheriff’s Office.

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Macon County Commissioner Ronnie Beale was elected Second Vice President of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) on Saturday, Aug. 20, during the Association’s 104th Annual Conference, which was held in Cabarrus County.

Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons performed the inauguration ceremony for Commissioner Beale and the other elected county commissioners who will serve as NCACC officers in 2011-2012.

According to Beale, it is crucial to continue the tradition of the NCACC and of counties working together on a state level, and he is excited to be a part of the process.

 

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Introducing ‘Vegas style’ gambling at Cherokee Casino a safe bet

When the N.C. Senate reconvenes on Sept. 12 they will likely be voting on whether or not to ratify an amended gaming compact between the state and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians that would allow for live table games at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel resort. The North Carolina General Assembly passed a Joint Resolution (938) in July that declared which legislation and bills would be considered in September.

According to the Resolution, the Senate will address “Bills to ratify and make statutory conforming changes pursuant to a Tribal Compact negotiated by the Governor.”

 

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On Tuesday, August 15, dispatch received an emergency call at 9:47 about a head on collision on south Skeenah Road. The caller told dispatch that a female driver hit a NCDOT motorgrader truck and the woman was pinned in her car.

According to Sgt. Derek Trelley, Evelyn Elaine Leigh Phillips, 22, of Franklin, was traveling southwest on south Skeenah Road in a 1985 Mercury when she crossed the centerline in a curve and struck the motorgrader, driven by Douglas Brian Stamey, 41, also of Franklin. Stamey received no injuries from the accident. Phillips was airlifted to Mission Hospital where she later died from her injuries.

She was the daughter of Larry F. Phillips and Evelyn Williamson, and is survived by a son, Jonathan Garrett Kresal of the home; two sisters, 

 

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After a Sunday morning, two-car accident on Cowee Mountain a Texas man is left critically injured.

According to Trooper Mike Henry, investigating officer for the N.C. Highway Patrol, the collision occurred at 10:20 a.m. near the intersection of the Sylva Road and Brendle Road.

Henry said that Clifford Hill, 82, of Houston, Texas, was traveling south in a 2009 Honda CRV and crossed five lanes of traffic sideswiping a northbound 2003 Ford car driven by 51- year-old Lake Holland of Otto. Holland's wife, Teresa, was also in the car.

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A Franklin man was arrested last week after leading law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase through two counties.

After being blue-lighted by Jackson County Sheriff’s Officers in the early morning hours last Friday, Ian Alexander Neal, 23, fled the pursuing officers on U.S. 441 south heading toward Macon County. According to Macon County Sheriff Robert Holland, it was at that point that his officers were alerted and began assisting the pursuit.

At approximately 2:42 a.m., Neal reportedly drove over spiked stop strips deployed by the Franklin Police Department as he arrived near the intersection of 441 South and Dowdle Mountain Road. During the chase, the suspect reached speeds of 115 miles per hour, according to Holland.

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County officials caught off guard by additional five percent increase

People will soon be feeling an additional money crunch due to an approved five percent rate increase on electricity statewide. On Tuesday, August 9, the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) formally approved Duke Energy's petition for the rate increase, which will be effective starting September 1. The five percent increase follows on the heels of a much larger 17 percent that Duke Energy applied for in July.

According to Betsy Conway, spokesperson for Duke Energy, the billing system is set up to have two separate components that appear on the customer's monthly bill. Conway explained that one component is fuel rating, and that its increase in recent years justifies Duke's five percent increase. This component pays the company to maintain their facilities and, according to Conway, is the “price incurred to generate power across the system.” Based on an annual report that the company is required to make and the current fuel costs at that time, those rates are adjusted accordingly.

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Carpenter survives milestone

The Macon County News would like to recognize and congratulate Vickie Carpenter for her 10 years of service to the newspaper.

Vickie started working for the newspaper in August 2001 as a part-time sports photographer. “I have always loved photography and was happy to have the opportunity to cover the sports in Franklin,” said Vickie.

According to Vickie, one of the coolest things she has been able to do while working for MCN, came in 2001 when she was able to follow Franklin High’s baseball team all the way to Raleigh for the State Championship. “I was able to be on the field taking pictures during the game. It was really neat!” she shared.

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No new candidates challenge incumbents in Franklin elections

Four out of the six Town of Franklin aldermen up for election this year will be running as unopposed incumbents for their positions in November, along with the Mayor. The other positions are staggered and will be up for grabs in two years.

“Basically, there is nobody in town who will run against them,” chuckled Town Manager Sam Greenwood on Monday. “And because of state law they have to run in an election.”

Incumbent Aldermen Bob Scott, Farrell Jamison and Joyce Handley all filed for re-election on Friday. Mayor Joyce Handley all filed for re-election on Friday. Mayor Joe Collins is also scheduled to run unopposed this year.

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Highlands has been searching for a full time Planning Director since October 2010, when Planning Director Joe Cooley abruptly resigned under pressure. Shortly following Cooley's resignation, Mark Maxwell was named to Interim Town Planner, but was terminated in July.

David Allen Clabo, who has worked for the private and public sector in Georgia and Virginia, was one of three finalists to be considered for the position.

Along with the responsibility of the new position, Clabo will receive $55,000 annually, a three-month rent stipend, and all of the standard benefits that are offered to the Town of Highlands employees.

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published: 10/18/2013
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