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The Franklin High School Class of ‘91 celebrated its 20th year reunion Friday and Saturday, September 23 and 24. On Friday, Class of ‘91 members attended the FHS football game against Pisgah to show their school spirit and cheer on the Panthers.

Then on Saturday, Class of ‘91 members met at the Fun Factory for a Family Lunch, an entertaining afternoon for class members and their entire families.

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Franklin High School has named its 2011 Homecoming Court.

This year’s homecoming game is set for Friday, Oct. 7, when the Panthers will play North Henderson.

The game begins at 7:30 p.m. and the Homecoming queen will be crowned at half-time.

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The Franklin Young Professionals, Inc. (FYP) hosted a career fair at Macon Early College (MEC) last Friday in hopes of inspiring students to begin planning for the future.

FYP is a group of young professionals in Franklin who dedicate their time to give back to the community through outreach, volunteering, and participation in local events.

According to Ashley Hyder, FYP President and Human Resource Officer for the Town of Franklin, the career fair is one of the many events which are organized by the FYP to get more involved with Franklin’s youth.

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Judge Wijewickrama finds probable cause

The case involving a Dillsboro woman who allegedly assaulted her granddaughter earlier this month progressed to Superior Court after District Court Judge Roy Wijewickrama found probable cause for all charges last week.

Lisa Plank Hart, 45, of Cat Tail Drive, faces felony counts of child abuse with serious bodily injury, assault inflicting serious bodily injury, and negligent child abuse with serious bodily injury. Prosecutors were able to gather enough evidence last week to bind Hart to a Superior Court probable cause hearing on Oct. 26.

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After being informed of the mandatory state cut of 1.5 magistrate positions in Macon County by Clerk of Court Vic Perry, Macon County Sheriff Robert L. Holland and Highlands Chief of Police Bill Harrell approached the Board of Commissioners during their monthly meeting last week and asked for help in their attempt to retain the part-time magistrate position in Highlands, currently held by Pat Taylor.

Officials on the state level have also banded together to send a message to the state emphasizing the importance of the Highlands position. Senator Jim Davis supports Macon County’s leadership and is joining the effort to help save the magistrate position. “I am already working to save the magistrate position,” assured Davis. “I fully support the resolution passed by the commissioners, and now it is just about finding the money.”

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Western North Carolina authorities arrested Sylva business owner, Partick Lee Ewart on Sept. 19 on a sex charge at his Haywood County home.

After more than a year of investigation, deputies with the Haywood and Jackson County Sheriff’s Offices arrested 38-yearold Ewart in Waynesville for taking indecent liberties with a minor. According to reports, Ewart is the owner and operator of the popular Sylva and Waynesville- based restaurant Nick and Nate’s Pizza.

According to reports, the arrest stems from an incident that occurred at the suspect’s home on May 11, 2010. At the time of the offense, Ewart lived in Jackson County, but has moved to Haywood County since then.

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Jackson authorities are investigating the case of a 14-year-old white female who was reportedly raped earlier this month.

The incident occurred on Sept. 8 in the Sylva area, according to reports, which resulted in the subsequent arrest of suspect, 19-year-old Jonathan Tyler Pitts on Sept. 15.

“In this case, the investigation has determined the suspect made friends with the victim via the internet social networking site, Facebook,” reads a statement released by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office last Friday. “Further investigation has determined the name used during this correspondence was an alias used by the suspect to avoid detection.”

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After months of inquiries, Macon County officials have opted not to contest the Census results revealed earlier this year, after the findings revealed that Macon was no longer the fastest growing county in Western North Carolina.

Last May, officials expressed their skepticism of the findings and their intent to re-examine those figures with federal workers. County Manager Jack Horton noted that the preliminary population figures released last year proved lower than the final count of the Census. “We thought that was unusual, given the fact that most of the preliminary estimates in other counties actually ended up being lower than what their final count was,” said Horton at the time.

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Several grants were approved at last Monday’s Town of Franklin Board of Aldermen continuation meeting. Alderman Billy Mashburn was absent from the meeting due to family obligations.

But the aldermen were cautious in the process, favoring nonprofit applicants to others, following months of talks in establishing a new grant funding process — a policy that would establish a grant ranking system for community nonprofits.

In fact, Karen Stiwinter, on behalf of the Macon County Community Foundation, offered her organization’s services as an entity that distributes 100 percent of all grant funds it collects to non-profits. Stiwinter came with local architect Tom Ritter, the foundation’s president for next year.

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Last Friday Macon County Commissioners formally submitted a bid of $247,000 for the old Cartoogechaye School property. County Manager Jack Horton and board Chairman Brian McClellan updated the board on the bid to possibly obtain the school located on U.S. 64 west of Franklin.

The old Cartoogechaye school was considered surplus in October 2007 after a new school was built. McClellan explains the bid to retain the school as being a service to the taxpayers in Macon County who paid to build the new school site. County commissioners voted to bid on the school just before the 10-day “upset period” was set to expire, upsetting an earlier bid of $235,000 which was placed by a farmer with plans to use the land adjacent to Cartoogechaye Creek for tomato fields.

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