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A two-car collision on the Hwy. 441 Bypass claimed the life of a young Franklin woman on Monday evening. Officers from the Franklin Police Department, the Franklin Fire Department and Macon County EMS responded to a call to 9-1-1 dispatch which reported the accident at 7:50 p.m.

According to Lt. Steve Apel of the Franklin Police Department, nineteen-yearold Kathleen Stewart was driving a 2003 Toyota Camry when she failed to check for traffic before pulling out from Cat Creek Road across the northbound lanes of the bypass. Stewart pulled into the path a 2007 Jeep Commander driven by Alana Wilson, 25, of Highlands.

Stewart's Camry, struck by the jeep on the driver's side, flew across the median before coming to a stop near the southbound lanes of the highway. The Jeep continued traveling another 150 feet before coming to a stop. Both vehicles were destroyed.

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Fallen N.C. law enforcement remembered at Law Enforcement Memorial Day

A solemn service to remember North Carolina’s law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty was held at the gazebo in the Franklin Town Square last Friday. Local officials and representatives of the various branches of law enforcement in the county attended the memorial event hosted by Lodge No. 81 of the Fraternal Order of Police of Macon and Jackson Counties.

“Let us never forget but always remember, not only on this day, but every day, our fallen brothers and sisters who have paid the ultimate price,” entreated Al Caiata, retired deputy chief of Cape Coral Florida Police Department and guest speaker at the event.

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A man suspected of killing his estranged wife and another man in Sylva was arrested in South Carolina.

On Friday, at approximately 1:15 p.m., officers with the Sylva Police Department responded to a shooting at the Sunrise Park neighborhood in Sylva. Upon arrival they found the bodies of Melody Nicole Conger, 20, and Kevin Shawn Frady, 25, who had been shot to death. Conger and Frady were both residents of Sylva.

According to a statement by SPD detective Jenni Rumsey, the suspect, 23-year-old Matthew Wayne Moore turned himself into the Easley Police Department in South Carolina at 7:40 p.m. later that evening. Moore has been charged with two counts of murder and is being held in the Jackson County Jail without bond.

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Since Alderman Jerry Evans passed away in February, his seat on Franklin’s Town Board has remained vacant. At the board’s continuation meeting on Monday, the seat was finally filled.

The Board voted unanimously to approve Farrell Jamison as the new alderman to assume the remainder of Evans’ term, which ends in November. At that point, a partial two-year term will be up for election, along with three other seats, to finish out Evans’ four-year term, starting in December. The other positions will be four-year terms.

Jamison, who has worked for Franklin Fire and Rescue for 34 years, now works part-time as a fire and rescue training coordinator for Southwestern Community College, along with serving as the county fire investigator.

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Committee members agree that only specific projects should be included in final plan

During a meeting of the Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP) Committee last week, the decision was made to eliminate a list of 22 minor widenings that the North Carolina Department of Transportation has said could be considered for upgrading to current design standards. At the meeting committee members were reviewing public input on the plan that has been collected over the past month.

The CTP is a long-range plan which identifies major transportation improvement needs in Macon County and develops longterm solutions for the next 25 to 30 years. It is a joint effort between the Towns of Franklin and Highlands, Macon County, the NCDOT and the Southwestern Rural Planning Organization.

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Officials skeptical of population figures

Macon County is no longer the fastest growing county in Western North Carolina, according to population figures released by the U.S. Census earlier this year. But Macon officials are skeptical of the census findings, and are preparing to examine them with federal workers in the coming months, said County Manager Jack Horton on Friday.

“The preliminary population figures were higher 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.

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House budget proposal would cut support for Small Town Main Street Programs

Highlands town manager Jim Fatland believes that in these economic times, it is more important than ever to support local small businesses.

“When you have a down economy, you need to be proactive in stimulating jobs,” said Fatland. “We feel the Main Street Program does just that.”

The Town of Highlands, which was selected a year ago to participate in the North Carolina Small Town Main Street Program, has made great strides in moving its downtown forward, in part through the strong support from staff who coordinate the program in the Western North Carolina region, says Fatland.

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‘On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive’

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol along with the Wildlife Resources Commission and the Alcohol Law Enforcement Division are combining efforts to save lives this summer. Whether on the road or on the water, law enforcement officers will be on the look out for impaired drivers by conducting DWI checkpoints near recreational boating areas as well as educating motorists on the dangers of drinking and driving.

“On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign is a multi-agency initiative that combines law enforcement resources to ensure that all motorists can safely travel on highway and waterways during the summer months.

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Three North Carolina nonprofits have filed an administrative complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice, claiming that the North Carolina court system has failed to provide interpreters for individuals with limited English proficiency in civil and some criminal court proceedings. Without an interpreter, many plaintiffs and defendants do not understand critical court proceedings.

The complaint – filed by the Latin American Coalition, Muslim American Society and Vietnamese Society of Charlotte – requests an investigation into the state’s justice system to determine whether the lack of foreign language interpreters violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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U.S. Secret Service advises merchants to be diligent in examining bills

Last week, several Franklin area banks and businesses received visits from U.S. Secret Service agents who were in town to alert merchants to a recent spike in counterfeit currency that has been detected in the area and to provide them with information to help them identify forged notes that come into their possession.

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published: 10/18/2013
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