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Town of Franklin Mayor Joe Collins signed a proclamation encouraging citizens to observe Constitution Week Sept. 17-23.

Regent of the Battle of Sugartown Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Judy Hughes and Carmen Jessup, Vice Regent of the chapter presented Mayor Collins with the proclamation.

Constitution Week was signed into law (Public Law #915) by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on Aug. 2, 1956, after the DAR petitioned Congress to set aside a week for the Constitution.

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Assistant District Attorney Heather Baker dismissed the charges against a Cashiers man accused of rape late last month, for lack of conclusive evidence.

On the evening of August 30, Jackson County Sheriff’s Officers arrested 30-yearold Efrain Ubera Morales, of Amethyst Drive in Cashiers. According to JCSO Major Shannon Queen, the suspect was arrested without incident while trying to pay a traffic ticket. “He tried to pay the ticket and an officer recognized him while he was in the magistrate’s office,” said Queen.

The arrest followed an investigation that began on Aug. 14, when officers received a report of a sexual assault that had occurred in the Cashiers area. According to reports, the victim was a 34-yearold Caucasian woman from Cashiers. The primary suspect in the case was described as about 5’6 to 6’0 tall Hispanic male, brown eyes, and black spiked hair.

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In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, R.E.A.C.H. of Macon County is sponsoring a talk and book signing by Angela Dove, who is the author of “No Room for Doubt.” Her book is a nonfiction account of her family’s history and the investigation of her stepmother’s death.

Dove will be featured at two locations on Oct. 6. The first will be at St. Agnes Episcopal Church at 66 Church Street in Franklin, from 10 till 11:30 a.m. This is a tea and light brunch.

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The N.C. Department of Transportation is urging North Carolinians to turn their attention to local roadways with a two-week long litter-prevention celebration.

Litter Sweep is scheduled for Sept. 17 to Oct. 1 and encourages volunteers to clean up North Carolina roadsides, working toward a litterfree state. Volunteers were essential to the 2011 spring Litter Sweep, responsible for removing more than 1.6 million pounds of roadside litter.

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Operation North State (a 501(c)3 nonprofit/all volunteer organization) will be sending 1,500 Christmas gift boxes to North Carolina’s deployed troops filled with North Carolina products/goodies. The boxes will feature 30 items related to North Carolina.

This month Operation North State (ONS) will begin accepting the names of N.C. deployed troops to receive the boxes. ONS defines a N.C. deployed troop as an individual from any branch of military service from North Carolina that won’t be home with their loved-ones this Christmas.

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The person engrossed in a text message or game on their cell phone; the person oblivious to anything but the music playing through their earphones on an MP3 player – these have become common sights in North Carolina as the use of mobile technology has grown. But while electronic devices can be a welcome distraction, they can also be a dangerous one.

Paying attention while crossing the street is a safety rule that is applicable for all age groups, but serves as a particularly important reminder at the start of the school year when the number of middle, high school and college pedestrians increases.

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Area veterans honored in 9/11 tribute at Franklin High School

Before last Friday night’s football game, citizens of Macon and Swain Counties came together to remember and thank their local veterans for their sacrifice and service. The event recognized area veterans from every United States wars since- World War II inlcuding, Operation Iraqi Freedom. The ceremony also included a special commemoration of the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

The event was organized by Franklin’s Rhonda Blanton, Tommy Cabe, and the Booster Club. Local veterans and their guests were allowed a free entrance into the football game. Hundreds of veterans were at the ceremony, in what was an emotional event.

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The Macon County Democratic Women’s Club hosted a rally for state and local party officials last Thursday night at the Otto community center. The Democratic Women’s Club, led by President Margaret Perry, held the rally for former N.C. State Senator John Snow, who lost his reelection bid against Sen. Jim Davis in 2010 by a slim margin of 161 votes. After a moment of prayer and a recital of The Pledge of Allegiance, Democrats began to discuss how they should approach the 2012 campaign season.

Democrats in attendance were hoping to witness Snow announce his candidacy to unseat Sen. Jim Davis in 2012, but were somewhat disappointed when Snow said he is still undecided. Snow’s reluctance to make a decision is due to redistricting issues that may force him and former Sen. Joe Sam Queen to decide amongst themselves about which candidate will run.

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Don Willis and his canine partner, Christine, with the crime scene unit of Macon County’s Sheriff's office assisted Jackson County’s emergency management department in an early Monday morning fire. Christine was on scene to offer her expertise in accelerant detection during the investigation. Although Willis could confirm that Christine was there to look for accelerant, because the investigation is ongoing, he could not confirm whether or not she found any.

The Fireplace Tavern (formerly known as Annie’s Food & Spirits) burned to the ground early Monday morning. The State Bureau of Investigation’s (SBI) arson unit is working with Jackson County’s fire marshal, Alan Farmer, and the emergency management team to determine the cause. A search warrant was issued for the tavern late Monday afternoon.

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The town-sponsored biker rally, planned for August of next year, now officially has a name.

At its monthly meeting last Monday, members of the Tourism Development Authority (TDA) unanimously voted on the name after hearing from event promoter Sylvia Cochran, publisher of U.S. Rider News.

After trying to figure out what to call the rally, Cochran, along with the help of her husband and business partner Scott Cochran, finally decided on “Smoky Mountain Rumble.” After little deliberation, the board approved the event name.

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