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News

Ten local organizations seeking grant funding for various projects over the next fiscal year will have to wait for approval by the Town of Franklin Board of Aldermen. The board made no decision on the matter at Tuesday’s meeting.

The wait follows a policy that would establish a grant application priority ranking system for community nonprofits.

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A car crash at the intersection of Wayah Street and Depot Street was the result of a brief police chase. Wade Russell Oliver, Jr., 27, of Franklin, tried to evade police Thursday evening, Sept. 1, in a white pickup truck.

Police report that Oliver was driving left of center and recklessly. Officer Dereck Jones stated that he was in the area between Hot Spot and the Mulligans Bar and Grill parking lot when a white pickup truck came at him on the wrong side of the street. Jones had to pull off the road and watched as the pickup truck raced past going from one side of the road to the other.

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A Dillsboro woman suspected of assaulting her granddaughter earlier this week was arrested by Jackson County authorities on Friday.

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.

Hart's charges stem from an incident that occurred last Wednesday, when Jackson County Sheriff's Officers responded to a report of an in regards to an unconscious 28 month old female. Deputies were assisted by Med West Emergency Medical Services and Sylva Fire Department First Responders.

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First Chief in five decades to do so

Principal Chief Michell Hicks won Thursday's election of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians with 2,124 votes to secure his third four-year term as Chief of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. He is only the second individual to serve three terms in the Tribe's history.

Hicks beat out his challenger, Patrick Lambert, by a narrow 135 votes. Write-in candidate, Susan Toineeta, received 80 votes overall.

Lambert, who serves as the executive director of the Cherokee Tribal Gaming Commission, first ran against Hicks in the 2007 election, where he lost by a mere 13 votes.

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Jackson County authorities have arrested a man suspected of raping a Cashiers woman last month.

On the evening of August 30, Jackson County Sheriff's Officers arrested 30-year-old 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 August 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-year-old 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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Residents speak out against proposed Verizon wireless tower location

It was tense in the conference room of Town Hall last Wednesday, during a public hearing about the Verizon Wireless proposal to build a supplemental tower on Gaston Street in Franklin. Residents within a 1,500-foot radius of the site were invited to the Aug. 24 hearing to learn more about the plan and to voice any concerns that they may have.

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Highlands Board of Commissioners are elected every four years. The mayor and board serve four-year “staggered terms.” The mayor and two commissioners were up for election in 2009, leaving three remaining commissioner seats up for election on Nov. 8.

The three seats up for re-election are currently held by Dennis DeWolf, John Dotson, and Larry Rogers. Both Dotson and Rogers filed to run again, while De- Wolf decided to give up his seat.

Three challengers will be joining the incumbents for the Nov. 8 election. Brian Stiehler, Michael Rogers, and Eric Pierson have all filed to run for the vacant board of commissioner seats. Michael Rogers was not available for comment at presstime.

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Effective Aug. 24, 2011, phone numbers have changed for some state offices located in the Macon County Courthouse. Due to an updated statewide telephone system and a new statewide calling plan, many counties across the state are receiving updated phone numbers.

The new telephone numbers are after the jump!

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Authorities with the Macon County Sheriff's Office, State Bureau of Investigation, N.C. Wildlife, U.S. Forest Service and the Franklin Police Department spent the majority of Tuesday eradicating various outdoor marijuana grow operations throughout the county.

All in all, officers netted more than 130 marijuana plants.

According to Sheriff Robert Holland, the incident is still under investigation and there are little details at this time.

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Late Wednesday night, Governor Bev Perdue declared a state of emergency for all counties east of Interstate 95 in North Carolina to allow time to prepare and evacuate for Hurricane Irene.

Western North Carolina is not expected to be detrimentally affected by Irene. Although western counties may experience high winds and intermittent rain showers, the negative impact of Irene will predominately be localized to areas adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean.

Thursday morning the National Weather Service issued a Hurricane Watch for the NC coastline from Surf City (Pender and Onslow counties) all the way to the Virginia Boarder.

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