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MST2 Nicole C. Emmons, formerly from Franklin, was among five servicemen and women who received military citations at the 11th Annual Military Times Service Members of the Year Awards Ceremony held at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. July 21.

Emmons was named “Coast Guardsman of the Year” by the Navy Times. According to one of Emmons’ supervisors, Emmons has demonstrated outstanding performance in the best military tradition. Emmons works with the Contingency Preparedness/Incident Management Division at MSU Lake Charles and has “contributed countless hours to the stand-up of her units first Homeland Security Division,” say superiors. Emmons has previously been awarded the Commandants Letter of Commendation and the Coast Guards Special Operations ribbon for her key role with the EAGLE OTOME 450,000 gallon crude oil spill.

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A Franklin man charged with the grisly murder of his own mother was found not guilty by reason of insanity at a Superior Court hearing Monday.

Harold Jason Campbell, 31, was arrested in December 2006, and charged with murdering his mother, Gloria Campbell, at her home on 880 Brendle Road.

At the time of the incident, Gloria had reportedly just arrived home from grocery shopping when Harold shot her five to six times in the yard beside her home. Harold then threw her body over a brushfire in the backyard that he had prepared earlier.

Witnesses working on a construction site nearby saw the shooting and called 9-1-1. Roger Thompkins placed the call and told the dispatcher that he had witnessed a woman getting shot. “He’s burning the body in the backyard,” said Thompkins in the call.

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This fall, regional hunger-relief agency MANNA FoodBank will be closing down its distribution center in Franklin, in order to cut back on expenses during tough budgetary times. The Franklin facility is the only satellite branch of its kind throughout its 16 countywide distribution area.

The closure will change the way MANNA delivers its services and food assistance in the area, explained MANNA Communications and Marketing Coordinator Joshua Stack.

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The two-year controversy between the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Cherokee Reservation continues with a new billboard recently posted by the PETA organization on Interstate 26 near Asheville, N.C.

The billboard, which features a disturbing image of a small girl in tears with a bloody, bandaged hand, claims the zoos are “prisons” and discourages tourists from visiting them.

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The North Carolina Department of Transportation has postponed the selection of a final design alternative for improvements to Needmore Road in Macon County to allow time for the study of additional design concepts. According to the state, approximately 18 months will be needed to complete these additional studies.

Needmore Road is considered a picturesque, gravel road that connects Macon to Swain County along the Little Tennessee River through a 4,500 acre region of preserved game land. The road improvement project has been a source of much controversy since last summer when NCDOT began its public input process.

Originally, five basic alternatives, from alternative A (do nothing) to its preferred alternative E: widening and paving the road to upgrade it to secondary road standards, which would cost more than an estimated $13 million, were given by the NCDOT as possible actions to take on improving the road.

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Public comment hearing scheduled for August 9

Following closely on the heels of a recently approved general and comprehensive development plan for Macon County, this week county commissioners officially received a draft Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP). The transportation plan, the result of nearly two years of public input and committee work, looks to meet the transportation needs for the county as it grows over the next 25 years.

At Tuesday’s commissioners meeting, Ryan Sherby, a Region A planner with the Southwestern Commission and the primary facilitator of the committee’s work over the past year presented the plan, giving an overview of the process, review of the plan itself, the adoption process and how the plan will be utilized in the future.

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Investigators are looking into a series of suspicious fires that have taken place at one Otto residence over the past several weeks, including two fires this week which completely destroyed a mobile home on the property.

On Tuesday, July 19, the Otto Fire Department responded to a call shortly after 10 p.m. reporting a fire behind the residence at 151 Tiffany Lane. The caller said that a white truck had been seen leaving the property at a high rate of speed immediately before smoke was noticed coming from behind the mobile home on the property. 

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New faces challenge incumbent commissioners

The race for seats on the Sylva Town Board is on. The deadline to file to run for Sylva’s town board elections was Friday, July 15.

Current board members, Harold Hensley, Ray Lewis, and Chris Matheson are all up for re-election. Candidates include all three of the current board members, a former board member, Lynda Sossamon, and newcomer John Bubacz. The election will be held Nov. 8.

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Officials quiet about details

On July 6, the Town of Highlands terminated its Town Manager, Jim Fatland, during a closed session portion of a board meeting.

According to the Town Manager’s office had “cause” to let Fatland go, but no town officials will go into details as to the reasons why.

“There have been no new developments since the decision was made,” commented Highlands Commissioner Gary Drake on the matter.

 

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Franklin resident Kathleen Wood is currently enrolled in a class entitled “Global Climate Change: The Science, Social Impacts and Diplomacy of a World Environmental Crisis” at Harvard University.

The course is an intensive seven-week seminar that addresses the latest scientific research, social implications and diplomatic response to global climate change.

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published: 10/18/2013
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