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Suspects captured on surveillance camera at Ingles

Investigators with the Franklin Police Department are searching for two women suspected of stealing a woman’s purse out of her car on Saturday evening and using the money to go on a shopping spree.

At approximately 5:50 p.m., FPD Sergeant Matt Pellicer responded to a 9-1-1 call in reference to the theft of a purse at the Holly Springs shopping center on US 441 North.

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Officers with the Highlands Police Department are searching for a man who attempted to rob a local business on the night of Monday, June 13.

At approximately 10 p.m., while preparing to close down the Farmers Market convenience store, a female clerk was approached by a disguised male at the store entrance and physically directed to empty the cash register. According to reports, the man had never displayed any weapon.

As the man made his way into the store and demanded the money, another patron entered the store and “spooked” the wouldbe robber, according to Highlands Police Chief Bill Harrell. “The man had fled on foot and at this time we do not know which direction he went,” he said. “We’re following any and all leads.” Harrell added that there is a person of interest that investigators have their eye on.

In less than a minute, HPD officers were on scene after the clerk called 9-1-1.

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Authorities in Rabun County arrested a Franklin man Friday night on multiple charges stemming from the theft of a motor vehicle.

At approximately 10:15 p.m., 27- year-old Steven Gerald Knight, of Conley Street, was arrested on Dunlap Street in Clayton, Georgia. Knight was charged with theft by bringing stolen property, theft by taking and failure to appear in court.

Knight’s apprehension stemmed from an incident reported earlier that day, when Franklin Police Department officer Christy Evans responded to a call referencing vandalism at Franklin Ford on US 441 North. According to her report, a concrete entrance post had been found lying in the parking lot of the business, along with other items.

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A federal jury sitting in Bryson City found an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians guilty of fatally shooting Erien Amanda Smith on the reservation on May 18, 2010, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

In a superseding criminal indictment filed on December 7, 2010, James Ernest Lespier, 33, of Cherokee, was charged with one count of first degree murder and one count of use of and carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. After an eight-day trial, the jury returned a guilty verdict on both counts.

U.S. Attorney Tompkins was assisted in the case by Chris Briese, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI, Charlotte Division, and Ben Reed, Chief of the Cherokee Indian Police Department.

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On Tuesday night, the Macon County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the final 2011-2012 budget, which includes the first pay raises county employees have seen since 2008. The pay raises include a three percent salary increase for all county employees plus an additional two percent increase for all deputies of the Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Robert Holland, who attended the meeting along with a contingent of some 15 deputies who were there to support him, said he was disappointed by the five percent increase, which fell significantly short of his request. “I’m not happy,” said Holland, responding to the commissioners announcement that they would not be able to fund the requested increases in this year’s budget. “I’m very disappointed by the decision that you all as a board have made.”

 

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As of Tuesday, Macon County can claim to have a comprehensive, 20-year plan for development and growth in just about every sector of activity. The Comprehensive Plan is the result of nearly two years of intensive labor by the Macon County Planning Board, as well as several other all-volunteer sub-committees, which have collectively invested more than 1,000 hours to research and draft the various elements of the plan.

The 164-page document includes an exhaustive analysis of the county’s history, population and economic trends and then gives recommendations for future growth in five major areas: economic development and public services; land use and environment; education and recreation; transportation and housing; and healthcare, childcare, and senior services.

 

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In an effort to revamp the criminal justice system in North Carolina, legislators have proposed a bill that would move some inmates in state prisons to county jails to relieve overcrowding and cut state expenditures.

House Bill 642, titled the “Justice Reinvestment Act,” seeks to authorize state prison facilities to enter into voluntary agreements with counties to provide housing for misdemeanor offenders serving periods of incarceration between 90 and 180 days, excluding those convicted of impaired driving.

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An altercation in the South Skeenah community last Sunday resulted in the arrests of two brothers.

At approximately 1:30 p.m., officers with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 9-1-1 call of an assault in progress. The caller explained that Dustin “Dut” Reed Hathcock, 25, and Preston Ross Hathcock, 31, had been fighting at the younger brother’s residence.

While the officers were en route to the incident, the caller reportedly advised dispatch that the older brother Preston had left in his red Dodge pickup truck, and that she was taking her boyfriend Dustin to the emergency room.

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Director of green economy initiative to oversee entrepreneurial development

AdvantageWest, the economic development partnership for the 23 counties of Western North Carolina, announces the promotion of Matt Raker to the position of Vice President of Entrepreneurial Development & AdvantageGreen. The move comes after the resignation of Pam Lewis, who is leaving her position as Senior Vice President of Entrepreneurial Development to join the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville – Buncombe County (EDC) as Director of Entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurial development and the green and clean energy jobs initiative AdvantageGreen are two main areas of jobcreation focus for AdvantageWest. The other areas of focus are the advanced manufacturing segment and agribusiness. AdvantageWest also maintains the Western North Carolina Film Commission.

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A piece of American history will soon travel on North Carolina highways as the “Miracle on the Hudson” jetliner gets closer to wrapping up its trip from New Jersey to its permanent home at the Carolinas Aviation Museum in Charlotte. The US Airways Airbus A320 was on its way to Charlotte from New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Jan. 15, 2009 when a bird strike shut down its engines right after takeoff. Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III managed to land the plane in the Hudson River, and all 155 passengers and crew were rescued by a flotilla of boats.

The transfer of the plane’s fuselage to its final home at the museum has been a monumental task. The company that had been storing the plane in a warehouse near Newark, NJ since it helped haul it out of the water built a special 120-foot hauling trailer with six steering axles for the job.

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