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The case of the shooting death of a Jackson County woman has come to an end, and upon review of investigation files, the incident has been ruled accidental by District Attorney Mike Bonfoey.

“The investigation conducted by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office was thorough and comprehensive,” said Bonfoey in a May 3 statement. “The investigation of the death of Hannah Frey reveals no evidence of criminal homicide. Furthermore, the investigation indicates that the death of Hannah Frey was the result of a tragic accidental shooting. Based on the investigation and a review of the law the District Attorney’s Office concurs with the Sheriff’s Office that no criminal charges should be initiated.”

In the early morning hours of Feb. 18, Hannah Frey, 24, was shot and killed by her uncle, James Dennis Eller, 49, who mistook her for an intruder, according to authorities.

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On Friday, May 13, at 12 noon at the Macon County Courthouse Square, citizens are invited to honor those North Carolina Law Enforcememt officers who gave their life while serving.

Guest speaker is Al Caiata, deputy chief, Cape Coral Florida Police Department, retired.

Presented by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #81, Macon and Jackson counties.

 

 

 

 

At least one fatality was reported in Rabun County, Ga., as a result of a massive storm system that rolled through the southeast last week, spawning a record number of tornados as it tore through the region, leaving a path of destruction behind.

The death of one man in the area of Lake Burton was directly related to the storm. According to the county coroner’s office, Elbert Earl Patton, Jr., age 83, died of injuries sustained during the storm. Several injuries have also been reported.

According to the National Weather Service, as the weather system moved over North Georgia late Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning, a class three tornado with maximum wind speeds of 165 mph touched down at multiple locations along a 14 mile path in Rabun County, from Lake Burton in the south to Mountain City in the north.

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Franklin construction crew volunteers during Mountain City cleanup

“This can all be taken care of,” said Karen Byers. “We’re alright, our animals are alright, so we're just thankful.”

Byers was surprisingly upbeat on Saturday as she looked around her Mountain City home surveying the destruction done by severe weather last Wednesday night, especially given the uprooted trees and extensive damage done to her house on N. Johnson Ave. A large section had been ripped from her roof, and pieces of galvanized roofing lay hanging in branches and strewn across her neighbor's property.

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Town of Franklin opposes legislation regarding publication of legal notices

On Monday, the Town of Franklin voted unanimously to oppose North Carolina Senate Bill 773. The proposed legislation would allow all municipalities and counties throughout the state to publish public notices via governmental websites and would eliminate the requirement for governments to publish public notices in newspapers.

“There are lots and lots of people that don’t have internet,” said Franklin Town Alderman Bob Scott. “Newspapers are still the only means we have to get the word out on public notices. I don’t understand why the Senate wants to do away with that, other than it being a cost saving,” he said.

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The extension of the Macon County Airport runway is approximately two months away from completion, according to airport engineer Eric Rysdon, who reported to Airport Authority members on April 25 that the paving process has begun.

“By the end of May or beginning of June they should be done with paving,” said Rysdon, adding that approximately one month after paving, the finishing touches of the extension will be applied while additional lights are installed to make the runway operational.

Rhodes Brothers Paving has taken on the paving project under the commission of Buchanan and Sons, Inc., based out of Whittier, who began the project last October for the price of $2.6 million.

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Graduation ceremonies for Southwestern Community College will be held in two separate ceremonies Tuesday, May 10, to accommodate the largest graduating class in the college’s history.

Some 271 students are candidates for certificates, diplomas and degrees, including 14 Macon Early College students and 13 New Century Scholars.

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The campus of Western Carolina University and surrounding areas that receive power through WCU Electric Resale will lose power for four hours starting at 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 10. This power outage is required for Duke Energy to repair a WCU campus substation damaged during a recent storm.

The outage will affect all residences and businesses on Little Savannah Rd., including the SECU; Cullowhee P.O.; Huddle House; faculty and staff housing behind Huddle House; Rabbit Ridge apartments; Cullowhee VFD; the Sunrise trailer community west of the fire department; the construction site of the WCU Health and Human Sciences Building; Cullowhee Quik Tan; Laurel Oaks apartments; and the Jackson County Recycling Center.

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Some 1,250 members of Western Carolina University’s spring graduating class will be honored as the university holds a trio of commencement ceremonies, May 6-7, at Ramsey Regional Activity Center. Commencement for WCU’s Graduate School will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, May 6.

Commencement for the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Education and Allied Professions, and Fine and Performing Arts will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 7, followed by a 3:30 p.m. ceremony for the College of Business, College of Health and Human Sciences, and Kimmel School of Construction Management.

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Folks in Macon County got a chance to sit down with U.S. Senator Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) when she visited Franklin last week as part of her tour of the region to meet with constituents and listen to their concerns. The “Conversations with Kay” tour on April 20 and 21 stopped in Andrews, Robbinsville, Bryson City, Franklin, Sylva and Marshall.

On Thursday morning, a small room in the Macon County Senior Center in Franklin was filled to beyond capacity with citizens interested in meeting the senator, who circulated and visited each table in the room during the hourlong event.

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