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Macon County officials announced last week that the county’s EDC Director, Trevor Dalton, had resigned from his position on Sept. 11. Dalton served Macon County for more than two years before deciding to change his career path. In his resignation letter, Dalton wrote that he wanted to “further my education and career in the private sector.”

Dalton was hired in the summer of 2009 after an extensive 10-month search by the county’s economic development commission. EDC members were impressed with Dalton’s financial background and his experience in software development. The commission was also enthused with Dalton’s youth, as it coincided with one of the EDC’s main priorities of keeping young local talent in Macon County.


Incident occured in Nantahala National Forest

After an incident, which according to the Macon County 911 media report occurred Sunday around 4:31 p.m. in the Nantahala National Forest near Wayah Rd, federal authorities have taken charge of the investigation and are being assisted by the Macon County Sheriff’s Office.

According to Stevin Wescott, representative for the United States Forest Service, because the investigation is still ongoing, details regarding the case are limited to ensure the safety of the general public. “We understand the urgency involved in the case and hold the best interest and safety of all of our visitors as a top priority.”


The Franklin High School Class of ‘91 celebrated its 20th year reunion Friday and Saturday, September 23 and 24. On Friday, Class of ‘91 members attended the FHS football game against Pisgah to show their school spirit and cheer on the Panthers.

Then on Saturday, Class of ‘91 members met at the Fun Factory for a Family Lunch, an entertaining afternoon for class members and their entire families.


Franklin High School has named its 2011 Homecoming Court.

This year’s homecoming game is set for Friday, Oct. 7, when the Panthers will play North Henderson.

The game begins at 7:30 p.m. and the Homecoming queen will be crowned at half-time.


The Franklin Young Professionals, Inc. (FYP) hosted a career fair at Macon Early College (MEC) last Friday in hopes of inspiring students to begin planning for the future.

FYP is a group of young professionals in Franklin who dedicate their time to give back to the community through outreach, volunteering, and participation in local events.

According to Ashley Hyder, FYP President and Human Resource Officer for the Town of Franklin, the career fair is one of the many events which are organized by the FYP to get more involved with Franklin’s youth.


Judge Wijewickrama finds probable cause

The case involving a Dillsboro woman who allegedly assaulted her granddaughter earlier this month progressed to Superior Court after District Court Judge Roy Wijewickrama found probable cause for all charges last week.

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. Prosecutors were able to gather enough evidence last week to bind Hart to a Superior Court probable cause hearing on Oct. 26.


After being informed of the mandatory state cut of 1.5 magistrate positions in Macon County by Clerk of Court Vic Perry, Macon County Sheriff Robert L. Holland and Highlands Chief of Police Bill Harrell approached the Board of Commissioners during their monthly meeting last week and asked for help in their attempt to retain the part-time magistrate position in Highlands, currently held by Pat Taylor.

Officials on the state level have also banded together to send a message to the state emphasizing the importance of the Highlands position. Senator Jim Davis supports Macon County’s leadership and is joining the effort to help save the magistrate position. “I am already working to save the magistrate position,” assured Davis. “I fully support the resolution passed by the commissioners, and now it is just about finding the money.”


Western North Carolina authorities arrested Sylva business owner, Partick Lee Ewart on Sept. 19 on a sex charge at his Haywood County home.

After more than a year of investigation, deputies with the Haywood and Jackson County Sheriff’s Offices arrested 38-yearold Ewart in Waynesville for taking indecent liberties with a minor. According to reports, Ewart is the owner and operator of the popular Sylva and Waynesville- based restaurant Nick and Nate’s Pizza.

According to reports, the arrest stems from an incident that occurred at the suspect’s home on May 11, 2010. At the time of the offense, Ewart lived in Jackson County, but has moved to Haywood County since then.


Jackson authorities are investigating the case of a 14-year-old white female who was reportedly raped earlier this month.

The incident occurred on Sept. 8 in the Sylva area, according to reports, which resulted in the subsequent arrest of suspect, 19-year-old Jonathan Tyler Pitts on Sept. 15.

“In this case, the investigation has determined the suspect made friends with the victim via the internet social networking site, Facebook,” reads a statement released by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office last Friday. “Further investigation has determined the name used during this correspondence was an alias used by the suspect to avoid detection.”


After months of inquiries, Macon County officials have opted not to contest the Census results revealed earlier this year, after the findings revealed that Macon was no longer the fastest growing county in Western North Carolina.

Last May, officials expressed their skepticism of the findings and their intent to re-examine those figures with federal workers. County Manager Jack Horton noted that the preliminary population figures released last year proved lower than the final count of the Census. “We thought that was unusual, given the fact that most of the preliminary estimates in other counties actually ended up being lower than what their final count was,” said Horton at the time.


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