Martin Luther King Day Celebration :: Click to see Events Schedule!

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Franklin’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr., celebration will be held Sunday, Jan. 17, at 3 p.m., in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church. The program will feature an address by Selma V. Sparks; special music by vocalist Ericka Washington, piper Michael Waters, organist Mary Pittman, and the Caynon-Contino Duo C-Square; and a reading by The Reverend Mozart Moliere of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Refreshments will be served in the Church’s Memorial Hall following the program.

The day’s featured speaker, Selma Sparks, is a native of New York and current resident of Franklin. A former journalist, political analyst, and public speaker, Sparks is a life-long advocate and activist for human rights causes, including peace, racial and gender equality, and literacy. Her address will focus on how Dr. King’s words and works are relevant to life in America today, almost five decades after his assassination.

This event is produced and sponsored by the Macon County Human Relations Council. For more information, call (828)524-ARTS or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Macon County News has compiled some of the top stories of 2015. This year has been one of growth and change. From a new brewery and upscale restaurant uptown, to a brand new recreation park with the goal of increasing visitors to the area, Franklin is experiencing a “growth spurt.”

Following is Part II of the Year in Review.


Dozens work in rescue efforts over the weekend.

Rescue crews recovered the body of a 45-year-old Sean Kasey on Sunday after 24 hours of searching the freezing waters of the Cullasaja River this past weekend.

Officials said Kasey appeared to have fallen from a walkway near Dry Falls into the river. His body was found around 1:30 p.m Sunday.

"This was a very difficult rescue situation with extremely dangerous conditions in very unfavorable weather conditions," said Macon County Emergency Director Warren Cabe. "All the emergency workers there did an excellent job managing the situation."


Petition to rezone sent back to town planning board.

Franklin's first indoor gun range is one step closer to becoming a reality with the Franklin Board of Aldermen's vote to send Jeff Wang's rezoning petition to the town planning board.

The town of Franklin spent several months last year reviewing the town's ordinances and making adjustments to make it legal for an indoor gun range to operate within municipal limits. "The town has made it legal to discharge firearms within approved gun ranges, and made gun ranges a permitted use within certain zoning districts," Town Attorney John Henning Jr. "I believe that the Wang property would have to be rezoned to operate a gun range within it."


Nearly 3,000 people celebrated the New Year on Main Street in Franklin for the second annual Ruby Drop hosted by Motor Company Grill.

As the crowd counted down the final seconds of 2015, The Ruby, which is more than six feet wide and more than six feet tall lit with more than 1300 LED lights, began to drop from a crane above Main Street.

While the Ruby Drop was the highlight of the evening, businesses along Main Street stayed open late to help welcome the new year to Franklin.



The Macon County News has compiled some of the top stories of 2015. This year has been one of growth and change. From a new brewery and upscale restaurant uptown, to a brand new recreation park with the goal of increasing visitors to the area, Franklin is experiencing a “growth spurt.”

Not all the news was good however. Caterpillar announced it was closing and a school shooting incident at South Macon made national news. Following is Part I of the Year in Review.


Macon County employees have spent the new year assessing the damage caused by record rainfall amounts in December. Until last month, the highest rainfall total on record for Macon County was 15.27 inches which was set in 1973, but as of Dec. 29, 18.9 inches had fallen in the county, with 14.49 inches recorded since Dec. 21.

With heavy rain in the forecast the majority of the week of Christmas, Macon County Commission Chairman Kevin Corbin signed a resolution declaring Macon County in a State of Emergency, which allows Macon County to potentially be eligible for state and federal funds to help clean up the damage caused by flooding.


A routine traffic stop last Thursday turned into a drug bust that led to two arrests and confiscation of 484 grams of methamphetamine. First Sergeant Clay Bryson witnessed a gold Pontiac Bonneville that seemed to be speeding on 441, and pulled the vehicle over. The driver, Melanie Lynn Pursley, 46, of Winder, Ga., and the passenger, Leslie Junior Cox, 58, of Auburn, Ga., gave Bryson conflicting stories about where they were headed.

"One said going to Kentucky to meet family and the other said going to Cherokee," explained Macon County Sheriff Robert Holland. "The suspects refused to give consent for search at which point Macon County Sheriff's Office K9 deputy Hoss was utilized to smell the air around vehicle."


The Franklin Police Department held its annual holiday dinner and recognized officers for their dedication and service.

Kevin Breedlove and Sgt. Tony Ashe received Letters of Valor for the officer-involved shooting this year.

Officer Breedlove also won Officer of the Year. Sgt. Devin Holland won Sergeant of the Year and Sgt. Laurie Beegle won the Community Impact award.

"Sgt. Devin Holland is the consummate professional and takes pride in his work and ensures that the officers that he supervises are taken care of and encourages them to improve themselves," said Police Chief David Adams. "Sgt. Beegle enjoys being involved and engaged with the citizens and businesses of Franklin. Officer Breedlove is a hard working dedicated officer.


Grants available to partially cover conversion costs.

Moving toward more efficient operations, Macon County Transit (MCT) Director Kim Angel updated commissioners last week on the transit department's initiative to convert several vans to propane in the coming months.

Utilizing a federal grant to help cover the cost of the project, the conversion project is projected to save the transit department in fuel costs in the coming years.

"The grant for the conversion kits comes from the federal 5311 grant that we receive as a sub-recipient from NCDOT," explained Angel. "This is a capital project under this grant and is funded with 80 percent federal funds, 10 percent state funds, and 10 percent local match. The total grant funds approved were $60,065. Macon County’s share is $6,007. This grant will greatly reduce the investment cost for the project. It will allow Macon County to recover the cost in savings much quicker than purchasing without grant funds."


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