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News General

Just a few weeks after assuming the duty of the county's animal control office, Macon County Health Department's Dr. Jimmy Villiard updated members of the board of health on sweeping changes and improvements to the facility. On Nov. 1, 2015, Macon County Public Health (MCPH) took on the additional responsibility of overseeing Animal Services in Macon County.

According to Villiard, the administrative change within the county means the health department is now in charge of animal control, the animal shelter, and the county's rabies control programs. One of the primary goals is to respond quickly and resolve animal issues, and to prevent rabies exposure of residents of Macon County, explained Villiard.


It has been more than a year since Charles Andrew Cochran escaped from custody at the Macon County Detention Center which resulted in a five-day crime spree that left one woman dead. On Tuesday, Nov. 17, Cochran appeared in court with his Asheville-based lawyer, David Belser.

The purpose of Cochran's court appearance was to set an administrative date of March 21, 2016, to allow Cochran's second court-appointed lawyer, which is required because the state is seeking the death penalty. District Attorney Ashley Welch informed Superior Court Judge Bill Coward that the state would be seeking the death penalty in August in pursuit of justice for Day Williamson, the woman found strangled and burned in her Burningtown home after an encounter with Cochran on Aug. 2, 2014.


Just as the county's landfill was set to reach capacity, the Macon County Solid Waste Department secured the necessary permits to begin constructing the new landfill project, which will extend the life of the facility by 40 years.

In October 2014, Macon County commissioners gave the solid waste department the go ahead to move forward with purchasing two parcels of land – totaling 22.9 acres -- for $1.5 million.

"We have received approvals and permits from all of the required regulatory agencies to permit construction of Phase III, Cell 1 of the new landfill," said Chris Stahl, director of solid waste. "This cell lies entirely within our already permitted landfill boundary. We are now in the process of pre-qualifying general contractors to bid on construction of the cell. We hope to select a firm and make a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners for their approval at the January meeting."


In a unanimous vote last week, the Franklin Board of Aldermen voted to begin the process of rejoining the National Flood Insurance Program.

Joining the program will allow property owners located within the city limits and in flood hazard zones to receive subsidized flood insurance. Participating in the program also makes it possible for the town of Franklin to receive assistance from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Assistance) in the event of a disaster.

The board's vote doesn't automatically put Franklin into the program; it is just the first step of several to come in the following months.


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