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News General

A comprehensive job classification and payroll study has been authorized by the Macon County Board of Commissioners and the project is set to begin this month. County administrators contracted out to Springsted Incorporated, a highly touted firm closely associated with the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, to perform the project.

Springsted specializes in human resources and organizational management best practices, and the firm has been advising local governments and public agencies about the latter topics for more than 25 years. Springsted has completed similar studies for Transylvania, Craven, Brunswick, Cabarrus, Camden, Onslow, and Pender counties, just to name a few. The North Carolina League of Municipalities also highly recommends Springsted, as the firm has undertaken similar projects for their organization in the recent past.

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Franklin’s Town Planning Board decided unanimously to reject Cellco Partnership/Verizon Wireless’ special use permit application Thursday afternoon in a special meeting held at Town Hall. The company applied for the special use permit to build a 140 foot telecommunications tower at 60 Gaston Street in Franklin, designed to help offset the capacity of the two existing Verizon towers in town.

Ultimately, Planning Board members were uncomfortable with approving the permit because the company continually refused requests to supply the town with an Erlang study, which would measure the amount of traffic density that would emerge from the proposed telecommunications tower. According to Town Planner Mike Grubermann, the only way to ascertain if there is a need for a new wireless telecommunications facility is through an Erlang study.

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The search has begun to find a replacement for Franklin’s Chief of Police, Terry Bradley. Last month, Bradley announced that after 30 years in law enforcement, he would be retiring in January 2012.

According to Ashley Hyder, human resource officer for the Town of Franklin, the job search began Oct. 1 and will continue until an appropriate candidate is found. Although the job is being advertised statewide, internal candidates are welcome to apply and can be considered for the position.

Hyder anticipates the application process to continue through October, with hopes to begin scheduling interviews in November. “It really all depends on the number and quality of applicants that I receive,” said Hyder. “I hope that by January we have it narrowed down.”

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The Macon County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Forest Service and the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) are seeking information on a rape which occurred Sunday September 25, 2011, at approximately 4:00 p.m. within the Nantahala National Forest at the intersection of Forest Service Road (FSR) 711 and the Wayah Road, FSR 1310.

Authorities report that a female driving through the area stopped to render aid to a person she believed was incapacitated who was lying beside the road. At that time a firearm was used to subdue the victim and she was allegedly forcibly raped.

Law enforcement authorities are seeking information and assistance in identifying a possible suspect. Authorities are looking for a white male, 6’0”, 200 pounds, between the ages of 30 and 40, having brown wavy short hair, no facial hair, green to blue eyes, having a deep voice and a fair complexion. The suspect was last seen wearing dark blue jeans and a medium blue shirt. The subject is armed and considered dangerous and may be carrying a backpack. No vehicle information is available at this time.

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