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News General

Authorities in Macon County are searching for a man wanted for sex crimes against a minor.

Jose Manuel-Portillo Espinal, 30, is wanted on several charges including statutory rape, sexual offense, indecent liberties with a minor, kidnapping and second degree rape.

According to a statement by the Macon County Sheriff’s Office, the suspect, a Mexican male, worked for a painting company until recently. Authorities are unable to locate Espinal at this time. He was said to have been working in the Franklin, Highlands and Cashiers area recently.

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County Commissioner Ronnie Beale will be traveling to Raleigh on Friday after receiving an invitation to here the recommendation of the Medical Facilities Planning Section and the North Carolina State Health Coordinating Council regarding the petition for a certificate of need for a dialysis center in Macon County.

If the petition is approved, a Certificate of Need will be issued for Macon County, allowing a dialysis center to be started and operated in Franklin.  Commissioner Beale has taken on the responsibility of bringing the dialysis center to Macon County, and is hopeful of the results he will be given on Friday. “We are very hopeful that we will get a positive recommendation on Friday, and that the report will be in our favorite,” explained Beale.

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Company’s Franklin station continuing its broadcasting

Nothing but static can now be heard on Sylva’s WRGCAM (680) radio station. Late last Wednesday night (Aug 30), the radio station went off air and a notice from station management posted on its website informed listeners it is uncertain if or when they will return.

The notice cited that “incredibly difficult economy has made it impossible for us to secure the local advertising support needed to continue providing Jackson County a full service community radio station.”

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Ten local organizations seeking grant funding for various projects over the next fiscal year will have to wait for approval by the Town of Franklin Board of Aldermen. The board made no decision on the matter at Tuesday’s meeting.

The wait follows a policy that would establish a grant application priority ranking system for community nonprofits.

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