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News General

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) is investigating a breaking and entering at Scotts Creek Baptist Church located on Steeple Drive in Sylva. The break-in occurred during the night of July 31 and/or the early morning hours of August 1. The perpetrators took items such as credit cards and damaged the church with estimates around $700.

The Sylva Police Department is investigating similar break-ins at the First Baptist Church of Sylva and Sylva Methodist Church, both located downtown. Anyone with any information is encouraged to contact the investigating detective, Sergeant John Buchanan at (828)631-1131 for the Scotts Creek Church break-in or Detective Aimee Watson with the Sylva Police at (828)586-2916. A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect(s) related to this crime.

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At a joint meeting held three times a year for Macon County and the townships of Franklin and Highlands leaders met to discuss recent accomplishments and continuing projects within their respective jurisdictions. The meeting was held last Thursday, July 21, over dinner at Franklin’s Cajun Connection.

Mayor of Highlands David Wilkes began the meeting by introducing Bob Zoellner as the new interim town manager, taking over after Jim Fatland was dismissed for performance issues. Wilkes described Zoellner as being a “long-time Highlander from a long-time Highlands family” and having deep roots in Highlands. “We are real happy to have Bob with us, helping us out.”

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FAA representative, Hoke Wiese, presented the prestigious Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award to Neil Hoppe of Franklin Aviation.

A ceremony took placed on Tuesday, July 19, at the monthly meeting of the Aviation Historical Society at Macon County Airport.

Hoppe is honored for 50 years of service in the aircraft maintenance industry.

This FAA award is named in honor of Charles Taylor, the first aviation mechanic in powered flight.

Taylor served as the Wright Brothers' mechanic and is credited with designing and building the engine for their first successful flight.

The arduous relationship between sheriff’s offices and those committed to the state for mental health issues is only becoming more taxing, according to Macon County Sheriff Robbie Holland.

“What we’re seeing this year is a significant increase across the board in all aspects of our portion of the mental health system, which basically relates to the transport, care and custody of involuntary commitments,” said Holland during his department’s budget request meeting last month to county commissioners. This year’s request was an increase from last year’s, though it was lower that the fiscal budget of 2009.

“The increase can be primarily attributed to the minimal control that we can do over the mental health system,” said Holland of MCSO personnel hours spent keeping watch on such cases.

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