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News General

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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Robert Zoellner named interim replacement

Earlier this month, the Town of Highlands terminated its manager, Jim Fatland, without giving any details to the public. Last week, Highlands officials were finally able to release some information to the public regarding Fatland’s firing.

On July 20, Highlands Town Attorney Bill Coward released this statement to the local media:

“I drafted a release agreement in which the town was released from all liability and all possibility of a claim by Jim Fatland against the town, which Jim agreed to sign in return for a statement of the reasons for his dismissal being: ‘Mr. Fatland did not meet the reasonable expectations of the board as to his overall job performance as Town Manager.’” The statement, Coward added, would go onto Fatland’s personnel jacket, possibly affecting any similar employment opportunities in the future.

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MST2 Nicole C. Emmons, formerly from Franklin, was among five servicemen and women who received military citations at the 11th Annual Military Times Service Members of the Year Awards Ceremony held at Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. July 21.

Emmons was named “Coast Guardsman of the Year” by the Navy Times. According to one of Emmons’ supervisors, Emmons has demonstrated outstanding performance in the best military tradition. Emmons works with the Contingency Preparedness/Incident Management Division at MSU Lake Charles and has “contributed countless hours to the stand-up of her units first Homeland Security Division,” say superiors. Emmons has previously been awarded the Commandants Letter of Commendation and the Coast Guards Special Operations ribbon for her key role with the EAGLE OTOME 450,000 gallon crude oil spill.

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A Franklin man charged with the grisly murder of his own mother was found not guilty by reason of insanity at a Superior Court hearing Monday.

Harold Jason Campbell, 31, was arrested in December 2006, and charged with murdering his mother, Gloria Campbell, at her home on 880 Brendle Road.

At the time of the incident, Gloria had reportedly just arrived home from grocery shopping when Harold shot her five to six times in the yard beside her home. Harold then threw her body over a brushfire in the backyard that he had prepared earlier.

Witnesses working on a construction site nearby saw the shooting and called 9-1-1. Roger Thompkins placed the call and told the dispatcher that he had witnessed a woman getting shot. “He’s burning the body in the backyard,” said Thompkins in the call.

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