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Election season is in full swing, and in the past week candidates running for one of three vacant seats on the Franklin Board of Aldermen have participated in two candidate forums to address voter concerns.

The first forum was hosted by the League of Women voters, a non-partisan group who hosts candidate forums regularly during election seasons. The second forum was organized by local resident Dave Linn. While attendance was low for the forum, candidates were prepared to address issues ranging from parking to economic development initiatives.


Necessary paving will cost an additional $5,583.

After representatives from Oliver Paving toured Franklin last week with Franklin Mayor Bob Scott and Town Manager Summer Woodard, company officials informed the town that due to the condition of the asphalt along Main Street, additional work would need to be completed before new thermoplastic crosswalks can be constructed.

Woodard informed members of the town board on Monday night that after inspecting Franklin's Main Street and the areas containing crosswalks, the cracks and breaks in the road would make the thermoplastic process for the previously approved crosswalks difficult. Woodard contacted Wesley Grindstaff with North Carolina Department of Transportation for guidance and he informed Woodard that Main Street would be repaved in the next five to six years, but other than that, the DOT did not have the funds available to just repave the crosswalk sections to make the project possible.


It was standing room only at the town of Franklin Board of Aldermen meeting, with most attendees interested in the board's decision regarding a text amendment to the town's ordinance impacting the possibility of an indoor gun range within city limits. After several community members spoke in favor of a text amendment to the town's Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) which would pave the way for an indoor gun range, the board of aldermen unanimously approved the text change.

Originally, the town planning board recommended the town consider allowing indoor shooting ranges within C1SU, C2SU, and C3SU [Commercial Special Use] zoning districts in Franklin as well as taking out a section of the text amendment that stated that indoor shooting ranges would require a 250-foot buffer when in close proximity to a property of residential use. After aldermen expressed some concern about the purpose of the buffer, the planning board revisited the text amendment and omitted the 250- foot buffer requirement.

The text amendment also prohibits indoor gun ranges in a C1 zoned area. The movement to change the UDO to permit an indoor range within the city limits began when Jeff Wang approached board members about developing a gun range adjacent to his existing business. Because Wang's facility is located in a C1 area, in order for him to develop a gun range, he will have to petition the planning board for rezoning consideration.


A person representing themselves as from Skyline Publications of Peoria, Ill., may be representing themselves to the Jackson County hospitality industry as publishers of the local “TDA visitor guide.”

This company has no affiliation with the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority, Cashiers Area Chamber or Jackson County Chamber.

It has been reported that Skyline Publishing is telephoning local businesses and obtaining credit card information for upcoming advertising.


On Monday, Sept. 28, Macon County 9-1-1 completed successful testing and implementation of Text-to-9-1-1. Verizon, AT&T, and U.S. Cellular are the only cell phone carriers that are capable of sending texts to 9-1- 1 at this time. This includes Straight-talk phones.

Text or SMS messaging uses a separate network for communication than voice calls. In times where the voice network is down, overused, or non-existent, a text message can still possibly get thru to the 9-1-1 dispatch center.

Macon County hopes to help the deaf and hard of hearing residents and visitors of the county as well as anyone that may be on the fringe areas of cell phone coverage where a voice call may not be able to reach the 9-1-1 dispatch center. Text-to-9-1-1 will also help serve those who are in a situation where the circumstances are such that calling 9-1-1 is not an option.


Municipal Election for the Town of Franklin and the Town of Highlands is Nov. 3, 2015. This election is for the registered voters of the municipalities of Franklin and Highlands. The ballot will include offices for the following: Town of Franklin Mayor, Town of Franklin Alderman and the Town of Highlands Commissioners. This is not a countywide election.

The polls will be open for voting on Election Day from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Eligible residents who are not registered to vote or those registered that need to make changes must do so by Friday, Oct. 9, 2015 at 5 p.m.


With more than half a million dollars missing from the budget over the last four years, Macon County Public Health Director Jim Bruckner informed the Board of Health that the N.C. Health Directors Association was moving forward with a law suit against the state for withholding the funds.

Other than a check for $33,000 that Macon County received last week, the North Carolina Department of Medicaid Assistance (DMA) hasn't paid counties in the state the correct amount of Medicaid Cost Settlement Funds since 2011, which leaves $600,000 owed to Macon County.

In July, Bruckner first made the board of health aware of the situation and explained that the problem dates back to 2011 because the methodology used to determine Medicaid Cost Settlements was changed.


Project set to be completed in time for PumpkinFest.

Within the next month, the crosswalks across Main Street in Franklin are poised to get a facelift. With a unanimous vote Monday night, the town of Franklin Board of Aldermen approved seven new thermoplastic crosswalks for Main Street.

The crosswalks will replace the existing crosswalks along main street and will resemble the brick pavers currently in place in front of the town's gazebo. The town approved a contract in the amount of $27,298 with Oliver Paving Company out of Charlotte. According to Franklin Town Manager Summer Woodard, the company has a three to four week lag before the project can begin, but once started, Oliver Paving will take about three days to complete the work, which will be done primarily at night to minimize interference with traffic.


A federal criminal indictment unsealed in Asheville charges 16 men and women with narcotics conspiracy operating in Swain, Cherokee and surrounding counties, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Of the 16 defendants named in the indictment, 15 have been arrested by law enforcement.

The indictment is the result of a joint federal, state and local investigation, targeting the distribution of methamphetamine in Western North Carolina.

Acting U.S. Attorney Rose is joined in making the announcement with Daniel R. Salter, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which oversees the Charlotte District Office; Charles Addington, Deputy Associate Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Division of Drug Enforcement; C.J. Hyman, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Charlotte Field Division; Christopher Kuvlesky, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Atlantic Field Office, National Park Service, Investigative Services Branch; Colonel William J. Grey, Commander of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol; Sheriff Curtis A. Cochran of the Swain County Sheriff’s Office Chief Ben Reed of the Cherokee Indian Police Department Sheriff Robert L. Holland of the Macon County Sheriff’s Office; and Sheriff Danny Millsaps of the Graham County Sheriff’s Office.


After being given a list of local organizations requesting grants from the town's nonprofit funding pool two weeks ago, members of the Franklin Town Board of Aldermen spent Monday discussing each grant request and how to stretch the $40,000 budget allocation to cover the 13 applications which totaled $66,000.

First, the board of aldermen arranged the non-profit requests into alphabetical order and then went down the list one-by-one to discuss each request. The board took each request and either funded the full amount requested and the maximum amount allowed of $5,000, which they did for three organizations, REACH, KIDS Place, and Habitat for Humanity, or decreased the amount requested enough to ensure that each qualified organization received funds.

Halfway through the process, Alderman Farrell Jamison noted that the board was running out of available non-profit funding and the organizations that were lower on the list were going to get less based on how they appeared on the list alphabetically.


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