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News

Old Parker Meadows golf course site of proposed park.

After identifying a need in the community and a way to bring economic advancement to Macon County, the board of commissioners unanimously approved moving ahead with plans to purchase the old Parker Meadows golf course and transform it into a new state-of-the-art recreation complex.

The plan for a new recreation complex is not a new one, but has been in the backs of minds of county leaders for years.

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Franklin Mayor Joe Collins joined the Franklin Noon Day Rotary in honoring lifelong Macon County resident and businessman J.C. Jacobs on Wednesday afternoon for Jacobs’ dedication and service to the Macon County community.

“Part of the vocational service this year is to honor business men and women who have contributed to our town and community while operating their business,” said Bill McGaha, Vocational Service Director for Rotary.

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Regional merchants gathered last weekend at the community building on Hwy. 441 S. for the Gem Capitol Shows gun show.

The next Gun Show will be held in Murphy, N.C. Dec. 1 and 2.

 

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During a special called meeting of the Macon County Board of Education last Thursday, the board announced that Franklin High School Principal Dr. Chris Baldwin has be named the next superintendent for the school district.

Baldwin said he was humbled by the opportunity and excited to have the chance to serve.

“It’s a great responsibility,” said Baldwin. “I pledge to do my very best for our students and our schools, because there is no better school system, or better place to live than Macon County. I thank the school board for their confidence in me.”

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With budget cuts across every level and in every department in state and federal government, the federal allotment for heating assistance is one of the many things that have become scarce for those in need.

According to Shania Adkins, Executive Director for CareNet, after four days of taking applications, more than half of the federal funds available for heating assistance to Maconians is gone.

“We started taking applications on Nov. 1 and after two days we had received 121 applications and allocated out $44,000,” said Adkins, who has been the director for CareNet only since June. “The latest numbers show that after four days and 174 applications, we have used $59,000 of the $99,000 available.

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Business owners scold town for lack of communication.

Main Street business owners approached the Franklin aldermen Monday night to share their discontent with the lack of communication between town officials and downtown merchants.

The frustration of several downtown businesses stems from a push and shove with town officials regarding the monthly Street- Fest events hosted by Venture Local Franklin and Streets of Franklin. To date, four Street- Fests have been successfully executed on Main Street, without any help or support from town officials. “Four StreetFests were planned, one each month from July to October, the first three bringing approximately 600 people downtown each time,” said Martha Holbrook, owner of Rosebud Cottage. “There was a comfortable, friendly, relaxed hometown atmosphere. Many said they ran into old friends and simply enjoyed browsing through the shops, stopping for food, enjoying the different styles of music played and the dance groups that performed.”

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An Otto couple facing the charge of first degree murder for the death of their son was granted bail last week.

At the October 29 session of Macon County Superior Court, judge Charles Ginn gave Frank Kelly Pruitt, 62, and his wife, Kathy Paulette Pruitt, 53, both $100,000 secured bonds. Should the defendants make bond, they are to have no contact with the victim’s family, and will be required to wear GPS ankle bracelets so their whereabouts are known to authorities.

On July 8, Robert Pruitt, 34, was shot at a residence on Coweeta Lab Road. His parents, Frank and Kathy, have been charged with their son’s first degree murder. Around the time of the incident, Frank Pruitt had called 9-1-1and declared to dispatch that he was going to shoot his son on the grounds that he was armed and drunk. Subsequent toxicology reports prove however that the son did not have alcohol in his system at the time of his death.

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The day before Halloween and just a shadow away from a full moon, nearly a dozen community members and government officials were arrested and detained at Franklin's Town Hall. With crimes ranging from impersonating an officer, to drunk and disruptive behavior and resisting arrest, Chief David Adams with the Franklin Police Department had his hands full Tuesday morning with a room full of guilty culprits.

Early Tuesday morning the crime raid began with the arrest of Franklin High School Principal Dr. Chris Baldwin. After being taken out in handcuffs by Officer Dwayne Cabe, Baldwin was escorted to Town Hall to appear before the volunteer judge, Assistant District Attorney Ashley Welch.

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Technology may be the next best defense for the Macon County Sheriff's Office. According to a report giving by Sheriff Robert Holland to the Board of Commissioners last week, a national program called LeadsOnline could be an essential crime-fighting tool for the area.

Holland informed the board that after a 30-day trial of LeadsOnline, the Sheriff's Office was able to tap into the database, which is the largest online investigative system in the country, and solve a string of church break-ins which occurred in Macon County. The database lead officers to Bonita Springs, Fla., where the suspect had driven and pawned the items at a pawn shop. “We were able to go down to Bonita Springs and retrieve those materials because of LeadsOnline, and bring them back to Macon County,” said Holland. “We were also able to successfully prosecute that individual, and also solve some other break-ins in the area.”

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The Macon County News traditionally provides our readers with profiles of candidates running for office in the weeks prior to the election. This week the focus is on the candidates for the 11th Congressional District; the candidates for the 50th District seat in the N.C. Senate; and the candidates for the District III seat on the Macon County Board of Education.

11th Congressional District Seat

Mark Meadows

Mark Meadows, 53, is the Jackson County Republican candidate vying for the 11th Congressional District Seat, currently occupied by Congressman Heath Shuler.

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