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In the first split vote since membership on the board changed after the November election, Macon County commissioners voted 3-2 to purchase 12 new defibrillators for ambulances in the county. At the recommendation of Emergency Service Director David Key, Commissioners Ronnie Beale, Kevin Corbin and Jimmy Tate cast the majority votes needed to purchase the equipment at a total cost to the county of $374,000 which includes a 1.57 percent interest rate over a 59-month period.

According to Key, the new equipment is definitely needed, with the age of some defibrillators exceeding 10 years, when the recommended usage is half that. The 12 devices for which the county gave approval will not only replace out-dated equipment, they will also consolidate devices, explained Terry Bates, EMS coordinator. “These machines will be used on every patient that rides in our ambulances,” said Key.


The Postal Service’s financial hardships continued in the first quarter of this fiscal year as the agency waits for Congressional action to address its mounting debt. The U.S. Postal Service ended the first three months of its 2013 fiscal year (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31, 2012) with a net loss of $1.3 billion. Continued growth in shipping and package revenue (+4.7 percent) and increased efficiency helped mitigate but could not fully offset the financial effects of continued First-Class Mail volume declines and costs that are beyond Postal Service management control.

As a result, the Postal Service announced last week that it would move forward with accelerated cost-cutting actions necessary to help maintain liquidity because Congress has not passed comprehensive postal reform legislation.


Focuses on implementation of marketing strategy

The Tourism Development Authority (TDA) met on Monday, Feb. 11 for its monthly meeting to discuss the current financial state of the entity.

Board member Summer Woodard opened the meeting by giving the financial report. In December 2012, the board collected $4,746.80, with a net collection of $166,089.89, for Fiscal Year 2012-13 to-date, with $93,520.38 in the less reserve. The purpose of the reserve is to provide money to the board in case of an emergency.


Last week, a grand jury ordered up 24 true bills of indictment against the former owner of Sylva's Moody Funeral Home.

The grand jury's ruling comes after years of court rulings and investigations into Reginald Moody Jr., 49, who was initially arrested on Dec. 18.

Sylva Police Department Detective Daniel Peoples led the investigation and on Dec. 17, five arrest warrants were issued after evidence revealed that Moody had taken money from several victims under the false pretense that he would provide a service, when in fact he did not. Further investigation uncovered evidence to support 24 addition bills of indictment, with each of the charges against Moody, alleging that he obtained property by false pretenses. Moody, of Dills Cove Road, Sylva, was arrested on Jan. 23, the day after the jury's ruling, and was released the same day after posting a $38,000 secure bond. Moody previously owned and operated Moody Funeral Home.


During Monday's regularly scheduled meeting of the Franklin Town Board of Aldermen, Angel Medical Center (AMC) employees Don Capaforte and Bonnie Peggs requested the town consider a deal to transfer town property to the hospital for the development of a memorial garden.

“In addition to being the director of marketing and public relations, I am also the hospital's chaplain,” said Peggs. “A memorial garden is something that we have been thinking about for a long time and definitely think it is something the hospital needs and can benefit from.


Earlier this week, The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles announced that the Franklin Driver License Office will be moved and will open in its new location in downtown Franklin on Monday, Feb. 11, at 8 a.m.

The DMV office will close its doors today (Thursday) at the Industrial Park location and will be closed on Friday in order to get everything moved to the new location. The new offices will be located on the corner of Palmer Street and Patton Avenue behind the Barrett EMS building. Known as “The Yellow Building,” the new office will be housed in a Macon County-donated space.


A driver traveling east on Old Murphy Road was involved in an accident shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2.

As temperatures remained below freezing throughout the day and into the night, an accumulation of snow and ice remained on many portions of the roads in Franklin.

Due to these conditions, the 58-year-old driver slid his 2000 Dodge Durango off of the right side of the road landing on its side at the bottom of an embankment.


Macon County Sheriff's Office Detective Amy Stewart spoke with members of the media last Thursday for the first time since being served with two criminal summonses on Jan. 6. Under the advisement of her Asheville-based lawyer, Jack Stewart, Detective Stewart answered questions from members of the media that did not directly reference the pending charges or ongoing investigation.

“The way I have been treated is unfair,” said Stewart. “Because of the events and the way the school's administration has handled it, I can not go to my daughter's senior basketball games. If my daughter was hurt, I wouldn't be allowed on campus to take care of her. If she needed money for something I couldn't take it to her, and this may continue and prevent me from attending her high school graduation.”


Macon County Department of Social Services still has money for CareNet to administer crisis funds for the Crisis Intervention Program (CIP). Households that are eligible for CIP must meet income guidelines including crisis guidelines posted at CareNet. The Crisis Intervention Program (CIP) will provide payment to the vendors for eligible households. Funds are limited and no appointments will be made for the energy programs.

Funds are available for LIEAP, beginning February 1 for individuals and families with the lowest income and highest relative energy cost. All eligibility requirements must be met which include income & asset guidelines. Funds will continue through March 31 or until LIEAP funds are expended.


Negotiations in works for sale of Franklin facility

More than 100 people found themselves out of a job last week, when they were informed that Whitley Products Franklin facility would be closing its doors. With just a day's notice, employees showed up for work on Thursday morning, and were turned away.

Employees first caught wind of the problem Wednesday morning when they received a letter from Whitley's corporate office in West Warsaw, Ind. The letter cited financial difficulties as being the reason for the facility's demise.


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