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Thunderstorms swept through Western North Carolina on Wednesday afternoon, causing severe flooding. Throughout Wednesday, Macon County was under a Tornado Watch, a Flood Warning, High Wind Warning and a Thunderstorm Warning.

Main Street down to the Highlands Road was temporarily closed after the road became impassable due to drainage pipes being unable to keep up with the torrential rainfall. As of 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Duke Energy had reported 3,602 power outages for Jackson County and 3,315 outages in Macon County.


Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit instrumental in solving case.

On Saturday morning, with the help of Clifford, a oneyear- old member of the Macon County K-9 unit, Macon County Sheriff's deputies were able to apprehend a 22-yearold man after a “snatch and run” of an undisclosed amount of money from the Otto General Store.

An Otto General Store employee explained that after the suspect entered the store, the staff began watching him closely because of suspicious behavior.


After nearly a month of seeing his wife being forced to miss their daughter's basketball games, Steve Stewart went before the Macon County Board of Education on Monday to request that the ban prohibiting his wife, Amy Stewart, from being on school property be lifted.

"Both my wife and I both work at the Macon County Sheriff's Office and are good, upstanding members of the community," said Steve Stewart Monday night. "I believe that the ban is unreasonable and unprecedented."

Steve Stewart's request comes after Interim Superintendent Dr. Jim Duncan sent a letter to Amy Stewart on January 7 notifying her of his administrative decision to ban her from Franklin High School. The letter reads, "This letter is to inform you that, due to your involvement in events on or about Jan. 5 of this year, I am directing that you are not to be present on any school property or at any school activities for the remainder of this school year."


Lease negotiations for the highly anticipated and valiantly fought for dialysis center have concluded and renovations to an already existing building are expected to begin the first week of February.

At the request of community members, which was supported by commissioners, representatives with DaVita Dialysis Center, the company awarded the contract to open a center in Macon County, diligently searched for an already existing and vacant building in Macon County to house the new center. The search hit a small snag when options and locations for the center were limited to buildings not able to accommodate the center's need.


Officials making plans to compile necessary data.

The Macon County tax office has procured new software that will allow them to better identify and collect delinquent taxes. In accordance with North Carolina General Statute §105-368, the county is responsible for identifying delinquent taxpayers in the county and take the appropriate actions to collect the taxes.

“We have followed N.C.G.S. §105-368 for years when using enforced collections,” explained Teresa McDowell. “We have used it to garnish N.C. Dept. of Revenue Tax returns, wages, rent proceeds, escheat accounts and bank accounts, and have done wage garnishments on more than one occasion. However, since we have such a small staff, we were never able to do them on a large scale. With the procurement of this new software, we will be able to do wage garnishments on a larger scale.”


As a result of last week's torrential rainfall accumulations, a portion of road on the Great Smoky Mountains Parkway connecting Cherokee and Tennessee, was swept away in a landslide. The first assessment of the landslide which occurred along Newfound Gap Road in North Carolina shows that the landslide is approximately 90,000 cubic yards of material or 350-400 feet — around the length of a football field — and 45-50 feet deep.

According to Molly Schroer with the National Park Service Public Affairs department, as of Tuesday, the slide is still active and an assessment team has observed debris continuing to fall.


In keeping with the goal of open, bi-partisan communication for the people of Macon County, commissioners held their mid-year review retreat last Saturday. The meeting, which is held midway through the fiscal year (which runs from July 1-June 30) is intended to evaluate the county's to-date progress and look toward planning for the upcoming year.

County manager Jack Horton began the meeting by giving commissioners a brief summary of on-going and new projects in the county. Horton noted that the upgrade to the water and sewer system, a project that has taken more than a decade since it began, is nearly complete, and other projects such as renovations to the Highlands School are just about to begin. “There are several projects both new and old that the county has taken on,” said Horton. “Regardless of the project, these things are necessary improvements to the infrastructure of our county.”


Franklin's Tourism Development Authority, (TDA) which has seen revisions to its operating procedures, will be developing a marketing strategy in 2013 to allow the board to better promote tourism and development in the Town of Franklin.

During the TDA's monthly meeting on Jan. 13, the board voted to table discussion of granting $10,000 to the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts (SMCPA).

During the Dec. 10 meeting, Nikki and Scotty Corbin went before the TDA to request funds for advertising SMCPA events planned for March 2013. The pair explained that the March 2013 lineup was expected to enhance tourism in the Town of Franklin, drawing people from other areas to the community. Acts such as country music singer Easton Corbin, an Angelina Ballerina play and a performance by the Lovin Spoonful are all scheduled for March.


Beginning February 1, vehicles located inside the city limits will become subject to the Town of Franklin's new Junk Car Ordinance.

According to a fact sheet sent from the desk of Franklin's Town Planner Derek Roland, the newly established ordinance will allow law enforcement to dispose of three categories of vehicles left within the city limits.

The ordinance states that three types of vehicles, identified as abandoned, junked motor or nuisance vehicles will be subject to removal by town officials.


Western North Carolina continued to be deluged by rain Wednesday afternoon. Record rainfall has caused rivers and streams to bulge beyond their banks and overflow into roadways.

Macon County Schools called for a two-hour delay Wednesday morning to allow time for the rain to taper off and travel conditions to be safer.

“Our transportation guys went out this morning around 4:30 a.m. [Wednesday] and came back with a report that the rain was really heavy in Otto,” explained Interim Superintendent Dr. Jim Duncan.


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