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News

The Macon County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Lawrenceville, Georgia couple on Dec. 29 for drug trafficking charges. According to a report filed by Sheriff deputy Robert Rovegno, Lee Winston Cabe, 40, was charged with trafficking opium, simple possession of a scheduled IV controlled substance, possession of a concealed weapon, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Cabe’s secured bond was set at $12,000.

Rovegno also arrested Charlotte Ordway Cabe, 59, for trafficking opium, simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her secured bond was set at $10,000. Both suspects have been released from the Macon County Detention Center.

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Newsmakers & Top Headlines of the Year

2011 was certainly an eventful year — internationally, nationally, and locally. From the Japanese tsunami to the death of Osama bin Laden and the advent of the Arab Spring, events around the world sparked triumph and tragedy.

There were at least 12 natural disasters, and several unnatural ones in America and throughout the globe that resulted in devastating loss of life and crippling financial losses. Bin Laden’s death at the hands of Seal Team six ignited huge celebrations throughout the United States, and successfully concluded the decade-long manhunt for the world’s most wanted person.

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Transport program made New Year’s Eve safer.

For its third consecutive year, sheriff’s deputies in Macon County kept roads safer during the New Year for Operation Think Twice.

With no questions asked, party-goers were given rides by deputies after calling the Macon County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) to request a ride home. “Think Twice,” a local initiative seeking to lower the rate of drinking and driving during the New Year’s celebrations, has seen moderate success in recent years. From 9 p.m. on Dec. 31 to 6 a.m. on Jan. 1, the public was encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office to request a ride.

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The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT) Division of Aviation recently approved of a $2.09 million grant award for Macon County’s Airport, with the federal monies going towards the reconstruction and repaving of the airport’s parking apron. According to Milles Gregory, chairperson of Macon County’s airport authority, the airport’s current parking apron “is in shambles” and the project is “long overdue.”

“We are really glad to receive the news and I think this project will do a lot of good in making our airport much better in the future,” said Gregory.

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Concerned citizen identifies perpetrator

After months of investigation, authorities from Buncombe County have apprehended a Franklin man suspected of robbing a bank in Asheville.

Brian Keith Leonhart, 32, was arrested on Dec. 29 at his residence on Cook Street in Franklin, by the Macon County Sheriff’s Office. Leonhart was arrested for robbery with a dangerous weapon, after detectives with the Asheville Police Department obtained a warrant for his arrest.

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Franklin’s Board of Aldermen unanimously voted to approve the purchase of 12 Samsung Galaxy Tablets. The tablets, which will be provided to each member of the board along with Kevin McGonigal, the Town's IT Administrator, Town Manager Sam Greenwood, Assistant to the Manager, Summer Woodard, Town Clerk, Janet Anderson and Town Planner Mike Grubermann.

During Monday night's meeting, under the recommendations of McGonigal, the board approved to initially purchase 12 tablets. Greenwood suggested for the town to consider purchasing more tablets in the future in order to supply each department head with one.

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After serving seven consecutive terms, amounting to 14 years in office, Representative Phil Haire, (D-119) will not be running for an eighth term in the General Assembly.

Western North Carolina was buzzing with the news last week after Haire issued a press release announcing his decision to not seek re-election.

“As visions of sugar plums dance in our heads”, we recall the wonderful memories of family, friends, and fellowship during the Christmas season. As we look forward to the coming New Year, I will not be filing for re-election to the 119th District of the North Carolina House of Representatives,” said Haire. “It has been my highest honor and privilege to have been elected by you to serve as your representative for seven consecutive terms. So, to the finest people, in the finest part of North Carolina and in the best State in the United States, I thank you from the bottom of my heart and wish God’s blessing on each and every one,” he concluded.

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Friday will be Tim Hubbs’ last official day as the CEO of Angel Medical Center (AMC). Hubbs, who first gave notice of his retirement back in March, noted he wanted to retire to pursue other business interests.

According to Hubbs, his family has several houses that he wants to fix up and get on the market. He plans to spend retirement doing manual labor and trying to keep busy. Hubbs has been the CEO of the hospital for three and half years, and has guided the hospital through several significant transitions and developments.

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The 21-year-old Western Carolina University student arrested for robbing a State Employees Credit Union (SECU) near campus on Dec. 14 was convicted and sentenced in Superior Court in Jackson County on Tuesday, Jan. 3. Bryan anthony Edwards was sentenced to a minimum of 10 months and a maximum of 21 months to be served in the North Carolina Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to Common law robbery.

The fact that Edwards used a toy gun, which under the law is not a dangerous weapon, is the reason he was convicted of common law robbery and not robbery with a dangerous weapon, which were the original charges.

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On Tuesday, Jan. 3, at approximately 6:52 p.m., the Jackson County 911 Communications Center received notification of a panic alarm at the Cashiers BP station at the intersection of US 64 and NC 107 and subsequently dispatched the deputy working Cashiers to that location.

An employee of Blue Ridge Public Safety overheard the communication with the deputy over the scanner. This employee responded on his own as he was very close to the BP.

The deputy working Cashiers was notified by the 911 Center of the Blue Ridge employee and requested that he remain outside the store. However, the Blue Ridge employee had already entered the store and detained William Tyler Zorn, 20, of Cashiers.

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