HAPPY EASTER!

- published 3/27 (Larry) - unpublished ?

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At Monday night's Franklin Tourism Development Authority, members were presented with an update of the marketing plan that is being implemented by local marketing firm, Premiere Marketing. Jessica Mason, who has been handling the TDA's account, set to work describing the effects the plan has had so far for the Discover Franklin website.

“As you can see since we started the marketing plan, there's been about 5,000 visits to the site each month,” said Mason. “The number dropped in the winter months and we expected that to happen.”

In the month of September the number was 4,539; in October it was 4,845; and in November, it began dropping with 3,311 visitors and 2,964 in December as the temperatures got colder.

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According to data released by N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, the state saw a record number of methamphetamine lab busts in 2013. Of the 561 “labs” that were taken down by law enforcement — the vast majority being very small operations — 62 were located in North Carolina’s 18 westernmost counties.

The previous year, 460 such busts occurred statewide, 55 of them in those WNC counties.

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On January 11, Joe Otis Norwood, 24, of Franklin, N.C., was arrested in the Cartoogechaye area when he fired a gun outside of a home while aggressively knocking on a resident's front door according to Macon County Sheriff Robert Holland.

911 dispatchers received a phone call from a homeowner claiming that gunshots had been fired outside his home and the man was still outside.

“I want to note that the caller absolutely did the right thing by calling 911 instead of trying to handle the situation himself,” said Holland. “He stayed inside with the doors locked, where it was safe until officers arrived on the scene to apprehend the suspect.”

Authorities believe that Norwood obtained the gun from one of the two vehicles parked outside of the home where the 911 call came from. After firing the initial shots he then knocked on the door of the home before firing more shots and then disposing of the pistol in the bushes next to the residence.

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With unprecedented low temperatures across the country, at least 45 daily record lows were set on Tuesday morning. A deadly cold snap caused by bitterly cold air straight from the Arctic, brought the coldest weather in decades to Western North Carolina.

In North Carolina, several cities across the state reported record low temperatures on Tuesday. Asheville recorded a record low of -1, with the previous record of 3 degrees. Macon County was not able to avoid the frigid temperatures reporting temperatures below zero late Monday night and into Tuesday afternoon.

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July

Town board explores future water options

The Franklin Board of Aldermen looked at the future of the town's water system at its July meeting.

Brian Tripp from the consulting firm W.K. Dickson was at the meeting and provided a presentation on a plan that would expand the current infrastructure of the town's water system to meet the demand up to and beyond 2035.

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On Monday night the Franklin Board of Aldermen held its first meeting of the new year. On the agenda was a variety of issues to be discussed, but the extremely low temperatures kept two presenters – representatives of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Venture Local – from attending the meeting. As a result of the reduced agenda items, the meeting was shortened significantly, but produced some significant highlights before adjourning for the evening.

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At Monday night's Franklin Board of Aldermen meeting, Town Manager Warren Cabe announced that Macon County employee Justin Setzer would be serving as the new Town Planner of Franklin.

“I'm honored to receive this opportunity,” said Setzer following the announcement. “I'm looking forward to working with the administration, the town board and the citizens of Franklin.”

Setzer, a Franklin native, will officially begin his duties on Jan. 29. In the meantime, he will finish up his stint with Macon County. The Franklin High School and Haywood Technical College alumnus began working with the county in 2006 in the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Department as a GIS Analyst. He also serves as Lieutenant for the Franklin Fire Department and spent some time with the Town of Franklin Planning Board.

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With the New Year’s holiday being a time of celebration and new beginnings, once again this year, the Macon County Sheriff’s Department (MCSO) wanted to start the year off right by working to keep the roads as safe as possible by hosting the Operation Think Twice Program.

Each year, the MCSO holds Operation Think Twice on New Year’s Eve to provide a safe way for residents to get home after a night of celebration. With a “no questions asked” policy, anyone needing a safe ride home on New Year’s Eve was encouraged to call dispatch and an officer would take them home.

This year 30 individuals called and requested rides home and the MCSO worked with local businesses such as Mixers and Mulligan’s to ensure their customers would have a ride home if needed.

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A Macon County man was arrested on New Year’s Eve after allegedly firing a shot at his girlfriend’s head.

After a domestic dispute erupted in the Nantahala community of Macon County, 22-year-old Alexander Bryant, of Topton, was arrested by the Macon County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday night for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. According to police reports, Bryant shot a rifle toward his girlfriend, Ashley Slaton, following an argument. The victim was able to escape the scene to contact authorities, and after a search in the Nantahala community for Bryant, he surrendered himself to law enforcement officers.

The incident report on file states that Slaton called 911 to report that Bryant was shooting at her from a window at his residence in Topton. Slaton told police she went to Bryant’s to retrieve her car that was sitting in the front parking lot when he opened fire on her. Slaton was able to hide behind a tree to contact authorities, but informed dispatch that Bryant was watching her from his window.

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In the summer of 2011, state and local investigators broke up a large scale methamphetamine ring that was being operated out of the then-Budget Inn located off of Highway 441 in Jackson County that was owned by Michael James Taylor of Sylva.

The operation was led by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and assisted by the State Bureau of Investigation as well as the Macon County Sheriff's Office.

Since it was a federal investigation, the details of the case were not forthcoming.

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published: 10/18/2013
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