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News

At approximately 4:26 p.m. on Tuesday evening, authorities arrived on the scene on Highway U.S. 23 at the Rabbit Creek intersection in response to a motor vehicle accident.

According to Leah McCall, investigating trooper with the North Carolina Highway Patrol, a 2006 silver Ford driven by Avery Bates, 18, of Franklin was entering the highway from Rabbit Creek and attempting to head toward Franklin.

Bates struck a 1998 black SUV oldsmobile driven by Maurice Grayson, 26, of Franklin, at the intersection mangling both vehicles.

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A Franklin man suspected of operating a methamphetamine lab was recently found guilty in Macon County Superior Court last week.

James Bradley Vaughn, 36, formerly of Orchard View Apartments, was sentenced to serve 7-9 years in prison after pleading guilty to manufacturing methamphetamine. Judge Sharon Barrett, of Buncombe County, presided over the hearing.

The sentence stemmed from the June 23 arrest of Vaughn and several others when Franklin Police Officers responded to a complaint of loud music at Orchard View Apartments, behind Kmart. After officers were given permission to enter the residence in question, they discovered a makeshift meth lab. Officers also reportedly recovered a plastic bag containing several unused syringes in the parking lot.

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A Franklin man accused of sex crimes against minors pled guilty to all charges last Thursday in Macon County Superior Court. David Wayne Ogden, 64, changed his plea from innocent to guilty earlier apparently due to the amount of evidence and victims stacked against him. “Yes ma’am, I’m guilty,” he said to Judge Sharon Barrett.

The courtroom was quiet, and Assistant District Attorneys Ashley Hornsby-Welch and District Attorney Jason Arnold seemed pensive as Barrett sentenced Ogden for his crimes against at least seven victims.

The defendant received an overall sentence of 34-45 years in prison for 35 charges including sexual exploitation of a minor, indecent liberties with a minor, delivering controlled substances to a child between the ages of 13-16 and other offenses. Should Ogden still be alive when his sentence is up, he would have to register as a sexual offender.

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Board members were eager to see the final numbers of the fall intersession after viewing a presentation highlighting the week, which took place from Oct. 10-14, at the October Board of Education meeting. “One of our goals is to get our students reading and math scores up, and we looked at the intersession as a way to do that,” said board member Stephanie McCall.

The intersession was beneficial for the students who attended, but board members showed concerns about whether the week was cost effective due to low participation numbers. The intersession was available to all students and the school system encouraged parents to become involved, but only about 400 students attended the interession on any given day, which amounts to about 10 percent of the entire district’s student population.

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Macon County Commissioners voted to take seven constructions standards up for discussion when they reconvened last week for a continuation of October’s regularly scheduled meeting. Commissioners discussed altering construction standards, which encompassed the minimum allowed standards, with the intention of providing safe and adequate protection while serving to decrease liability to people involved in all areas of development, under consideration and further review.

According to Lewis Penland, Chairman of the planning board, the proposed construction standards were taken directly from the recommended Safe Slope Development Ordinance which was developed by the Safe Slope Development Workgroup. “The workgroup—made up of a grading contractor, a builder and developer, a planner, a geologist, a hydrologist, a realtor, and a planning board member—spent two years studying slope development issues and taking testimony from a variety of professionals in the building, construction and engineering fields,” said Penland.

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Officers with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office recently arrested a man charged of numerous counts of statutory rape.

On Oct. 23, investigators with the department began investigating an incident of sexual assault that reportedly occurred in the Sapphire community of Jackson County on the same date.

According to statement released by JCSO in late October, private security firm, Blue Ridge Public Safety, was the initial agency to respond to the report, with Jackson investigators taking over the investigation later that evening. Deputies, along with the North Carolina Bureau of Investigations, searched the scene of the event that evening.

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Last Saturday authorities in both Jackson and Macon Counties continued their operations to get prescription pills off the streets. Often used as narcotics, the two agencies collected thousands of outdated and unwanted pills from citizens in their respective communities, who had an excess of such medications.

Held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, the Macon County Sheriff’s Office and the Franklin Police Department collected 14,884 pills in the parking lots of Wal-Mart and KMart. Dubbed “Operation Pill Crusher”, the event has collected over 100,000 pills since the operation first began at the beginning of the year.

“This last collection is less than what we got last time, but we’re satisfied with the numbers we got,” said Macon County Sheriff Robert Holland on Monday. “That’s over 14,000 less pills to hit the streets.”

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The Town of Sylva is getting a new Town Manager, said Mayor Maurice Moody, as board members voted to hire a replacement for former manager Adrienne Eisenhower at their monthly meeting last month.

The new installment of Michael Morgan is just a temporary one. Morgan, 57, took on the job as interim Town Manager while board members continue their search for a full-time manager.

“He has a lot of experience as a town manager and is great for the job,” said Moody. “He has agreed to work for the next 4 to 6 months.”

 

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The Franklin Chamber of Commerce announces that entry forms are available for the 2011 Christmas Parade. The parade is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 28, beginning at 3 p.m. Falling on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, this year’s parade kicks off the Christmas season in Franklin.

“Candy Canes and Christmas Carols” has been chosen as the theme of the parade. “This year’s theme provides for a broad range of ideas to be incorporated in float design and other entries. We encourage those participating to decorate their float using Candy Canes and/or a favorite Christmas Carol.” said Cindy Cavender, Special Events Coordinator. Prize money will be awarded. Judging of the floats, we take place prior to the parade. Prizes for Best Use of Theme, Most Creative & Grand Champion will be given.

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Macon County will honor its veterans with a special parade and ceremony on Friday, Nov. 11. The event will begin at 10 a.m. with a Veterans Parade through downtown Franklin and will be followed by a ceremony at the Gazebo on the Square featuring keynote speaker Gary Shields, a member of the Macon County Board of Education and a Vietnam Veteran.

The ceremony will also feature remarks by Vice Mayor Verlin Curtis and local elementary school children who will sing for the veterans. The ceremony will conclude with a wreath laying ceremony on the courtyard of the Macon County Courthouse.

Linda Schlott, Executive Director of the Franklin Main Street Program encourages all Macon County veterans participate in this event. “These men and women who have faithfully served and those who are currently serving our country are heroes and we need to give them the resounding support they deserve.”

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