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News

Last Friday, Duke Energy Corporation filed a request with the North Carolina Utilities Commission to impose a 17 percent increase on power rate fees for residents and a 14 percent increase for commercial and industrial establishments.

The proposed rate hikes have met with disapproval from public officials in WNC, as they could add up to $19 to the average monthly residential power bill. If approved, the rate hike would likely go into effect by February of next year and would come on top of rate increases already planned due to rising fuel costs.

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Duke Energy Carolinas has filed a request with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) to increase electric rates by approximately $646 million.

Approximately three-fourths of the request is driven by capital investments the company made in the Carolinas’ electric system over the past two years.

“Since 2009, we’ve spent $4.8 billion to modernize the system and comply with environmental regulations,” said Brett Carter, president, Duke Energy North Carolina.

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A fire broke out Friday morning causing severe damage to a local man’s two-story residence. An alarm was received around 12:38, July 1, from the home of Steve Tallent at 215 John Tallent Road. Steve Tallent lives alone and, fortunately, was not home at the time of the fire.

Clarks Chapel, Mountain Valley, Cullasaja, Cowee, and West Macon Fire departments responded to the alarm. After the fire was extinguished, the firefighters were treated by Macon County EMS to prevent heat exhaustion. The outside temperature at the time was 89 degrees.

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At its last meeting, the Macon County Board of Commissioners appointed school board member Gary Shields to fill a vacancy on the Southwestern Community College’s Board of Trustees.

Pending his acceptance of the appointment and approval by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners, Shields, former principal of Franklin High School, will complete the term of Charles Leatherman, who resigned from the SCC board effective June 1. The term expires on June 30, 2012.

Franklin resident Jerry Sutton was recently reappointed to the board by Gov. Bev Purdue. Sutton, who has served on SCC’s Board of Trustees for 28 years, including seven terms as chairman, is a former director of the Governor’s western office, a retired dairy farmer, former Macon County Commissioner and a part-time real estate broker.

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Both held on $30,000 bond in Swain and Macon

Officers with the Franklin Police Department arrested two women last Thursday on charges stemming from the theft of an woman’s purse last month in the Holly Springs Shopping Center on US 441 North.

On the evening of June 18, authorities responded to the report of a purse that was stolen out of 61-year-old Julie Frances Rose’s car, which was parked in a handicapped parking space near Ingles supermarket. The purse was recovered and returned to Rose.

 

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At a recent meeting, Franklin Board of Aldermen discussed establishing a policy that would provide criteria and a priority ranking system for the grant application process for non-profits seeking funds from the town. Aldermen came to no decision on the matter.

“There is no real rigor to it,” said Town Manager Sam Greenwood of the current grant application process, in which organizations are only required to verify that they are a non-profit along with the structure of their organization in the initial grant application form issued by the town.

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With a special ribbon cutting ceremony held last Tuesday, the Macon County Airport Authority celebrated the official expansion of its airport runway.

Joined by state and local leaders, transportation officials and longtime airport supporters, Authority Chairman Milles Gregory lauded the long awaited completion of the runway expansion as a critical economic asset to the county.

“I believe this will have quite an economic impact on Macon County, but also other adjoining counties,” said Gregory. “It’s been a long time coming but we’re delighted that we’ve reached this point and it’s a milestone in the history of Macon County to have a 5,000-foot runway.”

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11 units evacuated due to chemical hazards

While responding to a complaint of suspicious activity last Thursday, officers with the Franklin Police Department discovered a laboratory used for manufacturing methamphetamines at a local apartment complex.

At approximately 4:45 p.m. officer Dwayne Cabe responded to a complaint of suspicious activity at building 400 of Orchard View Apartments on Orchard View Drive in Franklin. Upon his arrival, Cabe recovered a plastic bag containing several unused syringes in the parking lot.

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Two fatal single-vehicle motorcycle accidents and one non-fatal accident occurrd over the weekend. All three accidents did not involve any other vehicles and each was a result of the driver going off the road in a sharp curve and losing control.

On Sunday, June 26, around 10:24 a.m., Stephen Nashif II, 22, of Franklin was riding his 2001 Yamaha motorcycle on Old Murphy Road. Kristi Lynn Herring, 23, also of Franklin, was a passenger. According to Trooper Jeff Pruett, Nashif went off the right side of the road in a sharp curve and the motorcycle overturned and collided with a mailbox and a tree. Herring was pronounced dead on the scene and Nashif was airlifted to Mission hospital with serious injuries. As of press time he was recovering.

 

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Macon County is looking to acquire a new building in downtown Franklin to relocate offices from leased properties and prepare for possible expansion in the future. Last Tuesday, June 21, at a recessed meeting of the Board of Commissioners, Chairman Brian McClellan announced the county's intention to purchase the property on the corner of East Palmer Street and Patton Avenue in downtown Franklin for $300,000.

The two-story, bright yellow building, which sits on a 0.37 acre double lot, is actually comprised of three office suites with the addresses 16, 18 and 20 Patton Avenue. One of the three suites formerly housed the Franklin Police Department before it was moved to its new offices on West Palmer Street; the other two suites remain unfinished spaces. In total, the building will add approximately 10,000 square feet of office space for county offices.

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