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Autumn makes it way down the Cullasaja Gorge

Autumn is trickling down the mountain in the Cullasaja Gorge as leaves begin to change promising a spectacular show.

In the next few months, thousands of tourists will make the drive from Franklin to Highlands to catch a glimpse of the changing leaves.






New brewery expected to open by spring

For the last 15 years Brandon Hintz and his wife Jodi have been vacationing in Macon County and after purchasing a place in Scaly Mountain a year and a half ago, decided to start a business here. With Hintz' experience as a brewer with Sweetwater Brewery in Georgia and after opening a successful brewpub (Hop Alley Brew Pub) in 2013 in Alpharetta, Ga., a business in craft beer seemed like the logical choice.

"Our brewpub in Georgia became a success and I had always wanted to expand into a production brewery at some point," said Hintz. "After discussing different locations we could go to, Franklin was the one spot we kept coming back to both due to the proximity to our place on Scaly as well as the people there. Combine that with the love of craft beer that people have in the western Carolinas coupled with the more attractive beer laws in North Carolina specifically, it was somewhat of a no brainer to open in Franklin."

Teen Challenge of the Smokies ready to make its mark in WNC

“Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – St. Francis of Assisi According to “Pentecostal Evangel” magazine (May 1959 issue), Macon County pastor Fred Sorrells, started with a vision, a dream, a very large portion of faith, and $800 in cash, and set out to build the Assembly of God Camp Cullasaja off Highlands Road. Along with a congregation of folks willing to volunteer and provide labor for the project, the campground was completed for a fraction of its worth, even back then.

The campground became the meeting place for the Western Assembly of God District. In its heyday, it provided a venue for all types of Assembly of God functions, meetings, camps, and the annual church camp meeting.

Pader, 85, hikes the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim

Since John Wesley Powell led the first expedition down the Grand Canyon in 1869, adventure seekers from around the world have flocked to Arizona to gaze into the natural wonder.

Spanning 277 miles in length with the widest point of 18 miles across, it is easy to see why around 5 million people visit the Grand Canyon each year. Last month, a crew from Macon County traveled to the National Park to celebrate James Pader's 85th birthday. Pader was joined by his son, James, and friend Sarah Lowell, to hike the entire Grand Canyon from rim to rim.


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John Starinchuck

John Starinchuck, 77, of Tiger, Ga., passed away Tuesday, June 26, 2012. He was a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., the son of the late John and Alexandria Akadimiski Starinchuck. He had a law degree from American University in Washington DC, and a BA degree from Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa. He worked in electronics and was a member of Trout Unlimited, and former member of Ducks Unlimited. He loved fly fishing, camping and being outdoors.

He is survived by his companion of 17 years, Sarah Clary; four sons, Jon Scot of Stuart, Fla., Justin Strynchuk of Melbourne, Fla., Mike Starinchuck of Daytona Beach, Fla. and Tim Starinchuck of Stuart, Fla.; three grandchildren, Teagan Strynchuk, Ashley Starinchuck and Zachary Starinchuck.

No services are planned at this time.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.


Thomas S. WilsonThomas S. Wilson

Thomas S. Wilson, 92, of Highlands, N.C., passed away Monday, June 25, 2012, at his residence. He was the son of the late Mack and Lona Flora Ann Chastain Wilson. He was married to Frances Ruth Mossor Wilson who passed away in 2006. He was a U.S. Army Veteran of WWII; a mechanic and welder for Zia Company in Los Alamos, N.M., and a member of Operating Engineers. He was a member of Blue Valley Baptist Church. He was a caring father, grandfather and great-grandfather who liked hunting, fishing and farming.

He is survived by his daughters, Lona Pearl "Cookie" McCall and husband, James of Highlands, Martha Earle and husband Randy of Morse, Texas and Frances Wilson of Parkersburg, W. Va.; a son, Archie "Bud" Wilson and wife Anna of Highlands; one sister, Dolly McCall of Highlands; and one brother, Albert Wilson of Espanola, N.M.; six grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by two sisters, Ellie Nix and Velma Mason and five brothers, Eugene, Walter, Lyman, Joe and Curt Wilson.

Funeral services were held Thursday, June 28, at Blue Valley Baptist Church with Rev. Oliver Rice officiating. Burial was in the Clear Creek Community Cemetery. Pallbearers were Neal Earle, Kevin Earle, Scott Earle, Randy McCall, Jared McCall, Bud Hedden and Willie Mahler. Franklin VFW Post #7339 and American Legion Post #108 performed full military graveside rites.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.


Charles Alfred SlagleCharles Alfred Slagle

Charles Alfred “Al” Slagle died at home June 28, 2012. He was born Feb. 27, 1950, was a native of Macon County and lived in the Cartoogechaye Community. The cause of death was lung cancer.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Siler Slagle and Nina Waldroop Slagle of Franklin, paternal grandparents Carl and Louise Slagle and maternal grandparents Charles and Kate Setser Waldroop.

He was a 1968 graduate of Franklin High School. After two years at Western Carolina University, he joined the United States Marine Corps and was honorably discharged in 1974. He finished his B.S. in geology at WCU in 1976. He attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville for graduate school furthering his studies of geology. Most of his professional career as a hydrogeologist was spent working in the public water supply section of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. He was a long time member of the Association of Engineering Geologists and served as the president of the NC chapter of AEG. He was also a member of the National Groundwater Association. He served the people of Macon County as an active member of the Macon County Planning Board.

He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Candace; son Chris Williams and wife Barb; daughters, Erin Marsten and Megan Marsten and sons, Carl Slagle and partner Erika of Charlotte and Jake Slagle and wife Vanessa of Franklin; one grandson, Owen Siler Marsten and granddaughter, Haley Williams; sisters, Chris Slagle and husband Robert Martin of Black Mountain and Kathy Tinsley and husband Dan of Franklin; aunts, Nell Waldroop Ray of Fletcher, N.C. and Myra Slagle Waldroop of Franklin; cousins, Betty Waldroop, Mary Pittman and Carl Southerland of Franklin and I.B. Southerland of Winston-Salem; several nieces and nephews; step-siblings Carlene White, Wayne Meacham, and Gary Meacham who live in the Chapel Hill area; and step-mother Clydie O. Slagle of Franklin.

At his request no funeral services will be held. At a later time the family will gather and celebrate by the Nantahala River where he enjoyed fishing and camping for many years. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to a charity of one’s choice or to the Cartoogechaye Democratic Precinct c/o Betty Waldroop, 12660 Murphy Hwy., Franklin, NC 28734; Angel Hospice General Fund, 170 Church Street, Franklin, NC 28734 or the UNICEF TAP project, 125 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038. This organization provides communities with safe drinking water world-wide.

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.bryantgrantfuneralhome.com.

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