North Carolina’s Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker spent last Friday afternoon touring a handful of the “homegrown” businesses in Macon County.
Starting at Drake Software, Decker met with business owners and employees to discuss what makes living in Macon County so great.
After Drake Software, Decker, who was accompanied by Macon County Commission Chair Kevin Corbin and Economic Development Director Tommy Jenkins, Decker stopped at Duotech to receive a tour of the manufacturing facilities from Engineer Rich Peoples.
It has been more than a week since Alec Lansing walked away from a camping trip in Jackson County. That means it has been more than a week since his mother Pamela, or any friends and family have heard from the teen.
The camping trip Alec was on hosted by Trails Carolina Wilderness Therapy Program in Lake Toxaway, was intended to be a wilderness therapy camp for the group of high-risk teens. Alec, a slim young man at 5 feet, 11 inches tall and 140 pounds, the 17-year-old was last seen wearing a red, long-sleeve fleece and boots, before he walked away from the camp last Monday.
On Saturday, Nov. 15, the community turned out to help the Toys for Tots program gather donations.
The event took place at Smoky Mountain Chevrolet where attendees were treated to an antique car show, fun and games, and fellowship. Every year volunteers disperse toy donations to area children during the holidays.
Winner won’t be eligible for state pageant until 2016.
Most of the residents of Franklin don't realize that there was once a Miss Franklin pageant. Local women would vie for the chance at the title and then they were able to move on to the Miss North Carolina pageant. According to Cindy Cavender of the Franklin Chamber of Commerce, those pageants ended in the early 1990s but now they're about make a comeback.
“We just thought that this would be a really good thing for the Franklin area and the people that live here. Something fun to bring back and take pride in,” she said.
On Saturday, April 13, a group of about 50 volunteers comprised of a diverse group of citizens from the Franklin and Highlands areas joined forces to clean up the Cullasaja River Gorge's roadsides and river banks.
This initiative is one of the Highlands Chamber of Commerce's ongoing annual projects to help keep area natural resources clean. The cleanup takes place every spring during the NCDOT's clean sweep week and has been headed up by the Highlands Chamber for the last 10 years.
This year, members of Venture Local Franklin, Franklin Chamber of Commerce staff/board members, Stay And Play in the Smokies, and others joined in to make an even bigger impact on this stretch of the “Mountain Waters Scenic Byway.” Of the 50 volunteers on Saturday, 20 volunteers represented Franklin.
"Franklin and Highlands market this same stretch of scenic highway for tourism and recreation purposes, and its very important for both communities to keep the roadsides of Highway 64 as beautiful as the natural assets that surround them,” said volunteer Matt Bateman. “So we decided to reach out to Jennifer Smathers at the Highlands Chamber Visitor Center to join forces."
Bateman, who is a member of Venture Local Franklin (VLF) and tour guide, believes it is important to build a mutual cooperation to take full ownership in maintaining the natural beauty of the roadside. "One of VLF's goals is to continue to reach out to other groups and entities within Franklin and beyond, so we can work together on moving Franklin forward in a positive direction," said Bateman.
The combined effort bagged litter from just above Cullasaja Falls, all the way up to the city limits of Highlands. More than 100 bags were filled by volunteers and hauled away by the U.S. Forest Service.
Main Street Coffee & Tea in downtown Franklin donated coffee for the volunteers of Franklin, while Bill and Sharon Van Horn donated bagels from Dills Creek Bagel Co. also of Franklin.
To finish the day, volunteers were treated to a cookout provided by the Highlands Chamber of Commerce at the Cliffside Lake Recreation Area.