Heritage arts, music, skills and history were showcased at Saturday’s event.
Doug Hubbs, right, of Cave Creek Pottery demonstrates the art of “throwing a pot” at the 11th annual Folk Festival in downtown Franklin.
Photo by Betsey Gooder
View more pics and the full gallery after the jump!
Superintendent addresses concerns regarding move to digital textbooks
After members of the community voiced concern regarding the Macon County School District’s decision to move to a 1:1 format for digital textbooks in high school across the district, Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin reached out to members of the media to share information regarding the process.
In this coming school year, all high school students in Macon County will take part in the initiative to provide 1:1 digital learning devices (iPads) fully equipped with textbooks to students.
“State funding allocated toward purchasing new textbooks has been steadily reduced from $297,726 in 2008-2009 to $62,773 in 2013-2014,” explained Dr. Baldwin.
MEC teacher invents electronics kits for students
Talking to a former student about her experience learning electronics in college, Macon Early College teacher Dan Alich began wondering why basic electronics were not taught in high school and younger grades. Alich, who acquired a passion for finding out what made things tick while growing up working with electronic kits, wanted to find a way to bring electronics into his classroom at MEC.
“While struggling in my classroom/club to help students learn and understand electronics and programming, I started to look for a complete process and design for building and teaching,” said Alich.
Last month, World War II veteran and Macon County resident, Herb Simmons, 92, returned to the D-day battlefields of Normandy where he had been a part of the invasion that had driven back and ultimately stopped the German war machine. Within a year, Hitler had committed suicide and the German armies surrendered, ending the war in Europe.
The 70th Anniversary of the invasion was commemorated at Omaha Beach¸ on June 6, 2014. Both the U.S President Barack Obama and President of the French Republic, Francois Hollande, spoke at the ceremony honoring the Allied soldiers who fought and died there to preserve the liberties Americans enjoy each day.
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.