18th Annual PUMPKINFEST :: Saturday, October 25 from 9am - 4pm * Downtown Franklin :: CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO!

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Autumn sweeps into WNC

Colorful leaf changes seen across Macon County

Nature puts on its finest this time of year in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

Scenic leaf-looking drives begin in Macon County with spectacular scenery around every turn.

A trip up the Cullasaja Gorge on 64E will take you to breathtaking waterfalls and colorful autumn splendor.

 

view more breathtaking photos by Vickie Carpenter after the jump!

Landfill expansion: $1.5 million for 22.9 acres

With about 25 months left on the county’s current landfill lifespan, Macon County commissioners voted during the October meeting to move forward with allowing the solid waste department to purchase two parcels of land totaling $1.5 million.

As an enterprise agency, the funds to purchase the property will come from the solid waste department, and not from the county budget. Chris Stahl, the county’s solid waste director, informed commissioners that by purchasing the property now to complete the expansion, more than 40 years will be added to the life expectancy and save the county $36 million in operating costs over that time.

Early Voting under way now through Nov. 1

N.C. law requires voters to vote in their proper precinct on Election Day

Submitted by Debbie George Board of Elections director

Voters planning to cast a ballot during the Tuesday, Nov. 4 election must do so at their assigned polling location. On the actual day of an election, North Carolina law requires voters to vote in their proper precinct based on the address where they have resided for at least 30 days before the date of the election. If you moved within your county and did not update your address by the voter registration deadline (Oct. 10, 2014), you may update your address and vote using one of the following methods: One-stop Absentee Voting (Early Voting) or Election Day voting.

Leaf Lookers Gemboree brings visitors to county from far and wide

The peak season for leaf lookers, by most accounts, hasn't set in just yet. The mountains that surround Macon County are still mostly green with hints of yellow and red showing through. Nonetheless, if you take a ride around the area you are likely to notice an increase in traffic as is usually the case this time of year as visitors from all around crowd the highways and winding mountain two-lane roads to see the colors as they come on more and more with each passing day.

Last weekend, visitors were treated to special event here in Franklin; the 25th Annual Leaf Lookers Gemboree at the Macon County Community Building.

- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

Click for Franklin, North Carolina Forecast

Highlands Chamber, Franklin Chamber and Venture Local teamed up during NCDOT’s clean sweep week.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."

Volunteers tracked the roadsides up the Cullasaja Gorge at Saturday’s cleanup.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.





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