Hundreds of community members headed out to the Cartoogechaye Community on Tuesday for the Grand Opening of the Parker Meadows Recreation Complex and despite a great turnout and memorable ribbon cutting, the park's most memorable night isn't scheduled until Sept. 10 when the park's first ball game is scheduled to take place.
"Tonight has been a great night and as excited as we are to show off this great park to the community, we are even more excited to announce that the first games ever played on these fields will be on Sept. 10 and will be for the special needs children in our community," said Macon County Manager Derek Roland during his remarks at the park's grand opening.
Twenty-seven years ago, a local doctor set out to create a facility to help families lead healthier lifestyles.
With a goal "of providing a place where the average Macon County citizen and their families could enjoy all the benefits of regular exercise at an affordable price," Dr. Ed Morris set out to bring that place to Franklin. After several years of leg work that included a feasability report, hiring a consulting company, raising money from local families and a local bank, The Franklin Health and Fitness Center opened its doors in August 1988 and had just 10 employees.
Law enforcement prepares for “worst case scenario.”
Just days before school was set to open for the 2015-16 school year, deputies, police, fire and rescue personnel responded to Macon Middle School in response to a dispatch call that would be any parent's worst nightmare. Emergency Personnel and law enforcement got word that three masked gunmen had made entry into the school and the school was placed on lockdown. The realistic situation was an "Active Shooter Training Exercise" conductted by the Macon County Sheriff's Office, Macon County Emergency Services, and Macon County Schools.
Quilts of Valor show runs through November.
Five local women have created quilts that have been chosen for the National Quilt Museum's exhibit, “To Honor and Comfort: Quilts of Valor.” The show will run from Aug. 20 to Nov. 11. All are members of the Smoky Mountain Quilters Guild. Susan Roper and Cindy Williams created one of the quilts; Linda Harrison and Debbie Chastain created another the quilts; and Liz View created the third quilt.
The museum, which is located in Paducah, Ky., features some of the finest fiber arts and quilt collections in the world. Its displays feature inhouse and traveling collections in its three galleries. More than 110,000 people come from all over the world every year to visit the museum.
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.