PLOW DAY at Deal Farms :: Saturday, October 10 starting at 9am :: click here for more information!

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Franklin High School Homecoming Court for 2015 announced

Members of the Franklin High School Homecoming Court for 2015 are (front row, L-R) Haeli Bryson, Alexis Bodenheimer, Mackenzie Herman, Madison Pattillo; (second row, L-R) Ashlyn Watts, Ashlyn Carruthers, Alexis Taro; (third row, L-R) - Brianna Domenech, Payton Burrell, Brooke Watson, McKenzie Hayles; (fourth row, L-R) Heidi Shope, Macie Bodenheimer, Haley Hamilton.

This year’s Homecoming Queen will be crowned Friday, Oct. 16, at halftime of the football game against North Henderson in the Panther Pit.

Andrea Chalker named Teacher of the Year

Each year, the Macon County School District leaders honor one teacher in the district for their outstanding accomplishments and dedication to students by naming a "Teacher of the Year." This year, the Macon County School District had the honor of recognizing one of their own former students, Andrea Chalker, as the 2015 Teacher of the Year.

"Teaching is a challenging endeavor," said Chalker. "We are not developing a product. We are inspiring human beings, our next generation. To be successful, you have to be supported and collaborate with the community around you. That includes your administration, peers, coaches, parents, community members, businesses, the list goes on and on. I have been blessed to have been surrounded by the best from my beginnings at Cartoogechaye all the way to my current school in Highlands."

Community rallies behind vets at annual Stand Down

For its second year, the Smoky Mountain Veterans Stand Down provided local veterans with needed services.

Last Thursday, veterans from across Western North Carolina gathered in the Robert C. Carpenter Community building and were met with community organizations who provided essential services ranging from haircuts to medial assistance.

The free, community-sponsored event was organized to give homeless, in need, or low-income veterans both short and long-term assistance. Veterans were greeted by volunteers and organizations who offered food, clothing, ministry, employment counseling, education services and medical and legal services.

Read2Me hosts ‘Roll into Reading’ literacy event

Saturday's rainfall didn't stop families from coming out to the Macon County Public Library on Saturday for Read2Me's annual parent training event.

About 20 families stopped by the library and participated in crafts from the Western Mountain Reading Council, bicycle safety information and goodies from Smoky Mountain Bicyles and free books from Read2Me.

The annual parent training events, which are held each fall, are part of Read2Me's initiative to increase public awareness on the importance of raising a reader.

This year's event, themed "Roll Into Reading" featured crafts, music and stories about bicycles, buses and cars. Children were even able to visit with Ralph the Read2Me therapy dog.

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Town officials, chamber members and dental clinic employees gathered for the official opening of the Macon County Adult Dental Clinic. The clinic is located at 108 Macon Center Drive, below Macon Bank Corporate Center.Citizens in Macon County officially have a new location to seek treatment when needing dental services. The Macon County Public Health Department has expanded the dental clinic options as the grand opening for the new adult dental facility was held last Thursday. More than 100 visitors stopped in to tour the new facility and about 70 participated in free health screenings. The clinic provides services for patients 18 and older.

The facility actually opened a few days prior to the ceremony. The new clinic, located at 108 Macon Center Drive, is a 2,000 square foot facility, more than twice as large as the last clinic.

“The facility was expanded from 800 square feet to 2,000 square feet,” said Jimmy Villiard, Personal Health Section Administrator at Macon County Public Health. “In addition, we were able to expand from three dental chairs to four. Panorex x-ray capability was also added. The Panorex allows for full-mouth x-rays.”

Dental assistant Leanna Shirley anticipates a lot of returning and new patients at the new clinic.Dr. Villiard is responsible for managing the dental services for the health department. He was also the project coordinator for the construction of the new clinic.

In addition to the extra space and upgraded equipment, the clinic's expansion will allow the health department to begin offering dentures for adult clients. The clinic also offers comprehensive dental care and can serve as a patient’s primary dental provider. Dr. Bruno Kaldre and his staff offer a full spectrum of preventive, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency care.

“Access to dental care has been a consistent need identified in Macon County’s Community Health Assessment,” said Villiard. “This clinic is open to all residents of Macon County. Because fees are assessed on a sliding scale, based on the income of the client, the services are accessible to almost everyone in the community, regardless of income. In addition, the clinic is one of the few in Macon County that accepts Medicaid reimbursement for dental care. Oral health is an important component of overall wellness. Most significantly, poor oral health can lead to cardiovascular medical complications.”

While the dental clinic's upgrade was approved and supported by county commissioners, Macon County Public Health was able to use Medicaid reimbursement monies to cover the project costs, so no local funding was allocated to the project. According to Villiard, the project came in on budget.

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