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Macon County’s Finance Director, Evelyn Southard, is set to retire at the end of the month after 19 years of service.

“I truly appreciate the amazing career that has been afforded me in my home county. It is not every day that happens,” said Southard.

“Evelyn is one of, if not the top financial director in the state,” said Commissioner Ronnie Beale. “Someone else will be taking over her position, but you can’t replace someone like Evelyn Southard. Her knowledge and experience is impeccable and has been crucial to the success of Macon County.”

Before serving her home county, she worked with Western Carolina University and Southwestern Community College for nearly 15 years.


Macon County’s Board of Education has officially started laying the foundation for Read2Me — Reading Matters in Macon County, and is promoting the program as a “community-wide initiative.”

The school system has begun collecting books as part of the initiative and has collection points located at East Franklin Elementary and at the central office. As Read2Me spreads, more collection points will be set up. As books are collected, they will be given to families in the community to help promote the initiative.


Dozens of gem and mineral dealers from across the country set up shop last weekend to show off their wares at the 22nd annual Leaf Lookers Gemboree held at the Macon County Community Building.

From Oct. 14 to 16, Macon County visitors seeking the beauty of the fall foliage were also able to look upon the multitude of brilliant gems and jewelry at the event. Collectively, the Gemboree dealers displayed a wide variety of finished jewelry, rough and cut gems, lapidary equipment, minerals, fossils and collectibles.


The “Gardening for Wildlife Series” comes to an end this Friday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. after six months of continuous presentations, lectures and field trips hosted by the Friends of the Rickman Store.

Brent Martin, Southeast Representative of The Wilderness Society, will close the series with the program ‘Hug a Bug! Love a Bee! Save a Tree!’ Martin will talk about the concept of putting a value on nature’s free services, such as intact forests, backyard trees, birds, bees, bats and the many insects that are not only wild pollinators but pest control agents as well.

Martin will explain how nature’s gifts are undervalued but vital to the health and sustainability of our planet; and most importantly, how we, as individuals, can work to protect natural systems in our own neighborhoods.


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