50th Annual Macon County 2015 GEMBOREE :: Thursday, July 23 through Sunday, July 26 :: CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS!

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The 2013 "Fill the Bus" weekend wrapped up last weekend in Macon County. The event, which has historically corresponded with the the state's tax-free weekend, encourages members of the community to donate needed items at three locations throughout the county.

This year, buses were set up at Walmart, Kmart and Big Lots and items ranging from the essentials like pencils and papers to the more sought after items like book bags and washable watercolor paints were collected.

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Deborah Dowdle and the late David Dowdle, announce the engagement of their daughter, Alesia Alison Dowdle, to Michael Chitwood Jr., son of Cynthia Renee Setser and Michael Chitwood Sr. both of Gastonia, N.C.

The couple has been friends for many years.

The bride-elect is an employee of Franklin Office Supply.

An August 2013 wedding is planned at Windy Gap Baptist Church.

Formal invitations will be sent.

The following books have been purchased with memorial donations for the Macon County Public Library:

— “The Other Typist,” by Suzanne Rindell. Given in memory of Christy Waldroop by Geraldine Ronan, Life Member of the Friends of the Macon County Public Library.

— “A Journey Through Literary America,” by Thomas Hummel. Given in memory of Barbara Norton by the Macon County Literary Group.

— “Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls,” by David Sedaris. Given in memory of Rhea and Wayne Millard by Louise and Dale Henderson.

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Gem shows could seemingly be found around every turn this past weekend in Franklin. Set up on the Highlands Road, Georgia Road/441S, and two locations on the Sylva Road, visitors and locals alike were able to check out a variety of vendors specializing in jewelry, gems, fossils and a ton of other things.

Booth operator Mary Lou Brock, owner of Mary Lou's Jewelry in Asheville has attended the whole-sale show on the Sylva Road for the last 15 years and every year she finds a good turnout.

“It's something that I look forward to. We're constantly going to these shows. We come here and we go to New Orleans, Florida, and out west. It's just a big network,” she said. “Every year we benefit from coming. We wouldn't keep doing it if we didn't.”

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