25th Annual Leaf Lookers GEMBOREE :: Friday, October 17 - Sunday, October 19 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

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After all the turkey had been gobbled down, and the pumpkin pies had been finished off, the holiday season got into full swing on Sunday afternoon for Franklin's annual Christmas parade. This year's theme, “A Country Christmas,” reminded all generations of the things that they love most about the holiday season.

With more than 54 entries into the float decorating contest, competition was stiff this year. Hickory Knoll Methodist Church won “Best of Theme” with grandma in her rocking chair in front of the fireplace, listening to Christmas tunes on Grandpa's dulcimer.

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More than 600 people gathered on Town Square in Franklin on Friday night to participate in the annual Tree Lighting ceremony. This year, the tree was moved across the street to the Gazebo and sits smack dab in the center of town. The tree that had previously been used over the holiday season had to be cut down, according to Linda Schlott, Executive Director of Franklin's Main Street Program, precipitating the need for a different plan.

Unlike in previous years, the new Christmas tree is an artificial tree that can be used each year. “With the new tree being artificial, we will be able to use it year after year,” said Schlott. “The tree is 22 feet tall and with setup and decorations, it took about eight hours to complete. We have gotten lots of compliments so far. We had a great turnout Friday night and had lots of people posing with the tree and Santa.”

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Holiday shopping can be stressful, but picking out the perfect gift doesn’t have to be that hard. The American Red Cross asks donors to “Give Something That Means Something” this season and be entered for a chance to win a $1,000 gift card useable toward gas, rent, food or a post-holiday getaway.

The Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to patients in 103 hospitals. Approximately 1,600 people need to give blood or platelets each week day to meet hospital demands.

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Peyton Michelle Williams was born on Oct. 12, 2012, to Brandon and Rachael Carpenter Williams. Rachael had been hospitalized for a condition called pre-eclampsia during her pregnancy which made her blood pressure go up very high. Since the doctors could not get her pressure down, they had no choice but to deliver Peyton. She was born at 26 weeks and six days gestation, weighing in at 1 lb., 14 oz., and was 12.5 inches long. The air flow was 5ml and 30 percent oxygen via nasal cannula. Intravenous fluids were given to keep up Peyton’s calories. Her weight dropped to 1 lb. 8 oz. She was in a heated incubator because premature babies are unable to regulate their body temperature. She has been constantly monitored to watch for sleep apnea and heart rate, oxygen saturation and respirations.

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