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Celebrating 25 years of railroading excellence and enjoyment, Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (GSMR) is anticipating a fantastic “Silver Season” in 2013! This year will be packed full of opportunities to explore the beauty of Western North Carolina by train and delight in the adventure of railroad engineering. Special promotions and discounts will be offered this year as well as 25th Anniversary merchandise being sold exclusively in the Smoky Mountain Trains Gift Shop! All of the favorite special events that add extra excitement to Bryson City and Dillsboro will be returning, with the addition of brand new events to enjoy!

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Macon County Public Library will hold the 3rd Walking with Spring series of programs in conjunction with downtown Franklin's April Fools Trail Days (aprilfoolstraildays.com) festival on: Thursday, March 21 - 5:30 p.m. - Library Living Room, reception for nature-inspired art celebrating the Appalachian Trail.

Local students will present their art and receive awards for their work on display in the library. The art show is also sponsored by the Nantahala Hiking Club, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and Macon County Schools.

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Grace Evangelical Presbyterian Church recently welcomed Dr. Richard L. Holmes as its new pastor. Dr. Holmes received his D. Min. degree from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.

As a firm believer, he has dedicated his life over the past 25 years to the pastoral ministry. Pastor and his wife, Nancy, have three adult children.

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In honor of March being literacy month for the Rotary Club of Franklin, rotarians honored the original members of Macon County's volunteer organization Read2Me for their efforts to promote early literacy in the community.

Each Read2Me member was presented with the Rotary Club's Family and Community Service Award.

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