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

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While other Macon County students were heading back to class after Christmas break, 15-year-old Kellie Trammel was flying across the country to take to the catwalk.

The Franklin High School student was selected out of more than 200 other females from all over the country to fly to Los Angeles, California to participate in the International Models and Talent Association (IMTA) competition.

IMTA is a professional association of the finest and most successful modeling and talent training centers in the world. Since 1987, IMTA has become the recognized leader in putting new faces in front of the people whose business it is to identify the next rising star or supermodel. An impressive and constantly growing list of people who were first seen at IMTA conventions are now seen in magazines, TV, movies and fashion shows.


Nikki Giovanni, worldrenowned poet, writer, commentator, activist and educator, will be the keynote speaker for Western Carolina University’s annual celebration in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Giovanni, who has been called the “Princess of Black Poetry,” will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center. The address and most King celebration events at WCU are free and open to the public.

Giovanni’s first book of poetry, called “Black Feeling Black Talk,” was published in 1968 and launched her prolific writing career. Her later publications include “Gemini,” an autobiography that was a finalist for the National Book Award. She received the Langston Hughes Medal for poetry and was named the first recipient of the Rosa L. Parks Woman of Courage Award as well as one of Oprah Winfrey’s 25 “Living Legends.”


A free art class for children ages six and older will be offered by the Macon County Art Association on Saturday, Jan. 19, from 9:30 to 11 a.m.

The class will be held at The Uptown Gallery located on 30 E. Main Street in Franklin. This fun class will introduce basic concepts of sculpture and some fundamental art language as they create a paper sculpture called “A Playground for the Eyes.” The class is limited to 12 children.

Additional Saturday morning classes will be offered February through May for a fee.


Macon County's Human Resource Council will hold its annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration this Sunday at First United Methodist Church on Harrison Avenue in Franklin. The event, which is slated to begin at 3 p.m., will feature East Franklin Elementary Principal Shirley Ann West Parks as the guest speaker.

“It is an absolute honor to be chosen as the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration keynote speaker,” said Parks. “Not only because of the true momentousness of the occasion, but because of how respected Dr. King is by all of the people in our wonderful nation. Martin Luther King Jr. gave all of us a challenge to love, respect and nurture each other which is something that not only my speech, but my life is modeled after through my career in education.”


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