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Although government offices will be closed on Monday to recognize Martin Luther King Day, several community organizations will be hosting events throughout the weekend to honor King's life and legacy.

The Human Relations Council will be hosting their annual event on Sunday, Jan. 14 at 3:00 pm at First United Methodist Church on Harrison Avenue. The Council's award-winning C-Square Band will present a program of Freedom Songs. The Council will take up an offering and serve a light supper after the program.

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The Western Carolina Community Chorus will begin rehearsals for Spring 2012, on Sunday, Jan. 15, from 3 to 5 p.m. Experienced singers interested in joining the chorus should come to the first meeting, held in the choral rehearsal room 357 of the Coulter Building on the WCU campus.

The ensemble will rehearse weekly for the concert, which will be presented on Sunday, April 15, at 4 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Coulter Building.

For more information, contact the conductor, Robert Holquist, at (828)293-3270 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The Jackson County Public Library in Sylva will host Sylva resident Curtis Blanton for an evening of storytelling and tall tales on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. in the Community Room.

Blanton is a Sylva native, born between Addie and Ochre Hill. A 1954 graduate of Sylva-Webster High School, he became a teacher and assistant principal at the school. He left the field of education and joined the Atomic Energy Commission in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Always a careful listener to the tales told by friends as well as the old-timers of his parents’ and grandparents’ generation, Blanton teamed up with his boyhood friend, Jim Sellers of Sylva, to create a book of the stories they remembered from the old days. “Tales from the Porch” was published in 2006 and features illustrations by Sellers, with Blanton as author. Two other books followed: “Fireside Tales” is another collection of stories, and “My Mountains, My Home,” is a novel.

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Members of the Chamber staff, board of directors, and ambassadors recently joined Hank Shuler for a ribbon cutting at her newly completed clay studio in the Oak Grove community.

Having retired from Southwestern Community College two years ago, Hank and her husband Bruce have spent a good bit of their newly acquired freedom in designing and building the studio. “It’s been great fun working with Bruce again. Our individual careers took us in different directions so much of the time,” explained Hank.

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