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A class entitled “Birding Beyond Our Borders” will be offered in Highlands at the Center for Life Enrichment on Thursday, July 25, from 2 to 4 p.m. Worldwide birder Romney Bathurst will present the why, what, where and how to approach international birding, based on her 12 years of experience and travels to more than 50 countries in search of birds and wildlife.

Using photos, texts and field guides, the class will dip into the broad range of avifauna to be seen, some 9,000-plus species of birds. The class is open to birders of all levels as well as armchair travelers.

“Birding is a great excuse to travel, and travel is a super opportunity to bird,” says Romney.

Sign up for the course online at clehighlands.com or by calling (828)526-8811. The course will be at the new auditorium facility at the Peggy Crosby Center, 348 S. Fifth St. in Highlands. For questions, call CLE or Romney at (828)526-1939.

After securing additional funds from the county, the Macon County Board of Education voted last Wednesday night to unanimously approve the hiring of 33 employees for positions that had become open through resignations, retirements, or lay-offs due to budget constraints.

When the district began advertising the vacant positions, a total of 60 positions were available. Thirty-one of those open positions were those that became vacant in May due to the lay-offs.

Although 33 positions have been filled at this point, the search to fill 27 open positions will continue with interviews with possible candidates who will be considered at the July 22 school board meeting.


Highlands Police Chief Bill Harrell informed the Macon County Board of Education last week that the scholarship program Gilliam's Promise will be available for Franklin students.

"Gilliam’s Promise is an excellent opportunity for our community to promote and reward the positive behavior of our young people," said Macon County Schools Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin. "I appreciate having this support for the students of Macon County."


Two outstanding Southwestern Community College students, Melody MacDonald and Andrew Timan, have received fall 2013 Western Carolina University Chancellor’s Achievement Awards. Each award is a full scholarship that covers tuition and fees for two years. It is presented to one or two transferring students each year, chosen by an SCC selection committee, from a very select pool of applicants with grade point averages of 3.75 or higher and successful completion of approximately 60 hours of transfer credit.


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