Festival of Wreaths :: November, 10 - December 2 at Angel Medical Center :: click here for more info!

- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

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BROOKLYN, Mich. - At long last, Jimmie Johnson knows what it feels like to visit victory lane at Michigan International Speedway.

The six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion took the lead for good on Lap 191 after a cycle of pit stops and cruised to the checkered flag at Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 to end a 24-race drought here.

“We’ve figured out every way to lose this race and today we were able to get it done,” he said after getting out of his No. 48 Chevy.

Johnson had encountered heartbreak several times when leading late here and admitted he was nervous as he dashed through the final few laps.

“About 200 yards before the finish line I knew if the car exploded I’d still make it across the line,” he said with a chuckle, “so that’s when I finally relaxed.”

Johnson pitted on Lap 165 and took on four tires and enough fuel to finish the race, which was green the rest of the way. Anyone close to him pitted later and left Johnson comfortably ahead as Hendrick Motorsports captured its fifth straight Sprint Cup series race.

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Revived sport likened to “skate boarding on water.”

Stand up paddling (SUP) seems to be catching on here in Western North Carolina where there is no shortage of rivers, ponds, and lakes for recreational use.

Though the activity originated in Hawaii, it has caught on quickly in the rest of the country and in 2013, according to a the Outdoor Industry Association's Outdoor Recreation Participation Report, it was deemed as having the most first-time participants of any sport in the year.

The sport itself, according to Cullowhee resident Rick “Sharky” Gorton, can have a very positive impact on people who participate.

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FHS senior Joe Templeton signed to compete for Western Carolina University's track team on May 8.

Templeton, a standout in track and baseball earned first place in the 2014 WNCAC High Jump and Long Jump, second place in the Triple Jump and was named the Field Events MVP.

Joining him at his signing ceremony were (L-R) parents Jim and Veronica Templeton, niece Raelyn McGaha, stepbrother Mitchell McGaha and Franklin track coach Tom Westbrook.

On June 3, Franklin High School senior Andrew Baldwin signed with Milligan College for cycling.

His focus will be on mountain biking in the fall for the school that is located in east Tennessee.

On top of the partial scholarship he received for cycling, Baldwin will also be assisted with tuition from local scholarships that he was awarded recently.

Joining him for the ceremony were (L-R) his father, Stephen Baldwin, cycling coach Zack Nave, and his mother, Vicki Baldwin.

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