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George James has built a lot of things in his life. He's strung together moccasins that have been dispersed aall around the country, he's made dulcimers, and rowboats and canoes. Building things with his hands has been something instilled in him since his youth.

“My father would build things,” says James. “It's something that I was always taught. Why go spend a lot of money on something when you can learn to build it yourself and spend far less?”

Though he's made it a habit of fashioning a variety of things for his own use as well as use by others, one thing in particular has almost always been a constant for James; the construction of boats.

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Organizations seek to ease loss of “tax-free” weekend.

Last weekend, Georgia and South Carolina held their taxfree weekend sales, an event that North Carolina also once participated in before the N.C. legislature did away with the two day tax relief. A move that was described as a way of closing a tax loophole – but not everybody thought it was a good move.

Luckily here in Macon County, some local organizations saw the need created by the loss of the weekend and was quick to act.

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Veterans from all around Western North Carolina are invited to attend the first annual Smoky Mountain Veterans Stand Down event that is being held on Thursday, Aug. 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Macon County Community Facilities Building in Franklin.

The Stand Down event is a community-sponsored event and was organized in order to give homeless, in need, or low-income veterans both short and long-term assistance. Some of the things that will be offered to veterans will be food, clothing, haircuts, employment counseling, education services and even medical and legal services. The goal is to serve veterans in Macon, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, and Swain counties.

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The men’s group of the First Presbyterian Church (FPC) in Franklin recently sponsored a successful fundraiser for the Veterans Restoration Quarters (VRQ) in Asheville.

The church congregation raised money through a combination of lunches, fundraising events and Sunday collections. The church also collected donations from the public at Franklin’s Taste Of Scotland festival held on Father’s Day weekend. The VRQ contributed invaluable assistance by providing substantial promotional support.

The church’s fundraising goal was $2,000 but were able to collect over $3,000. The church rejoices in its success by helping these deserving veterans who have fallen on hard times.

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published: 10/18/2013
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