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For the last couple of years, Venture Local Franklin (VLF) has been organizing mobs to raid local businesses and plague owners with cold hard cash. The almost-monthly cash mobs descend on locally owned businesses, both old and new, and a group of anything-but-angry mobsters flood the shop with sales and mini-shopping sprees.

"It's an honor and a privilege to be a part of Franklin's shop local initiative, Cash Mob Franklin," said Matt Bateman, one of the leaders behind the cash mob initiative. "The consistent support from this community should provide encouragement to those looking to start their own business in Franklin."

On Friday, around 50 people poured into newlyopened Fox Mercantile and overwhelmed owner Nick Potts with support for VLF's 23rd cash mob. In just a two- hour period, Potts reported his store completed nearly 40 transactions. Between the two-hour period on Friday designated for the mob and the other supporters who dropped into throughout the day to beat the crowd, the cash mob more than served its purpose of providing the local business with a quick economic boost.


According to, in 2013, 49.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 33.3 million adults and 15.8 million children. One in six people faced hunger in Western North Carolina last year. Four out of five households needing support were living on less than $20,000 a year; 75 percent of people polled said they were forced to choose between paying for food or paying for utilities, according to the study done by MANNA Food Bank and Feeding America.

To spread awareness locally during Hunger Action Month, Shaina Adkins, executive director of CareNet, is teaming up with Jennifer Trippe with MANNA FoodBank for a poverty simulation.

"I truly believe this is a wonderful opportunity to not only spread awareness of the issues of poverty – i.e. hunger, job-loss, medical/mental health, etc. – that members, neighbors and loved ones, right here in our community face but also an opportunity to truly empathize and reflect on the opportunities we all share as leaders within the community to provide a voice for action against poverty," said Adkins.


Hundreds of community members headed out to the Cartoogechaye Community on Tuesday for the Grand Opening of the Parker Meadows Recreation Complex and despite a great turnout and memorable ribbon cutting, the park's most memorable night isn't scheduled until Sept. 10 when the park's first ball game is scheduled to take place.

"Tonight has been a great night and as excited as we are to show off this great park to the community, we are even more excited to announce that the first games ever played on these fields will be on Sept. 10 and will be for the special needs children in our community," said Macon County Manager Derek Roland during his remarks at the park's grand opening.


Quilts of Valor show runs through November.

Five local women have created quilts that have been chosen for the National Quilt Museum's exhibit, “To Honor and Comfort: Quilts of Valor.” The show will run from Aug. 20 to Nov. 11. All are members of the Smoky Mountain Quilters Guild. Susan Roper and Cindy Williams created one of the quilts; Linda Harrison and Debbie Chastain created another the quilts; and Liz View created the third quilt.

The museum, which is located in Paducah, Ky., features some of the finest fiber arts and quilt collections in the world. Its displays feature inhouse and traveling collections in its three galleries. More than 110,000 people come from all over the world every year to visit the museum.


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