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Beginning March 23, former Macon County resident and 2004 Franklin High School graduate, Paige Rankin, and two other photographers will be embarking on a three-month cross-country road trip called the 12x12 Initiative. The Initiative, which was founded by Rankin, exists with the hope of connecting people with causes through the power of story. Their motto is "Stories Matter" and their goal is to collect and share stories from the individuals and organizations they meet along the way.

Throughout their travels, Rankin and her team will be partnering with 12 nonprofit organizations to help them share their stories. Organizations like Siloam Health in Nashville, Tenn., a charitable clinic for the uninsured who prioritizes care for those with no other options; and Daily Bread Ministries in San Antonio, Texas, a faithbased food ministry which has quietly become a major supplier of rescued food to San Antonio’s often overlooked and frequently underserved “poorest of the poor.”

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More than 60 people from all over Western North Carolina gathered in Franklin on Sunday, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the 54-mile trek from Selma, Ala., to the state's capitol in Montgomery.

"The purpose of the march was to honor those marchers who were brutalized by police 50 years ago in Selma, Ala., who were marching to Montgomery in demands for voting rights," said Enrique Gomez, president of the Jackson County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). "The focus of our march was to draw parallels between the situation in the South in 1965 and what we see today with current voting legislation in N.C. We say that North Carolina is our Selma."

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Franklin’s Battle of Sugartown Chapter of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) recently inducted Chapter officers for 2015-16.

Pictured (L-R) are Mary Lou Rollins, Chaplain; Shirley Reynolds, Secretary; Jane Vaughn, Historian; Margie Keener, Registrar; Carmen Jessup, Treasurer; Barbara White, Vice Regent; Shelah Portoukalian, Regent; and Eleanor Kraus, Founding Regent of the Battle of Sugartown Chapter, who officiated at the ceremony.

Members of the DAR can trace their direct descent from a Patriot who fought in or provided material aid to American Independence during the Revolutionary War. For more information, visit www.dar.org.

Hospice House Foundation of WNC (HHF) received a generous $50,000 donation from Jodi and Bernard Maki of Franklin. This gift supports construction of the SECU Hospice House, an inpatient facility serving hospice patients in our western six county region of North Carolina and northern Georgia. The Makis have also pledged to make an additional $50,000 donation if Hospice House Foundation can raise this amount from other community residents.

Western North Carolina residents can help Hospice House Foundation meet this challenge, while supporting the building of this inpatient hospice facility in Franklin. Donations are entirely tax deductible. Make checks payable to: Hospice House Foundation of WNC, P.O. Box 815, Franklin, NC 28744 (note “Maki challenge” on memo line of check).

Hospice House Foundation of WNC is a not-for-profit established in 2005. Its mission is to obtain funds for the construction of an inpatient hospice facility serving the western North Carolina region, including the counties of Macon, Jackson, Swain, Graham, Clay, and Cherokee, as well as Qualla Boundry and North Georgia.

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