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Harper Lee recently had a blockbuster announcement for the literary world – she’s publishing her first novel since her acclaimed “To Kill a Mockingbird” in 1960.

At 88-years-old, however, Lee is hard of hearing and suffers from macular degeneration, which has caused speculation about the novelist’s mental clarity and how much involvement she had in the decision. Her agent has responded that those conditions have no bearing on her mental capacity and ability to release a groundbreaking novel.

Although many people believe you eventually become too old to make sound decisions, that’s not necessarily true, says Marilyn Amster Gould (, who has been a professional writer for more than 40 years.


When Nathan Parrish was just three years old, he stunned family and friends with his rendition of "How Great Thou Art." Now, 16 years later at the age of 19, this Macon County native is continuing to stun with his talents as the newest member of southern gospel greats, the Florida Boys.

In August, after a lifetime of singing southern gospel music, Parrish was called on by the nationally known quartet to fill in for a couple of shows. It didn't take long for band manager and lead vocal Charlie Waller to be impressed with Parrish's talents and after a month as a fill-in, Parrish was offered a full time gig as tenor with the group.

"I was really grateful when Charlie offered me the job," said Parrish. "I had to leave my family and friends and that was really hard, but I am really enjoying being in the group and everything that I have gotten to experience so far with the Florida Boys."

Parrish has lived in Macon County his entire life, and it is here that he has spent his life perfecting his vocals, refining his instrumental talents, and shaping himself as the performer he is today.


This October will find the mountains alive with color in more ways than one as the 26th Annual Leaf Lookers Gemboree opens at the Macon County Community Building just south of Franklin, off U.S. Highway 441. Gem and mineral dealers from across the southeast will be on hand displaying and selling their products against the backdrop of spectacular fall color Oct. 16 - 19.

The Leaf Lookers Gemboree will feature a wide variety of items including fine finished jewelry, rough and cut gems, minerals, fossils and collectibles. Dealers will also be available to custom make that special piece of jewelry you’ve always dreamed of or would like to create for that perfect Christmas gift.


“Purple on the Prowl!” will be the theme as the Western Carolina University community comes together to celebrate Homecoming 2015, with major public events planned over a five-day period – Wednesday, Oct. 21, through Sunday, Oct. 25.

Events include comedy and country music shows featuring nationally known performers, a golf tournament, the traditional parade down Main Street in Sylva, a performance by WCU’s Inspirational Choir, and a football game pitting the Catamounts against the Samford Bulldogs.

Scheduled for Oct. 21 is a Homecoming Comedy Show featuring Colin Jost, one of the stars of NBC’s iconic “Saturday Night Live.” Jost, who is currently SNL’s “Weekend Update” host, will be joined by comedians Jose Barrientos, Chloe Hilliard and Kevin Yee. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. Student tickets, free with a valid Cat Card, are available at the information desk of A.K. Hinds University Center. General admission tickets are $10 and can be purchased at bardoartscenter. or (828)227-2479.


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