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Athletes at the county's two K-12 schools are receiving some help from the state to allow them to participate in sports that might not otherwise be available due to low school population of Highlands and Nantahala School.

Macon County Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin informed members of the Board of Education Monday night that students at Nantahala and Highlands will be permitted to participate in middle school sports beginning in sixth grade for this school year.

"K-12 schools are unique in North Carolina. Only three remain, and two of those are found in Macon County," explained Dr. Baldwin. "The low enrollment of these schools compared to other traditional schools in North Carolina puts them at a disadvantage in athletic competition. But, when only two grades are allowed to participate at the middle school level, the school’s ability to even field a sport can be put in jeopardy."


LOUDON, N.H. – Kevin Harvick clarified his championship status on Sunday—but not the way he had planned.

After dominating the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for most of the afternoon, Harvick ran out of fuel while leading on Lap 298 of 300, handing the top spot and the victory to Matt Kenseth, who joined teammate Denny Hamlin as an automatic qualifier for the Contender Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Despite leading 216 laps on Sunday, Harvick, the defending series champion, heads to next Sunday’s Chase race at Dover almost certainly needing a victory at a track where he has never won in order to escape the Challenger Round of the Chase and keep his title hopes alive.


Thirty-five teams from North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina piled into the Parker Meadows Recreation Complex last weekend for the first official tournament since the park's Grand Opening. The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) 8U-14U two-day baseball tournament drew large crowds to the new recreation park and drew equally large crowds throughout the business community in Franklin.

"Usually September is a slow month due to school starting back and leaf season right around the corner," said Candy Pressley, with Microtel in Franklin. "We were sold out and it was unusual for this time of year. We did have several people attending the tournament stay at Microtel. I see this being great for Franklin and was much needed."


JOLIET, Ill. – In the theater, using the expression “Break a leg” is a way to wish an actor good luck on opening night.

Twelve days before Sunday’s opening Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway, Denny Hamlin tore the ACL in his right leg playing basketball.

Late in the myAFibRisk.com 400 at the 1.5-mile track, Hamlin found his good fortune in the form of a serendipitous pit call on the part of crew chief Dave Rogers.

Staying out on old tires, Hamlin grabbed the lead moments after a restart with five laps left and streaked away to a .963- second victory over Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Carl Edwards, who surged from sixth to second during that restart on Lap 263 of 267.


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