THE 14TH ANNUAL WOMEN’S CONFERENCE will be held Friday, Aug. 28, from 6 to 9 p.m., and Saturday, Aug. 29, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. Light meals will be provided. Janice Drum from Langston Baptist Church in Conway, S.C., will be the guest speaker. Cost is $20 for adults for both days; $15 for one day. For those age 18 and under, cost is $12 for both days and $8 for one day. Call 828-648-4106 to RSVP.


MOUNTAIN SYNAGOGUE will hold Shabbat services on Friday, Aug. 28, starting at 7 p.m. with a kiddush to follow. Call 828-524-9463 for more information or directions.

THE FRIENDS OF THE RICKMAN STORE will host a special presentation by Charles Coburn from the Scottish Tartans Museum on Saturday, Aug. 29, at 11 a.m. at the historic Rickman Store. Coburn will answer some frequently asked questions, such as how the Scots came to North Carolina, why there is a Scottish Museum in Franklin and if there are many people in Franklin of Scottish descent. Those planning to attend the presentation can find additional parking at the Macon County Heritage Center, next to the Rickman Store.

A LUNCH-AND-LEARN EVENT tailored exclusively for female entrepreneurs is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 1, in Macon County, organized by Southwestern Community College’s Small Business Center and the Support Center’s Women’s Business Center. “This is a great opportunity for women who either already – or aspire to – own their own businesses,” said Tiffany Henry, director of SCC’s Small Business Center. “We’ll be providing information about resources that are available to help these ladies succeed – including the Support Center and our Small Business Center.” The lunch-and-learn is also an opportunity to network with other business owners. Call 828-339-4211 or email for more information and event location.


ED PIVORUN, a retired professor of biological sciences at Clemson University, will present “Though Small, We Pack Quite a Wallop: The Saga of Small Mammals and the Environment” today (Thursday) from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Nature Center at the Highlands Biological Station. Although most people consider “rats” and  “mice” vermin and have never seen or heard of a wild shrew, the small mammal faunas in the forests, fields, wetlands and even deserts play an important and even an essential role in maintaining robust and stable ecosystems, according to Pivorun. He has taught courses in comparative physiology, mammalogy and tropical biology. Currently, he has been teaching the mammal course during the summer at the Highlands Biological Station. He was the primary researcher in Great Smoky Mountains National Park surveying mammal populations for the All Taxa Biological Inventory program and is the primary author of “Mammals of the Great Smoky Mountains and Southern Appalachian Mountains.” The program is part of the Zahner Conservation Lecture Series, held each week and designed to help educate and inspire the public through talks by well-known regional scientists, conservationists, artists and writers. Visit or call 828-526-2221 for more information and a schedule.