THE NORTH CAROLINA LICENSE PLATE AGENCY, located on East Main Street, Sylva, will be closed for vacation Aug. 20 through Aug. 24.

MOUNTAIN DISCOVERY CHARTER SCHOOL in Bryson City is celebrating the opening of a new gymnasium with a ribbon-cutting and performances from past and present students of the Junior Appalachian Musician program. The celebration will take place from 6-9 p.m. Saturday at the new gym. The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. with the JAM Band performance to follow. The event is free and food will be available for purchase. Parking for the event is limited so there will be a continuous shuttle service from the Ingles parking lot off of Hughes Branch Road and U.S. 19 in Bryson City.

A RUMMAGE SALE will be held at Sylva First United Methodist Church on Friday, Aug. 17, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday, Aug. 18, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The sale will be held in the Asbury Room in the front of the church. Sale items include furniture, household items, books and other miscellaneous items. All items are reasonably priced. Many bargains will be available, so come early to shop. Proceeds from this sale will go toward the church’s mission work and the church’s building fund. For more information, call the church office at 586-2358.

LOCAL VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES are available at the Cashiers-Highlands Humane Society working with dogs, cleaning pens, walking and leash training; Jackson County Home Delivered Meals has several routes open now; and Hands On Jackson is getting a team together to help with small home repairs on Nov. 1. For more information, contact John Chicoine at the Haywood Jackson Volunteer Center, or 356-2833.

PHILLIP PRICE, Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives for District 11, will hold a meet-and-greet event from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, at Mad Batter Food & Film in downtown Sylva.

THE JACKSON COUNTY CITIZENS ACADEMY will be held for eight weeks beginning Tuesday, Sept. 11, and ending Tuesday, Oct. 30. Each session will be held weekly on Tuesdays from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The deadline to register is Friday, Aug. 10. To register, read all of the details and fill out an application at

THE WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY RETIRED FACULTY AND STAFF ASSOCIATION will hold an ice cream social on Thursday, Aug. 16, from 4-7 p.m. at East LaPorte Park. Attendees need to RSVP to Sue Persons at 293-5189 or All WCU retirees, family members, friends and staff are invited to attend.

THE SYLVA-WEBSTER CLASS OF 1978 will hold its 40th-year reunion Friday, Aug. 31, at Poteet Park from 5-7 p.m.; attendees are asked to bring a covered dish for a homecoming-style gathering. Afterward, attendees can gather at Bridge Park for the Concerts on the Creek season finale.

THE INTERNATIONAL ESSENTIAL TREMOR FOUNDATION support group will meet at 2 p.m. Wednesday Aug. 15, in Room 135 of the Jackson County Senior Center. Participants will learn coping skills and products available to help, as well as the difference between Parkinson’s and essential tremor. The support group, which typically meets on the third Wednesday of the month, March through November, serves individuals in Jackson, Macon, Swain and Haywood counties. Those interested in attending should contact Ted Kubit at 736-3165 or

STAFF SERGEANT CHAD PURCELL, a former resident of Sylva, retired from the U.S. Marine Corps on July 20 at New River Air Station. A 1997 Smoky Mountain High graduate, Purcell joined the Marines following graduation and served 20 years.