About Us

Macon Sense is an independent, objective newspaper owned and managed by a Christian nonprofit, Kavod Family. Our newspaper covers local news, sports, health, events, regional food and recipes, and charities. Our content also includes opinion pieces often professing and supporting our faith and discussing policy positions. 

Macon Sense joins the growing national family of news publications owned by nonprofits and managed by local supporters dedicated to community-driven journalism.  

Macon Sense supports free speech, tradition, history, and family values, with a commitment to objective, factual content. Macon Sense is published by the 501(c)3 organization Kavod Family. For more information email [email protected]

The Team

Dan Finnerty, Manager

Dan has covered both sports and local government in Macon County, and brings to Macon Sense over 30 years of leadership and management experience. He enlisted in the Navy and retired after 20 years as an officer. His service included 13 years as a manager at the National Security Agency. He also had the pleasure of serving as a U.S. Forest Service ranger in Montana at Earthquake Lake Visitor Center near West Yellowstone. Contact Dan at [email protected].

Deena C. Bouknight, Managing Editor

Deena is a career writer, having contributed articles for more than 40 years to regional, national, and international publications. She also authored three Southern literary fiction novels, including the historic fiction, “Light Fracture”, about the 1886 Charleston earthquake which was the worst on record to affect the East Coast. She began her career just out of college as a managing editor for a community newspaper. She is thrilled to serve in this role for Macon Sense. She is focused on offering factual, objective news and is thrilled to to support, encourage, and serve the greater Macon County community. Contact Deena at [email protected].

Teresa Tabor, Editor

Teresa is a Macon County native with 27 years’ experience at local newspapers. She started out in layout and design and found she was better suited to the editorial side, becoming a copy editor and then an editor. She is married to Steve Tabor and they live in a solar-powered cabin. They have five children and eight grandchildren. Contact Teresa at [email protected].

Jay Baird, Sales

Jay moved his family to Macon County in 2009 in order to raise his three children in an area he felt was a family-friendly community. Having been in sales since the mid-90s, he took a position with a local newspaper in Bryson City to sell print advertising and eventually did the same for Macon County News. He values his 25-plus years of sales and advertising experience and looks forward to helping grow the business community in Franklin and the surrounding area. Contact Jay at [email protected].

Casey Wilson, Publisher / Executive Director

Casey first visited Macon County in 2005 and would eventually call Franklin home with his wife in 2013. With almost 20 years of Christian ministry and nonprofit operational experience working closely with families and young adults, Casey would eventually become a founding board member of Kavod Family in 2022. Over the years, he and his wife, Erica, helped family and friends transition into the region while also serving as foster and adoptive parents through Macon County DSS. Together, with their six children, they look forward to serving this community and calling Franklin home for many years to come. Contact Casey at [email protected].

Shana Bilbrey, Design

Shana was born and raised in Macon County, graduating from Franklin High School in 1991. Since attending Southwestern Community College, she has worked as a graphic designer for the past 23 years. Fifteen of those years were spent at Macon County News. Outside of work, Shana’s interests include vintage knick-knacks and a love of cats. Contact Shana at [email protected].