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News State / Region

While North Carolina pursues the potential economic boost of unmanned aerial systems, some legislators remain cautious about how the use of what are more commonly known as “drones” by law enforcement, other government agencies and commercial enterprises could affect privacy and civil liberties in the state.

With a small red-and-white, fully functional aircraft sitting at one end of a conference table, members of a North Carolina House study commission on Tuesday, Jan. 21, got their first in-depth look at efforts by researchers and state officials to assess the value of the emerging technology.


With Western North Carolina suddenly feeling like the Arctic, sometimes it may be hard to remember that spring will be here in no time and once again it will be time for local farmers to plant their crops. United States Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) recently made an attempt to make it easier for these smaller farms to make a living.

Back in November, Hagan, along with Montana Senator John Tester sent a letter to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg that detailed the amendment that she and Tester were able to include in the 2010 Food Safety Modernization Act.

According to Hagan, this amendment will help protect small farmers from excessive federal regulations.



This winter, Macon County residents have seen record low temperatures invade the area. Often times, the only reprieve that can be had comes when the dial on the thermostat is turned up. Seeking warmth is only natural when the temperatures are as low as they have been, but what are people supposed to do when the power bill comes and the cost of that warmth is over their monthly budget?

One option that may be be considered are funds provided by the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) that can be applied for at the Macon County Department of Social Services (DSS). LIHEAP is a federally-funded program that provides a one-time vendor payment to help eligible households pay their heating bills.


Sales of the Friends of the Smokies specialty license plate in North Carolina increased in the fourth quarter, benefiting priority projects in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) including science education programs. The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles has released fourth quarter figures with $93,520 going to Friends of the Smokies from specialty plate sales, an increase from the same period last year. Total contributions from the Smokies plate now top $3.5 million since the program launched in 1999.


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