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A new study finds that more than 104,000 people in MANNA Food- Bank’s 16 county service area – including 38,000 children – do not always know where they will find their next meal. In all, 14.9 percent of the population in Western North Carolina struggles with hunger, according to research released this week by Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization.

The findings are from Feeding America’s “Map the Meal Gap” study, which estimates the rate of food insecurity for both the general population and, separately, for children under the age of 18. The interactive maps produced by the study provide valuable county-level data, with separate information to focus on childhood hunger. MANNA is part of the Feeding America network.


Bill now heads for governor’s desk

House Bill 813, a bill that would make it illegal to possess, manufacture, sell, use, and deliver synthetic cannabinoids has passed the North Carolina General Assembly much to the delight of many Macon County residents.

The synthetic cannabinoids, more commonly referred to as synthetic marijuana or “incense,” have garnered a lot of attention in the past few years. Incidents of pain and chaos have filled news headlines, but as of recently, a movement headed by local young people to outlaw the drug has stolen the attention.


AG Cooper still promises an appeal

Customers of Duke Energy will soon see their bills increase as a result of the North Carolina Utilities Commission's decision to allow its last request for a rate hike. The commission approved a 7.5 percent increase in utility rates for consumers.

Duke had sought the increases as a means to pay for upgrades to facilities that have been becoming increasingly outdated over the years, many that were built before or around World War II.


Unemployment rates in Western North Carolina fell between March and April across each of the 18 westernmost counties of the state, according to data released by the N.C. Division of Employment Security.

Even though the county still has the second-highest unemployment rate in the state, Swain County posted the largest over-the-month drop, from 16.5 percent to 14.6 percent.


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Holiday Notices:

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– Friday, Dec. 26 for the
Tuesday, Dec. 30 issue

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