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Do you ever wonder how much rainfall you received from a recent thunderstorm? How about snowfall during a winter storm? If so, then a new volunteer weather observing program needs your help! The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow network, or CoCoRaHS, is looking for new volunteers across North Carolina. The grassroots effort is part of a growing national network of homebased and amateur rain spotters with a goal of providing a high density precipitation network that will supplement existing observations.

CoCoRaHS came about as a result of a devastating flash flood that hit Fort Collins, Colorado, in July 1997. A local severe thunderstorm dumped over a foot of rain in several hours while other portions of the city had only modest rainfall. The ensuing flood caught many by surprise and caused $200 million in damages. CoCoRaHS was born in 1998 with the intent of doing a better job of mapping and reporting intense storms. As more volunteers participated, rain, hail, and snow maps were produced for every storm showing fascinating local patterns that were of great interest to scientists and the public.


The decision to grant Duke Energy a seven percent increase in power bills during tough economic times is wrong for North Carolina consumers and businesses, Attorney General Roy Cooper said Tuesday. Cooper filed today to appeal the Duke Energy rate hike approved earlier this year by the North Carolina Utilities Commission.

“The economic realities faced by North Carolina consumers must be put before company profits,” Cooper said. “Hundreds of people have contacted my office to let us know they can’t afford to pay much more for electricity in these tough times.”

The appeal focuses not on whether Duke Energy should be allowed to recover its investments, but on whether it should be allowed to raise customers’ rates in order to make a 10.5 percent shareholder profit in this challenging economic climate.


Brasstown resident, Hayden Rogers, plans to use his small town roots and mountain values to guide his commitment to improving life for working families and small businesses across the region as he approaches the primary for the 11th Congressional District.

“Over the past five years I have been honored and blessed to work on behalf of the people of Western North Carolina as Congressman Shuler’s chief of staff,” said Rogers. “During that time I have had the opportunity to see how much positive impact a member of Congress can have on the course of our nation, our region, and individual lives. I decided to run for Congress because I want to continue serving the families and communities of Western North Carolina.”

Born and raised in Western North Carolina, Rogers credits his parents for instilling in him the value of hard work and education through their careers as public school teachers. Business-oriented from an early age, Rogers got his entrepreneurial start catching and selling night crawlers at Lake Santeetlah and later mowing lawns and helping his grandfather on the farm.


Candidate to be chosen during May primary election

Elections are about choices and Jackson County Democrats will have a choice to make this May. The primary election for the state’s 119th House seat is featuring two notable Democratic contenders in former state Senator Joe Sam Queen and former District Court Judge Danny Davis. Running on the Republican ticket is Bryson-City native Mike Clampitt, who will take on Queen or Davis this November in the general election.

Joe Sam Queen is no stranger to the General Assembly and according to him, legislative experience is invaluable. It is also why he thinks he is the best choice for the Democratic Party. “I believe I have solid experience. It’s a big learning curve serving in Raleigh and I’ve done the internship,” said Queen about his three term tenure in the state Senate. Queen represented Senate District 47 for three terms before losing to Republican Ralph Hise in 2010. Now, after the legislature redistricted the state, Queen is seeking to replace current House Rep. Phil Haire, a Democrat from Sylva. Haire decided to call it quits last fall.


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