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Western North Carolina farmers are gaining much-needed support in diversifying or expanding their operations this year, helping some grow to a whole new level. WNC Agricultural Options presented 31 farm businesses a total of $168,000 in grants recently at an event at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River. Six of the farm businesses received $3,000, and 25 received $6,000.

The N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission is the exclusive financial supporter of WNC AgOptions, which helps farmers offset the risk of trying new ventures.

"Western North Carolina farmers are very resourceful and have proven time and time again that these grants can make a significant impact on their farming operations," said Bill Teague, Chairman of the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.


The Golden LEAF Foundation Board of Directors announced today that it reserved $50 million to provide support for the location of an automobile manufacturing facility within the borders of North Carolina.

“The state is readying itself to win and host this type of manufacturing industry,” said Johnathan Rhyne, Chair of the Golden LEAF Board of Directors. “The Golden LEAF Board took this action to demonstrate its commitment to this emerging opportunity. An automobile manufacturer and its suppliers can create thousands of jobs and serve as a catalyst for long-term economic advancement.”

Since its inception, Golden LEAF has been committed to using the funds entrusted to it for projects with the most potential for bolstering North Carolina's longterm economy, especially in tobacco-dependent, economically distressed, and/or rural communities.


The Conservation Trust for North Carolina (CTNC) is offering more than 70 paid conservation jobs for young adults, through three innovative programs. The AmeriCorps Project GEOS (Growing Environmental Opportunities through Service), N.C. Youth Conservations Corps, and Max Mukelabai Diversity Internship Program provide paid positions across the state to connect young people with the outdoors, develop future leaders in conservation, and expand public access to natural lands. Interested young adults are encouraged to apply right away.


Last week, a 23-year-old Georgia man was killed in a pedestrian accident in Franklin. While attempting to cross the Highlands Road exit near the 441 by-pass, Jimmy Ebarb of Ellijay, Ga. was struck by an oncoming truck. Ebarb died from injuries sustained during the accident.

After investigating the accident, no excessive speed was found to be a factor, and no alcohol was found on either the driver or the victim.

It was late, and dark, and in a poorly lit area of the road. This tragedy poses a serious question of pedestrian and bicycle safety throughout Franklin and ways to prevent accidents.

On average, about 100 people are killed in North Carolina annually as a result of pedestrian and bicycle accidents. While some accidents are not avoidable, often times, they can be prevented.



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