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MedWest Health System is presenting the course “Wilderness Emergency and Survival Awareness” Saturday, Dec. 10, at the MedWest Health & Fitness Center in Clyde.

The course provides an overview of what can go wrong in the back woods and how to do deal with it. Instructor is David Bradley, who has more than 20 years of experience in outdoor emergency response, first aid, survival training and instruction. The course is appropriate for anyone who spends time outdoors for recreation or work.

Topics to be covered include snake bites, large animal attacks, extreme heat and cold conditions, high altitude illness, transports and evacuation procedures, insect stings and bites, survival of natural disasters, aquatic animal stings and bites, and infectious diseases.


Add a little outdoor-joy to the holiday season with a guided hike of the Mingus Creek Trail, followed by a trip to the new Oconaluftee Visitor Center for some Great Smoky Mountain history and holiday shopping. Friends of the Smokies members receive 15% percent off purchases—so bring your boots, your membership card and your wallet!

On Tuesday, Dec. 6, hiking enthusiast and author Danny Bernstein (Hiking North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Heritage) will lead this fourmile hike along the Mingus Creek Trail, interpreting the historic Mingus Mill, the Mingus family cemetery and a slave cemetery. The hike is easy to moderate in difficulty, has a total elevation gain of 700 ft. Hikers will also visit the nearby Oconaluftee Visitor Center, featuring interactive exhibits that tell the cultural history of life in the Smokies. The Great Smoky Mountains Association bookstore and shop within the Visitors Center features local foods, T-shirts, calendars and other fun gifts to help the Park and add a little Smoky Mountain cheer to your family and friends’ holiday celebrations.


WCU recreational therapy students help children with autism experience the fun of fly fishing

One clear, cool afternoon in mid-November, on the banks of Cullowhee Creek on the Western Carolina University campus, a small-scale fishing derby was under way.

Three boys, working with WCU recreational therapy students Shawn Chapman and Megan Hunt, took turns fly fishing for trout in the creek’s quick, shallow waters across from the Ramsey Regional Activity Center. From the grassy banks, the boys’ moms, dads, siblings and friends offered encouragement.

“Oh, I hope they catch one,” said an anxious Dana Frady, mother to Dillon, 12, one of the fishermen and a sixthgrader at Cullowhee Valley School.


The giant drilling machine owned by Quality Drilling of St. Paris Ohio bored into the clay cap of the old Dillsboro landfill probing for more landfill gas to supply the increasing needs of artisans at Jackson County’s Green Energy Park.

Supervised by Paul Dow, project engineer for Altamont Environmental of Asheville, this was only the first time that extensive excavation has been done at the landfill since the original dozen or so gas wells were drilled into the landfill in 2005.

“We’re drilling four new landfill gas extraction wells to a depth of 70 feet. We’ll also install the well heads and the tieins to the extraction system” said Dow as he checked a sample of of the trash detritus that had been brought up to the surface for the first time in over a decade.


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