HAPPY LABOR DAY! :: Monday, September 1, 2014

- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

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Outdoors

The wait is over. The 2011-12 State Transportation Map has officially arrived, and a free copy can be yours simply by contacting the N.C. Department of Transportation.

What is new and exciting about this year’s map? In addition to the features people have come to expect from the state map (a detailed representation of highways throughout the state, insets of major metropolitan areas, indexes of cities and towns), this new map highlights North Carolina’s natural beauty and the efforts under way across our state to preserve and protect its resources. Evidence of these initiatives can be seen first hand on North Carolina’s highways, from solar panels placed along the roadway shoulders to harness the power of the sun, to roadside crops of sunflowers and canola plants that will later be converted into biofuel.

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Volunteers are being sought to help relocate rivercane from the Western Carolina University area to a site near Cherokee as part of the university’s Rivercane Restoration Project.

The work to transplant the rivercane will take place in March and April as volunteers pitch in to move the plants from locations near WCU to a patch of ground at the new Cherokee Central School, said Adam Griffith, a staff member in WCU’s Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines.

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It’s been almost a year since the Town of Franklin was officially designated an Appalachian Trail Community by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. A survey conducted last spring found that AT hikers passing through Franklin reported it was a “hiker-friendly” town.

According to Bill Van Horn, the survey also paints a very different picture of thru-hikers than what some residents and business owners may think of them. “Just because they’re a bit unkempt and need a shower, doesn’t mean they’re uneducated and don’t have a good income,” Van Horn said.

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White-nose syndrome, the disease that has killed hundreds of thousands of bats in the Eastern United States, has been discovered in a retired Avery County mine and in a cave at Grandfather Mountain State Park, marking the arrival of the disease in North Carolina.

“White-nose syndrome is confirmed in Virginia and Tennessee, so we expected we would be one of the next states to see the disease,” said Gabrielle Graeter, a biologist with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. “This discovery marks the arrival of one of the most devastating threats to bat conservation in our time.”

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published: 10/18/2013
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