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Southwestern Community College officials are taking measures to remove lead and to prevent the potential for new contamination upon receiving results of recent water and soil testing at the college’s firing range in Dillsboro.

Though no lead concentrations were detected in surface water samples taken uphill and downhill of the firing range, the results received this week show an elevated level of lead concentration in soil roughly 15-20 feet downhill of the shotgun range.

The steps SCC is taking now include more testing farther downhill of the first samples and the installation of erosion control fabric. These were recommended Tuesday by Robin Proctor, western area environmental chemist with the NC Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR).


With summer well under way, the growing system is reaching its peak here in Macon County and the garden at the Hospice House in Franklin is the proof.

Filled with tomatoes, peas, squash, and potatoes and other growing things, the garden has come to life with each passing rain shower followed by a sunny day. Though the house isn't up and running yet, but Hospice House Foundation president Michele Alderson believes that having a vibrant garden area is a good way to bring life to the grounds.


Don DePierro (L) and San Ho Choi (R) stand in front of a newly constructed information kiosk.

The Nantahala Hiking Club recently constructed two information kiosks, with materials provide by the USFS Nantahala Ranger District, on the Appalachian Trail (AT) at Winding Stair Gap.

Winding Stair Gap is the closest access point to the AT from Franklin. It is located on US 64 West 10 miles from the overpass where US 23 goes South to Atlanta.

The kiosks, located just north and south of the gap, highlight Franklin as a designated AT Community, identify hiker services located in Franklin and provide area recreational information.



Seven maintainers from the Nantahala Hiking Club (NHC), the Franklin based Appalachian Trail (A.T.) maintaining club, received certification training on the use of the cross cut saw on June 13 and 14. The NHC maintains 59 miles of the A.T. and more than 30 miles of “blue blaze” trails leading to it. More than 12 miles of the A.T. that the NHC maintains are located in the federally designated Southern Nantahala Wilderness Area. Federally designated Wilderness Areas offer the highest level of land protection we, as citizens, can provide. Power tools (chain saws) are not allowed for trail maintenance. Maintenance in wilderness areas must be done by hand tools such as cross cut saws and axes.


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