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After an immensely rainy year in 2013, Grandfather Mountain rainfall rebounded to below-normal precipitation levels in 2014, according to weather data collected at the Mile High Swinging Bridge.

The mountain recorded 50.62 inches of precipitation in 2014, including 8.27 inches in July, the rainiest month.

That was about 20 percent below the mountain's 59-year average annual rainfall, 64.49 inches, and nearly 60 percent lower than last year's whopping 85.95 inches.

The mountain's one-day rain record still stands at 11.3 inches on Sept. 8, 2004.


Dear EarthTalk: How is it that antibiotics are being “overused,” as I’ve read, and what are the potential consequences? — Mitchell Chase, Hartford, Conn.

The development and widespread adoption of so-called “antibiotics”— drugs that kill bacteria and thereby reduce infection—has helped billions of people live longer, healthier lives. But all this tinkering with nature hasn’t come without a cost. The more we rely on antibiotics, the more bacteria develop resistance to them, which makes treating infections that much more challenging.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), overuse of antibiotics by humans—such as for the mistreatment of viral infections—means these important drugs are less effective for all of us. Besides the toll on our health, researchers estimate that antibiotic resistance causes Americans upwards of $20 billion in additional healthcare costs every year stemming from the treatment of otherwise preventable infections.


The Wilderness Society, a conservation organization working to protect the nation’s shared wildlands, has asked stakeholders to step up and speak out against the proposed United States Forest Service management plan that would include logging in 700,000 acres of the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests.

According to The Wilderness Society, North Carolina’s Mountain Treasures are “the most vulnerable wild lands in our national forests.” The group wants to see more wilderness area designations in the forest instead of the proposed plan’s focus of opening up portions of the old growth forest for timber management.

Encouraging the public to speak out against the proposed plan, the Wilderness Society noted, “Your comments will help pull these treasures out of areas zoned for timber production, so they can instead be managed for backcountry, ecological, recreation, and wilderness values.”


On Wednesday, Dec. 10, 10 a.m. in the Macon County Public Library Meeting Room, "Walking Adventures in Southern France" with Olga Pader.

Pader will give a presentation about her fifth journey on one of the Caminos leading to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, on the Via Tolosana in Southern France which starts in Arles, not far from Marseilles, passes by Toulouse, and reaches the border with Spain at Somport.

The library is located at 149 Siler Road.



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