The Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests announced today that this year's ginseng harvest permits will be determined again by lottery with an application period from June 10 to July 12.
A permit is required to collect wild ginseng in the two national forests during the designated harvest season. Those seeking a permit must call or visit a ranger district office and submit their name and address for the lottery between June 10 and July 12. Requests by email will not be accepted. Written notification will be mailed to successful applicants selected by lottery before August 16. District offices will start issuing permits to selected applicants August 26 with an effective date of September 1.
Wild ginseng plants on the national forest are managed by the U.S. Forest Service to meet the needs of present and future generations. In 2013, due to concern over reductions in wild ginseng numbers, the Forest Service implemented changes to wild ginseng harvests on the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests to conserve wild ginseng populations. These policies remain in place including:
Ginseng root has been favored as a tonic primarily in East Asia for the past two-and-a-half centuries. In North Carolina, ginseng is more common in the mountains, very infrequent in the piedmont, and very rare in the coastal plain.
Ranger District contact information may be found at the National Forests in North Carolina website, www.fs.usda.gov/main/nfsnc/about-forest/districts.
For more information about harvesting ginseng in Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests, see https://go.usa.gov/xQdwt.
U.S. Air Force Airman Brantley J. Crisp graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.
The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.
Airmen who complete basic training also earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
Crisp is the son of Jessica P. and Josh M. Garrett of Andrews, N.C.
He is a 2018 graduate of Andrews High School, Andrews, N.C.
A day does not go by without someone asking me about the status of bringing the train back home to Murphy. An important event happened this past Wednesday. At the request of the executive leadership of the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad (GSMR) and their parent company, American Heritage Railways, I was privileged to host a train summit. The planned location for this meeting was in the Murphy City Hall conference room; however, the attendee list quickly outgrew the space, so we moved the meeting to the Cherokee County Center of Applied Technology in Marble. The purpose of the summit was to start a serious evaluation of developing a rail freight component in addition to the excursion train. The addition of freight greatly improves GSMR’s Business Model while also adding a very important service to our community. Freight can be shipped out or into our community from anywhere in the Continental United States. We all know that we count on 18 wheelers to carry a massive amount of freight. We also can see the impact to our highways and bridges this is having across America.
First, let me share a list of very important leaders who attended. This meeting included John Harper, GSMR Corporate Family, Michael Gibson, Vice President of American Heritage Railways Rail & Freight Development, Kim Abbritton, Vice President & General Manager, Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, David Huskins, Governmental Affairs, Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, Jack Delman, NC Board of Transportation, Brian Burch, NCDOT Division Engineer Division 14, Neil Perry, Rail Program Manager, NCDOT Rail Division, Dena Magliola NCDOT Raleigh, Cheryl Collins NCDOT Raleigh, James Bridges, NC DOT Raleigh, Sarah Thompson, Executive Director Southwestern Commission, Rose Bauguess Senior Planner Southwestern Commission, Gary “Hippie” Westmoreland, Chair-Cherokee County Commissioners, Randy Wiggins Manager Cherokee County, James Reid Mayor, Andrews, Mike Sheidy, Alderman Andrews, Karen Watson, Murphy City Council, Ray Rapp, Chair Western NC Rail Committee, Larry Kernea, Murphy Electric Power Board, Paul Worley Cherokee County Economic Development, Rich Price, Jackson County Economic Development, Chad Simons, Manager Town of Murphy and Rick Ramsey Mayor, Murphy.
This summit provided a way for these leaders to openly discuss the importance of a rail freight component in pursuing a path forward for the Andrews to Murphy Rail Corridor owned by NCDOT. The next step will be to pair these leaders with our current industry executives coordinated by our Economic Development Team. In addition, there are possible new businesses that would become a reality by having the ability to ship by rail in our community.
The Andrews to Murphy (A2M) Corridor Reactivation has the attention of the North Carolina Legislature. The Transportation Committee requested and received an update on the current status of the A2M Project. North Carolina DOT Rail Leadership reconfirmed a cost estimate of 10.3 million dollars to bring the track back to a safe operating condition. While this sounds like a lot of money, it was recently mentioned that 13 million dollars was spent on replacing depot awnings. The State of NC is currently working with a 500 million dollar surplus. I realize that there are important needs for these funds throughout our state. I also realize that successfully bringing the train back will be an economic game changer for Murphy, Andrews, Cherokee County and the State of North Carolina.
I am told that we are closer than ever to having the train return. There is a lot of work ahead of us though.
Please continue to make your voice heard to our State Legislative leaders. I expect to be able to share another step forward for the train in the coming weeks. Our State Legislative Leaders have been true to their word that they will support a fair business review on the costs and expected return on investment for the train.
Robbinsville, NC- May 23, 2019 - You can't always believe what you see. The water in our mountain streams is sometimes polluted even though it appears crystal clear. And sometimes what looks like pollution is actually fighting the effects of pollution.
Acid rain looks just like regular rain. It occurs when rainwater falling through the sky picks up tiny pollutants like atmospheric sulfur from industrial plants. When acid rain makes it way to streams, it increases the acidity of the water which can be harmful to fish.
Jason Farmer, U.S. Forest Service fisheries biologist, was part of a team that reversed the effects of acid rain on streams in the Upper Santeetlah watershed. Just like a gardener in western North Carolina adds lime to our naturally acidic soils, Jason added limestone to neutralize the acidity of stream water. The streams were monitored to check the pH, a scale of acidity.
"After adding limestone to Sand Creek and Wolf Laurel Branch, our monitoring showed that pH levels were restored to pre-industrial conditions. This will help sustain a healthy population of brook trout, the only trout native to western North Carolina," said Farmer, who works on the Cheoah Ranger District of the Nantahala National Forest.
Farmer also monitored the physical attributes and fish and aquatic salamander habitat of the stream channel after liming and found no negative effects.
This was a cooperative project between the U.S. Forest Service and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. It received significant financial assistance from the Tennessee Valley Authority and Duke Energy.
Farmer's efforts recently earned him the North Carolina Council of Trout Unlimited (NCTU) President's Award for Outstanding Work.
"We were impressed by this outside-the-box but simple common-sense solution. The potential to fight acid deposition by targeting it just before it hits the stream - sort of like setting the hook right before the take - both struck a chord with us and is an example of the kind of work Jason has consistently presented at almost every meeting I've attended," said Rusty Berrier, NCTU's National Leadership Representative.
Follow the National Forests in North Carolina on Facebook (www.facebook.com/nfsnc) or Twitter (twitter.com/NFsNCarolina) for more news and features.
The following press release has been issued by Clay County Sheriff's Office:
Hayesville, NC - (May 20, 2019) Clay County has lost a friend to all who knew him, a model student, a great athlete and all around fine young man and citizen that wasn’t able to call Hayesville home for nearly long enough. Steven Plummer had only been a resident of Hayesville for a short time but the positive impact that he had on our small community was evident yesterday by the massive turn out of support. The loss felt by his family is shared county wide today and it can be seen and felt throughout the community where ever you go.
At approximately 3:00 PM on Monday afternoon Clay County Deputies were dispatched to the area of the TVA Circle near the “saddle dam” off Hinton Center Rd. in response to a drowning victim, 17-year-old Steven Plummer of Hayesville. Steven was a Senior at Hayesville High School this year and was with several of his classmates at the time of the incident. According to eyewitness statements, Steven was attempting to swim from the shoreline to a pontoon boat a short distance away when he began to struggle at about the half way point. Several friends say they saw he was in distress and immediately went to his aid but efforts to reach him in time were unsuccessful.
The 911 call from a student at the scene generated a full response of every emergency resource available in the county. Additional help from Towns and Henderson Counties responded as well as NC State Wildlife and TVA. Hayesville Schools Superintendent along with teachers and staff as well as County Manager and School Board members were all on scene assisting emergency personnel with the mass of students and families that turned out in one of the largest support efforts seen. The Hinton Center was a huge asset by providing a place for friends and loved ones to congregate and meet with grief counselors from the school and Appalachian Community Services while awaiting further news.
At approximately 6:20 PM members of the Towns County Dive Team located Steven’s body in about 23’ of water and about 150’ to 200’ from shore, the same general area identified earlier by eyewitnesses. Local M.E. Kyle Cody was on scene and performed a preliminary examination that revealed no contributing factors to Steven’s accidental drowning.
WKRK sends our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Steven Plummer along with the entire Hayesville community.
Murphy, N.C. – The Nurse Professional Practice Council of Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital (EWCH) generated nearly 340 pounds of items for the second annual Reach donation drive for Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April.
Reach supports individuals who are victims of domestic and sexual abuse. In addition to providing temporary shelters, Reach offers resources for abuse victims, including support groups, court and hospital accompaniment, employment training, help with finding housing, community education, etc.
Hospital staff and visitors donated personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, non-perishable food items, clothing, baby items and household supplies for the Reach shelters in Cherokee and Clay County.
“Erlanger is so thankful for everyone who donated to the Reach drive,” said EWCH nurse Amanda Berry. “Reach is such an important organization. Our employees and patients are so generous, especially when it comes to supporting efforts to improve our community.”
The council presented the donations to Reach representatives from both Cherokee and Clay County on May 14.
Officials with the Tri-County Community College Foundation announced Shawna Vasser, a 2016 graduate of Hayesville High School as the recipient of the inaugural Dr. F. David Slagle Memorial Scholarship.
“Dr. Slagle is an individual whose impact on Tri-County Community College spanned decades, and we are grateful to his family and friends for creating this scholarship to continue serving our students is his memory,” said Bo Gray, executive director of the college’s foundation.
Vasser said she currently is pursuing both an associate in arts and associate in applied science degree at Tri-County Community College.
According to officials with the Tri-County Community College Foundation, the Dr. F. David Slagle Memorial Scholarship was established in 2018. It is designated as an annual scholarship for a Tri-County Community College student who is majoring in business administration or a college transfer degree program; is a resident of Cherokee or Clay County, and a graduate of Andrews or Hayesville High School.
A graduate of Andrews High School and Lenoir-Rhyne College, Dr. Slagle trained as U.S. Navy aviator following the completion of his bachelor’s degree. He earned his master’s degree in education from Western Carolina University, and doctorate in education from Clemson University.
Dr. Slagle began his tenure at Tri-County Community College in 1972, where he would go on to serve in multiple roles, including Dean of Continuing Education, Interim President and Vice President of Research and Development.
For more information about this scholarship or the Tri-County Community College Foundation, call (828) 837-6810.
Concerns about the growing measles outbreak both nationally and internationally should not discourage individuals from traveling. However, Erlanger Health System specialists say it is important to keep a few things in mind while preparing for summer travel.
Before this year’s outbreak in the United States, measles was and is still a common disease in other countries. According to the CDC, an estimated 10 million people worldwide (including U.S. residents) are infected with measles every year. Until recently, the disease has been limited in the United States due to the wide use of vaccines in our country.
“The problem arises when individuals who are not protected from the disease become infected and spread measles to other unvaccinated persons,” said Dr. Charles Woods, Chief Medical Officer for Children’s Hospital at Erlanger. “Travelers, both internationally and nationally, must now be even more aware of the risks to themselves and others if they have not been vaccinated against measles.”
This is what travelers need to know, according to Dr. Woods, who is also an infectious disease specialist. Measles is an extremely contagious disease spread by a virus through the air after an infected person coughs or sneezes. Handwashing alone is not protective. People who are infected with the disease will experience a fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes for several days before the skin rash develops. They are contagious during this time and for four days after the rash starts.
Measles cannot be treated, but it can be prevented with the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine. The CDC recommends children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Teens and adults should also be up to date on their MMR vaccination. The MMR vaccine is very safe and effective. Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles; one dose is about 93% effective.
Dr. Woods recommends that those who plan to travel internationally or even in the United States should:
The CDC recommends that families traveling with infants and young children get vaccinated before any international travel. Infants 6 to 11 months old need one dose of measles vaccine. Children one year old and up need two doses. The doses should be at least 28 days apart.
Families with young infants may want to consider delaying their trips until the child is old enough to be vaccinated. The dose in 6 to 11 month olds is to protect infants who may no longer have measles antibodies transmitted from their mothers during pregnancy.
As of this time, the CDC has travel warnings related to measles outbreaks in Brazil, Israel, Japan, the Philippines, and Ukraine.
For more information on measles, visit https://www.cdc.gov/features/measles/index.html.
Karen Mulvaney, MBA, RN, NRP, and Greg Taylor, NRP, FP-C were recently awarded the designation of Certified Medical Transport Executive (CMTE), by the Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) from the Medical Transport Leadership Institute (MTLI). Mulvaney and Taylor are Clinical Base Managers with Erlanger Health System’s LIFE FORCE Air Medical Service.
The CMTE designation is an indication of Mulvaney’s and Taylor’s demonstrated skill in leadership and expertise in medical transport management. There were only 78 graduates of the 2019 MTLI program. In order to be eligible for this certification, Mulvaney and Taylor participated in a rigorous educational program over the course of two years, passed a comprehensive written examination, and completed a team project related to a timely industry challenge.
“I am extremely proud of the hard work and dedication showed by these two individuals,” said Robbie Tester, NRP, FP-C, CMTE, Vice President of Operations at Erlanger Health System. “They both have put in a lot of hours toward this achievement. This is just another example of what makes LIFE FORCE a World Class organization.”
Mulvaney and Taylor's certification is valid for three years. During the three years, they must earn 30 Management Education Units (MEUs) in order to keep this certification current and to become recertified. Mulvaney is the Clinical Base Manager at LIFE FORCE 1 located in Cleveland, Tenn. and Taylor is the Clinical Base Manager for LIFE FORCE 6 located in Andrews, N.C.
The AAMS is the only international trade association serving the entire air and ground medical transport community. The AAMS mission is to assure that every person has access to quality air medical and critical care transport by promoting the highest level of safety, commitment, service, and patient care.
,The following press release has been issued by Cherokee County Sheriff's Office. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Murphy, NC— Sheriff Derrick Palmer announced the May 2nd, 2019 arrest of 44-year-old Owen Gregory Dean who provided a Murphy, North Carolina address for possessing a Weapon of Mass Destruction.
In a continuing investigation, information was provided to Investigators of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office that Dean was in possession of blasting caps at his residence in the Ranger Community of Cherokee County, North Carolina. Further information was that Dean was currently on probation in the state of North Carolina.
Investigators teamed with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), North Carolina Department of Public Safety Adult Corrections, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and made a search of Dean’s residence. During the search, a blasting cap was recovered which was secured and transported from the home by SBI Bomb Technicians.
Dean was arrested and taken to the Cherokee County Detention Center where he was placed under a $15,000.00 secure bond. Dean is currently detained in the Cherokee County Detention Center and is expected to be in District Court on May 9th, 2019.
Sheriff Derrick Palmer stated, “Again this had a huge potential for disaster. Explosives must always be properly handled and stored. We appreciate all the assistance of the SBI, ATF and DPS in helping us to bring this to a safe conclusion. We continue in this investigation and ask that anyone with information contact Detective JJ Wooten or Detective Tory Shivers at 828- 837-2589 or utilize the tip line.”
To report suspicious activity and suspect violations of the law please, call 828-837-1344 or submit a tip at email@example.com.