Waynesville cemetery committee chosen

Months after a proscribed cleanup in Waynesville’s Green Hill Cemetery outraged residents who felt they hadn’t been given adequate notice, the town has followed through on its pledge to establish a committee designed to foster more collaborative care of both Green Hill and Dix Hill cemeteries. 

Drake takes Macon airport under its wing

Drake Enterprises is spreading its wings further into the community as it takes over management of the Macon County Airport. 

Under the new subsidiary Macon Air LLC, Drake assumed responsibility for airport operations as of Oct. 1 after its former management entity — Franklin Aviation, led by Neil Hoppe and Peggy Milton — decided to retire. Hoppe and Milton had managed the airport for 20 years under a contract with the county. 

Best of the burden: Smokies mules make backcountry operations possible

In popular culture mules get a bad rap, cast as stubborn, ornery and even mischievous. 

But Danny Gibson, animal packer for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, spends more time with mules than just about anybody around, and he’s quick to jump to their defense. 

Breaking the backlog: Deferred maintenance in the billions for national parks

Drawing more than 300 million visitors each year, the National Park Service is both a reservoir of natural beauty and an economic anchor for the communities surrounding its lands — and many of those communities are now banding together to demand that Congress address the parks’ $11.3 billion maintenance backlog.

“To know what this means to us — the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park — and for us to have to ask them for some sustainable revenue to keep these parks going, it’s almost like asking somebody to take care of their baby,” Jackson County Commissioner Boyce Dietz said before the board unanimously passed a resolution in favor of sustained funding Dec. 18, 2017.

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