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America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

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A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

State Park Expansion to Bring Beach to the Mountains

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Monday, October 1, 2018   

LAUREL SPRINGS, N.C. – New River State Park in Ashe County has been the source of adventure for paddling and outdoor enthusiasts for decades, and now a planned expansion will bring a beach to the mountain community.

The New River Conservancy and the state of North Carolina are in the final steps of securing an additional 350 acres along the river, which will make a four-night, five-day paddle trip possible and offer a unique feature for residents and visitors.

"There's a beach on this property,” points out George Santucci, president of New River Conservancy. “It would be the only beach in Ashe County and probably in most of the mountainous areas up here.

“The property is so unique in that it's in a really tight bend in the river and it actually has three miles of river frontage on this 350 acres."

The property previously belonged to the Methodist Church and was used as a camp until 2015.

Santucci says he expects the deal to be complete in December, and after that his organization plans to work with the state to "re-wild" the area and provide more primitive outdoor recreation.

Santucci says thanks to public and private funding made available through the conservancy and the state, the New River Conservancy was able to honor the church's wishes to make sure the community had access to the property.

"Their desire was for this to be publicly accessible and stay in a park-like setting as the camp was,” he relates. “We've already seen damaged buildings and things being stolen out there."

The New River Conservancy is one of more than 20 land conservancies in the state, working to protect land from commercial development.


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