Orchard at Altapass welcomes autumn

The Orchard at Altapass is pictured as the colors change from summer greens to the hues of autumn.

SPRUCE PINE — The Orchard at Altapass would like to acknowledge and thank Deer Park Brand and the Blue Ridge Parkway Association for a $2,500 grant to add nine hives, bees, gear and honey gathering equipment, which will be used to increase apple and honey production. The additional hives will further the orchard’s mission to preserve and protect the lands and culture of the Appalachian region; a mission that revolves around a thriving eco-system of birds, butterflies and bees to keep the trees growing and producing heirloom apples—an orchard signature.

To help protect the region’s natural resources, both present and future, Deer Park Brand sponsored the Blue Ridge Parkway Association to establish sustainability grants that fund important conservation initiatives that benefit member communities and visitors alike. Three grants were awarded this year and are a part of Deer Park Brand’s larger conservation efforts.

“While competition for the grants was fierce, three projects stood out for their ability to have a meaningful impact on the community and educate and inspire visitors to embrace sustainable practices in their own homes and neighborhoods,” the grant coordinators stated.

The Orchard at Altapass extends a hand of thanks to Deer Park Brand and the Blue Ridge Parkway Association for selecting the Orchard at Altapass’ Honey Bee Project to receive the grant.

For information about the Orchard at Altapass, visit altapassorchard.org, the orchard’s Facebook page, or call 828-765-9531.

Door-to-door Medicare insurance scams on the riseRALEIGH — North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey warns seniors to be on alert for Medicare insurance scams. Since Medicare Open Enrollment began Oct. 15, the N.C. Department of Insurance has been made aware of people going door-to-door offering free health insurance with extra benefits for vision, dental and life insurance. During the visit, the impersonator asks to see the resident’s current health insurance policy then states they could offer a better rate.

During the visit, the false DOI representative also asks for their Social Security information, bank account and other sensitive, personal information.

“NCDOI representatives will never go door-to-door asking for personal information,” said Causey. “If this happens to you, call the NCDOI Criminal Investigations Division or your local law enforcement immediately.”

Causey also urges residents to contact their bank and have a security notification put on their account if they feel they are a victim of a scam. Residents will then be notified if anyone attempts to make withdrawals or if new accounts are created using their Social Security number.

If someone is threatening to cancel Medicare or other insurance benefits if residents don’t give information or money, report it to the Department’s Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program or the N.C. Senior Medicare Patrol at 1-855-408-1212.

Medicare Open Enrollment runs through Dec. 7.

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