Thumbs-up: To abundant caution where life is involved on the part of Lees-McRae. After dozens of students reported signs of illness, the college reacted quickly, sending students for medical care and evacuating the affected building even without knowing the cause. Still under investigation, the High Country knows too well the fatal harm that can come from undetected sources.

Thumbs-up: to a new conservancy on Grandfather Mountain. Expanding the science and visitor resources of the High Country’s gem is good news for all of us. The new Wilson Center will build on the current Nature Center and afford increased educational opportunities of the facility.

No thumbs, but a sad note: On the passing of Kathy Crutchfield. Known locally and regionally for her phenomenal reach and work in serving myriad nonprofit organizations, the High Country is much poorer for this tireless advocate who will not be replaced.

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