Thumbs-up: To taking care of the trash and raising money for a great cause. The New River Conservancy hosted its Splash for Cash in late August, aiming to protect and clean the New River. They succeeded on both fronts. Fifty-one volunteers showed up to help raise funds and clean the river in the midst of a festival atmosphere. By the end of the year, the river cleanup program will have totaled about 300,000 pounds of trash taken from the river.

Thumbs-up: In another one for the books, the Appalachian Regional Library has successfully been awarded a $25,000 federal grant to purchase technology that will directly benefit the High Country, including Ashe and Watauga counties. Being able to offer such things as the borrowing of a laptop for a work project is the type of service typically seen at much larger facilities. Well done, ARL staff.

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