New ginseng rules in effect
CLEVELAND, Tenn. — The U.S. Forest Service is limiting ginseng collection this year in the Cherokee National Forest, according to a news release.
The collection season will be shorter, fewer permits will be issued and collectors will be able to harvest only half as much of the root, spokesman Terry McDonald said in the release. The restrictions are aimed at preserving native populations of the valuable plant, the release stated.
In recent years, an average of 50 collectors have been allowed to harvest 1 wet pound of roots, or about 100 roots. This year, only 40 permits will be issued and collectors may take only 25 roots, or about a quarter of a wet pound.
This year’s ginseng season is Sept. 16-30. Permit winners will be chosen by lottery.
For specific rules or more information, call the Unaka Ranger District at 423-638-4109, or the Tellico Ranger District at 423-253-8400; or visit http://fs.usda.gov/cherokee.
Heavy rains hurting farmers
MOUNTAINBORO, Ala. — Eastern Alabama farmers say they’re feeling the lingering effects of an unusually wet summer.
Joseph Collier farms peas, okra, cucumbers, squash and tomatoes in Mountainboro and works 10 months of the year as a school janitor to qualify for health insurance and other benefits.
Collier told the Gadsden Times he lost most of his crops this year because of heavy rain and missed the corn-planting season altogether because of wet soil.
Aside from planting and harvesting difficulties, Alabama Cooperative Extension System horticulturalist Dani Carroll said rain typically causes more insects and other pests, and washes away protective sprays before they can be effective.
Church holds first rite since arson
LAFOLLETTE, Tenn. — A Campbell County church held its first religious services since a fire destroyed the place of worship Dec. 9. Investigators said the fire was deliberately set.
WATE-TV reported that Fincastle Church of God had been holding services in a nearby school until Saturday.
Insurance covered a little more than half the cost to rebuild the church. Fincastle owes a remainder of $170,000 to the bank.
Donations can be made to the church through First Community Trust Bank in LaFollette.
Boys find human remains
PELL CITY, Ala. — Police in Pell City say they’re working to identify human remains that were uncovered by a group of boys exploring a wooded area.
Sgt. Don Newton told WBMA-TV on Saturday that the bones may have been lying in the woods for more than a year.
One of the boys told the television station they saw what appeared to be a human skull and alerted a parent.