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March designated Multiple Sclerosis Month.

March has served as National Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness Month since 2003.

The local Love is in the Air 5K run to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) research raised a rather healthy $7,000 to contribute to the efforts to eradicate this medical enigma. However, the more important story that arose that day was found in the lives of some of the remarkable people who are fighting their own personal battles with this debilitating disease.

Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system, the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. The myelin sheath which surrounds and insulates the nerve fibers is eroded, which, in turn, breaks down the ability of the nerve cells to transmit signals. MS afflicts more than 400,000 people in the United States. Some of the common early symptoms include extreme fatigue, dizziness, vertigo, blurred vision, tingling or numbness, especially in the hands and feet.

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With the advent of spring just a few weeks away, Macon County and the surrounding areas experienced a significant snowfall last Thursday with totals ranging from 3 to 8 inches over the region.

Macon County News staff couldn’t resist snapping a few photos of what hopefully could be the last white stuff of the season.

Photos by Vickie Carpenter, Shana Bilbrey and Harry Taylor

view more after the jump!

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Each year, about 150,000 accidental drug overdoses occur in teens in the United States, according to teendrugaddiction. com. One local organization continues to work to make sure youth in Macon County are educated about the risks involved in drug use.

Gilliam's Hope is the Franklin Branch of Gilliam's Promise, a drugfree coalition, that was started in Highlands nearly five years ago after Bill and Eleanor Cheney's grandson Gilliam took his own life while battling drug addiction.

Gilliam's Hope allows students to earn money toward a college education. Students participating in Gilliam's Hope are afforded the opportunity to earn $1,000 per year to be placed in an escrow account to be used for college or vocational training expenses upon graduation.

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Highlander Peter Ray won top honors in an “historic” photography contest. “Secret Falls” won Best in Show in Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust’s Sunsetennial Photography Contest Professional Division which was judged by Sallie Taylor, Executive Director of The Bascom.

The contest was held in honor of the Land Trust’s “Sunsetennial: 100 Years of Conserving Ravenel Park, home of Sunset and Sunrise Rocks in Highlands.” The Land Trust celebrated this historic anniversary throughout 2014 and this division of the photo contest marks the final event of their Sunsetennial year.

The award winning photo is on display at Highlands’ Hudson Library.

To learn more about Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust and their mission to conserve valuable land resources for all generations, visit www.hicashlt.org.

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