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Following a four-month suspension of sales, the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles this week began reissuing “Friends of the Smokies” special license plates.

Legislation recently passed by the General Assembly required that the plate be redesigned when supplies ran out last October. NCDMV worked with the Friends of the Smokies foundation to approve the redesign. Under the new requirements, the plate must have a standardized format that allows the plate number to be “easily read by the human eye and by cameras installed along roadways as part of tolling and speed enforcement,” but a segment of the plate can have a “unique design,” according to the legislation.


More than 18,000 people have downloaded the North Carolina Department of Justice’s new app since it went live on January 31, Attorney General Roy Cooper said Monday. During a period last week it was nationally ranked as one of the top ten educational apps on iTunes.

The new app allows users to search for registered North Carolina sex offenders by GPS location or street address from wherever they are.

The app, which was unveiled last week, is currently available for iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® and can be downloaded via iTunes® or at Cooper’s office is continuing to work on developing an app that will work on other platforms, such as Android.


A Western Carolina University Student organization is teaming up with a state non-profit organization to host a festival of sorts to educate people on the proposed Anti-LGBT, gay-marriage amendment that will hit the primary ballots on May 8th and to register people to vote.

If approved by Tar Heel voters, the amendment would make same sex marriage and civil unions illegal in North Carolina.

WCU UNITY! members, who work to support and advocate for people who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning their sexuality, intersex, asexual and their allies, are working hand in hand with Equality North Carolina, the state’s leading force behind LGBTQIA+ issues.


The rising tide of whistleblowing websites has reached Appalachia.

Earlier in January, a small group of young volunteers launched Honest Appalachia, a site loosely based on the WikiLeaks model. The goal, according to a Jan. 10 press release announcing the launch, is “to assist and protect whistleblowers who wish to reveal proof of corporate or government wrongdoing to citizens throughout the region.”

For now, the site will focus on seven Appalachian states: Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. It offers a secure online platform for anonymously leaking documents, and the site’s organizers say they’ll vet any contributed materials to make sure they are authentic before posting them publicly.


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