I get so Asheville-centric sometimes that I forget what else is out there. Here are a couple of tidbits from the Watauga Democrat:
Grandfather Mountain makeover
A building that has long been far above most other buildings in Avery County – in a literal sense – will soon be replaced.
In April, Grandfather Mountain plans to begin the demolition of its Top Shop, which has been perched atop the mountain near the Mile High Swinging Bridge since 1961, in preparation for a new Top Shop to be built in its place.
Wear and tear over the last decades, and the costs that brings on, is the main reason this project comes up in 2008.
“We’ve been Band-Aiding it [the current building] here and there for many years,” said Crae Morton, president of Grandfather Mountain. “It makes more sense to redo the building. And we’ll end up getting something that suits our needs better in 2008.”
With the construction of the new Top Shop, visitors with disabilities will have greater access to Grandfather Mountain’s famous “mile-high” bridge.
Nearly 50 years of strong winds, cold winters, and rain and ice have taken their toll on the roof and on the walls. The snack bar and bathrooms in the Top Shop have to be shut down on cold winter days, because the above-ground lines from the primary pump supplying water to the building freeze, and the pump under the building can’t meet the demand itself. Morton also said the septic system is barely adequate for the crowds, which have increased since the building’s opening 47 years ago.
And there’s this, a high-interest murder case:
Matthew Brandon Dalrymple, 22, appeared in Watauga County Superior Court on Thursday, with his defense attorney requesting a bond reduction.
Dalrymple is charged with first-degree kidnapping, robbery with a dangerous weapon, felony burning of personal property, and first-degree murder in the murder of Stephen Harrington.
On Nov. 8, 2005. Harrington, 19, was found in the trunk of his Subaru with his head and arms bound with duct tape. His body was partially burned.
The state medical examiner determined the cause of death to be asphyxiation caused by the duct tape.
The murder is alleged to be a drug deal gone bad. Sources report Harrington had gone to the Poplar Grove residence for a cocaine deal.
Dalrymple, along with two co-defendants, was arrested on Nov. 9, just one day after the discovery of Harrington’s body.
Dalrymple, Kyle Tripplett, 23, and Neil Matthew Sargent, 26, initially faced the death penalty if convicted and were held without bond.
Dalrymple agreed to testify against his co-defendants on Sept. 14 in exchange for taking the death penalty off the table.
Category: Asheville News