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Bush Arrested in 1976 for Drunk Driving

In the final days of Campaign 2000, the release of Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush's previously unreported 1976 arrest for driving under the influence is raising eyebrows. The incident, which first gained exposure in Portland, Me. media, is result of tips released by local defense lawyer and Democratic Convention Delegate Tom Connolly.

    An eccentric who wears his swordbill fly-fisherman's hat everywhere but the courtroom, Connolly is a self confessed "take no prisoners" Democrat who often refers to Bush as "wienerboy." He said the information concerning the arrest was obtained Thursday at the Cumberland County Courthouse when he learned from a Democratic "public official" that Bush reportedly had a drunk driving arrest in Maine.

    Although Connolly has refused to name his source, several others who were present at the courthouse during the time of the alleged conversation identify William H. Childs, a lawyer and Democrat who is the county's elected register of probate.

    Although the impact of the story on the Bush bid for the presidency is questionable, pundits point out that this may effect his image of high moral standards and truth telling.

Gossip exposes Bush arrest record

— This story first reported by Portland Fox affiliate, FOX51

Value of Wild Ginsing Threatens Survival

Over-harvesting of wild ginseng may be threatening the survival of the plant in Appalachia. In a recent Louisville Courier-Journal report, Sara Shiply examines the problems caused by high Asian demands for upland country "green gold." The wild herb, which can fetch prices as high as $500 in Hong Kong for a single root, supports a $6 million-a-year industry that has been the lively hood of generations of Kentucky families.

    Shiply talks with a Southern ginseng dealer who has been supplying the herb for use in tonics and Asian medicines since the 1930's. He doesn't see a problem with the fever for the root that has often been compared to marijuana and has been the cause of several shootings in protection of patches. However, according to government biologists and environmentalists, over-harvesting has made the once plentiful herb hard to find across much of the Southeast.

Biologists, conservationists fear for future of popular herb

High pollutions Levels Leave Blue Ridgers Sick

High levels of air pollution are to blame for alarmingly increasing levels of respiratory illness in western North Carolina according to state medical officials. The Blue Ridge area and the Great Smoky Mountain National park have recorded the worst levels of air pollution over a four day period this summer — something that is not only impacting the tourism industry but also the health of area residents.

    Chronic lung diseases such as asthma and emphysema account for a higher percentage of deaths in western North Carolina than in nearly all other parts of the state combined, according to a recent Associated Press report, published in the Raleigh News & Observer. In Buncome Country alone, deaths from respiratory illnesses have increased 40 percent in the last decade.

    "Something is making the difference, and the difference is air quality," Dr. Clay Ballantine, who practices internal medicine in Asheville, told the News & Observer. "Lung cancer is a marker for cigarette-induced disease, so you can't blame it on smoking."

    Despite reports detailing the extent of health problems stemming from unclean air, the rise in concern for this issue is being attributed to decreases in visibility and the ozone's impact on the tourism industry.

Experts say respiratory illnesses increasing, mountain air a problem
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