Georgia man arrested for illegally trapping turtles to send to China

In 2016, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources discovered Nathan Horton trapping turtles in Georgia’s Lake Jackson, 44 miles southeast of Atlanta. He admitted to authorities that he had 1,000 active turtle traps on the lake. A year later, undercover agents met with Horton, who admitted to sending all of the turtles he caught to a person in California who exported them to China. In China, turtles are considered prized pets and a single turtle pulled from the wild in the U.S. can sell for hundreds of dollars. Wildlife officials began tracking shipments of turtles from Atlanta to LA and recently arrested Horton on federal charges for violating the Lacey Act, which prohibits trade of illegal wildlife.

In March, four men in South Carolina were charged in a similar case involving illegal trade of turtles over Facebook messenger. The ringleader received 27 months in federal prison. 

2 men survive plane crash near NC Mount Mitchell

On Thursday afternoon a small plane with two men on board crashed about a mile from the Mount Mitchell ranger station in North Carolina. Both men survived the crash, one was sent to the hospital with minor injuries.

The FAA says that the pilot reported experiencing weather-related problems before air traffic control lost communication with the plane. Park rangers heard an explosion and watched the Cirrus SR-22 fall to the ground. The plane was located about an hour and a half later and the passengers were escorted from the scene. The downed flight had planned to travel from the Donaldson Center Airport in Greenville, TN to Medina Municipal Airport in Ohio.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park receives “priceless” donation of Cades Cove artifacts

Cades Cove, one of the most popular destinations in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, was once home to European settlers who made their home in the cove and, before that, a space where Cherokee Indians hunted deer, elk and bison. Today, the National Park Service preserves Cades Cove as it was during the time of settlers.

Just this week, the park service received what they call a “priceless” donation of artifacts from the great-granddaughter of one of the cove’s settlers. The donation includes a handmade dresser, a Bible owned by the family, and photos including wedding portraits. The items will be displayed at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in Townsend.