Man with dementia missing near Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Thirty search and rescue individuals, including some park rangers, are searching for a 58-year-old man who went missing on July 27 near the Cataloochee Divide Trail at the border of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The missing man, Kevin Mark Lynch, is described as having mild dementia and may be confused about his whereabouts. Lynch is from New Jersey and is visiting the area with his family. They are staying at the Swag, an upscale hotel located along park boundaries. Lynch was not hiking at the time of his disappearance but was last seen exploring the grounds of his hotel. He was wearing a brown shirt and a hat.

Anyone with information about Lynch is asked to call the Emergency Communications Center at 865-436-1230 or the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office at 828-452-6600.

North Carolina’s clean energy jobs grew 3.5 percent last year

Blue Ridge Public Radio reports that more than 110,000 North Carolinians now work in clean industry sectors, such as the solar and wind industries. Clean energy jobs grew 3.5 percent last year; almost double the statewide employment growth of 1.9 percent. 

The report, based on the 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report, also found that 4 out of 5 clean energy workers are employed by small businesses with less than 20 employees and that 80 percent of clean energy employers reported it was “very difficult” or “somewhat difficult” to hire qualified employees. Of those employed by the clean energy sector in North Carolina, 11.4 percent are veterans—that’s nearly double the 6 percent of veterans employed in the national workforce.

Wildfires are raging across the Arctic 

Satellite images show that huge areas of the Arctic Circle are burning across Greenland, Siberia and Alaska following the hottest June on record. Since the beginning of June, more than 100 fires have swept across huge areas of uninhabited Arctic wilderness. In Alaska alone more than 1.6 billion acres have already been burned. 

The CO2 released in June alone from these fires is estimated to be about 100 megatonnes. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is warning of the impact that the CO2 will have on the world’s climate crisis, calling the fires “unprecedented” and adding that, “the northern part of the world is warming faster than the planet as a whole. That heat is drying out forests and making them more susceptible to burn. A recent study found Earth’s boreal forests are now burning at a rate unseen in at least 10,000 years.”