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Deep South Magazine officially launched online in January of 2010, so this month we're celebrating our first anniversary! As we reflect over the past year, we're proud of the content we cranked out, both on our website and on our blog. One of our goals here is to keep up with top news stories that affect people living in the South, and there was no shortage of news in 2010. From the New Orleans Saints winning the Super Bowl to the massive oil spill, 50th anniversary of the publication of "To Kill A Mockingbird" and filming of "The Help" movie in Mississippi, 2010's stories were compelling to say the least, and we spent a lot of time following them. In the case of the oil spill, we immediately created a listing of ways Southerners could help in their respective states and reported straight from the sand in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach throughout the summer to let readers know when beaches were open. We plan to do no less, and hopefully a lot more, in 2011. Here's to another great year for the South and for Deep South! P.S. We welcome story ideas for the coming year! E-mail [email protected] if there's something

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Tubing, hiking, waterfalls, wine and ultimately cooler temperatures await in Georgia's Blue Ridge Mountains. by Deanna Kuder We are close to shattering the record for the hottest summer in recorded history as I look at the Georgia map. It’s hard to ignore the big spot of green at the top, beckoning me to cool off in the mountain air. As I answered the call and headed for the north Georgia mountains, the main goal was escaping the heat, but what I found was a mecca of entertainment for the entire family and a playground to please every budget, age and activity level. Helen, Georgia, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains along the shores of the Chattahoochee River, launched its transformation into an Alpine village in 1969. Local business owners began to revitalize their mountain paradise by turning it into a Bavarian village. Faces of the buildings are now adorned with delicate gingerbread trim, intricate plaster relief and detailed scenes of Bavaria. And in keeping with the theme, visitors will find shopkeepers decked out in lederhosen and dirndls. Upon entering the Welcome Center, a helpful attendant was on the phone being quizzed about the weather. It was 90 degrees in town, but at home

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