The October Sky Festival is taking place this weekend and Homer Hickam and other Rocket Boys are in Beckley for the event. Hickam said this he plans a big announcement concerning his McDowell home county in the weeks ahead.

"In about a month we hope to be able to announce that using private funds we are going to go into McDowell County and build a dark sky, world-class, observatory," Hickam said.

Calhoun County Park has been the site for development of a Dark Sky observatory for several years, yet to be funded.

Dark Sky observatories attract professional and amateur astronomers alike who are looking for dark places to watch the planets and stars.

Hickam, a native of Coalwood and well-known author, said he believes the observatory could be a boost for McDowell County.

"It will hopefully help with jobs down there and attention to the county," Hickam said.

Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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