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The Great Smoky Mountains National Park will close Look Rock tower and trail next week, so that vandalized radio equipment can be repaired.

In April, the Blount County Sheriff's Office noticed that their radio communication was becoming intermittent. When officials checked the radio equipment, which is located on the tower at Look Rock, they discovered that vandals had damaged it with rocks.

Those radio repeaters were critical for emergency communication for the sheriff's office, National Park Service, US Forest Service, and Ft. Loudon Electric. It also housed an Air Quality monitoring site.

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Several arrests were made after surveillance photos of the vandals were released, and enough repairs were made to get the radios working again.

Now, more repairs to the equipment will be made next week, June 16 to 20. The trail and observation tower will be closed to the public while that work is underway.

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