News Briefs

Posted 12/6/19


Experience an 18th-century Christmas at “O blessed Season!”

SANFORD — The warm glow of candlelight and festive greenery will welcome visitors to “O blessed Season!” at …

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Experience an 18th-century Christmas at “O blessed Season!”

SANFORD — The warm glow of candlelight and festive greenery will welcome visitors to “O blessed Season!” at House in the Horseshoe State Historic Site. The Alston House will be adorned for Christmas and opened to the public Saturday, Dec. 7.

Guests will learn how Christmas was celebrated in Colonial America and how many modern holiday traditions had not been introduced. Tours of the candlelit house will be 5 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $2 each and available at the door (cash only) or at Eventbrite (

Visitors can enjoy warm cider and cookies by campfire and sing favorite Christmas carols. Children and adults are invited to make and take a Christmas ornament in the museum.

In 1781 the Alston house was the site of militia skirmish between the owner, Whig Col. Philip Alston, and Loyalist Col. David Fanning. The house still bears some the scars from this engagement. From 1798 to 1814 the House in the Horseshoe, under the name Retreat, was home to another Patriot leader and four-time North Carolina governor, Benjamin Williams.

Located at 288 Alston House Rd., Sanford, House in the Horseshoe is 16 miles west of Sanford off NC 42 and 10 miles north of Carthage on the Carbonton-Carthage Road. The house was built in 1772 by Philp Alston who proved a fiery leader for the Whig cause during the American Revolution.

For additional information call (910) 947-2051. House in the Horseshoe is part of the Division of State Historic Sites within the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

Emissions inspections exempts 20-year-old vehicles starting Dec. 1

RALEIGH — Beginning Dec. 1, North Carolina’s vehicle inspections requirement will exempt vehicles 20 years old from obtaining a yearly emissions test in the 22 counties which emissions testing is required.

For example, a 1999 model year vehicle would be exempt from obtaining an emissions inspection starting Dec. 1. The following year a 2000 model year vehicle would be exempt from obtaining an emissions inspection.

The change came about as a result of the passage of Senate Bill 131 (Regulatory Reform Act of 2016-2017). The bill was signed into law in 2017 and then approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. The 20-year rolling inspection is outlined in N.C.G.S. 20-183.2(b)(3).

By law, a motor vehicle must pass an annual safety inspection before it can be registered in North Carolina or the registration can be renewed. All North Carolina counties still require the safety inspection.

Emissions inspections are still be required in 22 counties and will still be required for vehicles under 20 years old, starting Dec. 1. Those counties requiring emissions inspections include Alamance, Buncombe, Cabarrus, Cumberland, Davidson, Durham, Forsyth, Franklin, Gaston, Guilford, Iredell, Johnston, Lee, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Onslow, Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan, Union and Wake counties.

More information on emissions and safety inspections is available on the NCDMV website.

Expecting a drone this holiday? Fly safe and legal

RALEIGH — Drones are a popular holiday gift, but it’s important new drone owners take time to know how to safely fly an unmanned aircraft.

More than 30,000 North Carolinians now own and operate drones for recreational use. With this number growing, the N.C. Department of Transportation is reminding drone pilots to follow safety precautions because drones can be dangerous to others if they are not operated properly.

“It’s amazing how much can be done with a drone these days,” said NCDOT Director of Aviation Bobby Walston. “We’ve just got to make sure everyone is aware that they’re more than just a toy and need to be flown responsibly.”

As such, NCDOT’s Division of Aviation has provided the following tips to help pilots make sure they’re flying safely and legally:

• Always fly under 400 feet above ground level

• Never fly near airports

• Avoid flying over events or crowds

• Don’t fly at night, even if your drone has lights

• Never fly directly over people

• Don’t fly near or above prisons

• Respect people’s privacy

• Always keep the drone within your visual line of sight

By following these guidelines, drone pilots can be more confident that their flights are safe and legal. Pilots should also take the time to learn about the state and federal laws governing drones, as well as local restrictions in their area, before taking off.

North Carolinians interested in flying a drone for commercial or government operations must obtain a permit from the N.C. Division of Aviation. Before applying, prospective users must pass NCDOT’s UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Knowledge Test. The permitting system began in 2016 and is designed to help drone owners better understand restrictions on drone use through a simple and efficient online process.

CORE offering two ‘Building Stronger Communities’ programs

CORE (Chatham Organizing for Racial Equity) will be offering the Building Stronger Communities training program again in 2020. In December 2019, we are offering two opportunities to sample the most popular module based on previous attendees’ comments: “Understanding Power”. Power is usually misunderstood and often associated with negative connotations. In this workshop, we will re-examine the definition of power, relationships of power, how power is yielded, and its vital importance to social campaigns and community organizing.

This two (2) hour workshop on “Understanding Power” will serve as a refresher for previous BSC trainees or an introduction for those who have not attended any previous workshops. In addition to the material offered in the original training, we will talk about how Power relates to current events in Pittsboro.

If you are interested, please register for one of the two dates, Dec. 14 or Dec. 21.

The workshop will take place at the Habitat for Humanity Conference Room, 467 West Street, Pittsboro.


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