News Briefs

Posted 7/3/20

News briefs

Fireworks safety top of mind especially this July Fourth holiday

PITTSBORO — With many Fourth of July public fireworks displays canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, …

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News briefs

Fireworks safety top of mind especially this July Fourth holiday

PITTSBORO — With many Fourth of July public fireworks displays canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chatham County Fire Marshal is reminding families to keep safety first when celebrating the holiday at home.

“We want all Chatham County residents to have a fun and safe Fourth of July, but fireworks are dangerous to both adults and children if not handled properly,” Chatham County Fire Marshal Billy Judson said. “We know the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to visit public fireworks displays conducted by trained professionals; however, with many of these community events not occurring this year, we are concerned about more people using fireworks at home.”

The Chatham County Fire Marshal offers the following fireworks safety tips:

• If you plan to use fireworks, make sure they are legal in your area.

• Be extra careful with sparklers: Little arms are too short to hold sparklers, which can heat up to 1,200 degrees. Let young children use glow sticks instead. They can be just as fun but don’t burn at a temperature hot enough to melt glass.

• Closely supervise children around fireworks at all times.

• Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.

• Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.

• Point fireworks away from homes and keep away from brush, leaves and flammable substances.

Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.

• Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.

• If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.

Judson reminded residents that many fireworks are illegal to use in the state of North Carolina, including but not limited to, exploding or flying fireworks such as bottle rockets, firecrackers, roman candles and large propelled display bursts.

The Chatham County Fire Marshal’s Office will be traveling throughout the county over July Fourth weekend to monitor fireworks activity.

Chatham County man buys ticket ‘loaded’ with $4 million prize

SILER CITY — Leonard Bowers’ $10,000 Loaded ticket won him a $4 million top prize.

Bowers purchased his lucky $20 scratch-off ticket at the Murphy Express on New Chatham Road in Siler City.

He claimed his prize last Wednesday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh.

Bowers had the choice of taking the $4 million as an annuity of $200,000 a year over 20 years, or a lump sum of $2.4 million. He chose the lump sum and took home $1,698,006 after federal and state tax withholdings.

The $10,000 Loaded game started in October 2019 with three top prizes of $4 million and three $100,000 prizes. One $4 million prize and one $100,000 prize remain to be won.

Drivers asked to join #KeysFreeNC movement to curb impaired driving

RALEIGH — The governor’s Highway Safety Program and more than 500 law enforcement agencies has kicked off the state’s annual 4th of July anti-drunk driving campaign, “Operation Firecracker,” with increased enforcement patrols.

Operation Firecracker runs through July 5. This year, the governor’s Highway Safety Program is soliciting motorists to encourage everyone to support sober driving by adorning their vehicles with messages in window chalk that read #KeysFreeNC.

On June 29, NCGHSP kicked off this year’s holiday enforcement campaign at the main entrance of Marine Corp Air Station Cherry Point with a community drive-through event.

NCGHSP has recruited area law enforcement agencies, military, state highway patrol, Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) mobile workers and firefighters to flank the entrance to the installation in a show of support for the cause.

“MCASCP is ground zero of this year’s campaign and Monday’s kick-off event was the kindling we hope will catch fire everywhere,” said Mikel Huber, the base commander for Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. “We want to see every motorist that’s committed to driving sober encouraging others to do the same.”

The NCGHSP will also use social media to encourage everyone to drive sober during the holiday week and release a YouTube video that will include messaging from law enforcement, clergy, military and the governor’s office.

For those who have a social media platform, show NCGHSP how you are celebrating safely. Mention @NCGHSP on Facebook and tag @NC_GHSP on Twitter and Instagram with #KeysFreeNC and #NCGHSP to show that you are celebrating safely. For media inquiries, contact The Governor’s Highway Safety Program Communications Specialist Miracle King at 919-814-3657 or

— CN+R staff reports

Duke Energy program helping N.C. customers and schools expand renewable energy

CHARLOTTE — Duke Energy’s Renewable Advantage program is a way for customers to supplement their energy use with renewable energy and help local schools go solar at the same time.

For as little as $3 extra a month, residential and small business customers in North Carolina can increase the amount of renewable energy on the Duke Energy power grid. The monthly fee supports the generation of 250 kilowatt-hour (kWh) blocks of electricity from renewable energy resources. Customers may buy as many blocks as they wish. A typical residential customer uses roughly 1,000 kWh a month.

The $3 fee is used to buy renewable energy and is added to customers’ bills. The company projects Renewable Advantage will consist of 95% solar and 5% biomass. It’s estimated that 25% of the generation will come from North Carolina renewable energy facilities. Renewable Advantage will use the Green-e® certification program to track all purchases. Get more information about the program.

In addition, Duke Energy will donate 50 cents from every $3 block of energy purchased to NC GreenPower’s Solar+ Schools program.

NC GreenPower’s Solar+ Schools is open to all K-12 North Carolina schools and was introduced by the nonprofit in 2015 to support educational renewable energy projects in local communities. Each grant recipient receives a 5-kW array with a weather station, data monitoring equipment and a STEM curriculum package. In addition to the education benefits, Solar+ Schools provides approximately $700-$800 in annual electricity savings per school.


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