Central NC prepares for winter storm, Montgomery County Schools announce Fri. closing

Residents in central North Carolina are preparing for the effects of a winter storm system, expected to move through the state late Thursday through Saturday.

Due to the weather threat, Montgomery County Schools announced late Thursday that school would be closed Friday for students and staff.

The National Weather Service (NWS) forecast office in Raleigh says Montgomery County is in an area expected to receive more ice than snow, but the freezing precipitation could result in dangerous driving conditions and power outages. The area is roughly bounded by U.S. Hwy. 64 to the north and U.S. Hwy. 1 to the east and also includes Stanly, Anson, Richmond and Moore Counties.

In a special weather statement released at 4:52 p.m. today, NWS says, “Most of this corridor will see a quarter to half inch of ice accumulation with potential crippling amounts of a half-inch to as much as three-quarters of an inch in some localized spots. Amounts like this typically result in widespread downed trees, power outages that may last for days, and prolonged impacts to travel conditions.”

While predictions are based on models and may not be totally accurate, forecasters say Asheboro and other towns along U.S. Hwy. 64 may get up to a half-inch of ice and three to six inches of snow and sleet. Farther north and northwest, Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Lexington could see eight to 12 inches of snow and sleet.

NWS reminds residents that driving conditions will likely be treacherous, and a lack of power may mean a lack of heat for those with heat pumps, electric heat and gas heaters that depend on electricity for ignition or air circulation.

In addition to the schools closing, other weather-related postponements include the West Montgomery Lions Club’s concert featuring Little Roy Lewis and Lizzie Long, which has been rescheduled for Sat., Jan 30, at 7 p.m.

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Montgomery County issues water violation notice

UPDATE: Montgomery County Public Utilities reports water quality samples collected Jan. 4 showed no problems following a period of increased turbidity over the weekend. Utilities director Chris Hildreth said 12 samples were collected throughout the county, and results were good, confirming no bacteriological growth. Hildreth indicated that treated water turbidity levels have remained below state levels and additional samples would be tested.

The testing and public reports come after the failure of a chemical system that treats turbidity (or murkiness) in the water. That system was repaired Sunday, and no boil advisory was needed. A link to the latest information from the county utilities department can be found in the online version of this story, on our home page at wmtg.org.

The county water system serves all county and town water customers in Montgomery County, as well as customers in Carolina Forest and Woodrun and municipal water customers in Robbins.

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Montgomery County Public Utilities has issued a public notice indicating the county water system has violated maximum turbidity levels twice over the past. The amount of turbidity (murkiness) in the county water exceeded the allowed limits when sampled around 12 noon, Fri., Jan. 1, and again at about 6 a.m., Sat., Jan. 2.

County utilities director Chris Hildreth told WMTG that alum sulfate is used to treat the water when turbidity levels increase. He said a chemical feed system failed to operate properly as the murkiness of Lake Tillery increased about 20 times due to recent heavy rains.

Hildreth said the equipment was repaired around 3 a.m., Sun., Jan. 3, and turbidity levels were “well within state standards” in a short time.

At last report, there was no contamination and no need to boil water, but those with severely compromised immune systems and those caring for infants and the elderly may need to consult their medical care provider to determine the actual risk.

Chris Hildreth said his department will continue to monitor the situation, and the equipment that malfunctioned is scheduled to be rehabbed or replaced later this year.

Click here to see the full statement from Montgomery County Public Utilities.

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Worker reportedly seriously injured at Pro Pallet in Troy

Tarheel One transports patients by air to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, N.C. (UNC Medical Center photo)

Tarheel One transports patients by air to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, N.C. (UNC Medical Center photo)

Sources say a young black man working at Pro Pallet in Troy suffered “traumatic injury” Thu., Dec. 10. The man’s identity was not released.

Local emergency crews responded to the call around 8 a.m. A short time later, the injured worker was airlifted to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

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STARworks to host last “Hot Glass, Cold Beer” event of 2015

STARworks glassblowers will make a snowman similar to this one during the Dec. 10 "Hot Glass, Cold Beer" event. (STARworks photo)

STARworks glassblowers will make a snowman similar to this one during the Dec. 10 “Hot Glass, Cold Beer” event. (STARworks photo)

STAR, N.C. (STARworks) — The last “Hot Glass, Cold Beer” (HGCB) of the year will be December 10, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at STARworks. HGCB is always the second Thursday of each month.

The December HGCB will introduce the STARworks Glass new head of production Thoryn Ziemba, a Windgate Fellowship Award recipient and former STARworks visiting artist. He worked for The Pretentious Beer Glass Company in Knoxville, Tenn. before coming to STARworks.

STARworks will say goodbye to longtime production glassblower George Dielman, who is leaving to work with New York glass designer Michiko Sakano.

All ages are invited to watch a free glassblowing demonstration. The glassblowers will make a large snowman for the demonstration.

STARworks new head of glass production, Thoryn Ziemba and STARworks glassblower George Dielman (l-r) (STARworks photo)

STARworks new head of glass production, Thoryn Ziemba and STARworks glassblower George Dielman (l-r) (STARworks photo)

Visitors ages 21 and older who purchase a hand-blown STARworks glass will receive tickets for two complimentary beers or glasses of wine during the demonstration. Beer and wine may also be purchased directly at the bar.

STARworks is a Central Park NC project. Central Park NC is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the economy of the region by focusing on the sustainable use of our natural and cultural resources.

STARworks is located at 100 Russell Drive in Star, just off I-73/74 in northern Montgomery County. For more information, call (910) 428-9001, or visit http://www.StarworksNC.org.

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