Carolinians brace for second winter storm in three days

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AAA Carolinas) — The Carolinas are expected to be hit with the second winter storm in three days, starting tonight (Feb. 25) throughout Thursday. Some areas could experience up to 8 inches of snow.

In this undated image, a plow and spreader truck from the North Carolina Department of Transportation is loaded with materials to help clear roads during wintry weather. (NCDOT photo)

In this undated image, a plow and spreader truck from the North Carolina Department of Transportation is loaded with materials to help clear roads during wintry weather. (NCDOT photo)

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has already declared a State of Emergency and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has done the same for 31 counties in South Carolina.

“We encourage motorists to stay off the roads unless it’s absolutely necessary,” said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas. “Watch the snow from indoors.”

AAA Carolinas will adjust its staff to assist members based on the amount of incoming calls. Typically call volume is not as high when a weather event is currently happening because less people are on the roads, but calls are prone to drastically increase once motorists get back on the roads.

“Some motorists get a false sense of security once they see the roads are clear. They tend to go faster than they should and end up hitting a patch of ice or slush then find themselves stuck,” said Parsons.

For those who absolutely have to be out, AAA Carolinas offers these tips….

  • See and be seen – Clean ALL snow and ice from entire vehicle.
  • Always wear your seatbelt!
  • Fill up on windshield washer fluid – Salt brine and sand from treated roadways can build up on your windshield. Use a windshield washer fluid with a low freezing point to help keep ice and snow from sticking to the glass.
  • Keep a safe distance: allow more space between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Brake slowly: to avoid skidding. If you skid, take your foot off the brake or gas and try to regain traction. Always look and steer where you want to go.
  • Avoid passing plows unless necessary.
  • Avoid driving in packs – Give yourself an escape route while driving.
  • Use major routes that have been cleared or salted whenever possible.
  • Don’t use cruise control – You may need to quickly reduce your speed by lifting off the accelerator, which can’t be easily accomplished on slick roads.
  • Keep headlights on!
  • Avoid distractions – Don’t talk on your cell phone, turn down the music and focus on driving.
  • If you are snow-bound, remain in your vehicle. It provides shelter.
  • Approach bridges and overpasses with caution – They freeze because they are exposed to air on all of their surfaces.

EMERGENCY TRAVEL KIT SUGGESTIONS

  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Cell phone and car charger
  • First aid kit
  • Non-perishable snacks for both human and pet passengers
  • Medications
  • Bag of brine salt or cat litter
  • Snow shovel
  • Blankets
  • Extra hats, gloves, scarves, socks
  • Ice scraper with brush
  • Jumper cables
  • Warning devices (flares or triangles)
  • 3 tea light candles (6 hours of light)
  • Box of waterproof matches
  • Hand warmers
  • Emergency whistle

During winter weather conditions, AAA says its emergency road service may be slower than usual or limited to circumstances where someone is in imminent danger. Drivers are advised to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary.

AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 1.9 million members and the public with “travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.”

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Rep. Burr files bills to alter Stanly school board

Some Stanly County, residents are divided about the future of education in their communities.

141001_Stanly_County_SchoolsThe Stanly County Board of Education recently proposed the closing of some schools and the consolidation of some others. Part of the plan calls for the shutdown of Norwood Elementary School and turning South Stanly High School into a middle school.

The proposal has stirred some deep emotions, and many citizens have been speaking out about their opposition to the plan and their disapproval of the actions of school board members.

Yesterday (Feb. 24), North Carolina State Representative Justin Burr introduced legislation in Raleigh that would provide a method for Stanly County residents to recall individual members of the Board of Education. As submitted, the bill would allow a recall vote if 15% or more of the voters in the school district signed a petition asking for it.

Rep. Burr also introduced a second bill yesterday that would make Board of Education elections in Stanly County partisan, meaning candidates would run based on party affiliations beginning in December 2016.

Both bills will now go through the legislative process, meaning they could be amended and may or may not become law.

Justin Burr is a Republican in his fourth term in the state house. He represents Stanly County and most of Montgomery County, except the Mount Gilead, Cheeks Creek and Rocky Springs precincts.

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Stanly authorities resume water search for missing teen

Stanly County authorities are resuming the water search in their effort to locate Jaquarious Kendall, the Albemarle High School student who has been missing for four weeks.

Jaquarious Kendall was reported missing after having been last seen around 1 a.m. Sun., Jan. 25, 2015. His car was found near the Garrison Bridge on Hwy. 24/27 at the Stanly-Montgomery County line. (Facebook photo)

Jaquarious Kendall was reported missing after having been last seen around 1 a.m. Sun., Jan. 25, 2015. His car was found near the Garrison Bridge on Hwy. 24/27 at the Stanly-Montgomery County line. (Facebook photo)

According to WSOC-TV, divers from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department are joining the search today.

Though we have been unable to confirm it with the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office, Kendall’s mother also told the television station she was informed that an earlier sonar search revealed the presence of a body in the water.

Jaquarious Kendall was last seen Jan. 26, and his car and cell phone were found near the Garrison Bridge on Hwy. 24/27 at Swift Island.

About a week ago, Kendall’s 17-year-old girlfriend told the Stanly News & Press he “threatened to kill himself because she was ending the relationship.” Investigators confirmed they suspect Kendall committed suicide, possibly by jumping from the bridge.

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New economic development director named in Montgomery County

Montgomery County has a new economic development director. Amanda Whitaker starts work tomorrow (Feb. 20) with the county Economic Development Corporation.

150219-montgomery-edc-logoCounty Manager Matthew Woodard says Whitaker “has worked extensively in grant administration and economic development” and has experience with many local municipalities through her previous employment with Hobbs, Upchurch and Associates and Carolina Governmental from 2008 to 2015 and through the County Scattered Site program.

Amanda Whitaker holds a Masters in Public Administration from UNC-Greensboro and has also worked the Davidson County EDC and the City of Lexington’s Community Development program.

Whitaker succeeds Ashley Sherill Cagle, who left the position last September to become a project manager with the Wake County EDC.

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