NC troopers encourage safety for the Fourth

RALEIGH (NCSHP) – According to the American Automobile Association, it is estimated that 41.9 million people will travel during the July 4th holiday period; the most in eight years.

A State Trooper stops a motorist along one of North Carolina's highways. (NCDPS photo)

A State Trooper stops a motorist along one of North Carolina’s highways. (NCDPS photo)

As a friendly reminder, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol is advising motorists to be careful as they enjoy the July 4th holiday. Motorists who slow down and travel at posted speeds will not only increase their chances of arriving at their destination safely but will also conserve fuel. Speed is the leading cause of traffic collisions and fatalities in the state. Troopers will be cracking down on speeders during the holiday and will be using speed timing devices to assist them in enforcing the speed laws. There will be an increased presence of troopers on the interstates, major four lane highways and rural paved roads across North Carolina.

Last year, the Highway Patrol investigated 7 fatal collisions and 257 injury collisions during the July 4th holiday period.  This included 3 fatal collisions and 48 injury collisions due to impaired driving.

“Throughout the Independence Day weekend, the Highway Patrol will be working to insure that everyone has a safe and happy holiday.” said Col. Bill Grey, Highway Patrol Commander. “We continually work to educate the public about the hazards of impaired driving; unfortunately, some people will still choose to get behind the wheel while impaired.”

With many celebrations across the state, drivers should make sure they are designating a sober driver. The Patrol would also like to remind motorists to wear their seatbelts and use the correctly fitted child safety seats, as they are the best defense should you be involved in a crash.

In addition to focusing on impaired drivers, troopers will also target aggressive drivers who tend to cause the most crashes. The aggressive driver has been identified as those drivers who flagrantly violate the motor vehicle laws, including but not limited to: excessive speeding, following too closely, erratic lane changes, safe movement violations, texting while driving and other forms of reckless endangerment.

Citizens may report crashes, drunk drivers, stranded motorists or other highway situations to the Highway Patrol by dialing *HP (*47) on their cellular telephones. This is a toll free call that connects the caller with the nearest Highway Patrol communications center.

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Water recall affects Morning Fresh, Niagara and other brands

UPDATE: Merchants Distributors Inc. verified June 23 that none of the Morning Fresh water in its supply chain was affected by this recall.

A nationwide recall of drinking water is affecting a brand carried locally.

150623-Niagara-Water-Production-CodeSome specific lots water produced by Niagara Bottling, LLC are suspected of being contaminated with E. coli bacteria and should not be used. The water is sold under the Niagara name and others, including the Morning Fresh brand, distributed by MDI of Hickory and carried by local retailer Food King.

A production code is stamped on each bottle, indicating the date and location of manufacture. Those bearing a code beginning with either “A” or “F” should be examined further. If the date, starting with the third character of the code, is in the range of the 10th through 18th of June of this year, the water should be boiled before use or discarded altogether.

Niagara Bottling can provide more information through its consumer service line at 1-877-487-7873.

Information provided by Niagara says the spring used for the water has tested positive for E. coli and is no longer being used.

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Coleman to be honored by Friends in Focus

Mount Gilead’s Friends in Focus is making the final preparations for this weekend’s community appreciation gala. The non-profit group provides programs for senior citizens and students, and the annual gala is planned to honor local residents for their contributions to the community.

150420-WMTG-Logo-Local-News-WebThis year, educator and mentor Eddie Coleman, Sr. will be recognized and presented with the M. F. Greene Outstanding Achievement Award.

Also as part of the evening, the organization will announce which local high school seniors have been selected to receive a Friends in Focus scholarship.

Long-time educator Milfred Greene was honored at the inaugural community gala in 2012, and previous recipients of the award named for Greene are Asia Dumas and Highland Community Center director Mary Pemberton.

The community appreciation gala will start Sat., Jun. 20, at 6 p.m. at the Haywood Event Center on S. Main St., Mount Gilead. Information on the ticketed event is available at Highland Community Center, or by phone at 910-975-3122.

First formed in 2012, Friends in Focus has coordinated the “Gator Good Guys” mentoring program at Mount Gilead Elementary School and collected books for the school’s “Give 5 Read 5” program. The group also promotes a number of activities at Highland Community Center and is a supporter of the One Community Mount Gilead initiative.

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Non-profit seeks to reopen Mount Gilead senior home

A vacant rest home in Mount Gilead could be reopened, if a regional non-profit organization succeeds in its efforts.

The Tillery Chase Adult Care Home in Mount Gilead, N.C., closed in Jan. 2013, displacing 44 residents and 30 employees. (Image © Google Maps)

The Tillery Chase Adult Care Home in Mount Gilead, N.C., closed in Jan. 2013, displacing 44 residents and 30 employees. (Image © Google Maps)

The organization, Moderate Living for the Aging (MLFTA), has offices in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee and is currently conducting a fund raising campaign to reopen the facility formerly known as Tillery Chase Adult Care Home. Published plans call for the establishment of an independent senior and assisted living operation at the site.

According to published information, MLFTA was founded in 1997 and is involved with housing, supplement food deliveries, utilities and prescriptions for the aging.

The current funding campaign seeks to raise $200,000 in donations by the end of August. Contributions are being solicited through the web page at

The facility first opened in the 1970s as Evans Rest Home, built and operated by Jim Evans of Mount Gilead. The later Tillery Chase home was operated by Larry Patton of Reidsville, N.C.

Tillery Chase closed suddenly in early 2013 following a period of declining ratings from the state Department of Health and Human Services and, ultimately, a decision to revoke the home’s license. The closing displaced 44 residents and left 30 workers unemployed.

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