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Briefs: Highway Patrol reports seven fatalities on holiday weekend

Highway Patrol reports seven fatalities over holiday weekend

Seven motorists died on North Carolina highways during the July 4 holiday period, according to preliminary numbers from the Highway Patrol. That’s down by half from the holiday in 2013, when 14 people died.
The holiday weekend officially began at 6 p.m. on Thursday and ended at midnight, Sunday.
Here are the locations of the fatal crashes investigated by the Highway Patrol over the weekend:
• N.C. 41 (8.20 miles west of Lumberton)
• U.S. 220 (2 miles south of Madison)
• U.S. 74 (4.8 miles east of Bryson City)
• Conetone Road (6.4 miles west of Bethel)
• U.S. 21 (9.7 miles southwest of Yadkinville)
• Taylor Springs Road (16.5 miles north of Statesville)
• Friendship Rock Creek Road (7.2 miles south of Burlington)
Avett Brothers to help incubator farm
A member of the The Avett Brothers is coming to the rescue of the 31-acre Lomax Incubator Farm in Cabarrus County, according to Business Today.
The business publication reports that vocalist and banjo player Scott Avett says he will help underwrite the operations of the farm, cut from the Cabarrus County budget in a controversial 3-2 vote.
“It is important to me and important to the community,” Avett told Business Today. “I’m a citizen who would like to help keep the lights on. My understanding is that in the short term they need to have electricity to power freezers, refrigerators, and lights.”
Cabarrus County and the N.C. Cooperative Extension developed the farm off Atando Road much like a business incubator.
Last-minute budget cuts approved by a trio of outgoing Cabarrus commissioners totaled $3.9 million. The Cabarrus property tax rate remained the same, 70 cents per $100 valuation.
Hearings set on water quality standards
Public hearings will be held in Raleigh and Statesville this month regarding revisions to state water quality standards, including the benchmarks the state uses to evaluate metals.
The hearings will be conducted by the N.C. Environmental Management Commission.
The proposed new standards would change how the state measures the environmental impact of certain metals. They include changing some standards from total recoverable metal concentrations to dissolved metal concentrations. In most cases, measuring dissolved metal concentrations more accurately describes how the metal affects aquatic organisms.
The revisions take into consideration the hardness of the water in the streams receiving the permitted discharge.
Oral and written comments may be presented at these hearings:
• July 15 at 2 p.m. in the Ground Floor Hearing Room, Archdale Building, 512 North Salisbury St., Raleigh
• July 16 at 3 p.m. in the Statesville Civic Center, 300 South Center St., Statesville
Written comments may be sent to: Connie Brower, DENR Division of Water Resources/Water Planning Section, 1611 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1611. Comments can also be emailed to: DWR-Classifications-Standards@ncdenr.gov.
The comment period ends at 5 p.m. Aug. 22.

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