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For the past few years, residents of North Carolina have been paying higher power rates. Some however are looking to offset that expense by a different means of energy production: Solar panels. Utilizing what is arguably the best source of energy possible, these people have begun to use the sun for clean, perpetual energy.

When light from the sun hits a surface, it gives off heat, but with the use of the right technology, the heat can be turned into electricity. Taking steps toward achieving this type of efficiency by harnessing solar energy can lead to a variety of payoffs for the consumer.

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Seniors of Macon County may have become the next group in line to feel the tightening of the budgetary confines caused by what is known as the federal sequester. The sequestration has been making its presence known since it took effect on March 1 of this year, affecting a wide range of government programs in different sectors across the board. With each passing day, the loss of funding in programs could affect the well-being of the most vulnerable.

The Budget Control Act of 2011, more often called the sequester by news media, was an attempt by national lawmakers to reach an agreement that would help reduce the national debt by $4 trillion. The United States Congress passed the law that said if they could not agree on a plan to accomplish the goal, automatic, arbitrary and across the board budget cuts totaling about $1 trillion would take effect in March 2013. The trickle down repercussions are likely to be felt in the senior citizen programs of counties all across the country, including Macon County.

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The North Carolina State Highway Patrol along with the Division of Law Enforcement Wildlife Resources Commission and the Alcohol Law Enforcement Division have released the totals for “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign for the period of July 4 - 7.

“On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign is a multi-agency initiative that is designed to combine law enforcement resources to ensure that all motorists can safely travel on highway and waterways during the summer months. Operation “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink & Drive” is focused on three key summer travel holiday weekends; Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.

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The North Carolina State Crime Laboratory has achieved accreditation under tough new international standards.

The lab received notice last month from Forensic Quality Services (FQS) that it has achieved accreditation under ISO 17025, which provides a global basis for laboratory accreditation in management and technical requirements.

“Quality work by the crime lab is critical to solving crimes and ensuring justice for victims and suspects,” Attorney General Roy Cooper said. “I’m proud of our forensic science professionals for achieving the highest standards and pursuing the latest science.”

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