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North Carolina’s commercial motor vehicle drivers are reminded that they must meet the federal requirement to certify whether they drive interstate or intrastate and for what purpose no later than Jan. 30, 2014. If required, they must provide their current DOT medical card to the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles. Additionally, drivers are required to continue to carry paper copies of their medical cards through January 2015 to protect against being cited for violations.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced that medical cards must be carried for an additional year because some states are not yet in full compliance with the new system that will automate interstate commercial driver license records. Once the online database – the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) – carries information from all states, commercial drivers will no longer have to provide their medical cards to federal or state inspectors for review at the roadside.

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In accordance with a new state law passed during the 2013 legislative session, the State of North Carolina has begun issuing no-fee voter identification cards.

Beginning in 2016, North Carolina will require voters to have a valid photo ID to cast a ballot when voting in person. A list of photo ID that will be acceptable for voting is available on the State Board of Elections’ website. No-fee ID cards are available for people who have no other valid forms of photo identification.

Applications for no-fee voter ID cards can be made at any North Carolina DMV driver license office.

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The deadline for application to Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics (SVSM), a cost-free, statewide program providing enrichment and research opportunities to academically talented high school students, is January 31. For more information and to apply, visit www.summerventures.org.

Summer Ventures in Science and Mathematics brings rising juniors and seniors together in residential settings for four weeks of intensive study. Sponsored by the University of North Carolina (UNC) system, SVSM is held on four UNC campuses across the state. The program provides high-achieving North Carolina students with the potential to excel in mathematics and science an opportunity to immerse themselves in investigative classes and research in a residential, collaborative learning environment. Students design, conduct and share their own research projects during the course of the program.

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North Carolina National Guard (NCNG) aircrew and local highly trained rescue technicians rescued three stranded hikers from the Appalachian Trail in Swain County Friday, Jan 3. The North Carolina Helicopter and Aquatic Rescue Team (NCHART) found the hikers approximately half a mile from the Tennessee border.

The three hikers were stranded because they lacked proper equipment for rapid snow accumulation and sustained below-freezing temperatures. National Park Service Rangers reached the hikers Friday morning and confirmed the need for NCHART, as the subjects were severely hypothermic and land rescue was not possible.

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