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News State / Region

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol and law enforcement organizations that participated in the More Cops, More Stops “I-40 Challenge” during the Thanksgiving travel period, have released the results from the eight-state high-visibility safety campaign.

The “I-40 Challenge” took place on Wednesday, Nov. 27, and Sunday, Dec. 1, which are two of the busiest travel days of the year. In support of the More Cops, More Stops campaign, there was a significant increase in troopers assigned to I-40, ticketing or arresting offenders caught speeding, driving while impaired, failing to wear seatbelts and other traffic violations. Law enforcement agencies from the eight states, which included North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, teamed up for the initiative to push for a zero fatality rate along the 2,555 miles of I-40 over the Thanksgiving travel period.

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The N.C. Department of Transportation and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program has announced that 3,666 drivers and passengers were cited for seat belt and child passenger safety violations during the Thanksgiving “Click It or Ticket” campaign held Nov. 25 through Dec. 1.

“North Carolina has made tremendous strides in the past 20 years when it comes to seat belt usage,” said Don Nail, director of GHSP. “However, as long as law enforcement officers are issuing seat belt citations, we have work to do.”

To catch those who drove without buckling up, state and local law enforcement officers manned more than 6,200 checkpoints and stepped-up patrols.

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Duke Energy has approved the funding of seven riparian (streamside) habitat enhancement projects in the watersheds and tailwaters of its Nantahala area hydroelectric projects.

Grant funds total $109,057 and matching and in-kind funds for the projects total $406,873.62.

Duke Energy established the Riparian Habitat Enhancement Fund as a commitment in the Tuckasegee Cooperative Stakeholder Team and Nantahala Cooperative Stakeholder Team Settlement Agreements, which were made during relicensing the company’s Nantahala area hydroelectric projects.

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North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory announced the appointments to his Task Force on Safer Schools last week with Sheriff Robbie Holland being one of the few representatives from the western part of the state. Members range from students and teachers to elected officials, lawyers and law enforcement from across North Carolina.

“I consider it an honor for the governor to select me to represent law enforcement for the far west and the people I proudly serve,” said Holland. “My top priority has always been to protect our most vulnerable citizens and I will take the governor's appointment seriously and look forward to being a voice for my community striving to make positive improvements in keeping our kids safer.”

The task force will provide guidance to the Center for Safer Schools and consider future policy and legislative action that is needed to improve school safety in North Carolina.

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