Our View: 1 whopping light bill, and guess who pays
Thumbs-up: to five first responders who went above the call of duty to save a life. Don Terry lives in a Lenoir area inaccessible to ambulances, but when the 60-year-old man began having chest pains, first responders used a fire department truck to gain access to the home — and then used old-fashioned human-power to revive him after a health incident on the way back. Well-done to Doug Berry, Travis Morrow, Waydell Bicking, Robert Reid and Mark Poteat for ingenuity and dedication above and beyond.
Thumbs-down: to a statewide registered voter turnout of 3.58 percent during the second primary election. The news was worse in Watauga, where only about 1.5 percent of registered voters went to the polls. No vote counts as much as when it is cast in a low-turnout election — but the majority of our votes, uncast, didn't count at all.
Thumbs-up: to a drop in crime. Statewide and countywide, latest reports indicate the overall crime rate is falling. For the state, the crime rate is at its lowest point since 1977. A decades-long investment in crime prevention, in addition to the dedicated work by our men and women in blue, black, brown and tan, is paying off. Sadly, prescription drug and other drug crimes continue to plague our state — North Carolina witnessed a 400 percent increase in illegal drug activity during a five-year period. The battle continues.