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Originally published: 2014-02-17 16:12:51
Last modified: 2014-02-17 16:12:51

Our View: Damage control

North Carolina has laws against price gouging -- that is, raising the prices of goods and services during and following catastrophic events, such as severe winter storms. Recent reports flooding N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper's office about towing companies jacking up more than vehicles following Winter Storm Pax has prompted a reminder from Cooper that consumers do not have to tolerate unfair towing fees. Some reports indicate that the price of towing increased from a typical $100 to more than $400 during and after the storm. If you think you are a victim of unfair towing or vehicle storage charges, visit

Blue Ridge Electric has jump-started a campaign to help families pay for electric and fuel costs during what has been an atypically cold winter season. "So No One Goes Cold" has been seeded with $100,000 from the cooperatives subsidiaries, but with the need at unprecedented levels, donations are called for. This effort is in addition to "Operation Round Up" and temporary rate reductions for January, February and March. You don't have to be a member of the cooperative to receive assistance. Contact Watauga Crisis Assistance Network at (828) 264-1237 to apply for funding.

North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall recently voiced concern about the lifting of the 80-year-old ban on the advertising of private offerings, as mandated by the federal JOBS Act. Lifting the ban could open the door to scams by unscrupulous promoters, Marshall said. Some of those scams involve private offerings, real estate, ponzi schemes, risky oil and gas drilling programs and digital currency. To see if an investment is registered with the state, visit