Summer Safety Tips

Summer Safety Tips

Summer is here and many people will be heading out on vacation or just spending more time outdoors enjoying the great weather. Unfortunately, the statistics show that certain types of accidents and injuries increase during the summer months. So what can you do to keep yourself and your family safe? The best thing you can do is be aware of the risks. Get out there and have fun—but give some thought to possible issues and prepare ahead of time. Here are a few thoughts: Safety At Home The kids are out of school, it’s light outside later at night, and the water is inviting. One of the most important safety tips we can provide is the reminder that heat can be dangerous, especially for the very young, elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Know the warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and how to treat it and always remember to consume plenty of non-alcoholic drinks to stay properly hydrated. Check out the American Red Cross website at www.redcross.org to learn more. Water safety is also important. Whether you are swimming in a pool, river or lake, swim with a buddy. Use life jackets for kids and adults who don’t know how to swim. Also consider signing up for swim lessons at your local community pool or YMCA. If you are going boating or out on a personal watercraft, know the rules and follow them. Remember that in North Carolina, it is against the law to operate a boat while drunk. Auto accidents are another risk during the summer months. There are more motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians...
Back to School Thoughts

Back to School Thoughts

It’s time for area school children to head back to the classroom. For most children it’s exciting; for others, stressful. For many parents, there’s a sense of relief that the regular routine is back on schedule! Brinkley Walser Stoner has been heavily involved with the local schools for many years, both representing several school districts and supporting numerous charitable organizations in their efforts to help schools and children. Most of our attorneys and staff have (or had) children who attended these same schools. We’d like to share our thoughts as another school year begins: We encourage parents to get involved with their child’s school through the local parent teacher organization, by volunteering at school and by attending school events with your child. This provides needed help to the school; you are also telling your child through your actions that school is important. Watch for news and information the school sends home with your child so you know what’s going on. Talk with your child about the school’s policies on bullying, weapons, use of technology, or other important topics that may be addressed. Grandparents and other adults may find satisfaction in acting as mentors through an organization like Communities in Schools or Junior Achievement. If you can afford to do so, donate to groups that help at-risk children or those whose parents cannot afford school supplies, backpacks and clothes. Support our teachers. According to a recent survey by the National Education Association, teacher salaries in North Carolina rank toward the bottom in the U.S. Many teachers work long hours and some even pay for school supplies from their own pockets....
Big Toy Day is Coming! 5 Reasons You Should Support this Event

Big Toy Day is Coming! 5 Reasons You Should Support this Event

Lexington, NC – Since 2010, Communities in Schools (CIS) of Lexington/Davidson County has called on the public to support its annual Big Toy Day celebration. Local businesses and public agencies with fire trucks, helicopters, boats, race cars and more put their “big toys” on display for the kids (and adults who are kids at heart) to come out and see them. CIS brings carnival games, a bounce house, fun activities and food to make this a fun, affordable day for area families. Brinkley Walser Stoner is a big supporter of Communities in Schools and Big Toy Day. Here’s why you should be, too: Big Toy Day is a great way to bring the community together for a good cause. CIS helps students in 24 schools within the Lexington City and Davidson County school systems, providing mentors for at-risk students, purchasing school supplies and directing students and their families to available resources. Monies collected from Big Toy Day stay in our community to support the CIS mission. Communities in Schools is the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization. Admission to Big Toy Day is free for children 10 and under and just $5 a person for everyone else. The only meals some Davidson County children receive are school breakfast and lunches. CIS runs a food backpack program, providing children in need with food supplies to carry them through the weekend. Studies have shown that children who are hungry are more susceptible to illness and less likely to do well in school. CIS gets results. At risk students are referred to CIS by school administrators. For the 2013-14 school year, 77% of...
Free Home Buyers Seminar April 28

Free Home Buyers Seminar April 28

Attorney Gary Bowers will be presenting a free home buyers seminar 4/28 from 7 – 9 pm at the J. Smith Young YMCA located at 119 West 3rd Avenue, Lexington, NC. The event is sponsored by Lexington/Davidson County Assoc of Realtors and Homeowners Mortgage of Lexington, NC. It is open to the public but reservations are requested. Please call (336) 249-1742 to RSVP. Gary will discuss the steps required when you buy a home, from entering an offer to purchase through closing on the...
Tips to Avoid Identity Theft and Scams

Tips to Avoid Identity Theft and Scams

It seems every week we hear about another data breach or scam impacting consumers. From huge data breaches (Home Depot, TurboTax) to phone or email scams targeting seniors or specific groups, everyone needs to be aware of potential issues. While it’s not possible to avoid all the risks associated with identity theft and scams, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself. You are entitled to request a free copy of your credit report annually. Do this and review the report carefully to ensure it is accurate. If you are impacted by a large-scale data breach, sign up for the free credit monitoring services offered by the company. These services are generally offered for one year after the data breach. Do not give your Social Security number, credit card information, or other personal data over the phone if someone has called you and their identity is not confirmed. If you are not sure who is really calling, look up the main number for the business yourself and ask to be connected to the appropriate party. The IRS will never call you on the phone asking for personal information or for you to make a payment over the phone. If you receive such a call, hang up. Shred all personal documents using a cross-shredder before you discard them. Many communities have shred events sponsored by the police department where you can watch the documents while they are destroyed. If someone emails, calls or shows up at your door selling products or services, be skeptical of the offer. Don’t agree to anything before checking the company out through the...
North Carolina Says eNOugh | Domestic Violence Awareness

North Carolina Says eNOugh | Domestic Violence Awareness

Domestic violence is a worldwide problem that crosses racial, age and socio-economic barriers. North Carolina began their “eNOugh” campaign in 2012 to bring awareness to the problem of domestic violence. Statistics from eNOugh’s website report 1 in 4 women experience violence at the hands of an intimate partner. It’s not just women who experience abuse by an intimate partner; an estimated 15% of cases involve men. The impact goes further than the individuals involved. Nationally, estimates show employers lose $5 billion a year due to intimate partner violence; and domestic violence is the number one cause of homelessness for women and children. The NC Department of Justice reported 108 murders in 2013 classified as domestic violence, with Guilford and Mecklenburg Counties leading the way. Entire families and communities are impacted by this violence. Signs of Abuse Physical abuse may not happen at the beginning of a relationship, but there are often signs that an individual may have a “battering personality.” These can include jealousy, controlling behavior, placing blame on others, pushing you to move too quickly in a relationship, breaking objects, or abusing animals and children (lacking empathy). Verbal abuse is another sign, including verbal put-downs or embarrassing you in public. Abusers want to control your life, and may interfere with relationships between you and your family or friends, refuse to allow you to work or go out by yourself, threaten you or your loved ones, or even threaten to commit suicide. A great resource with additional information is The National Domestic Violence Hotline™ (www.thehotline.org or 1-800-799-SAFE). Teens & Children When children are raised in an environment where domestic...