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It’s Empty Stocking Fund Time!

It’s Empty Stocking Fund Time!

The firm is again this year supporting the Empty Stocking Fund. The Dispatch coordinates this annual program that provides Christmas gifts for teens (ages 13-16) who do not qualify under many other gift programs and whose families cannot afford to buy presents. If you would like to contribute, please send checks made payable to “Empty Stocking Fund” to The Dispatch, Empty Stocking Fund, P.O. Box 908, Lexington, NC 27293. Donations can also be delivered to The Dispatch at 30 E. First Avenue in...
Holiday Safety Tips

Holiday Safety Tips

We are well into the peak holiday season, with Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas and New Year’s ahead. While for most people this is a joyous and fun time of year filled with family, friends and celebration, it can also be a time for a little caution. Here are some holiday safety tips from our team. Safety on the Road and Traveling Driving during holiday periods can be more dangerous than normal. Drivers may be in a hurry or be distracted, or there may be ice and snow on the roads. The NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) compiles crash statistics on North Carolina’s roads. In 2016 (the latest available data), there were 25,273 crashes reported, with 1,114 happening over the 3-day Christmas holiday period (12/23/16 through 12/25/16); there were 10 deaths statewide; 40% of those deaths were alcohol related. Staying safe: Avoid distracted driving. Put the mobile device(s) away and drive defensively. Leave plenty of stopping distance and watch the cars around you. Always be aware of your surroundings. Always use a designated driver. If you are by yourself, call a sober friend, a cab or ride service to get home. Wear your seatbelt, even on short trips. You cannot control what other drivers do, and may be involved in a crash that isn’t your fault. Seatbelts do save lives. Secure children in approved, properly installed car seats. Your local law enforcement agency will help you verify the seat is secure if you are not sure. Have a safety check done on your car before you travel (ask them to check the spare tire, too), and make sure you...
Are You Ready to Take on a Real Estate Redevelopment Project?

Are You Ready to Take on a Real Estate Redevelopment Project?

There have been a lot of changes over the past 50 years, both in the types of jobs Americans have and where and how they live. Many of these changes have left historic buildings vacant. Many small cities and towns have been hit especially hard, with industry moving out of the area (or out of the country). Have you ever looked at one of the old buildings – perhaps an old Mill – and thought, “I’d love to buy that building and renovate it…”? Redeveloping a historic property may not be as far out of reach as you think. There are federal, state and local incentives and grants available to those interested in rehabilitating historic properties. Programs exist through the federal government and the state of North Carolina to help turn these old buildings into income producing properties, for example, apartments, office space, or retail; homeowner credits are also available in NC for rehabilitating old homes. Our area is currently seeing the beginnings of activity for redevelopment projects, including plans for an apartment building at the old Thomasville Furniture Industries plant and changes at the Depot District. Larger projects may be best tackled through public/private partnerships with a goal of long-term economic development. Here are some resources you may find of value if you’re considering rehabilitating a historic property: Uptown Lexington, Inc. coordinates a façade improvement grant program. Learn more at: http://uptownlexingtonnc.com/facade-grant-application/. The State of North Carolina Historic Preservation Office manages a new historic preservation tax credit program that took effect 1/1/2016 and runs through 1/1/2020. Learn more at: http://www.hpo.ncdcr.gov/ The National Park Services offers up to a 20%...
Sportsmen’s Saturday Coming Soon!

Sportsmen’s Saturday Coming Soon!

Wake Forest Baptist Health Lexington Medical Center Foundation presents Sportsmen’s Saturday, an annual fundraiser to benefit the Medical Center. Richard Childress is the Honorary Chairman for the 2016 event, scheduled for October 29 at the Lexington Historic Southern Railway Freight Depot at 129 S. Railroad Street in Lexington. Just 2,000 tickets are available (ticket price is $100) for this event and those who order before September 12 are eligible for an early bird cash prize drawing. The event features food, beverages, entertainment and a live auction. There are over $100,000 in prizes, including a 2016 Chevy Silverado 4×4, a 2016 Harley Davidson Low Rider, a Field and Stream 12′ Fishing Kayak Package, and much more. Learn more or purchase tickets. Brinkley Walser Stoner is a proud supporter of Sportsmen’s Saturday! See the Sportsman’s Saturday informational flyer 2016. Shown above: the 2015 grand prize winners on their new 2016 pontoon...
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....