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 In the News, June 19, 2017 

Burlington to convert streetlights to LED

In an effort to be more energy efficient, Burlington has begun having streetlights across the city replaced with LED bulbs. Of the approximately 5,000 street lights in the city, around 700 have already been replaced by Duke Energy with LED bulbs, something the company has started doing when existing mercury vapor lights burn out, said Nolan Kirkman, Burlington’s director of development and technical services. Now, the city is working with Duke Energy to overhaul all streetlights in residential areas — roughly 2,800 — as well as 250 streetlights in Burlington’s downtown center. “The biggest advantage is there is lower energy usage,” Kirkman said. “That’s less energy Duke Energy has to produce. That’s less coal they have to burn.”

Troy works to rebrand with Bigfoot

Many small towns are looking at rebranding to draw in new residents, businesses and tourists. The small town of Troy — located near the Uwharrie National Forest and the county seat of Montgomery County — is really thinking outside of the box with the idea they are currently tossing around. They are thinking of creative ways to incorporate the legendary creature Bigfoot into the town via its tourism, promotional materials and in various festivals throughout the year. You read that right — Bigfoot. “We want to embrace the aspect of the Uwharries being centrally located,” said Johnson Bray, who is the town of Troy’s planning director. “We think of ourselves as the base camp to adventure and want to gear ourselves towards more physical activity.

City of Hendersonville announces "Trash Trout"

City stormwater staff, in partnership with non-profit organizations Asheville GreenWorks and Mountain True have installed a trash collection device on Mud Creek in an effort to reduce floating trash in Mud Creek. This project will offer opportunities for public education and outreach as well as generate public involvement in water quality and stormwater management. The device, named the "Trash Trout" was designed and built by the Asheville GreenWorks organization. Its purpose is to sit in a flowing waterway and collect floatables as they move downstream with the current. Similar devices have been successfully installed in other municipalities including Waycross.

New businesses breathing fresh life into downtown Smithfield

The Town of Smithfield has been working to recover from Hurricane Matthew since the storm rolled through North Carolina last fall. Businesses that have opened near downtown are breathing new life into historic parts of Smithfield. Four new businesses have opened in the last four months, and more are on the way. "I think this street right here, 3rd Street, is beginning to look like Salem Street in Apex," Jud Patterson said. "Where it's just cool shop after cool shop. And we are trying to add to that." Patterson is putting the final touches on The Oak City Collective, a business he's had for several years.