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 In the News, November 27, 2017 

City of New Bern changing way dispatchers respond to 911 calls

The city of New Bern is changing the way dispatchers respond to 911 calls as part of a new emergency medical dispatch program. The program, which started a month ago, trains dispatchers to help before medics reach the patient. “EMD dispatchers are the first first responders now,” said Sam Shulaw, an EMD dispatcher for the New Bern Police Department. He changes the lives of others one phone call at a time. “This is a whole new world,” said Shulaw. “It’s really helping people when seconds matter.” Instead of picking up and simply sending an ambulance like before, telecommunicators now answer questions, calm people down and walk callers through step-by-step instructions while EMS is en route.

Durham rolling out new bike sharing program

On Monday the City of Durham will roll out a new bike sharing program which allows people to get around town for as little as $1. LimeBike and Spin bikes will be popping up on Durham streets. The two bike share companies allow riders to rent bikes using mobile apps. The way it works is you scan a QR code from the bike using your phone, pay the fee, and then ride. A 30-minute trip costs $1 and the bikes can be picked up or dropped off anywhere the city allows bicycles.

Downtown Burlington celebrates wayfinding signs

Downtown Burlington celebrated completion of its wayfinding sign project with a ribbon-cutting Tuesday, Nov. 21.The ceremony, at Spring and Front streets, celebrated the installation of 19 pedestrian wayfinding signs throughout the municipal service district, nine large-scale signs on thoroughfares that direct traffic into downtown, and 15 parking signs at the entrance of city parking lots that have public parking spaces. “These signs actually have the wow factor,” Sen. Gunn said. “They really do look good, and this really does say a lot about how much effort is being put in on behalf of all the folks involved in the city. We greatly appreciate it. Rep. Steve Ross and I are fortunate enough to be in a position to have the opportunity to provide funds for folks in communities that we feel will put these to work for the betterment of their communities for years and years to come.”

Fountain receives $1M-plus for water infrastructure

A $385,000 Golden LEAF grant to overhaul aging water infrastructure adds to $1 million in funding Fountain has already gathered for improvements. The town received a $843,750 grant and $281,250 loan for the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality State Drinking Water Reserve. The project aims to invest $1.51 million in water and sewer infrastructure. After receiving grant application help from Farmville-based engineering firm McDavid Associates, officials said they managed to secure financial assistance while minimizing costs to the town.