News Briefs: Week of Dec. 17-23

Posted 12/16/20

News briefs

Pittsboro named a top 10 safest city

Pittsboro was named the seventh safest city in North Carolina for 2020 by, a leading home security and safety advocacy website. …

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News Briefs: Week of Dec. 17-23

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Pittsboro named a top 10 safest city

Pittsboro was named the seventh safest city in North Carolina for 2020 by, a leading home security and safety advocacy website. Analysts from assessed data provided by the FBI Crime Report, Gun Violence Archive, U.S. Census Bureau, Insurance Journal and America Health Rankings to create its list of safest cities in North Carolina.

“Our team diligently identified the safest cities beyond just looking at crime rates,” analyst Antonio Lopez Jr. said. “We wanted to get the full picture and have our data extend beyond what people would originally look at for the safety of a city, especially in these tough economic times. We took a step further by looking at factors that measure socioeconomic, health and natural disaster safety in addition to public safety in this study.”

Cities were analyzed on public safety, financial safety, state-level natural disaster and health metrics.

The criteria for public safety include: property crime, violent crime aggravated assaults, hate crime and mass shootings. Criteria for financial and socioeconomic factors include: unemployment rate, cost of living, poverty rate, uninsured residents and internet access.

State-level natural disaster and health safety scoring factors involve calculating the state’s natural disaster risk and health score based on access to health insurance, air pollution ratings, number of drug deaths and number of mental health providers.

The full report and methodology can be found here:

— CN+R staff reports

Parents, caregivers can follow simple toy safety tips this holiday season

RALEIGH — Insurance Commissioner and Safe Kids NC Chair Mike Causey is urging parents and caregivers to keep children safe this holiday season by following some simple tips recommended by Safe Kids North Carolina.

Toy safety is particularly important this year. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many parents will be looking to find holiday gifts to keep their children and themselves entertained during the long winter looming ahead.

“There’s no greater joy than watching children open gifts and play with their toys during the holiday season but it’s very important to have a safe play environment with safe toys,” Causey said. “Make sure to choose age-appropriate toys and always supervise children while they’re playing.”

According to Safe Kids Worldwide, approximately 217,000 children are treated at hospital emergency rooms for toy-related injuries each year. Most toy-related injuries (97%) do not require hospitalization; however, in 2005, 20 children died due to toy-related injuries. Riding toys, such as tricycles and non-powered scooters, are the leading cause of toy-related injuries.

You can prevent toy-related injuries by following these safety tips:

• Be sure children play with toys that are age-appropriate. Read the warning labels before buying toys for children.

• Keep devices with coin-sized button batteries out of sight and out of reach. These batteries are a choking hazard when swallowed by children. Keep loose or spare batteries locked away.

• Look for well-made toys. Check toys regularly for damage that could create hazards. Repair or discard damaged toys immediately.

• Make sure that discarded toys are out of children’s reach.

• Supervise children while they play. Be aware of potential dangers like small parts, cords and strings, moving parts, electrical or battery-powered cords, or wheels.

• Do not allow riding toys near stairs, traffic or swimming pools.

• Teach children to put toys away after playing. Toys intended for younger children should be stored separately from those suitable for older children.

• Make sure toy chests are open (have no lid) or have safety hinges.

For more information, visit

— CN+R staff reports

New report shows impacts of poultry production in N.C.

Poultry rules the roost in North Carolina.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, poultry farming is now North Carolina’s No. 1 agricultural commodity, and with that rise to the top comes a rise in the problems it brings to communities. A new report, “Bird’s-Eye View: Impacts of NC Poultry Production on People and the Environment,” from the statewide environmental justice organization Clean Water for North Carolina, gathers research on the social, environmental and health impacts of NC’s poultry industry. Clean Water for NC would now like to hear from the communities directly affected by NC’s poultry farms and processing plants.

If you are a neighbor of one of these operations, a poultry farmer or plant employee, your personal experiences would help shed light on this issue and encourage others to come together to demand protective policies and better conditions for all who live near and work for this industry.

If you wish to contribute to this report, or are in need of support and interested in connecting with other poultry-impacted community members, Clean Water for North Carolina would like to hear from you. Confidential submissions are welcome.

If interested, please contact Clean Water for NC staff (email: or; call: (828) 252-1291), and let’s have a conversation. Read the full report online at

— CN+R staff reports


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