Parade marks 42 years since troops left Vietnam Disneys The Aristocats Kids

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The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, in conjunction with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, will debut a new emissions exemption pertaining to the North Carolina Inspection and Maintenance program on Wednesday, April 1.

In accordance with House Bill 585, the new state implementation will allow vehicles that are produced within three years of the current year and have less than 70,000 miles on the odometer, an exemption from obtaining an emissions inspection.

“Our most recent research showed that North Carolina could exempt newer vehicles from emissions tests without making our air unhealthy to breathe,” NCDENR Division of Air Quality Director Sheila Holman said.

A vehicles age is determined by its model year, which is prominently displayed on the owner’s valid registration and the automobile emissions control label located in the engine compartment. All vehicles are still subject to the annual safety inspection.

North Carolina middle and high school students can help fight prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths by entering a video contest sponsored by Attorney General Roy Cooper and the NC Department of Justice.

“For most teens, finding prescription drugs to abuse is as simple as opening up the medicine cabinet,” Cooper said. “When used incorrectly or mixed with alcohol or other drugs, just one pill can kill, and it’s critical that young people help us get this message out to their friends and classmates.”

Cooper visited Davis Drive Middle School in Cary to kick off the Stop Rx Abuse contest, which is open to all North Carolina students in grades 6 through 12. This is the fourth year Cooper has sponsored the contest and the first year it has been open to middle school students.

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Remember when fun-filled hours of play had absolutely nothing to do with technology? When your grandpa could fashion a toy with his whittling knife in an afternoon?

Great Smoky Mountains National Park seasonal ranger Mike Meldrum not only remembers these simpler times, he's taking steps to guarantee at least a few of these traditions continue to thrive in the Smokies.

“We here in the park knew Mike’s toys were special,” said Steve Kemp, Great Smoky Mountains Association's interpretive products and services director. “Now, having earned a national first-place award, everyone knows.”

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Great Smoky Mountains Association invites its members and those considering an enriched national park experience to “Branch Out” and go hiking with a naturalist in March.

“Big Creek Hike” with Liz Domingue of Just Get Outdoors is set for Saturday, March 21, on the North Carolina side of the park, just north of Cataloochee Valley. Participants will enjoy learning about nature on this four-mile, round-trip hike to Mouse Creek Falls and Midnight Hole. Since the weather may still be cold in the Smokies, participants are asked to prepare with layers and appropriate outerwear. The hike is limited to 20 participants.

Domingue is a professional naturalist, educator, nature photographer, writer and guide with extensive experience hiking, backpacking, photographing and studying the natural world. Her interest in and study of natural history has been her lifelong pursuit and passion. As the originator and operator of Just Get Outdoors, she leads guided interpretive hikes and Naturalist Adventure Tours regionally and throughout the U.S.

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