Thumbs up and down

Jul. 28, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

THUMBS UP: Marijuana find

It’s been a good week for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, with thanks to the assistance of the Air National Guard.

The Sheriff’s Office checked more than a dozen sites where they believed marijuana to be growing.

The operation netted nearly 60 grams of cannabis.

“It was a successful operation,” Lt. Bryan Allen told The Herald. “In the past, we have found anywhere from seven to 14 plants at a time. Last year, we didn’t locate anything. So to find anything, especially from the air and when it’s concealed, is decent.”

Allen notes that Air National Guard officers are trained to spot marijuana from the sky by its distinct color and can differentiate the plant from its surroundings in the forested areas.

Anytime drugs can be confiscated before they reach the streets — or the hands of children — is a positive for our county and its citizens.

THUMBS DOWN: Sanford bypass

It should come as no surprise that the Sanford bypass project has fallen behind schedule, especially considering the summer storms that have been routine this year.

Officials now say the completion date is Dec. 31 for the northern end of the U.S. 421 bypass. “It’s behind schedule by 20 percent,” said Lee County Resident Engineer Gary Phillips. “It was originally supposed to be open by Oct. 1, but that is not going to happen.”

Contracts are continuing to grade the land and construct the bridge, then exit ramps will need to be installed.

It’ll be late, but at least the completion of the long-anticipated bypass is within sight.

THUMBS UP: Dog park

For area dog owners, there is great news that the Lee County Board of Commissioners have given approval for an off-leash dog park at O.T. Sloan Park.

Commissioners, however, did not commit any funding for the project.

Now, it’s up to those dog lovers to step up to the plate and help out with the costs, which are estimated at $25,000. Already, a little more than $5,000 in donations have been collected.

Lee County Parks and Recreation is accepting donations of any kind. In addition, interested individuals can purchase a plaque for the park’s fence, a bench or waste disposal station, dog tags or a paw print that will be featured on a founding donor board at the park, according to P&R’s Lora Kelley. There also will be a fundraising event on Sept. 7 at O.T. Sloan Park.

People interested in donating or learning more about the park can contact Kelley at (919) 775-2107, ext. 202, or writing her at P.O. Box 1963, Sanford, N.C. 27331.