Roses and raspberries, July 3

July 2, 2013 

Roses to local police and emergency personnel for their hard work during Sunday’s torrential rains.

The weather forecasters say we should get used to more storms and erratic weather. In truth, we know the drill: the creeks overflows their banks, the low-lying areas get flooded and the public safety and American Red Cross workers swoop in.

Sunday evening was tense outside Camelot Village, across from University Mall. It didn’t help when a group of young people tried to enter the flooded apartment complex for a look-see.

EMS workers called for police, and an officer in a squad car quickly pulled up alongside the raging Bolin Creek and ordered the gawkers to get. A local television crew and a Chapel Hill News photographer stood safely on the sidewalk across Estes Drive, away from the emergency vehicles.

For most, the headache is over except for the insurance claims, the cleaning up and the drying out.

But now that the worst of this storm is over, a suggestion before the next.

If we can prepare ahead of time for hurricanes and tornadoes, can we perhaps marshal an early response to flooding. We know the trouble spots. What if we cleared them out with the first drops?

Roses to Chatham County Sheriff’s Deputy Ronnie Miller, who has received the prestigious Medal of Valor from Sheriff Richard Webster for his actions on the Landrum Creek Bridge on Highway 902 earlier this year.

On April 26, Miller, along with other Chatham County deputies responded to a person sitting on the edge of the Landrum Creek Bridge preparing to jump. Miller began to speak with him about his situation, and the person told the officers to stay away or he would jump. When he expressed concern over the deputies’ weapons, Miller removed his gun belt to calm the subject.

Afterward, Miller slowly approached the subject and attempted to console him. He noticed that as additional emergency personnel arrived on scene, the person became agitated even more.

Miller decided that he needed to take immediate action to prevent the man from jumping. When he got close enough, he grabbed the man and pulled him from the rail. Other deputies immediately assisted and secured the person to prevent him from harming himself.

Webster commended all the officers but Miller was awarded the Medal of Valor because of the exceptional risk he took by grabbing the subject from the side of the bridge, putting himself in a life-threatening situation.

“Deputy Miller’s courageous act potentially saved the individual from death or serious bodily harm and his actions are the example for all law enforcement officers to emulate,” Webster says.

Roses from readers Lou and Diane Weinstein to Andre Jones, a Chapel Hill public works supervisor, for his prompt response to repairing their broken yard waste bucket.

“He returned our call within the day, asked pertinent questions, and had the fellow who collects our trash repair It on the spot in two days,” the Weinsteins write.

“Not only was Mr. Jones responsive to our need, but he has trained his people to fix these buckets without having to send out a special person at extra cost to the taxpayers. Congratulations for a job well done.”

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