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Friday, September 3, 2010 | 50¢ PRIME MINISTER OF MAYBERRY Duke may retire coal units at Buck Putting in ‘scrubbers’ to reduce pollutants may prove too costly BY EMILY FORD Rather than installing equipment needed to meet new pollution controls, Duke Energy might close two coal-fired units at Buck Steam Station by 2015. The Buck plant is a four-unit coal-fired generating station located on the Yadkin River in Rowan County. In an annual planning document filed Wednesday with the N.C. Utilities Commission, Duke said it might shut down seven units in North and South Carolina as new federal environmental regulations go into effect over the next five years. Duke will face tougher limits on pollutants that form smog and acid rain. Refitting old coal-fired plants with sulfur-dioxide controls called “scrubbers” could prove to be cost-prohibitive. If the company determines it is not economically feasible to install scrubbers, Duke will retire the units, spokesperson Jason Walls said. Walls said he didn’t know when the company would make a final decision about closing the Buck units, but “now that it’s part of this planning document, we are moving in that direction,” he said. The units, 5 and 6, already were slated to close as part of an agreement where Duke received a state permit to build a new 825-megawatt unit in Rutherford County in exchange for retiring 800 megawatts of older units. But faced with upcoming emission control requirements, the company’s new strategy would hasten the retirement at Buck, Walls said. It is not clear how many jobs would be affected. “It’s too early to tell what type of employment changes would result,” he said. Duke is scheduled to open a new natural-gas fueled combustion turbine unit next year at Buck, which currently has three other gas-fired units. Displaced employees might find work at the new unit or at other plants, he said. “We could reallocate some jobs in our own company,” Walls said. Walls said he doesn’t know how many people work at Buck. The plant was Duke Energy’s first large capacity coal generating plant built in the Carolinas and was named for the company’s co-founder, James Buchanan “Buck” Duke. The Buck station has been in operation since 1926. The company is also considering shuttering units at the Riverbend plant in Gaston County and Lee plant in Anderson County, S.C. Contact Emily Ford at 704-797-4264. JON C. LAKEY/SALISBURY POST The Rev. Neal Brower holds up a letter jacket from the fictitious high school mentioned in ‘The Andy Griffith Show.’ Brower, a Methodist minister and expert on the show, recently moved Kannapolis to pastor Jackson Park United Methodist Church. Kannapolis pastor a longtime fan, scholar of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ K ANNAPOLIS — When the Rev. Neal Brower isn’t writing a sermon, leading a church service, visiting the hospital or counseling his congregation, he follows another calling. A Mayberry ministry. Brower, the new pastor at Jackson Park United Methodist Church, carries an encyclopedic knowledge of television’s “The Andy Griffith Show.” His lectures and writings have earned him the unofficial title of “Professor Brower” among show aficionados. During this month’s Mayberry Days in Mount Airy, he will again give a lecture at the Downtown MARK Cinema Theater. WINEKA About 25 times in eight different community colleges across the region, Brower has taught a 10-week, scholarly course on “The Andy Griffith Show” and how it relates to N.C. history, Southern culture, television writing and production. Brower points out signatures of cast members and others connected with ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ on a chair at his house. He wrote ‘Mayberry 101’ and taught community college classes on the show that first aired Oct. 3, 1960. But that’s not all. A dozen years ago, Brower wrote a book, “Mayberry 101,” which remains in print and has sold some 22,000 copies since its debut. He also put together successful Mayberry Reunions in 1990 in Charlotte and 1995 in Winston-Salem. The first one attracted 10 former cast ‘Copper ninjas’ members; the second, 20. This fall marks the 50th anniversary of the homespun comedy’s first episode, which aired on CBS Oct. 3, 1960. Characters such as Sheriff Andy Taylor, Deputy Barney Fife, Thieves hitting air conditioning units across Rowan, Southeast BY SHELLEY SMITH See MAYBERRY, 7A Don’t fall prey to unlicensed locksmiths’ ploys BY KARISSA MINN A network of unlicensed locksmiths fined by the state this week may not have operated in Rowan County, but one local locksmith said residents here still need to know how to spot a scam. Steve Stroud, president of Tarheel Safe and Lock in China Grove, said people should check with the N.C. Locksmith Board to see if a person is licensed before hiring him or her. “My concern is that the general public don’t understand that you have to be licensed to be a locksmith,” Stroud said. “They just assume that if he’s in the Yellow Pages, he’s a locksmith, and that’s not the case.” He said a Google search for Salisbury locksmiths turns up some listings with Rowan County addresses where Stroud says no locksmith businesses exist. [|xbIAHD y0 0 1rzu In an Aug. 31 press release, the office of N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper said Anna Konevsky and Tamir Avraham, both of Charlotte, operated a network of unlicensed locksmith businesses, including 704 Locksmith Inc., N.C. Charlotte Locksmith and Locksmith Services Inc. The two were fined more than $1 million and banned from offering locksmith services in the state. The attorney general’s office said the companies do not employ licensed locksmiths but have advertised and performed locksmith services anyway. They operated in several North Carolina counties, including Cabarrus under the name Concord Locksmith. None of the businesses named by the attorney general appear to have offered services in Rowan County. According to a Charlotte Observer article, the companies used out-of-state call centers and advertised on the Internet and in the Yellow Pages under local addresses. The Observer reported they often charged Today’s forecast 99º/63º Blistering hot again Deaths customers far more than their quoted rates — and in at least one case, threatened a customer with arrest if she wouldn’t pay double the original rate. Even if their prices and practices are fair, Stroud said, unlicensed locksmiths can cause damage by performing services they aren’t trained to do. “You might have a neighbor do your plumbing, but that don’t mean he’s going to do it right,” he said. Stroud said licensed locksmiths are required to go through 24 hours of continuing education and training every two years. “They try to make sure that when a locksmith comes to your door, he knows what he’s doing, and he’s from a reputable company that’s not going to rip you off,” he said. Capt. John Sifford with the Rowan Coun- Elsie Ellsworth John Ramsey Euart Jr. Charlie W. James Mary Poteat Cobb Authorities say the attempted theft of copper tubing Sunday from the roof of the future PetSmart store off Faith Road marked the second such crime in two weeks. And Salisbury’s deputy police chief said those thefts haven’t been isolated to Rowan County. “This appears to be a trend in the Southeast,” Deputy Chief Steve Whitley said. He noted Charlotte has a severe copper theft problem. Officers charged a Charlotte man who they found Sunday night on the PetSmart roof with $10,000 worth of copper tubing stripped from air-conditioning units, a police report said. The culprits from the earlier crime — at the Wallace Commons shopping center off Julian Road — got away. But investigators suspect they, too, came from outside Salisbury. “Typically, they’re not by local hoodlums, but people who roam,” Whitley said. Whitley said some “copper ninjas” maneuvered their way onto the rooftop of the Kohl’s department store at Wallace Commons sometime Aug. 14 or 15. Employees of the stores in the shopping center called owner Collett and Associates when they realized the stores felt warmer than they should. When the owners climbed onto the roof, they discovered someone had stripped the air-conditioning See LOCKSMITHS, 7A Fred A. Bowers Sr. Walter ‘Jr.’ Goodman Warren H. Lyerly Sr. Contents Bridge Classifieds Comics Crossword See COPPER, 2A 5B 1D 4B 4B Deaths Home & Garden Horoscope Opinion 5A 1B 5B 8A Second Front Sports Television Weather 4A 1C 5B 6B

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