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On an average Burke County pays over $15,000 per year for this service. This service will be increased by State Radio Communications to $.44 per telephone and wireless communication connection in July of 2105. This will be an increase of over $750 per year.

•Other fees associated with State Radio Communications include: LETS System $480.00 a year; Reverse 911 (Everbridge which is associated with Land Lines cost approximately $650 per year. Ping4Alerts which is associated with Wireless Lines cost is approximately $65 per year).

• Bullberry Mapping: This mapping information consists of every current location with a landline connection and provides the most updated information such as name, phone number, address, Ambulance, Fire, Law, directions, etc.
This information is immediately available to State Radio Communications and Burke Counties Emergency Response personnel. This information is updated daily. (Burke County also maintains it’s own separate 911 data base).

• NCACO Wireless fees for wireless communication connections, averages over $9600 per year.

• 911 telephone trunking charges for Reservation Telephone, Midstate Telephone and Northwest Communications Cooperative, averages over $4500 a year.
(This allows 911 calls to be diected the proper P.A.S.P).

•Address Signage: Burke County has addressed approximately 65 locations per year for the last several years in an effort to provide residents, individuals and businesses the ability to navigate their travels through-out Burke County. The estimated cost is approximately $6500 per year;

• E Dispatch: utilized for paging Emergency Response Personnel via their personal cell phones. Currently Burke County has two of these systems, one located in Powers Lake and the other in Bowbells.

Powers Lake has to have its own system due to the distance between the Burke County tower, the terrain and location of Powers Lake itself.

The cost of this paging system averages over $3600 a year. This system is quite effective in notifying and quick response by volunteers to emergency calls.

• Other 911 departmental costs include 911 Coordinator Salary of $3135 per year, travel and telephone expenses of $1500 per year.

•Burke County 911 is responsible for updating information from the Tele-communication companies, assigning new address locations for residences, businesses, agricultural sites and oil field locations.

Burke County 911 assists with maintaining, programming, installation and trouble-shooting of communications and paging equipment within Burke County and the emergency response agencies.

Burke County’s intent is to explain what services are available and the projected costs of these services to the residents of Burke County.

The increase cost of these services are on the rise and with the current 9-1-1 Emergency Telephone Excise Tax being at $1.00 per month per Communication connection, this can affect the services Burke County 911 offers to its residents and the Volunteer Emergency Response Agencies supporting the communities and Burke County.

Therefore, the increase to $1.50 would ensure that Burke County continues to be able to provide all these necessary services.


Computers and the World Wide Web make our lives easier in many ways.

For instance, I can pay bills without having to find an envelope, track down a stamp, write a check, stuff the envelope, lick the envelope (tasty), walk all the way to the end of the driveway, put the envelope in the mail box, raise the little flag, and walk all the way back to the house (it’s uphill).

That entire exhausting rigmarole takes an excruciating three minutes. Three and a half if I step in something unsavory on my way to or from the mailbox or get chased by the neighbor kid (he’s odd).

Oh no, none of that nonsense for me thank you very much.
I’ll just flip open my laptop lid, realize the battery is dead, track down the cord, plug it in, wait for it to start up, find out the internet service isn’t working, reset the modem, try and find the 241 digit security code to reconnect to the modem, log onto the internet, curse at a few hundred popups, find the bill pay website, forget bill pay website username and password, answer 38 security questions to prove to me that I’m me, wait for email to reset password, reset password, login to bill pay site, attempt to login to bill pay site, login in after 17 failed attempts, and pay the bill.

That entire effortless convenience of modern technology takes a mere six hours. Six and a half if I have to call the police on the neighbor kid.

Since the smartphoneectomy I underwent over a month ago, I’ve started to appreciate the joys of past inconveniences.
I have a cell phone but it’s only good for calling and texting. Remember those dusty old relics?

If you see me sitting and poking around on my phone nowadays you can rest assured that I’m not looking up fun facts on Google, I just don’t want to talk to you.
It’s not true…we can’t all be friends…no matter what Facebook says.

In class the other day I was chit chatting with my students about Facebook friends, because chit chatting is my job and the only thing my students and I have in common is access to and knowledge of Facebook.

Through some intellectual fact gathering and statistical analysis we came to the conclusion that 400 Facebook friends is roughly equivalent to half an actual friend.

Some bored (or boring) statistician determined that over the past 10 to 15 years the average American has went from having three good friends to 1.5 good friends. We have all lost a friend-and-a-half somewhere along the way since the turn of the century. Either that or we still have three friends but they only like us half as much.

Is the half a friend a wee friend on the short side of tall or a friend who likes you half the time?
The bored (or boring) statistician didn’t clarify those points as they generally aren’t much interested in things of interest.

Can your 1.5 friends take turns being the half a friend?
“He borrowed my favorite sweater and stretched the neck hole out with his oversized head…I get to be the half friend for a few weeks.”

“Oh, okay I’ll be the full friend…but only for a few weeks…he still hasn’t replaced the bag of pixy stix and wax lips he took from my pantry when he babysat my cat last weekend.”
I’d like to think I have several full friends.

I like to think a lot of things.
Who’s your half friend?

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