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Officer Norway’s Corner – New year gets off to a good start

By SRO Kjell Michelsen

As I write this, we have been enjoying some much warmer weather than usual, and as you read this, we are back to more seasonal temperatures. I truly enjoyed those warm weather days. People often ask, “Growing up in Norway, I bet you miss those long, cold winters with a lot of snow?” My answer, no, I don’t. Maybe when I was younger, I did, but not anymore, I take a 65-degree day with sunshine over a 25-degree day with snow and ice.

In my birth country, up in Northern Norway, a few hundred miles above the Arctic Circle, the days are slowly but surely getting a little longer. Although they can’t see the sun just yet, there’s a promise of more prolonged and with time warmer days as the light towards the south gets a little brighter every day. With days giving away the darkness to more daylight hours, it also opens up the snowmobile season. People will drive up into the mountains on their snowmobiles, many to ice fish on frozen lakes, or go to their mountain cabins for the weekend.

Back here in Erwin, students are settled into a new semester with new classes and challenges. The basketball season is well underway, and various clubs have started to become a little more active in the weeks after the Christmas break. In our high school SADD club, we have been planning for another entry into a nationwide video contest arranged by SADD and the National Road Safety Foundation. This year’s theme for the video competition has been titled “The Merge.” Our task will be to come up with ideas for drivers, especially teenage drivers, in how to safely manage the task of merging into traffic.

Another upcoming event we are planning on is Prom Promise. Many students don’t realize it this early in the year, but prom season will be arriving sooner than many expect, especially the planning portion of it. Again, our school is partnering up with HOSA, our Future Health Professionals, Erwin Police Department, fire and EMS, Wings, State Farm, SADD, and others. The task at hand is to plan for our now yearly mock-crash event to be held for our senior class. We are very fortunate that we have so many people from all these groups and departments. All of them have a desire to educate our students about the dangers of driving distracted, under the influence, or not using their seatbelts.

We are off to a good start for the new year, and I am genuinely looking forward to working with our students and faculty to make it yet another great year. Until next time, have fun, be safe, and do what needs to be done.