Fireworks heat lingers in Canton (short, free version)
Controversy lingers in Canton over a planned private fireworks show thwarted by police on July 3.
Although the fireworks were advertised on Facebook to be hosted at resident Mark Parham’s home near the football stadium on July 4, police reports indicate Mayor Mike Ray was directly involved.
According to an incident report filed at the Canton Police Department, Mark Parham told police “he was approached by the town mayor inquiring if he would do the fireworks show this year, which he agreed.”
The report also states that Ray and several businesses in town donated money to purchase the $1,800 worth of fireworks.
Last week, Ray said he personally sponsored a July 4 celebration with watermelons and entertainment, but said, "I did not have any fireworks scheduled and we didn’t advertise fireworks.”
The mayor did not immediately return a phone call seeking further comment.
Fireworks that leave the ground or spin are illegal in North Carolina, even bottle rockets. However, there is a permit process whereby fireworks displays can be legally discharged.
When Canton Police Chief Bryan Whitner learned of the fireworks stashed at a private residence, he said he was obligated to take action. Parham was extremely compliant in giving the fireworks up, Whitner said.
For the full story, see the Friday, July 13 issue of The Mountaineer or click here.