The Independence Day holiday is close at hand and fireworks stands are preparing to open across the state.

The Independence Day holiday is close at hand and fireworks stands are preparing to open across the state.
Missouri Statute allows fireworks stands to open on June 20 of each year, but Kendall Terry, Carthage Fire Marshall, says that doesn't mean people can shoot the fireworks as soon as they get them.
"You can't start shooing fireworks in the city until June 30," Terry said. "City ordinance allows for shooting fireworks between June 30 and July 5."
The ordinance says fireworks may be discharged from 9 a.m.-11 p.m. June 30-July 3, then 9 a.m.-1 a.m. on July 4 and 5, and from 9 a.m.-11 p.m. on July 5.
Terry said he and the city's public works department were out Wednesday and today inspecting the three fireworks tents set up in the city limits.
More tents are set up on the edge of the city limits and those are inspected by state officials.
Terry said it's not as dry this year as it has been in past years, but that doesn't mean people shouldn't be careful about using fireworks.
"There's still a lot of danger, even when it's wet, with aerial displays landing on roofs and other dangers," Terry said. "People just need to watch what they're doing, and kids should be watched and attended at all times."
Terry asked that residents be respectful of their neighbors and remember the times when fireworks can be discharged.

Safety on the road
The Missouri State Highway Patrol encourages people who are planning to travel on the Independence Day holiday to be careful and remember the usual safety rules.
Many people will travel somewhere to enjoy the holiday weekend and appreciate the freedoms we enjoy in this country, the patrol said in a written release. Whether your plans will take place on land or on the water, Colonel Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, reminds Missouri’s travelers of the importance of safety during the upcoming July Fourth holiday.
The Patrol said in 2013, 19 people were killed and 618 injured in Missouri over the holiday in 1,349 traffic crashes. One person was killed or injured every 9.6 minutes. Troopers worked 358 crashes, in which 13 people died and 157 were injured during the 2013 July Fourth holiday. Troopers arrested 199 people for driving while intoxicated during last year's 102-hour holiday counting period.
The 2014 counting period for the July Fourth holiday will be from 6 p.m., Thursday, July 3, to 11:59 p.m., Sunday, July 6. This year's counting period will span 78 hours.
The Highway Patrol will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) over the July Fourth holiday weekend. All available officers will be patrolling Missouri’s roadways enforcing Missouri’s speed limit, seat belt, and alcohol laws, in addition to being available to assist motorists.
The Patrol said DWI checkpoints and saturation patrols will be conducted in different areas of the state as well.

Safety on the water
The Highway Patrol also reminds the public that the Fourth of July holiday is one of the busiest boating holidays of the year. In 2013, there were 19 boating crashes, which included 13 injuries and one fatality. Three people drowned during last year's July Fourth holiday. Two people drowned at Smithville Lake in Clay County; one person drowned at New Towne Lake in St. Charles County.
"I encourage every motorist and every watercraft operator to make safety a priority every time they are behind the wheel or at the helm. Insist that everyone in your vehicle is properly restrained in a seat belt or child restraint. Or, when you're boating, ensure that everyone in the vessel is wearing an approved life jacket," Replogle said. "Please be courteous whether operating a vehicle or a vessel. If your celebration includes alcohol, designate someone else to act as your sober chauffeur."