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Thursday, July 14, 2011 | 50¢ Fund may help hold off foreclosures Storm brings down trees Homeowners could be eligible for up to $36,000 BY EMILY FORD nathan hardin/SALISBURY POSt Firefighters make sure all is clear at a Rockwell house where Wednesday’s storm blew down a tree. No one at Rockwell home when limbs crash into roof ROCKWELL — A tree that collapsed on a home Wednesday evening smashed a large part of the structure. According to a Rockwell Fire Department official, the homeowners were traveling home from a Las Vegas vacation at the time of collapse. No one was in the house at 13117 Megan Drive. Next door neighbor Michelle Walter said she walked outside to get her floats from the pool. “It was just a big boom,” Walter said. “That’s bad to go off and come back to see something like this.” The falling tree crushed the rear half of the house and the adjoining carport. According to bystanders, the family has been made aware of the incident. They are expected to return today. The storm was also blamed for a transformer that blew out in downtown China Grove on Main Street and caught a tree limb on fire. No injuries were immediately reported. the back of the house and carport suffered the worst damage. SALISBURY — People in danger of losing their home to foreclosure may qualify for a government program that offers up to $36,000 to help pay a mortgage. “It’s a wonderful program,” said Lou Adkins, a housing counselor with the Salisbury Community Development Corp. “It’s saved a lot of people’s homes.” The N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund offers help to North Carolina homeowners who are struggling to make their mortgage payments due to job loss or other temporary financial hardship, such as the death of a loved one, divorce or serious illness. The fund is offered by the N.C. Housing Finance Agency, a self-supporting state agency, and paid for through the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Hardest Hit Fund. Services are provided by participating HUD-approved counseling agencies statewide, such as the Salisbury CDC. In her office on West Bank Street, Adkins uses the fund’s Mortgage Payment Program to help people keep their homes. The program provides zero-interest loans of up $36,000 over 36 months. “The good thing about this loan is it’s not just for unemployed people,” she said. Foreclosures have been on the rise in Rowan County since 2003, when Pillowtex closed. The county had 915 foreclosures last year, 101 more than the year before. Already in 2011, Rowan has had 425 foreclosures. But starting this month, new federal regulations on lenders have slowed the foreclosure rate, said Jeff Barger, Rowan County clerk of court. Substitute trustees overseeing foreclosures have been asking courts to postpone hearings because lenders are slow to provide affidavits of default, which have to meet tougher standards, Barger said. See LOANS, 3A Author John Hart draws crowd for signing Fans started filling the narrow aisles of the downtown bookstore a full hour before the 7 p.m. start of the signing. They enjoyed complimentary food and drinks, and bought one (or more) copies of “Iron House.” “I’ve read every one of ’em,” said Barbara Upright of Salisbury. BY HUGH FISHER She held two copies of the new novel as she waited for Hart to take his seat and start autographing. SALISBURY — Fans of author John Upright said she’s heard him previHart filled Literary Bookpost on Wednes- ously, when he spoke to her book club day evening for the first signing of his earlier this year. new book, “Iron House.” She was one of many who wanted to The book was released this week. be among the first to buy his latest work. Local connection, thrilling style bring out the fans hugh fisher/FOR the SALISBURY POSt Diane Peoples poses for a photo with author John hart at Literary Bookpost on Wednesday. 6 vetoes, 6 overrides [|xbIAHD y0 0 1rzu mittee chairman. The bills, which passed during the Legislature’s primary work session this year, won’t become law unless the House also agrees to override the vetoes. The House met briefly Wednesday but won’t take any override votes until July 25. Those votes likely will be close because Republicans need a handful of Democrats to join them to succeed. The overrides began a two-week work session in which House and Senate members planned to finalize new boundaries of General Assembly districts and those for the U.S. House delegation. Redistricting committee meetings will begin in earnest July 21. Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rock- Today’s forecast 88º/65º Partly cloudy Weather 12B Deaths ingham, said several of the overridden bills were designed to help create a healthy business environment and GOV. BEV PERDUE reduce government red tape and rules. “We passed jobs legislation, and then the governor vetoes a number of them,” Berger said. In a statement, Perdue said the Senate “made the wrong choices for North Carolina — six times over,” but remained “hopeful that the House will take Gladys M. Barfield Billy L. Cohen Kathleen W. Menscer Audrey S. Rigdon See HART, 6A Steen says transition with redistricting won’t be hard House also will have to go over Perdue’s head to make bills law RALEIGH (AP) — The Republicanled Senate made quick work Wednesday of Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue’s vetoes by overriding all six returned to the chamber since the General Assembly last left town, including medical malpractice litigation changes and a bill targeting the state’s largest teacher lobbying group. The outcomes of the Senate votes were expected during a General Assembly meeting that wrapped up within an hour. The Republicans have a veto-proof majority in the chamber as long as their caucus stays in line, which it did Wednesday. “No surprises,” said Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, the Senate Rules Com- Deal Safrit of Literary Bookpost said he had sold about 400 copies so far. Not only were customers standing in line for the privilege of getting a signed copy, but Sheila Brownlow said Hart had agreed to sign pre-ordered copies for other customers. “He’s so gracious,” Brownlow said. After waiting patiently for the line to snake through the bookstacks, customers got to shake Hart’s hand, snap a picture or two and tell him their love of his work. Hart, who grew up in Salisbury, may See VETOES, 2A George H. Ballard Dewey K. Earnhardt Ben A. Garvin Reba K. Stuard BY KARISSA MINN SALISBURY — N.C. Rep. Fred Steen said he is disappointed he would lose some of Rowan County in the state’s redistricting proposal but looks forward to representing part of Cabarrus. “I hope the folks in Cabarrus County will trust me, and we can take care of their wants, needs and concerns as we have in the eastern and southern parts of Rowan County for the last six or eight years,” Steen said. “I’d like to Emma H. Bishop John P. Stutts Sr. Sandra Weygandt Contents Bridge Classifieds Comics Deaths be able to get down there, meet some folks, let them know who I am and (let them) pose questions.” Steen said the transition won’t be hard for him personally. The former chair of the Cabarrus-Rowan MPO and Cabarrus business owner has had ties to the county for many years. “You’ve just got to become more versatile and more open,” he said. Steen, a Republican, would pick up a large northeastern See STEEN, 3A 11B 5B 10B 5A Horoscope Opinion Sports Television 11B 4A 1C 10D


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