A merry and safe Happy New Year to all Sports All-tourney R-S Central announces the 2009 Hilltoppers Holiday Classic All-Tournament team
Thursday, December 31, 2009, Forest City, N.C.
Courier to publish Friday The Daily Courier will publish and deliver a New Year’s Day edition on Friday. The newspaper’s offices will be closed Friday to allow employees to spend the holiday with their families. Normal publication and business hours will resume on Monday.
Smokers to butt out at eateries Jan. 2 By ALLISON FLYNN Daily Courier Staff Writer
FOREST CITY – Restaurants and bars across the state will have to give up their smoking sections cold turkey as of midnight Saturday. A statewide smoking ban becomes law Jan. 2, and as it is written, it prohibits smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places. There are some exceptions to the law — cigar bars will still be able to allow patrons to light up as long as smoke from the bar does not migrate into an enclosed area where smoking is prohibited. Designated smoking rooms in a lodging establishment as well as private clubs are also excluded from the law. Local restaurants have been working in the past several months to prepare for the change, including making customers aware they’ll no longer be able to enjoy an after-dinner smoke with their dessert. “We’ve been talking about it with our employees and our regular guests, so Photo illustration by Garrett Byers/The Daily Courier
Please see Smoking, Page 6
Donations flooding in
New laws effective on Friday
No. 9 Tar Heels battled Albany, Wednesday Page 7
By SCOTT BAUGHMAN Daily Courier Staff Writer
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INSIDE Classifieds . . . 14-17 Sports . . . . . . . . 7-9 County scene . . . . 6 Opinion . . . . . . . . 4 Vol. 41, No. 311
steady donations throughout the year.” The worsening economy doesn’t just mean people have less money to give. In some cases, it can mean people are more hesitant to donate. “The mail-in donations aren’t down as much as the employee campaigns,” Black said. “A lot of that has to do with the factories closing and then several of the other companies having big layoffs. When that happens, it not only affects the people who were laid off, but it makes the existing employees more reluctant to give because they’re uncertain of the future.” But other charities have seen their yearend fundraising efforts work out about the same as 2008. “We do have the normal donations,” said Lisa Hall who has worked at the Salvation Army Thrift Store for five
FOREST CITY — More than two dozen new laws go into effect for the state on Friday. And while some are administrative changes, a few will have an impact on the average citizen. The most notable change will be the statewide smoking ban in public places (see story above), but another new law will affect a high number of the public. A new law requiring handicap parking tags to have an expiration date visible from at least 20 feet away will be coming into effect and the new law will also require that the Department of Motor Vehicles issue a “Handicapped Placard Registration Card” for the owner of the placard. The card must also be issued to someone who is the operator of or a passenger in the vehicle where the placard is displayed. The state health plan will also receive some updates with changes going into effect focusing on smoking cessation and weight management. A new write-in candidate law will also require candidates in any primaries to sign a pledge that states, in part: “I pledge that if I am defeated in the primary, I will not run for the same office as a write‑in candidate in the next general election.” Another new law will prohibit a lawyer from being named as a beneficiary in a will they prepared. The statute will also require each lawyer handling the will to put their name on it. Job seekers looking for only part-time work will no longer be disqualified for unemployment insurance benefits and spouses who quit their job in order to move to a new location for their partner’s job will also not be disqualified for unem-
Please see Donations, Page 6
Please see Laws, Page 6
Debbie Scharf, a volunteer with the Hospice Resale Store in Forest City, sorts through clothing donations on Wednesday. Charities around the county were receiving many donations this week as givers look to get last minute tax write-offs.
Tax write-offs the goal; overall, donations down By SCOTT BAUGHMAN Daily Courier Staff Writer
FOREST CITY — Donors have been dropping off money, clothes, electronics and even a vehicle to local charities looking for last minute tax write-offs this week. To beat the IRS deadline of donating before the end of the year, some givers traditionally wait until the last minute. But this year, hard economic times have lead some local nonprofit groups to see less giving than usual. “Our donations are off, and I would say way off,” said Beverly Black, a campaign director who has worked with United Way for more than five years. “It is around 25 to 30 percent less than last year. In the last two years, people have seemed to wait until the last minute. Usually, in a good year, we see more
Two county department heads retiring By JEAN GORDON Daily Courier Staff Writer
RUTHERFORDTON —Two department head leaders in Rutherford County are retiring Jan. 1, County Manager John Condrey said Wednesday. Barry Davis, EMS director since March 7, 1988, and Barry Jones, director of Rutherford County Maintenance Department since Dec. 1, 1993, will spend their last day on the job Friday. Davis was instrumental in leading the Rutherford County EMS into the paramedic level of service in 1993. He was an early advocate for the location of satellite EMS stations in the county. Rutherford County has satellite locations in Lake
Now on the Web: www.thedigitalcourier.com
Lure and Bostic. The Henrietta site is in the planning stages. Most recently Davis strongly supported the county beginning the emergency medical dispatch, which started in 2007. “It is clear that Barry has been at the center of the county’s progress in the emergency services delivery arena,” Condrey said. Terry Ramsey, the senior paramedic crew chief, is the interim director until such time as a replacement is named. During Jones tenure, the county has built the addition on the courthouse, a 200-bed detention center addition, a new Senior Center and expansions of other county property, Condrey said.
The county also purchased the old J.C. Cowan building on U.S. 74A, and although the county is marketing the property, the county’s Maintenance Department is responsible for the upkeep of the 341,764-square-foot building. Jones was also responsible for a fleet of approximately 230 vehicles, and maintaining all the county’s 33 buildings with a total square footage of 673,764, including the former Cowan building. “People would be surprised the number of times Barry is called out after hours for heating, cooling and plumbing issues,” Condrey said. “Barry has a wealth of knowledge about buildings and machinSee Retirees, Page 6
Daily Courier, Forest City, NC, Thursday, December 31, 2009
Attorneys general sue to drop Nebraska deal
Sunshine, place to talk
By MEG KINNARD Associated Press Writer
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Republican attorneys general in 13 states say congressional leaders must remove Nebraska’s political deal from the federal health care reform bill or face legal action, according to a letter provided to The Associated Press Wednesday. “We believe this provision is constitutionally flawed,” South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster and the 12 other attorneys general wrote in the letter to be sent Wednesday night to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “As chief legal officers of our states we are contemplating a legal challenge to this provision and we ask you to take action to render this challenge unnecessary by striking that provision,” they wrote. In a rare Christmas Eve vote, Senate Democrats pushed sweeping health care legislation to the brink of Senate passage, crushing a yearend Republican filibuster against President Barack Obama’s call to Jean Gordon/Daily Corier remake the nation’s health care sysBailey Stanland, 6, (right) and Tianna Brown, 8, took advantage of warm temperatem. tures Tuesday afternoon to enjoy outdoor chatting and playing near their homes The 60-39 vote marked the third in Forest City. The girls attend school at Forest City-Dunbar and said they’ve time in as many days Democrats enjoyed being out of school. “But we have to go back,” Tianna said. School resumes posted a supermajority needed to Monday, Jan. 4, a day before Tianna’s 9th birthday. The weather is expected to get advance the legislation. colder this week with rain predicted to begin tonight. The letter was signed by top prosecutors in Alabama, Colorado,
Florida, Idaho, Michigan, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington state. All are Republicans, and McMaster and the attorneys general of Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania are running for governor in their respective states. Last week, McMaster said he was leading several other attorneys general in an inquiry into the constitutionality of the estimated $100 million deal he has dubbed the “Cornhusker Kickback.” Republican U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint of South Carolina raised questions about the legislation, which they said was amended to win Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson’s support. “Because this provision has serious implications for the country and the future of our nation’s legislative process, we urge you to take appropriate steps to protect the Constitution and the rights of the citizens of our nation,” the attorneys general wrote. A conference committee begins meeting next year to work out a compromise between House and Senate versions of the bill. Experts expect those talks will likely last into February. McMaster says if the bill goes through to final approval with the benefit to Nebraska, taxpayers in the other 49 states will have to pay for it.
Van incident creates tension on Times Square
With the holidays ending, now it’s time to decide what to do with that Christmas tree you brought in the house just a few scant weeks ago.
By COLLEEN LONG Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK — A white van without license plates parked in the heart of Times Square caused a security scare Wednesday that rattled New Yorkers and thousands of holiday tourists milling about amid preparations for the city’s massive New Year’s Eve celebration. Just weeks after a police-involved shooting in the area, the NYPD blocked off part of Times Square for about two hours starting at 11 a.m., calling in counterterrorism and bomb squads after officers noticed the 1992 Dodge van, which had a bogus law enforcement placard in the windshield, parked on Broadway between 41st and 42nd streets. Two high-rise buildings, home to Nasdaq and publishing company Conde Nast, were partially evacuated, but occupants were allowed back in around 1 p.m. Stephanie Gonzalez, who works in the glass-covered tower directly in front of where the van was parked, said announcements were made around 11 a.m. that people in the building should head to its west side, away from the vehicle. She left the building entirely. “Post-9/11, you’re just not going to stick around to figure it out,” she said. There were no corresponding terrorism threats involving the vehicle, said chief NYPD spokesman Paul J. Browne. No explosive devices were found in the van, and the area was reopened to traffic about two hours after patrol officers spotted the van. But police take extra care around New Year’s Eve when the celebration draws hundreds of thousands of revelers from around the world to the heart of Times Square to see the ball drop at midnight. Squads routinely patrol for suspicious vehicles and do sweeps in garages before the event. “Its presence in Times Square just before New Year’s Eve causes us concern, and that’s why we’re taking extra precautions,” Browne said. Hours after the scare, Mayor Michael Bloomberg stood outside the Nasdaq building, down the street from where the van had been parked, and declared the city safe for the New Year’s Eve festivities. “Somebody thought it was suspicious. They called. We checked it out. It turned out not to be anything bad,” he said. “We take every threat or every potential threat seriously.” Nasdaq said its trading was unaffected. Conde Nast was in the process of evacuating when the order was lifted. But the scene shook those who live and work nearby.
Courier file photo
Where, oh where will your tree go? By ALLISON FLYNN Daily Courier Staff Writer
FOREST CITY – The lights are coming down, the tinsel discarded. But if your tree won’t go back into a box for next Christmas, it can still have new life in a variety of ways. Residents of Spindale, Forest City and Rutherfordton can place their trees curbside to be picked up with their garbage. “Normally, we’d take out the chipper and chip them on site, but our bucket truck is not working right now,” said David Arrowood, public works director for the Town of Spindale. “We’re trying to pick them up on our normal route and they’ll probably end up going to the landfill.” Trees discarded in Rutherfordton and Forest City will be chipped, with Rutherfordton trees going into the compost pile and Forest City’s going into the mulch pile at the waste treatment plant. “People can come and get mulch free of charge if they load it themselves,” said Sandra Mayse, Forest City clerk. “If they
want it loaded there is a charge.” If you live in the county and don’t have curbside garbage pick up and want to throw your tree away, you can take it to the convenience center, said Rutherford County Solid Waste Director Don Baynard. “You can put it into the regular furniture bins at the convenience centers,” Baynard said. “They are brought here and separated and chopped up for mulch.” That mulch, he said, is used around the landfill. Baynard said there had been fewer live trees brought in in recent years. “I think more people are going with artificial trees,” he said. Live trees are 100 percent biodegradable, said Daniel Shires, an agriculture extension agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension. “They can be turned into mulch, of course,” Shires said, “but they can also be sunken into ponds for fish habitats or used as bird feeders. On the coast they are also used for dune stabilization.”
If you are looking to turn your tree into a fish habitat, the Web site www.motherearthnews.com said it’s easy – just toss it into the water. The Web site also said trees can provide lodging for other creatures besides fish. If you have a place to allow the tree to decompose, it can become home to insects, fungi, amphibians and reptiles. Or, you can keep it in a tree stand and place it outdoors as a bird sanctuary. If you can’t stand to see the tree with bare limbs, try redecorating it outdoors with bird food such as pine cones coated with peanut butter and bird seed, strings of popcorn, cranberries or raisins or hanging fruit slices. Branches from the tree can also be trimmed and placed over flower beds to protect them from frost heaving caused by freezing or thawing. And if you want to keep the trunk around through spring, it can be used to create homemade trellises or tomato stakes. Contact Flynn via e-mail at aflynn@ thedigitalcourier.com.
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Kerrie and Jill show off our President’s Award
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The Daily Courier, Forest City, NC, Thursday, December 31, 2009 — 3
After 37 years, suspects in NC Marine’s murder will finally face charges By KEVIN MAURER Associated Press Writer
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — William Miller’s final errand was supposed to be a good deed, helping his estranged wife with car trouble. The Marine sergeant left home one night in 1972 and within the hour was found dead on a rural road. Thirty-seven years later, three people face trial on murder charges for what prosecutors say was an ambush triggered by a love triangle around Miller’s wife and violence between Marine pals. The case remained unsolved until Miller’s sister contacted a newspaper reporter looking into cold cases and the resulting investigation elicited new information from a 1970s baby sitter. Miller’s ex-wife Vickie Babbitt, 58, is scheduled to go to trial in March on charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Also charged with murder and conspiracy are George Hayden, 57, who married Babbitt after Miller’s death and later became a small-town police chief, and Rodger Gill, 56, an ex-Marine who was friends with the others. “All these years I’ve been carrying on this crusade trying to get the cold case reopened. Everything fell into place. I just know we have divine help,” said Miller’s sister, Sharron Aguilar, 68, who with her husband owns an automotive air conditioning and restoration company in Houston, Texas. Lawyers for the three people charged either declined to comment or did not return calls. Trial dates for Hayden and Gill have not been set yet. All three are free on bond. Miller, Hayden and Gill were all friends in the Marines Corps. On September 16, 1972, court records say Miller got a call from his wife asking for help with car trouble. A month earlier, he had kicked
her out of their Jacksonville house after returning from a year’s service in Okinawa, Japan, to find George Hayden living with her. He beat up Hayden to get him to leave. When his wife of two years walked out with Hayden, they took the Millers’ 1-year-old daughter, Wendy. Miller borrowed a neighbor’s car for the late-night trip to help his estranged wife and took a .22-calibre pistol with him. He had told his sister days before that he felt threatened. Passing motorists found Miller’s body near Camp Lejeune less than an hour after he left home. He’d been shot twice. Prosecutors say Babbitt faked car trouble to lure Miller to a secluded stretch of rural road in Jacksonville. They say Hayden was waiting in a ditch with an M-16 rifle and shot Miller in the temple and back. He appears to have been surprised: When police found the car, its engine was running, the headlights were on and Miller’s pistol remained in the front seat, unfired. “I spoke with him for the last time when he called crying to say he found George living with Vickie. He stated George would not leave, so he beat the living hell out of George,” Miller’s sister Aguilar said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “George then threatened Bill stating ’I have an M-16.’ He told me he was getting a lawyer to divorce Vickie and fight for Wendy.” Aguilar said she always suspected Babbitt. When her brother died, Babbitt called the family and told them he had been killed but didn’t offer any details. She attended the funeral at Arlington National Cemetery with Hayden, but wouldn’t talk with the family. Babbitt and Hayden married four months after Miller’s death, then divorced four years later. Hayden retired from the Marine
This undated photo provided by Sharron Aguilar shows Marine Sgt. William Miller with his then wife Vickie Babbitt and their daughter Wendy in Jacksonville, N.C. After thirty-seven years, Vickie Babbitt, 58, of Bend, Ore., and 57-year-old George Hayden, a former police chief once married to Babbitt, face charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the death of Miller. Her trial is to begin in March.
Corps in 1989 and worked for the Carteret County Sheriff’s Department before becoming chief for the Cape Carteret and Belhaven police departments. Hayden’s son, Joshua Hayden, a Cape Carteret police officer, told WNCT-TV last year that he didn’t think his father is a criminal. “My father is a good man, very law abiding, a strict law abider,” he said. “I don’t see him committing a murder now or 36 years ago.” He did not return calls from The Associated Press seeking comment. Babbitt remarried and worked as a bookkeeper at Austin Tile Design Studio in Bend, Ore. Aguilar never quit trying to get the case open. When Lindell Kay, a crime reporter for The Daily News of Jacksonville, started working on a project about unsolved murders, Aguilar sent him the initial investigation report and Kay wrote two stories about the case. After Kay’s stories appeared in
August 2008, a former baby sitter for Miller’s daughter named Bonnie Sharpe came forward with key information. Sharpe was engaged at one time to Gill. Sharpe told investigators that Gill had witnessed the shooting, according to news reports. Sharpe did not return AP calls seeking comment. Sharpe’s tip became the starting point for a new investigation and led to the arrests of Babbitt and Hayden one week before the 37th anniversary of the murder. Police charged Gill in January 2009 with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. He was arrested in Athens, Ill., a small town near Springfield. Aguilar said she plans to be at Babbitt’s trial in March. “I know we’re going to get justice. I don’t have any doubts because I know I had divine help with this,” she said. “Every step of the way, a path opened. I don’t think I was led this far to be disappointed.”
Sen. Soles, target of probe, won’t run again n He
has served 21 terms in North Carolina General Assembly, Senate By GARY D. ROBERTSON Associated Press Writer
RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina’s longest-serving state senator said Wednesday he won’t seek re-election next year as prosecutors pursue criminal charges over a shooting at his home in August. Sen. R.C. Soles, D-Columbus, announced he won’t seek a 22nd consecutive term. He’s the state’s longest continuously serving lawmaker, first elected to the General Assembly in 1968 and in the Senate since 1977. State prosecutors announced this month they plan to seek a felony assault charge against Soles after a grand jury found probable cause that he acted criminally when he shot a former law client. Soles has said he acted in self-defense. “I plan to serve out the remainder of my term with the vigor and diligence my constituents deserve and I will
continue to practice law,” Soles said in a statement announcing his decision. “Public service is a noble calling and I have tried to live up to the ideals of Sen. Soles a true leader.” Soles made no reference to the case in the statement. But he said in an interview with The Associated Press he would be less than truthful to say his legal troubles played no role in his decision. “It sure was not the motivating force,” said Soles, who turned 75 on Dec. 17. “That alone would not have kept me from running.” Soles is the latest powerful Democrat leaving the Senate. Outgoing Majority Leader Tony Rand of Cumberland County is to resign Thursday to head the parole commission. Finance Committee co-chairman David Hoyle of Gaston also won’t seek reelection. Soles said he had considered
not running in 2008. He said his Senate district, which includes Columbus, Pender and Brunswick counties, has been increasingly difficult to win as transplants arrive from other states and register as Republicans. Soles won by less than 3 percentage points in the November 2008 election while spending more than $839,000 in campaign expenses. “It’s not that they dislike me. They just don’t know me,” Soles said. The soft-spoken attorney made headlines in the past two years when a house that he paid a former client to build caught fire and when young men he described as former clients were charged with trespassing. A former client claimed recently that Soles molested him a decade ago, but the accuser later said he made the story up. Neighbors have made dozens of emergency calls in recent years telling police they heard gunshots, screams and loud arguments coming from his home or law office. Most recently, the State
Murderer loses his appeal
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A man convicted of killing his father and dumping his remains in the woods of North Carolina lost his appeal and request for a new trial on Wednesday. Derek Anderson was convicted in 2006 of first-degree intentional homicide in the death of his 55-yearold father Allen Krnak and sentenced to life in prison without parole. He appealed and sought a new trial, but the 4th District Court of Appeals rejected all of his arguments Wednesday. Anderson argued that the admission of hearsay evidence violated his right to confrontation and that his due process rights were violated by allowing the jury, rather than the judge, to consider whether the police altered evidence and by incorrectly allowing expert testimony about mass murders. His attorney, Tim Provis, said Anderson will appeal the case to the state Supreme Court. A spokesman for the state Department of Justice did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Anderson’s father, his mother, his brother and the family dog all disappeared from their rural Helenville home over the Fourth of July weekend in 1998. Helenville is in Jefferson County about 50 miles east of Madison. His father’s skeletal remains were found by hunters in 1999 in the Roy Taylor National Forest of Jackson County, N.C., less than 10 miles from Western Carolina University, which Anderson attended in the early 1990s. Anderson was arrested in 2001 after his father’s remains were identified. An autopsy found Krnak was killed by a blow to his face and head that broke his jaw into two pieces. Anderson’s mother, Donna Krnak, and his brother, Thomas Krnak, have never been found. Prosecutors said they believed Anderson also disposed of their bodies in the same woods. Anderson, 40, changed his name from Andrew Krnak after his family disappeared. Prosecutors based their case on circumstantial evidence that they contended ruled out anyone other than Anderson.
Bureau of Investigation looked into the Aug. 23 shooting of Thomas Kyle Blackburn. Authorities say Soles shot Blackburn after he and another intruder kicked in the front door of his secluded Tabor City home. Blackburn wasn’t badly hurt. Attorney General Roy Cooper’s office said earlier this month that it plans to submit an indictment in January on a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, which the grand jury would have to approve. Soles declined to comment on the case Wednesday, referring questions to his Raleigh attorney. Soles said fellow Senate Democrats in Raleigh didn’t ask him to resign immediately and that he had no plans to do so. Soles was emotional when he discussed his time in the Legislature, where he served as chairman of the powerful Senate Commerce Committee and the Democratic caucus. The Senate even approved a resolution in 2005 officially calling him a “North Carolina institution.”
Sewage spill in French Broad ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A power outage at a western North Carolina sewage treatment plant sent 374,000 gallons of untreated sewage into the French Broad River. The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Tuesday that the outage on Christmas morning at the Buncombe County Metropolitan Sewerage District treatment plant led to the spill.
Attorney Brian King
Linking People with Services
Daily Courier, Forest City, NC, Thursday, December 31, 2009
■ A daily forum for opinion, commentary and editorials on the news that affects us all.
James R. Brown/ publisher Steven E. Parham/ executive editor 601 Oak Street, P.O. Box 1149, Forest City, N.C. 28043 Phone: 245-6431 Fax: 248-2790
Our Views Balance our security, freedom
he attempt by a Nigerian man to detonate a bomb on a airliner headed for Detroit last week has generated a lot of discussion and debate which is surprising many people. It is the surprise that intrigues us. It is no mystery that extremists want to launch successful attacks on the United States. They make no secret of that. In the years since the Sept. 11 attacks, the U.S. and other nations have implemented many new security standards and practices. Could we really be surprised to see that our enemies are just as diligently looking for ways to get around our security? While we hope that we can stay one step ahead of them, there can be no guarantees that we will succeed at that. The fact that this suspect was able to get explosives aboard an airplane just shows that we must continue to be diligent in our efforts to improve security. At the same time, we must remember that we are a nation whose fundamental beliefs rest on a foundation of individual freedoms. Our security is important, but the efforts to ensure security must always be carefully balanced with our efforts to protect our individual liberties.
Our readers’ views Urges attention to adopting children
will prevail. Jordan Lee Hallman Bostic
To the editor: We were dismayed at the “Adopt a Pet for Christmas” supplement in the Daily Courier (Fri., Dec.18). It’s true that there are too many animals without families to love them. Even sadder, there are too many children without families to love them. We hope to see soon a Daily Courier supplement touting “Adopt a child in 2010”. Vernon and Arlene Bly Rutherfordton
Do a better job of caring for pets
He believes science is the answer To the editor: This is in response to the many letters in concern to the constitution as of late first a man wrote a letter Dec. 24, stating that the national motto is “in God we trust.” That is not the case, our motto is “E Pluribus Unum” which means one from many. Also the recent letter that states we should read the whole First Amendment. Yes, because it gives you the freedom of religion and it also states that the government shall endorse no religion, which, in a nutshell, means separation of church and state. It’s not for the churches protection, it’s so nobody feels alienated in this country. Furthermore, on the basis that this was founded as a Christian nation, maybe in some small degree. But listen people, it wasn’t the 12 apostles and the founding fathers were deist at best who believed they needed a secular government. Research quotes from men like Ben Franklin who said, “Lighthouses are more useful than churches.” Research Thomas Jefferson who dared to stay an atheist. It’s time to get out of a 19th century way of thinking. It’s not the 1800s anymore and I’m joyous that it is science that
To the editor: I’d like to add a few comments to a letter from Ginny Pitman, posted Dec 23, which referenced animal cruelty. Most people, including many of our law enforcement officers, are not aware that Rutherford County has a wonderful set of local ordinances pertaining to animal welfare. These ordinances were put together in the early 90’s by Faye Thompson and subsequently adopted by Rutherford County. They can be found on this website: http://library1.municode.com/default-test/home. htm?infobase=10082&doc_ action=whatsnew Every day, I see animals that are chained up or trapped in small dog lots with inadequate shelter. Wake up people, even wild animals don’t just sit out in the open during rain, sleet, snow or in the hot sun. They have access shelter somewhere. What makes you think your domesticated pet is made to deal with these temperature extremes? Having no shelter is bad enough, but the “carriers” and “barrels” used by a lot of people as dog houses are just about as worthless in the winter. The carriers are thin plastic, with ventilation holes in all 3 “walls”. The tops are easily knocked off and owners often never put the tops back on. They blame the animals for being stupid enough to knock them off! The barrels are extremely hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Imagine having to lay on hard steel with no bedding to protect your exposed skin from the heat or cold. You know how cold your ears and nose feel after being out in the cold wind for just a few minutes? Think about thin ears that have very little hair on them for protection.
Animals suffer from painful frost bite, just like we do. Below is just one paragraph of the ordinances, that I wish everyone would read and be on the look out for. I hope you can take a few minutes to read all of the ordinances- under Health regulations - Article III. (A) “The shelter for a dog or any species of similar size shall include a moisture proof and windproof structure of suitable size to accommodate the animal and allow retention of body heat and shall be made of durable material, with a solid floor raised at least two (2) inches from the ground and with the entrance covered by a flexible windproof material or selfclosing swinging door to be used during inclement weather. “Such structures shall be provided with a sufficient quantity of suitable bedding material, consisting of hay, straw, cedar shavings or the equivalent, to provide insulation and protection against cold and dampness and promote retention of body heat.” My wish for the new year is that our community would take better care of their own pets and hold those who don’t, accountable. I’d rather see animals humanely euthanized, as to have to watch them slowly freeze in the winter, bake in the summer or starve to death because of lazy, neglectful owners. Thank you to all who stand up for and volunteer their time for animal welfare. Sherri Watson Mooresboro
Letter Policy The Daily Courier would like to publish letters from readers on any subject of timely interest. All letters must be signed. Writers should try to limit their submissions to 300 words. All letters must include a day and evening telephone number. The editors reserve the right to edit letters for libelous content. All submissions should be sent to The Editor, P.O. Box 1149, Forest City, NC, 28043. Letters may also be submitted via e-mail at email@example.com or via our website at thedigitalcourier.com
Some holiday traditions fun, some are nasty... Happy New Year! My sweet little Nathan, at age three, is learning more and more about holidays, and not just by our own family traditions, but through the television shows he watches. There’s one particular episode of “Max & Ruby” where Ruby (the older sister, for those of you without preschoolers in the house) won’t allow Max (who’s around 3) to have any of Grandma’s special cookies with clock hands pointing toward midnight on New Year’s Eve until — you guessed it — the stroke of midnight. Nathan’s also been perplexed by the chubby, animated baby shaking a rattle
Total momsense Allison Flynn
WLOS has been using as part of its weather map this week. I guess if you’re three and still learning the difference between five minutes and five hours, celebrating a New Year is hard to understand. And while I’m all for explaining things to Nathan in a matter-of-fact and often clinical manner (for example, he knows the correct word
for his anatomically correct boy part), explaining that as of Jan. 1, we’ll begin another revolution around the sun ..... well, let’s just say I answer the question “Why?” far too often now. I’m sure not going to get into the whole “why we make resolutions” deal either. I heard on the radio Wednesday morning that you should make New Year’s resolutions, however, even if you don’t keep them. In making them, you are starting yourself off in a positive mindset for the New Year. I’m not big on making resolutions although I usually do make (and break) a few each
year. Have you ever thought about why we make them and how the tradition got started? I did some research on the topic and learned it all began with the Babylonians 4,000 years ago, who made resolutions to get favor from the gods. It was considered bad luck to break them and so people were advised to make their resolutions wisely. (At least that’s what examiner.com said.) What about the New Year’s tradition of eating black-eyed peas and turnip greens so you’ll be prosperous in the coming year?
No thanks. I may be Southern through and through, but those are two foods that will not pass my lips. I’ll stick to livermush and grits, thank you very much. Kissing your sweetheart at midnight is a tradition I can get behind. And this New Year’s Eve, just as I’ve done for the past 17 New Year’s Eves, I’ll lay a big one on my dear husband, who puts up with me even though I buck other traditions and don’t eat those nasty greens with vinegar on them. Contact Flynn via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Daily Courier, Forest City, NC, Thursday, December 31, 2009
Burtchus R. Lathan Jr., 55, of Rutherfordton, died Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009, at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. He was a son of the late Reton and Minnie Lathan. Burtchus served the community in many capacities including his current position as a board member of Rutherford Housing Partnership since 2003, and Youth Empowerment board chair since 2008. He formerly served on the Rutherfordton Community Development board, Rutherford County United Way Campaign chair, Boys & Girls of Metro Atlanta board, and a board member and president of Whitehead Boys & Girls Club. Burtchus was a 1996 Olympic torchbearer at the Centennial Games in Atlanta. He was a recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award in 1995, and Mason of the Year (2007), Prince Hall Sunbeam Lodge No. 46 in Rutherfordton. He is survived by his wife, Cheryl Lathan; three children, Cquokeysha Gary of Raleigh, Rosalind Logan Key of Atlanta, and Honnee Foster of Newark, N.J.; six grandchildren; one sister, Tiffany Lathan of Raleigh; two brothers, Kevin Lathan of Fayetteville, and Tony Lathan of Spindale. Funeral services will be conducted at 1 p.m. Saturday at Wells Spring United Methodist Church in Forest City. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. Ulysses D. Miller Funeral Services is in charge of arrangements.
Harley Rowe, 86, died Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009 at Hospice House in Forest City. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by Harrelson Funeral Home.
Betty Alice Hutchins Wall Lee, 74, of Rock Corner Road, Forest City, died Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009, at Rutherford Hospital. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by Washburn & Dorsey Funeral Home.
Inez Miller Bomer, 94, of 164 Peppertown Road, Henrietta, died Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009, at Rutherford Hospital. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced
Obituaries Burtchus Lathan Jr.
Police Notes by Thompson Mortuary.
Ruby Sherrill Ruby Aileen Sherrill, 89, of Forest City, died Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009 at Rutherford Hospital. A native of Rutherford County, she was preceded in death by her parents Garland and Essie McDonald Sherrill, a member of Bethany Baptist Church, and a retired Avon representative. She is survived by two nieces and one nephew, two great-nieces, one greatnephew, and one great-greatniece. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at Crowe’s Funeral Chapel. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Online condolences: www. crowemortuary.com.
Barbara Bell Barbara Frances Sears Bell, 77, of 500 Mountain Top Dr., Asheboro, died Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009 at Clapp’s Convalescent Nursing Home. She was a native of Rutherford County and a member of Pilgrim Baptist Church in Ellenboro. Survivors include two brothers, James Ray Sears of Forest City, and Billy Ross Sears of Jacksonville, Fla.; a god daughter and special nieces. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 2, at Pilgrim Baptist Church in Ellenboro with Pastor Bruce Duncan officiating. The family will receive friends following the service at the church. Memorials may be made to Jim’s Kids, 2262 Racetrack Road, Sophia, NC 27350; or to Pilgrim Baptist Church, P.O. Box 245, Ellenboro, NC 28040. Ridge Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Asheboro, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences ridgefh.mem. com.
Paula Price Paula Cooper Price, 61, of 622 Macedonia Road, Gaffney, S.C., died Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009, at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center. Born in Rutherford County, she was a daughter of the late Benjamin Cooper and Byanis Boone Cooper. She was employed with Cherokee County DHEC as a registered home health nurse and a member of Macedonia Baptist Church. She is survived by her husband, Gene Price; three sons,
Robbie Jackson of Forest City, and Jason Price and Jeff Price, both of Gaffney; one daughter, Lori Jackson Robbins of Cliffside; two brothers, Robert Cooper of Cowpens, S.C., and Arnold Cooper of Forest City; two sisters, Gertrude Cooper Jones of Shelby, and Eunice Cooper of Forest City; six grandchildren. The family will receive friends Friday from 2 to 3 p.m. at Macedonia Baptist Church. Funeral services will follow at 3 p.m. with Dr. Terry Duvall and the Rev. Sam Henderson officiating. Interment will be in the church cemetery. Memorials may be made to Macedonia Baptist Church, 216 Macedonia Road, Gaffney, SC 29341; or to the American Cancer Society, “Relay for Life”, Cherokee County Unit, 154 Milestone Way, Greenville, SC 29615. The family will be at the Price residence. Blakely Funeral Home & Crematory of Gaffney is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences www.blakelyfuneralhome.com.
Elbert Lane Elbert Pinkney “Pig” Lane, 91, of Henrietta, died Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009, at Autumn Care of Forest City. A native of Rutherford County, he was a son of the late Charlie and Charity Dixon Lane. Elbert enjoyed baseball and played center field for the Henrietta Mills team, where he worked for 45 years as a humidity controller. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Henrietta. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 70 years, Muriel Ward Lane. He is survived by five sons, Reid Lane of Rutherfordton, James Lane, Larry Lane, and Ronnie Lane, all of Forest City, and Randall Lane of Sonoma, Calif.; one daughter, Nancy Baker of The Villages, Fla.; 18 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, and six great-great grandchildren. Funeral services were conducted at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Harrelson Funeral Chapel with the Revs. John Godfrey and Bob Philbeck officiating. Interment followed in the Caroleen-Henrietta Cemetery. Visitation was held one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice of Rutherford County, P.O. Box 336, Forest City, NC 28043. Online condolences www.harrelsonfuneralhome.com.
Quake shakes border region near U.S.-Mexico By ELLIOT SPAGAT Associated Press Writer
SAN DIEGO — A magnitude-5.8 earthquake rocked the U.S.-Mexico border region Wednesday, causing hospitals to evacuate in the Mexican industrial city of Mexicali as buildings swayed more than 100 miles to the west in San Diego and southwestern Arizona. There were no reports of injuries or major property damage. The main quake was centered about 20 miles southeast of Mexicali, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was followed quickly by a 4.8 quake and dozens of other aftershocks. In Mexicali, five hospitals were briefly evacuated, 90,000 customers lost electricity for 14 minutes and cell phones failed to work for 20 minutes, said Rene Rosado, director of the city’s civil defense. City government offices closed for the day after the quake struck at 10:48 a.m. local time. About 300 employees emptied City Hall. “People were very frightened throughout the city,” Rosado said. There was “minor damage” to several buildings in Mexicali, a city of 750,000 people and capital of Baja California state, said Alfredo Escobedo, the state civil defense director. In Calexico, a California city of 40,000 people across the border from Mexicali, crews found no damage to bridges, buildings or roads, said City Manager Victor Carrillo. “Basically it was a quick, shake-and-bake, jolt-type of thing that seemed to last 15, 20 seconds, 30 seconds at the max,” said Carrillo, who was in a meeting at City Hall during the quake. “I have quite a few items on the shelves in my office and they’re all
intact.” Citizen reports to the USGS indicated it was also felt in southern Nevada and metropolitan Los Angeles. In Yuma, Ariz., Sally Zeller, a 31-year-old waitress at Brownie’s cafe, said she and most everyone in her restaurant felt the quake for several seconds. “It rumbled under our feet and the soup counter rumbled against my hip,” Zeller said. “The chandeliers were swaying. It was like, ’Whoa!”’ The quake was centered in a seismically active desert valley near cities with low-rise buildings. It occurred 4.3 miles deep and was considered a shallow quake. Shallower quakes have the potential to cause more damage than deeper ones.
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Sheriff’s Reports n The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office responded to 145 E-911 calls Tuesday.
Rutherfordton n The Rutherfordton Police Department responded to 23 E-911 calls Tuesday.
Spindale n The Spindale Police Department responded to 23 E-911 calls Tuesday.
Lake Lure n The Lake Lure Police Department responded to five E-911 calls Tuesday.
Forest City n The Forest City Police Department responded to 82 E-911 calls Tuesday. n An employee of Hibbett Sports reported an incident of larceny. n Randy Biggerstaff reported an incident of financial card fraud. n An employee of Quality Plus reported the theft of gas. n Tina Carroll reported an incident of communicating threats. n An employee of Ingles reported an incident of obtain property by false pretense. n An employee of Butler’s Jewelry and Loan reported an incident of obtain property by false pretense.
Arrests n Amy Sullivan, 42, of Ohio Street, Spindale; arrested on a warrant for felony larceny; released on a $10,000 unsecured bond. (FCPD) n Timothy Kincaid, 41, of Ohio Street, Spindale; arrested on two warrants for obtain property by false pretense; released on a $20,000 unsecured bond. (FCPD) n Derek Humphries, 18, of Ferry Road, Forest City; charged with driving while impaired, provisional licensee and stop sign violation; released on a $1,000 unsecured bond. (FCPD) n Todd Evan Radford, 35, of 5604 South; charged with two counts of misdemeanor probation violation; placed under a $50,000 secured bond. (Probation)
n Brandon Lee Conner, 18, of 2010 U.S. 64/74; charged with resist/ obstruct a public officer; placed under a $500 secured bond. (RCSD) n Leslie Dawn Parker, 29, of 1400 Chesnee Road; charged with misdemeanor larceny; released on a $1,000 unsecured bond. (RCSD) n Timothy Jason Smith, 27, of 154 N. Main Maridian; charged with simple possession of schedule II controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia; released on a written promise to appear. (RCSD) n Kim Undria Curtis, 37, of 171 Third St.; surrender on charges of failure to appear on misdemeanor shoplifting and resisting a public officer; placed under a $1,500 secured bond. (Bondsman)
Citations n Dominic Reynolds, 17, of Bostic/Sunshine Highway, Bostic; cited for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia; released on a written promise to appear. (FCPD) n Marco Guzman, 17, of Angela Street, Forest City; cited for possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of misdemeanor larceny; released on a written promise to appear. (FCPD)
EMS/Rescue n The Rutherford County EMS responded to 25 E-911 calls Tuesday. n The Volunteer Life Saving and Rescue, Hickory Nut Gorge EMS and Rutherford County Rescue responded to 12 E-911 calls Tuesday.
Fire Calls n Cherry Mountain firefighters responded to a residential fire alarm. n Hudlow firefighters responded to a house fire, assisted by Bostic and Cherry Mountain firefighters. n S-D-O firefighters responded to a motor vehicle crash and to a vehicle fire. n Spindale firefighters responded to a motor vehicle crash. n Sandy Mush firefighters responded to a smoke report, assisted by S-D-O and Cliffside firefighters.
Holidays key time to keep kids safe By JESSICA OSBORNE Courier Staff Correspondent
FOREST CITY— As Christmas lights and blowup holiday characters adorn yards and houses across the county, Safe Kids USA offers great tips on how to keep your kids safe in case of a fire. n Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area. Central locations such as the living room, the top of the stairwell and the outside bedroom doors are good places. n Test smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year. The alarm itself should be replaced every 10 years. n Keeping matches, light-
Ruby Aileen Sherrill Ruby Aileen Sherrill, age 89, passed away Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at Rutherford Hospital. A native of Rutherford County, member of Bethany Baptist Church and a retired Avon representative. She was preceded in death by her parents Garland and Essie McDonald Sherrill. Ruby is survived by two nieces, Sandra Sherrill and Judy Robertson; one nephew, Ricky Sherrill, two great nieces, Alicia Smith and Caitlin Sherrill; one great nephew, Andrew Sherrill and one great great niece, Shelby Smith. Funeral services will be held 2 PM Thursday December 31, 2009 at Crowe’s Funeral Chapel. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Online condolences: www.crowemortuary.com Paid obit.
ers and other heat sources out of children’s reach can help eliminate child-play fires – the leading cause of fire-related death for children 5 and under. n Preparation and education are key elements of preventing fire tragedies. Planning and practicing a fire escape route with your family, and talking to your children about what to expect in a fire, are simple steps anyone can take. For more information about fire prevention, fire safety and other safety tips to keep your kids out of harms way visit www.safekids.org. THE DAILY COURIER Published Tuesday through Sunday mornings by Paxton Media Group LLC dba The Daily Courier USPS 204-920 Periodical Postage paid in Forest City, NC. Company Address: 601 Oak St., P.O. Box 1149, Forest City, NC 28043. Phone: (828) 245-6431 Fax: (828) 248-2790 Subscription rates: Single copy, daily 50¢ / Sunday $1.50. Home delivery $11.75 per month, $35.25 for three months, $70.50 for six months, $129 per year. In county rates by mail payable in advance are: $13.38 for one month, $40.14 for three months, $80.27 for six months, $160.54 per year. Outside county: $14.55 for one month, $43.64 for three months, $87.28 for six months, $174.56 per year. College students for school year subscription, $75. The Digital Courier, $6.50 a month for non-subscribers to The Daily Courier. Payment may be made at the website: www.thedigitalcourier. com The Daily Courier is not responsible for advance subscription payments made to carriers, all of who are independent contractors.
Daily Courier, Forest City, NC, Thursday, December 31, 2009
Calendar/Local Smoking Continued from Page 1
Red Cross Blood drives schedule: Jan. 5 — Cedar Grove United Methodist Church, 406 Toney Road, Bostic, 3 to 7:30 p.m., call 245-9114 for an appointment; Jan. 7 — Concord Baptist Church, 720 Old Hwy. 74, Bostic, 3 to 7:30 p.m., call 245-6130 for an appointment; Jan. 9 — Goodes Creek Baptist Church, 7:30 a.m. to noon, call 2453513 for an appointment; Jan. 9 — Cliffside Masonic Lodge, Old Main St., Cliffside, 7:30 a.m. to noon, call 245-7606 for an appointment; Jan. 25 — Red Cross Chapter House, 838 Oakland Road; Forest City, 2 to 6:30 p.m., call 287-5916 for an appointment; Jan. 28 — R-S Middle School, 2 to 7:30 p.m., call 286-8314 for an appointment.
Health/education Community Health Clinic of Rutherford County provides access to primary medical care, wellness education, medications and preventative programs. The clinic, open Monday through Thursday, is located at 127 E. Trade St., B 100, Forest City. Patients seen by appointment only. The clinic does not accept patients with private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare. Call 245-0400. The Medication Assistance Program provides access to medications at reduced rates or free of charge to those who qualify, call 288-8872.
Meetings/other Shag Club: Rutherford County Shag Club will meet Friday, Jan. 1, at Club LA from 7 to 10 p.m. Free beginner lessons at 7:30. Sign up for beginner shag classes to begin Jan. 25. For information call 287-9228. Athletic Boosters: Chase High Athletic Boosters will meet Monday, Jan. 4, at 6:30 p.m. in the office conference room. DAR meeting: Griffith Rutherford NSDAR Chapter will meet Wednesday, Jan. 6, at St. John’s Church, Main St., Rutherfordton. Meeting begins at 3 p.m. Program on “Quilts with Stories” presented by Sylvia Lancaster. Owls Booster meeting: Forest City Owls Boosters will meet Thursday, Jan. 14, at Rollins Cafeteria. Meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Please come early (6 p.m., or sooner) if you plan to have a meal. Membership $25 per person. For information contact Cecil Geer at (828) 9190000.
Students/schools Financial aid workshop: Monday, Jan. 4, 6 to 8 p.m., R-S Central High School; parents of college bound seniors encouraged to attend.
Miscellaneous Cole family reunion: Saturday, Jan. 9, covered dish meal 2:30 p.m., Goode’s Creek Baptist Church fellowship hall; bring well-filled basket. Washburn Community Outreach Center will hold a 25 cents sale Dec. 31 and Jan. 2, on men/women’s pants and shirts. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The store will be closed Jan. 1, New Year’s Day. Located at 2934 Piney Mtn. Church Road, Bostic. Convenience centers: All Rutherford County convenience centers and the central landfill will be closed Jan. 1, New Year’s Day. Regular hours will resume Saturday, Jan. 2. Foothills Harvest Outreach Ministries will hold a storewide half-price sale Jan. 4-9 (excludes a few select items). The store will be closed Jan. 1, New Year’s Day and reopen Jan. 2. Located at 120 E. Trade St., Forest City. Yokefellow Service Center will hold a storewide half-price sale Jan. 4-9. Hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The store will be closed Jan. 1, New Year’s Day and reopen Jan. 2. Located at 102 Blanton St., Spindale.
Fundraisers Buffet Breakfast: Saturday, Jan. 2, 7 to 10:30 a.m., Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church; Mt. Pleasant Church Rd., Forest City; $5 per person. Country ham supper: Saturday, Jan. 2, 4 to 8 p.m., Duncan’s Creek Presbyterian Church, Ellenboro.
Music/concerts Concert: 37th Annual Gospel Concert, featuring Soul Harvest, Master’s Singers and Ronnie Felker “Fearless Fife” at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31, at New Hope United Methodist Church, 4251 Chesnee Road (Parris Bridge Road). Special midnight candlelight service with Rev. Butch Osborne.
they’ve known it was coming,” said Eric Gilbert, general manager of Chili’s. “All of the ash trays are gone as of midnight Saturday,” he said. “We’re going to personally observe a distance for smoking away from the restaurant of 10 feet.” Although it will be the law and patrons have been told of the change, Gilbert said it’s not stopped those who smoke from disliking the change. “I’ve heard it all the time,” he said. “I’ve been telling people the door is eight feet from your seat and they can go outside.”
Laws Continued from Page 1
ployment insurance benefits. A new law extends the amount of time an animal shelter must hold a lost dog or cat to at least 72 hours and allows for the shelter to loan out the
Donations Continued from Page 1
years. “There have been many people that have come in and donated and they want that receipt so we have seen many monetary donations. There have also been some people donating clothes and other goods like that to get a write-off.” For Chase Corner Ministries, the numbers have increased in the final week of the year, but not as much of an increase as workers usually see. “My feeling is that this year more people are trying to do yard sales and make money off of their items instead
Other restaurants and bars are already smoke free by choice. Hickory Log made the change a few years ago, said owner Bill Gold, because he felt the change would eventually be coming. “We feel like we were ahead of the curve,” he said. “It’s a decision we made ourselves; I don’t like the government telling you what to do. “When I hung up the sign one person said she’d never come back, but there were 20 others behind her clapping. “It was a positive thing for us.” Gold said in addition to pleasing those who don’t smoke, going smokefree meant less work for employees in some ways. “You’ll be surprised at how much
cleaner your restaurant will be too,” he said. The law also prohibits smoking inside state government buildings and state vehicles. As part of the new law, no smoking signs have to be placed in a visible location and all indoor ashtrays and other smoking receptacles removed. Individuals who continue to smoke in a nonsmoking area after being asked either verbally or in writing to stop will be found in violation of the law and could be fined up to $50. Restaurants and bars found in violation of the law will receive a written notice following the first violation. After the third and subsequent violations, an administrative penalty of not more than $200.
animal to a foster facility. Citizens who have a permit to carry a concealed weapon will now receive a notice from their county sheriff within the 45 days prior to the permit expiring to remind them to renew their license. Those who do will have their current permit remain valid until they receive a new one or are
denied by their sheriff.
of bringing it to us,” said Crystal Tate, director of the ministry for the past 13 years. “I would say that we are about 30 percent less than last year. I think people wait until the last minute to get a write off and we have more monetary donations than items this time of year. People are a lot more generous at Christmas, it’s too bad that isn’t all year long.” Tate said the charity needed specific items for the winter months like blankets and that they were hoping to get some more monetary donations to offer heating bill assistance. “Our food donations are doing OK and people are still giving us that and clothing,” tate said. “But our biggest need all year is the food and we have
been blessed this year and we’re so thankful because we have it to give.” At the Hospice Resale Shop in Forest City, lines have been forming for donors to drop off bags of clothing and other items.
Ready for the plunge? Chilly Lake Lure ready LAKE LURE — With the new year comes the return of Lake Lure’s New Year’s Day Polar Plunge. Plunger registration is underway to be “freezin’ for a reason.” The plunge is a fundraiser to keep others warm. Event gates will open at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 1, at the Lake Lure gazebo, across the street from the 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa. At high noon, plungers will again take the big, cold plunge into Lake Lure. There is no entrance fee for spectators. Plunger registration fee proceeds will go to Yokefellow Service Center and to area fire and rescue departments. Individual registration is $35 — teams of five can register for $150. It is the only known New Year’s Day Plunge in the state. Hot drinks, food and bonfires will be at both the primary plunge site at the Lake Lure gazebo and also at the post-plunge awards party at the Geneva Hotel’s Tiki Bar on the Rocky Broad River. The Geneva was home to last year’s inaugural plunge, when hundreds turned out to either plunge or to observe. The plunge and postplunge party sites are on the same street, only 1.69 miles apart. “The New Year’s Polar Plunge was so popular last year that the decision was made to move the main event of plunge day to the Lake Lure Gazebo, where there’s more room to accommodate all the plungers and spectators,” said Rutherford County Tourism Development Authority Acting Executive Director Michelle Whitaker. “But there will still be lots of action again at Geneva’s Tiki Bar
on the Rocky Broad River. It’s home of the original plunge and it will now be host not only to the post-plunge awards party, but also to a new event: ‘extreme plunging.’” “I took the Plunge” hoodies and “return plunger” patches will be given out at the post-plunge awards ceremony at the Geneva. Plunge awards will be given for the Best Costume, Most Team Spirit and Furthest Traveled. “The community has really rallied behind this event,” Whitaker continued. “It is now sponsored by the Hickory Nut Gorge Chamber of Commerce, and lots of groups and businesses are coming together to make it happen.” The Geneva Hotel, the Lake Lure Inn and many other businesses and individuals should be applauded for their efforts for a good cause.” Pre-registration is recommended. For more information, registration, hotel packages and links to video from last year’s plunge, go to www. newyearspolarplunge.com. For information or to register, call 828-625-2725 or 828-625-4121 To come: The 2nd Annual New Year’s Day Polar Plunge When: January 1 – Gates open at 11 a.m. --- Plunge at high Noon Where: The Beach at Lake Lure; 2930 Memorial Hwy; Lake Lure, NC (Across the street from the 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa) Post-Plunge Awards Party And Extreme Plunging When: Right after plunge Where: Geneva Riverside Lodging.
Finally, a new law requiring local government officials to adopt a Code of Ethics and attend an ethics training course will also go into effect. Contact Baughman via e-mail at email@example.com.
“We have seen many donations of items: clothes, electronics, furniture and we have even had someone come and donate a vehicle to us,” said Shellie Wilson, coordinator for the shop. “On Tuesday there were cars and trucks lined up in the parking lot full of people waiting to drop things off to us.” Contact Baughman via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Retirees Continued from Page 1
ery that has been an asset to the county,” he said. Roger Wilson, the maintenance department supervisor, is the interim director until such time as a replacement is named. “Both Barry Davis and Barry Jones are on vacation until Dec. 31 and will be officially retired as of Jan. 1, 2010,” Condrey concluded. “We wish them both the best in their future plans.” Contact Gordon via e-mail at jgordon@ thedigitalcourier.com.
Trailer destroyed in early morning fire Wednesday HUDLOW — A double-wide trailer, rented by Christina Flynn on Pea Ridge Road, was lost to a fire at about 12:25 a.m. Wednesday. Flynn was not at home at the time. She is helping care for a sister who is ill. Hudlow Volunteer Fire Department Chief Curtis Hodge said when his department arrived at the scene, the house was totally involved. “It was through the roof,” Hodge said. He believes the fire started near the wood stove and investigation continues into the cause of the fire. The home was owned by Billy Cogdell, who said it was insured. Flynn also had insurance on her belongings. It was a total loss, Hodge siad. Assisting Hudlow at the scene were Cherry Mountain and Bostic fire departments.
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Missed your paper? If you did not receive your paper today please call 245-6431 and ask for circulation. If you call by 9 a.m. on Monday through Friday, a paper will be brought to your home. If you call after 9 a.m., we will make sure your carrier brings you the missed paper in the morning with that day’s edition. If you do not receive your paper on either Saturday or Sunday and call by 8 a.m., a customer service representative will bring you a paper. If you call after 8 a.m. on Saturday or Sunday, the missed paper will be brought out on Monday morning. Our carriers are instructed to deliver your paper by 6 a.m. Tuesday through Friday, by 6:30 a.m. on Saturday and 7 a.m. on Sunday. Remember, call 245-6431 for circulation customer service.
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The Daily Courier, Forest City, NC, Thursday, December 31, 2009 — 7
Inside Scoreboard . . . . . . . . . . . Page 8 Bobcats . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 8 Leach fired . . . . . . . . . . Page 9
Off The Wall Scott Bowers
Bald-eye view of our hoops
Lady Hilltoppers Alltournament team RUTHERFORDTON — The 10th Annual Lady Hilltoppers Classic All-Tournament team was selected late Tuesday night. R-S Central’s Melissa McLaughlin and Shannon Hines made the list after the Lady Hilltoppers finished second overall in the tournament. McLaughlin shot 61 percent from the field during the tourney and lead all players with 24 points per contest. Hines trailed not far behind with 16 points and seven boards per game. The final Rutherford County lady basketball player to make the team came from Chase and that was Claudette Miller. Miller scored in double figures in two of the three tournament games. Winning the tournament for the third time and representing Shelby was Matrice Sweezey and Ebony Whitworth. Sweezey averaged 12 points per game and used her long arms to suffocate the passing lane of all three opponents it faced over the holiday. Whitworth maintained 11 points per game for the Lady Golden Lions over the three days. Kings Mountain’s Tiara McClain averaged seven points per game, but the senior did all the little things right to be picked for this year’s group. For the Lady Panthers of Hibriten, they selected Keisha Corpening. Corpening averaged 18 points per game in the tournament. Crest decided on Kendyl McWhirter, who averaged 14 points per game during the event. Gaffney’s Parris Davidson averaged nine points per game and 10 rebounds to get the nod. Whitney Collins took home the honor for Ashbrook. Collins averaged 15 points per game and three during the holidays. Most Valuable Player of the tournament went to Kelantra Allen of Shelby. Allen averaged 10 points per game and came away with a number of steals as Shelby claimed the championship.
Albany’s Fran Urli, left, defends as North Carolina’s Leslie McDonald (15) drives to the basket while Tyler Zeller (44) looks on during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Chapel Hill, Wednesday.
Tar Heels run past Albany CHAPEL HILL (AP) — Ed Davis had 18 points to help No. 9 North Carolina beat Albany 87-70 on Wednesday night. Deon Thompson added 15 points for the Tar Heels (11-3), who had an easy time in their next-to-last game before opening Atlantic Coast Conference play. Despite being short-handed, North Carolina built a double-digit lead midway through the first half and coasted the rest of the way for its third straight win since losing to No. 2 Texas. The Tar Heels played without fifthyear senior Marcus Ginyard and sopho-
more Justin Watts. Watts injured his right ankle during Monday’s win against Rutgers, while Ginyard has missed two straight since spraining his right ankle in practice. Will Harris scored 22 points to lead the Great Danes (4-10), who ended an eight-game road trip with just one victory. Albany hasn’t played at home since beating Robert Morris on Nov. 22. For the Tar Heels, it was a drama-free night — and that’s a good thing considPlease see Tar Heels, Page 8
On TV 12 p.m. (ESPN) College Football Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl — Air Force vs. Houston. 12 p.m. (ESPN2) College Basketball Michigan at Indiana. 2 p.m. (WBTV) (WSPA) College Football Brut Sun Bowl — Oklahoma vs. Stanford. 2 p.m. (ESPN2) College Basketball Ohio State at Wisconsin. 3:30 p.m. (ESPN) College Football Texas Bowl — Missouri vs. Navy. 4 p.m. (ESPN2) College Basketball Tennessee at Memphis. 4:30 p.m. (TS) College Basketball Arizona State at UCLA. 6 p.m. (ESPN2) College Basketball Pennsylvania at Duke. 6 p.m. (FSS) College Basketball North Carolina State at UNC-Greensboro. 7 p.m. (TNT) NBA Basketball Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs. 7:30 p.m. (ESPN) College Football Chick-fil-A Bowl — Tennessee vs. Virginia Tech. 8 p.m. (ESPN2) College Basketball St. John’s at Georgetown. 8 p.m. (FSS) NHL Hockey New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes. 9:30 p.m. (TNT) NBA Basketball Philadelphia 76ers at Los Angeles Clippers. 10 p.m. (ESPN2) College Basketball Oklahoma at Gonzaga.
Carolina Panthers head coach John Fox, right, talks to a referee in the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings in Charlotte, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009.
Fox says little about future CHARLOTTE (AP) — While Carolina Panthers coach John Fox deflected questions about his uncertain future on Wednesday, several of his players and a rival coach weren’t shy in defending him. It was part of a bizarre day as Fox acknowledged his contract hasn’t been extended, yet didn’t want to discuss perhaps entering 2010 as a lame duck coach in the final year of his deal. “I don’t get into that right now,” said Fox, 75-60 in Carolina with a Super Bowl appearance, but yet to post consecutive winning seasons. “Our focus is to get through the season and I have an agent that deals with that.” While agent Bob LaMonte didn’t return messages Wednesday, Panthers
defensive tackle Damione Lewis, center Ryan Kalil and even New Orleans coach Sean Payton came to Fox’s defense. The Panthers (7-8) enter Sunday’s season finale against the Saints (13-2) ensured of missing the playoffs for the fifth time in Fox’s eight seasons. “I know this, he and his staff aren’t going to have problems finding work. Let’s just say that,” said Payton, a longtime friend of Fox. “I think he has a lot of confidence in that team and I think the team, the same way, has confidence in that coaching staff. “It’s evident by the way they played against Minnesota and the way they Please see Fox, Page 9
The gym at East Rutherford could seriously use a fresh coat of white paint on the ceiling and the walls. The lights need updating and someone should take the time to freshen up the old “Runnin’ Cavaliers” logo. East, now 10-0, will need a fresh gym to go along with the fresh basketball team they are putting on the court each and every night. I’m not jumping on the bandwagon, at least not yet, there are way too many games left to be played and youth, even that at East, brings with it unending optimism, but very little experience. Few wearing a Cavs jersey have even played in a playoff game, let alone a third or fourth round game where the pressure really mounts. These 2009-10 Cavs are quick, they like to run, and they have confidence. You can’t coach confidence. What the Cavs don’t have is an inside presence. That worries me, but that is a worry that can be overcome. Devince Boykins can rebound with anybody, jump with anybody, and isn’t scared by anybody. Those are three good traits in a basketball player. The tandem of sophomore guards Rob Gray and Raheem Hampton are going to be very scary in two years, when as seniors, I feel bad for the teams that have to find ways to guard them. Of course, I kind of feel sorry for teams that have to guard them now —just imagine two seasons from now. This is a season, to my mind, where East learns how to win again, learns how to know they are going to win, and learns how to step on a floor and not be worried, or intimidated, by who they are playing. The various role players — Zach Price, Mikhail Baxter, Teddy Flack, and T.J. Watkins — all bring good ball skills, along with a dedication to playing defense. Of course, the 1,000-pound Lion in the room sits in Shelby and that Lion will be faced on January 15, in Shelby. The next day, East will play Veritas at the 2010 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Hoops Tournament. The Cavs will also get one last crack at R-S Central, who at 9-2 is not out of the running by a long shot. It’s the Hilltoppers who have two things that I like — experience and an inside game, but they are playing with the consistency of water right now. One game intense, and the next trickling like a stream during an August drought. The lack of consistency seems to be leading to a lack of confidence. The Hilltoppers never should have lost to the Asheville School Blues on Monday. The other issue that will bother and befuddle the Hilltoppers is the lack of a true point guard. Central has loads of offensive weapons, but no one to make that offense go or click. The next month is going to be very interesting in the South Mountain and I would recommend getting to the gym on time. Even if it is a little dark and dingy. Better ball these days: Two years ago, I was about to give up on basketball in Rutherford County. It was pretty ugly. Now, the collection of athletic ballplayers has improved the game and although overall shooting skills are still lacking, Please see Wall, Page 9
Daily Courier, Forest City, NC, Thursday, December 31, 2009
Scoreboard FOOTBALL National Football League
Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh (4) drives to the hoop past Charlotte Bobcats center DeSagana Diop (7) during first-half NBA basketball game action in Toronto on Wednesday.
Raptors hold off Bobcats
TORONTO (AP) — Chris Bosh had 33 points and 13 rebounds, Andrea Bargnani matched his career high with 28 points, and the Toronto Raptors beat the Charlotte Bobcats 107-103 on Wednesday night for their season-high fifth straight victory. Marco Belinelli scored 13 points and rookie DeMar DeRozan had 10 as Toronto avenged its worst defeat of the season, a 116-81 loss at Charlotte on Nov. 25 — the biggest margin of victory in Bobcats history. Stephen Jackson scored 30 points and Raymond Felton had 23 for the Bobcats, who are 1-14 on the road, the second-worst mark in the NBA.
Tar Heels Continued from Page 7
ering the way they played in Monday’s win against Rutgers. In that game, they saw a 17-point secondhalf lead whittled all the way to four with about 2 minutes left before taking an 81-67 victory. Afterward, coach Roy Williams said he was “so ticked off it is unbelievable” at the performance, which included everything from guys forgetting repeated instructions not to try to save the ball under their defensive basket to one play in which two players lined up to guard the same guy. Williams said his team can’t afford to keep making the same mistakes with the ACC opener against Virginia Tech looming next weekend. It was hard to really say how much the team responded considering the absences of Ginyard and Watts from an already thin perimeter, which forced Williams to use walk-on Thomas Thornton for a few plays during the first half against an overmatched opponent. The Tar Heels appeared to get out in transition better, with freshman John Henson throwing down a couple of dunks — including one in the first half in which he posed with his right hand behind his head while throwing it down with his left — to highlight the effort. North Carolina got a 3-pointer from Larry Drew II, followed by two more from Will Graves on the ensuing possessions for a 39-19 lead with about 5 minutes left in the first half on the way to a 46-29 halftime lead. The Tar Heels increased that margin steadily, at one point shooting 17 of 22 in the second half before getting a little ragged while playing with a big lead in the final 5 minutes. The Tar Heels finished at 60 percent after halftime and 50 percent for the game. They led by as many as 38 points midway through the second half, though Albany closed the game on a 23-2 run.
AMERICAN CONFERENCE East W L T Pct PF x-New England 10 5 0 .667 400 N.Y. Jets 8 7 0 .533 311 Miami 7 8 0 .467 336 Buffalo 5 10 0 .333 228 South W L T Pct PF x-Indianapolis 14 1 0 .933 409 Houston 8 7 0 .533 354 Jacksonville 7 8 0 .467 273 Tennessee 7 8 0 .467 337 North W L T Pct PF x-Cincinnati 10 5 0 .667 305 Baltimore 8 7 0 .533 370 Pittsburgh 8 7 0 .533 338 Cleveland 4 11 0 .267 222 West W L T Pct PF x-San Diego 12 3 0 .800 431 Denver 8 7 0 .533 302 Oakland 5 10 0 .333 184 Kansas City 3 12 0 .200 250 NATIONAL CONFERENCE East W L T Pct PF y-Philadelphia 11 4 0 .733 429 y-Dallas 10 5 0 .667 337 N.Y. Giants 8 7 0 .533 395 Washington 4 11 0 .267 246 South W L T Pct PF x-New Orleans 13 2 0 .867 500 Atlanta 8 7 0 .533 343 Carolina 7 8 0 .467 292 Tampa Bay 3 12 0 .200 234 North W L T Pct PF x-Minnesota 11 4 0 .733 426 y-Green Bay 10 5 0 .667 428 Chicago 6 9 0 .400 290 Detroit 2 13 0 .133 239 West W L T Pct PF x-Arizona 10 5 0 .667 368 San Francisco 7 8 0 .467 302 Seattle 5 10 0 .333 267 St. Louis 1 14 0 .067 169
PA 251 236 360 319 PA 277 306 357 389 PA 254 248 300 358 PA 300 280 358 400 PA 313 250 383 313 PA 318 315 298 380 PA 305 290 352 457 PA 292 275 373 408
x-clinched division y-clinched playoff spot Sunday’s Games Chicago at Detroit, 1 p.m. Pittsburgh at Miami, 1 p.m. New England at Houston, 1 p.m. Indianapolis at Buffalo, 1 p.m. San Francisco at St. Louis, 1 p.m. Atlanta at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. New Orleans at Carolina, 1 p.m. Jacksonville at Cleveland, 1 p.m. N.Y. Giants at Minnesota, 1 p.m. Tennessee at Seattle, 4:15 p.m. Philadelphia at Dallas, 4:15 p.m. Washington at San Diego, 4:15 p.m. Kansas City at Denver, 4:15 p.m. Baltimore at Oakland, 4:15 p.m. Green Bay at Arizona, 4:15 p.m. Cincinnati at N.Y. Jets, 8:20 p.m.
Northwestern (8-4) vs. Auburn (7-5), 11 a.m. (ESPN) Capital One Bowl At Orlando, Fla. Penn State (10-2) vs. LSU (9-3), 1 p.m. (ABC) Gator Bowl At Jacksonville, Fla. Florida State (6-6) vs. West Virginia (9-3), 1 p.m. (CBS) Rose Bowl At Pasadena, Calif. Ohio State (10-2) vs. Oregon (10-2), 5 p.m. (ABC) Sugar Bowl At New Orleans Florida (12-1) vs. Cincinnati (12-0), 8:30 p.m. (FOX) Saturday, Jan. 2 International Bowl At Toronto South Florida (7-5) vs. Northern Illinois (7-5), Noon (ESPN2) Cotton Bowl At Arlington, Texas Oklahoma State (9-3) vs. Mississippi (8-4), 2 p.m. (FOX) PapaJohns.com Bowl At Birmingham, Ala. Connecticut (7-5) vs. South Carolina (7-5), 2 p.m. (ESPN) Liberty Bowl At Memphis, Tenn. East Carolina (9-4) vs. Arkansas (7-5), 5:30 p.m. (ESPN) Alamo Bowl At San Antonio Michigan State (6-6) vs. Texas Tech (8-4), 9 p.m. (ESPN) Monday, Jan. 4 Fiesta Bowl At Glendale, Ariz. Boise State (13-0) vs. TCU (12-0), 8 p.m. (FOX) Tuesday, Jan. 5 Orange Bowl At Miami Iowa (10-2) vs. Georgia Tech (11-2), 8 p.m. (FOX) Wednesday, Jan. 6 GMAC Bowl Mobile, Ala. Central Michigan (11-2) vs. Troy (9-3), 7 p.m. (ESPN) Thursday, Jan. 7 BCS National Championship At Pasadena, Calif. Alabama (13-0) vs. Texas (13-0), 8 p.m. (ABC) Saturday, Jan. 23 East-West Shrine Classic At Orlando, Fla. East vs. West, 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30 Senior Bowl At Mobile, Ala. North vs. South, 4 p.m. (NFL) Saturday, Feb. 6 Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Challenge At El Paso, Texas Texas vs. Nation, 3 p.m. (CBSC)
BASKETBALL National Basketball Association
Bowl Glance Saturday, Dec. 19 New Mexico Bowl At Albuquerque Wyoming 35, Fresno State 28, 2OT St. Petersburg (Fla.) Bowl Rutgers 45, UCF 24 Sunday, Dec. 20 New Orleans Bowl Middle Tennessee 42, Southern Miss. 32 Tuesday, Dec. 22 Las Vegas Bowl BYU 44, Oregon State 20 Wednesday, Dec. 23 Poinsettia Bowl At San Diego Utah 37, California 27 Thursday, Dec. 24 Hawaii Bowl At Honolulu SMU 45, Nevada 10 Saturday, Dec. 26 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl At Detroit Marshall 21, Ohio 17 Meineke Bowl At Charlotte Pittsburgh 19, North Carolina 17 Emerald Bowl At San Francisco Southern Cal 24, Boston College 13 Sunday, Dec. 27 Music City Bowl At Nashville, Tenn. Clemson 21, Kentucky 13 Monday, Dec. 28 Independence Bowl At Shreveport, La. Georgia 44, Texas A&M 20 Tuesday, Dec. 29 EagleBank Bowl At Washington UCLA 30, Temple 21 Champs Sports Bowl At Orlando, Fla. Wisconsin 20, Miami 14 Wednesday, Dec. 30 Humanitarian Bowl At Boise, Idaho Idaho 43, Bowling Green 42 Holiday Bowl At San Diego Nebraska (9-4) vs. Arizona (8-4), late (ESPN) Thursday, Dec. 31 Armed Forces Bowl At Fort Worth, Texas Air Force (7-5) vs. Houston (10-3), Noon (ESPN) Sun Bowl At El Paso, Texas Stanford (8-4) vs. Oklahoma (7-5), 2 p.m. (CBS) Texas Bowl At Houston Missouri (8-4) vs. Navy (9-4), 3:30 p.m. (ESPN) Insight Bowl At Tempe, Ariz. Minnesota (6-6) vs. Iowa State (6-6), 6 p.m. (NFL) Chick-fil-A Bowl At Atlanta Virginia Tech (9-3) vs. Tennessee (7-5), 7:30 p.m. (ESPN) Friday, Jan. 1 Outback Bowl At Tampa, Fla.
EASTERN CONFERENCE Atlantic Division W L Pct GB Boston 23 7 .767 — Toronto 15 17 .469 9 New York 12 19 .387 11 1/2 Philadelphia 8 22 .267 15 New Jersey 2 29 .065 21 1/2 Southeast Division W L Pct GB Orlando 22 8 .733 — Atlanta 21 9 .700 1 Miami 16 12 .571 5 Charlotte 12 18 .400 10 Washington 10 20 .333 12 Central Division W L Pct GB Cleveland 25 8 .758 — Chicago 12 17 .414 11 Milwaukee 12 17 .414 11 Detroit 11 20 .355 13 Indiana 9 21 .300 14 1/2 WESTERN CONFERENCE Southwest Division W L Pct GB Dallas 22 9 .710 — San Antonio 18 11 .621 3 Houston 19 13 .594 3 1/2 Memphis 14 16 .467 7 1/2 New Orleans 13 16 .448 8 Northwest Division W L Pct GB Denver 20 12 .625 — Portland 20 13 .606 1/2 Utah 17 13 .567 2 Oklahoma City 17 14 .548 2 1/2 Minnesota 7 25 .219 13 Pacific Division W L Pct GB L.A. Lakers 25 6 .806 — Phoenix 20 12 .625 5 1/2 Sacramento 14 16 .467 10 1/2 L.A. Clippers 13 17 .433 11 1/2 Golden State 9 22 .290 16 Monday’s Games Charlotte 94, Milwaukee 84 Oklahoma City 105, New Jersey 89 Memphis 116, Washington 111, OT Phoenix 118, L.A. Lakers 103 Philadelphia 104, Portland 93 Sacramento 106, Denver 101 Golden State 103, Boston 99 Tuesday’s Games Cleveland 95, Atlanta 84 Oklahoma City 110, Washington 98 New York 104, Detroit 87 Chicago 104, Indiana 95 San Antonio 117, Minnesota 99 Houston 108, New Orleans 100 L.A. Lakers 124, Golden State 118 Wednesday’s Games Orlando 117, Milwaukee 92 Memphis 121, Indiana 110 Cleveland 106, Atlanta 101 Toronto 107, Charlotte 103 New York at New Jersey, late Miami at New Orleans, late Utah at Minnesota, late Boston at Phoenix, late L.A. Clippers at Portland, late Philadelphia at Sacramento, late Thursday’s Games Chicago at Detroit, 3 p.m.
Miami at San Antonio, 7 p.m. Dallas at Houston, 7 p.m. Utah at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m. Philadelphia at L.A. Clippers, 9:30 p.m.
HOCKEY National Hockey League EASTERN CONFERENCE Atlantic Division GP W L OT Pts GF New Jersey 37 27 9 1 55 110 Pittsburgh 40 26 13 1 53 130 N.Y. Rangers 38 18 16 4 40 105 N.Y. Islanders 41 16 18 7 39 99 Philadelphia 38 18 18 2 38 106 Northeast Division GP W L OT Pts GF Buffalo 39 24 11 4 52 107 Boston 38 19 12 7 45 99 Ottawa 39 20 15 4 44 109 Montreal 41 19 19 3 41 107 Toronto 40 14 17 9 37 113 Southeast Division GP W L OT Pts GF Washington 39 24 9 6 54 142 Atlanta 38 18 16 4 40 124 Florida 40 16 17 7 39 113 Tampa Bay 39 15 15 9 39 99 Carolina 39 10 22 7 27 99 WESTERN CONFERENCE Central Division GP W L OT Pts GF Chicago 39 26 10 3 55 121 Nashville 40 23 14 3 49 116 Detroit 39 19 14 6 44 100 St. Louis 39 17 17 5 39 102 Columbus 41 15 18 8 38 109 Northwest Division GP W L OT Pts GF Colorado 40 22 12 6 50 119 Vancouver 40 23 16 1 47 125 Calgary 38 21 12 5 47 107 Minnesota 40 20 17 3 43 106 Edmonton 39 15 20 4 34 110 Pacific Division GP W L OT Pts GF San Jose 39 24 8 7 55 130 Phoenix 41 25 13 3 53 108 Los Angeles 39 22 14 3 47 116 Dallas 39 17 11 11 45 116 Anaheim 39 16 16 7 39 109
GA 81 105 106 126 109 GA 90 94 115 114 139 GA 109 121 128 118 143 GA 84 117 101 111 138 GA 115 99 95 114 131 GA 101 92 115 121 124
Monday’s Games New Jersey 3, Atlanta 2 Columbus 1, Detroit 0, OT Carolina 6, Washington 3 Ottawa 4, Montreal 2 Tampa Bay 2, Boston 1 Calgary 4, Edmonton 1 San Jose 3, Phoenix 2, SO Minnesota 4, Los Angeles 3 Tuesday’s Games N.Y. Islanders 2, Columbus 1, SO Buffalo 4, Pittsburgh 3 Nashville 4, St. Louis 3 Dallas 5, Chicago 4 Phoenix 3, Vancouver 2, SO Anaheim 4, Minnesota 2 Wednesday’s Games New Jersey 2, Pittsburgh 0 Colorado 4, Ottawa 3 Philadelphia 6, N.Y. Rangers 0 Boston 4, Atlanta 0 Montreal at Tampa Bay, late Toronto at Edmonton, late Los Angeles at Calgary, late Washington at San Jose, late Thursday’s Games Montreal at Florida, 5 p.m. Colorado at Detroit, 7 p.m. Nashville at Columbus, 7 p.m. San Jose at Phoenix, 7 p.m. Vancouver at St. Louis, 7 p.m. N.Y. Islanders at Ottawa, 7 p.m. Los Angeles at Minnesota, 8 p.m. Anaheim at Dallas, 8 p.m. N.Y. Rangers at Carolina, 8 p.m. New Jersey at Chicago, 8:30 p.m. Edmonton at Calgary, 9 p.m.
Idaho stuns Bowling Green 43-42 in Humanitarian Bowl BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Max Komar made a sliding 16-yard touchdown catch with 4 seconds left and Nathan Enderle passed to Preston Davis for the 2-point conversion, lifting Idaho to a dramatic 43-42 victory over Bowling Green in Wednesday night’s Humanitarian Bowl. The Falcons took a 42-35 lead with 32 seconds left on a 51-yard pass from Tyler Sheehan to Freddie Barnes, who slipped behind the Idaho secondary for his 17th catch of the game and No. 155 in his NCAA record-setting season. But Idaho answered with a 50-yard heave from Enderle to Davis that got the ball to the Bowling Green 16. After an incompletion with 8 seconds left, Enderle found Komar — who had dropped a number of passes — in the middle of the field, and he slid to cradle the low pass. Coach Robb Akey then decided to go for the 2-point conversion and Enderle threw to Davis alone in the back of the end zone.
Panthers’ Muhsin Muhammad: Sunday won’t be my last game CHARLOTTE (AP) — Muhsin Muhammad is 36, in the final year of his contract and didn’t catch his first touchdown pass of the season until last Sunday. Yet the Panthers starting receiver — who has spent 11 of his 14 seasons in Carolina — vowed that Sunday’s season finale against New Orleans won’t mark the end of his career. “I don’t know if it will be my last game as a Panther, but I know it won’t be my last game,” Muhammad said Wednesday. A two-time Pro Bowler and known as one of the NFL’s top blocking receivers, Muhammad has just 46 catches for 496 yards. Lack of production by receivers other than Steve Smith has hampered the Panthers offense for much of their disappointing season. Muhammad’s 22-yard touchdown catch in Sunday’s 41-9 win over the New York Giants was the first TD by a receiver other than Smith. Muhammad said he’s had no discussions with team officials about a
new contract, but is hopeful he can return in 2010. “I would love to stay and play,” Muhammad said. “We’ll see what happens.” The Panthers’ second-round pick in 1996, Muhammad made the Pro Bowl in 1999 and later paired with Smith in Carolina’s Super Bowl season in 2003. He became Carolina’s top receiving target in 2004 when Smith was injured and made the Pro Bowl, only to be released in a salarycap move when the two sides couldn’t work out a new contract agreement. Muhammad signed with Chicago and spent three years with the Bears, where his numbers steadily declined. He was released after catching only 40 passes in 2007. The Panthers, who had failed to find a physical, blocking receiver to replace him, re-signed Muhammad to a two-year deal in 2008. He started last season and caught 65 passes for 923 yards and five touchdowns. Muhammad remained a starter this year, but his numbers are down.
The Daily Courier, Forest City, NC, Thursday, December 31, 2009 — 9
Texas Tech fires Mike Leach
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Texas Tech fired Mike Leach on Wednesday after the coach took the school to court to try to overturn his suspension for alleged mistreatment of an injured player. “I’m very sad to say there’s only one person to blame for this and it’s Mike Leach,” Texas Tech chancellor Kent Hance told the AP. Jerry Turner, vice chairman of the university system’s board of regents, said “other things” came to light during an investigation of Leach’s treatment of receiver Adam James. The sophomore alleged the coach twice confined Garrett Byers/Daily Courier him to a small, dark place after Chase’s Carlos Watkins, in this file photo, is proving the player was diagnosed with a tough to guard against as the center continues to have concussion. a strong 2009-10 season for the Trojans. Watkins postTurner declined to elaborate ed 27 points and pulled down 12 rebounds in a losing about the other issues. effort against Central on Tuesday. Leach was suspended Monday after he refused to agree to guidelines for dealing with players set forth by his bosses in a Dec. 23 letter. Continued from Page 7 When Leach decided to fight the university in court “in defiance” of his suspension, that’s the game is more enjoyable to watch. why “we are where we are,” East’s Boykins, Gray and the freshman Watkins Turner said. are all solid; Central can throw Oddie Murray, Leach was in San Antonio Jacob Kinlaw, Darrien Watkins and Jonathon Fuller into the paint, while Wilkins can absolutely with his team, which is preparing for the Alamo Bowl against soar. At Chase, well, Coach Ken Hines said it best, “our Michigan State on Saturday. He left the team’s hotel while offense must run through Carlos.” As in Carlos ‘Crunch’ Watkins. Crunch put up 27 his interim replacement, defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill, points and 12 rebounds against Central, Tuesday, was holding a news conference. while facing triple teams. The Hilltoppers zone Approached by a reporter, trap worked as well as it could and still Crunch Leach said no comment before couldn’t be denied. It all adds up to much more enjoyable games and being asked a question. Asked how he felt Texas Tech treated games that are far more, ‘watch-able.’ him throughout the last two weeks, Leach responded, “I MLK Holiday Hoops: The folks at Time-Out think that’s apparent.” Management are putting together a really great Texas Tech’s official statement tourney for 2010. said Leach’s recent actions made The 1980 R-S Central basketball team will it impossible for him to remain be honored, and the games themselves should coach of the Red Raiders. be more evenly-balanced and competitive. East “In a defiant act of insubordiwill host and face Veritas in the night games on nation, Coach Leach continuSaturday, January 16. The day games include match-ups of Thomas Jefferson-Chase in girls bas- ally refused to cooperate in a meaningful way to help resolve ketball, St. Matthias-Thomas Jefferson in boys, the complaint. He also refused Chase vs. Bishop-McGuiness in boys, and Kings to obey a suspension order Mountain vs. R-S Central. The seven games, oneand instead sued Texas Tech day tourney tips off at 12 p.m. That morning, a Tip-Off Breakfast will be held at University,” the statement said. The school on Wednesday gave Ryan’s and later that evening members of the 1980 a termination letter to Leach’s team and their coaches will be invited to Tuscany attorney, Ted Liggett, minutes Grille, in Spindale, for a private dinner. before the two sides were to Central’s former head coach Stacy Lail will appear in court for a hearing on soon have the gym at R-S Central named in his the coach’s request to be allowed honor. Lail finished his time at the helm of the to lead his team in the Alamo Hilltoppers with an incredible 253-54 record, Bowl. including that remarkable 1980 state championship team that finished undefeated. Courier Reporter Jean Gordon and I were talking about the reunion and Gordon was reflecting on her time taking photos under the basket at the old Central High Hill Gym. Continued from Page 7 I am sure many in this county have memories of showing up two hours early just to get a seat to see the 1980 Hilltoppers and I hope that many of you played against New York. If it’s will come out on January 16, weather-permitting, not Carolina, maybe a week goes and once more give a cheer to the only perfect bas- by and he’ll be in good shape.” ketball team the county ever produced. The Panthers have won three of their last four games, includLathan Remembered: Former Central basketing upsets over the Vikings and ball star Burtchus Lathan has passed on, and I Giants the last two weeks, endonly knew him for a short time, but I am blessed to ing the possibility of Carolina have had even that. having its first season of 10 or Lathan told wonderful stories of guarding Crest/ more losses under Fox. The wins N.C. State/NBA star David Thompson during his came despite numerous injuries, high school days. and were apparently enough that I can only offer my prayers and condolences to owner Jerry Richardson decided the Lathan family against firing Fox with a year and more than $6 million left on Flack Attack: By the way, I messed up on his deal. Monday. “He’s done a great job,” Lewis East’s Teddy Flack scored 14 points and it was said. “I think the guys on this left out of the report that four Cavs had scored in team really rally around him.” double figures, when in fact five Cavs had broken The Charlotte Observer reportthat threshold. ed Monday that Richardson will No excuses, I dropped the ball Teddy. not extend the contracts of Fox, his assistants or general manNew Year’s wishes: In June, I will have served ager Marty Hurney past next as Sports Editor of the Courier for five years. It has been my honor and privilege to get to know season. Richardson, who hasn’t spoken to reporters in more so many of you and your children. It is my prayer that 2010 bring you health, happi- than a year, remained silent on Wednesday. Fox bristled ness and hope. when asked if he had talked to This is my home and I am proud to call you my Richardson. friends.
Texas Tech interim coach Ruffin McNeill answers questions during a news conference in San Antonio, Wednesday.
Wide receiver Tramain Swindall said he agreed with the decision to fire Leach. “I’m supporting Adam and what he’s doing because it’s the right thing to do,” Swindall told the AP in a telephone interview. “And so do most of the players. It wasn’t just about Adam. It was always a negative vibe.” James is the son of former NFL player and ESPN analyst Craig James. “We appreciate that the university conducted a fair and thorough investigation,” the James family said in a statement. “From the family’s point of view this has always been about the safety and well being of our son and of all the players on the team.” Texas Tech officials provided Leach a letter setting out guidelines for dealing with student-
athletes. Leach refused to sign it. The letter was included in court papers filed in response to his motion for a restraining order. Among the guidelines: — “Decisions regarding whether an injury warrants suspension from practice and/or play will be determined by a physician without pressure from you or your staff.” —“There will be no retaliation against any student who as suffered an injury.” Tech’s termination letter said Leach was fired with cause, meaning the university believes it does not owe Leach any of the remaining money left on a fiveyear, $12.7 million contract he agreed to in February. According to terms of the deal, Leach was due a $800,000 bonus on Dec. 31 if he were still the head coach at Texas Tech.
“I am speaking English, right?” Fox replied, referring to his earlier declaration that he wouldn’t answer more questions on the subject. Fox’s future has been a hot topic because of Carolina’s disappointing season and the number of big-name coaches out of work. “I hear around town everybody calling for (Bill) Cowher,” said Kalil, referring to the former Pittsburgh coach who lives three hours away in Raleigh. “Everybody wants Cowher to come. Cowher is an awesome coach. I’d love to play for somebody like Cowher, but what’s he going to do differently from Fox? He’s going to play good defense and he’s going to want to run the football. I mean, what are we exactly talking about here?” But it’s possible Fox could decide he wants to seek another job with more security. The Panthers may allow him out of his deal if another team compensated them with draft picks. While he’s been criticized for his conservative style, Fox has an impressive track record. He inherited a 1-15 team from George Seifert after the 2001 season and had the Panthers in
the Super Bowl two years later, where they lost 32-29 to New England. The Panthers lost to Seattle in the NFC championship game at the end of the 2005 season, and they had Super Bowl aspirations last year after going 12-4. But Carolina folded in the playoffs in a 33-13 home loss to Arizona when Jake Delhomme committed six turnovers. The Panthers then gave Delhomme a lucrative contract extension, only to watch him commit five more turnovers in a Week 1 loss to Philadelphia on the way to starting 0-3. As injuries piled up, Delhomme threw 18 interceptions in 11 games. Fox stuck with him until he was sidelined with a broken finger in a Nov. 29 loss to the New York Jets. Matt Moore took over and has led Carolina to a 3-1 record. He has six touchdown passes and no interceptions while outplaying Brett Favre and Eli Manning the past two weeks. The late-season success is nothing new for Fox. The Panthers are 24-13 in December and January regular-season games in his tenure.
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