SUNDAY January 3, 2010
Both the men’s and women’s teams rolled up victories over Lincoln Memorial on Saturday. Page 1B
More and more cities, county’s and states are taking back money paid to lure companies that haven’t lived up to their job creation promises.
Nighttime lows will dip into the teens every night this week. Highs will just crack the 40s.
High: 36 Low: 16 Full report: Page 9A
Supporters Most segregated hour? hail charter school ruling Is Sunday morning worship still the
BY TIFFANY LANE
E-J staff photo by Rick Crider
The Reverend Tom Mills, pastor of Monroe’s Seventh Day Adventist Church on Weddington Road, leads his congregation in an opening hymn.
Churches segregated despite welcoming attitudes BY TIFFANY LANE
‘The essence is love’
CHARLOTTE The back of the hymnal quotes the Quran, Lao-Tse, Buddha and Psalms — ”wisdom from world religions,” the heading says. The hymns are just as diverse, from “The Wind of Change Forever Blown,” including the line “great Buddha of the lotus throne,” to “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem,” and countless calls to coexist in harmony. Many reference “the invisible, unnamed being” and a “mysterious presence;” others elevate humanity. Standing before the semicircle of pews, Jay Leach preaches about peace and enlightenment.
Page 9A Hispanics largely Catholic Page 9A
Leach has been pastor of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte since 2003. His church has about 650 adult members and nearly 250 children and youth. The congregation is “overwhelmingly Anglo,” he said, “somewhat to our distress.” Some members are black, a few Hispanic or Indian, but most are white, primarily from the upper middle class and “highly, if not overly, educated.”
Walk to work? Some can, but most cannot MONROE Don’t expect to incorporate your New Years resolution of getting in shape into your daily commute to work. Getting healthier by walking to work in Union County might be a good idea in theory, but in practice, the economic climate and past city planning could prevent that trend from taking off for several decades. “If you live in the core neighborhoods, you have a good pedestrian network to get to the downtown area,” said Wayne Herron, Monroe city man-
See CHURCH / Page 9A
BY ELISABETH ARRIERO
MONROE N5. O2. Be a bingo player for one night to raise money for a worthy cause. The Literacy Council of Union County will have its first bingo night on Jan. 9 to “help our volunteers help others,” said Linda Moyer, executive director. Twenty winners will receive themed Longaberger baskets, including Panthers, Valentine’s Day and cooking. Those are valued at a minimum of $50, Moyer said. “People who love these
You know that winter has arrived when the horse start wearing jackets. Temperatures are expected to dip into the teens every night this week. E-J Staff photo by Rick Crider
See BINGO / Page 10A
See WALK / Page 10A
What’s Inside Business Comics Classified Hollifield Letters
7A Insert 6B 4A 5A
Obituaries Opinion Social News Weather
See CHARTER / Page 10A
Literacy Council hopes bingo boosts its cause
BY ELisaBETH ARRIERO
The church was founded in 1947 as the first Unitarian congregation in North Carolina. It was first located on East Boulevard in Charlotte and moved to Sharon Amity in the mid-60s when cows grazed in fields down the street. Harris Teeter and Starbucks have since replaced them. During a time of racial tension in North Carolina, Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte was the first non-sectarian organization to integrate its school, which still serves children ages 2 to 5. The school is discovery-based instead of curriculum-based, Leach said, “consistent with who we are
MONROE Charter school supporters say a state Supreme Court ruling could be a bellwether for Union Academy’s lawsuit against Union County Public Schools. The N.C. Court of Appeals ruled last year that Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools owed district charter schools more money than allotted by CMS’s per-pupil funding formula, which, charter schools said, intentionally shortchanged them on operational expenses. In November, the N.C. Supreme Court refused to review the case, tacitly supporting the appeals court’s ruling. Although CMS was the only system named in the suit, the decision is hitting school districts around the state as they calculate how much more they owe nearby charter schools. The News and Observer reported that Wake County estimates that it owes an additional $1 million annually to its 13 charter schools. The Herald Sun reported that the ruling could result in charter schools getting more money per student than Durham Public Schools receives, school board attorney Ann Majestic told officials. Some school districts worry that charter schools could tap into funds they drew from in previous years. The court’s decision
may also add momentum to a separate suit filed by charter schools that want public funds to build and maintain facilities. Union Academy receives the same amount per student that UCPS schools do — about $2,000 per student, Union Academy finance officer Lynn Kroeger said — but gets nothing for construction. To get those construction funds, Union Academy joined a lawsuit with six other charter schools: Socrates Academy in Matthews, Rocky Mount Preparatory School in Rocky Mount, Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy in Mooresboro and Sugar Creek Charter School, Metrolina Regional Scholars’ Academy and Community Charter School, all in Charlotte. Robert Orr and Jason Kay, attorneys for the N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law, are representing those charter schools. The institute is a nonprofit organization and does not charge for its services. If Union Academy wins in the lawsuit, Orr said, “our money would not actually require (public schools) to pay any money; it would only require them to consider it.” Charter schools could request construction funding, but might not get it. Union Academy headmaster Raymond Reinsant said he doesn’t want to downplay the operational money his school gets, but it’s not enough.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 2A 4A 8A 9A
Feeding birds cans color, life and insect control to your garden and keeps it interesting even during the winter months.
Best wishes are extended to everyone who is celebrating a birthday today, especially: Linda Brown, Micheal Chambers and Dawn Massey. Best wishes also are extended to everyone who is celebrating a birthday Monday, especially: Michelle Hughes. Call (704) 261-2278 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to add your names to The Enquirer-Journal birthday list.
2A / Sunday, January 3, 2010
DEATHS Barbara Ellis
MONROE Mrs. Barbara Montgomery Ellis, 70 died Friday January 1, 2010 at Presbyterian Hospital-Matthews. She was born January 20, 1939 in Union County, the daughter of the late Mr. Ward Zeb Montgomery and the late Mrs. Beatrice Annie Stogner Montgomery. She was the retired owner and operator of the Style-O-Rama Beauty Shop on Main Street in Monroe for 52 years. Mrs. Ellis is survived by her husband: James R. Ellis of the home; one daughter: Jill E. Belk of Monroe; one son: Rusty Ellis of Monroe; one grandson: Jake Belk of Monroe. Memorial services for Mrs. Ellis will be 11 a.m. Saturday January 9, 2010 in the Bethany Presbyterian Church. The family will receive friends and relatives for visitation immediately following the service in the church fellowship hall. The family suggests memorials be made to Bethany Presbyterian Church, 6713 Plyler Mill Road, Monroe, N.C. 28112. McEwen Funeral and Cremation Service of Monroe is serving the family.
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Monroe It is with great sadness that the family of Edward T. Byler announce his passing on January 1, 2010, at the age of 63. Ed will be forever remembered as a loving father and grandfather by his four children, Jonathan (Janet) Byler, Mark Byler, Michelle Stephens and David Byler, as well as his seven granddaughters. He is also survived by his former wife, Thelma Byler of Monroe, and by three sisters, Lydia (John) Schmid of Benton, OH, Esther (Freeman) Mullet of Apple Creek, OH, and Dorothy (Earl) Yoder of Dover, OH; two brothers, Dan (Betty) Byler of Canton, OH, and John Byler of Louisville, KY, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Tobias and Amelia Byler, and two brothers, Andy and Simon Byler. A visitation will be held at Bethlehem United Methodist Church in Waxhaw, NC, on Sunday, January 3, from 2:00-4:00, followed by a service in memory of Ed. On Tuesday, January 5, he will be laid to rest at Fairlawn Church Cemetery in Apple Creek, Ohio. An online guest registry is available at www. heritagefuneral.net. Local arrangements are in the care of Heritage Funeral Home, Indian Trail Chapel. PAID OBITUARY
1 Year $138
Edward T. Byler
Marvin Enderle Gary Grunwald Stan Hojnacki Janet Littler Kenn Bowers David Benton
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MONROE Melvin K. Graham, 67, of Monroe, passed away Friday, December 31, 2009 at his home. He is survived by four children: Lisa Strickland Strickland (Tim) of Wingate, Matt Graham (Melissa) of Marshville, Tony Graham of Marshville, and Ken Ward of Arkansas. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren. Arrangements are incomplete and are in the care of Heritage Funeral Home of Indian Trail.
Hard luck driver puts car in river
MONROE Joshua David (J.D.) Fletcher, 90, of Monroe, formally of Midland, NC passed away Friday, January 1, 2010 at his residence. J. D. was born June 11, 1919 in McCall, South Carolina son of the late Robert Galloway and Lula Geiger Wolling Fletcher. He was preceded in death by a grandchild Mitchell Douglas and two brothers G.W. Fletcher and John Fletcher. J.D. was a US Navy, World War II veteran, the former Owner/Operator of Fletcher Oil Company, former president of Union County Chamber of Commerce, former Board Member of Hospice of Union County, former Board Member of American Bank, and United Carolina Bank now BB&T Bank. He was also involved in the Shriners Club, Lions Club, a Volunteer Fireman, EMS, and a Mason. J.D. served as a Campaign Manager for Jim Hunt, and Harlan Boyles. Also he was the director of the March of Dimes Drive, and a member of the â€œHASOBSâ€? A Celebration of Life service will be held Monday January 4, 2010, at 11:00 AM in the Gordon Funeral Chapel, 1904 Lancaster Ave., Monroe NC 28112. The family will receive friends following the service at the funeral home. J.D. is survived by his beloved wife of 22 years Birgitta, three daughters Deanna F. Helms and husband V.W. of Indian Lake Est. FL, Betty Jon Brooks and husband Harlan of Sparta, NC, Joy Fletcher and husband Joseph Santos of Carolina Beach, NC; two step sons Fredrick von Dorn and Carl von Dorn and wife Heather; eleven grandchildren, and nineteen great grandchildren. In lieu of flowers memorial may be made to Hospice of Union County, 700 W. Roosevelt Blvd., Monroe N.C .28110. Gordon Funeral & Cremation Service is caring for the Fletcher family. Online condolences may be made at www.gorodnfuneralservice.com
INDIAN TRAIL Mark Roper, 62, died Saturday, January 2, 2010 at PAID OBITUARY Hospice of Union County. Funeral arrangements are incomplete. Thelma McClendon Good Shepherd FunerMARSHVILLE al Home, Indian Trail is Thelma Garmon Mcserving the family of Mr. Clendon died Friday, JanuRoper. ary 1, 2010, at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte. Arrangements are inBlack golf pioneer complete and will be announced by Grier Funeral dies at age of 93 Service. CANTON, Ohio (AP) â€” Bill Powell, the first African American to build, Levi Houston own and operate a golf WAXHAW course, died Thursday. He Levin Houston died Satwas 93.. urday, January 2, 2010 at The PGA of America Presbyterian Hospital in said Powell died at Ault- Charlotte, man Hospital in Canton Arrangements are infollowing complications complete and will be anfrom a stroke.. nounced by Grier Funeral Service.
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MONROE Mrs. Patricia â€œPatâ€? Littleton Hall, 69, died Thursday, December 31, 2009 at Carolina Medical Center-Union. Pat was born March 8. 1940 in Salem S.C. the daughter of Mrs. Lela Leona Barrett Littleton and the late Rev. Bruce Bernard Littleton, also preceded in death by a son: Durrow Curtis Hall III, she was a retired Medical Technician. Visitation will be 1:00 until 2:00 P.M. Tuesday, January 5, 2010 at Benton Heights Presbyterian Church, with Services to Celebrate the life of Pat beginning at 2:00 P.M. in the Church Sanctuary with her pastor; Reverend Paul Saleeby officiating, interment will follow in Sharon Memorial Park in Charlotte. Survivors include her husband: Durrow C. Hall Jr. of the home, one Daughter: Luanne Hall Sherron and husband Steve of Wesley Chapel N.C., Mother: Mrs. Lena Leona Littleton Funderburk of Monroe N.C., Brother: Vernard Littleton and wife Lisa Turner of Monroe N.C., two grandchildren: Stephanie Sherron Crisco and husband Ron Jr. of Mooresville N.C., Jake Sherron of Monroe N.C., one great grandchild: Carter Dean Crisco of Mooresville N.C. Memorials may be made to Benton Heights Presbyterian Church Building Fund, 2701 Concord Hwy., Monroe N.C. 28110 or to American Cancer Society, 6000 Fairview Rd., Suite 200, Charlotte N.C. 28210. McEwen Funeral and Cremation Service of Monroe is serving the family of Mrs. Hall.
Susan Jeanette Johnson-Cooper
INDIAN TRAIL Susan Jeanette Johnson-Cooper, 58, of Indian Trail passed away on January 1, 2010. Susan was born in Indian Trail on September 12, 1951 to Frances Vickery and the late James Jerome Vickery. Ms. Cooper was raised in and lived in Indian Trail all her life. She attended Wingate College, studying Physical Education. She was a member of Indian Trail Presbyterian Church and member of the choir. Susan dedicated her life to her family. In addition to being survived by her mother, Frances Vickery; she is survived by her children, Clay Timanus, Adam Johnson, and Natalie Johnson; and brother, Frederick Vickery. Funeral services to celebrate her life will be held on Monday, January 4, 2010 at 1PM at Indian Trail Presbyterian Church with Reverend Jim Johns officiating. Burial to follow at Indian Trail Cemetery. The family will receive friends 1 hour prior to the service. Arrangements are in care of Heritage Funeral Home, Indian Trail Chapel. Online condolences may be left at www.heritagefuneral. net.
ASHEVILLE (AP) â€” Amanda Burnett has had a recent streak of bad luck behind the wheel. Hours after she picked up her 1999 Buick Century from the mechanic, crews were fishing it out of the French Broad River. Burnett said she swerved to avoid an oncoming car, causing her to lose control and send her car into the river with her and her 13-year-old son inside. About five people who saw the wreck stopped to help. The Good Samaritans were able to free Burnett and her son, Adam Wolfe, as icy water started to fill the car. â€œJust about everybody got out to try to help,â€? Burnett said, adding that she wasnâ€™t able to get any of her rescuersâ€™ names. â€œI would like to thank them all from the bottom of my heart. I wish I did catch their names.â€? Burnett said she was driving south on Brevard Road to her Arden home about 5 p.m. Thursday when an oncoming car crossed the centerline. Burnett said she swerved to avoid the car, hit some gravel going into a curve and lost control of her car. The car crossed both lanes of traffic, struck a tree and traveled down an embankment into the French Broad River near Sandy Bottoms. â€œI didnâ€™t expect to lose control,â€? she said. â€œIt was very scary.â€? Burnett suffered a cut to her left wrist, and her son suffered a scrape on his head and a bruise on his chest from the seatbelt. The car Burnett swerved to avoid did not stop. Burnett said it looked like a silver Subaru.
Crews used a wrecker to pull Burnettâ€™s car out of PAID OBITUARY the river. The car was just repaired following a wreck Burnett had on Christmas when she hit a patch Former state rep of black ice and spun the dies at age of 80 car out. She doesnâ€™t have another car, but said she WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. would rely on family to (AP) â€” Former longtime help get her around until state Rep. George Holmes, she either gets her Buick a key budget leader while fixed or gets another car. Republicans controlled â€œI just got the car back the House in the mid-1990s, three hours ago,â€? Burnett PAID OBITUARY died Thursday morning, said, as she watched crews officials said. He was 80. use a wrecker to pull her Holmes died at Wake car from the river. â€œBut University Bap- such is life. At least weâ€™re Alemeter Alexander Forest tist Medical Center in OK.â€? MONROE The N.C. Highway PaAlemeter Chambers Al- Winston-Salem, hospital spokeswoman Bonnie trol is investigating. exander, 84, died Friday, January 1, 2010, at CMC- Davis said, but she could provide no other informaUnion in Monroe. Services at New Melt- tion. The House clerkâ€™s ofonville Baptist Church in fice said funeral arrangePeachland will be at 1 p.m. ments were incomplete. Holmes, a former real Tuesday, January 5, 2010. Burial will follow at Lake- estate company president from Yadkin County, was land Memorial Park. Born in Anson County first elected to the House on January 17, 1925, she in 1974 and became one was a daughter of the late of just nine Republicans ROCKY MOUNT (AP) Walter Chambers and the in the 120-member cham- â€” Authorities say a North late Daisy Crowder Cham- ber â€” the result of GOP Carolina man playing pokdefeats in the wake of the er was killed by someone bers. She is survived by six Watergate scandal. who forced his way into Holmes lost two years a home after knocking on daughters, Daisy Wilson and Norma Vinson of later, but returned to the the door. Charlotte, Mary Black of chamber in 1978 and didnâ€™t Investigators told Matthews,, and Annie Ivey, leave for 30 more years. He WRAL-TV that 35-yearFaye Crowder and Kathy rose through the Republi- old Vernon Foster was faStafford, all of Monroe; can ranks, serving as the tally shot by two men who three brothers, Jaylynn minority whip and mi- barged in after he opened Chambers and William nority party joint caucus the door at the house in Chambers of Monroe and leader in the early 1980s. Rocky Mount around 11 When Republicans took p.m. Friday. Walter Dub Chambers of Washington D.C.; two sis- over the House for the first Police say Fosterâ€™s ters, Eunice Richardson of time in the 20th century in poker-playing partner, Wingate and Daisy Cham- 1995, Holmes became se- 22-year-old Brian Edwards bers of White Plains, N.Y.; nior co-chairman of the ran to a home across the Appropriations street. The gunmen folfifteen grandchildren and House Committee, where he lowed, shooting Edwards 25 great-gradnchildren, Visitation will be from served for four years and and a 61-year-old man in 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Grierâ€™s was the chamberâ€™s chief the other home. They rebudget negotiator with main hospitalized. Chapel in Monroe, Police have made no arSenate Democrats. rests and are trying to deâ€œGeorge Holmes was a John Wilder dies, was good man,â€? former Demo- termine a motive for the Tennessee governor cratic state Rep. David Dia- shooting. John S. Wilder, a wily, mont of Surry County told eccentric and towering the Winston-Salem Jourfigure in Tennessee poli- nal. â€œHe was a solid indiWoman killed tics as lieutenant gover- vidual who always smiled. nor/Senate speaker for 36 He knew the issues and he standing on road JACKSONVILLE, N.C. years, died early Friday at was a fine gentleman.â€? (AP) â€” Authorities are a Memphis hospital. trying to figure out why a woman was killed standing on one of the main highways along North Carolinaâ€™s coast. Troopers said Caroline Cromer was found dead around 10 p.m. Thursday Do You Have Our BEST Rates On on U.S. 17 in Holly Ridge. Plan F Medicare Supplement Her mother says she was visiting friends. and Part D Prescription Drug Plan? Authorities say several motorists called police to say they saw a woman 704-283-5950 standing in the northbound lanes.
Intruder shoots, kills card player
ALLAN PRESSON INS.
Sunday, January 3, 2010 / 3A
COMING EVENTS Monday. Jan. 4
â€˘Â EXERCISE CLASS, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., Ellen Fitzgerald Senior Center. Open to ages 55 and up. For details, call 704-2824657. â€˘ SENIOR FITNESS CLASS, 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., Bazemore Center, Winchester Avenue, Monroe. Free to all senior citizens. Details, 704-282-4654. â€˘ BABY TIME, 10:30 a.m., Union West Library. Details, 704-821-7475. â€˘Â TODDLER TIME, 11:15 a.m., Union West Regional Library, for children ages 12 months to 36 months. â€˘ BABY TIME, 11:30 a.m., Waxhaw Library. Details, 704-843-3131. â€˘Â MONROE-UNION COUNTY SENIOR CITIZENS ORGANIZATION, 3 p.m., Winchester Center. For details, call Christine R. Belton, 704-283-1615. â€˘ TURNING POINT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE GROUP, 4 p.m. at the shelter. Details, 704-283-7233. â€˘ CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUP, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Outpatient Treatment Pavilion auditorium, CMC-Union. Details, Kara Finch, 704-2833381, 704-320-6570, kara. email@example.com. â€˘Â ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, Low Bottom group, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., old Belk building, 200 Stewart St., Monroe. Details, 704-332-4387; 704377-0244. â€˘Â INDIAN TRAIL TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), private weighin, 6 p.m. to 6:45 p.m; meeting 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., Indian Trail United Methodist Church, 113 Indian Trail Road. First visit free. Details, 704-843-9365. â€˘ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, Sunset group, 6 p.m., 1010 McManus St., Monroe. Details, 704-219-6245. â€˘ TOPS (TAKE OFF POUNDS SENSIBLY), 6:30 p.m. weigh-in, 7 p.m. meeting, Bonds Grove United Methodist Church, Waxhaw. Details, 704-8432735. â€˘Â SUN VALLEY HIGH BOOSTER CLUB, board members 6:30 p.m., general public 7 p.m. in the school cafeteria.. â€˘ TOPS (TAKE OFF POUNDS SENSIBLY), 6:30 p.m. weigh-in, 7 p.m. meeting, First Baptist Church, 109 Morrow Ave. Details, 704-233-1610. â€˘ COMMUNITY CAREER CONNECTIONS, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Lee Park Baptist Church. Call 704289-4674. â€˘Â WOODMEN OF THE WORLD LODGE 1339, 7 p.m., Indian Trail Civic Building. Call 704-225-1245 for details. â€˘ UNION COUNTY AREA BRAIN INJURY SUPPORT NETWORK, 7 p.m., Cancer Center conference room #7. Parking available in front. For details, 704-843-2033 or 3554354. â€˘ UNION CHORALE, 7 p.m., Stallings United Methodist Church, 1115 Stallings Road. Details, Sandy McReynolds, 704238-1555. â€˘Â PROVIDENCE VFD, 7:30 p.m., Station 5025, Hemby Road, Weddington. For details, call the station, 704-846-1111. â€˘Â BINGO, 7:45 p.m. regular program, AmVet Post No. 851, U.S. 601 South. â€˘ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, 8 p.m. at The Friendship Home, 2111 Stafford Street Extension., call 704-289-4144. â€˘ NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friendship Missionary Baptist Church administrative building, 501 Burke St. Details, 704-8214256, 704-763-0784.
Tuesday, Jan. 5
â€˘ MONROE INVESTORS, 8:30 a.m., Brown Derby, Skyway Drive,
Monroe. Details, Elsie Smoluk, 704-363-8815. â€˘Â TODDLER TIME, 10 a.m., Union West Regional Library, for children ages 12 months to 36 months. â€˘Â TODDLER TIME, 10 a.m., Monroe Library, 316 E. Windsor St., for children ages 12 months to 36 months. For details, call 704-283-8184. â€˘Â TODDLER TIME, 10 a.m., 11 a.m., Waxhaw Library, for children ages 12 months to 36 months. â€˘Â BASIC SPANISH, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., must be member of Ellen Fitzgerald Senior Center and age 55 or over. Ellen Fitzgerald Senior Center, 327 S. Hayne St. Details, 704-2824657. â€˘Â STORY TIME, 10:30 a.m., Monroe Library, 316 E. Windsor St., for children ages 3 to 5. For details, call 704-283-8184. â€˘Â MARSHVILLE ROTARY CLUB, noon, Pier Restaurant, Marshville. For details, call Johnny Pigg, 704-624-2602. â€˘Â MONROE ROTARY CLUB, noon to 1 p.m., Rolling Hills Country Club. Details, 704-2834645. â€˘ HOMEWORK HELP NIGHT, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Monroe Library. For grades one through eight. Details, Kim, 704-283-8184, ext. 238. â€˘Â ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, Low Bottom group, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., old Belk building, 200 Stewart St., Monroe. Details, 704-332-4387; 704377-0244. â€˘Â TOPS NO. 373 (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), 6 p.m. weigh-in, 6:30 p.m. meeting, 805 South Bragg Street, Monroe. For details, call 704-282-0073. â€˘ UNION COUNTY
I NT E RD E NO MI NATIONAL MINISTERIAL ALLIANCE, 6 p.m. Call 704-283-6342. â€˘ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, Sunset group, 6 p.m., 1010 McManus St., Monroe. Details, 704-219-6245. â€˘Â BENTON HEIGHTS LIONS CLUB OF MONROE, 7 p.m., Brown Derby Restaurant on Skyway Drive. For details, call 704283-6502 or 704-225-1026. â€˘Â BOY SCOUT TROOP 1, 7 p.m., First Presbyterian, 302 E. Windsor St. For details, call Gale Brown at 704-764-7589. â€˘Â PARKWOOD HIGH SCHOOL BAND-AID, 7 p.m., PHS band room. For details, call 704-764-2910. â€˘Â NEWCOMERS AND FRIENDS CLUB OF UNION COUNTY, 7 p.m. For location and more details, call 704-764-7610. â€˘Â OVERCOMERS OUTREACH, 7 p.m., Waxhaw Bible Church. For details, call 704-764-3960. â€˘ ELVIS PRESLEY FAN CLUB OF THE CAROLINAS, 7 p.m., Indian Trail VFW. New members welcome. â€˘ BINGO, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., American Legion Post 208, Highway 75 East, Waxhaw. Jackpot, $500. Smoke free.
Wednesday, Jan 6
â€˘Â RETIRED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ASSOCIATION, 7:30 a.m. Palace Restaurant. â€˘Â MONROE-UNION BREAKFAST ROTARY, 7:30 a.m., Golden Corral. For details, call 704-5073956. â€˘Â EXERCISE CLASS, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., Ellen Fitzgerald Senior Center. Open to ages 55 and up.
k uic B â€? re â€œ03 e Sab r L doo 4
For details, call 704-2824657. â€˘Â TODDLER TIME, 9:30 a.m., Marshville Library, for children ages 12 months to 36 months. â€˘Â STORY TIME, 10 a.m., 11 a.m., Waxhaw Library, for ages 3 to 5. For details, call 704-843-3131. â€˘ COA UNION SENIORS PROGRAM, 10 a.m., Walkersville Presbyterian Church. Bring a covered dish. â€˘Â STORY TIME, 10 a.m., Marshville Library, for ages 3 to 5. For details, call 704-624-2828. â€˘ SENIOR FITNESS CLASS, 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., Bazemore Center, Winchester Avenue, Monroe. Free to all senior citizens. Details, 704-282-4654. â€˘ TODDLER TIME, 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., Union West Regional Library. For ages 18 to 36 months. â€˘ BABY TIME, 11 a.m., Monroe Library. Details, 704-283-8184. â€˘Â STORY TIME, 11:30 a.m., Union West Regional Library, for children ages 3 to 5. â€˘Â MONROE BUSINESS ADVISORY COUNCIL, 1
p.m., Rolling Hills Country Club. For details, call 704-289-2543. â€˘ TURNING POINT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE GROUP, 4 p.m. at the shelter. Details, 704-283-7233. â€˘Â ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, Low Bottom group, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., old Belk building, 200 Stewart St., Monroe. Details, 704-332-4387; 704377-0244. â€˘ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, Sunset group, 6 p.m., 1010 McManus St., Monroe. Details, 704-219-6245. â€˘ CLASSIC CRUISERS, 7 p.m., Poplin Place shopping center, West Roosevelt Boulevard, Monroe. For information, contact Jim Collura at 704-289-6208 or firstname.lastname@example.org. â€˘Â BINGO, 7:30 p.m., Vietnam Veterans Association Post No. 14, 620 Roosevelt Blvd., $2,500 program. Doors open at 5 p.m. For details, call 704283-6165. â€˘ NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friendship Missionary Baptist Church admin-
1101 Skyway Dr. Monroe, NC 28110
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â€˘Â UNION WEST ROTARY, 7:30 a.m., civic building behind Indian Trail Town Hall. For details, call Sean Helms, 704849-9332. â€˘ WAXHAW-WEDDINGTON SUNRISE ROTARY CLUB, 7:30 a.m., Rippingtonâ€™s Restaurant, 109 W. South Main Street, Waxhaw. For information, call Arthur Lightbody at 704-843-6048. â€˘ BABY TIME, 10:30 a.m., Union West Library. Details, 704-821-7475. â€˘Â MONROE LIONS CLUB meeting, noon, Quincyâ€™s Family Steakhouse. Call Wanda Deese, 704-577-7669, for details. â€˘Â KIWANIS CLUB OF MONROE, noon to 1 p.m., Rolling Hills Country Club. For details, call Fran Dandridge at 704289-9429. â€˘Â SENIOR CITIZENS CANASTA, 12:30 p.m., Ellen Fitzgerald Center. For information, call Ellen Fitzgerald Senior Center
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4A Sunday, January 3, 2010
“The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.”
Editor: Stan Hojnacki / email@example.com
Since 1873, a heritage of commitment and involvement
Publisher: Marvin Enderle Managing Editor: Stan Hojnacki News Editor: Jim Muldrow City Editor: Betsy O’Donovan
A CAROLINA VIEW
Sales tax needs revision How will we know when the recession is over? Here’s one quick answer: When sales tax receipts pick up. They’ve been in a decline that suggests both the depth of the retail recession and the fix that local and state governments find themselves in. Figures from the state Department of Revenue show, for example, that in September 2007, Wake County reported taxable sales of just over $1 billion. The state sales tax receipts reported that month to the Revenue Department came to $44.36 million. This September’s figures? A total of $777.47 million in taxable sales, and state sales tax receipts of $35.18 million. Any limited comparison risks being atypical, and the gap in Wake between the Septembers of 2007 and 2009 seems to represent the high side of the drop-off locally — Durham and Orange counties experienced smaller declines, although Johnston’s was significant. However, there’s no doubt the problem is acute, and that as of the end of September it hadn’t abated (October figures have not yet been posted). Just look at the overall figures for North Carolina. The state recorded $431 million in state sales tax receipts in September 2009, compared with $441 million two years earlier. That decline occurred despite continued growth in the state’s population. It also came despite — some might say because of — a 1 cent hike in the state sales tax that took effect this September. For legislators and revenue officials who count on the higher sales tax to pick up some of the slack in the budget, that’s especially sobering news. So when tax policy experts say the existing retail sales tax in this state needs to change, they make a lot of sense. Our overall tax structure hasn’t changed significantly since the early 1930s. Retail transactions in stores are taxed; most services are not. Online sales, ever growing, often escape sales taxes entirely. Yet with property tax receipts under pressure from lower sales prices, and the state income tax already at comparatively high rates, the sales tax is the one levy that the public and elected officials have been willing to increase. That’s the case even though the sales tax is regarded as regressive — having a greater relative impact on the less affluent. A local sales tax hike to help build Charlotte’s light rail system won (pre-recession) voter approval there, and in the Triangle, officials look to a similar increase, which voters would have to OK, to pay for increased transit options here. Shoppers are well aware that the legislature, facing a budget crisis over the summer, put into effect the 1 cent hike in September that gives nearly all counties a sales tax rate of 7.75 percent (the state portion is 5.5 percent). No wonder that members of the state House and Senate Finance committees have been concentrating on the sales tax as they meet to see what can be done about the overall tax system. As The Charlotte Observer’s Jack Betts put it in a column on these pages, “Almost every state commission that has studied the sales tax has concluded that if the state were to broaden the sales tax base to include more services, it could also pare the rate substantially — perhaps trim other tax rates, too.” Given the vulnerability of the existing sales tax to steep revenue declines in a downturn, and the long-term trends eroding the tax, a revenue-neutral reform that would broaden the base while cutting rates is worth all the attention the legislature can give it, even in the election year of 2010. So far, North Carolina has avoided the worst of the California-style budget meltdowns that have plagued too many states, but with our antiquated tax system straining at the seams, the grim sales tax figures suggest that the shine is off the penny. The News & Observer of Raleigh
Predictions for 2010, Part II
eaders who did not overly indulge in Uncle Fred’s eggnog or trip over the tail-end of their new Snuggies and smash their skulls on coffee tables may recall last week’s column, Scott’s Trance-Induced 2010 Year in Preview, Part I, a guide to what will happen in the coming year. It’s the perfect antidote to all those year-in-review stories and an annual tradition in which I stretch - and I mean stretch one column into two by predicting with uncanny accuracy future events. Last week, I provided you, the reader - hi Ed, how’s it going? - with key events for January through June, which included more trouble for golfer Tiger Woods, a cruel April Fool prank by government officials, and Vice President Joe Biden’s accidental trip on a runaway balloon. Those who continued reading instead of immediately turning the page to enjoy the wacky suburban antics of Hi and Lois or clicking over to TMZ to learn which celebrity has been found dead were introduced to the first patient treated under the nation’s newly reformed health care system, Arnold Pitts, a retail sales manager from Tallahassee, Fla. Pitts also becomes the world’s first recipient of a “green” colonoscopy, an environmentally friendly procedure that produces zero carbon emissions and makes us less dependent upon foreign petroleum products. And now, for your listening pleasure (if someone is reading this aloud to you), here is Scott’s Trance-Induced 2010 Year in Preview, Part II: July - In one of the most stunning events in human history,
Scott Hollifield Columnist
the existence of extraterrestrial life is confirmed when an alien spacecraft lands just outside Flagstaff, Ariz. As cameras roll and the world watches in anticipation, a door on the craft opens with a hiss, and a tall, green-skinned being emerges, looks around at the assembled throng and -- with little fanfare -- asks for directions to Uranus. Arnold Pitts draws him a detailed map. August - California becomes the first state to legalize, regulate and tax the sale of marijuana, solving its budget woes but immediately creating a statewide shortage of Doritos and spawning a grassroots campaign for Willie Nelson as state treasurer. Californians then collectively forget about the grassroots campaign, decide to skip work because it is “bogus” and/or “whack” and spend hours wondering why the official state animal is a bear. “Like, why a bear, man?” September - South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford publishes the book, “Hiking the Appalachian Trail: A Guide to Nature’s Hot Spots.” October: President Obama invites Arnold Pitts, the first patient under the nation’s reformed health care system, to a gala celebration at the White House in his honor. On the way to Washington, Pitts, over-
whelmed by the national attention he’s getting, tells a Northwest Airlines flight attendant, “I never expected it to blow up this big.” He is tackled by fellow passengers, Tasered by an air marshal and led away in handcuffs in a slight misunderstanding. Californians agree that “some bears, like Smokey, are cool, but what about Yogi, dude, stealing peoples’ picnic baskets full of Doritos? That is definitely not cool, man.” November - The Consumer Product Safety Commission urges a nationwide recall of Snuggies after reports of people tripping over the tail-end and smashing their skulls on coffee tables. Snuggie lovers are up in arms, which have been stretched through the convenient holes in the blanket. One Snuggie-rights advocate, an obscure newspaper columnist who received one for Christmas, said, “You can have my Snuggie when you pry it from my warm, dead body.” December - As the year draws to a close, California once again outlaws the sale of nonmedical marijuana in response to the horrific Doritos famine and the seemingly never-ending bear discussion that the rest of the nation -- known to Californians as “the buzz killers” -- found less than fascinating. And, somewhere, an obscure newspaper columnist sits down in a blanket with sleeves and a cup of Uncle Fred’s eggnog and begins to pen his annual predictions for the coming year. Scott Hollifield is editor/general manager of The McDowell News in Marion, N.C. Contact him at P.O. Box 610, Marion, N.C. 28752 or e-mail rhollifield@ mcdowellnews.com.
It is an unhappy New Year for religious liberty
ood riddance to the aughts, naughts or ohs. By whatever name, the first decade of the 21st century has been devastating for religious liberty in much of the world. The statistics are numbing. According to a study released this month by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, nearly 70 percent of the world’s 6.8 billion people now live in countries with high restrictions on religious beliefs and practices. The study measures limits on religious freedom caused by government policy, laws and actions as well as restrictions imposed by private individuals, organizations and social groups. Some countries, China and Vietnam for example, have high government restrictions but moderate or low hostile acts by private individuals and groups. Other countries, such as Nigeria, are high in social hostilities but moderate in government restrictions. The worst offenders are countries such as Saudi Arabia
Charles Haynes Inside the 1st Amendment
and Iran, with high levels of both governmental and societal limits on religious liberty. (The full report is available at www. pewforum.org.) Meanwhile, at the United Nations, Saudi Arabia, Iran and other repressive regimes are leading an effort to diminish freedom for the 30 percent of humanity still free. On Dec. 18, the U.N. General Assembly adopted yet another resolution condemning “defamation of religions” and calling for what amounts to a global blasphemy law. The nonbinding resolution has passed the General Assembly every year since 2005, though support
for the measure has declined somewhat in recent years. In this brave new world, the U.N. resolution redefines religious liberty to mean state censorship of individual conscience and expression. The very countries that punish citizens for expressing their religious views are calling on all nations to censor speech critical of (their) religion. “Instead of addressing the very real problems of religious persecution and discrimination around the world,” said Leonard Leo, chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, “these resolutions exacerbate them. In countries that have blasphemy laws, like Pakistan, these laws result in gross abuses, particularly against religious minorities and dissenters.” While the U.N. fiddles with the meaning of religious liberty, the world burns with religious conflict. The Pew report found public tensions between religious groups in 87 percent of 198 countries in the period studied (mid-2006 through mid-
“While the U.N. fiddles with the meaning of religious liberty, the world burns with religious conflict.”
2008). In 126 countries, these hostilities involved physical violence. And in 17 countries, religion-related terrorism caused casualties. What the world needs in the new year are fewer U.N. resolutions defaming human rights and more U.N. resolve to defend the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on Dec. 10, 1948. According to Article 18, “everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion
or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” In what Time magazine has dubbed the “decade from hell,” the people of the world have suffered everything from terrorist attacks to economic collapse. But few worldwide trends will have more long-lasting, catastrophic consequences than the continuing erosion of religious liberty and the corresponding rise in religious conflict in countries across the globe. With 70 percent of the world denied freedom of conscience, the challenge of advancing religious liberty appears overwhelming. But despite the odds, a new year always brings new hope. • Charles C. Haynes is senior scholar at the First Amendment Center, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001. Web: firstamendmentcenter.org. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, January 3, 2010 / 5A
2009 took Anna Beth Hogan Seaman and we will miss her This time every year in the tradition of Brother Guy Lombardo I write an Auld Lang Syne piece. A story about an old acquaintance, who Iâ€™ll not forget, that left us during the previous year. Somebody I knew who meant an awful lot to me. And a person who you knew too, as Iâ€™ve chronicled them in some fashion here on these pages in the past. This year, we lost my dear friend Anna Beth Hogan Seaman- The Madam as she was affectionately known. Iâ€™ve written about Anna and her husband Joe a number of times over the years. Joe, youâ€™ll recall is the fellow who gets up so early in the morning we actually believe in this part of the country that heâ€™s the man that flips the switch that lets the sun come up. Then he goes out behind his house around 4:30 in the morning, that is if heâ€™s slept in that morning, and begins to working on his woodpile
Bill Melton Good Olâ€™ Boy
like a giant termite, chopping and splitting firewood to beat the band. Iâ€™ve long declared that Joe Seaman whoâ€™s now up his 80â€™s does more work before dawn that us mere mortals do in an entire month. And for 61 years Anna and Joe were a team. A husband and a wife working together to raise a family and make ends meet the good old fashioned way- with hard work, sweat and tears. Tears that came again when Anna left us to be with the Lord on October 5th.
I wrote about Anna last back in August. I told the story then of how Joe had referred to her as â€œThe Madamâ€? so often that neither I, nor most anyone else I knew of had any idea of what her given name was. Iâ€™ve known â€˜em both for over 25 years and I didnâ€™t know it. And friends that were practically raised by them didnâ€™t know it either. It was only after I recieved a voicemail from Anna Seamen that I did enough detective work to figure out that Anna was The Madam. And at the time I wrote that piece I knew Anna was dying from cancer. Sheâ€™d been diagnosed with terminal cancer the previous fall and in fact the doctors had told the family to enjoy her because she wouldnâ€™t be with them at Christmas. But apparently nobody gave Anna that deadline. Or if they did, she didnâ€™t pay any attention to it. Because she lived a good life and fought the good fight right up to the end. And I mean right
up to the end. I dropped by to see Anna on October 3 just 2 days before she died. Anna was in bed, of course, by this time, but sheâ€™d only been so for a few days. Iâ€™d visited with her a few days before that and found her sitting in her normal spot on the Davenport, ramrod straight, with her dog Buster at her side. Buster, incidently, obviously knew of Annaâ€™s plight because a dog that had lived to that point to take rides in the automobile refused to leave Annaâ€™s side during her entire illness. During both visits we conversed as we always had before with Anna visiting just as normally as she always had. But on what would be my last visit with her I asked her how she was doing. And in the trademark stoic fashion that had defined her life Anna simply replied, â€œFine.â€? And when I asked her how she felt she said she, â€œfelt pretty good todayâ€?.
YOUR VIEW Strong voice is needed by victims For most of us, the sight of a pregnant woman brings about feelings of warmth and happiness. This is most certainty a great gift from GOD. Murder of pregnant women has become an epidemic right here in North Carolina. In recent years, ten (10) pregnant women and their unborn babies have been barbarically murdered. These are the ones that we know about and have been reported. How many other cases have gone unreported that we may never know about? North Carolina is one of only fourteen (14) states that refuses to recognize a second victim in these crimes? How can it be that the majority of our citizens agree that two murderâ€™s have been committed, not one when a pregnant victim is murdered, and the killer who knew the woman to be pregnant will face only one charge of murder instead of two according to state law? NC desperately needs â€œThe Unborn Victims of Violence Billâ€? signed into law. Even one of the most liberal states in the union, California has deemed pregnant women and their unborn children to be two
separate victims and each worthy of protection under the law. Deborah Ross, Chairwoman of the powerful Judiciary 1 Committee, had chosen not to give â€œthe Unborn Victims of Violence Billâ€? a hearing or full house vote. Sadly State House Of Representatives Speaker Joe Hackney has not used his influence or power and made that a legislative priority? Year after year, Hackney ensures that The Unborn Victims of Violence Act goes to Deborah Rossâ€™s hostile Judiciary Committee. How can two individuals wield so much power in a democratic republic? The pro-choice groups has successfully stopped the bill in its tracks year after year with the lie that an Unborn Victims bill would threaten abortion rights. The public and its elected representatives deserve to know that every court to ever review these laws has determined they have nothing to do with abortion whatsoever. Walter Dellinger, a former solicitor general with the Clinton administration who teaches at Duke University, says that, although he is a strong advocate for a womenâ€™s right to choose abortion, he sees no major problem with the fetal-ho-
That was Anna right down to the ground. Tough and ramrod straight to the end. A woman who spent her entire life working, living, and loving her family. A woman who worked the night shift at a cotton mill so she could be at home and raise her children Charlotte and Ned during the day. A workload much heavier, mind you, than even working the â€œfrom can â€˜til caintâ€? like our ancestors. In and around all that she was a wonderful wife to Joe for 61 years. As Anna crossed over Jordan that October evening she was surrounded by the family she loved so dear. She went to sleep a child of God and awoke in the arms of Jesus. And we will miss her. William S. Melton Jr. is a Southern humorist, an author and a good olâ€™ boy. Once a minister in Union County, he is now a police lieutenant in Gastonia.
Write to us micide laws. I donâ€™t think they undermine Roe v. Wade. Sadly, if legislation protecting both mother and child is not passed, our state will continue to be a safe haven for murderers. The citizens deserve more from a State Rep-
resentative than to just agree this bill makes sense. We need a strong voice in Raleigh that will continue to fight for this legislation until a fair vote takes place. Ten years of waiting is far too long. Jeff Gerber Unionville
The Enquirer-Journal welcomes letters to the editor about issues affecting Union County. Preferred length is 300 words. Please include your signature, address and telephone number where we can reach you with any questions. You may send letters by mail, fax (704) 289-2929 or by email (email@example.com.) We reserve the right to edit for libel, length and clarity.
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6A / Sunday, January 3, 2010
CMC-Union Events Carolinas Medical CenterUnion offers a wide variety of community health events, seminars, support groups, and wellness classes, all intended to promote preventive health and encourage healthy choices. All classes and support groups will take place at CMC-Union, 600 Hospital Drive, in Monroe, N.C. unless otherwise noted. To view a complete list of upcoming events and classes scheduled for the month of January 2010, visit www.cmc-union.org/ calendar/. CHILDBIRTH PREPARATION CLASSES January 4, 11, 18 & 25, 7-9 p.m. Four-part prenatal program for expecting moms and their partners. Learn about the physical and emotional changes you’ll experience during the third trimester, the role of a support person, normal newborn behavior and breathing techniques to ease the labor and delivery process. To register, call 704-283BABY. AS SOON AS YOU KNOW Tuesday, January 9, 6-8 p.m. This class is designed for cou-
ples early in their pregnancy (during the first trimester). Learn about the importance of prenatal care, nutrition, activity and routine prenatal tests. To register, call 704-283-BABY. HOW SMART IS YOUR CART? January 14, 10-11:30 a.m. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes and takes insulin, join us for a free grocery store tour to learn about heart healthy food choices, carbohydrate counting, quick and easy meal ideas, and how to make good food choices on a budget. The tour will take place at Harris Teeter located at 1817 Dickerson Blvd. in Monroe and Each participant will receive a free blood glucose meter and information on how to save on testing supplies. To register, call 704-315-7474. CAR SEAT SAFETY WORKSHOP January 14, 7–9 p.m. This class will teach new parents how to install a car seat and properly secure their child in the seat according to the NC Child Passenger Safety Law. To register,
Eye doctor treats soldiers in Germany call 704-283-BABY. CONQUERING COMMON SLEEP DISORDERS January 21, 6-7:30 p.m. Join Dr. Ramarao Suresh of Union Pulmonary and Sleep Specialists for a discussion on common sleep disorders including obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia and restless leg syndrome. Dinner is included. For reservations, call 704-993-2265. INFANT CPR AND SAFETY January 28, 9-11 a.m. This seminar teaches parents and caregivers infant safety and CPR techniques, and provides hands-on practice with a model. This class does not provide Infant CPR Certification. To register, call 704-283-BABY.
SUPPORT GROUPS BRAIN INJURY SUPPORT GROUP January 4, 7-8:30 p.m. Free monthly support group for those suffering from a brain injury, including strokes, tumors,
TBI, Parkinson’s, etc. Family members and caregivers welcome. For more information, call 704-355-4354. GASTRIC BYPASS SUPPORT GROUP January 12, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Free monthly support group for people who have undergone or who are considering gastric bypass or lap band as a means to lose weight. For more information, call 704-226-5073. DIABETES WELLNESS GROUP January 19, 6-8 p.m. Free monthly support group for adults with diabetes and those who support diabetics. For more information, call 704-2252880. BETTER BREATHERS CLUB January 25, 1-2 p.m. Free monthly support group for people with breathing difficulties and/or chronic lung disease. Family members are welcome and encouraged to attend. For more information, call 704-2833271.
HARTSVILLE, S.C. -- Optometrist and Hartsville native Dr. Troy Alexander of Pee Dee Eye Associates has traveled overseas before , but never for a better cause than he did this November. Alexander, along with eight physician’s assistants, two nurse practitioners, two EKG technicians and six administrative assistants, spent seven days at the Kleber Kasern military outpost in Kaiserslautern, Germany, preparing Army reservists in the 7th Civil Support Command Unit 23152 for deployment. “I enjoyed very much talking and sitting with the soldiers. They were all very appreciative of what we were doing for them,” Alexander said. “I hope to have the opportunity again some day to help them out....” The soldiers were part of a rapid deployable unit in Western Germany and the neighboring area. They are given a 72-hour window after being told where they are being deployed to get their affairs in order and ship out.
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