Three sport stars
Maurice and Marcus Leak maybe the best athletes ever at Parkwood, taking honors in three sports. 1B
Anson and Sun Valley each place 10 players on the All-SCC team this year. 1B
December 23, 2009 • 50 cents
WEDNESDAY Partly cloudy High: 52 Low: 33 Complete report: Page 8A
Willie Faye Helms Larry Hinson Charles Huneycutt Hattie Jordan Charles Knight Oliver W. Starnes
WHO’S NEWS Libby Long will replace Williams
FAIRVIEW Following the tragic loss of its mayor last week, the Fairview Town Council has selected a new mayor. Mayor Pro Tem Libby Long was named mayor and Councilman Bill Thomas was moved to mayor pro tem. The vacancy left by Long on the council was filled by resident B.B. Haigler. Mayor Richard Ephraim Williams, 61, of 1519 Hwy. 218 East, Monroe, died Dec. 12 of a brain aneurysm. “This was a shock to all of us but I think we’re all very capable of moving on,” Long said. She added that the town is discussing various ways they can honor Williams but did not discuss specific plans. Councilman Bradley Purser expressed hope in the council’s new organization. [Haigler] is a true, true Fairview citizen. He has a farming background and he is a business person,” Purser said. He added that both Long and Thomas will fill their new positions adequately . By Elisabeth Arriero
Correction Misspelled name
Jamie Neu’s last name was spelled incorrectly in an article on page 1A of Saturday’s edition. Neu is a nursing student at South Piedmont Community College who helped collect donations for the Union County Christmas Bureau.
Your county• Your news•Your paper
State ranks sixth in stroke deaths BY ELISABETH ARRIERO
MONROE The good news is that North Carolina has lower rates of heart disease – the number one cause of death in America – than the rest of the nation. The bad news is the state ranks higher in the nine other top leading causes of death, according to 2006 data from the Centers for Disease Control. From the number 2 to number
10 cause of death, those are: cancer, stroke, chronic lower respiratory disease, accident, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease and septicemia. Union County has lower rates for most of those causes as compared to the rest of the state, although the difference is minimal. “Three behaviors under-
See DEATHS / Page 8A
Cause of Death U.S. Death Rate* Heart Disease 200.2 Cancer 180.7 Stroke 43.6 Respiratory disease 40.5 Accidents 39.8 Diabetes 23.3 Alzheimer’s Disease 22.6 Influenza/pneumonia 17.8 Kidney Disease 14.5 Septicemia 11.0
N.C. Death Rate* 195.3 192.8 52.4 45.0 47.0 24.9 26.4 19.6 18.9 13.
Rank 24 14 6 19 17 (tie) 20 (tie) 16 15 (tie) 13 (tie) 15
BY TIFFANY LANE
STALLINGS Two Stallings police officers were honored last week for their dedication to traffic safety. They were chosen by hundreds of their peers from the Union County Safe Communities/Safe Kids Coalition. J e f f We a t h e rman received Officer of the Year for the second year Weatherman in a row. Coalition newcomer Sean Taylor was named Up and Coming Officer of the Year. “We do have some awfully good officers,” Police Taylor Chief Larke Plyler Sr. said. Having two officers bring home awards is “a big plus for the town. ... That makes us very proud.” Coalition members nominate their peers based on performance and dedication to motor safety. Officers participate in several injury prevention efforts such as DWI checkpoints, car seat and seatbelt safety inspections and driving programs for teenagers. Jennifer Cooke heads the coalition. The Officer of the Year award is “our way to express our gratitude for the work and effort that officer Weatherman has put into not only his daily
See OFFICERS / Page 8A
E-J staff photo by Ed Cottngham
Tony Way and Patricia Poland dust off an old tombstone at Nicey Grove Baptist Church Tuesday in hopes that they will locate the grave of Jeff Sanders, a black confederate pensioner.
Stone sought to recall fallen BY ELISABETH ARRIERO
MONROE During the Civil War, they risked their lives while serving for a side that had enslaved their people long ago. One helped build Ft. Fisher, one witnessed Burnside’s Folly and another was wounded at the Battle of Ft. Fisher. Last year, resident Worth Barbee and Tony Way raised money to purchase a tombstone for the first black confederate pensioner, Weary – or Wary, the name has been spelled both ways – Clyburn. Now the pair, along with Union County genealogy and local history librarian Patricia Poland, want to recognize the 10 black confederate pensioners with a plaque outside the old courthouse.
They hope to go before county commissioners in February to request permission to move forward with the memorial plaque. “These stories of these black men are just now coming to light,” Way said. “Their stories were overlooked and forgotten.” Family members of two of the pensioners, Aaron Perry and Ned Byrd, were “floored” when they found out their ancestors had pensions, much less served in the war, Poland said. The 10 men applied for pensions between 1926 and 1933, with all but one signed by W.C. Heath, then-head of the pension board for Union County. “We think he must have encouraged and befriended these men and encouraged them to apply for pensions,” Poland said.
The trio traveled Tuesday to Nicey Grove Baptist Church Cemetery in Wingate to search for the burial site of Jeff Sanders, the only free black person of the 10 men. After scouring the crumbled and faded tombstones for over an hour, they left. “This is why we want to do a plaque, so we can recognize all of them even if we never find their final resting place,” Way said. Way said the language of the plaque will keep with the language of the time that the pensions were issues. Consequently, the men will be referred to as pensioners of color who served in The War Between the States. Way said Earl Ijames, curator of African American history at the
See MARKER / Page 8A
SuperBowl wager lights up a Lake Park neighborhood By Kevin Goode
LAKE PARK volving from a simple Super Bowl challenge to a computerized light show synchronized to music, the Brown family has taken a simple cul-de-sac and turned it into a place of wonderment and giving. “Just over four years ago while we were hosting a Super Bowl party and the Carson Williams commercial, Wizards in the Winter, came on and it just over took everyone that saw it,” David Brown said. “One of my co-workers said, ‘I bet you can’t do that,’ and that’s how it all began.” Each year the Brown fam-
INSIDE 5B 4B 6A 2A 4A 1B 3A
How N.C. Stacks Up
Police officers honored
Best wishes are extended to everyone who is celebrating a birthday today, especially: Jennifer Martin, Mildred Parks, Sarah Feldman, Misha B. Rushing, Susan Goode, Teresa Horne, and Varia Burgess. Call (704) 261-2278 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to add your names to the list.
Classified Comics Food Obituaries Opinion Sports State
Photo by Kevin Goode
Lake Park is lit up to welcome the Christmas season.
ily puts together a light show for which the planning and music selection begins in early June. “People kind of look at us kind funny when we are listening to Christmas music at that time of the year,” Brown said. “We start the programming in August. It’s usually takes anywhere from four to six hours per minute of music in programming and this year there is 224 circuits that have to be told what to do. So you can imagine the kind of time it takes.” “The first year we ran the light show it was like walking on egg shells because we were like, “how are the neigh-
See LIGHTS / Page 8A
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2A / Wednesday, December 23, 2009
DEATHS Charles Knight
INDIAN TRAIL Charles Ray Knight, 86, died Monday (Dec. 21, 2009) at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte. Funeral will be 11 a.m. Thursday at Hartsell Funeral Home of Midland, with burial in the Bethlehem Presbyterian Church cemetery in Fairview. Born in Fulton County, Ga., he was a son of the late Earl Lester and Eula Jones Knight Sr. He was retired from Hartsell Funeral Home of Midland. Survivors include his wife Polly Knight of the home; one son, Ryan Knight of Indian Trail; one daughter, Cathy K. Robinson of Houston; two grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to Bethlehem Presbyterian Preschool, 7608 Concord Highway, Monroe, NC 28110. Online condolences may be made at www.hartsellfh.com.
Willie Faye Helms
MONROE Willie Faye Yandle Helms, died Tuesday, December 22, 2009. She was born in Union County, daughter of the late Warren Clyde and Willie Mae Wilkerson Yandle. She was preceded in death by her husband, Billy M. Helms, brothers, Samuel, Tommy, Warren and Clyde (Hip) Yandle and sister, Helen Brown. Mrs. Helms was a graduate of Benton Heights High School and attended Wingate College. She was also the owner and operator of Wilbi’s Dress Shop in Monroe. Funeral services will be held Saturday, December 26, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. in the Gordon Funeral Chapel, 1904 Lancaster Avenue, Monroe, NC. Burial will follow in Lakeland Memorial Park. Mrs. Helms is survived by her brother, Billy Ray Yandle and her sister, Doris Billingsley and husband Oscar, all of Monroe and several nieces and nephews. Gordon Funeral & Cremation Service is caring for the Helms family. Hattie Jordan Online condolences may NEW YORK be made at www.gordonfuHattie Jordan of New neralservice.com. York, New York, and formerly of Monroe, died Larry A. Hinson Monday, Dec. 21, 2009. ORLANDO, Fla. Arrangements remain Larry Austin Hinson, 71 incomplete and will be announced by Grier Funeral of Orlando, Florida died Services. 704 Walkup Av- December 5, 2009. He was born to Austin Charles enue, Monroe, N.C., 28110 Hinson and Mildred Haigler Hinson in Union North Carolina on The Enquirer-Journal County, November 24, 1938. He was copyright 2008 a veteran of the Vietnam 500 W. Jefferson St., P.O. Box 5040 War and served in the US Monroe, NC 28111 Navy. He is survived by (704) 289-1541, FAX (704) 289-2929 his wife Maryann Hinwww.enquirerjournal.com son; daughter, Ann Marie Advertising (704) 261-2251 French; daughter, Kimadcopy@theej.com berly Baumgartner; sisClassified Advertising ter, Joan Schnell; grand(704) 261-2214 daughter, Nina Simone email@example.com and grandson, Paul AnCirculation thony. A memorial service (704) 261-2219 with military honors will firstname.lastname@example.org be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, News December 27, 2009 at New(704) 261-2252 email@example.com comer Funeral Home, 895 Sports S. Goldenrod Road, Orlan(704) 261-2253 do. To leave an online firstname.lastname@example.org sage, please visit www. Publisher NewcomerOrlando.com (704) 261-2200 email@example.com
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Oliver W. Starnes
MONROE Oliver Wendell Starnes, 62, of Monroe, died Sunday, December 20, 2009, at his home. Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at Piney Grove East Missionary Baptist Church in Marshville with burial to follow with full military honors in the church cemetery. Born March 26, 1947 in Columbus County, he was a son of the late Miles John Fletcher and Gertrude Perkins Starnes. He was a Army veteran of the Vietnam war. Survivors include his wife, Doris Huntley Starnes of the home; one daughter, Ebony Hailey of Monroe; two brothers, Robert Jordan of New York, N.Y. and Tony Veerne of of Tabor City; six sisters, Sallie Adams of New Jersey, Annie Henderson of Charlotte, Dorothy Crowder of Wingate, Frances Walls, Annie Rivers and Mary Starnes, all of Monroe, and one grandchild. Visitation will be Wednesday at from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Harris Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Monroe.
Plan Ahead for Peace of Mind... The Caring and Responsible Thing to do. %AST &RANKLIN 3TREET s -ONROE .#
CHARLOTTE Charles “Cutty” Herbert Huneycutt, 76, of Charlotte, died on Monday (December 21, 2009) at Hospice House 1 in Monroe. Service for Mr. Huneycutt will be at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday (December 23, 2009) at the Davis Funeral Chapel in Monroe. Interment will follow in Sharon Memorial Park in Charlotte. Mr. Huneycutt was born in Mecklenburg County, on March 24, 1933, a son of the late Charles Herbert Huneycutt and Melinda Broome Huneycutt. Survivors include two sons, Charles “Chuck” Huneycutt and Kenneth “Kenny” Huneycutt, both of Charlotte; one daughter, Donna Russell of Texas; two brothers, Craig Huneycutt, Daniel “Dan” Huneycutt, both of Charlotte; two sisters, Constance Hudgins of Charlotte, Jane Christmas of Concord; one grandson, Ryan Lake of Texas; two granddaughters, Camille Huneycutt, Charlsy Huneycutt, both of Charlotte; one great-grandson, Jasper Bullett of Charlotte, one great-granddaughter, Charlsy Russell of Texas; adopted” son, Ray Bujake of Charlotte; and numerous nephews and nieces. There will be a Celebration of his Life with refreshments and reflections starting at 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Wednesday (December 23, 2009) in the Azalea Room at Davis Funeral Home; 1003 East Franklin Street; Monroe. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Union County; 700 West Roosevelt Boulevard; Monroe, North Carolina 28110. Davis Funeral Service and Cremation Service is serving the family of Mr. Huneycutt. An online guest register book is available at www.davisfuneralservice.com.
Ann Cooper dies
ATLANTA (AP) — Ann Nixon Cooper, the Atlanta centenarian lauded by President Barack Obama in his election night speech last year, has died. She was 107. Obama in his 2008 speech called Cooper an example of “the heartbreak and the hope” of the past century. He noted she was born at a time when women and blacks couldn’t vote and lived to cast her ballot for the country’s first black president. In a statement Tuesday, Obama praised Cooper’s life of service and offered his condolences. “It is especially meaningful for me that she lived to cast a vote on Election Day 2008, and it was a deep honor for me to mark her life in the speech I delivered that night,” the statement read. “It was a life that captured the spirit of community and change and progress that is at the heart of the American experience; a life that inspired and will continue to inspire me in the years to come.” Carl M. Williams Funeral Directors of Atlanta, which is handling arrangements, confirmed that Cooper died Monday at her southwest Atlanta home on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. She would have turned 108 on Jan. 9.
E-J staff photo by Ed Cottingham
Melinda Alderman shops for presents for her children with help from volunteer Rachel Snapper at the Union County Christmas Bureau.
COMING EVENTS Wednesday, Dec. 23
• MONROE-UNION BREAKFAST ROTARY, 7:30 a.m., Golden Corral Restaurant. For details, call 704-507-3956. • TODDLER TIME, 9:30 a.m., Marshville Library, for children ages 12 months to 36 months. • EXERCISE CLASS, 9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., Ellen Fitzgerald Center. • 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. • BASIC COMPUTER SKILLS CLASS, 10 a.m., Monroe Library. Free. Registration required; call 704-283-8184. • TODDLER TIME, 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., Union West Regional Library. For ages 18 to 36 months. • BABY TIME, 11 a.m., Monroe Library. Details, 704-283-8184. • TURNING POINT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE GROUP, 4 p.m. at the shelter. Details, 704-283-7233. • 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. • ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, Sunset group, 6 p.m., 1010 McManus St., Monroe. Details, 704-219-6245. • MARINE CORPS LEAGUE DETACHMENT 914, 7 p.m., Quincys restaurant. Details, call Bob Griffn, 704-7643677. • 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. • 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. • NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friendship Missionary Baptist Church administrative building, 501 Burke St. Details, 704-8214256, 704-763-0784.
Being the smaller funeral home means we work harder. It also means we have to be more accountable. We invite you to experience the difference in price, as well as service.
Thursday, Dec. 24
• UNION WEST ROTARY, 7:30 a.m., civic building behind Indian Trail Town Hall. For details, call Sean Helms, 704849-9332. • WAXHAW-WEDDINGTON SUNRISE ROTARY CLUB, 7:30 a.m., Rippington’s Restaurant, 109 W. South Main Street, Waxhaw. For information, call Jerry Simpson, 704-363-2173. • VIOLENCE PREVENTION TASK FORCE, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Details, United Family Services, 704-226-1352. • KIWANIS CLUB OF MONROE, noon to 1 p.m., Rolling Hills Country Club. For details, call Fran Dandridge at 704289-9429. • SENIOR CITIZENS CANASTA, 12:30 p.m., Ellen Fitzgerald Center. For information, call Ellen Fitzgerald Senior Center at 704-282-4657. • 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. • WAXHAW TOPS #613 (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Waxhaw Bible Church, 6810 Pleasant Grove Road. Details, 704-843-5518 or 704-254-3880. • ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, Sunset group, 6 p.m., 1010 McManus St., Monroe. Details, 704-219-6245. • UNION COUNTY CRUISERS, 6:30 p.m., Monroe Mall, next to Pizza Hut. Custom and classic cars. Details, 704238-1600. • PILOT CLUB OF MONROE, 6:30 p.m., David Tucker Construction, 1139-A N. Charlotte Ave. Business and program meeting. Details, Vada Tucker, president, 704-2921329. • PRESERVATION SOCIETY, 7 p.m., Waxhaw Town Hall. • GARDEN CLUB OF WAXHAW, 7 p.m., call Pat Kitto at 704-843-5931 for location. • SENIOR DANCE, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., Ellen Fitzgerald Center, Line dancing and ballroom dancing. Details, 704-282-4657. • BINGO, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Indian Trail VFW, 100 VFW Lane, Indian Trail; $500 jackpot. For details, call 704-821-9753. • WEDDINGTON OPTIMIST CLUB, 7 p.m., Weddington Optimist Park, N.C. 84. For details,
call Aubrey Moore, 704283-1805 or Ron Stamey, 704-846-1754. • BOY SCOUT TROOP 98, 7 p.m., Hemby Bridge Church, 6010 Mill Grove Road. For details, call 704882-3482. • MOTHER OF TWINS CLUB Monroe, 7:30 p.m., First Baptist Church, Hayne Street. For details, call Tawnee Bound, 704283-7685. • COCAINE ANONYMOUS meeting, 7:30 p.m., at the Friendship Home, 2111 Stafford St. Ext., Monroe. • AL-ANON, 8 p.m., First Step Recovery Center, 1623 Sunset Drive, Monroe. Details, 704-2830944, 704-764-7651.
Friday, Dec. 25
• EXERCISE CLASS, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., Ellen Fitzgerald Senior Center. Open to ages 55 and up. For details, call 704-2824657. • 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. • TURNING POINT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE GROUP, 4 p.m. at the shelter. Details, 704-283-7233. • 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. • ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, Sunset group, 6 p.m., 1010 McManus St., Monroe. Details, 704-219-6245. • NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., Nicey Grove Baptist Church, 318 Camden Road, Wingate. Details, 704-221-7352. • OVERCOMERS OUTREACH ANONYMOUS, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., 1700 Secrest Shortcut Road. For details call 704-8469223. • PAGELAND SINGLES DANCE, 7 p.m. to midnight, Pageland, S.C., American Legion Post 92. Live music, married couples welcome. Bring covered dish. Admission, $10. Must be 21. Details, Lloyd or Margaret Melton at (843) 634-3787 after 6 p.m. • NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friendship Missionary Baptist Church administrative building, 501 Burke St. Details, 704-8214256, 704-763-0784.
Do You Have Our BEST Rates On Plan F Medicare Supplement and Part D Prescription Drug Plan?
ALLAN PRESSON INS. 704-283-5950
High court will resolve sentencing RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) â€” North Carolinaâ€™s highest court is looking to resolve a rancorous dispute over the fate of violent inmates sentenced to â€œlifeâ€? three decades ago, with justices on Tuesday setting a hurried schedule for arguments while keeping the prisoners behind bars. The decision to hear the matter comes after lower-court judges issued conflicting rulings and Gov. Beverly Perdue declared herself â€œdisgustedâ€? with the legal system. Justices will now determine whether convicted killers Alford Jones and Faye Brown have qualified for sentence-reduction credits that could wipe away the remainder of their time in prison. Dozens more inmates â€” many of them murderers and rapists â€” were sentenced under the same 1970s law and could be affected by a high court decision. State officials have determined that some two dozen would immediately qualify for release if credits are applied to reduce their sentences. Supreme Court clerk Christie Cameron said Tuesday that justices have expedited the schedule for written filings and oral arguments could be held in February. Sarah Jessica Farber, an attorney for Jones and Brown who has argued that they are being unlawfully detained, said she and the inmates were pleased the court accelerated the case schedule. â€œThey both trust that the process will work itself out,â€? she said. â€œWeâ€™re all taking this just one day at a time.â€? Perdue said in a statement that the Supreme Courtâ€™s decision to hear the case was â€œthe right one for North Carolina.â€? State attorneys have struggled to find favor among judges in the debate over the inmates. Supreme Court justices first sided with an inmate in October when he argued that a law between 1974 and 1978 defined â€œlifeâ€? sentences as only 80 years long. The inmates now contend that a variety of credits they have earned over the years should now be applied to the 80-year term to qualify them for unconditional release, and they won a judgeâ€™s order for release last week before the appeals court agreed. The state attorney generalâ€™s office contends the credits awarded to the inmates are not to be used to reduce the length of their terms but are to help determine other issues such as whether the prisoners are eligible for parole, and a third judge agreed with that argument. Brown, who is held at Raleigh Correctional Center for Women, was sentenced for her role in the shooting death of a state trooper during a bank robbery in 1975. Jones, who is currently at New Hanover Correctional Center in Wilmington, was convicted in the January 1975 shooting of William B. Turner Sr. Trooper Ron Crawford, president of the North Carolina Troopers Association, said Brown and others need to pay for the crimes they committed. He said authorities are concerned that the inmates will not be forced to fulfill an entire â€œlifeâ€? sentence.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009 / 3A
Countyâ€™s â€˜sewer ratsâ€™ win firsts in skills contest BY JASON deBRUYN
MONROE The Union County Public Works department won top honors at a statewide competition. The workers, who affectionately call themselves the â€œSewer Rats,â€? won first-place prize in the American Water Works Association Sewer Tapping competition at annual conference in Raleigh. â€œItâ€™s nice to see that you donâ€™t have to be big to be the best,â€? said UCPW Director Ed Goscicki. The competition as broken into two parts. The first was a purely physical challenge in which the Sewer Rats make a sewer tap on a simulated active 8-inch sewer main; that simulates hooking up a new customer. The second had a mental aspect in which an automated wastewater sampler had to be properly
Travis Oâ€™Leary, Greg Morgan, Matt Hargett, Josh Carpenter and Chris Love are Union Countyâ€™s sewer rats. programmed; it simulated how the overall system is monitored. â€œThat one is a little more complex,â€? Goscicki said. The UCPW team beat a team from CharlotteMecklenburg Utilities in the finals.
Water and sewer has been in high demand in Union County as new construction outpaced the countyâ€™s ability to provide capacity. â€œWith all the develop-
ment, theyâ€™ve certainly had a lot of practice,â€? Goscicki said. The Sewer Rats team is made up of Coach Greg Morgan, Captain Josh Carpenter and team mem-
bers Travis Oâ€™Leary, Matt Hargett and Chris Love. The Sewer Rats took first place in the 2007 state competition and second place in last yearâ€™s competition.
Man sets record for bicycle giveaway FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) â€” North Carolinaâ€™s â€œBicycle Manâ€? has outdone himself. The Fayetteville Observer reports that Moses Mathis, who for 19 years has repaired bicycles and then given them away at Christmas, set a record this year by fixing more than 1,100 bikes. He repaired 1,046 bicycles and gave them away in 2008. Hundreds of people formed a line that wrapped
around a small parking lot and folded back on itself for the annual giveaway on Tuesday. Needy recipients are identified by local school social workers. Now, Mathis is on a new mission. By the end of next month, he will have to leave his current warehouse space and may have to cancel the 2010 giveaway to focus on raising money for permanent space. During the decade, he has moved three times.
Maranatha Christian Book Mart
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We have gifts for everybody Bibles and Bible covers with free engraving
Adult and children books, cards, boxed cards (buy 2 get 1 free) and music.
Come in and register for weekly drawings. 1412 Skyway Drive, Monroe, NC 28110
Save LandďŹ ll Space Recycle E-Waste Electronic Waste Accepted:
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES Candlelight Communion
at 6:00 and 11:00 (Childcare provided for Birth-3 at 6:00)
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF MONROE Downtown, Main at Morrow (704) 283-8534
Coming Home for Christmas Christmas Eve Communion Services December 24th 3pm and 5pm Come worship with your family in one of our two services this year, as we celebrate the Saviorâ€™s birth! First Baptist Church Indian Trail, 732 Indian Trail-Fairview Road, Indian Trail, NC 28079 www.fbcit.org
Computer Monitors Televisions Desktop Computers Laptop Computers Keyboards Mice Printers Scanners Copy Machines VCRs Stereos Radios Mainframes Tape Players CD Players Telephones Cell Phones Fax Machines Electronic Games Power & Network Cables Network Hubs Switching boxes Controllers Modems Docking Stations CD Roms Hard Drives Printed Circuit Boards UPS Routers Resistor Capacitors Diodes Terminals Rechargeable Batteries Peripherals Military Equipment Medical Equipment Telecommunications Commercial Equipment OfďŹ ce Equipment Banking Equipment
The City of Monroe and Union County are offering Electronics Recycling to Union County Citizens free of charge. The following locations and times are as follows: Union County LandďŹ ll 2125 Austin Chaney Road â€˘ Wingate, NC 28174 7AM-4PM City of Monroe 2401 Walkup Avenue â€˘ Monroe, NC 28110 8AM-5PM Parkwood Collection Site 3214 Parkwood â€˘ Monroe, NC 28112 Tues, Thurs, Sat 7AM-7PM Sun Valley Collection Site 1407 Wesley Chapel Road â€˘ Indian Trail, NC 28079 Tues, Thurs, Sat 7AM-7PM Piedmont Collection Site 3005 Love Mill Road â€˘ Monroe, NC 28110 Tues, Thurs, Sat 7AM-7PM ArmďŹ eld Mill Collection Site 5109 ArmďŹ eld Mill Road â€˘ Monroe, NC 28112 Tues, Thurs, Sat 7AM-7PM
No hazardous waste, radioactive waste or bio-hazardous waste will be accepted. Additionally, e-waste from all commercial/industrial companies will not be accepted at the City of Monroe location on Walkup Avenue. For questions or more information please contact: City of Monroe â€“ Susan Osborne 704-282-4565 http://www.monroenc.org/solidWaste_0.htm Union County - Contact Name and Number wcpw.co.union.nc.us
4A Wednesday, December 23, 2009
“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues.”
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A CAROLINA VIEW
State’s new bullying law School boards across North Carolina have been busy in recent weeks writing or approving policies addressing bullying. They’re doing so to comply with a law passed by the General Assembly earlier this year. The new law requires each school system in the state to adopt a policy by Dec. 31. It sets forth requirements stipulating that the new policies must define bullying, set forth measures for reporting bullying to appropriate school employees and spell out potential consequences of students or employees deemed to have bullied others at school. Some are suggesting that school boards tread cautiously when not only adopting and but also implementing their policies to make sure they don’t cross over into infringing upon the right of free speech. For example, Eva DuBuisson, a Raleigh attorney advising the Alamance-Burlington Board of Education on its policy, indicated that the line between bullying and free speech could be blurry, suggesting that where to draw the line is “a difficult question that we’re going to have to work on.” The law itself says that it is not to be construed to permit officials to punish “student expression or speech” and that it is not to be used “to avoid the discomfort and unpleasantness that always accompany an unpopular viewpoint.” DuBuisson noted that school principals will primarily be responsible for enforcing the policy. Principals will out of necessity often delegate such enforcement to vice principals and teachers. Here’s a suggestion. School administrators and teachers should use common sense in enforcing any anti-bullying policies. The law alludes to certain “differentiating characteristics” that could be a motivating factor for bullies. These include “race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, socioeconomic status, academic status, gender identity, physical appearance, sexual orientation” or various disabilities. Common sense dictates that acts of violence or threats should not be tolerated and are instances which call for swift and appropriate discipline. It also suggests that a student expressing an opinion in a classroom essay or student newspaper column about one of the “differentiating characteristics” doesn’t qualify as bullying. We realize that while those two hypothetical examples are easy to distinguish, reality often does not provide for such clear-cut options. Parents also play an important role in addressing the issue. Initially, they can teach their children that bullying is wrong and can cooperate with principals and teachers if their child gets into trouble. In addition, if their child is bullied, they should work with administrators to resolve the problem. The problem of bullying in schools isn’t a new one. In fact, it likely began the day the first educational facility accepted its first five students. Nor will the new law or new policies eliminate it. But principals, teachers and parents using common sense to deal with bullying could minimize the problem on campuses. The Times-News of Burlington
YOUR VIEW Keep an eye on county commissioners I am never surprised anymore about things I read in The Enquirer-Journal concerning our county commissioners. Tracy Kuehler is forever being quoted as saying “this or that.” For example a few weeks back she stated “she would hate to spend money (I believe the amount she stated was $500,000) to do a study to sell our hospital and then not sell it. The reason she states she want to sell our hospital is to pay down the county debt. However, it is interesting to read in Mr. Allan Baucom’s article in The E-J on Wedneday, December 16, 2009, that paying down county debt is not what the money would be used for. It would be used for building more parks and libraries. Why would others on the county commissioners board agree with her to sell our hospital? My point to them is -- leave our hospital alone and look somewhere else to get your money for parks and libraries. I am not in favor of three persons from western Union County serving on the county commissioners board. There should be some representation from the northern part of Union County, the eastern part of Union County and the southern part of Union County as well. But look what they have done for 2010 — voted Kim Rogers as chairwoman and Tracy Kuehler as vice chairwoman — two from western Union County What is the limit as to how many can serve on county commissioner boards? I would like to know and feel that there needs to be a larger board so voting on any and all things that come before the board would be more fairly
done instead of 3-2 — the three being the western three and two others and then some not voting. I will not touch on all of Mr. Baucom’s article. It was a very well-written article bringing up a number of things that should open eyes and get the attention of persons in all areas of Union County. I was certainly shocked about what has gone on in these meetings. 1. The majority of the commissioners (which I feel certain includes Tracy Kuehler and her followers) refused to tape special meetings and workshops where the hospital was the purpose of the meeting -- however -- regular commissioners meetings are televised. Also, motions and actions taken at special meetings is away from the camera and often no news media is present. Is there something wrong with this picture? You had better wake up Union County. They are already trying to sell our hospital. You may blink your eyes and before you know what happened, they will have the hospital sold and no telling what else. 2. The Belk Tonawanda Park. The County Commissioners refusing to work with Monroe on property that is owned by Union County. 3. When Lancaster County offered to work with Union County to manage water shortage, allowing Union County to purchase additional water, the majority of the commissioners said no, we do not want your help. 4. Telling volunteer firemen and women that you do not like what they are doing. We did not vote these persons into these positions to act like they know all the answers to everything or to do things in se-
cret so nobody will know what is going on, what they have decided to do about things until they get it finalized and they think nobody can do anything about their actions. When decisions are made about anything that affects the people of Monroe and Union County, it should be done openly, in televised meetings where you can hear what is being said and who is saying it, what the vote is about the topic before the board and all who watch TV can hear and understand what is said. Have someone from the news media there. Doing things in secret is not good at all. It causes those who put you in office to wonder why they gave you their vote in the first place. Be careful how you act in 2010. You can be voted out of your job at the next election. KACEE DALTON Monroe
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This is my favorite Christmas season yet
his may be my favorite Christmas season yet. I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’m not trying to meet anyone’s expectations, especially my own. As a child I wanted to make sure I lived up to what was expected and worried about how to get a gift for each of my four siblings, my best friend Paula and my parents. The holiday season was an equal mix of delighted anticipation and dread. A big part of me was always glad when it was over for another year. As a single parent I often took on an additional seasonal job to make sure that all of Louie’s requests to Santa Claus were fulfilled. I had carried forward the same sense of obligation that somehow Christmas was all about making sure I got it right. That meant going above and beyond to do whatever was asked of me. It never occurred to me to say no or to make out a more reasonable plan that included a budget. The idea that my giving could also be about
Martha Carr Columnist
what I wanted for the person and not just a desire created mostly by the media was never a consideration. It’s as if I saw myself as worth whatever I could spend on someone else. Some years I scored really high and others years I heaped on the blame and guilt. But here are a few other things I wasn’t noticing at the time that shed a little more light on things and helped me to turn around my holiday attitude. No one remembers what I gave them when I was little, including me. Not one of my homemade gifts or something purchased with my 15 cents a
week allowance stands out for anyone. Also, Louie doesn’t use any of the gifts I spent sixty hour work weeks to make sure he received. There was a Ninja Turtle Sewer one year that was an enormous hit and involved a nationwide search by every aunt, uncle and grandparent till my mother finally located the last one off a truck stop just ahead of another grandmother, but that was an exception. The truth is, every Christmas there was one question I was never asking myself that could have helped me to stop throwing everything out of balance. What was my intention behind this gift? As a child, that’s a little more introspection than can be expected but as an adult I can be more honest and realize that a lot of it has to do with making sure everyone is happy with me. In other words my gift giving was more about me and how I’d like to be seen. But this year, that’s all changed. I’ve been able to make a budget and stick to it, which
“As a single parent I often took on an additional seasonal job to make sure that all of Louie’s requests to Santa Claus were fulfilled.”
has meant limiting the gift giving and buying things for Louie, who is now grown at 22, which are more practical and less expensive. The upside is I’ve been able to relax and enjoy the season a lot more. Instead of a long list of gifts I can’t afford to give there’s a long list of things I’m grateful for and it’s pretty much the same people.
Making the adjustment has helped the way I am around my loved ones because I’m more relaxed and have the time to notice more about the beauty inside of them. It’s not about meeting some goal that was more determined by an ad on TV. This year I can be grateful for a warm place to live in a great city like Chicago near my son, Louie who is doing well. I can give thanks for my health and all of the amazing people who helped me become healthy again. And I can say thank you to all of the amazing readers who send me notes on their lives and well wishes. No department store or web site carries any of those things but they are more valuable to me than a cashmere sweater or a new bike. Merry Christmas everyone. Ask Martha how to get to your dream and receive a free gift of Martha’s new Big Adventure book, The 3 x 5 Game - www. m a r t h a s b i ga dv e n t u re . c o m . Email Martha at: Martha@caglecartoons.com.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009 / 5A
Dems, White House predict success on health care WASHINGTON (AP) â€” From the White House to Capitol Hill, Democrats on Tuesday confidently predicted Senate passage of President Barack Obamaâ€™s health care overhaul after the bill cleared its second 60-vote test and the time was set for a final tally. Coming to the Senate floor in the middle of the afternoon, Majority Leader Harry Reid, DNev., announced an agreement to vote on final passage at 8 a.m. Thursday, Christmas Eve. It would mark the 25th consecutive day of Senate debate on health care. â€œThe finish line is in sight,â€? Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., said at a news conference with other Senate leaders and cheering supporters. â€œWeâ€™re not the first to attempt such reforms but we will be the first to succeed.â€? At the White House, spokesman Robert Gibbs declared: â€œHealth care reform is not a matter of if. Health care reform is now a matter of when.â€? Obama said the Senate legislation accomplishes 95 percent
of what he wanted on health care. â€œEvery single criteria for reform I put forward is in this bill,â€? the president said in an interview with The Washington Post. Senate Democrats remained behind their compromise bill over steadfast Republican opposition. A motion to shut off debate and move to a vote on a package of changes by Reid passed 60-39. The final 60-vote hurdle, limiting debate on the bill itself, is expected to be cleared Wednesday afternoon, setting up the Thursday morning-beforeChristmas vote on the legislation, which at that point will need only a simple majority to pass. The Senate has been voting at odd hours since Monday around 1 a.m. because Republicans have insisted on using all the time allowed under Senate rules to delay the bill. Not to be thwarted, Reid has refused to postpone action until after the holidays. On Tuesday, they started voting at sunrise. With fatigue and frustration
rising, Reid appealed to his colleagues to set aside acrimony and reach for some holiday spirit. â€œI would hope everybody will keep in mind that this is a time when we reflect on peace and good things,â€? he said. Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said he, too, wanted to close the debate. After conferring with McConnell, Reid announced the timing of the final vote. Even so, partisan fires were burning. GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina denounced concessions won by conservative Nebraska Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson, whose support gave Democrats the 60th and final vote they need. Among other things, Nelson got an agreement that the federal government will pay to expand Medicaid services in Nebraska. â€œThatâ€™s not change you can believe in. Thatâ€™s sleazy,â€? Graham said on NBCâ€™s â€œTodayâ€? show. South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster, a
candidate for governor, said Tuesday he and his counterparts in Michigan and Washington state are investigating whether the special provisions for Nebraska and other states are constitutional. â€œWhatever the legal status may be, and we hope to find out soon, these negotiations on their face appear to be a form of vote-buying paid for by taxpayers,â€? McMaster said, adding he hopes citizens will challenge the legislation in court. Reid has defended the dealmaking, asserting that every senator got something they were looking for in the health bill and if they didnâ€™t it speaks poorly of them. Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa also defended the concessions, saying: â€œThe one thatâ€™s being talked about for Nebraska, it also benefits other states. Itâ€™s not just Nebraska.â€? He also said he would vote for the package even if it didnâ€™t contain concessions for Iowa. â€œThe principle of this bill overrides everything,â€? Harkin told CBSâ€™ â€œEarly Show.â€?
Moderate Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who has also been criticized after securing a boost in Medicaid for her state, defended the concessions she got, saying they benefited lowincome families small businesses. Also Tuesday, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., announced that the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services has agreed to his request to investigate whether drug companies are raising prices of brand-name prescription drugs used by Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries ahead of passage of the health care bill. AARP says prescription drug prices are on the rise, but the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America said in a statement that Nelsonâ€™s request â€œwas spurred, in large part, on misleading statistics and sensationalized media reports.â€? The Senate measure would still have to be harmonized with the health care bill passed by the House in November before final legislation would go to Obama.
Nasal swine flu vaccine is recalled WASHINGTON (AP) â€” Drugmaker MedImmune is recalling nearly 5 million doses of swine flu vaccine because the nasal spray appears to lose strength over time, federal health officials announced Tuesday. The vaccine recall is the second this month caused by declining potency and comes as public health officials urge millions of Americans to get vaccinated against swine flu. The action affects more than 4.6 million doses, but the vast majority have already been used, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Agency officials said the vaccine was strong enough when it was distributed in October and November. â€œThe slight decrease in potency is not expected to have any effect on the protective effect of the vaccine,â€? said Norman Baylor, director of the FDAâ€™s vaccine research office. â€œWe are not recommending revaccination.â€? The agency is looking into the problem but said itâ€™s not uncommon for vaccines to lose strength over time. MedImmuneâ€™s vaccine has a recommended shelf life of about four months. The company has about 3,000 doses in its warehouses but does not know how many remain in the field, according to the FDA. Last week, vaccine
maker Sanofi Pasteur recalled hundreds of thousands of swine flu shots for children because tests indicated those doses lost some strength. Most of those doses had already been used, too. Maryland-based MedImmune, a subsidiary of London-based AstraZeneca PLC, voluntarily recalled 13 lots of its vaccine, â€œdue to a slight decrease in potencyâ€? discovered through routine quality control testing, said spokesman Tor Constantino. â€œItâ€™s not a safety concern. People who have received doses from the affected lots do not need to be revaccinated. The doses were well within potency specification,â€? he said. Swine flu vaccine has been available since early October, and since then manufacturers have released over 111 million doses for distribution in the U.S. MedImmune makes the only nasal spray version, which can be used by healthy people ages 2 to 49. Only in recent weeks have state authorities lifted restrictions on who can get vaccinated. Previously the vaccines were reserved for high-risk patients, including pregnant women and schoolchildren. In a telephone news conference on Tuesday, Dr.
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Anne Schuchat of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 60 million Americans have received swine flu vaccine, and said intense monitoring for side effects has not turned up any safety concerns. â€œWe are not seeing any worrisome signs,â€? she said. The vaccine supply has increased so much in recent weeks that she urged parents of children 10 and younger to get them a second dose, because studies show this age group needs two for optimal protection. Flu activity has slowed, but â€œitâ€™s not gone,â€? Schuchat said. â€œNone of us know what the weeks and months ahead will bring in terms of influenza activity, and itâ€™s very important not to become complacent.â€? The first wave of the swine flu pandemic began in April, when the strain was discovered. A larger wave started in the late summer and is declining. Infections are now widespread in 11 states, down from 48 in late October. A new Harvard poll released Tuesday finds that
concern about swine flu has waned along with the number of new cases being reported. Only 40 percent of people now say they are concerned that they or a family member will get sick from swine flu during the next year. Thatâ€™s down from an earlier poll in September, when 52 percent said they were worried about swine flu. The new poll found that most parents who sought vaccine for their children were able to get it. However, more than one-third of respondents said they did not plan to seek it for their kids. The Harvard School of Public Health polled more than 1,600 adults on Dec. 16 and 17. Also on Tuesday, a 13-year-old dog in suburban New York was confirmed as the first known case of swine flu in a dog. The pet apparently caught the virus from his owner. The CDCâ€™s Schuchat said that animals can carry and spread flu viruses, but such cases are rare and people should not be afraid to enjoy their pets. A few cats and ferrets have also been diagnosed with swine flu.
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