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Local banks weigh in on loan plan BY PAUL B. JOHNSON ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
TRIAD – The irony of the White House proposal announced last week to boost lending by smaller, community financial institutions isn’t lost on First Bank President Jerry Ocheltree. The head of the Troybased bank with branches in the High Point area said community financial institutions didn’t make the risky loans, such as subprime mortgages, that precipitated the financial industry crisis more than a year ago. Now, the administration of President Barack Obama is proposing to fun-
nel $30 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the controversial program to prop up ailing large banks, to spur lending by smaller banks. The new program is called the Small Business Lending Fund. “The community banks had nothing to do with the stuff that happened up on Wall Street. I never made a subprime loan. But unfortunately, we’ve been painted with that same brush. Hopefully, with this program can be a great opportunity for small, community banks to increase our small business lending and help put people back to
work,” Ocheltree said. A pair of Ocheltree’s community bank executive colleagues in the Triad expressed reactions ranging from caution to skepticism about the president’s proposal. “The devil is in the details on these things. When they come out to begin with, they all sound good,” said Rick Callicutt, president and chief operating officer of Bank of North Carolina. After watching how TARP was implemented, many community banking executives are wary of a White House proposal involving access to capital with federal government entangle-
ment, said Bob Braswell, president of Carolina Bank. Until specifics on the program emerge, Callicutt can’t say whether Bank of North Carolina would want to tap into the Small Business Lending Fund. But if regulatory burdens aren’t addressed, Callicutt doesn’t believe the program will spur lending. “If a bank takes advantage of this program and it gets them $20 million of capital, and then a regulator comes in and makes them write their assets down by $20 million, the net of that is zero,” Callicutt said. email@example.com | 888-3528
President Barack Obama on Tuesday formally announced the new Small Business Lending Fund, which would transfer $30 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program to a new program that would support lending to small businesses. The fund will be targeted at community and smaller banks, defined as assets less than $10 billion, that lend the most to small businesses and offer incentives for banks to increase small business lending.
BY PAUL B. JOHNSON ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
GUILFORD COUNTY – Mary Jarrell of High Point and George Ragsdale of Jamestown don’t share political party labels, but they do share a first-hand understanding of what candidates of all stripes go through this time of year. Jarrell, a retired Democratic state legislator, and Ragsdale, a businessman active in Republican politics, say factors ranging from family commitments to the demands of a career enter into the equation when men and women decide whether or not to run for elected office. The filing period for congressional, state legislative and county elections begins at noon Monday and concludes noon Feb. 26. A separate filing period for mayoral and City Council races in High Point and Archdale will take place during July. HOWARD TILLERY | HPE FILE Some candidates – if enough Mary Jarrell (center) watches election results board at the Guilford County Courthouse in Greensfile for a race – will face off in boro during the 1998 general election. the May 4 party primaries. The served off and on in the N.C. General general election is Nov. 2. Jarrell and Ragsdale have different Assembly – depending on her success experiences deciding whether or not in campaigns – through her retireto seek elected office. But both agree ment in 2002. Jarrell was involved in Are you interested in running for office this that family commitments, support about a dozen campaigns during her year? Or are you a citizen wondering about from friends and colleagues and ca- political career. your voter registration status for the 2010 Jarrell first was encouraged to reer obligations play major roles in elections? For more information, call your run for public office 25 years ago by the decision. local board of elections office: Jarrell became a political veteran friends and associates who respected during 25 years, starting out as a mem- her service in civic circles during • Guilford County Board of Elections offices ber of High Point City Council follow- many years. in Greensboro at 641-3836 or High Point at When she was approached about ing her first run for office in 1977. 845-7895 After four years as a councilwom- running for office, her initial response • Randolph County, 318-6900 an, Jarrell sought a seat in the state • Davidson County, 242-2190 DECISION, 2A House of Representatives in 1982. She
AT A GLANCE
Different timing for High Point, Archdale TRIAD – Thinking about a run for municipal office in High Point or Archdale this year? You’ve got several more months to make up your mind than candidates seeking other elected posts in 2010. The filing period for the vast majority of elected offices be-
High Point and Archdale remain the only two municipalities among more than 500 in North Carolina that have shifted their elections for mayor and City Council to even-numbered years. Both city elections are nonpartisan, meaning the party affiliation of the candidates won’t appear on the ballot. Leaders of High Point and Archdale arranged legislation
See why people run, or don’t
gins at noon Monday and continues through noon Feb. 26. But because of a provision in the legislation that shifted High Point and Archdale’s municipal elections to even-numbered years, the two cities will have a separate candidate filing period this summer. The High Point and Archdale filing periods begin at noon July 2 and conclude at noon July 16.
AT A GLANCE
BY PAUL B. JOHNSON ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
February 7, 2010
through N.C. General Assembly in 2006 to have their municipal elections changed from odd-numbered to even-numbered years. City officials were hoping that staging their municipal elections in even-numbered years – when more races are on the ballot – would increase voter turnout for the local races.
Jason Goins has been named a partner with the High Point law firm of Wyatt Early Harris Wheeler. Goins is a member of the litigation practice area.
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Take the black history quiz!
BLACK HISTORY MONTH QUIZ ANSWER FORM
This is the answer form for the first week of the Black History Quiz. Contest prizes: A $25 gift certificate for Gullah Gullah or dinner for two at Becky & Mary’s restaurants.
Family is priority No. 1 FROM PAGE 1
As it has for the last few years, The High Point Enterprise again is publishing tidbits of history provided by Glenn R. Chavis daily except Sundays through February and into early March. This a contest to test your knowledge of the streets in the black community and who lived on them – including those who owned property and had telephones – in 1949, as recorded in a city of High Point report in 1950. Use the accompanying coupon to enter the contest. Answers can be found in tlhe Black History Month Quiz information published on this page Monday-throughSaturday. Simply fill out the coupon, get it to the Enterprise by the date listed at the bottom of the coupon.
1. Name of the dressmaker that lived on Elizabeth Street? __________________________________________________ 2. What church was located at 403 Fremont Street? __________________________________________________ 3. Name of the Christian Church located on Furlough Street? _________________________________________________ 4. How many homes were there on Gordy Alley? __________________________________________________ 5. Name of the black Notary living on Gordy Street? __________________________________________________ 6. How many blacks owned homes on W. Green Street? __________________________________________________ 7. What was the former name of Harrison Street? __________________________________________________
was to check with her family to see if they wanted her to take on the rigors of a campaign and, if successful, the time devoted to public service. “I just felt like, if you don’t have your family’s support, you’ve got no business running. And I still believe that. I knew it would take a lot of time to run and serve if you won – and my youngest son, Tom, was in junior high or high school,” Jarrell said. Her son, Tom Jarrell, now is an elected official himself as a Guilford County District Court judge. In 1977, Jarrell’s family encouraged her to run for council, though she’d never contemplated how to organize a bid for elected office. “I didn’t know anything then about putting a campaign together. But I knew enough to get some people to sponsor and endorse me. I learned if you don’t get people who say they will help you, then you better think twice about it. Because it takes an awful lot of support,” she said. Ragsdale has a different level of experience seeking public office, but echoes the sentiments of Jarrell. Ragsdale came within 257 votes out of more than 7,000 cast of upsetting state Rep. Laura Wiley, R-Guilford, in the 61st State House District in the 2008 Republican primary. It was his first run for office.
Name ______________________________________ Address __________________________________________ Phone __________________________ Drop off answer blanks at The High Point Enterprise office between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. each weekday, or mail the blank to History Quiz, The High Point Enterprise, P.O. Box 1009, High Point, NC 27262, or fax the blank to 888-3644. To be eligible for the prize, this coupon must arrive at the Enterprise by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16.
Library grant to benefit media studies ENTERPRISE STAFF REPORT
HIGH POINT – High Point University will use a $19,500 federal grant to purchase books and monographs on media and communication for Smith Library. The grant was one of only 185 awarded to North Carolina libraries during the 2009-10 fiscal year. The grant was awarded by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. At Smith Library the
grant will help to purchase books and other related monographs in the area of strategic communication, journalism, film and other media topics. The increased media collection will serve not only students at the university, but also the academic development of programs at the Nido Qubein School of Communication, according to university officials. “These resources will give our undergraduate population the current sources that they need to
complete projects and papers,” said David Bryden, HPU library director. “Good resources such as these coupled with the 24-hour learning environment makes for the kind of strong academic mix that we seek to develop at the university.” Communication is one of the leading HPU majors. The new $20 million school is named for HPU President Nido Qubein, an internationally known motivational speaker and author.
FAYETTEVILLE – The Army is increasing funding for its installations this year by $500 million, but Fort Bragg will continue its belt-tightening measures, officials said Friday. “The $500 million will not cover all of our projected funding shortages,” said Tom McCollum, a Fort Bragg spokesman. Army Secretary John M. McHugh and Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the Army chief of staff, said they are taking steps to increase funding for the fiscal year
that ends Sept. 30. Fort Bragg officials said last month that they expect to receive 20 percent less funding than in the 2009 fiscal year for base operating support. It’s also uncertain how the additional $500 million will be spread among the Army’s installations. “The money has got to trickle down to us,” McCollum said. “I can’t tell you what Fort Bragg’s share is going to be.” Fort Bragg garrison officials have been briefing Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick, commander of the 18th Airborne Corps and
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ENTERPRISE STAFF REPORT
Because of an increase in material costs, the Sunday single-copy price of The High Point Enterprise has been increased to $1.25 effective today. The Monday-throughSaturday single-copy price will remain at 50 cents, Publisher Mike Starn said, and the price of newspapers delivered to subscribers is not affected. The Enterprise, which has published Sunday editions since 1923 has not increased its Sunday singlecopy price since April 1991. “We have committed to serve our community by producing an intensely local newspaper of excellent quality every day,” Starn said.
Fort Bragg’s senior commander, throughout the week, McCollum said. Army officials pledged to protect programs for Army families, troop readiness and emergency services. “We will continue to look for efficiencies and best practices, but the bottom line is we will not shortchange our soldiers and their families,” McHugh said in a statement through the Army. The Army’s Installation Management Command will continue to work with each installation to ensure needs are met, a statement said.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
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bing the bottle of booze and a package of cough drops Wednesday and hid in a nearby building, which happened to be the police station. Police say the man then ran out of the police station, but not before a dispatcher had spied
him on the station’s surveillance camera and alerted officers. The man, who police say was drunk, was caught soon after. He was taken into custody on preliminary charges of resisting arrest and shoplifting.
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wife and two wonderful children,” he said. Ragsdale and his wife, Jenny, are raising Wrenn, 2, and Katherine, 1. He didn’t think it was right to take on a political campaign for the state House during a critical time in the upbringing of his son and daughter. Ragsdale still contemplates another run for public office – just not now. “When you look at your priorities, you’ve got to take care of raising your children and making sure there’s support at home,” Ragsdale said.
So when Wiley announced late last year that she wouldn’t seek another term in the Republican-leaning district, Ragsdale appeared a natural candidate to seek the seat in 2010. But Ragsdale, part of a political family in Jamestown dating back generations, didn’t believe this year was the right time for him to take on the effort of a campaign. “I’ve said it many times – no amount of success outside of the home can ever make up for the least amount of failure within the home. I have a wonderful wife and a wonderful relationship with my
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Katherine, Jenny, George and Wrenn Ragsdale outside their home in Jamestown.
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GTCC earns national award ENTERPRISE STAFF REPORT
JAMESTOWN â€“ Guilford Technical Community College became the second college to earn the national Leah Meyer Austin Institutional Leadership Award last week for helping low-income families and minority students. The college was recognized with the $25,000 award during the annual Achieving the Dream Strategy Institute in Charlotte. The Lumina Foundation for Education in Indianapolis, Ind. created the award in honor of Austin, a former senior vice-president of the organization. Her leadership helped shape the national Achieving the Dream program, an initiative founded in 2004 to help more community college students succeed. GTCC also was recognized as one of 21 commu-
Evaluators found GTCC put its focus squarely on identifying effective programs and processes that led directly to student success, particularly among higher risk, developmental education students. nity colleges in the nation designated as â€œLeader Collegesâ€? for commitment and progress in the Achieving the Dream principles. The college is scaling up pre-placement refresher courses, intensive advisement of entering developmental education students, and case management services for higher-risk developmental education students. â€œThe college leadership, faculty, staff and students have revolutionized the
culture of the school,â€? said William Trueheart, CEO of Achieving the Dream. â€œWe have achieved this through a data-driven program by focusing on retention through tutoring to help our students create success and achieve their dreams,â€? said GTCC President Don Cameron. The college piloted 15 projects, 11 of which continue today. One of the most productive programs has been GTCCâ€™s reorganized orientation process which includes a more comprehensive three-hour orientation. â€œThis award underscores the concerted effort GTCC is making to insure that every student who needs help with coursework gets targeted guidance and support,â€? said Shirley Frye, GTCC trustees board chairperson.
Officer shoots himself in leg after drug raid said. â€œThe shot grazed his right leg,â€? Smith said. â€œHe was treated and released from Central Carolina Hospital. Heâ€™s very lucky he wasnâ€™t hurt worse.â€? The raid on Ames Drive was conducted by the police departmentâ€™s Tactical Narcotics Team and the Lee County Sheriffâ€™s Office Narcotics Division. Agents found unspecified amounts of cocaine and marijuana at the scene and charged 23-year-old Al Junior Snipes, of the residence, with possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine,
MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE
SANFORD â€“ A local drug agent shot himself in the leg after his firearm malfunctioned, city police reported Friday. Capt. Dan Kehagias of the Sanford Police Departmentâ€™s Tactical Narcotics Team was re-holstering his weapon after executing a search warrant around 10:30 a.m. Friday at 2833 Ames Drive when the gun â€œmalfunctionedâ€? and went off, Capt. David Smith of the Sanford Police Department
Body found in trash bin at Charlotte apartment complex Friday afternoon found some blood and called authorities. Investigators say they found other clues in and around the apartment that led them to the trash bin, where they found the
CHARLOTTE (AP) â€” A body has been found in a trash bin at a North Carolina apartment complex. Police told The Charlotte Observer that a man checking on a broken pipe in a Charlotte apartment
Haight is a former teacher at Olympic High School in Charlotte, and investigators say the victim is a student at the school. Police say the incident that led to Haightâ€™s arrest happened at his home in November, but investigators think inappropriate
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possession of marijuana, maintaining a dwelling for drugs, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Snipes was released from custody on $10,000 unsecured bond. The injury to Kehagias marks the second time a Sanford police officer has been shot since December. Officer Scott Norton, a member of the departmentâ€™s Selective Enforcement Unit, suffered five gunshot wounds while investigating armed robberies at the Thornwood Village Mobile Home Park on Dec. 20.
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Teacher faces sex charge CHARLOTTE (AP) â€“ A North Carolina teacher has been arrested after police say he engaged in sexual activity with a 17year-old student. Multiple media outlets reported 39-year-old Brett Haight was taken into custody Friday.
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Shiite militants kidnap American in Iraq AP
In this undated image made from a video posted on a militant Web site, a man believed to be missing civilian contractor Issa T. Salomi is seen.
BAGHDAD (AP) – A missing Iraqi-American contractor was kidnapped by Shiite militiamen who lured him into central Baghdad by promising to help him find distant relatives, an Iraqi defense official said Saturday. A Shiite extremist group claimed responsibility for the Jan. 23 kidnapping and posted a video online that
shows a man wearing military fatigues reading a list of demands that includes the release of militants, the prosecution of Blackwater guards and an immediate American troop withdrawal. A high-ranking Iraqi defense official and an American intelligence official identified the man in the video as Issa T. Salomi, the missing con-
tractor. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information. The Iraqi defense official said Salomi was abducted in the central Baghdad district of Karradah. He said Salomi is of Iraqi origin and that his abductors led him to believe they would help him find family members.
Red Cross staffer freed after months in Chad PARIS – A French agronomist who was kidnapped in Chad in November was freed Saturday in Sudan after 89 days in captivity, International Committee of the Red Cross reported. The organization said employee Laurent Maurice “is tired but appears to be in good health.” The agronomist was kidnapped Nov. 9 by armed men while working in the village of Kawa near Chad’s eastern border with Sudan. He had been in the African nation for 10 months before being abducted, the statement said.
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Report: US nun’s alleged Brazilian killer in jail RIO DE JANEIRO – A rancher accused of masterminding the 2005 killing of an activist American nun in the Amazon is back in jail, a Brazilian TV station reported Saturday. Vitalmiro Moura turned himself in to police in the jungle town of Altamira on Saturday, the Globo television network said, citing an unidentified police spokesman. No one answered repeated telephone calls to the police later Saturday. Moura is accused of ordering the murder of 73-year-old Dorothy Stang, a native of Dayton, Ohio, who worked for decades as an activist on behalf of poor people seeking small parcels of land to farm.
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Women targeted in Haiti
Finance leaders seek to calm global markets, sustain rebound
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) â€“ Bernice Chamblain keeps a machete under her frayed mattress to ward off sexual predators and one leg wrapped around a bag of rice to stop nighttime thieves from stealing her daughtersâ€™ food. Sheâ€™s barely slept since Haitiâ€™s catastrophic earthquake Jan. 12 forced her and other homeless women and children into tent camps, where they are easy targets for gangs of men. Women have always had it bad in Haiti. Now things are worse. â€œI try not to sleep,â€? says Chamblain, 22, who lost her father and now lives in AP a squalid camp with her A woman watches a food distribution operation as U.S. mother and aunts near the Army soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division provide sePort-au-Prince airport. curity in Port-au-Prince, Saturday.
Christian freed by North Korea BEIJING (AP) â€“ Robert Park strode illegally into North Korea on Christmas Day, shouting â€œI brought Godâ€™s loveâ€? and carrying a Bible. When the communist regime released him Saturday, he left silent Park and pale. As the American missionary made his way home to California, loved ones wondered how 43 days of detention in the worldâ€™s most secretive nation had taken their toll on the young man who so brashly demanded religious and political reforms. Park, his eyes almost closed, made no comment as U.S. consular officials guided him to a transit area in Beijingâ€™s airport after his morning arrival from Pyongyang. He was to leave later in the day for the United States.
Teen matador kills 6 bulls CACERES, Spain (AP) â€“ A 16-year-old Spanish matador killed six bulls in one afternoon Saturday, pulling off a feat normally attempted only by seasoned veterans and winning trophies for his skill â€“ ears from animals he had just slain. Jairo Miguel Sanchez Alonso, who nearly died from a horrific goring in Mexico in 2007, smiled broadly and waved to a friendly hometown crowd after a pageant that took about two and a half hours.
Black box of Ethiopian jet located BEIRUT (AP) â€“ Search crews have located the black box under parts of the tail of the Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed into the Mediterranean Sea last month, Lebanonâ€™s transportation minister said Saturday. The Boeing 737 crashed Jan. 25 minutes after takeoff from Beirut in a fierce thunderstorm. All
90 people on board died. Transportation Minister Ghazi Aridi said the black box has been located at a depth of 150 feet (45 meters) off the coastal village of Naameh just south of Beirut airport. â€œIts location has been determined and efforts are under way to find the best means to retrieve it,â€? he told The Associated Press.
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IQALUIT, Nunavut (AP) â€“ Top finance officials of the worldâ€™s seven major industrial countries pledged Saturday to work to calm global markets and maintain government stimulus to sustain an economic rebound. Speaking for the group, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said leaders of the Group of Seven countries also dis-
cussed strategies they will use to withdraw stimulus once the recovery strengthens. But Flaherty and other leaders did not indicate they were planning to propose any further stimulus beyond what they have already unveiled. They said they would push ahead with those efforts this year. Flaherty spoke as the G-7 officials ended a two-
day meeting in the Canadian Arctic. They met as financial markets were roiled this week over fears that a European debt crisis could derail the global recovery. The Canadian finance minister said the leaders discussed the debt problem in Greece. Investors fear Greece may default or require a bailout from already strapped European governments.
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President: ‘Snowmageddon’ blankets DC
FAA: 2 planes collide in Colorado, killing 2 BOULDER, Colo. – The Federal Aviation Administration says a plane towing a glider and another aircraft collided in Colorado, killing at least two people. FAA spokesman Mike Fergus says the glider, described as a sailplane, apparently disconnected after the Saturday afternoon collision and landed safely a short time later. Fergus says the two small planes crashed. One witness, Christian Sterner, said he saw two big balls of flames, including one attached to a parachute that fell slowly to the ground.
Mom charged in son’s killing at NYC hotel NEW YORK – A woman suspected of killing her 8-year-old son at a New York City luxury hotel and then trying to commit suicide has been charged with second-degree murder. Police say 49-year-old Gigi Jordan was charged Saturday at a local hospital where she had been taken after being found slumped on the floor of her room. She was found at the five-star Peninsula Hotel New York on Fifth Avenue with her dead son nearby. Police say the boy was found Friday lying face-up on the bed.
House fire in Warwick, RI, kills 5, including baby WARWICK, R.I. – A house fire in Warwick, R.I., has left five people dead, including a 7month-old baby. Authorities say the victims were found unconscious and severely burned just after noon Saturday on the second floor of a house in Warwick. Fire Chief Kevin Sullivan called the scene “gruesome.” The victims included 21-year-old Amanda Villeneuve and her daughter, Annabelle, who both lived at the house, which was owned by the woman’s father. ENTERPRISE NEWS SERVICE REPORTS
WASHINGTON (AP) – Mid-Atlantic residents were buried Saturday by a blizzard the president jokingly called “Snowmageddon,” and those brave enough tried to clear a path through the wet, heavy mounds of thigh-high snow. The snow was falling too quickly in the nation’s capital for crews to keep up, and was easily one of the worst snowstorms for D.C. in modern history. Officials begged residents to stay home and AP out of the way so that roads Tanner Sutton, 12, goes over a bump while riding his rubber inner tube in Phillips- might be cleared in time for burg, N.J.,on the snow that fell overnight from the winter storm that blanketed the work Monday. The usually traffic-snarled roads were Mid-Atlantic region, Saturday.
mostly barren, and Washington’s familiar sites and monuments were covered with nearly 2 feet of snow. The storm toppled trees and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of customers in Washington, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The situation was the same in West Virginia, where some 400 National Guard troops were helping with snow removal. People from Pittsburgh, across Pennsylvania to Philadelphia, New Jersey and West Virginia were dealing with snow measured in feet.
NASA sets for pre-dawn space shuttle launch CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – NASA aimed to launch shuttle Endeavour in the early morning darkness today with the last major pieces of the International Space Station. Stiff wind rattled the launching site Saturday afternoon, but forecasters were hopeful the gusts would subside in time for the 4:39 a.m. liftoff. The odds of good weather were 80 percent. Endeavour is loaded with a new room for the space station, as well
as an observation deck. Once both of those are installed, the orbiting complex will be 98 percent complete. The six astronauts assigned to the mission slept through the afternoon. They will work the graveyard shift during the 13day flight. It was expected to be the last shuttle launch in darkness, with only five shuttle missions left after the new direction announced by President Barack Obama.
Alaska dentist fixes injured eagle’s broken beak ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – An Alaska dentist has given a bald eagle a unique beak – using a temporary crown, sticky poster putty and yellow highlighter. The bird was found in December with severe damage to its beak, apparently from fishing line that wrapped around it and started cutting into it. Cindy Palmatier at the Bird Treatment and Learning Center
says staff there decided to turn to dentist Kirk Johnson, who thought of patching up the beak with the same material used to make temporary crowns for people. The “crown” is being held on with poster putty, and Johnson colored it in using highlighter to give it a yellow tint. The bird center says the eagle is doing just fine but won’t be able to return to the wild.
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Palin e-mails suggest husband’s role in governing JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – E-mails shed new light on Todd Palin’s role while his wife was Alaska’s governor, showing that the one-time oil field worker’s advice was sought on board appointments and suggesting he was close to matters related to state government, his wife’s image and politics. Relatively few of the messages obtained as part of a public records request were sent by Todd Palin himself. Rather, his personal e-mail address is included on messages sent by administration staff, top aides to then-Gov. Sarah Palin and Palin on topics ranging from use of the state plane to day-to-day governing issues and oil and gas legislation that Palin made a hallmark of her 212⁄ years in office.
But the e-mails, first reported by MSNBC.com, together provide fresh insight into what many had suspected was a highly influential role played by the self-proclaimed “First Dude.” They also reflect the at-times fierce loyalty that Todd Palin and others close to the former governor felt, particularly amid tensions with lawmakers and criticism in the media. “Have Meg take the news miner off the press release address list for a few days,see how long it takes them to realize their not on the list,” Todd Palin wrote to his wife in an e-mail, dated June 21, 2007, after the governor questioned the fairness of an editor in Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
It’s not clear from the e-mails whether there was a policy, unspoken or otherwise, that Todd Palin be copied in on certain matters either because he was a key adviser or a mere backstop to the governor. Several former aides to Sarah Palin declined comment Friday. In November 2008, then-Palin chief of staff Michael Nizich wrote in response to a public records request denial that Todd Palin, “as first gentleman, is a proper advisor.” “There is nothing inappropriate about the spouse of a chief executive playing such a role,” Nizich wrote. “The governor is absolutely entitled to involve him in policy matters as an advisor as she sees fit.”
FILE | AP
In this file photo taken Feb. 14, 2009, Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin greets her husband Todd at the finish line of the Tesoro Iron Dog on the Chena River in downtown Fairbanks, Alaska.
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