ELECTION DAY: Randolph voters go to polls for college. 1B
March 2, 2010 126th year No. 61
GOTCHA: Deputies charge four linked to break-ins. 1B
www.hpe.com High Point, N.C.
TOP OF THE LINE: High Point’s Barbour makes all Big South. 1D
50 Cents Daily $1.25 Sundays
Forecast calls for light slush
Sean Austin Kilby was hired as hardware support specialist in the Office of Information Technology at High Point University. Kilby is responsible for attending to computer maintenance and repair.
BY PAM HAYNES ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
powered boats arrive on a day, the later-arriving boat owners are allowed out on a first-come, firstserve basis as other boats dock.
TRIAD – Another rain and snow system similar to last week’s snowfall is expected to move through the Triad today with little impact on travel or daily commutes, according to the National Weather Service. Light rainfall should begin late this morning, changing into a wet snowfall by tonight. Temperatures will remain at or above freezing, shifting from the mid-30s to the lower 40s by the afternoon, said NWS meteorologist Jonathan Blaes. Because precipitation is expected to be light and temperatures should remain above freezing, little accumulation will occur, Blaes said. “Given the light precipitation and warm temperatures, the only accumulation we should see will be on grassy surfaces or on the tops of cars,” he said. “We’ll maybe see a halfinch of a slushy coating on those areas.” It’s possible that some patches of black ice could be scattered across roadways Wednesday morning as temperatures dip into the lower 30s overnight, but the effect on travel should be minimal, Blaes added. Lingering flurries may hit the Triad Wednesday morning east of High Point, but the below-average temperatures that have lingered through February should finally give way to spring weather this weekend. Blaes said temperatures will rise into the mid 50s by Saturday. “Once we get into March, it’s very difficult to get snow in this part of the world,” he said. “Although we’ve seen snow in the third week of March before, it is increasingly more difficult.” Chris Thompson, High Point’s public services director, said the scattered snow flurries and freezing rainfalls continue to create and worsen potholes on city streets caused by the harsh winter this
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SONNY HEDGECOCK | HPE
A boater heads out while others use the pier at Randleman Regional Reservoir on Monday.
Anglers, boaters line up for first day on Randleman Lake BY PAUL B. JOHNSON ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
RANDOLPH COUNTY – Lonnie Carlton of Randleman smiled broadly as he and his friend John Bryant of Liberty prepared to unload their fishing boat at Randleman Regional Reservoir Monday morning. “I’ve been waiting for this ever since they said they were going to build the lake,” Carlton said as he made history by becoming one of the first people to put into the lake at the new marina along Adams Farm Road in Randolph County. After seven decades of planning and years of construction, the lake opened to recreation for fishermen and boaters at 8 a.m. Monday. Some anglers arrived Sunday afternoon and camped out overnight so they could be among the first fishermen on the water, said Lake Warden Randy Howard. By 9 a.m. Monday, the picturesque lake lined by woods, farms and the backyards of rural homes was dotted with a variety of fishing boats. The Tshaped wooden pier, near the launches for boats at the marina, was lined with more than a dozen men and women tossing lures. To mark its inaugural week, the reservoir will open all seven days this week. Starting next week, the reservoir will switch to its normal schedule
SONNY HEDGECOCK | HPE
Lee Randolph of Burlington fishes from the pier. – closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, open Wednesdays through Sundays. The opening and closing times for recreation on the lake, which stays open until Nov. 30 this year, will vary with the seasons and daylight saving time. The lake also will open on some Mondays and Tuesdays around holidays. The next major step with the reservoir will come this summer when the first drinking water is scheduled to flow from the lake. The reservoir will become a drinking water source for customers in parts of Randolph County and for five municipalities in Randolph and Guilford counties – High Point, Jamestown, Archdale, Greensboro and Randleman. The upcoming use of the
Randleman Regional Reservoir opened Monday to fishing and boating for the first time. The lake has been decades in the making to become a drinking source for five cities and Randolph County. The Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority is completing a $60 million to $70 million water treatment and pumping plant to provide water to the county and High Point, Greensboro, Jamestown, Archdale and Randleman. When at full capacity, the plant could provide 48 million gallons of water daily. For more information about recreation at the lake, check the authority Web site (www.ptrwa.org) or call its office in Greensboro at 547-8437.
lake as a drinking water source affects recreation. Swimming is prohibited, and the highest number of gas-powered motor boats allowed on the lake during a day is 100 at one time. If more than 100 gas-
Economy affects some of city’s top attractions Before you read...
Last in three-part series. BY PAM HAYNES ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
HIGH POINT – The five largest attractions for tourism in High Point have changed throughout the past decade, with some attractions bringing more guests to the city and some bringing less, according to figures from the High Point Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. High Point University, for example, has increased the number of tourists passing through the city as its student population has grown. Don Scarborough, vice president of communi-
ty relations for the university, said on averBRING IT a g e , HOME about 40 famiReviving lies of tourism in High prospecPoint tive stu■■■ dents come to tour the campus per day, and the university is giving hundreds of more tours this year than it did last year. Its Presidential Scholarship Weekend and Family and Alumni Weekend together brought 2,000 people to the city this month with an estimated economic impact of about $600,000. Charlotte Young, presi-
dent and CEO of the bureau, said visitation events at the university, the High Point Market, the Showtime textile event, youth sporting events and trade shows and conventions attract the most visitors to the city. Other categories of tourism, including furniture shopping, parks, lakes and performing arts events also draw a large number of visitors. Some of those events, however, have struggled during the economic recession, cutting hotel room night bookings, which provides thousands of dollars to the CVB each year. The High Point Market reported 85,708 attendees at the spring 2007 event, while 75,537 attended the spring 2009 event. Attendance in trade
SUNDAY: CVB seeks public’s help in reviving tourism. MONDAY: Bring It Home idea dates to early 1990s. TODAY: Some attractions grow while others struggle. shows and conventions such as the High Point Market are down across the globe due to heightened airport security or more convenient ways of doing business such as conference calling, Young said. “People are really thinking before they take an unneeded trip,” she said. “Some conventions are shortening their stays.” Other events, such as the Ilderton Beach Music Blast events held last summer or the N.C. Shakespeare Festival, may have a smaller
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impact than large shows, but they also are an important aspect to the tourism industry in High Point, along with the city’s furniture heritage and colleges and universities, which also put on performance arts events. “Culture heritage, recreation, campus life and shopping, not necessarily in that order, are the threads that make up the tapestry of High Point,” Young said. email@example.com | 888-3617
NO PARKING? Ordinance change comes before City Council. 1B OBITUARIES
Saundra Allen, 46 June Buck, 85 Susan Clark, 67 Norman Franz, 86 Wanda Hussey Peggy Ingram, 80 Colleen Jeffries Coy Kiziah, 78 Herbert Richenberg, 74 Naomi Safewright, 89 Bobby Witherspoon, 47 Obituaries, 2-3B
Rain, snow High 40, Low 31 6D
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CAROLINAS 2A www.hpe.com TUESDAY, MARCH 2, 2010 THE HIGH POINT ENTERPRISE
A quiz put together by Glenn R. Chavis provides this year’s Black History Month lessons in The High Point Enterprise. Get a coupon from this past Sunday’s Enterprise, fill in the blanks with what you believe to be the correct answers and send it to the Enterprise – addresses are on the bottom of the coupon. Contest prizes: A $25 gift certificate for Gullah Gullah or dinner for two at Becky & Mary’s restaurants. Tidbits of history: Streets in the black community and who lived on them (names and spelling are the same as they were recorded). Even though this information was published in January of 1950, records are actually for the year ending in 1949. Taylor Street From 616 S. Main Street west and northwest to W. Broad, 2 blocks south of Grimes
Willowbrook intersects 206 – Isom Holland (phone) 2 0 7 – Ira Gray (owned HISTORY h o m e ) , QUIZ (phone) 208 – Glenn Chavis Lizzie Da■■■ vis 209 – Leroy Clark 210 – William Gripper (phone) 211 – Charles Allen 213 – Pinkney Simrel Fairview Street ends 300 – Rena Watson 301 – Pilgrim Congregational Church 302 – Otho Wilson (phone) 303 – Garrett Johnson (phone) 304 – George Hargrave (phone) Gordy Street ends 305 – Josephine Nixon 308 – Charles Long (phone)
309 – Janie Moore (owned home), (phone) 310 – William Glover (owned home), (phone) 313 – Cicero Lassiter (owned home) 314 – William Harrington (owned home) 315 – Paul Johnson 316 – Temple Memorial Baptist Church 317 – Thural Ingram (owned home), (phone) 318 – John Clark 319 – Nathaniel Morehead Hulda Street intersects 400 – St. Matthews Holiness Church 403 – Charles Hinson (owned home), (phone) 404 – Rev. Elder McDonald (phone) 413 – John Woods Elizabeth Street begins 503 – Carson Parks (owned home), (phone) Grayson Street intersects 601 – Paul Dick 603 – Fred Allen
Railroad, 1 block north of Ray Street 103 – Emma Chatman Thissell Street From 1030 Leonard Street south to E. Russell Street, 1 block east of Cable Street 404 – Thomas Revels Olga Street begins Granby Street ends 505 – Lamb Barr Furlough Street begins 601 – Rev. Dennis Mason (owned home), (phone)
Tudor Street From Harrison Street east to beyond the Railroad, 1 block north of E. Washington Street 1704 – Walter Alexander 1705 – Vacant 1706 – Thomas Joyner 1707 – Mayo Stevenson 1708 – James Robertson (owned home), (phone) 1709 – Walter McCloud 1710 – Lacey Dumas Railroad Street ends 1801 – Ned Ethridge Templeton Street 1802 – Willie Kennedy From 1206 Tyron Street 1803 – Samuel Byers northwest to Southern
Weather should have little impact on commutes FROM PAGE 1
year. “Anytime you get a lot of moisture in the winter months when temperatures go below freezing, it generates more potholes,” he said. “We’re doing our best to keep up with them.”
Blaes said the warm weather should be welcomed this weekend as the Triad received more than twice the amount of snow it usually sees in the winter. “The parks and greenways should
be a busy place this weekend,” he said. “It’s been a snowy winter, and more snowy than usual. We’re anxious for that warm-up.”
FILE | AP
Epileptic dogs help test drug
epilepsy, according to veterinarians at N.C. State University. Since June they have been playing a key role in finding a more effective treatment for the condition. Brentley is one of 16 dogs being observed at N.C. State’s College of Veterinary Medicine as part of a nationwide study to help scientists find a better medicine to treat canine epilepsy.
Is your hearing current?
The High Point Enterprise strives for accuracy. Readers who think a factual error has been made are encouraged to call the newsroom at 888-3500. When a factual error has been found a correction will be published.
LEXINGTON – While overcrowded classrooms may be a constant worry for Davidson County school officials, that’s not the case at one school. Wallburg Elementary School could still hold as many as 200 additional students, Jay Temple, executive director of auxiliary services for Davidson County Schools, told the Davidson County Board of Education Monday night. School officials were approached last year by concerned Wallburg parents who requested that the system redraw district lines because of overcrowding. With Wallburg Elementary at 907 students, Temple said the school has a regular classroom, two mobile classrooms, a large exceptional children’s classroom that could be made into two classrooms and two mobile classroom sites available for additional students. He said the space could hold an estimated 205 students.
RALEIGH (AP) – The state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission has hired an outside group to conduct a financial appraisal of North Carolina’s liquor system, Gov. Beverly Perdue said Monday in the strongest sign yet she’s giving serious consideration to privatization. The commission agreed late Friday to pay up to $175,000 to a Chicago-based firm to calculate the stateowned wholesale distribution system and hundreds of local ABC retail stores – much like appraising a house before it’s sold. Valuation Research Corp. also will estimate how much North Carolina could generate if the wholesale and retail functions were sold to a single or multiple vendors for up to 10 years, according to
Winning numbers selected Sunday in the N.C. Lottery: NIGHT Pick 3: 0-6-0; Pick 4: 4-3-4-2 Carolina Cash 5: 10-11-28-30-37
DAY Pick 3: 5-2-8 Pick 4: 6-2-4-1 Cash 5: 7-13-17-22-33
Unpaid $68 dental bill dogs Utah homeowner a county auction for $1,550. The collection agency North American Recovery sued Ramos in 1995 over the dental bill. She didn’t contest the lawsuit, not realizing the consequences. Her house in the Salt Lake City suburb of Glendale
was sold the next year to a group of investors. On Thursday, the Utah Court of Appeals sent the case to 3rd District Court for a hearing on whether Ramos had proper notice of the sheriff’s sale and whether the sale price was “grossly inadequate.”
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NIGHT Pick 3: 4-4-6 Pick 4: 3-8-4-4 Winning numbers selected Sunday in Tennessee Lottery: NIGHT Cash 3: 6-1-5 Cash 4: 2-4-4-3
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NIGHT Pick 3: 7-5-2 Pick 4: 7-0-5-3 Cash 5: 9-11-25-28-32
Winning numbers selected Sunday in the S.C. Lottery:
the contract with the state ABC commission. Vendors could possibly own their Perdue own ABC stores, purchase current government-run stores or establish agency stores. Perdue said she directed commission Chairman Jon Williams to enter the contract “in an effort to inform me about the complexities, the advantages and disadvantages of changing any part of North Carolina’s current system of alcohol control.” The information will arrive by the end of April, as lawmakers studying alcohol issues make recommendations for the Legislature’s session starting in May.
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – A Utah woman who lost title to her house over an unpaid $68 dental bill has been given a reprieve. The Utah Court of Appeals ruled Capri Ramos is entitled to another opportunity to void the sale of her house at
“In taking into consideration with what’s going on at Wallburg, if the economy turns around and we continue to have the growth, there is still room in that facility itself to handle some students for a little bit of time,” Temple said. “That’s what you need to know.” Temple said there has been no growth in student population during the first half of the year. Wallburg Elementary had 917 students for the first month enrollment for the 2008-09 school year, according to the school system. In other business, the Davidson County Board of Education named Stephanie D. Hall and Paula L. Justice as interim principals and part-time teachers at Ledford Middle School. They replace Sloan Denny who was named last month as the school’s interim principal. The school board also promoted Gary Buie from interim transportation director to transportation director.
Winning numbers selected Sunday in Virginia Lottery:
211 W. Lexington Avenue, Suite 104, High Point, NC
by’s regular veterinarian offered a plausible diagnosis: epilepsy. Dachshunds are among the breeds most likely to have the chronic neurological condition, which is characterized by recurring seizures. The most popular breeds in Wake County – Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, beagles and German shepherds – are prone to
BY DARRICK IGNASIAK ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
Perdue wants more info on liquor privatizing
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Brentley, a dachshund from Cary, gets a checkup from veterinary neurologist Karen Muana (right) and veterinary technician Julie Nettifee Osborne at the N.C. State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Raleigh on Feb. 5
CARY (AP) – Jessica Crosby and her 4-year-old dachshund Brentley were perched on the sofa at home in Cary watching TV one night in April, when Brentley started acting strange. “He just went stiff and started shaking all over,” said Crosby, 24. Crosby rushed Brentley to a veterinary hospital in Cary. When blood tests didn’t offer clues, Cros-
School official addresses concerns of overcrowding
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Tuesday March 2, 2010
TAMED TO ENTERTAIN: Orca attack raises question of captive animals. 6B
Managing Editor: Sherrie Dockery firstname.lastname@example.org (336) 888-3539
Chile battles looters
In ruined Haiti schools, educators see opportunity PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti â€“ After seven weeks with seven kids huddled under a shelter of tarps and bed sheets on the median strip of a busy road, Lissithe Delomme says the Haitian government canâ€™t reopen schools fast enough. The Jan. 12 quake dealt a devastating blow to Haitiâ€™s already struggling schools: More than 80 percent in the earthquake zone were damaged or destroyed. All in Port-au-Prince and the other affected towns remain closed.
Europe storm death toll at 62; France hardest hit PARIS â€“ Rescue workers in dinghies cruised flooded streets on Franceâ€™s Atlantic coast Monday, searching for people still trapped in their homes by storms that smashed through concrete sea walls and killed at least 62 people across Western Europe. The storm, called Xynthia, blew into France early Sunday with hurricane-force winds, flooding ports, destroying homes and leaving 1 million households without electricity. It also battered Belgium, Portugal, Spain and parts of Germany and snarled train and air travel throughout the continent.
Moscow moves closer to Iran sanctions
Putin: Russia to build new strategic bomber MOSCOW â€“ Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Monday that Russia will build a new strategic bomber, a move that comes as the nation tries to upgrade its aging military arsenal. Putin said in televised remarks that work on the bomber must follow the development of a prospective stealth fighter, which made its maiden flight in January and was hailed by the government as a big step in military modernization efforts.
Uruguay inaugurates ex-rebel leader as president MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay â€“ A former guerrilla leader who won the trust of voters with his homespun manner and promises to govern as a conciliator became Uruguayâ€™s new president Monday. Jose Mujica, 74, is the second consecutive leftist president in a country which, until 2005, had been ruled by right-wing parties or the military for 150 years.
Residents reach out to catch merchandise thrown from a market being looted in Concepcion, Chile, Monday.
Clinton brings satellite gear to quake zone BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) â€“ U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday she will bring 20 satellite phones and a technician with her when she visits earthquake-damaged Chile. The gear and expertise are a down payment on help the United States intends to provide following the massive quake in Chile on Saturday. Clinton was making a brief stop today in the capital as part of a Latin American trip
rearranged because of the disaster. â€œWe are bringing some of what they asked for which are satellite phones,â€? Clinton said. â€œOne of their biggest problems has been communications as we found in Haiti in those days after the quake,â€? Clinton said. She noted that Chileâ€™s communications system was much more advanced before the quake than Haitiâ€™s, but she said communication with hard-hit Concepcion is difficult.
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VIENNA â€“ Russiaâ€™s president said Moscow was ready to consider new sanctions on Iran for its nuclear defiance on Monday and the chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency warned that he cannot confirm that all of Tehranâ€™s atomic activities are peaceful. President Dmitry Medvedev emphasized that he still hoped for a settlement with Iran on nuclear issues that would negate any need for a fourth set of U.N. Security Council sanctions.
CONCEPCION, Chile (AP) â€“ Rescuers found signs of life in the wreckage of a 15-story building Monday as the world offered aid to victims of an earthquake that killed more than 700 people. Looters roamed the streets even after troops and police arrested dozens of people for violating a curfew. The toll of dead rose to 723, with 19 others missing, the National Emergency Office announced, in a magnitude-8.8 quake that President Michelle Bachelet called â€œan emergency without parallel in Chileâ€™s history.â€? Some coastal towns were almost obliterated â€“ first shaken by the quake, then slammed by a tsunami that carried whole houses inland and crushed others into piles of sticks. Shocked survivors were left without power, water or food. In Concepcion, the biggest city near the epicenter, rescuers heard the knock of trapped victims inside a toppled 70-unit apartment building.
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LESLIE ANN BLAKE: Olympics bring out the best in us. TOMORROW
Opinion Page Editor: Vince Wheeler email@example.com (336) 888-3517
Henry Ford wouldn’t like state of car industry I am amazed at the auto companies needing help. I bet Henry Ford would turn over in his grave, if he knew, after selling over a billion cars since the Model T, they would cry they are not making enough money. So our government gives GM and Chrysler bailouts and loans Ford public money. Give me a break. It’s not just Toyota that can’t get it right. I went to get my car inspected and was told there were a couple of things the computer said was wrong. So until I get it fixed I can’t get my tags. A couple of years ago, when we found out North Carolina was going to do away with the stickers, we were all happy. Now they put a computer on your car, and the computer talks to the man servicing your car ... and it costs more. The results of the computer are supposed to go directly to Raleigh, and then you can buy your tags, which also cost more. Who is to say these computers are correct? There has to be millions of them all over North Carolina. If they couldn’t pick out a big glitch like the electronic brain of the acceleration on the Toyota that has killed people and injured lots of people, how do we know our present computer is not just another money maker for the state? HAROLD HANSEN Thomasville
High Pointers should support mall, other local businesses
I have been a lifelong resident of High Point, except for four years away at college. I proudly call High Point my home. I have seen many changes over the years, some positive and some negative. I am constantly defending my hometown to other people, both from High Point and the surrounding cities in the Triad area. In a recent letter, a reader called Oak Hollow Mall a “black eye of High Point’s progress.” It is embarrassing that a city of 100,000 people cannot support a mall. I, for one, hate driving to Greensboro for anything, but especially for shopping. If the residents of this city do not begin supporting not only our mall but also our other local businesses, then all of us are going to begin driving to Greensboro for everything. By not supporting our mall, even in its current situation, it perpetuates a cycle. If the residents of High Point do not shop in High Point, then retailers cannot stay in High Point, nor can they offer the quantity and quality of merchandise desired by the people.
New Dealism: You have two cows – the government takes both, shoots one, milks one and throws In a conversation the other day, the milk away. I had to defend the quality and Obamaism: You have two cows variety of restaurants to a fellow – the government takes both, High Pointer, and it made me promises you a Golden Calf in think, it is this attitude that is return, delivers on nothing, and killing our retail and restaurant then shoots itself in the foot along opportunities. If you believe in with a lot of bull. our city, then proudly shop and Capitalism: You have two cows eat in our city, it is up to us to – you sell one and buy a bull. ensure its survival! Sometimes things said in jest JULIE KIMSEY ring a note of truth. High Point While we in America have passed through periods when our government suffered comparisons with systems like those first menFree enterprise, capitalism tioned above, we still have the opportunities capitalism brings bring success to America us ... the theory that everybody who uses his or her talents wisely Allow me to share with your will succeed. readers the six -isms of our curThis belief is the mainstay of rent political scene. I hope they our American way. In America, as will see the humor as well as the in no other land, free enterprise seriousness of current events as they unfold in our everyday lives. coupled with wise and diligent I trust they will be wise enough to use of our talents, means success for all who are willing to work to see the important difference we that end. enjoy here in this great nation of The less interference from ours. government the more we will Socialism: You have two cows succeed! – and give one to your neighbor. Let us all contact our WashingCommunism: You have two cows – the government takes both ton bureaucrats and tell them to do the right thing. Tell them to and gives you the milk. lead, follow or get out of the way! Facism: You have two cows STAN MOORE – the government takes both and Thomasville shoots you.
Vote yes for Randolph sales tax hike
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oters of Randolph County have a chance today to demonstrate their fiscally conservative tendencies, and they can do that by voting yes in a referendum on raising the county’s sales tax rate. Randolph voters go to the polls today in a special referendum on whether to raise the county’s sales tax by one-quarter of one percent. If approved, the sales tax in Randolph would rise to a total of 8 percent (5.75 state and 2.25 county), or 8 cents on each retail dollar of sales. At first blush, of course, voting for a sales tax increase might not sound like a stand for conservatism. But fiscal prudence in this case says that the proposed sales tax hike makes sense. The extra penny that would be paid on each $4 of retail sales (except for exempted food, gasoline and medicine) in Randolph would raise about $2 million a year in extra revenue. An extra 2 cents on the county property tax rate would be required to generate that amount of revenue, and county property owners already bear a significant portion of the tax burden. Also, the additional sales tax would be paid by the hundreds of thousands of visitors to Randolph County each year. But the purpose for which the money will be spent is even more so an indication of fiscal prudence and conservatism. The additional tax revenue would be used over the next four or five years to fund improvements to Randolph Community College to boost efforts to retrain unemployed workers throughout the county and region. And for certain, with an 11 percent unemployment rate, such an effort is needed in Randolph County. RCC would use the money to renovate a former Klaussner Furniture warehouse purchased by the county and college in 2008. The college would enlarge its machining program, add a specialized and customized employee training center, add an industrial engineering program (only the third in the state) and double space for continuing education programs. The plan also calls for paying for these improvements as the extra tax money would come available, meaning there will be no bonded indebtedness or interest payments required. Sometimes fiscal conservatism involves saying no to additional spending and tax hikes. But in a case such as this, fiscal prudence says otherwise. Sales tax is a better revenue-generating approach than property tax, and investing in local programs to retrain willing workers for new tasks is much better than allowing them to languish among the unemployed.
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Three questions loom in state’s political future
t the present moment, with so much going on, it may be helpful to consider North Carolina’s political future by asking three big questions: • Can North Carolina compete? • Will former Gov. Mike Easley be indicted? • Will Republicans take over the state Legislature? These are not unrelated questions. The first is, in many ways, the toughest one to answer – and, no, it’s not some oblique reference to the prowess of the Tar Heel basketball team. Our state’s political class has yet to grasp the reality that North Carolina is in the bottom half of the United States on key measures of fiscal, economic and social health. In December, the state’s unemployment rate was 11.2 percent, one of the worst in the nation. North Carolina also had a worse-than-average recession a decade ago, and a weaker-than-average recovery from that previous recession. In short, North Carolina is no longer an economic leader. It’s a laggard. Some of the state’s challenges are far beyond the control of government. If any politician tells you he can effectively block trade or technology that render existing businesses uncompetitive, he is telling you a fib. But the truth is that North Carolina hasn’t made it sufficiently attractive for entrepreneurs to create new businesses to replace declining industries. Our cost structure is uncompetitive. While our relative lack of unionization is attractive, our costs are higher in other areas, such as taxes, energy and regulation. Our marginal income tax rates are among the highest in the country. Big firms can escape them by negotiating incentive packages for occasional relocations. Start-up firms cannot. If candidates for federal, state and local office aren’t talking bluntly and frequently
about these fundamental issues of competitiveness during the 2010 election cycle, North Carolina voters should ignore them and find better leaders. There is no clearer illustration of the state’s leaderOPINION ship deficit than to consider the career of former Gov. John Mike Easley. While North Hood Carolina was falling behind, ■■■ Easley was flying around or hiding out. If he had devoted as much attention to crafting innovative policies and managing state government as he devoted to his personal recreation and finances, perhaps things would be a little better. As it is, Easley is currently the target of a wide-ranging federal corruption probe. But if North Carolina Republicans think they need only ride an anti-Easley, anti-corruption bandwagon into legislative power in Raleigh, they are mistaken. While some voters will have scandal on their minds in November, most will be thinking about the first question – about whether North Carolina can recover its competitiveness. If GOP candidates can communicate a coherent, persuasive message of reform and growth to those voters, they can prevail. The math isn’t impossible. Republicans need to win nine of about 20 competitive seats with Democratic incumbents to take the N.C. House. They must win six Democratic seats in the N.C. Senate, a feasible scenario thanks to retirements and other recent political developments. These are three big questions in North Carolina politics. I guess we’ll start getting answers soon. JOHN HOOD is president of the John Locke Foundation and publisher of CarolinaJournal.com.
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Tuesday March 2, 2010
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Parents recount ordeal of missing teen
Electricity restored to much of Northeast CONCORD, N.H. â€“ Many of the more than 1 million Northeastern homes and businesses plunged into the dark were running on electricity Monday, three days after the hard-hitting combination of snow, rain and hurricane-force winds. New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch called restoration efforts â€œthe most rapidâ€? heâ€™s ever seen after a storm. On Friday, at the height of the storm, 360,000 residential and business customers were without electricity.
Teen falls into open sewage pit, dies SMITHTOWN, N.Y. â€“ A snow plow might have jarred loose the cover of a sewage pit where a teenager doughnut shop worker fell and died while taking out the trash, investigators said Monday. Amiri Zeqiri, 17, slipped into an open cesspool behind a Dunkinâ€™ Donuts Sunday night in Smithtown, about 40 miles east of New York City, police said. There usually was a manhole cover over the cesspool, a hole in the ground that collects waste from toilets and sinks, they said.
Study: Teenage pot, alcohol use rising WASHINGTON â€“ Alcohol and marijuana use among teens is on the rise, ending a decade-long decline, a study being released today found. â€œIâ€™m a little worried we may be seeing the leading edge of a trend here,â€? said Sean Clarkin, director of strategy at The Partnership for a DrugFree America, which was releasing the study. The annual survey found the number of teens in grades 9 through 12 who reported drinking alcohol in the last month rose 11 percent last year.
Vehicle on icy road sends officer flying BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, Ohio â€“ A police officer in suburban Cleveland is recovering after he was struck by a vehicle spinning out of control on an icy highway ramp. Lt. John Lambert had stopped to help a motorist Saturday when the dashboard camera on his cruiser caught the accident. It shows him pushing the first motorist out of the way and then being flipped head over heels over a guardrail. Lt. Joseph Zawislan says Lambert, 42, suffered a broken pelvis, fractured eye socket and cracked tailbone. ENTERPRISE NEWS SERVICE REPORTS
SAN DIEGO (AP) â€“ Brent and Kelly King knew something was wrong when they discovered their 17-year-old daughter wasnâ€™t home. They called her cell phone then her friends. They tried an AT&T Web site and learned her phone had been left inside her 1994 BMW in Rancho Bernardo CommuGardner nity Park, a giant, wooded area on the northern edge of San Diego. â€œBecause it was so out of character for Chelsea not to tell us or call us and say Iâ€™m going to be late ... we just had that feeling,â€? Brent King recalled Monday, four days after the disappearance of his daughter.
Brent King, with wife Kelly, talks about his daughter, Chelsea, 17, during an interview in San Diego, Monday. A massive search was under way for Chelsea King, as authorities questioned a registered sex
offender arrested Sunday for investigation of her murder and rape. John Gardner III, 30, remained
Some House foes eye switch to â€˜yesâ€™ on health care Democratic leaders have strongly signaled they will use a process known as â€œbudget reconciliationâ€? to try to push part of the package through the Senate withPelosi out allowing Republicans to talk it to death with filibusters. The road could be even more difficult in the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi is struggling to secure enough Democratic votes for approval, thus the effort to attract former foes. The White House said President Barack Obama will outline his final to changes in the legislation and making â€œway forwardâ€? in a Washington speech a point of saying the administration is Wednesday, and he is expected to emnot using parliamentary tricks or loop- brace a handful of Republican ideas for making health care more efficient. holes to find the needed support. WASHINGTON (AP) â€“ Ten House Democrats indicated in an Associated Press survey Monday they have not ruled out switching their â€œnoâ€? votes to â€œyesâ€? on the health care overhaul, brightening the partyâ€™s hopes in the face of unyielding Republican opposition. The White House tried to smooth the way for them, showing its own openness
Obama will outline his final â€˜way forwardâ€™ in a speech Wednesday.
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President aims to walk off higher cholesterol WASHINGTON (AP) â€“ Poll results, congressional head counts and federal deficits arenâ€™t the only numbers President Barack Obama has to worry about. Now, heâ€™s trying to walk off a marginally high cholesterol count. Although Obama took the presidential motorcade to a speech Monday, he decided to walk back through Lafayette Park. A day earlier, his doctor recommended he lower his cholesterol. Obama told reporters he needed to â€œmake sure that Iâ€™m walking off some of that cholesterol. Thatâ€™s a year of campaigning right there.â€? The culprit, according to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, is too many cheeseburgers and desserts.
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