WELL READ: Tabernacle students bask in Battle of Books victory. 1B
Few runoff elections looming
PASSING THROUGH: Denton native spends time in hometown. 1D
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Showroom property holder in default
More on U.S. Senate runoff. 3A BY PAUL B. JOHNSON ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
DON DAVIS JR. | HPE
Merchandise Mart Properties became a major player in the High Point Market in 1998 when it bought the Market Square showroom complex from a group of local businessmen.
AT A GLANCE
Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. owns and manages 2.1 million square feet of permanent showroom and traditional exhibit space in High Point. The Chicago-based company also runs the Chicago Merchandise Mart, the largest commercial trade show exhibition complex in the world. Its High Point showrooms include: Market Square, Suites at Market Square, Hamilton Market, Plaza Suites, Furniture Plaza and National Furniture Mart.
HIGH POINT – The parent company of Merchandise Mart Properties Inc., the second-largest holder of showroom properties at the High Point Market, acknowledges in a financial filing this week that it’s in default on the loan for its local holdings. Vornado Realty Trust made the statement in a quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday. “In March 2010, we requested that the High Point Complex mortgage loan be placed with the special servicer. We have not made debt service payments since March and are in default. We are in negotiations with the special servicer; there can be no assurance as to the timing and ultimate resolution of these negotiations,” Vornado indicates in the filing. The balance of the loan as of March 31 was $217 million at an interest rate of 10.35 percent, according to the SEC filing. An executive with Merchandise Mart Properties said Wednesday the company’s “status with the building continues.” The financial issues with the properties haven’t affected tenants, vendors or employees, said Myron Maurer, senior vice president with Merchandise Mart Properties. “It’s business as usual. We had a very successful April market and are looking forward to October. We are excited about being in High Point,” he said. When asked by The High Point Enterprise if Vornado or Merchandise Mart Properties has any intention of walking away from or selling its High Point holdings, Maurer reiterated that “we’re continuing business as usual.” The High Point Enterprise reported in early March that Vornado intended to restructure its debt on its High Point holdings. At that time, Maurer also indicated the commitment of Vornado and Merchandise Mart Properties to High Point. Merchandise Mart Properties became a major player in the High Point Market in 1998 when it bought the Market Square showroom complex from a group of local businessmen. The Chicago-based company made acquisitions during the past decade to become second to the International Home Furnishings Center in High Point Market showroom square footage. email@example.com | 888-3528
Triad cities share vision for economic development BY PAM HAYNES ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
Color comics sporadically, at first, have been part of The High Point Enterprise for decades. Read all about this development and many other historical facts in the special anniversary edition to be distributed at the end of the month.
Marsha Flinchum joined Wesleyan Christian Academy as communications coordinator. She earned a bachelor’s of arts degree in business administration from Southern Wesleyan University.
BY PAUL B. JOHNSON ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
Color comics long part of the mix
126th year No. 126 www.hpe.com High Point, N.C.
Davidson sheriff reflects on victory. 2A
May 6, 2010
OIL SPILL: Crews prepare to take contraption to Gulf Coast site. 5A
TRIAD – Voters won’t have many more decisions to make next month in runoff elections from Tuesday’s primaries. No local runoffs should be needed for races in Randolph and Davidson counties, election officials there said Wednesday. The only possible local runoff in Guilford County on June 22 would involve the Democratic primary for sheriff, said George Gilbert, director of the Guiford County Board of Elections. In the four-way Democratic sheriff’s primary, Phil Wadsworth led the pack with 32.6 percent of the vote, while C.B. Goins finished second with 23.7 percent. The Democratic nominee will take on Republican Sheriff BJ Barnes in the Nov. 2 general election. A runoff, known formally as a second primary, can take place when the winner of a race doesn’t get in excess of 40 percent of the primary vote. The results of the primaries won’t be official until after the canvass May 11. Democratic and some unaffiliated voters in Davidson, Guilford and Randolph counties would be eligible to cast ballots in the Democratic U.S. Senate runoff if it’s
HIGH POINT – Two fields that could unify High Point and Greensboro in the economic development sector are aviation and logistics, officials said at the first-ever joint meeting between the High Point Economic Development Corp. and the Greensboro Economic Development Alliance. The joint meeting was held to discuss communication efforts between the two organizations – an effort that often goes unnoticed by the public, said High Point EDC President Loren Hill. “There’s a lot of talk about rivalry (between us),” Hill said. “That may be a perception, but it isn’t what really goes on.” Don Cameron, chair of the High Point EDC, said the Piedmont Triad International Airport and the future North Carolina Center for Global
Logistics are two entities that are equally important to High Point and Greensboro. The fields of aviation and logistics also will be equally important to both cities in terms of future job creation, he said. “We have a lot of opportunities to work together at our airport,” Cameron said. “Global logistics gives us a great opportunity and will have a major impact. We need to be ready for that together from an economic development standpoint.” A groundbreaking for the logistics center, located north of the airport on the new northwest Guilford Technical Community College campus, is expected to be held in the next 30 days. The center is scheduled to be completed in 2012, said Cameron, also president of Guilford Technical Community College. A joint effort between dozens of area colleges and universities, the center will offer four virtual logistics courses in the fall, Cameron
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said. Ground also will be broken for an aviation center in the next three months. Hill added that he holds a monthly meeting with Dan Lynch, GEDA president, and that the two work together to find suitable locations for businesses looking to relocate to the area. They also work with other economic development offices in the Triad. “On a project we were working on, (a client) had identified a building on the Greensboro Web site and the High Point Web site that they were interested in,” Lynch said. “So we contacted Loren (Hill). We also contacted Davidson County and Rockingham County.” Jim Phillips, GEDA chairman, said development in one city is important to the other. “When you prosper, we prosper,” he said to High Point leaders. firstname.lastname@example.org | 888-3617
NOW SERVING: Popular longtime restaurant returns. 1B OBITUARIES
A. Allred, 29 E. Philip Beck, 84 Louise Call, 87 Billy Hartley, 85 Harold Hunt, 62 Jacob Nance, 17 Dicksie Rawlings, 80 Ann Sims, 73 Alette Smith, 100 J. Solomon, 16 D. Transeau, 51 Frankie Wilson, 83 Obituaries, 2B
Sunny, hot High 89, Low 61 6D
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CAROLINAS 2A www.hpe.com THURSDAY, MAY 6, 2010 THE HIGH POINT ENTERPRISE
Grice says he’s happy with primary outcome BY DARRICK IGNASIAK ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
DAVIDSON COUNTY – A day after easily winning the Republican Primary against former Davidson County Sheriff Gerald Hege, incumbent David Grice said he is happy with Tuesday’s outcome. “I am very pleased,” he said. “I thought we would get probably 50 or 51 percent, but with
‘We’re disappointed, but the people have spoken and we’re going to listen. This is the end. I’m retiring from it.’ Gerald Hege Former Davidson County sheriff the margin of victory, I think the voters of Davidson County sent a very clear message that this was an exceptional endorsement for my candidacy. I appreciate all the Republican and unaffiliated votes that we received.” According to the unofficial results, Grice received 61 percent, or 9,361 votes, to defeat Hege, who received 24 percent, or 3,838 votes. Terry Price, a retired state trooper, finished
third with 14 percent, or 2,274 votes, and Edgar Shuler, a former Davidson County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant, reHege ceived less than 1 percent, or 93 votes. A canvass of the sheriff race will be held Tuesday, said Ruth Huneycutt, director of the Davidson County Board of Elections. With all of the attention on the sheriff race during the primary, Grice said the campaign was one of his hardest. Grice was first appointed to the post of sheriff by the Republican Party in 2004 to fill the seat of Hege. Grice retained the office of sheriff in 2006 for a four-year term with an election victory over Roy Holman. Hege, who resigned after pleading guilty to two felony counts of obstruction of justice, re-emerged in November when he announced his intentions to run for sheriff. He told WXII 12 News on Tuesday night that he is going to retire from politics. “We’re surprised about it,” Hege said in an interview with the television station. “We thought we’d get more people out. We’re disappointed, but the people have spoken and we’re going to listen. This is the end. I’m retiring from it.” Hege could not be reached by
DON DAVIS JR. | HPE
Sheriff David Grice enters the Davidson commissioners’ boardroom to applause from supporters on Tuesday night. The High Point Enterprise on Wednesday. Grice will face off against Democrat Tommy Evans on the November ballot. Grice and Evans also may have a challenge from Thomasville
the same rules local governments do in carrying out their annual budgets. “Right now you can have a drawer full of cash at an ABC store and you just pay the bills and anything else you want to buy,” said ABC Commission Chairman Jon Williams, adding that the changes are the “kind of transparent cash management” the public expects to see. However, committee members took out language that would have allowed the state commission to merge local boards to ensure a troubled store becomes prof-
itable. Instead, the state panel could only make recommendations to the local board. A cap on lo-
A cap on local ABC employee salaries was weakened. cal ABC employee salaries was weakened. It also deleted wording that would have subjected the state’s nearly 170 local boards to the state government ethics law, meaning hundreds of members of boards would have to fill
Unaffiliated voters can cast ballots on June 22
out annual economic disclosure statements that could identify potential conflicts of interests. Now they’d only have to comply with ethics rules that their county commissions or town councils approve, which may or may not be stringent. “We gutted it,” said Sen. Dan Clodfelter, D-Mecklenburg, the sole committee member voting against the final recommended legislation. “They took out the ethical standards.” The committee’s proposal will go to the Legislature for consideration when it reconvenes next week.
SC lawmakers raise lowest smoke tax COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina legislators have approved raising what is now the nation’s lowest cigarette tax, but Gov. Mark Sanford promises he will veto it. The state Senate voted 41-1 on Wednesday to approve the 50-cent increase previously passed by the House.
Supporters say that the more important vote will come later, when they need a two-thirds vote in each chamber to override the veto. The current tax is 7 cents a pack. If the increase becomes law, Missouri would then have the nation’s lowest tax at 17 cents a pack.
Sanford, a Republican, says he will only agree to a cigarette tax increase if the money is used to offset some other tax. The current bill would put more than $125 million into Medicaid programs and $5 million into cancer research and anti-smoking programs.
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.
Sea lion pup pulled from under police car
Is your hearing current? 211 W. Lexington Avenue, Suite 104, High Point, NC
Knish says an officer parked his car in the middle of the road and went to investigate. That’s when the sea lion came out from under another car and scuttled under the patrol car. SeaWorld experts retrieved the growling pup at about 8 a.m. Rescuer Kevin Rob-
held between first-place finisher Elaine Marshall and runner-up Cal Cunningham. Marshall, the N.C. Secretary of State, ended up with 36.4 percent of the vote, while Cunningham, a former state legislator from Lexington, received 27.3 percent. Unaffiliated voters can cast ballots June 22 in the Democratic Senate runoff if they voted Tuesday in the Democratic primary. Another possible runoff in the area would involve the top two candidates in the 12th Congressional District Republican primary. The district covers
SAN DIEGO (AP) – A sea lion pup has been captured after hiding under a San Diego police car for four hours in the middle of a road. Police Sgt. Jack Knish says officers got a call about 4 a.m. Wednesday that the pup was crossing a street in the Ocean Beach area.
FROM PAGE 1
inson grabbed it by the tail and put it in a net. Robinson says the pup, who’s less than a year old, was dehydrated but uninjured. He says the pup weighs about 25 pounds – less than half what it should weigh. Robinson says it will be released within two months.
Winning numbers selected Tuesday in N.C. Lottery: MIDDAY Pick 3: 0-6-0
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NIGHT Pick 3: 4-3-6 Pick 4: 2-8-5-3 Cash 5: 9-12-13-20-26 Mega Millions: 9-21-31-36-43 Mega Ball: 8
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Winning numbers selected Tuesday in Tennessee Lottery: DAY Cash 3: 8-8-0 Cash 4: 5-1-8-2
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parts of Davidson and Guilford counties, and the Republican nominee would take on Rep. Mel Watt, D-12th, in the general election. Republican 12th District candidate Scott Cumbie of Winston-Salem ended up with 39.5 percent of the primary vote, while Greg Dority of Washington, N.C., finished second with 34.3 percent, according to unofficial returns. Unaffiliated voters who cast Republican ballots Tuesday would be eligible for the runoff.
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NC ABC commission makes liquor rule recommendations RALEIGH (AP) – Several recommendations and suggestions to change North Carolina’s liquor control laws, including some from panelists appointed by the governor, were thrown out by a committee that approved a watered-down version of a bill on Wednesday. The Joint Study Committee on Alcoholic Beverage Control did approve a proposal that would allow the state ABC Commission to set performance standards and training requirements for local ABC boards and their stores. Local stores also would have to follow
couragement that I received from the Democrat voters who couldn’t vote for me, but said they would in the fall,” Grice said.
resident Don Swink, who says he has enough signatures to be on the ballot as an unaffiliated candidate. “I am genuinely humbled by the turnout of the unaffiliated voters and all the words of en-
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Runoff called for Senate race MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE
SPECIAL | HPE
Belk incentives boost United Way The United Way of Greater High Point recently thanked Belk at Oak Hollow Mall for using creative incentives to help encourage donations in the organizationâ€™s residential mailing campaign for the third year in a row. For 2009, 80 existing donors gave $5,406.30 in increased gifts and 76 brand new donors gave $13,036.60 in the recently concluded campaign. It represents a grand total of $18,442.90 in new dollars added to the 2009 campaign. The incentives over the last three years also have produced more than $63,000 in new and increased giving to the United Way. As part of the incentives, Karen and Jim Gooding of High Point won a $200 Belk shopping spree and Joan and Cletus Kruyer of Jamestown won a gift bag of fragrance and lotions. At top from left ara Jason Scott, Belk store manager, Karen Gooding, Jim Gooding and Sarah Barker, leadership, major gifts and donor relations manager with the United Way. Pictured below from left are Barker, Scott and Cletus Kruyer.
Man wounded after Duke clinic shooting dies
"# 2500.00 Program
American Legion Post # 8 206 Wilfred Ave. Lexington N.C.
University Health System clinic. Police say they were involved in a shooting with 51-year-old Burnett Taylor of Durham near the clinic about 40 minutes later. Durham police confirmed Wednesday morning that Taylor died of his injuries. Police say they donâ€™t know if Taylor shot King. An autopsy is being performed on Taylorâ€™s body.
MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE
RALEIGH â€“ Pine straw was put on official notice Tuesday when the Raleigh City Council decided to ban using the popular, but highly flammable ground covering within 10 feet of certain multifamily dwellings and businesses. Apartment complexes will have until Dec. 1 to comply, and the cityâ€™s fire department will enforce the rule when it does its annual inspections. The December deadline will mean that the pine straw isnâ€™t on the ground in winter, when dry, windy conditions can create dangerous situations where fire can be spread quickly,
Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said. It will also give apartment managers time to adjust to the new rule, which only applies to buildings that are constructed with â€œhighlycombustible materialsâ€? such as vinyl siding, said Raleigh council member Mary-Ann Baldwin. Single-family homes arenâ€™t affected by the
rule, because the cityâ€™s fire code only has jurisdiction over multi-family residences, such as apartments, and businesses, when it came to banning pine straw. The pine straw restrictions are in response to a fast-moving fire that destroyed or damaged a half-dozen single-family homes in a new North Raleigh neighborhood in March.
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