LIVING HER DREAM: High Point native now a professional dancer. 1C
September 21, 2009 125th year No. 264
OUT OF ADVERSITY: Housing authority names Pillars of Fame honors. 1B
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GROUNDED: Falcons send Panthers to second straight loss. 1D
50 Cents Daily $1 Sundays
Council considers proposed market district BY PAT KIMBROUGH ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
HIGH POINT – The City Council tonight is scheduled to consider taking a step toward the creation of a zoning district that would guide the development of new furniture showrooms. Council will be asked to initiate a zoning map amendment for the proposed market overlay district. City planners said the move is a required part of the process in getting the district established, which could take place this fall. The proposal is based on a Core City Plan recommendation to limit the development of all new
showrooms to one area within the city, thereby fostering a more compact and concentrated area for the High Point Market. According to the plan, which is dropping the “core city” designation and is now known as The City Project Inc., concentrating showrooms within a defined district not only will strengthen the market but could help revitalize surrounding areas, where inflated land values have discouraged investment. Planners gathered input from showroom owners, various business and real estate interests, the market authority and the public in developing the proposed district. The proposed boundary en-
AT A GLANCE
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 4:45 p.m. today in council chambers, 211 S. Hamilton St. Public hearings are scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.
compasses areas that include the largest concentration of existing showrooms. New showroom development would not be allowed outside the district. Also on the council’s agenda is a public hearing on the proposed financing for the purchase of property that would house a local job
resource center. The proposal calls for the city to buy a 24,000-squarefoot former medical office at 607 Idol St. to serve as the new home of the Guilford County Workforce Development Board’s JobLink career center in High Point. The local N.C. Employment Security Commission office also would relocate there under the proposal, which states that the city’s cost for the purchase and renovation of the site would not exceed $2 million. If the deal is approved, the city would buy the site and lease it to the Workforce Development Board and the ESC.
Angela Boyce Davis was appointed by the North Carolina General Assembly to the N.C. Child Care Commission. The commission has the authority to establish rules for the licensing and regulation of child care centers and homes in North Carolina.
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N.C.’S OLDEST FESTIVAL: Everybody’s Day returns to Thomasville this weekend. 1B OBITUARIES
Brad Barnes, 23 Billy Bullins Sr., 70 Melbourne Downing Jr. Billie Ellison, 80 Charles Gillespie Sr., 91 Cora Jones, 88 Rosa McAurther Grace Schram, 96 Lawrence Shaw, 83 Hilda Spear, 81 Charles Whitt, 80 Mary Williamson Obituaries, 2B
DON DAVIS JR. | HPE
Capt. Tony Perez of the High Point Salvation Army says a project to unite eight chapters of the organization has been in the works for eight years.
Salvation Army chapters in the Triad pool resources BY VICKI KNOPFLER ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
HIGH POINT – The Salvation Army in High Point joined forces with seven of its counterparts in the Piedmont in an effort to better serve their respective communities and raise awareness of services they provide. “The reason the eight Salvation Armies came together is to help better
serve the Piedmont area,” said Capt. Tony Perez of the High Point Salvation Army. “By doing that, we’re saying to individuals that we all have the same goals and the same mission. We want to help individuals where they are and with better services.” In addition, a united marketing operation will disseminate one message to the community, rather than eight different mes-
sages. The eight groups also standardized emergency and social services. “Should somebody come from Greensboro, for instance, we will assist them, but we’ll say, ‘Greensboro can help you, and they’ll give you the same services we do,’ ” Perez said. “In any place, they’re giving out the same services we are and taking in the same information.” One example is the Thrift Store. In the next several weeks, a toll-free number will be set up, and people who call to have an item picked up may key in their ZIP code, and the call will go to the Salva-
tion Army Thrift Shop nearest the caller. Information about new services will be disseminated more widely, and the same services will be available at each Salvation Army. The project to unite the eight Salvation Armies has been in the works for eight years, Perez said. Each Salvation Army will retain a separate budget and fundraising function. “Now, we’ve come together to say we have the same message, the same services and the same help,” Perez said.
Participating Salvation Army chapters: Asheboro (serving Randolph and Richmond counties), Burlington (Alamance County), Davidson County, Greensboro (Guilford and Chatham counties), High Point (Guilford and Randolph counties), Mount Airy (Surry and Alleghany counties in N.C., Carroll and Patrick counties in Virginia), Rockingham-Caswell counties, Winston-Salem (Davie, Forsyth, Stokes, Yadkin counties)
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Parent university project moves ahead BY DAVID NIVENS ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
GUILFORD COUNTY – Although budget cuts have stalled some enrichment programs, school officials are ahead of schedule for the 2011 opening of a parent university. The university is part Superintendent Mo Green’s strategic plan. The university program is aimed at helping parents become full partners in the education of their children so they can seek higher achievement with them. School officials are working on a parent survey and forming focus groups that could be ready next month, Nora Carr, district
programs, including a proposed high school academy at the Natural Science Center in Greensboro scheduled to open next August, Budget cuts: A high school acadsaid Eric Becoats, chief adminisemy at the Natural Science Centrative officer. ter in Greensboro, scheduled “We are making progress in for 2010, and several school many areas,” Green said. “We indistrict enrichment programs tend to be open and honest about in languages and science face where we are and what we are dofinancial pressure. ing. If we see a need, we will work on it.” chief of staff, said Saturday. “We The district fell short in five want this to be parent driven,” academic areas, including an inCarr said during a Guilford Coun- crease in the number of low-perty Board of Education retreat. forming schools to 10 and a drop “I’m glad we are ahead of sched- in SAT participation to 58 percent. ule,” said board member Carlvena The district also has 10 schools on the Honor Schools of Excellence Foster of High Point. Budget cuts may impact several list for 2009 based on ABC results.
YOUR COMMUNITY. YOUR NEWSPAPER.
“The achievement gap still concerns me,” said at-large board member Sandra Alexander. Meanwhile, teachers will add SAT preparation programs and work on vocabulary, said Beth Folger, chief academic officer. The latest combined score average of 1,465 was 13 points below the 2009 projection and below the 2012 goal of 1,500. Green completed a major administrative portion of the plan this summer when he appointed five regional superintendents, including one for an “enrichment zone” of the poorest performing schools. firstname.lastname@example.org | 888-3626
Some showers High 79, Low 64 6D
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CAROLINAS 2A www.hpe.com MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2009 THE HIGH POINT ENTERPRISE
Easleys may have unknowingly hyped coastal lot prices
‘Save-A-Landmark’ Volunteers restore Old City Jail in Mount Airy
RALEIGH (AP) – Word that former Gov. Mike Easley and his wife received a 25 percent discount from a coastal developer named in a lawsuit suggests they may have unwittingly helped increase the prices that others paid. The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Sunday that more than 200 plaintiffs in one of the largest alleged mortgage fraud cases in state history have said for months that they were duped into paying inflated prices for coastal lots. No one involved in the fraud cases has claimed that the Easleys were knowingly involved. But the $137,000 discount they received on their lot was not shown in the $550,000 sale price. Because the sale price was overstated, it could have inflated the sale prices of adjacent properties. Easley has not responded to phone calls seeking comment.
MOUNT AIRY (AP) – As the last of the dust began to settle and the crews headed their separate ways, the Old City Jail stood as a testament to the work done. Volunteers from five Hampton Inns in North Carolina and Virginia gathered at the jail bright and early on a recent Thursday to begin work restoring the landmark
‘It’s very exciting. I felt like to be a part of something this big was a good thing.’ Dale Fowler Mount Airy Hampton Inn for the Hampton Hotels Save-A-Landmark program. They removed the old paint on the cells and the walls, did some general cleaning, applied fresh coats of paint and painted the inside hallway and trim at the entrance to the building. “They get in here and it never ceases to amaze me how much work gets done,” said Sheryl Shelton, manager of Hampton Brand communications. The Mount Airy News reported that work on the jail comes months after America was asked to vote for the top nine landmarks for the company to refurbish this year. Thanks to the votes of many people in the community, including Diane Phillips, the Old City Jail became the 48th landmark worked on by the organization since
National Weather Service to honor Concord volunteer MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE AP
CONCORD – Nearly 60 years ago, Tom Karr enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, thinking he’d do something in the sky. But the Air Force had other plans for him. Karr, now 83, had a knack for math, so the Air Force trained him as a weather observer and forecaster. Now, he’s being honored by the National Weather Service for reporting temperature and rainfall in Concord for 40 years, a task he’s done for free most of those years. Each morning around 8 a.m., Karr heads outside – his wiener dog, Oscar Meyer, at his heels – to check the weather gauges, and then calls the National Weather Service to report the temperature and rainfall.
Volunteers Tambra Redding (bottom) and Chris Epting clean the Old City Jail in Mount Airy in preparation for a recent Thursday when more than a dozen volunteers from Hampton Hotels’ Save-A-Landmark program pitched in. This is the seventh landmark for the 2009 “All-American Landmarks” campaign. its inception in 2000. “I voted for it,” said Phillips, who works at the Hampton Inn and Suites at Shelton Vineyards and volunteered for the day. “I’m from Ohio and whenever my family visits I always bring them here. I’m really honored to be a part of this project.” With 22 volunteers coming from different areas, they learned to work together to complete the project. “It’s very exciting. I felt
like to be a part of something this big was a good thing,” said Dale Fowler, who works for the Mount Airy Hampton Inn. “It’s always great when you can give something back to the community,” said Curtis Largin, who works with Hampton Inn and Suites at Shelton Vineyards. Having the brand visit North Carolina to restore a landmark was important to the employees of area Hampton Inns. It allowed them to be a part
of something important in and around their own communities. “It’s close by and it’s a good cause. This is part of our heritage around here. Being able to help restore it is a privilege. I appreciate this opportunity,” said Debra Clark, who works with the Jonesville-Elkin Hampton Inn. Local volunteers were joined at the site by members of the Hampton Inn brand as well as a few community members.
Persistent rains cause flooding in western N.C. ASHEVILLE (AP) – Persistent rainfall with a forecast for more has led to flooding problems in western North Carolina. The Asheville Citizen-Times reported that heavy rain fell Saturday night with a 90 percent chance of downpours on Sunday for parts of the mountains.
Some roads are flooded, while others are shut down because of downed trees. The National Weather Service had issued flood warnings for Macon, Jackson, Transylvania and Henderson counties, but they were set to expire on Sunday afternoon. Flood warnings for Polk
and Rutherford counties expired. At least a half-dozen trees were brought down in Buncombe County. About 100 people in one part of the county lost electricity. Authorities in Henderson County reported one car stranded in rising waters. One road was closed in Transylvania County.
Michigan police say they nabbed ‘pillowcase’ burglars
The High Point Enterprise strives for accuracy. Readers who think a factual error has been made are encouraged to call the newsroom at 8883500. When a factual error has been found a correction will be published.
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County crime scene that put them on the suspects’ trail. The suspects were arrested after a woman in Muskegon County called police upon finding a cigarette butt on her kitchen floor and jewelry and a pillowcase missing. The suspects are expected to be arraigned Friday.
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time they took a pillowcase off a bed to carry the loot. Authorities say the thieves sometimes targeted homes of people who were attending funerals. Police finally cracked the case this week after a state trooper found evidence at an Ottawa
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Chances are if the National Weather Service reported 75 degrees in Concord on Sunday, Karr reported it to them. Karr said the National Weather Service asked him to be one of their weather observers in 1969. At first, they paid him, but ran out of funding in 1974. Since then, he’s done it just because he loves it, he said. The weather service has about 250 weather observers in North Carolina, Karr said. Although he said he doesn’t have a favorite season, Karr is partial to the spring and fall because of the milder temperatures, he said. “I don’t like it when it’s too hot or too cold,” he said. “The fall is the prettiest. But the hot summer or the cold winter – I don’t want any part of it.”
GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) – Police in southwestern Michigan say they have put to bed the case of the “pillowcase” burglaries. Over a period of months, burglars stole cash, money jars and jewelry from more than 25 homes in Ottawa, Muskegon and Newaygo counties. Each
“When you have all these politically connected players and they are setting up pricing that is not reflected in the records at the courthouse, how are my clients ever going to get a fair market price?” said S. Jill Pisner, a McLean, Va., lawyer whose firm filed the first and largest of several lawsuits alleging mortgage fraud in two coastal developments in North Carolina and one in South Carolina. The Carteret County tax supervisor said in a recent interview that when the price actually paid for land is overstated in public documents, appraisals for other lots can become distorted as a result. The Easleys bought a choice waterfront lot in Cannonsgate, a gated Carteret County subdivision, in 2005. The following year, when Easley was still in office, he said through a spokeswoman that he had paid the listed price.
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ON THE SCENE
Items to be published in this column must be in the offices of The High Point Enterprise no later than seven calendar days before the date of the event. On the Scene runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
SUPPORT GROUPS Remembering My Child, for adults who have experienced the death of a child, meets 3-4:30 p.m. Monday at Hospice of the Piedmont, 1801 Westchester Drive. Registration and a pre-session interview are required; call 889-8446. GriefShare, for people grieving the death of a loved one, meets 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursdays at Jamestown United Methodist Church, 403 E. Main St. Call 454-2717 to register. Divorce Care classes meet at 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Oct. 28 at Trinity Baptist Church, 6499 N.C. 62. To sign up, call 4341998 and leave name and contact information, including e-mail address. Co-Dependents Anonymous, a 12-step group for men and women to recover from co-dependence and to develop and maintain healthy relationships, meets 6-7 p.m. each Thursday at Lebanon United Methodist Church, 237 Idol Drive. Jan, 882-6480 Mother Baby PEP (Postpartum Emotion with Possibilities) Talks, for mothers of new babies, and afternoon tea are held at 4 p.m. every Thursday at the YWCA of High Point, 112 Gatewood Ave. Free, 8123937, e-mail motherbabyfoundation@northstate.
Woman killed in 1-car wreck
net, online at www.moth- Church, 5814 Surrett Drive, sociation of Forsyth County Inc., for people with Archdale. Pattie, 434-1912 erbabyfoundation.org schizophrenia and schizoDivorce Care Support, affective disorders, meets Eating Disorders Support Group, a psychological-ed- for people dealing with at 2:30 p.m. the second ucational group for adults divorce and rebuilding and fourth Thursday of dealing with and in recov- their lives, meets at 7 p.m. each month at Disabilery from eating disorders, Wednesdays at The As- ity Resource Center, 4265 meets at 7 p.m. each first sembly, 241 Hopkins Road, Brownsboro Road, Winston-Salem. and third Monday at The Kernersville. 996-3021. Mental Health Association Anxiety Disorders SupNurturing the New in Forsyth County offices, 1509 S. Hawthorne Road, Mother, a support group, port Group meets at 7 Winston-Salem. 768-3880, meets at 4 p.m. each Thurs- p.m. each second and e-mail andy@triadmental- day at High Point Regional fourth Thursday at the Hospitalâ€™s Outpatient Be- Mental Health Associahealth.org havioral Health office, 320 tion, 1509 Hawthorne Winston-Salem. Triad Job Search Network Boulevard Ave. It is led Road, of Greensboro/High Point, by Cynthia Palmer, a mar- 768-3880. a group for unemployed riage and family therapist. professionals, meets 9-11 Sessions are $10 each, and SPECIAL INTEREST a.m. each Tuesday at Cov- they are in an open-groupNancy Mazza, a staff enant United Methodist discussion format. Alter- member for U.S. Rep. Church, 1526 Skeet Club nate child care should be Howard Coble (R-NC) will Road. 333-1677, www.tjsn. arranged. 878-6098. be available to meet with net constituents 9 a.m.-noon DivorceCare, a video sem- Wednesday at Thomasville Celebrate Recovery inar and support group for City Hall board room, 10 meets 7-9 p.m. Thursday people who are separated Salem St., Thomasville. To at Green Street Baptist or divorced, meets 6:45- schedule an appointment, Church, 303 N. Rotary 8:15 p.m. each Wednes- call 475-4291 on WednesDrive. The schedule is: day at Pinedale Christian day or set up an appointgroup worship at 7 p.m., Church, 3395 Peters Creek ment in advance by calling small group sessions at Parkway, Winston-Salem. 886-5106. 7:45 p.m., followed by 788-7600. events at The Solid Rock Piedmont Health ServicTriad Area Sjogrenâ€™s Syn- es and Sickle Cell Agency Cafe coffee house. Free child care is available; drome Support Group, offer free screenings for sign-up is required (819- sponsored by the Sjogrenâ€™s blood pressure, cholesterSyndrome Foundation, ol, diabetes, HIV and sickle 4356). meets 1:30-3 p.m. Thursday cell disease 1-5 p.m. every Take Off Pounds Sen- at South Fork Community first and third Thursday at sibly, High Point chapter Center, 4403 Country Club 401 Taylor Ave. Call 886618, meets at 6 p.m. each Road, Winston-Salem. Sue 2437 or visit the Web site Thursday at Christ United Palas, 760-6303. www.piedmonthealthserMethodist Church, 1300 N. vices.org. Western Carolina PiedCollege Drive. Rick Penn at mont Chapter of the Al821-2093. Triad Corvette Club meets zheimerâ€™s and Related Dis- at 7 p.m. Friday at Park Take Off Pounds Sensibly orders Association family Chevrolet, N.C. 66, Kernmeets 10 a.m. Wednesday support group meets at 6 ersville. A free dinner will at 207 E. Main St. and Guil- p.m. the fourth Thursday be served. Memberships ford College Road, James- of each month at Lebanon are $35 a year for families United Methodist Church, and $30 for individuals. town. Lynn at 454-6272. 237 Idol St. Jennifer Chil- The club meets ever third Take Off Pounds Sensibly ton, 906-0934. Friday. More information meets at 6 p.m. each Monday is online at www.triadcorThe Mental Health As- vetteclub.com. at Trinity Heights Wesleyan
Harrell resigns from Legislature RALEIGH (AP) â€“ A North Carolina lawmaker under scrutiny for his campaign finance reports has resigned from the General Assembly. The News & Observer of Raleigh reported that Democratic state Rep. Ty Harrell submitted his resignation on Sunday. Harrell said he needs to focus on answering questions about his campaign finances and on his young sons. He and his wife are in the midst of divorce proceedings. Two weeks ago, House Speaker Joe Hackney asked the Legislative Ethics Committee to de-
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GASTONIA (AP) â€“ A North Carolina woman was killed in a one-car accident and the man who was driving the vehicle was charged with driving while impaired. The Gaston Gazette reported that Gastonia police said 26-year-old Johnetta McLean was taken to Gaston Memorial Hospital, where she died Sunday morning from injuries received in the accident. McLean was riding in a 1995 Cadillac driven by 37-year-old Marcus Wakefield. Police say Wakefield lost control of the car, which ran off the left shoulder and overturned into a creek. Police say Wakefield was able to get out of the car, but McLean was trapped and had to be removed by emergency personnel.
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termine whether Harrellâ€™s activities â€œamount to violations of the Legislative Ethics Act, or the criminal law, or both.â€? The request for an ethics examination comes as the State Board of Elections is performing an audit of Harrellâ€™s campaign finances. â€œTy is to be commended for putting his children first as he works through the problems at hand,â€? Hackney said in a statement issued Sunday night. â€œStepping down now shows great respect for our House of Representatives and the people of his district. I wish him well.â€?
Monday September 21, 2009
JOHN HOOD: The latest stats don’t look good for North Carolina. TOMORROW
Opinion Page Editor: Vince Wheeler email@example.com (336) 888-3517
This is what I would do if I were in Washington How many times have we as hardworking, taxpaying American citizens said “If I were in Washington this is what I would do”? Well, here is part of my list of what I would do: • Bring our soldiers home from Iraq and Afghanistan. The Russians were in Afghanistan for 20 years and couldn’t solve their problems. • Position our soldiers along our borders in towers about every half mile with orders to stop anyone trying to cross the borders. No need for fences. Just a sign that says “Alto.” • No more foreign aid. They only love us for our money anyway. • If I have to work to earn my salary, then you should have to work to receive government benefits, except for Social Security. • No more career politicians, term limits! • If you’re here in our country illegally or are currently sitting in prison for illegally entering our country, pack your bags. You’re leaving. It’ll be a free bus ride back home. Anyone keeping track of how many billions I’ve saved so far? • No more press one for English. If you’re in this country legally, learn English. • Health care. ... I got it because I work and pay for it. Try that for a public option. I know none of this will ever happen, but at least I feel better. Y’all have a good day. MONTY AYCOTH Thomasville
We can’t make past mistakes in reforming health care Kristine Kaiser and Consumer Reports (according to Kristine Kaiser in a recent column) feel the government does an ineffective job of regulating the drug companies, so we should give government another task – to manage the “public option.” Huh? She goes on to say government administration is better for the “people” due to the lack of a need to make a profit. Marx thought that as well. This is a theory that has been proven wrong. Reform is needed. Health savings accounts and letting companies sell policies in other states and other ideas to let market forces work are what is needed. If the person using the health care
blaming the Bush presidency for all his problems? President Bush never hired a known communist to help run this great country! This evil group running our Government at this time scares the H_____ out of me for my children and their children. The health care question is in flux. Regarding the congressman that called Obama a liar, if this were not true, why then did they change the proposed bill to include language saying no health benefits for illegal immigrants? My great heart doctor told me recently that if this health bill had been in force, I would never have gotten the defibrillator that is in me now. If Pelosi tries to castigate Joe Wilson on the House floor, shouldn’t she also have Charlie Rangel, who does not know what he owns? Or herself for trashing our CIA? Or many more Democrats that have dodged their tax obligations? May God bless this great loving, giving country! JOE ROWE High Point
is the person paying (directly) for the health care, then they will be motivated to ask how much things cost and if they are necessary. They will shop for the best prices and get discounts for things such as having proper weight. If not, we are headed to the same situation as Social Security. It was a nice idea, but due to a lack of political will, it is about to go bust. Let’s not make the same mistake again. JOHN SHANE High Point
Evans letter accurately describes our mistakes Floyd Evans (Your View, Sept. 16., “They don’t have my best interests at heart”) hit a home run. His comments were heart felt, honest, dead on the money, true inspiration and it was one of the best letters I’ve read in The High Point Enterprise to date. We, The People, of the United States of America, have totally screwed up. We have elected a bunch of folks who are living in La La Land. We have elected an administration that only
knows how to spend “our” money unwisely and blow smoke somewhere, use your imagination. We have elected individuals who only think of themselves and their prosperity; they are immoral thieves. We have elected people who only want to control every aspect of your life, your health care, your right to bear arms, your wallets. I thought the government was created to protect us, not provide for us. The “Demo-rats,” the Hollywood elite and the liberal media have done a bang up job in deceiving We The People. Distorting the facts, not discussing or covering opposing points of view and labelling the “conservative” American as a racist, a bigot, and for some unknown reason the bad guy. It’s time to wake up America and make your feelings known. STEVE LINDQUIST Thomasville
Why is Obama still blaming Bush for problems? May I say a few words – my words! If our president is doing so well, why after nine months is he still
YOUR VIEW POLL
Should the U.S. government – Congress and/or the Justice Department – investigate allegations of voter fraud and other illegal activity by the community organization ACORN? In 30 words or less (no name, address required) e-mail your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are three responses: • ACORN? Have you reported about them? We have to go and watch Fox to know what kind of illegal and criminal things they are up to. Yes, investigate, and fast. • Yes! When reporters told how many times ACORN registered the same person, I thought there must be something illegal, devious and false about them. Absolutely no more money to them. • ACORN should be investigated, however, Congress has repeatedly refused because their criminal activities benefit the Democrats and gave Obama the community organizing experience that “qualified” him for the U.S. presidency.
An independent newspaper Founded in 1885 Michael B. Starn Publisher Thomas L. Blount Editor Vince Wheeler Opinion Page Editor 210 Church Ave., High Point, N.C. 27262 (336) 888-3500 www.hpe.com
House of Representatives Rep. Laura Wiley (R) (61st District), 4018 Quartergate Drive, High Point, NC 27265, 336841-0045 Rep. Maggie Jeffus (D) (59th District), 1803 Rolling Road, Greensboro, NC 27403, 3362754762 Rep. John Blust (R) (62nd District), 5307 Pondfield Drive, Greensboro, NC 27410, 336-662-0368 Rep. Earl Jones (D) (60th District), 21 Loney Circle, Greensboro, NC 27406, 336-2730840 Rep. Mary “Pricey” Harrison (D) (57th District), P. O. Box 9339, Greensboro, NC 27429, 336-2921953 Rep. Alma Adams (D) (58th District), 2109 Liberty Valley Rd., Greensboro, NC 27406, 336-2739280
Because of the antics, music has lost its meaning
blame Elvis. With Chuck Berry, Little Richard and other icons from rock’s first generation, he pioneered an incendiary idea: that music could be more than a medium of entertainment, that it could and should also be a tool of cultural revolution. It was not, after all, just music that moved town fathers to ban rock concerts and angry men with sledgehammers to smash jukeboxes containing rock records. No, it was what that music “meant,” the notion of white kids mixing with black ones, of status quo under siege, of girls having sex before they were 30. More, it was the realization that the staid old lives the town fathers lived and the staid old things those angry men believed were about to be washed away upon a tide of change. That big bang still echoes; nearly 60 years later, we are still wed to the idea that the music that has “meaning” is the music that causes unease. But it takes more to do that now than it did in Elvis’ day. So pity Kanye West, the mercurial rapper who is in America’s dog house for his antics at last
week’s MTV Music Video Awards. If you haven’t heard about it, you need to get out more. Suffice it to say he rushed the stage as doe-eyed teenOPINION age country music star Taylor Swift Leonard was giving an acPitts ceptance speech, ■■■ grabbed her mike and declared that she didn’t deserve the award, Beyonce did. It was par for the course for West, whose previous stunts and intemperate outbursts have earned him a reputation as unhinged and self-centered. Some have suggested this incident, along with Serena Williams’ tennis court meltdown and Rep. Joe Wilson’s boorish behavior in a joint session of Congress signals a loss of American civility. Maybe it does. But I feel it also suggests a popular culture that has run out of things to rebel against. Think about it: everything those city fathers and angry men of six decades ago feared has come to pass and then some. The black kids are making “babies”
with the white ones, status quo died of natural causes and penis jokes are at home on prime-time TV. What was once the outrageous is now the everyday. As popular music’s ability to shock has declined, its attempts to do so have only become more naked and needy. From Britney kissing Madonna on MTV to Janet Jackson’s bared breast at the Super Bowl to West’s serial episodes of juvenility, pop musicians now give us stunts that seem more desperate than truly dangerous. It is perhaps enough to note that whereas John Lennon took a stand against war that nearly cost him the ability to stay in this country, the best many of his modern counterparts can find to stand against is the idea their pants should fit their waists. Popular culture is increasingly home to artificial outlaws and fake rebels, revolution on the cheap that looks like the real thing unless you look too close. Then you recognize the rictus grin of the birthday party magician, sweat pebbling his brow as he prays no one sees the rabbit in his cummerbund. A few days after the MTV show,
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I got an e-mail from my friend, Grayson Hugh, who is the greatest singer/songwriter you’ve never heard. He was fuming over West’s behavior: “I was just reflecting how dearly I would treasure one minuscule fraction of the financial support he is being given by the record industry! It pains me (and angers me, too) to see ‘celebrity’ musicians being so ungrateful and ungracious.” But what else can we expect in an era that accepts ungraciousness and ungratefulness as synonyms for courage and rebellion? This is not, let me add, an argument about sound or style, but substance. Revolution is not a stunt. And I submit that we actually have no shortage of conditions that still require rebellion. What we lack is the will to act. That’s sad. Once upon a time, music was brave. Now we have only echoes of the bang. LEONARD PITTS JR., winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is a columnist for the Miami Herald. E-mail him at lpitts@ miamiherald.com. Pitts chats with readers every Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EDT on www.MiamiHerald.com.
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Monday September 21, 2009
TERROR PROBE: Three arrested in alleged plot involving al-Qaida. 6A
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Copter crash kills 1 in Iraq
Captured Pakistan Taliban commander dies ISLAMABAD â€“ A feared Taliban commander known for beheading opponents died in custody Sunday from wounds sustained during a fierce firefight with Pakistani security forces last week, the military said. Sher Muhammad Qasab died after being critically wounded in the gunbattle in Swat Valley, the armyâ€™s media center said in a statement.
BAGHDAD (AP) â€“ A Black Hawk helicopter crashed at a major American air base in Iraq, killing one U.S. service member and injuring 12 others, the military said Sunday. The UH-60 Black Hawk went down Saturday night at the Balad Air Base, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Baghdad, the military said in a statement. The military said the cause of the crash was under investigation and gave no other details. The helicopter went down on a night of high winds that tore through the area, whipping up a fierce sandstorm that was followed by thunder, lightning and rain. The name and other details about the service member killed were being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Iran supreme leader: Nuke claims wrong TEHRAN, Iran â€“ Iranâ€™s supreme leader said Sunday that U.S. officials know they are wrongly accusing Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons. In Iranâ€™s first official reaction to the U.S. decision to scrap a European missile intercept system to defend against threats from Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claimed President Barack Obamaâ€™s administration is following the same policies as its predecessor.
2 die from drugs in German therapy session BERLIN â€“ A doctor leading a group therapy session gave participants drugs and other substances that killed two and left 10 hospitalized, Berlin police said Sunday. One person was left comatose and in critical condition. The doctor who led the session has acknowledged giving the participants various substances and drugs during the meeting, Martin Steltner, a prosecutorâ€™s office spokesman said Sunday.
Travolta may testify at Bahamas trial NASSAU, Bahamas â€“ John Travolta is among the potential witnesses at a Bahamas trial beginning today. Pleasant Bridgewater and paramedic Tarino Lightbourne are accused of trying to extort $25 million from the movie star, according to court officials.
Bear in central Japan injures 9, shot dead TOKYO â€“ A bear injured nine people at a highway rest stop in central Japan before being shot dead in a souvenir shop, a firefighter said Sunday. The 4-foot (1.3-meter) bear first attacked people at a bus parking lot and then entered a lodge. ENTERPRISE NEWS SERVICE REPORTS
Iraqis enjoy the first day of Eid al-Fitr in a park in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday. The three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
3 U.S. troops die in Afghanistan, 1 in combat KABUL (AP) â€“ Military officials say three American troops have died in Afghanistan, including one killed in combat in the countryâ€™s east. A statement from the NATO-led force in Afghanistan says two of the Americans died Sunday in a noncombat-related incident in the south. The statement provided no other details and a spokesman said he didnâ€™t have additional information. A leading cause of non-
combat deaths is traffic accidents, but they can also include other kinds of accidents and suicide or murder. The third American died in fighting on Saturday. This year has been the deadliest for American forces of the eight-year war. August was the deadliest month of the war, when 51 U.S. troops died. More than 60,000 U.S. troops are now in the country.
Medvedev: Israel not planning Iran strike
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is the worst thing that can be imagined,â€? Medvedev said of a potential Israeli strike. â€œWhat would happen after that? Humanitarian disaster, a vast number of refugees, Iranâ€™s wish to take revenge â€“ and not only upon Israel, to be honest, but upon other countries as well.â€? â€œBut my Israeli colleagues told me they were not planning to act in this way, and I trust them,â€? Medvedev said.
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In a transcript of the interview released by the Kremlin, Medvedev hedges on Medvedev the question of whether Russia would support Iran if it were attacked by Israel. Although Russia has no defense agreement with Iran â€œthis does not mean we would like to be or will be indifferent to such an occurrence. This
MOSCOW (AP) â€“ Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says Israeli officials have assured him that they are not planning a military strike on Iran. In an interview with CNN television broadcast Sunday, Medvedev also confirmed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a secret visit to Moscow this month that included a meeting with the Russian president.
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In years past, many Iraqis spent the three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday indoors out of fear. For most Muslims, this yearâ€™s holiday began Sunday; others will celebrate starting today. Muslims typically celebrate Eid al-Fitr by visiting relatives and packing into parks to mark the end of a month of fasting.
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Monday September 21, 2009
FAMILY SLAIN: 5 kids, woman found dead in Florida apartment. 6D
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Insane killer captured unharmed
Obama: Troops decision can wait WASHINGTON (AP) â€“ President Barack Obama says he hasnâ€™t asked his top commander in Afghanistan to sit on an expected request for U.S. reinforcements in a backsliding war, but he gave no deadline for making a decision about whether to send more Americans into harmâ€™s way. Obama said in a series of interviews broadcast Sunday he will not allow politics to govern his decision. He left little doubt he is reevaluating whether the renewed focus on hunting alQaida has become blurred and whether more forces will do any good. â€œThe first question is, â€˜Are we doing the right thing?â€™ â€? he said. â€œAre we pursuing the right strategy?â€?
Terrorism suspect Najibullah Zazi is arrested by FBI agents in Aurora, Colo., late Saturday.
2 Colorado men, 1 NYC man arrested in terror investigation AURORA, Colo. (AP) â€“ The arrest of a Colorado airport shuttle driver as part of a terrorism investigation reveals a murky plot that involved him receiving explosives training with al-Qaida in Pakistan and downloading instructions on his computer on how to build bombs. But one thing is missing â€“ actual terrorism charges. Najibullah Zazi was only charged with making false statements to
PRESIDENT FAVORS PROBE INTO ACORNâ€™S ACTIVITIES Obama says there should be an investigation into the hidden-camera video involving employees at the activist group ACORN and a couple posing as a prostitute and her pimp. The two ACORN workers are seen apparently advising the couple to lie about her profession and launder her earnings to get housing aid. The video is only the latest problem for the group, which had nearly $1 million embezzled by its founderâ€™s brother and has been accused of voter registration fraud.
the government, raising questions about the nature of the plot. Zaziâ€™s defense team denied reports he considered a plea deal related to terror charges, and Zaziâ€™s attorney, Arthur Folsom, has dismissed as rumor remarks by a senior U.S. intelligence official that Zazi played a crucial role in an intended terrorist attack. â€œAll of that is hype and it comes down to charging him with lying to the government. It sounds disproportionate
to the hype,â€? Taj Ashaheed, Colorado Muslim Society spokesman, said at a festival in the Denver suburb of Aurora. Zazi, who lives in an apartment in the Denver suburb of Aurora, was arrested late Saturday after three days of questioning
by the FBI. He was due to appear in federal court today. Also arrested were Zaziâ€™s father, Mohammed Wali Zazi, 53, in Denver; and an associate, Ahmad Wais Afzali, 37, of New York City, the Justice Department said.
SEATTLE (AP) â€“ An insane killer who slipped away from the staff of a mental institution during a field trip to the Spokane County International Fair has been capPaul t u r e d without injury in the Goldendale area in south-central Washington. Spokane County sheriffâ€™s Capt. Dave Reagan says that 47-year-old Phillip Arnold Paul was nabbed by Deputy Roger Knight â€“ the same deputy who arrested Paul and was injured by him after he escaped in 1991. Reagan says Paul was trying to elude a search helicopter Sunday and walked to a road to try to hitch a ride just as Knight arrived at the scene. Paul gave Eastern State Hospital staff the slip during the field trip on Thursday.
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