Friday, January 28, 2011 | 50¢
City: Two out at fire department
GOVERNOR IN ROWAN
No details offered as investigation continues into improper conduct BY EMILY FORD email@example.com
KArissA miNN/SALISBURY POST
Gov. Bev Perdue told reporters and transportation ofﬁcials Thursday that a contract for phase two of the I-85 Corridor Improvement Project has been awarded and construction will begin soon.
Perdue says cost for second phase of I-85 project half what was originally projected BY KARISSA MINN firstname.lastname@example.org
The second phase of the Interstate 85 Corridor Improvement Project will cost half what the state thought it would and finish five months sooner, Gov. Beverly Perdue announced Thursday. The N.C. Department of Transportation awarded a $65.5 million contract Wednesday after originally estimating the construction would cost $120 million-
$130 million. “I’ve been involved in a lot of big road projects in the last decade, but I have never, ever seen a project come in at half the cost,” Perdue said Thursday, standing at the work site for the new Yadkin River bridges. “That’s super news, not just for the people in this area, but for the people of North Carolina.” The project is the first to be funded through the new N.C. Mobility Fund developed by Perdue to pay for regional
transportation needs. Now, Perdue said, some of the money that would have paid for this project can be used to fund others across the state. Phase two will widen 3.8 miles of I85 from four lanes to eight lanes in Davidson County. It also will reconstruct the interchange of I-85 at Belmont Road.
See I-85, 2A
Two Salisbury firefighters are no longer employed with the department and another has been suspended in connection with an investigation into improper conduct. City officials on Thursday would not discuss the nature of the ongoing investigation, but the mother of firefighter Courtney Brown said her daughter felt she was sexually harassed by other firefighters for two years. A city official said Brown and Capt. Baxter “Buddy” Miller are no longer employed with the Salisbury Fire Departand ment firefighter Castleman “ C h e t ” Hedrick has MILLER susbeen pended without pay. On Jan. 17 and 18, the city placed Miller and Hedrick on paid administrative leave while considering possible disciplinary action, according to Zach Kyle, the city’s director of human resources. Thursday night, Kyle said Miller is no longer employed with the department but would not say if Miller resigned or was fired. State law requires the city to provide the date and type of an employee’s separation.
JON C. LAKEY/SALISBURY POST FILE
Fire Control Specialist I Courtney Brown takes part in a training exercise in October. When an employee is fired, a new public records law that went into effect in October requires the city to provide a written notice explaining the reasons for dismissal. On Tuesday, Hedrick’s job status was moved from administraHEDRICK tive leave to suspension without pay for misconduct, Kyle said. Kyle would not say how long the suspension will last. Hedrick did not return a
See FIRE, 7A
Glass from 100th winery joining collection BY SHAVONNE POTTS email@example.com
Gov. Bev Perdue has a collection of wine glasses from across North Carolina. Now she will add one from Cauble Creek Vineyard, which she recognized Thursday as the 100th winery in the state. The governor joined winemakers and growers, local dignitaries and representatives from several state wine publications in Rowan County. Cauble Creek owners William “Biff” Yost, his wife Anita and their son Alex basked in the event. “It’s very exciting,” Anita said. At first the family didn’t
Driver survives crash that mangles minivan
quite understand the impact or the honor of being named 100th winery in the state. “This is a big day for an emerging industry in North Carolina. It’s something people didn’t think about 50 years ago,” Perdue told those gathered. North Carolina ranks in the top five state destinations for wine and culinary tourism in the United States. “Who could’ve thought,” Perdue said. Many North Carolina farmers are rethinking how they use their land and have chosen to plant and harvest
BY SHELLEY SMITH firstname.lastname@example.org
gErriE bLACKwELdEr/FOR ThE SALISBURY POST
Gov. Bev Perdue shares a laugh with Biff and Anita Yost, See WINERY, 7A owners of Cauble Creek Vineyard, during a visit Thursday.
A 35-year-old man is in stable condition at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center after a collision early Thursday morning on the Exit 81 ramp at Interstate 85. The driver of a Ford Windstar van, Michael Scott Butler, of Leonard Road in Salisbury, has a serious head injury, N.C. Trooper K.G. Barringer said, and was intoxicated when his van collided with
a tractor-trailer that was parked on the right shoulder of the ramp, about five feet from the line. Barringer said the tractortrailer was not running, but lights were on inside, and the driver was winding down for the night when the crash happened. Barringer found no skid marks on the road, so it was hard to determine how fast Butler was driving, and if he
See DRIVER, 5A
One of McDonald’s finest manages in Rockwell BY MARK WINEKA email@example.com
mArK wiNEKA/SALISBURY POST
Sissy Cooper, center, celebrates being named a Ray Kroc award winner for McDonald’s with her husband Bobby, right, and Rockwell owner-operator Bill Austin, left.
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ROCKWELL — Sissy Cooper was in a crisis mode. Not long after getting off her shift as store manager at the Rockwell McDonald’s, Cooper received a panicked call from fellow employee Martha Miller. Get back to the restaurant quickly, Miller said. The McDonald’s field service manager was in the restaurant, and he wasn’t happy, Miller told her. “I thought I was in so much trouble,” Cooper said. “... I was shaking.” But Miller’s call was only a ruse. While Cooper was gone, staff members decorated the McDonald’s and made room for
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friends and family to surprise Cooper with the news that she had won the restaurant chain’s prestigious Ray Kroc Award for store managers. She’s part of an elite group. Only 1 percent of the McDonald’s managers in the country earn the Ray Kroc Award each year. In the Raleigh region of 736 stores, she is one of seven recipients. Named for the late founder of McDonald’s, the award comes with a $2,500 check, trophy, pin and a trip to Chicago for a banquet and a chance to share some of her front-line experiences with top management officials in the company. Cooper could hardly speak after she entered the restaurant Thursday afternoon to the applause and cheers.
Charles E. Eller Lillian Jones West Bobbie R. Cranford Betty Kendrick
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“She’s figured it out by now,” husband Bobby Cooper said, moving toward her for a hug. “You’ve won the Ray Kroc Award, dear.” Bobby Cooper is a longtime area supervisor for McDonald’s. The couple have been married for 10 years. “I’m in shock,” Sissy said. A friend walked up, removed Cooper’s McDonald’s cap and placed a tiara on her head. Bill Austin, owner-operator of the Rockwell McDonald’s, nominated Cooper for the Kroc Award, which measures both store performance and community involvement. He said Cooper, who has been the
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2A • FRIDAY, JANUARY 28, 2011
Piedmont Players’ ‘Three Musketeers’ save the day They always arrive in time to save the day — with one exception. The play has many secondary characters that are important to the action, such as Queen Anne’s lady-in-waiting Constance, sweetly played by McKenna Bernhardt. No wonder D’Artagnan falls for her. Queen Anne, who, unfortunately becomes part of the plan to destroy the king, is played by Emily Bartsch, very pretty and not a fool, like her husband, Louis XIII. And then there’s Louis, played with a twitter and a twinkle and a giggle by Bill Greene, who always drew laughs on opening night. But for pure wickedness, there’s no one like Cardinal Richelieu, played with an evil flair by Piedmont veteran Shawn Van Wallendael. He all but twirls his mustache as he plots and plans, pitting his guards against the Musketeers. His chief guard, Rochefort, played by Jacob Brayton with a bit of nuance, is despicable, but redeemable. And if you like your wickedness with a pretty face, there’s the reprehensible Milady de Winter. Katie Haeuser plays her with style, evil practically dripping from her fingertips. Plot note: Be sure to listen to Athos’s story of lost love to understand how Milady fits in to all of this. The plot, much simplified from the book is this: The king is a fool, the cardinal wants to rule France, the Musketeers defend the king mostly because they feel loyal to the queen. Richelieu will do anything to get his way, constantly launching attacks on the Musketeers, digging for revealing secrets about the queen (she has a lover, the Duke of Buckingham, played by Nathan Prater). Those who protect and defend the good queen are in constant danger. When Richelieu launches a plan that will leave her in disgrace, the boys jump into action. Before all this, of course, D’Artagnan, ac-
Step back into the 17th century for the evening and buckle your swash. “The Three Musketeers” are dueling and making France safe again in Piedmont Players’ latest production. With some rich costumes, good swordplay and charming characters, the play is entertainment for all ages — and, at just over 2 hours, including intermission, it beats an evening of reality TV. The play, adapted from Alexandre Dumas’ book by DEIRDRE Ken Ludwig, focuses on the PARKER SMITH story of D’Artagnan, who ends up being the fourth Musketeer. Casey Suddeth, a senior at Carson High School, has the combination of naivete and determination that makes the character appealing. He and his sister, Sabine, played with bravado by Lauren Gaskill, a sophomore at West Rowan, are off to Paris — to follow in his father’s footsteps as a Musketeer, and she to attend a convent school. Yeah, right. Sabine is as good a swordsman as her brother and is hungry for adventure. The Musketeers, Athos, Porthos and Aramis, are true to the characters. Athos is brave, but troubled; Porthos is proud and welldressed; Aramis, studying to be a priest, has not been able to deny the pleasures of the flesh — yet. Cale Evans plays Athos with a quiet intensity; Russell Bennett is full of flourishes, and Justin Dionne, as Aramis, shows us why the ladies find him hard to resist. They make quite a trio, but the way the play is written, we don’t get to know them very well.
I-85 FROM 1a The Department of Transportation awarded the contract for this phase to Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc./ Austin Bridge and Road LP, a joint venture in Irving, Texas. The joint-venture team estimates the project will create or sustain about 150 jobs, and many of those workers will be hired locally. “This represents one of the best projects I’ve ever seen in North Carolina,” Perdue said. “The private sector comes in and they’re glad to get to work because of the economy, the public sector parcels together money through the state Department of Transportation, and engineers work aggressively to stand up a plan that will expedite construction and completion.” Construction is expected
to begin within 60 days and be completed in May 2013 — five months earlier than the Transportation Department’s deadline of the following October. “I believe by the summer of 2013, this whole corridor will be construction free,” Perdue said. “By 2013, we’re going to be here with a big smile on.” Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc./Austin Bridge and Road LP has set self-imposed fines ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 per day for missing major project milestones. The contractor agreed to guarantee its work for five years instead of the required one year. To monitor how traffic is flowing, the contractor will set up wireless remote cameras along the project area. The Department of Transportation will be able to use the images to help with incident response. In addition, 24-hour wrecker service will be available
cidentally insults Athos, Porthos and Aramis, each of whom calls him out for a duel. Sabine, posing as his servant, instantly falls for Athos. The cardinal catches them and tries to have them all arrested for dueling. D’Artagnan meets the fair Constance, saving her from the evil cardinal’s guard as she completes a secret mission for the queen. D’Artagnan is smitten. He must repeatedly prove himself before his comrades accept him as a brave, courageous fighter. “All for one and one for all!” they shout as they enter into each adventure. As Milady and the cardinal plan to dethrone and kill the king, our Musketeers stay one step ahead to save the day. Leonard uses a simple set, painted like a chessboard, with a moving platform that includes a convenient balcony — always useful for grand gestures and entrances. The costumes add to the period feel, and many of them were made by a volunteer, Jim Beaudoin, while some are vintage Catawba College costumes and other pieces were rented. The swordplay is well done, if a bit slow at times. One night scene with multiple swordfights was dimly lit, so some of the action sort of disappeared. Two caveats, one oft-repeated here: Please enunciate and speak a little louder. With all the physical activity, some words were lost on opening night. And, please, for those of us with failing sight, make the print bigger in the playbill. The biographies of the cast are practically unreadable in a very small type size. They do a fine job, and we should be able to learn more about them. Rounding out the cast are Joe McGee as the head of the Musketeers, Robert Hackett and Pamela Middlemiss, as the senior D’Artagnans; ladies-in-waiting McClain Miles, Micala
jon c. lakey/SaLISBURY POST FILe PhOTO
emily Bartsch holds hands with Nathan Prater as Bill Greene watches in back during ‘The Three Musketeers’ performance. Hall, Nora El Khouri Spencer; and assorted guards, innkeepers, etc., James Bigsby, Darrell Brown, Ryan Lilly, Dean Middlemiss, Jameson Middlemiss (a family affair), Todd Paris and John Sofley. “The Three Musketeers,” underwritten by Oak Park Retirement Community, continues tonight and Saturday and Feb. 2-5 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at the Meroney Theatre in downtown Salisbury. Call 704-633-5471 for tickets.
throughout the work zone to remove disabled vehicles from the roadway. Pat Ivey, the Transportation Department’s Division 9 Engineer, said he was “very surprised” that the bids for phase two came in as low as they did, but construction companies are competing fiercely for jobs. “Understand that those (estimates) were put out several years ago,” Ivey said. “The economy has made a tremendous difference in the prices that we’re getting.” The $136 million contract awarded to Flatiron-Lane for the first phase of the project also came in under the state’s estimate of $180 million. Phase one started at the end of September and will replace several bridges, including the two spans on Interstate 85 over the Yadkin River, and karissa minn/SaLISBURY POST widen about 3 miles of the inConstruction continues on the ﬁrst phase of the I-85 Corridor Improvement Project, which terstate adjacent to the includes the replacement of two bridge spans over the Yadkin River. bridge.
Posters Deadline for posters is 5 p.m. • Wittenberg Lutheran Church monthly breakfast, 6:30-10:30 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 29, children 6 and under free, corner of Bank and Oak Streets, Granite Quarry. • Bone marrow drive, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 29: simple swab of mouth to see if you can register to be a bone marrow donor, snacks and drinks, Southside Baptist Church, 500 Morlan Park Road. 704-633-1419. • Salisbury Seventh-day Adventist Church, Saturday, 11 a.m., Pastor Sven F. Behm, “Our Greatest Need.” Saturday sabbath school, 9:45 a.m.
Lottery numbers —
RALEIGH (AP) — These North Carolina lotteries were drawn Thursday: Cash 5: 04-13-20-24-26 Pick 4: 4-9-9-2 Evening Pick 3: 3-4-5 Midday Pick 3: 5-8-5
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.78 .04b ... 2.02e .98 ... .72f ... ... .44 1.60f 1.45f 1.12 2.48
15 ... 8 ... 12 ... 16 10 51 19 1 71 15 15
YTD Last Chg %Chg 41.97 4.47 10.07 79.61 18.21 .49 42.92 19.98 6.62 26.24 62.31 45.40 28.80 45.67
+.15 +9.6 +.12 +3.0 -.16 -2.8 +.24 +8.0 +.11 +2.2 -.02 +50.8 -.01 -13.7 -.21 -2.1 -.07 -5.2 +.39 +4.6 -.42 -.8 -1.10 +3.6 -.11 +3.0 +.32 +5.0
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A member of the Rockwell Women’s League, she provides the restaurant as a meeting site each month. Besides cards of congratulations, gift bags and a cake, Cooper received a couple of personal gifts from Bobby: a diamond and ruby ring and a pair of Elvis Presley sunglasses. She is quite the Elvis fan — and it was a perfect gift Thursday. For a moment at least, there was a whole lot of shaking going on.
MCDONALD’S FROM 1a restaurant’s manager since its opening in February 2008, is loyal to her customers and the business. He called her a real people person. The Rockwell location, which has almost 60 employees, exceeded its $2 million projection in sales for each of its first two years. When Austin made his nomination, the store was 8 percent ahead in 2010 sales. She also did well in “mystery shop” scores, which were 94.2 out of 100. Mystery shopping is a common business practice where stores are evaluated or “shopped” without its employees being aware. From 2003 to 2008, Sissy was Austin’s manager for his Kannapolis McDonald’s, which saw sales increase from $1.7 million to $2.2 million. “She has won awards before, but this is the elite (one),” said Austin, who also owns three McDonald’s restaurants in Salisbury. Sissy Cooper, 51, has four children and 12 grandchildren, many of whom celebrated with her at the restaurant Thursday. It was tough for Bobby and the rest of the family to keep the award a secret from her. Bobby had known
mark wineka/SaLISBURY POST
Staff, friends and family surprise McDonald’s manager Sissy Cooper in Rockwell on Thursday afternoon by telling her she won the restaurant chain’s Ray Kroc award.
“She has won awards before, but this is the elite (one).” BILL AUSTIN owner-operator of the Rockwell McDonald’s speaking of Sissy Cooper
CITY TIN SHOP INC. Landis (704) 857-2448 fax: (704) 857-2423
COOPER for two weeks. “I almost slipped a couple of times,” he said. Sissy Cooper started working at McDonald’s 14 years ago as a biscuit-maker. She said if there’s a secret to her success as a store manager it’s that she loves her customers and looks forward to going to work each day. She estimated that she puts in 60 to 65 hours a week.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.
Some of the Rockwell store’s community involvement includes sponsorship of a baseball team, tours for day care facilities, monthly bingo for senior citizens, coupons for firemen and law enforcement, an annual Easter egg hunt, raising funds for the Ronald McDonald House in Charlotte and participating with Ronald in two local holiday parades.
Heating • A/C Electrical Up to $500 tax credit on qualifying systems thru 2011
Service call with this ad thru February “We Service All Brands” Call us for all your Heating, Cooling & Electrical Needs
Winston-Salem company offering 300 jobs WINSTON-SALEM (AP) — A new Winston-Salembased aircraft maintenance company getting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars says it plans to create more than 300 jobs over four years. Gov. Beverly Perdue’s office said Thursday that
NS Aviation made the pledge after landing $300,000 from the One North Carolina Fund. The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners agreed to channel another $300,000 in foundation money to the company. Some money is going to buy equipment that would be leased to NS Aviation.
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BY DEIRDRE PARKER SMITH
FRIDAY January 28, 2011
Apply in person for job at Tuscarora
CLEAN AS A WHISTLE
BY EMILY FORD firstname.lastname@example.org
CHINA GROVE — Unemployed textile workers are flocking to the new Tuscarora Yarns plant in China Grove, hoping for a job. The company is taking applications in person, not online, at 308 E. Thom St. Hundreds have applied. Hours for applying are 1 to 4 p.m. Mondays and 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. Patricia Dunlap said she plans to apply for one of 124 new jobs at Tuscarora Yarns, which recently announced an expansion in China Grove. The yarn maker will move from 406 N. Main St. to the former Hanesbrands building on Thom Street over the next 12 months. Dunlap said she worked in textiles for several years, operating a knitting machine and inspecting fabric. Most recently, she worked in a nursing home but was laid off in July. Her $89 weekly unemployment check doesn’t go far, Dunlap said. She has one child at home and helps raise seven grandchildren. Her husband is a disabled veteran. “I never thought it would get like this, with jobs so scarce,” she said. Although Dunlap said she would like to work with textiles, she would take any job at the new yarn plant, including cleaning the bathrooms. “Half a loaf is better than no loaf,” she said. A small portion of the new facility is up and running, said Phil Absher, human resources director for Tuscarora Yarns. Capacity at the plant will increase as new machinery is installed, he said. Applicants need textile experience, and Tuscarora Yarns will provide additional training through Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Absher said. “We have been pleasantly surprised with the quality of applications coming in,” he said. The 57 employees at the current location on North Main Street can transfer to Thom Street, he said. In all, the company will have about 200 people at the new plant. Applicants also can send a resume to Absher at email@example.com. Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.
Rowan gets access to crime database Rowan County is getting access to a database that compiles criminal information from various agencies, making it easier for law enforcement to track offenders and see their histories. State officials said Thursday the Criminal Justice Law Enforcement Automated Data Services system will soon be available to law enforcement agencies in Rowan and a dozen other counties. “Expanding (the system) to the entire state is one of my goals,” Gov. Bev Perdue said in a press release. “This program empowers law enforcement officials, from the officers and deputies on the road to the clerks in the courthouse, with the tools they need to better keep criminals off the streets.” The system integrates data found within the state’s various criminal justice applications and provides up-to-date criminal information in a centralized location accessible to state and local law enforcement agencies through a secure connection. The database has two primary objectives: to provide a comprehensive view of an offender through a single application, allowing for positive identification of an offender through a photographic image; and to provide an “offender watch” capability to alert criminal justice professionals when an offender has a change in status. The General Assembly approved funding in 2008 for the state-of-the-art integrated criminal justice information system and authorized the Office of the State Controller to begin work on the project. That office launched a pilot program in Wake County last year and is now expanding it to the rest of the state. “... I have been encouraged by the enthusiasm and feedback from criminal justice professionals about this new tool that replaces the manual process of looking up historical criminal data from multiple systems and reduces the risk of overlooking critical data,” said State Controller David McCoy. “Criminal justice professionals who are now using (the system) have reported numerous instances where the program has helped them catch criminals, and saved them time and money as well.” The state will hold meetings with criminal justice system professionals in the counties to introduce them to the new program and coordinate training schedules, the press release said.
mark wineka/SALISBURY POST
From left, Mary Wilson, Maggie Blizzard and Bill Johnson take rags and cleaner to a wheelchair during the Sam’s Chairwash at the N.C. Lutheran Home at Trinity Oaks on Thursday.
‘Buggies’ get the works at Sam’s Chairwash BY MARK WINEKA firstname.lastname@example.org
Wheels? Check. Seat? Check. Washed? Check. Inspected? Check. Residents at the N.C. Lutheran Home who brought their wheelchairs into the Sam’s Chairwash Thursday got the works. “My chair’s never been this clean,” Jane Gill said as she wheeled out of the activities room. The first Chairwash took its cue from Sam and Joyce Allen, who live at the Trinity Oaks cottages nearby. Back in 1962, the couple started Sam’s Car Wash in Salisbury, and their sons, Glenn and Sammy, now run the Sam’s car washes and Kwik Lubes in Salisbury and Lexington, respectively. Sam and Joyce provided Tshirts, gift certificates and goody bags for the Sam’s Chairwash and watched from the sidelines as an army of six volunteers and 10 staff members cleaned, oiled, repaired, inspected and tagged the wheelchairs coming in for the free maintenance. “It’s a right good project,” Sam Allen said. “I didn’t think much of it when they first mentioned it.” Activities Director Brenda Zimmerman says N.C. Lutheran Home Administrator Bill Johnson should receive credit for the idea, which probably will become a regular event, based on its success Thursday. “This all started when Bill said we needed to do a wheelchair clinic,” Zimmerman recalled. Each resident received invitations to “Get your ‘buggy’ sparkling clean.” When they registered at the door, they
Volunteers and staff scrub away.
“My chair has never been this clean.” JANE GILL after Chairwash
received a yellow checklist noting all the things that would be done with their wheelchairs while they waited. Zimmerman said she and fellow Activities Director Lynn Barringer discussed what entertainment they should provide as the wheelchairs were worked on, but they discovered that the Chairwash was entertainment enough. “The Clean Team” workers tackled each chair like those fast-paced teams who envelope a vehicle at Sam’s Car Wash. Also, in the maintenance corner, staff handled minor repairs for the wheel-
Sam and Joyce Allen, who started Sam’s Car Wash in Salisbury in 1962, sponsored the Chairwash. chairs, such as replacing arm rests, adjusting brakes, tightening screws and squirting in some oil where they could. “We tried to make it a fun
event, like Sam’s Car Wash,” Johnson said. Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.
Spencer planning retreat this weekend On your marks: Winter Flight 8K Saturday B Y E MILY F ORD email@example.com
same location. A professional facilitator will guide aldermen through choosing five areas of concentration to discuss throughout the day. They will choose topics based on department reports and each alderman’s areas of interest, Town Manager Larry Smith said. Discussion will run from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Starting at 2:15, the board will work until 4 to develop an action plan for fiscal year 2011-12. The action plan will outline steps needed in the next year to achieve the board’s goals, Smith said.
SPENCER — Spencer leaders will meet tonight and Saturday for their annual planning retreat. The event begins at 6 p.m. today at the Spencer Fire Department training room, 208 S. Salisbury Ave. The Board of Aldermen first will hear citizen comment and feedback and then hear from the N.C. Transportation Museum. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., aldermen will hear reports from all municipal departments. Finally, the town manager and administrators will speak. The retreat adjourns at 9 p.m. On Saturday, the meeting Contact reporter Emily Ford continues at 8:30 a.m. in the at 704-797-4264.
The 28th Annual RRCA State Championship Winter Flight 8K is set for Saturday. The Road Runners Club of America has chosen this event to honor the best 8K runners from North Carolina and the surrounding states. There will be a half-mile fun run for children ages 12 and under. New this year is a 5K health walk. All events start and finish at Catawba College. The fun run will start at 9:30 a.m., followed by the 8K run and 5K health walk at 10 a.m. An 8K race is about 5 miles. A 5K is just over 3 miles. Anyone who wants to participate and hasn’t already signed up can register Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. at Goodman
Gym on the Catawba College campus. Fees are $30 for the 8K, $25 for the 5K health walk, and $10 for the half-mile fun run. All participants in the 8K and 5K walk will receive a commemorative long-sleeve, dri-fit technical shirt. Special 8K awards will go to the overall male and female winners, overall male and female masters (age 40 and over), overall male and female grandmasters (age 50 and over), and overall male and female senior grandmasters (age 60 and over). These awards are N.C. State Championship plaques. Other awards will be given to
See 8K, 4A
CrimeRoundup New charges in molestation case
Man threatens deputies with pit bull
Salvatore Cerbone, 40, of 3070 Airport Road, faces new charges after further investigation into a Jan. 2 allegation that he molested an 11year-old girl. Cerbone was arrested Tuesday and charged with two counts of first-degree statutory rape and two of counts sexual activCERBONE ity by a custodian. He is in the Rowan County jail under a $250,000 secured bond. Cerbone was charged Jan. 6 with felony indecent liberties with a child. A Rowan County Sheriff’s Office report indicated the incidents happened at Cerbone’s home.
A Salisbury man threatened to turn his pit bull on deputies responding to a domestic disturbance Tuesday night, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office reported Thursday. Rebecca Huneycutt called 911 on Tuesday to report that Brandon Lee McCrary, 23, would not let her leave his 1045 Starhaven Drive home, a Sheriff’s Office report said. When deputies got to the home, McCrary stormed out and told them Huneycutt “wasn’t going anywhere,” yelling and cursing at the woman and the deputies, the report said. Brandon McCrary’s brother, Joshua, was also there and told the deputies he could not get his brother to leave the home and leave him and Huneycutt alone. Deputies asked Huneycutt
if she wanted to leave, and she told them she did. McCrary jumped off the porch and again told her she wasn’t going anywhere, the report said. Deputies asked McCrary to go inside three separate times, and he refused, so they showed him a stun gun. McCrary then grabbed his dog, a pit bull, and acted like he was going to release the dog on the deputies, the report said. A deputy was able to grab McCrary and knock him to the ground, but McCrary still resisted, the report said. When deputies eventually got McCrary into a patrol car, he stopped resisting. Huneycutt told the deputies she was in the bathroom of the home when she called 911. McCrary is charged with false imprisonment, resisting arrest, intoxicated and disruptive, possession of drug paraphernalia (a pipe with marijuana residue) and as-
Bobbie R. Cranford sault on a female. He posted a $5,000 secured bond.
Deputy stun guns man after slap in face with shoe A Rowan County Sheriff’s deputy used a stun gun on a Salisbury man Tuesday after the man hit another deputy in the face with a shoe, the sheriff’s office reported Thursday. The man was charged with misdemeanor assault on a government official. Authorities were at the man’s home to serve commitment papers, but the man told the deputies to leave, the report said. The man refused to go with the deputies and struck one with the shoe. That’s when the other deputy used a stun gun to subdue the man. After filing charges, deputies took the man to the Hefner VA Medical Center.
Red Cross rolls out February blood drive schedule Severe winter weather throughout much of the eastern half of the United States in recent weeks has caused the cancellation of more than 14,000 blood and platelet donations through the American Red Cross Carolinas Region. The severity of the impact has stressed the Red Cross’ national inventory management system, which can move blood products to where they’re needed most, such as when severe weather hits. “We have not seen the January supply drop this dramatically in a decade and we need to reverse this now,” said Joyce H. Brendel, American Red Cross Carolinas Region’s chief executive officer. The Red Cross urges all eligible donors in unaffected areas to make an appointment to give blood or platelets in the coming days, and those in affected areas to donate as soon as travel is deemed safe, by calling 704-633-3854 or by visiting redcrossblood.org. Donations will help replenish the Red Cross blood sup-
ply to ensure that blood products are readily available for patients with serious medical needs. Red blood cells have a shelf life of only 42 days and platelets just five days – they must be replenished constantly. All blood types are needed, especially type O negative, to ensure a reliable supply for patients. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate. • Today, 2:-6:30 p.m., Granite Quarry Elementary, 118 S. Walnut GQ St. For an appointment, call Patty Helms in the school office at 704-279-2154.
• Thursday, Feb. 3, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Morgan Elementary School, 3860 Liberty Road, Gold Hill. Appointments preferred, please call Betsy Crowell at 704-6360169. • Sunday, Feb. 6, 1-5:30 p.m., Christiana Lutheran Church, 6190 Hwy. 52. For an appointment, please call the Christy Litaker at 704-2323706. • Feb. 6, 1-5:30 p.m., St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, 9275 Bringle Ferry Road. Drive being sponsored by Jacob Rawson, Eagle Scout Project. For an appointment, call the church office at 704633-3770. • Feb. 9, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, North Campus, 1333 Jake Alexander Blvd., Salisbury. For an appointment, please call the Red Cross office at 704-633-3854. • Feb. 14, 1-5:30 p.m., American Red Cross, Salisbury Community Blood Drive, E.H. Dole Chapter, 1930 Jake Alexander Blvd. W.
RALEIGH (AP) — North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan says she has been named to serve on the U.S. Senate Banking Committee. Hagan said in a statement Thursday that she plans to focus on encouraging the availability of capital to businesses. She says this will help create jobs. The Democrat also wants to make sure the mortgage system is both robust and stable. Hagan previously worked for 10 years at North Carolina National Bank. North Carolina is home to major financial institutions such as Bank of America Corp. and BB&T Corp. Hagan also serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Bill would ban illegal immigrants from NC colleges RALEIGH (AP) — A Republican lawmaker is proposing a law barring illegal immigrants from attending North Carolina community colleges and universities. Rep. George Cleveland of On-
slow County filed a bill Thursday that would reverse admissions rules in effect for University of North Carolina campuses and the country’s third-largest community college system. The state community colleges board voted last year to admit illegal immigrants to classrooms if they graduated from a U.S. high school, pay out-of-state tuition and don’t displace a citizen. The community colleges have changed the illegal immigrant admission policy four times since 2000. The Pew Hispanic Center says North Carolina had about 275,000 illegal immigrants in 2009, down from about 350,000 in 2008.
North Carolina-based airman killed in Afghanistan SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE (AP) — Military officials say an airman based in North Carolina has died in Afghanistan. The Department of Defense announced Thursday that 36year-old Tech. Sgt. Leslie D. Williams, 36, of Juneau, Alaska, died Jan. 25 due to a non-combat related incident at Bagram Airfield. Williams was assigned to the 4th Maintenance Group at Seymour Johnson.
North Hills Flapjack Fundraiser Saturday
The North Hills Christian School Senior Class Flapjack Fundraiser will be hosted by the Applebee’s restaurant at 205 Faith Road, Saturday, Feb. 5, 7-10 a.m. Tickets for the fundraiser are $6 and may be purchased by contacting Mary Lindsaye Boyd at 704-252-7654. Breakfast includes a short stack of pancakes, sausage, milk, juice and coffee.
Salisbury Planning Board to meet Monday The Salisbury Planning Board will meet at 4 p.m. Monday in City Hall. The board could not convene Tuesday for lack of a quorum, and the meeting had to be rescheduled. The agenda includes a request from Rowan Regional Medical Center to develop a 14-bed hospice facility on Statesville Boulevard, as well as three other rezoning requests. Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.
For an appointment, please call the Red Cross office at 704-633-3854. • Feb. 20, 12:30-5 p.m., Calvary Baptist Tabernacle, 3760 Stokes Ferry Road. For an appointment, call the chuch office 704-645-9328. • Feb. 20, 1-5:30 p.m., Centenary United Methodist Church, Mt. Ulla, 620 Centenary Road. For an appointment, please call Pam Allred 704-877-4377. • Feb 24, 2:30-7 p.m., St. John’s Lutheran Church, 200 W. Innes St. Appointments preferred, please call Judy Trexler at 704-633-9392. • Feb. 25, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Genesis Eldercare, 710 Julian Road, Salisbury. For an appointment, call Denise Daugherty at 704-636-5812. • Feb. 27, 12:30-5 p.m., Faith Baptist, 203 N. Main St., Faith. For an appointment, call Pat Barton at 704-2797736. Blood drive schedule subject to change. Please call the office at 704-633-3854 for updated information.
Goldmine Toastmasters will participate in International Speech Contest on Feb. 5
StateBriefs Sen. Hagan named to U.S. banking committee
On Feb. 5, Goldmine Toastmasters Club will join more than 12,500 Toastmasters clubs from around the world participating in the 2011 Toastmasters International Speech Contest. It is the world’s largest speech contest, with more than 30,000 presenters in 113 countries vying to become the next World Champion of Public Speaking. The contest is free and open to the public. The International Speech Contest begins at the local club level and proceeds through the area, division, district and final levels. Eightytwo district semifinalists compete during the four-day 2011 Toastmasters International Convention held Aug. 17-20, in Las Vegas. Nine contenders make it to the final round on Aug. 20, where the winner is crowned the Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking. To enter the contest, a person must be an active member of Toastmasters International and have completed at least six speeches from Toastmasters’ Competent Communication manual. All participant speeches must be original, presented in English and last five to seven minutes. Judging criteria include originality, speech content, organization, voice quality, gestures and timing. Additional details about the Toastmasters International Speech Contest and 2011 Convention will be announced in early April. District winners will be announced in early August and posted on the Toastmasters Web site. For more information about Toastmasters International contests, please visit toastmasters.org/contest. Goldmine Toastmasters Club meets at Fairfield Inn, 3033 Cloverleaf Parkway, Kannapolis, on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. To find out more about Goldmine Toastmasters Club visit www.goldminetoastmasters.com.
the top three male and female participants in each of 13 age groups. Fun run awards go to the top three overall finishers. All others will receive a finisher’s medal. Pre-registered fun runners will get a cotton Tshirt. The 5K health walk is not competitive and will not be timed. All finishers can see their times. Additional cash prizes include $250 for breaking the course record. The male course record is 23:35, set by Dutch Olympian Hans Koele-
man in 1988. The female course record was set by Olympian Joan Nesbit of Chapel Hill in 1992 with a time of 26:48. Other cash awards are $100 to the first male and female finisher, $25 to the first male and female to the 1 mile mark, and $25 to the first male and female finishers from Rowan County. The Salisbury Rowan Runners will provide timing and scoring. All proceeds will go to Rowan Helping Ministries. For additional information, call 704-310-6741 or visit www.salisburyrowanrunners.org
MOCKSVILLE — Bobbie Jean Reavis Cranford, 71, of Glenview Lane, died Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, at Rowan Regional Medical Center in Salisbury. Born in Yadkin County on April 13, 1939, she was the daughter of the late David Martin and Daisy Belle Lindely Reavis. She was a retired textile worker and was of the Baptist faith. Her husband, Charles Clinton Cranford, Sr., preceded her in death in 1996. She is survived by a son, Charles (Melinda) Cranford of Cleveland; two daughters, Wendy (Dale) Craver and Jeanette (Dennis) King, all of Cooleemee; a sister, Betty (Ivan) Thies of Mocksville; a special friend, Gordy Fink of Mocksville; five grandchildren; and four great grandchildren. In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by a daughter, Penny Sue Cranford; six brothers, Paul, James, David Jr., Bill, Jerry and Jack Reavis; and four sisters, Maude Gunter, Elizabeth Rushing, Martha Page and Louise Steelman. Service: A celebration of life service will be held Sunday, Jan. 30 at 2:30 p.m. in the Davie Funeral Service Chapel with Pastor Tony Hall officiating. Burial will be in Legion Memorial Park in Cooleemee. Visitation: The family will receive friends Saturday, Jan. 29 from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. at Davie Funeral Service. Condolences may be made to the family at www.daviefuneralservice.com Davie Funeral Service is serving the Cranford family.
Lillian Mae Jones West SALISBURY — Lillian Mae Jones West, 87, of Salisbury, passed away Monday, Jan. 24, 2011, at Liberty Commons Nursing Center. Born Oct. 9, 1923, in Warwick, R.I., she was the daughter of the late Lillian Tillinghast Jones and Henry Jones. A homemaker, she was a seamstress who played the piano and enjoyed knitting and bingo. She was a charter member of Grace United Methodist Church. Preceding her in death were her husband, James West; sister Gertrude Rathbun; and three brothers, Irving, Walter and Merrill Jones. Survivors include her son, James H. West of Matthews; nephews Henry Jones, Bob Rathbun (Marybeth), Rev. Bruce Jones (Tyra), Wesley Jones; nieces Susan Grubb (Jeff), Suzanne Pinson (Randy), Connie Keeter (Ed), Pam Cook (Robbie), Brenda McCloud (John); two grandchildren, Stephanie Green (Paul), James C. West (Heather); and four greatgrandchildren. Memorial Service: 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 30 at Grace United Methodist Church, 846 Faith Road, Salisbury, NC. The Rev. Bruce Jones will officiate. Memorials: Grace United Methodist Church, 846 Faith Road, Salisbury, NC 28146. Lyerly Funeral Home is serving the West family. Online condolences may be made at www.lyerlyfuneralhome.com
Betty Kendrick CHINA GROVE — Mrs. Betty Kendrick, of China Grove, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, at Genesis Eldercare in Salisbury. Born April 19, 1929, in Rowan County, she was the daughter of the late D.E. and Sallie Dial Roberts. Educated in the Rowan County schools, she was of the Baptist faith. Mrs. Kendrick had retired from Pillowtex. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, James Clifton Kendrick Sr. Surviving her are her son, James Clifton Kendrick Jr. of China Grove; granddaughter Stephanie Allen (Jason) of China Grove; and two greatgrandchildren. Service: A graveside service will be held Saturday at 3 p.m. at West Lawn Memorial Park with Rev. John Miller minister. Linn-Honeycutt Funeral Home in China Grove is serving the family.
Mr. James Howard Hipp Service: 1:00 PM Friday James C. Lyerly Chapel ——
Mrs. Lillian Mae Jones West Memorial Service 3:00 PM Sunday Grace United Methodist Ch.
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DRIVER FROM 1a lost control. Butler’s van struck the rear left corner of the trailer of the truck and swerved to the left, stopping on the left shoulder of the ramp. “He (Butler) was trapped in the van but he didn’t have to get out,” Barringer said. The crushed van was a total loss, however,
only $100 in damages were reported to the trailer. Barringer estimated Butler was traveling around 60 mph due to the severity of damage to the van. Butler was charged with driving while impaired and careless and reckless driving. Barringer said he will have to subpoena the blood alcohol levels from the hospital. Butler was charged in July 2010 for driving while impaired. He is due in court next month from that incident.
Okla. official questions hiring pregnant woman
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — said. While there was some Barresi rebuked Rozell and A member of Oklahoma’s laughter in the room, state ordered a 10-minute recess. Board of Education drew heat- schools Superintendent Janet Russell left the room in tears. ed reaction Thursday after saying a newly hired administrator would be “worthless” as a legislative liaison if she took 314 S. SALISBURY AVENUE immediate maternity leave. SPENCER, NC 704-633-0618 Shortly after the board voted to hire Jessica Russell, who is due to give birth in April, former state Sen. Herb Rozell Monday-Friday 9:30-5:30; Saturday 9:00-1:00 noted that she was pregnant facebook.com/barnhardtjewelers and questioned whether she would be around for the upcoming legislative session. Russell was hired to represent the state Department of We have your Education’s interests at the Diamond Capitol. The Oklahoma LegisHearts & Studs lature reconvenes Feb. 7 and for Valentine’s Day must end business by May 27. “If she has that baby in WE BUY GOLD AND SILVER April and takes off six weeks, she’s worthless to us,” Rozell
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ECU launches lifelong learning program “The whole idea of lifelong learning is that most people are well past their normal year of going to college.” CLAYTON SESSOMS Director of ECU’s Division of Continuing Studies
Erectile Dysfunction Affects Even the Best of Us time or money in pursing a degree. “Seniors are the one who so often say there is nothing for me to do. I’m retired but I still want to learn,” he said. local program The launched with a series of meetings at various locations in Greenville, Farmville and Washington, N.C. Staff summarized the philosophy of the Lifelong Learning Program then asked participants what type of classes and programming they would like to participate in or lead, Sessoms said. “The town hall meetings are a place for input,” he said. The program will be funded through workshop fees that Sessoms described as modest. There also are plans to seek long-term grants. They already have a corporate funding commitment and an individual contribution to fund the project’s start up, Sessoms said. Both the company and the individual have asked to remain anonymous. The planning committee
plans to reveal the schedule and courses May 21. “This brings out the very heart of ECU, to serve,” Sessoms said. “We are attempting to reach out to a population that wants ECU to serve them.” Pitt Community College, the Council on Aging, Cooperative Extension Service and community groups offer programming and events geared to the county’s older 50-plus population. Lifelong Learning won’t compete with those programs, Sessoms said. While lifelong learning targets individuals age 50 and above, most people taking classes are age 70 and beyond. There are plans to host day trips and weekend activities to ensure working adults have an opportunity to participate, Sessoms said. Individuals interested in participating in the event are encouraged to register by calling 328-9198 or e-mailing the Division of Continuing Studies at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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GREENVILLE (AP) — Learning doesn’t end with the turn of a tassel or a workmandated training class, according to officials at East Carolina University. The university’s Division of Continuing Studies is planning to launch a Lifelong Learning Program starting this fall. Modeled after the Elderhostel program that formed in the mid-1970s, Lifelong Learning will offer adults 50 and older learning opportunities in a relaxed atmosphere that doesn’t involve entrance requirements, exams or grades. “It’s not a novel idea but it’s new to eastern North Carolina,” said Ron Kemp, a volunteer and chairman of the program’s advisory panel. North Carolina State University has operated a similar program, called Encore, for about 20 years. Last fall Encore classes explored topics such as modern Christianity, learning digital photography, investing, opera, gardening and multiple book discussions. “The whole idea of lifelong learning is most people are well past their normal years of going to college,” said Clayton Sessoms, director of East Carolina University’s Division of Continuing Studies. They are curious about topics and want to learn new things, but don’t want to invest the
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Biff Yost, meeting with Gov. Bev Perdue, said wineries are a principal part of travel and tourism for the state.
FROM 1a grapes. Perdue reflected on those still unemployed, but praised businesses like Cauble Creek Vineyard for bringing jobs to the community. “We are hoping to be able to promote Salisbury and Rowan County,” Anita Yost said. The family is happy they’re able to offer a place for people to enjoy, she said. The winery and vineyard, which sits on 35 acres of family farmland, started with planting vines in 2005. The farm is located off N.C. 150 on Cauble Farm Road. Around Christmas, the Yosts found out they were the 100th winery in the state. North Carolina ranks seventh for wine production in the nation and is 10th in grape production. The vineyard focuses on
FRIDAY, JANUARY 28, 2011 • 7A
muscadine grapes and sweet wines and also has a variety of products for sale in their tasting room including scuppernong cider, 100 percent grape juice, muscadine vinaigrette, muscadine butter, muscadine pepper jelly and MuscadinePlus, a resveratrol dietary supplement made from the skins and seeds of muscadine grapes. Biff left his job in industrial sales to start his family in
this new venture. He grew up on a farm and decided to plant muscadine grapes. He’s far from the days when he was tasked with experimenting and researching different communion wine recipes for his church in his parents’ basement. He has a degree in agriculture and bioengineering. Biff spoke after the announcement about the state’s flourishing wine industry be-
ing a principal part of travel and tourism. Ten years ago, there were just 21 wineries in North Carolina and by 2005 there were 52. There are currently five new wineries right behind Cauble Creek. Biff said his main goals were to support the tourism, heritage and sustainability basics and he wanted to plant something that would do well on the land. Also in attendance was David Fussell, owner of Duplin Winery in Rose Hill. His is the oldest winery in North Carolina, opening in 1976, and today it is the largest volume producer of wine in the state. It is also the largest muscadine winery in the world. “It’s quite an honor to be here as the oldest and largest to shake the hands of the newest,” Fussell said. He would’ve never imagined 38 years ago when his family started Duplin Winery that he’d be a part of the cel-
gerrie blackwelder/FOR the saLIsBURY POst
From left, Frank Yost, Joyce Yost, Gov. Bev Perdue, anita Yost, Biff Yost and alex Yost gather at the family-owned Cauble Creek Vineyard off N.C. 150 thursday. ebration for the 100th in the www.caublecreekvineyard. state, he said. com. For more information about Cauble Creek Vineyard, Contact reporter Shavonne call 704-633-1137 or log on to Potts at 704-797-4253.
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TOKYO (AP) — Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said rival Sony was taking a different tack from his company and so he remains upbeat about his 3-D portable game machine going on sale next month. Iwata was responding to a question from an analyst about the possible threat from Sony Corp.’s successor to the PlayStation Portable, codenamed NGP, or “next generation portable,” announced Thursday. “We are more focused on drawing newcomers to gaming and appealing to a wide range of people,” Iwata said at a Tokyo hotel. “What we do won’t change because of what another company is doing.” Kyoto-based Nintendo Co.’s 3DS — which goes on sale Feb. 26 in Japan for about $300, and in the U.S. on March 27 for $250 — offers glasses-free 3D gaming. Sony is promising graphics quality on par with its home console PlayStation 3 with its NGP. But NGP does not offer 3D — making that a critical feature that could determine the winner between the two.
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phone call from the Post. Miller said he had no comment. Kyle would not say if Brown resigned or was fired. Brown’s mother, however, said Courtney Brown quit last week because working conditions at the Salisbury Fire Department became unbearable. Teresa Brown said her daughter, who lives with her, is considering suing the city for character defamation in connection with the investigation into the fire department. She said her daughter was accused of inappropriate behavior in letters that circulated within the fire department. Teresa Brown said she would give her daughter a message to call the Post, but the Post did not hear from her Thursday night. The mother said Courtney Brown, 20, felt she had been sexually harassed since she started her job with the Salisbury Fire Department two years ago. Courtney Brown was propositioned by male firefighters, her mother said. Quitting work and dealing with character assassination has been difficult, Teresa Brown said. “Right now, we are handling this one day at a time,” she said. “That was her career, and she’s never been through anything like this.” When entered into Google.com, Courtney Brown’s home address is listed as the address for the Salisbury Escort Service and Mooresville Escort Service. Teresa Brown said she has never heard of either business and said the residence has been in her family for years. The link to an escort service is an error with the search engine, she said. Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.
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8A • FRIDAY, JANUARY 28, 2011
N AT I O N
Former Time journalist to be Obama press secretary
quick to speak of Obama’s respect and confidence in those who ultimately didn’t get the job. For Obama, what seemed to push Carney to the top was his dual history of being a reporter and a spokesman; the way he handled his work for Biden; and his experience. He is roughly a decade older than some other candidates. Named to the job but not quite in the role yet, Carney offered reporters a response that won’t hold for long: No comment. That’s been his style over the last two years — keeping his name out of the news in deference to his boss, Biden
— but that will change as he and Gibbs work out their transition. Gibbs said Carney would be great at one of the toughest jobs in politics, saying he had smarts, a tireless work ethic and, most importantly, the confidence of Obama and Biden. “The hardest thing is going to be getting to know the president — his nuances and subtleties,” said President George W. Bush’s first press secretary, Ari Fleischer. “In other words, when you sit in on all these important meetings, what is it that the president wants you to say — and, more
Latest Haley SC Cabinet pick brings diversity reaction COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Gov. Nikki Haley met Thursday with members of the Legislative Black Caucus who complained that her staff and Cabinet lack racial diversity, delaying her announcement of her latest state appointment. South Carolina’s first woman governor and first Indian-American in the post has made 13 Cabinet nominations, one of them a black woman. None of her 16 executive staff members are black in a state with a 28 percent black population. Huddling with members of the Legislative Black Caucus delayed Haley’s announcement of a nominee to run the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism by about 20 minutes and Haley addressed their concerns when talking to reporters. “You know, I think that they want to see more diversity in our government,” Haley said. “They want to see more diversity in leadership. It’s an issue that I share and certainly we had a great dialogue on it on what we can do going forward” including by adding more racial diversity to second-tier jobs in Cabinet agencies. During her first two weeks in office, Haley has enjoyed more successes than miscues. She’s had a couple of key agenda items move quickly through the Legislature. But she’s faced a bit of criticism over salaries she has paid her executive staff. Haley on Thursday appointed Duane Parrish, 51, to run the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department. Parrish is white. He is president of Premier Hospitality Group, has more than 25 years of tourism experience and chairs the state’s Hospitality Management Board. Haley said Parrish’s first big task will be to promote the Heritage golf tournament on Hilton Head Island and find a
private sponsor to head off calls for a taxpayer bailout of the event. “The job of a PRT director is to find a sponsor for that event,” Haley said, setting a June deadline for him to get that done. Haley also wants the agency streamlined by sending its parks operations to the state Department of Natural Resources to run. She’s already called for the state’s Parole and Probation agency to be absorbed into the Department of Corrections. Haley appointed Lynne Rogers, her only black Cabinet nominee, to run the state Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services. State Law Enforcement Division Chief Reggie Lloyd, who is black, was appointed by former Gov. Mark Sanford. His term expires in 2012. Rep. Leon Howard, a Columbia Democrat and former Black Caucus chairman, noted Sanford “had more minorities than any other governor that I know of in the history of this state.” Sanford’s Cabinet had Lloyd and three other black minorities who ran the state’s labor, probation and alcohol abuse agencies Incoming Legislative Black Caucus chairman and state Rep. Harold Mitchell said members have met twice with Haley to talk about racial diversity. “The first time we met, she told us that she was looking and couldn’t find anyone,” said Mitchell, a Spartanburg Democrat. Howard said changes in staff positions are worrisome, too, and he noted the inaugural day termination of a black receptionist, Kim Dean-Brown, who lost her job as Haley trimmed paid staff. The receptionist’s duties put her at the public entrance to the governor’s office, where she greeted visitors and an-
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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee lawmaker has filed a bill that would require a prescription to buy cold and allergy products that contain pseudoephedrine and are used to make methamphetamine. Republican Rep. David Hawk of Greenville is sponsoring the measure. After busting a record 2,082 meth labs in 2010, law enforcement groups are pushing to follow Oregon and Mississippi in making the medications available only by prescription. The Chattanooga Times Free Press first reported that the bill was filed Wednesday. The Tennessee Pharmacists Association opposes requiring a prescription to buy the products such as Sudafed. A Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman attributes the increase in making meth to the simpler “shake-andbake” method that involves mixing ingredients in a soft drink bottle.
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to the top of Obama’s press operation reflects how well he is regarded by the president. Obama chose Carney over several candidates whom he gave serious consideration, including ones who know the president better and also work inside the West Wing. They include Gibbs’ two deputies, Bill Burton and Josh Earnest, and Jen Psaki, the deputy communications director. The White House also gave a hard look at longtime Democratic strategist Karen Finney and at Doug Hattaway, a Democratic communications consultant. White House aides were
the Soviet Union. Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in northern Virginia, Carney is married to ABC News correspondent Claire Shipman Finney was among those quick with a gracious congratulation. “He has big shoes to fill with Robert’s departure, but given the many accomplishments in his career and the respect he’s earned in politics and media, Jay is more than up to the task,” she said. Among the other White House moves announced Thursday: Alyssa Mastromonaco, Obama’s director of scheduling and advance work, was promoted to White House deputy chief of staff for operations; White House health reform director NancyAnn DeParle becomes deputy chief of staff for policy; and Obama aide Rob Nabors will be the new White House legislative director. The current legislative chief, Phil Schiliro, will stay for a while to help Daley manage all the transitions. The makeup of the White House senior staff has been changing for weeks as Obama throttles into a new phase of his presidency. The next move will come when one Obama’s senior advisers, David Axelrod, leaves the White House on Friday. David Plouffe, Obama’s campaign manager in 2008, is now on the West Wing staff and led the press secretary review along with Daley and communications directors Dan Pfeiffer. The separate press and communications shops in the White House are now being merged, under Pfeiffer’s leadership.
Vice President Joe Biden jokes with his Communications Director Jay Carney and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs in his outer ofﬁce in the West Wing of the White House on Tuesday.
importantly, what does he want you not to say.” Obama’s new chief of staff, Bill Daley, announced Carney’s appointment and a package of other personnel changes in an e-mail to staff on Thursday, saying they would provide more clarity and coordination. As a former journalist, Carney may be more sympathetic to the needs of the White House press corps than Gibbs has been, although Carney is known for occasionally blowing up at reporters when he thinks they’re getting the story wrong. He also must build relations quickly with the reporters who cover the White House. Being a former journalist is no guarantee that the relationship will be any tighter than it was with Gibbs. “As anyone who has made that transition knows, there is a reason you’re separated by the podium,” said Tony Fratto, another spokesman from the Bush White House. “The journalists are on one side of the podium and you’re on the other side of the podium, and it’s always clear to every journalist who the press secretary is speaking for. It’s not about friendships and not about personal relationships so much as the need for the press secretary to faithfully represent the views of the president.” Carney worked for Time magazine for 20 years, most recently serving as Washington bureau chief from 20052008. He covered the White Houses of Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and was on Air Force One on the day of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He speaks Russian and was based in Moscow for Time during the collapse of
WASHINGTON (AP) — Jay Carney, who built a career covering politics and presidents before joining the White House himself, on Thursday became President Barack Obama’s choice as his next press secretary and chief defender. A broad, weeks-long shakeup of the administration settled into place as Obama sought to rejuvenate and reshape his staff for the rest of his term. The naming of a new press secretary means Americans will be seeing a new face all over TV coverage and in newspapers on behalf of Obama: Carney, 45, who looks the part but has never done a stint behind any briefing room podium. He spent two decades as a journalist for Time magazine, including as a White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief, before changing career paths to become Vice President Joe Biden’s communications director in 2008. Sometime in the next few weeks, Carney will replace Robert Gibbs, who served as Obama’s spokesman, friend and trusted counselor in the White House. Gibbs is quitting for a lighter schedule and a more lucrative career in the private sector after a grueling, years-long run at Obama’s side, but he will remain an adviser and will serve on the president’s re-election campaign. Carney has only gotten to know Obama over the last two years and is not expected to have the influence that Gibbs did. But White House aides assured that Carney would have all the access he needed to speak with credibility on Obama’s behalf, and his fast rise
(40 years combined experience) See Dr. Godwin’s Guest Column on Dr. Peter Gott’s website askdrgottmd.com
FRIDAY, JANUARY 28, 2011 • 9A
N AT I O N
Report: Arizona fugitive planned suicide by bear The group of fugitives ended up leaving the vehicle he was driving behind. “Everyone drives too fast now,” Matthews quoted Province as saying. “When he went to prison the speed limit was 55.” Province recounted to Matthews that he told his traveling companions he was upset after the New Mexico killings and that “he wasn’t in for it.” The two suggested Yellowstone, and they dropped him off there.
The escape that Province said was planned over a couple of weeks spurred a nationwide manhunt for the fugitives. Renwick had split from the group right away and was captured days later after a shootout with police in Colorado. Authorities caught up with McCluskey and Welch in eastern Arizona, where a Forest Service employee spotted the beat-up Nissan they were driving at a campground.
day by the Las Vegas ReviewJournal. The trio face capital murder and carjacking charges in New Mexico, where they’re accused of killing an Oklahoma couple and burning their bodies inside a camping trailer. Province has pleaded guilty to Arizona charges of escape, kidnapping, aggravated assault and armed robbery and is scheduled to be sentenced Friday. He then will be sent to New Mexico to face charges there. Province, McCluskey and a third inmate, Daniel Renwick, escaped from a minimum-security prison near Kingman on July 30. Authorities say Welch helped them flee by throwing cutting tools over the perimeter fence. Province told Matthews about his plan to commit suicide after he was returned to Arizona following his Aug. 9 capture in the sleepy town of Meeteetse, Wyo. He was serving two life sentences for murder and robbery and told Matthews he
Air Force official convicted of mistreating women MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) — A top Ohio-based Air Force official characterized by a prosecutor as a charismatic, articulate “Superman” who sent racy text messages and photos to lower-ranking female subordinates was convicted Thursday of two of five counts by jurors who found that his sexual advances amounted to mistreatment. A six-man panel of officers at southwestern Illinois’ Scott Air Force Base deliberated more than six hours before returning the verdicts, acquitting Chief Master Sgt. William Gurney during a court-martial trial of three counts that alleged he fondled one of the women and twice abused his authority. Gurney already had pleaded guilty Monday to 13 counts alleging sexual misconduct and adultery. Gurney, a 27-year Air Force veteran, faces up to 161⁄2 years in jail and a possible dishonorable discharge. He also could be forced to give up all military pay and benefits, and see his rank reduced to the lowest level. A sentencing hearing is set for Friday. Gurney was the top enlisted man at the Air Force Materiel Command at WrightPatterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, when the allegations of sexual improprieties surfaced in 2009. Air Force Maj. Patricia Gruen, Gurney’s chief prosecutor, declined The Associated Press’ request for an interview after the verdicts. Attorneys for Gurney, who showed no emotion other than a persistent frown when the verdicts were read, left the courtroom without commenting. Both sides were told at the trial’s start not to discuss the case with anyone not directly involved with the proceedings. Two Air Force women who were central to four of the five charges, including all three counts on which Gurney was acquitted, sat in the back row with their trembling hands folded on their laps before the jury’s decision was announced. During closing arguments earlier Thursday, Gruen portrayed Gurney as predatory with Air Force women whom he found alluring, peppering them with unwanted sexual texts after the women turned to him for mentorship or, at least once, help with getting a transfer from a Texas base
one would want to escape because all you do is look over you(r) shoulder the entire time,” Matthews wrote. Province told the detective he had put a gun under a pillow at an Albuquerque motel, then turned on the TV and saw a story about the escape, so he panicked and left without the weapon. Province also discovered that he forgot how to drive during their time in New Mexico, telling Matthews that he almost hit other motorists.
convicted killer tracy province, center, is seen being escorted from a courthouse in Kingman, ariz. province, who had escaped from an arizona prison, told a sheriff’s detective his plan was to overdose on heroin at Yellowstone National park and let bears eat him.
to one closer to her Ohio parents. “He used this organization like his own personal Match.com,” Gruen said. To his alleged victims, “he was Superman. They were flattered. They could not believe he was giving them any attention, much less direct attention. (But) this Superman charged for his services, and he charged what none of the witnesses wanted to pay.” Gurney’s chief attorney, Maj. Gwendolyn Beitz, countered that the women forming the basis of the five counts played along with Gurney in racy text exchanges she admitted were an unseemly “train wreck Chief Gurney created.” Beitz insisted the women blamed Gurney out of fear they would get ensnared in “an investigation they wanted nothing to do with.” Jurors apparently struggled with whether one of the women who accused Gurney of unwelcomed fondling in August 2009 had completely spurned the advances, asking the judge late in deliberations whether a military member’s rank should be considered in deciding whether consent for the advances was freely given. Jurors also asked a question relating to the prospect of one person’s influence over another, ultimately opting to clear Gurney of that count alleging inappropriate sexual contact. Gurney, in court Monday, blamed extramarital affairs he had with married female subordinates and his inappropriate sexual advances toward others on getting “caught up in a cycle of sin.” He said his indiscretions dating to mid-2007 included sex with four married, lowerranking women in the Air Force, and he acknowledged exchanging sexually explicit pictures with some of the women and kissing or fondling others. Among the charges Gurney pleaded guilty to were seven counts of dereliction of duty — one for each enlisted woman he was accused of making inappropriate advances toward — and four counts of adultery. He also admitted to using his militaryissued cell phone and computer to exchange explicit emails and texts, and to having had sex with his wife in front of a married female enlistee whose husband was unaware.
fantasized about fleeing but became nervous after scaling a fence topped with barbed wire and cutting through another fence. The trio’s escape went unnoticed for hours. “He didn’t know why any-
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A convicted killer who escaped from an Arizona prison said after his capture that he had planned to overdose on heroin at Yellowstone National Park and let bears eat him to end the fear and panic he was experiencing while on the lam. Tracy Province told Mohave County sheriff’s Detective Larry Matthews that he had wanted to go up on a mountain, shoot up a gram of heroin and “be bear food.” As he was preparing the drug, a voice told him not to go through with the plan, and he changed course in favor of trying to hitchhike to Indiana to see family. “He called it divine intervention,” Matthews wrote in an August report. Al Nash, a spokesman at Yellowstone National Park, said it’s certainly possible that Province’s plan would have worked, but it struck him as improbable. “We have a fair number of bears in the ecosystem,” Nash said. “They eat about anything. A bear would rather get an easy meal than a difficult meal, but human bear encounters are very infrequent.” Authorities say Province asked fellow convict John McCluskey and their alleged accomplice, Casslyn Mae Welch, to take him to Yellowstone, so they drove him to the Wyoming park from New Mexico. Province doesn’t name anyone else in the interview with Matthews, but it’s clear whom he’s with. Their travels took them to the Phoenix area to get clothing and to an eastern Arizona Walmart to buy sleeping bags, and they got turned around in Oklahoma and Texas, Province said in the interview first reported Thurs-
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So many seeds, so little space
FRIDAY January 28, 2011
Hormone therapy for plants? It can make them bigger, more showy BY DARRELL BLACKWELDER For the Salisbury Post
Darrell BlackweDer/For the sAlisburY post
seed catalogs are showing up in the mail now, making gardeners’ mouths water. plan your garden before you buy.
Catalogs put temptation in gardeners’ hands ith the weather we’ve had lately, perusing new seed and plant catalogs provides a welcome escape for those longing for warmer days of spring. This escape can be more relevant if we take a few minutes while perusing and make a garden plan. Sketching out ideas or diagrams of a vegetable garden plot or planting can save much heartache DARRELL later when the rush BLACKWELDER to plant arrives. Gaining input from the entire family, especially the little ones, can make vegetable gardening a fun family event. Including the kids in the planning process often sparks a lifelong interest. Gardeners need to be realistic about the variety and amount of vegetables to be planted in the garden. Prolific vegetable crops such as squash, tomatoes, peppers or green beans are excellent choices for small garden spaces or large containers. However, vegetable crops such as sweet corn, Irish potatoes or cantaloupes demand large areas for a feasible planting. Over-planting vegetable crops is a common problem for novice gardeners. For example, summer
will feature varieties that are often exaggerated with dubious results. Some seed companies have crop data from test gardens in climates unlike ours that will not produce the same quality or quantity. The majority of vegetable varieties selected and planted should be reliable, proven, family favorites. Seed catalogs often have a limited supply, so it is advisable to place seed orders now. Don’t forget to include flower seed along with the vegetable seed. Cut flowers are a welcome addition to the home during the growing season, providing beautiful borders around unattractive vegetables. Some species such as marigolds claim to ward off several insect species. Stick to a viable garden plan and make notes or develop a garden diary; the older we get, the harder it is to remember the “what, how, when and where.” It’s important to keep reference notes to have a successful garden the next season.
with so many choices and bright pictures, buyers may order too much. squash tends to be the most overplanted vegetable. A planting of four to five vines provides an ample supply for a family of four. It’s fun to try new vegetable varieties each season. All-American Selections are usually excellent
choices for those who enjoy experimentation. Be sure to carefully label new varieties, making sure to record data for later reference. Be cautious and don’t depend on fantastic results often claimed by colorful seed catalogs. Many
Darrell Blackwelder is the County Extension Director with horticulture responsibilities with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Learn more about Cooperative Extension events and activities on Facebook or website at www.rowanextension.com
Building a community garden can feed body and soul BY JOE LAMP’L Scripps Howard News Service
Whether you want to save money on food, relax and get some exercise or simply enjoy the flavor and freshness of homegrown produce, a community garden may be just the ticket. But what if you don’t have one in your area? Then start one. Yes, there’s work involved in creating one, but they’re a great way to bring neighbors together, reduce crime, build bridges between different cultures and beautify the neighborhood. If you want to start such a garden, there are a number of items to consider. First, share the idea with neighbors. It takes about 10 interested families to participate. Hold a meeting and solicit ideas. Form a garden club to organize, make decisions and divide up the work efficiently. The club can help establish rules, accept and review applications and assign plots,
collect dues, pay the bills and resolve problems. Although signing up for a garden plot sounds like a great idea to most people, not everyone will stick with it, especially once the bugs and heat of summer kick into full force. Be prepared to have rules spelling out the nature of a plot owner’s participation, as well as providing consequences, such as plot forfeiture, if they don’t stick with it. There are usually plenty of gardeners anxiously waiting to fill that spot. Next, find some land located in a community that won’t mind a neighborhood garden. Select three or four potential sites. If one isn’t available, you’ll have a couple of other options. In urban areas, vacant lots are often used, but I’ve even seen raised bed plots built on top of parking lots. Ideally, the land should be flat, with exposure to full sunlight six to eight hours each day. Convenience is key to an active garden. Ideally, the site
should be close to the interested neighbors. N e x t , identify the landowner to seek permission to use the property. L o o k through county assessor’s plat-map books or land-ownerscripps howArd news service ship lists. You should You need about 10 people to get a community garden going. also contact the water department for a “site in- ue of a garden to the area; assure the vestigation” to establish if the land owner that the gardeners will imhas water service. If not, adding wa- prove the space and that the commuter to the site may be cost-prohibiSee FEED, 11A tive. Be prepared to highlight the val-
Just as hormones are important for growth and development of humans, they are also important for plant growth and development. Plants contain these and other biochemical compounds that are instrumental in many stages of growth and development of plants. Produced in very small amounts, plant hormones are synthesized in very minute concentrations. Plants produce a vast array of hormones with varying functions — too many to list here. Plant scientists have discovered they can synthesize these chemicals to alter plant growth. For example, auxins are growth hormones produced by plants to promote cell growth and stem elongation, but they may also inhibit growth. Plant scientists have taken this mode of action and developed synthetic herbicides used for controlling lawn weeds. Some greenhouse producers implement synthetic growth regulators to keep bedding plants dwarf and compact in early spring. Growth regulators or hormones decrease length on nodes, making plants compact, reducing leggy growth and producing an attractive, marketable plant. Landscape maintenance companies often use growth regulators on clipped hedges to help maintain a fresh clipped appearance during the summer growing season while reducing rapid growth. There’s even a growth regulator used that eliminates growth of grasses, reducing maintenance with string trimmers. Many that maintain high visibility areas incorporate this practice into their maintenance programs. Flowering plants and shrubs such as camellias, roses and azaleas often respond to flowering hormones. Some growth regulators that increase flower size and intensity are called gibberellins. Camellia enthusiasts who treat buds with gibberellic acid before flowering often doubling the normal size of the blooms. Ethylene is the only known gaseous hormone produced by plants. Usually, it inhibits vegetative growth, reducing leaf area in drought conditions and accelerates fruit ripening and dropping. Ethylene is released by ripe fruit and is used regularly by commercial food handlers to speed the ripening process of tomatoes, apples and bananas. Salicylate, a hormone found in willows and used commercially to produce common aspirin, is now recognized as a growth regulator. This old compound is now thought to promote disease resistance and increase flower longevity in some plants. Sometimes nature throws us a curve and hormones become unbalanced, causing strange things to happen, such as premature bloom. Unusual weather patterns, drought, cold weather, physical damage all alter plant hormones, especially flowering hormones. Unseasonable weather is usually the culprit to our fall blossom preview. Premature blooming may have an effect on the normal bloom period again in the spring. However, it will not be detrimental to growth and development.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 28, 2011 • 11A
HOME & GARDEN
Grandma undermines sex education Can I heat my home with only 1 furnace? does find out, his issue will not be the fact that his son has a girlfriend, but that he wasn’t told. Any advice? — Tired of Secrets Dear Tired: All of the women in your boyfriend’s life have weighed in about his integrity issue. And now you should all back off. I agree with you that his secrecy about your relationship could potentially backfire into an issue of trust with his father. He needs to “man up” and be honest about his life. Unfortunately, he sounds afraid of his father, but the sooner he tells his dad that his friendship with you blossomed into a romance, the sooner you can all move on. Dear Amy: About two years ago I started getting e-mails from professional colleagues that were signed off with the word “Best.” Am I the only one who finds this grating and pompous? Or am I just being old-fashioned when I insist that the sender sign off with a phrase that actually means something? — Codger Dear Codger: I agree that this is annoying. I’ll run suggestions from readers on the best way to sign off on a professional email. Anyone vote for “Bestly”? Send questions via e-mail to email@example.com or by mail to Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611. Amy Dickinson’s memoir, “The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter and the Town that Raised Them” (Hyperion), is available in bookstores. TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES
Party down with these festive tips on themes Entertaining expert Dana Christine shares her great ideas for throwing theme parties to celebrate special occasions. Select a theme such as Western, tropical or sports, to name a few possibilities. Try to get napkins, place cards, balloons and other decorations that correlate with the theme. Create a guest list, send invitations and decide what type of food is appropriate for the occasion. Some ideas: Tropical Luau • Decorate with leis, minipalm trees, coconuts and tropical colors. • Drill holes in fresh coconuts, insert straws and serve guests fresh coconut milk. • Plan to do a Polynesian cookout featuring ham, pineapple and mahi-mahi. • Have a sand pail filled with leis at the door so that when guests arrive, they can put one on.
• Use key chains with little sandals attached as place cards. • Line the buffet with a grass skirt. Retro • Pick your time period — ’30s gangsters, ’40s swing, ’50s rock ‘n’ roll, ’60s hippie or ’70s disco. • For a ’50s theme, set out condiments in classic dinertype squeeze bottles, and chromed napkin dispensers. Or serve old-fashioned cocktails and martinis for a Roaring ’20s theme. • Stick with the diner theme for the menu. Serve cheeseburgers, fries and shakes for the ’50s theme or fondue for the ’70s theme. Movie awards • Cut out cardboard stars with black and gold ribbon and scatter them over the table. • Have children and their friends act like paparazzi, using single-flash cameras.
shady spot with chairs and tables for gardeners to relax out of the sun. And by all means, make sure to have compost bins or piles. Train every gardener in how to sort recyclables, and to know what to trash and what to compost. Schedule workdays to deal with weeds and maintain the whole lot — part of your agreement with the owner and an important factor in any healthy garden. You can learn a lot more on starting and managing a community garden at the American Community Gardening Association’s website, www.communitygarden.org. A community garden offers some challenges, but the sense of partnership and camaraderie, and the terrific homegrown produce, make it worth the effort. Joe Lamp’l, host of “Growing a Greener World” on PBS, is a Master Gardener and author. For more information, visit www.joegardener.com. For more stories, visit scrippsnews.com.
When guests arrive, they’ll feel like real movie stars. • Place televisions throughout the home so guests don’t miss a thing. • Cut out decorative gold statues with cardboard or foam board. • Hand out ballots to your guests and make a game of guessing the winners. Whoever guesses the highest number of wins gets free movie passes.
r nte i W le
Q: Six years ago, we bought a two-story, gas-heated, centrally air-conditioned home built in 1970. The home had two separate furnaces (one in an unfinished basement and the other in the attic) and two separate central-air units for the two floors. From the home inspection, we knew that we would have to replace the central air. Four years ago, we replaced the central air and added heat pumps at the same time. We now heat using both gas and heat pumps. The system is set to heat with heat pumps at moderate temperatures and kick over to gas when temperatures drop below 40. We recently had a heatsystem check performed by a local HVAC company. We knew that our basement furnace was 10 years old and that the attic furnace was older. The technician advised me that our attic unit is 20 years old. The technician was quite the salesman and frightened me a bit about the age of our attic furnace and the hazards of carbon-monoxide leaks. Would it make sense to simply disable the second-floor gas furnace and heat the
second floor exclusively with the heat pump? We would continue to heat the first floor with the combination gas/heatpump system. A: Most of the homes I inspect that have more than one heat pump normally have a heat pump and furnace for supplemental heat on the lower levels and a heat pump with only a blower system for the upper floors. A two-story home can be heated with just one furnace, but a lot will depend on the size and design of your home and the amount of insulation in the attic and walls. A 1970s-era home may or may not have wall insulation, but one furnace should still be able heat the home if the attic is insulated. A simple walkthrough energy audit might determine if the home is insulated properly. A more thorough energy audit, which includes a variety of testing devices, would determine how much insulation the home has and if additional insulation and other repairs would be cost-effective. The energy auditor uses a blower door to test for air leakage in the home as well as devices to test the ductwork for leakage. A thermo-camera is often used to check for heat loss at the ceiling-to-wall and floor-to-wall connections. The energy auditor would then
recommend areas of the home that would require additional insulation and air sealing to prevent energy loss. A properly insulated and air-sealed home will use a lot less energy than a poorly insulated home of the same size and design. The savings expected from an energy upgrade could be as much as 30 percent. Replacing the aging air conditioners with heat pumps was a good decision, and the heat pump for the second floor should be adequate without the heat from gas backup furnace. If you suspect the furnace has a cracked heat exchanger, do not simply turn the gas off to the furnace. Have the gas pipe to the furnace removed so that someone unfamiliar with the hazardous defect cannot operate the furnace. Carbon-monoxide poisoning is a real danger because it is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that can lead to death. Dwight Barnett is a certified master inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors. Write to him with home-improvement questions at C. Dwight Barnett, Evansville Courier & Press, P.O. Box 286, Evansville, IN 47702, or e-mail him at d.Barnett@insightbb.com. Please include a SASE with your questions.
Pending contracts for homes increased in December WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people who signed contracts to buy homes rose in December, marking the fifth increase in the past six months. The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that its index of sales agreements for previously occupied homes rose 2 percent last month. The index had posted a 3.1 percent increase in November. Economists have cautioned that a big reason for the jump is that people are buying foreclosed homes. Still, the increase is likely to give the weak housing mar-
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ket a boost in the first few months of the year. That’s because there’s usually a one- to two-month lag between a sales contract and a completed deal. The number of Americans who bought previously owned homes last year fell to the lowest level in 13 years, and economists say it will be years before the housing market fully recovers. High unemployment and a record number of foreclosures are deterring potential buyers who fear home prices haven’t reached the bottom. Job growth is expected to pick up this year, but not enough to raise home sales to healthier levels. Contract signings in December were up in every region of the country except the West. The gains were led by an 11.5 percent increase in the
South. Signings were up 8 percent in the Midwest and 1.8 percent in the Northeast. However, they fell 13.2 percent in the West. With the recent increases, contract signings are 24.1 percent above their low point in June. In that month, signings fell to the lowest level since the Realtors began tracking signed contracts in 2001. Even with the gain in December, signings are 4.2 percent below where they were in December 2009. At the end of 2009, the housing market got a boost as buyers rushed to close deals to take advantage of a federal home-buying tax credit that initially was set to expire in November. The tax credit was later extended to April 30. After it expired, housing activity slumped.
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Home and Garden Television
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but if you don’t want your daughter to have sex, then you should also state this — emphatically. You should also speak to her boyfriend to make sure he understands, unequivocally, where you stand. Your mother overstepped her boundary. Her suggestion that your daughter keep this a secret from you is unconscionable. If your daughter follows her grandmother’s advice, you have a better-than-fair chance of supporting four generations of family in your household. You should make sure that both your parents understand that they must defer to you when it comes to all parenting questions — otherwise, you won’t be able to live together. Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I have been together for two years now. He’s very sweet and we agree on everything — except his father. My boyfriend simply refuses to introduce me as his girlfriend to his father. His father and I have met before, but under the guise of “friends.” According to my boyfriend, his father would “freak out” if he knew his son was in a relationship. When we started dating we were both under 18, so I understood that my boyfriend had to obey his father’s rules. But now we are both adults in college, and after two years of secret dates I’m ready for my boyfriend to do the right thing, not only for the sake of our relationship, but also for his father. I’ve already been introduced to my boyfriend’s mother and his grandmother as his girlfriend. We all — mother, grandmother and girlfriend — believe that when the father
Dear Amy: A few days ago my 14-year-old daughter came to me and said she has been considering having sex with her boyfriend. We sat down and talked for a couple of hours about birth control and safe sex practices, and decided together that she should wait six months to see if she still has the same feelings toward this boy. At that time we would discuss the topic again. (I even noted it in my ASK calendar so I AMY don’t forget.) W h a t shocked me the most was when she told me she went to her grandmother (my mom) first, and my mother’s response was, “Do what you want to do, as long as you are having fun.” My mother even told her not to talk to me about this, because I would only get upset. My mouth dropped to the ground. When I try talking to my mother about this, she refuses to talk about it and says she has done nothing wrong. Both of my parents have been living with my two daughters and me for the last six months. I have been supporting my folks. I want to tell them to pack their stuff and get out! What is the best way to respond to this? — Miffed Mom Dear Miffed: I appreciate your calm and open response to your daughter, but you don’t mention ever telling her, explicitly, not to have sex. I agree that the best place to learn about sex and birth control is from one’s parents,
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12A • FRIDAY, JANUARY 28, 2011
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Salisbury Post “The truth shall make you free” GREGORY M. ANDERSON Publisher 704-797-4201 firstname.lastname@example.org
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RANKINGS FOR CHARLOTTE REGION
‘Local’ not Promises, promises always ‘small’ Obama sounds conservative, but he’s a spender t’s always interesting to see where Rowan County names pop up when The Charlotte Business Journal publishes its annual lists of things like physician groups and motels in the region, ranking them by size. Salisbury may be on the fringe of the Charlotte metro area, but several local businesses and institutions are in the thick of the region’s economy. Consider the Hefner V.A. Medical Center, with 484 beds. Last year the Salisbury center was the third-largest hospital in the region behind Carolinas Medical Center with 874 beds and Presbyterian with 531, according to the Business Journal. CMC-NorthEast and Rowan Regional rank fourth and eighth, with 457 and 268 beds, respectively. A list of largest area physician groups shows how Carolinas Health Care and Novant are dominating the market. Carolinas Physicians Services Group tops the most recent list with 1,263 staff physicians, followed by Presbyterian Novant Medical Group with 612. From there the size of area practices drops off dramatically. Ranking third was CaroMont Medical Group in Gastonia with 150 doctors. The medical business is so concentrated in the hands of The Big Two that a ranking of the 24 largest practices includes a couple with only 10 doctors. No independent Rowan or Cabarrus practices made the list. The Salisbury Holiday Inn earned a spot on the publication’s ranking of largest hotels. Charlotte hotels dominate, and The Westin Charlotte sits at the top with 700 rooms and 1,220-2,000 banquet/meeting room capacity. The Holiday Inn on Jake Alexander Boulevard tied for 24th-largest hotel with three Charlotte hotels — all having 181 rooms — and was way ahead of its peers with a banquet/meeting room capacity of 400-670. That reflects the Holiday Inn’s power to generate tourism dollars. The largest Charlotte-area banks and savings and loans include one institution based in Rowan County — F&M Financial Corp. of Granite Quarry with $518,151,000 in deposits. F&M came in 14th in the region. Miller Davis of Salisbury shows up on a couple of lists. It came in second among the largest area web design companies, reporting 282 websites developed in 2009, and seventh among the top advertising and marketing agencies in the region with $25.4 million in local capitalized billings in 2009. We could go on — Delhaize America/ Food Lion is the largest foreign-owned company in the area and North Carolina’s fourth-largest nongovernmental employer. The Business Journal compiles more than 100 rankings, many with local businesses on them. Winning a mention on a list doesn’t add to a company’s bottom line, but it’s a good way to put local firms in perspective.
(Or uncommon wisdom, as the case may be)
Where secrecy reigns, carelessness and ignorance delight to hide while skill loves the light. — Daniel C. Gelman
n his State of the Union address, President Obama at times sounded like he was channeling Ronald Reagan: cutting the deficit, hailing private enterprise and individual initiative, talking about the future. But for all his eloquence, the president wrapped his liberal ideology in conservative sheep’s clothing. On the surCAL face, the president said THOMAS many things with which conservatives might agree, but words can mean something, or they can mask true intentions. There was no indication the president plans to retreat on his far-left agenda of the last two years. Why should he? That would require denying who he is. Absent the glamorous rhetoric, let’s examine the major subjects on which the president touched. EDUCATION: Anyone who has seen the film “Waiting for Superman” knows the public education system in this country is a mess and that if all the money now being spent on education isn’t improving the product, especially for the poor, whom Democrats are supposed to be championing, more money will not help. Competition through school choice would improve education. The speech was another sop to teachers’ unions that care more about their members than students’ futures. INNOVATION: Government doesn’t innovate. It regulates. It taxes. According to The Cato Institute (www.cato.org/), the average combined federal and state corporate tax rate in the U.S. is 40 percent, first
among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. Japan comes in second with a combined rate of 35.7 percent. In his speech, the president said he supports reducing the corporate tax rate for the first time in 25 years, but then came the caveat: “without adding to our deficit.” Cutting taxes without reducing spending will add to the deficit and so the president can eschew responsibility when Democrats refuse to vote for business tax reductions.
Deficit reduction will come when the government cuts (not caps) spending. DEFICIT REDUCTION: Where to begin? A president and until recently an all-Democratic Congress has put our financial house in jeopardy by running up a $14 trillion debt. In March 2006, when he was a senator, Obama called the $8.27 trillion debt ceiling “a sign of leadership failure.” If the debt ceiling during the George W. Bush presidency was a sign of failed leadership, who’s failing in his leadership when the debt has climbed to $14 trillion? Deficit reduction will come when the government cuts (not caps) spending. REFORMING GOVERNMENT: The best way to “reform” government is to reduce unneeded and unnecessary programs and agencies. Congress should establish a commission similar to the successful Base Realignment and Closing Commission (BRAC), which shuttered outmoded military bases. Every government agency and program should be required to justify its existence consis-
LETTERS Youth group deserves kudos for tobacco work Regarding North Carolina getting an “F” on its anti-tobacco efforts: Since 2003 the Rowan County Health Department has received funds from the N.C. Health & Wellness Trust Fund to educate youth on the dangers of tobacco use. Currently, Rowan-Salisbury Schools have 11 school-based TRU Clubs (Tobacco Reality Unfiltered) that meet monthly and plan school-based tobacco-free activities like tobacco prevention educational booths at sporting events, pledge walls, cigarette butt clean up, anti-tobacco poster contests, participating in national tobacco prevention campaigns like Great American Smoke Out, Kick Butts Day, TRU Week, Thru With Chew Week, announcements, media campaigns and much more. We also have a communitybased youth council, Youth In Action Against Tobacco Council (YIAATC), that is a countywide club open to any Rowan County middle/high school youth. Our goal is to educate and promote youth to be tobacco free in our schools and communities. We participate in La Fiesta de Rowan and Blues & Jazz festivals and go into the schools, churches and other organizations and teach tobacco prevention.
tent with its cost and benefit to the greatest number of Americans. If they can’t, they should be eliminated. INFRASTRUCTURE: From better roads to high-speed inter- and intra-city trains, the U.S. lags behind many European and Asian countries in providing low-cost, efficient and fast transportation for its citizens. It is one of the few areas where Americans would be willing to pay more in fares or even taxes to improve the way we move around. Included in infrastructure ought to be the mining of America’s considerable natural gas supply and a “to the moon” emphasis on nuclear power and drilling for more oil in America’s backyard to ease our dependence on foreign oil. It will take years to break our foreign oil addiction and so new sources of petroleum on American territory must be explored, something this president won’t do. Curiously, Obama invoked a space analogy, mentioning the Russian “Sputnik” satellite launched in 1957 and the American Apollo program that sent astronauts to the moon in 1969. And yet this president has effectively mothballed our space program at a time when China is moving rapidly forward with theirs. The president’s speech was all about new spending (“investment” he called it), no matter what he said about reducing the deficit. Spending on big government is what liberals do. No one should be fooled by the rhetoric, or the theatrics of congressional Republicans and Democrats sitting together. The Republican challenge is to stop the president’s liberal agenda while making the case for a better one. • • • Cal Thomas writes for Tribune Media Services, 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, N.Y. 14207.
Letters policy The Salisbury Post welcomes letters to the editor. Each letter should be limited to 300 words and include the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity and length. Limit one letter each 14 days. Write Letters to the Editor, Salisbury Post, P.O. Box 4639, Salisbury, NC 28145-4639. Or fax your letter to 639-0003. E-mail: email@example.com.
YIAATC meets monthly and plans for tobacco prevention activities in Rowan County. Each year, we host a tobacco-free game show involving all six middle school TRU clubs. The TRU campaign and TRU teens are definitely making a difference in Rowan County. The best thing about TRU is its peer-to-peer led. The teens are trained extensively in tobacco prevention topics and then they go out and educate and make presentations to other youth. YIAATC has won several statewide and county awards and received recognition from the N.C. Health & Wellness Trust Fund for our projects and work. We are a passionate group of young people who work hard to reduce teen tobacco use. If you'd like more information or to schedule our youth council to come to your meetings, schools, or organization please contact us at 704-2168849. — Robyn Rivers
Thank you for your recent article about veganism. My family and I are vegan and live in Spencer. Salisbury does have some vegan options: Subway, Olive Garden, Monterey Mexican Restaurant and Zakis; just ask to hold dairy items such as cheese and sour cream. Tastebuds offers soy like Starbucks, but unlike Starbucks its flavored syrups are all vegan. Food Lion used to carry vegan items like dairy free cream cheese, sour cream, and butter, but no longer do, to many people’s dismay. Simply Good has many alternatives. You can find a nice selection of faux meats and deli slices at Harris Teeter. For those that do cook, like me, the Literary Book Post has a good selection of vegan cookbooks in stock and will order anything that they don’t have. Veganism can be made easy in most any city. — Melissa Blount
he months of January and February, for many, are months to pass through on the way to spring. For others, these months are the greatest months of the year because of NFL play-offs and Super Bowl Sunday. Excitement grows week by week, with stories of exciting plays being passed-around, not only with friends and family, but anyone that will listen. Next year, we will have one more to include in this kind of fun, as my husband and I are going to be grandparents. Kristin, our oldest daughter, and her husband, Brian, are expecting their DICY MCCULLOUGH first child, a boy. Those of you who know my husband, Michael, know how much he loves football. Since we only have daughters, it has been a running joke that any football player our family might have would have to come through a grandchild. Michael has coached youth football for 30 years. If he’s not coaching, then he’s watching a game on television, or he’s at a West Rowan Middle or High School game, or he’s talking to someone about football, or he’s thinking of a new play. Do you get the picture of what I’m dealing with here? If you look up football widow in the dictionary, my picture will be there for sure. Michael takes special pride in watching West Rowan play because he has coached quite a few of their players over the years, in the Rowan County Youth Football League. He’s not only a West Rowan fan, but also a Panthers fan. Even though they didn’t have a good year, he is still loyal. Kristin enjoys going to the games with him and has done so for many seasons. They were able to attend the first game the Panthers played at Clemson University. When each of our daughters was about 9 or 10, their dad tried as hard as he could to get them to play football on his team. Kristin went along with that idea for a while and played for one year. Before that, she had the job of water “boy,” or I guess in this case, water “girl.” At the ages of 9 and 10, she was somewhat of a tomboy and thought being one was the greatest thing. She also liked to pick up snakes and frogs. There was more than one time I just about fainted when I saw her coming toward the house with a snake. I have to admit, it was fun for our family when Kristin was on her dad’s football team. For a girl, she could hold her own while on the defensive line. She even had bragging rights, years later, because one of the players she tackled became a Catawba football star. When a child or grandchild comes along, the parents and grandparents often have preconceived ideas of what they want that child to be or do. Many live their dreams and aspirations through their children. We all have things we wished we could have done while growing up, and it’s OK to want the best or better for your child, but sometimes best or better may not be what’s right. It’s the right thing to let each child define who he or she is and then allow those interests to follow. The first child or grandchild is the one who has to teach the parents and grandparents. He or she paves the way for the ones to come. Usually, by the second or third child, the pressure is not so much. Even so, if Grandpa McCullough has anything to do with it, I believe I’ll be going to a lot of football games in the future. I can see the headlines now in 14 or 15 years. ... “West Rowan wins State Football Championship.” It will make a grandpa’s heart proud. Oh, and by the way, Grandpa McCullough has a head start because he already has the helmet and football waiting on the new arrival. • • • Dicy McCullough is the author of a children's book, “Tired of my Bath,” available at the Literary Book Post and on line at www.dicymcculloughsbook.com.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 28, 2011 • 13A
W O R L D / N AT I O N / S TAT E
Suspected drug cartel gunmen kills missionary at border MONTE ALTO, Texas (AP) — A Texas couple who were attacked at an illegal roadblock in one of Mexico’s most violent areas had been doing missionary work in the country for three decades, and they had come to expect such confrontations, the couple’s son said Thursday. Nancy Davis, 59, was shot in the head Wednesday while her husband, Sam, was trying to speed away from suspected drug cartel gunmen who may have wanted to steal their pickup truck, authorities said. Sam Davis frantically raced to the Pharr International Bridge border checkpoint
with his wife bleeding beside him, but she was declared dead at a McAllen hospital. “It would be easier to count the times they weren’t chased,” the couple’s son, Joseph Davis, told the Associated Press outside his family’s home the remote South Texas town of Monte Alto. Sam Davis’ mother, Francille Davis, told the AP that her son and daughter-in-law were in Mexico on Wednesday to pay pastors in some of the village churches the family had established, but that they had recently put off trips to Mexico because of the spiraling violence.
She said the drug war had prevented Sam from reaching the churches earlier in the month. “Sam had gone in DAVIS and there were dead bodies all over the place,” Francille recalled, explaining that Nancy had stopped making some of those trips because of the risks. “But for some reason Nancy went in (on Wednesday) and did not come out” alive, she said.
The Davises were driving along the two-lane road that connects the city of San Fernando with the border city of Reynosa, about 70 miles north, when they came upon the roadblock, an official in Mexico’s Tamaulipas state attorney general’s office who would not be identified because he is not authorized to discuss the case told the AP. The area where couple was attacked is dominated by the Gulf Cartel, which has been waging a fierce turf war in northeastern Tamaulipas with the Zetas cartel for control of lucrative smuggling routes to the U.S. The area has had 40
violent car thefts in the last two months, the official said. Sam Davis told U.S. investigators that he tried to speed away from the gunmen, and that they gave chase in a pickup truck and opened fire, hitting his wife. Pharr police said Thursday that the couple’s 2008 Chevrolet pickup is the kind of heavyduty, high-profile truck prized by cartels, and that it’s likely the reason the Davises were targeted. Damage to the truck’s quarter-paneling suggests the gunmen tried to ram them, Pharr police Chief Ruben Villescas said. Wednesday’s killing echoes
the September attack on American tourist David Hartley and his wife on Falcon Lake, on the U.S.-Mexico border. Tiffany Hartley said she and her husband were Jet-Skiing in Mexican waters when pirates fired on them, striking her husband and forcing her to flee. His body was not recovered. “I just thank God that he was able to get back across the border with her,” Hartley told the AP. Concerns about the investigation into Hartley’s death led Texas Gov. Rick Perry to call for a stronger response from Mexican authorities.
A mainstay in Mocksville Trailers of the East Coast’s success keeps growing MOCKSVILLE (AP) — When Ted and Jessie Junker sold their dairy farm in 1945 and moved to Davie County to buy Farmer’s Hardware and Store in Appliance Mocksville, they had no idea what they were setting in motion. Over the years, their family business has evolved from a local concern to a corporation with customers in almost all 50 states. “We have something for everyone,” said Bill Junker, the Junkers’ son. “We have trailers from $1,500 to $500,000.” The business now known as Trailers of the East Coast has thrived for more than 65 years and three generations by changing with the times and market conditions. Junker grew up working at his father’s store. After he graduated from Wingate University with a business degree, he and his father decided to take their business to the next level, so they bought Foster & Turrentine Feed Store in Mocksville and renamed it Junker and Son Feed Mill in 1967. Business was booming, as Davie County was heavily populated by dairy farms. By 1980, the dairy farms began disappearing and the feed business went into decline. The Junkers realized they needed to reinvent their business. In 1985, they retrofitted the feed mill and began selling small horse and utility trailers. They changed the name of their company to Junker and Son Trailer Sales and sold four basic models. By 1988, they were doing well enough to catch the eye of Featherlite Trailers, a national trailer manufacturer that offered them a dealership franchise to sell more upscale trailers for horses and general hauling. And a third generation of Junkers arrived on the scene, as Will and Clint Junker, Bill’s sons, joined the corporation.
Soon the Junkers needed a larger location to accommodate their burgeoning business. In 1996, they built a state-of-the-art sales and service center in Mocksville, now known as Trailers of the East Coast. The new facility was visible from Interstate 40 and allowed them to carry a greater variety of trailers and more inventory. Seeing the need to expand the product line and offer consumers a greater choice, Bill Junker and his sons decided to part company with Featherlite, which wanted them to sell Featherlite products exclusively. Today, Trailers of the East Coast is a national leader in the trailer sales and service industry. With the ability to customize trailers to specific needs, the company has captured a large share of the luxury market. Some of the horse trailers feature luxurious living quarters and sell for more than $230,000. Trailers of the East Coast also works with about 80 percent of the NASCAR teams, selling and servicing haulers, trailers and motor homes costing as much as a half a million dollars each. Junker said sales are not as good as they were in better times, but the business is still doing well. “These days, people are always looking for deals,” he said. “Because of our size, we are able to purchase product from other dealers who are going out of business, and from banks that have foreclosed on owners.” This puts Trailers of the East Coast in a position to sell the repossessed items for lower prices for those looking for a deal. The company currently employs 43 people. With nine grandchildren, Junker is confident that a forth generation of Junkers will be involved in the business someday.
Democrats get pair of committee chairs RALEIGH (AP) — Democrats managed to land a couple of committee chairmanships in the Republican-controlled North Carolina Legislature. House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger announced standing committee assignments Thursday before the General Assembly adjourned for the weekend. Outgoing Democratic Speaker Joe Hackney of Orange County is a co-chairman of the House Ethics Committee. Democratic Sen. Michael Walters of Robeson County
also agreed to be co-chairman of the Senate State and Local Government Committee. Most of the GOP chairmanships already had been announced. Democrats gave a few committee chairmanships to Republicans when they were in charge for the past two years. Republican Sen. Richard Stevens of Wake County also introduced a bill that would remove a cap on the number of taxpayer-funded charter schools that’s been in place since in 1996.
School says girl’s hair is too wild for class EDENTON (AP) — School officials in Edenton say one 5th grader’s hairdo is too much for her fellow students to handle. The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City reports that 10year-old Jakyra Kearse was taken out of class Wednesday after coming to school sporting a mohawk haircut with dyed red and blue braids. Officials say Kearse was put in a smaller classroom be-
cause her hair was too distracting. Her mother, Ruby, is a former hairdresser who gave her daughter the look. She says her daughter has worn dyed hair before without any problems. Edenton-Chowan Schools Superintendent Allan Smith says the school and the Kearses are working on a way to get Jakyra back into her regular class.
peter Yu shovels snow on his driveway in somerville, Mass., after a foot of fresh snow fell thursday on top of piles left from two other recent storms.
East Coast continues to dig out NEW YORK (AP) — Enough already. People across the Northeast wearily shoveled their sidewalks and dug out their cars — again — after getting clobbered by the latest in a seemingly never-ending string of snowstorms, this one an overachieving mess that packed more punch than anyone expected. “I’ve lived in New York 70 years, and this year is the worst I remember,” said Lenny Eitelberg, 77. “It’s the continuity of it. It just keeps coming. Every week there’s something new to be worried about. It’s almost become comical.” In the Washington area, up to 7 inches of snow renewed memories of last year’s “snowpocalypse” and created chaos when it hit the nation’s capital at the height of the evening rush hour Wednesday, forcing commuters into treacherous drives home. New Yorkers, keeping close watch on the cleanup after a post-Christmas blizzard paralyzed the city for days, had it a little easier. The heaviest snow arrived overnight, when there weren’t many cars and buses to get stuck. The forecast had called for up to a foot of snow, but the storm brought far more than that. New York got 19 inches, Philadelphia 17. Boston got about a foot, as expected. Many schools closed for a second day Thursday. Airports ground to a halt, and nearly a half-million people lost power
Protester violence up in Egyptian capital as talk of Mubarak’s ouster grows CAIRO (AP) — Violence escalated in two cites outside the capital Cairo Thursday where anti-government protesters torched a fire station and looted weapons that they then turned on police. Egypt’s top democracy advocate returned to the country and declared he was ready to lead the campaign to oust longtime President Hosni Mubarak. In the flashpoint city of Suez, east of Cairo, witnesses said rioters — some wearing surgical masks to ward off tear gas — firebombed the main fire station and firefighters jumped out windows to escape the flames. In the northern Sinai area of Sheik Zuweid, several hundred Bedouins and police exchanged live gunfire, killing a 17year-old man. About 300 protesters surrounded a police station from rooftops of nearby buildings and fired two RPGs at it, damaging the walls. Social networking sites were abuzz with talk that today’s rallies could be some of the biggest so far calling for the ouster of Mubarak after 30 years in power. Millions gather at mosques across the city for Friday prayers, providing organizers with a huge number of people already out on the streets to
tap into. By Thursday evening, Facebook, Twitter, cell phone text messages as well as Blackberry Messenger services were interrupted, possibly a move by authorities to hamper protesters.
Senate rejects efforts to limit filibusters, agrees on steps to lessen blockades WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has rejected efforts to revise its rules to restrict filibusters. Senators voted decisively to retain current rules that require 60 votes to overcome filibusters that are blocking votes on legislation or nominations. Republicans, now in the minority, were united in opposing any weakening of the main power they have to block the Democratic agenda. Democrats, foreseeing the possibility of returning to the minority in the near future, were also reluctant to support the change. Instead, the two top Senate leaders reached an agreement where Republicans would voluntarily curtail some filibusters in exchange for a Democratic promise that Republicans could offer more amendments. The Senate did agree to curtail the practice of secret “holds” where a single senator can anonymously block legislation or nominations.
House Republicans weigh plan to privatize Medicare for those 54 and younger WASHINGTON (AP) — Months after they hammered Democrats for cutting Medicare, House Republicans are debating whether to relaunch their quest to privatize the health program for seniors. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is testing support for his idea to replace Medicare with a fixed payment to buy a private medical plan from a menu of coverage options. Party leaders will determine if the socalled voucher plan will be part of the budget Republicans put out in the spring. “No decisions have been made on the details of our House GOP budget.” Michael Steel, a spokesman for Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.
Report points to roots of financial crisis, but politics and timing blunt its impact WASHINGTON (AP) — A government panel’s failure to reach a firm conclusion about what caused the financial crisis shows how complex Wall Street has become and how partisan Washington has grown. The blurriness of its report comes months after a new law already has begun tightening financial rules to prevent another crisis.
All of which raises a question: Do the findings of the 633-page report matter? In its report, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission blames a range of obvious culprits: Banks that made reckless bets. Credit rating agencies that endorsed risky mortgage bonds. Government regulators who overlooked danger signs until they threatened the global financial system. It concludes that the crisis might have been prevented if banks had been more careful and regulators had asked tougher questions.
Investigators look into 7,000 potentially fraudulent claims in wake of Gulf oil spill NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The $20 billion fund responsible for compensating victims of BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill has received more than 7,000 potentially fraudulent claims, many of which have been referred to the Justice Department for criminal investigations, the fund’s administrator told a Senate panel on Thursday. Attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who is overseeing the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, said of more than 481,000 claims filed, 7,575 are considered “to be multiclaimant scams or even efforts at criminal fraud.” The Justice Department has already indicted at least eight claimants. Feinberg testified in Washington on Thursday before a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Lawmakers criticized Feinberg’s operation of the fund and the slow pace of processing claims, questioning his commitment to transparency.
Publicist: Charlie Sheen in hospital with severe abdominal pains LOS ANGELES (AP) — Charlie Sheen’s publicist says the actor has been hospitalized in Los Angeles with severe abdominal pains. Publicist Stan Rosenfield gave no other details of the 45-yearold’s condition. Celebrity website TMZ.com was the first to report Sheen’s hospitalization Thursday. TMZ says Sheen was taken by ambulance following an early morning 911 call. The Emmy-nominatSHEEN ed star of CBS’ “Two and a Half Men” has been dogged by personal problems and apparent health issues. This is his third hospitalization in as many months. And just last week, CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler said network officials “have a high level of concern” about his off-camera behavior.
14A â€˘ FRIDAY, JANUARY 28, 2011
States seek to keep ballots secret in union elections
N AT I O N
GET G ET RE R READY EAD DY Y FOR FFO OR TH OR TTHE H HEE
WASHINGTON (AP) â€” Four states are vowing to fight the federal government in a bid to preserve state measures that guarantee workers the right to secret ballots in union elections. Attorneys general from Arizona, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah signed a letter Thursday pledging to defend changes to their state constitutions approved by voters on Nov. 2. â€œThese state laws protect long-existing federal rights and we will vigorously defend any legal attack upon them,â€? the attorneys general said in a letter to the National Labor Relations Board. Earlier this month, the labor board threatened to sue the states, saying the constitutional amendments conflict with federal law. NLRB spokeswoman Nancy Cleeland said the board is reviewing the letter. Business groups sought the state measures because they fear Congress could pass a new â€œcard checkâ€? law requiring every employer to recognize a union if a majority of workers simply sign cards instead of holding secret ballot elections. Democrats failed to muster enough votes in the Senate last year to pass such a measure. Unions have pushed the card check process in hopes of making it easier to form unions when businesses resist organizing efforts.
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