Erin Zureick

Education, politics and observations from Sanford

On the commissioner’s agenda

The Lee County Board of Commissioners will meet at 3 p.m. Monday. The biggest issue on the agenda will be the presentation of County Manager John Crumpton’s proposed budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year.

Lee County Schools Superintendent Jeff Moss and Central Carolina Community College President Bud Marchant will both be on hand to discuss their budget requests. A preliminary county budget would cut 4 percent from both CCCC’s and Lee County Schools’ budgets next year.

Commissioner Jamie Kelly also is introducing a resolution against Senate Bill 1004 and House Bill 1252. The resolution states that the bill would “hinder local governments from providing needed communication services, especially advanced high-speed broadband services in underserved areas of the state.”

I’ll be doing more reporting before the meeting, so check back for an update.


April 30, 2009 Posted by | Education, politics, Sanford | , , , , | Leave a comment

Moncure School holds spelling bee

From Chatham County Schools:

Fourteen students from grades two through eight competed on stage for the title of champion speller. In the round of final words, winners spelled words such as molecular, incognito, and prevaricate. Parents, grandparents, and the entire student body watched the big event. The first place winner was eighth grader Cameron Partridge. Adrianne Cleven, a fifth grader, won second place and seventh grader Alisha Gardner won third place.

Other spellers were:
Jessica Witcher, second grade
Katelyn Wallace, third grade
Julio Romero, eighth grade
Rachel Pedigo, fifth grade
Harper Johnson, second grade
Zoe Willard, third grade
Ashley Harris, fourth grade
Bobby Gordon, sixth grade
Colin Hicks, third grade
Erin Howe, eighth grade
Kristen Goodwin, seventh grade

April 27, 2009 Posted by | Education | , , | Leave a comment

The week ahead…

Here are some stories you can expect from the Sanford Herald this week:

April 26, 2009 Posted by | Sanford | , , , , | Leave a comment

Dental clinic closing won’t affect college’s program

I’ve been trying to catch up with Central Carolina Community College’s dental program to see how they might be impacted by the Lee County Board of Commissioner’s recent decision to close the county’s dental clinic.

Dean Barbara Rusher and I have been playing phone tag, but she left me a detailed phone message last night. Basically, what she said can be summed up like this: CCCC’s dental program won’t see any negative impact.

“It doesn’t really affect us here or there,” she said. The community college employs a dentist full time to teach its dental hygeine and dental assistant students, as well other staff.

The county decided to close the dental clinic as a cost-savings measure as it seeks to slash 10 percent of its budget for next year. The clinic had been operating at a loss for about two years, and health officials said the private dentists in the area would be able to fill most of the slack.

The dental clinic and CCCC program have been located in the same building (the old Wicker School on Vance Drive).

April 24, 2009 Posted by | Sanford | , , | Leave a comment

School board to talk Saturday school

At its meeting Tuesday, the Lee County Board of Education pulled an item that would have approved Saturday classes in some instances. The item was pulled for additional study.

Students cannot meet on Saturdays if they have already been in class all five other week days. The measure would mainly be used if Lee County Schools faces snow days, which it did three times this year.

For example, if class was canceled on a Tuesday, the school district could then require students to make up that missed day the immediately following Saturday.

April 23, 2009 Posted by | Education | , , | Leave a comment

More Lee County budget recommendations

Here is another document presented Monday by the Lee County Board of Commissioners during Monday’s budget work session. This one details where cuts could be made, ranging from schools to libraries and parks and recreation.

View this document on Scribd

April 22, 2009 Posted by | politics, Sanford | , , | Leave a comment

Potential personnel changes in Lee County

UPDATED POST: I got a call Thursday from Board of Elections Director Nancy Kimble asking about some of the numbers in this report. As far as I know they do not include benefits, though I am still trying to double check this.

Also, the cost-savings represented by the recommended eliminated positions would total more than $800,000. (If you put that in perspective, it’s still a lot less than the $6.6 million the county is estimated to have to cut from the 2009-10 budget, which starts in July.)

At Monday’s Lee County Board of Commissioner’s first budget work session, members were presented with several reports, including one detailing possible job shifts in county government next fiscal year. That report is shown below.

Highlights include 14 retirements (three of those jobs would be permanently eliminated under a recommendation by County Manager John Crumpton) and as many as 15 of 17 open positions in county government could be permanently cut.

View this document on Scribd

April 21, 2009 Posted by | politics, Sanford | , , , | Leave a comment

Summer drama camp at Northwood

From Chatham County Schools:

The Northwood Theatre Arts Department will hold a Summer Drama Camp for rising third through eighth graders again this summer.  The camp will be held from 8:30 a.m. until noon on Monday, June 15, through Friday, June 19th. The cost is $125 per child.  A multiple child discount will be offered.

In addition to dramatic instruction, movement, and technique, campers will receive snacks daily and a T-shirt. On June 19 the campers will give an evening performance at 6:30 p.m. for family and friends.

The camp will be directed by Lori Major Carlin, Theatre Director at Northwood, and members of the Northwood Theatre Department. The registration deadline is May 31st, 2009 and camp is limited to 50 students. For more information contact Lori Major Carlin via telephone at 542-4181 or via email at

April 20, 2009 Posted by | Education | , | Leave a comment

Out on Jordan Lake

I got up before the sun rose Friday to cover the fourth annual Warriors on the Water tournament at Jordan Lake. The event pairs boating guides and military personnel for a bass fishing tournament and is meant to be a thank you to those in the armed forces.

The event has become quite popular — there were 151 boats out on the lake this year.

Warriors on the Water’s president and co-founder was nice enough to take me around on his boat to interview participants and take photos. I had never been on a boat going that fast (about 70 mph he told me at one point), so it was a lot of fun.

Here are some of my photos that didn’t make the paper:






April 19, 2009 Posted by | Sanford | , , , | Leave a comment

Sanford’s Pantry buys 40 more stores

Sanford-based company The Pantry announced today it has acquired 40 convenience stores for an undisclosed amount of money, mainly based in the Mobile, Ala., area.

The Fortune 500 company said in a press release that the purchase was made from Herndon Oil Corp using cash reserves. The deal is expected to close during the second half of fiscal 2009 (which ends in September).

“This acquisition fills a gap in our existing store base and represents our initial entry into the attractive Mobile market,” Pantry Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Peter J. Sodini said. “We expect this transaction to be accretive to our earnings per share in the first 12 months after closing.”

The company also announced during the second fiscal quarter, it repurchased $26 million in principal amount of outstanding bonds.

April 14, 2009 Posted by | Business | , | Leave a comment