Erin Zureick

Education, politics and observations from Sanford

Introducing Lee County Dancing with the Stars

Communities in Schools of Lee County has announced its 17 couples who will be performing in the nonprofit organization’s August fundraiser “Dancing with the Lee County Stars.”

Those couples will be:

4 First Name Last Name Place of Business
5 1 Dancer Bud Hunter Carolina Shagg & Sanford Nautilus
6 Star Jan Stewart Director of Pharmacy- CCH
8 2 Dancer Karla Koballa Cooper Mechanical (SASS)?
9 Star Wing Man Tam Wyeth
11 3 Dancer Dana Slate kelly’s School of Dance
12 Star Carl Bryan CCCC- Department Chair of Social Science & Wellness and PE Instructor
14 4 Dancer Cortney McCullough Lee County Partnership for Children
15 Star Billy Liggett The Sanford Herald
17 5 Dancer Dana Atkins DWA Photography
18 Star Gregg Hamm Café 121/LCHS
20 6 Dancer Carolyn Schaeffer Carolina Trace Players
21 Star Mike Neal Representing Deep River School & CCCC
23 7 Dancer Courtney Smith daughter of Jeff
24 Star Jeff Smith Lee Tire & Supply & Swap Shop WWGP
26 8 Dancer Scott Schaeffer Carolina Trace Players
27 Star Jo (Josephine) Jarrett Hanes Brand/ Chamber Chair
29 9 Dancer Kenneth Neilsen DK Clay
30 Star Paige Cabe Paige Cabe Attorney at Law
32 10 Dancer Audrey Stone Greenwood counselor
33 Star Bill Stone 4-H
35 11 Dancer Amy Burns Amy’s Confection Company
36 Star Joe Delvechio Local Joes
38 12 Dancer David Morse Sports World
39 Star Toni Davenport J.T. Davenport
41 13 Dancer Stephanie McQuain Carter Bank & Trust
42 Star Brad Hunter School Dude and House of Pain Wrestling
44 14 Dancer John Mangum Sanford Medical Group
45 Star Ellen Mangum Lee County School Board & St. Luke Preschool
47 15 Dancer Janel Livingston Dr. Livingston’s Daughter
48 Star Tracy Carter Sheriff
50 16 Dancer Matt LaSasso Liberty University senior
51 Star Katherine Southard Miss NC
56 18 Dancer Edwardo (Dwight) Hollingsworth CCCC- Comostology Instructor
57 Star Joni Pavlik CCCC- Dean Business Technologies

June 30, 2009 Posted by | Education, Sanford | , , | Leave a comment

Chatham schools launching new Web site

Chatham County Schools will launch a new Web site Wednesday, according to information posted on the current site.

The redesign is an attempt to streamline the site’s content and make it more user-friendly.

The homepage will feature a slideshow of students; a news ticker to highlight activities, school and district features, announcements, and the upcoming Board meeting agenda, according to the announcement. Google site search will be accessible on all pages.

A screen shot of the school district's current home page

A screen shot of the school district's current home page

June 29, 2009 Posted by | Education, Uncategorized | | 1 Comment

School board to adopt budget Tuesday

The Lee County Board of Education will meet at 5 p.m. Tuesday to close out end-of-the year finances. The school district is facing drastic cuts because of a state budget crisis, compounded by a 4 percent reduction in finances from the Lee County Board of Commissioners.

The board’s agenda, which is posted online, reveals that school board members will consider recommendations for reduction in force — or layoffs — and other proposals from Superintendent Jeff Moss.

Those include recommendations for how to achieve more than $973,000 worth of cuts. Moss’ recommendations, which must be approved by the board, include eliminating Graduation Ambassadors, reducing some banquet activities and lowering local support for Exceptional Children programs.

Stay tuned this week for lots more coverage on the blog and at the Herald Web site about these possible changes.

June 28, 2009 Posted by | Education, Sanford | , , , , | Leave a comment

3 Chatham Central teams compete in FFA state championship

Central_FFA_tool_teamFrom Chatham County Schools:

Chatham Central High School had three teams of students that competed in the 2009 FFA career development events during the 81st annual North Carolina FFA convention in Raleigh held June 23 through June 25.

The Chatham Central agricultural tools and mechanics team won the state competition. The Central floriculture and nursery/ landscape teams placed second.  Julian Smith, horticulture teacher at Chatham Central, coached all three teams.

“The purpose of the Agricultural Tools and Materials Identification Career Development event is to stimulate interest, knowledge, and understanding of the various tools used in the agricultural industry,” said Jason Davis, State FFA Coordinator for North Carolina. The participants were asked to identify 40 tools from a list of over 150 and took a knowledge test in which they matched the proper use with the tool.

Members of the winning Chatham Central tools and mechanics team were Craig Dunn, Amber Fields, Cam Fields, and Kevin Foushee.  Fields and Foushee were among the top scoring individuals, and Chatham Central was the only team to have two top individuals on the same team.  The competition is only a state level one so the team will not compete at the national FFA convention in the fall.

Participants in the floriculture event must demonstrate their problem solving and technical skills, identify plant materials, and complete a general knowledge exam on the floral industry.  The Chatham Central floriculture team members were John Bartee, Will Bartee, Taylor Craig and Debbie Russell.

The nursery-landscape event tests students’ skills by asking them to identify common plants and complete a written test covering general knowledge of horticulture. Participants also compete in many hands-on activities, which include landscape drawing, nursery operation practices, and customer relations.  The Chatham Central nursery-landscape team members were Garett Barker, Josh Brooks, Justin Johnson, and Jessica Loflin.

On Wednesday evening, June 24, during the fourth general session of the convention, several other awards and honors were presented.  Chatham Central High School had multiple connections to those recognized.

Kara Miller, a state FFA vice president and 2008 Chatham Central graduate, recognized Smith and Principal Mitch Stensland onstage for their influence on her as a student.  Each state officer also introduced his or her family to those in attendance.

Holland and Alan Gaines, brothers and Chatham Central graduates, received the Premier Partner Award for a 10+ acre site The Legacy at Jordan Lake gave to North Carolina State University and the North Carolina FFA Foundation for an open-air classroom.  The gift is the largest ever received by the NC FFA Foundation.

The Legacy at Jordan Lake also sponsors an endowment for three scholarships and three, eight-week summer internships for seniors from high schools in Chatham County Schools.  The Gaines recognized the 2009 scholarship recipients and interns during the fourth general session of the FFA convention.  Christian Herrera, a Jordan-Matthews graduate, received the Business and Entrepreneurship scholarship.  Paul Drumheller, a Jordan-Matthews graduate, received the Holland and Elsie Gaines God and Community Scholarship.  Jessica Loflin, a Chatham Central graduate and member of the Central nursery-landscape FFA team, was the recipient of the Outstanding FFA Student at Chatham Central scholarship.

James Langdon, Jr. received a Lifetime Achievement Award on Thursday evening.   Tolson began his career as a teacher at Chatham Central High School in 1960.  He later became the Director of Career-Technical Education for Johnston County Schools and is currently a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives.

The North Carolina FFA is a youth organization of over 17,400 student members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture with nearly 250 local chapters across the state. FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

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

Bullying law now on Bev Perdue’s desk

The N.C. General Assembly has passed a bill banning bullying in schools. The bill had garnered some controversy because it specifically lists some categories of students who might be targeted. For example, race, religion and disabilities are mentioned.

The clause that brought true opposition was one stating protection for students who are bullied for real or perceived sexual orientation. Some Republican lawmakers had argued that the bill should just outright ban bullying and not mention targeted populations.

Some Republicans also have said the bill should include punishment, which it currently leaves up to school districts. Read more in the N&O here.

June 24, 2009 Posted by | Education, politics, Sanford | , | Leave a comment

Track swine flu by county online

Similar to the Centers for Disease Control, the state of North Carolina is updating a Web site weekly (by 3:30 p.m. each Wednesday) with new cases of H1N1 flu, commonly referred to as swine flu.

So far, Lee County has five cases (an additional one was added after the state’s last update). The first illness was reported in a Deep River Elementary School student.

Read tomorrow’s Herald for an update on efforts by the Lee County Health Department to prepare for possible vaccination efforts in the fall.

June 22, 2009 Posted by | Sanford | , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there including my own! Here is a picture of me and my father, Perry, at my graduation from UNC-Chapel Hill last spring. I credit him for my killer memory and jump shot.

erin and dad

June 21, 2009 Posted by | Sanford | | Leave a comment

Love’s Raleigh Report

State Rep. Jimmy Love Sr.’s office released his weekly “Raleigh Report” on Friday, outlining some highlights from the General Assembly this week.

Here is his personal forward and some excerpts:

The House of Representatives passed a budget proposal over the weekend that would help our economy while also investing in education and health care. Approval of the package leads us to the next phase of the budget-writing process, and I am among those members who are negotiating with the Senate over a final proposal to present to Gov. Perdue.

Despite the large amount of work we’re doing on the budget, we continue our work to improve and refine legislation that makes our state a better place to live. The following information highlights some bills of interest that have made it through the House this week.

I hope you will contact me if you have questions, or if I can be of service. Thank you as always for your support and your interest in our state.

— Storing and preserving DNA and biological evidence related to a crime would be the responsibility of the law enforcement agency investigating the offense under a bill that has been ratified by the General Assembly (HB 1190). Under existing law, clerks of court are responsible for storing such evidence, but bill supporters argue that law enforcement is better equipped for the job. The bill now goes to Gov. Perdue for a signature.

Improving Government
— State facilities that provide mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse services would be required to disclose certain information about death reports, facility police reports, and incident reports under a bill that has passed both bodies of the legislature (SB 799). The intent of the legislation is to improve transparency. Conferees will be appointed from each chamber to negotiate a final version of the bill.
— Legislation that would expand the ability of counties and municipalities to form joint emergency management agencies has been ratified by the General Assembly. Currently, a county can only form joint agencies with municipalities within its borders. This proposal (HB 380) would allow counties to also work with other counties, as well as municipalities within the partnering county. Gov. Perdue must now sign the bill for it to become law.
— State lawmakers have ratified legislation to clarify that counties and cities have the authority to order evacuations in certain emergency situations (SB 256). The legislation also clarifies that the Emergency Management Immunity Statute applies to counties and cities in these situations. The bill has now gone to Gov. Perdue for her signature.

— Last week, lawmakers ratified a bill that will establish a minimum motor fuels tax rate, which will be effective for two years (SB 200). From July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2011, the gasoline tax will go no lower than 29.9 cents per gallon. Fiscal analysts at the General Assembly have projected that establishing this floor on the gas tax could generate approximately $67.5 million in new revenue for the coming fiscal year. The extra revenue would be utilized for highway and bridge projects across the state. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Perdue this Tuesday, June 16, 2009.
— An act to reduce plastic and non-recycled paper bag used on North Carolina’s Outer Banks has passed both bodies of the legislature (SB 1018). Under the law, no retailer shall provide customers with plastic bags unless the bag is reusable or used for some unpackaged items. The legislation would also restrict the substitution of paper bags for plastic bags. Paper bags could only be substituted for plastic if the bag is a recycled paper bag, or if the retailer offers certain specified incentives to customers who uses the their own reusable bags instead of the bags provided by the retailer. The bill now returns to the Senate for concurrence.
— A portion of U.S. Highway 17 and U.S. Highway 70 will be designated as “The U.S. Marine Corps Highway: Home of the Carolina-Based Marines since 1941” under a bill that has been ratified by the General Assembly (HB 1021). The bill now goes to Gov. Perdue to be signed into law.
— History and Geography curricula in public schools would be modified under a bill that has passed both bodies of the legislature (HB 1032). The legislation would amend middle school curriculum to require a one-year course on North Carolina history with United States history integrated into the instruction, instead of a course with a focus on national history with state history integrated into it. After the bill is ratified, it will go to Gov. Perdue to be signed into law.
— The ban on texting while driving has been ratified by the General Assembly (HB 9). The intent of the legislation is to improve safety on North Carolina’s roads and highways. Once effective, violators of the law would face the penalty of a $100 fine plus court costs. The bill has now gone to Gov. Perdue to be signed into law.

June 19, 2009 Posted by | politics, Sanford | , , | 1 Comment

Chatham County Schools meeting agenda

The Chatham County Board of Education will meet at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday. A full agenda can be viewed here.

The school board will honor its 2009 teacher assistant and teacher of the year. Members also will vote on the 2009-10 budget proposal. Like most public school districts across the state, Chatham County Schools is facing a severe budget reduction from N.C. government and has already announced staff layoffs.

The board also is scheduled to discuss the current attendance policy in the district to clarify and reorganize some wording.

June 15, 2009 Posted by | Education, Sanford | | Leave a comment

Lee County commissioners have packed agenda

The Lee County Board of Commissioners has a packed agenda for its 6 p.m. Monday meeting. The meeting also will be preceded by a budget workshop at 4 p.m. at the Lee County Government Center.

Here are some highlights:

  • A public hearing will be held to discuss the fire district tax rates. Several of the districts have proposed slight tax rate increases. West Sanford has proposed raising its tax rate to the maximum approved by voters (15 cents per $100 of valuation) because of a declining property tax base and lower collection rate. Commissioners will discuss adopting proposed rates later during the regular meeting.
  • A public hearing will be held to discuss proposed incentives for Score Energy, located on Tramway Road. The business is looking to expand its facilities on the site.
  • The Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and 2009-10 budget ordinance also is on the agenda. The proposed budget this year is a 10 percent reduction from the previous year because of declining revenues (largely based on sales tax income falling).
  • The board also will consider numerous appointments to various boards (such as Parks and Recreation Commission, CCCC Board of Trustees, Board of Health, etc). Check back tomorrow for a fuller post outlining whose up for these positions.

June 12, 2009 Posted by | politics, Sanford | , , | Leave a comment