Erin Zureick

Education, politics and observations from Sanford

School board approves bank

The Lee County Board of Education decided Tuesday to continue to bank with BB&T, which is based in Winston-Salem. The finance and personnel committee made the recommendation after meeting last month.

The bank will renew the contract with no changes for the coming year.

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September 9, 2009 Posted by | Education, Sanford | , | Leave a comment

School board agenda posted

The Lee County Board of Education posted this morning its agenda for tonight’s 6 p.m. meeting at the Lee County Government Center. There are several items of interest.

  • Superintendent Jeff Moss will give an update about the district’s allocation of state money, as well as talk about a planned partnership with Progress Energy to apply for an energy-savings grant.
  • Some items on the consent agenda include a contract for Hite Associates for the design plans of renovations and construction at Lee County High School. That contract would have to gain further approval from the Lee County Board of Commissioners. It would compensate the firm 7 percent of the cost of renovations and $600,000 for the new classroom building.
  • An agreement with Paxton/Patterson to expand the school district’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) program to all three middle schools.

September 8, 2009 Posted by | Education, Sanford | , , | Leave a comment

High school curriculum meeting today

The Lee County Board of Education’s high school curriculum and instruction committee will hold its first meeting of the year at 3:30 p.m. today at Lee County High School in the culinary arts room.

The committee is slated to discuss:

September 2, 2009 Posted by | Education, Sanford | | Leave a comment

Lee County’s annual United Way campaign to kick off Thursday

The United Way of Lee County announced today it will kick off its annual campaign season from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Depot Park in downtown Sanford. The event will be just before the summer’s last “Function at the Junction” concert

The campaign’s theme is “Back to Basics,” and the kick-off event begins at a Business After Hours gathering organized by the Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce. The two-hour social also marks the beginning of “Giving Change That Makes Cents,” a combined effort by the United Way and Downtown Sanford Inc. to curb panhandling downtown and provide homeless people help.

This year’s campaign focuses on providing “basic” services like food, shelter and medical care, said United Way Executive Director Jan Hayes in a press release.

“Obviously, many families have been hurt by the economy,” Hayes said. “Not everyone, by any means, but you can read about all of the lost jobs, and you can imagine how devastating it can be when you’re struggling to get by and then lose a good share of your family income.”

The popular “Automobile Give-Away” also returns this year. Anyone contributing the equivalent of one hour’s pay per month — or making an annual donation of $500 or more — may enter a drawing to win a new car. About 70 finalists in last year’s event received a prize donated by area businesses, with Ed Angel driving off with the grand prize.

Local band RN5P will take the stage in Depot Park for this season’s “Function at the Junction” finale after the campaign event. RN5P, spearheaded by band member David Spivey, is known for its renditions of beach music and classic rock.

August 24, 2009 Posted by | politics, Sanford | , , | Leave a comment

Song of the week

We’ll take a different pace for the song of the week from the last edition. This is an upbeat number called “Down”  from Jay Sean, featuring Lil Wayne. Definitely a dance number.

August 21, 2009 Posted by | Sanford, Social media | , | Leave a comment

Lee County Schools posts bus routes

Lee County Schools has posted bus routes for the 2009-10 school year, which begins Tuesday. The district also has a list of bus safety tips.

View the bus routes here.

Also, here are some tips from the school district:

  • Look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Obey the bus driver.
  • Once seated, remain quietly in your seat.
  • Do not eat or drink on the bus.
  • Keep your arms, legs, and head inside the bus.
  • Do not throw things out of the window.

August 20, 2009 Posted by | Education, Sanford | , | Leave a comment

Love’s end-of-session Raleigh Report

I received the end-of-session Raleigh Report from Rep. Jimmy Love Sr’s (D-Lee) office. In it he takes some time to go over some highlights of the session and some of the final issues legislators dealt with for the summer session. (See the last post about the Raleigh Report for budget information).

Here are Love’s thoughts in his own words:

The 2009 session of the General Assembly has adjourned, but not before we finished up work on a number of important matters. Since passing our budget, we have concluded work to strengthen criminal laws, reform the state’s coastal insurance plan, improve transportation and clear the way for more efficient use of energy.

As I have shared a number of times, this has been a difficult session. The global economic crisis reached North Carolina this year and hurt our workers and businesses. The work by those of us in the General Assembly was in large part a response to this crisis, and I am happy to have supported a number of measures that create and protect jobs, help people protect their homes and ease the burdens on small business owners.

I will share more detailed information about the work of this session in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, thank you for your interest in state government and please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Here are some of the highlights Love mentions:

  • Sex offenders would be prevented from driving a bus with children under a bill that has been ratified by the General Assembly (HB 1117). The bill has now been presented to Gov. Perdue to be signed into law.
  • Taking indecent liberties with a student would be added to the list of sex offenses that require registration under the sex offender and public protection registration program under a bill that has been ratified by the General Assembly (HB 209). The bill has now been presented to Gov. Perdue to be signed into law.
  • Smoking would be prohibited on the premises of correctional institutions under a bill that has been ratified by the General Assembly (SB 167). The legislation would also prohibit the possession of tobacco products or cell phones outside of a locked vehicle on the premises of correctional institutions and make it a criminal offense to provide tobacco products or cell phones to inmates. The bill has now been presented to Gov. Perdue to be signed into law.
  • State lawmakers have ratified legislation that improves the state’s Coastal Property Insurance Pool, presently known as the Beach Plan (HB 1305). Among other things, the bill would decrease the maximum coverage limit per home from $1.5 million to $750,000 and caps the amount of money that private insurance companies who participate in the plan are liable for at $1 billion. Homeowners outside of the 18 coastal counties that participate in plan could be asked to pay up to 10 percent more a year only if storm damage in a season exceeded $2.4 billion. The most the plan has ever paid out in claims in a previous year is $150 million. The bill has now been presented to Gov. Perdue to be signed into law.

August 19, 2009 Posted by | Education, politics, Sanford | , | Leave a comment

Commissioners meet tonight

Tonight’s August meeting of the Lee County Board of Commissioners (6 p.m. at Lee County Government Center on Hillcrest Drive) has a shorter agenda than recent meetings, but there are a few items of interest that officials are slated to discuss.

  • County Manager John Crumpton will give a report to commissioners about the financial impact of issue no-interest construction bonds and how much debt the county can handle (see my Sunday story in The Herald for more details on that.)
  • Commissioners also will consider adopting a resolution that states if November’s quarter-cent sales tax referendum passes, the money generated would be used solely for Lee County Schools and Central Carolina Community College construction needs.
  • Lee County Health Director Howard Surface will talk about preparations for swine flu vaccinations.

August 17, 2009 Posted by | Education, politics, Sanford | , , | Leave a comment

Song of the week

The latest song, “Hurry Home,” from N.C. native Jason Michael Carroll makes our song of the week. It fits perfectly into his sappy, story-telling songs that I love, focusing on a father/daughter relationship. Enjoy!

August 14, 2009 Posted by | Sanford, Social media | , | Leave a comment

Delving into Lee County Schools’ ABCs

Here is a further breakdown of Lee County Schools’ ABC statewide testing performance. Assistant Superintendent Andy Bryan presented the results this week to the Lee County Board of Education.

READING:     3rd grade         4th grade       5th grade         6th grade
2008
57.5%                  58.2%               54.6%                      59.2%              
2009
66.7%                 68.8%               65.7%                       71.5%

MATH:
2008
79.1%                  78.2%               75.1%                       67.8%             
2009
88.3%                 84.4%               81.8%                      81.5%

August 13, 2009 Posted by | Education, Sanford | , , , | Leave a comment