Home in Henderson http://homeinhenderson.com News and views from the heart of Vance County, N.C. Tue, 26 Jul 2016 12:21:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Reverse Raffle To Benefit “Shop With A Cop” and Chamber Of Commerce http://homeinhenderson.com/2016/07/26/news/fundraisers-news/reverse-raffle-to-benefit-shop-with-a-cop-and-chamber-of-commerce/ http://homeinhenderson.com/2016/07/26/news/fundraisers-news/reverse-raffle-to-benefit-shop-with-a-cop-and-chamber-of-commerce/#respond Tue, 26 Jul 2016 04:04:27 +0000 http://homeinhenderson.com/?p=71060 The Henderson-Vance County Chamber of Commerce along with the Henderson Police Department (HPD) are partnering to host a reverse raffle.  The event will benefit a program serving local underprivileged children called “Shop With a Cop” along with the Chamber of Commerce and its efforts to help local business.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, November 5, 2016 and will be held at Henderson Country Club beginning at 5:30 p.m.  Tickets are on sale now and include dinner for two and a chance at the $5,000 grand prize.  Throughout the evening, guests will be given opportunities to bid on various silent auction items as well as two reserved tickets which will be auctioned toward the end of the ticket drawing.  Three reserved tickets will also be raffled during the course of evening.

The “Shop With a Cop” activity will take place in December at which time members of the HPD will take local underprivileged children shopping with local retailers for Christmas.  A certain dollar amount of the proceeds raised will be set aside for each participating child. “I’m so excited about this event and the good that we can do for the local community with the proceeds.  The HPD is always anxious to do what we can to help children”, said Police Chief Marcus Barrow.

There are opportunities for local businesses to donate silent auction items, sponsor the event or help in other ways.  Members of the HPD and Chamber staff and board of directors will be making community contacts in the very near future.

If you or your business would like to purchase tickets, donate items or get more information, contact the HPD, Chamber board members or the Chamber office at 252-438-8414.

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VGCC student recognized as a Microsoft Office ‘Master’ http://homeinhenderson.com/2016/07/26/news/education/vgcc-student-recognized-as-a-microsoft-office-master/ http://homeinhenderson.com/2016/07/26/news/education/vgcc-student-recognized-as-a-microsoft-office-master/#respond Tue, 26 Jul 2016 04:03:16 +0000 http://homeinhenderson.com/?p=71062
VGCC student Andrew Dawson poses next to his Microsoft Office Specialist Master certificate, which hangs, along with those earned by other students, on a bulletin board in Building 7 on the college’s Main Campus.  (VGCC photo)

VGCC student Andrew Dawson poses next to his Microsoft Office Specialist Master certificate, which hangs, along with those earned by other students, on a bulletin board in Building 7 on the college’s Main Campus. (VGCC photo)

Andrew S. Dawson of Henderson recently became the first Vance-Granville Community College student to earn the “Microsoft Office Specialist Master” certification.

The certification is awarded to someone who successfully passes a set of certification exams that test proficiency in multiple Microsoft software applications. Dawson completed the Excel 2013, Excel 2013 Expert-level, Access 2013 and Word 2013 certifications, all during the spring 2016 semester. He said he hopes in the future to accomplish the same certifications for the newest (2016) versions of the Office programs.

VGCC offers a number of nationally-recognized Microsoft Office certifications, free of charge, to students, faculty and staff. The “Microsoft IT Academy” program helps ensure that test-takers have the most up-to-date knowledge and skills that are valued by employers. VGCC was one of the top five community colleges in North Carolina for the number of participants in the certification program in 2015.

Dawson is a student in the Computer Technology Integration – IT Support Track program. He is projected to graduate from the college in the spring of 2017 and plans to pursue an information technology career. A full-time student, Dawson is also a part-time tutor in the VGCC Academic Skills Center.

“Andrew is a very dedicated and knowledgeable student, and we’re so proud of his achievements,” said VGCC Information Technology program head Faith Harris. She added that Dawson’s certification will help him succeed in the job market.

“It’s kind of mind-boggling that this will be a great addition to my resume, and I got it for free as a student,” Dawson noted.

For more information on VGCC Information Technology offerings, contact Faith Harris at (252) 738-3235 or harrisf@vgcc.edu.

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Tuesday Open Line http://homeinhenderson.com/2016/07/26/quick-hits/open-lines/tuesday-open-line-248/ http://homeinhenderson.com/2016/07/26/quick-hits/open-lines/tuesday-open-line-248/#respond Tue, 26 Jul 2016 04:01:56 +0000 http://homeinhenderson.com/?p=71065 On this date 26 years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act became law. First introduced in Congress in 1988, the goal of the legislation was to guarantee equal opportunity for people with disabilities in public and commercial facilities, employment, transportation, and services at all levels of government. Nearly 57 million Americans — or about 19 percent of the population — have at least one disability. Some 12 million over the age of 15 need assistance with one or more activities of daily living. More than 8 million Americans over age 15 have vision difficulties, and another 7.6 million have impaired hearing. There are 3.6 million Americans using wheelchairs, while another near 31 million have difficulty walking or climbing stairs. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <www.census.gov>.

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Richard Brand: The Great Divide http://homeinhenderson.com/2016/07/25/opinion/richard-brand-the-great-divide/ http://homeinhenderson.com/2016/07/25/opinion/richard-brand-the-great-divide/#respond Mon, 25 Jul 2016 04:03:59 +0000 http://homeinhenderson.com/?p=71054 There is nothing that illustrates the great divide between the wishes, the hopes, the passions, the compassion of the American public and the members of Congress more than the current sad treatment of the military veterans.

The citizens, the average person, the people in the street care deeply about the veterans. They have and continue to respond to the great number of programs and charities that have sprung up to support our veterans. So many companies have created programs where the purchase of their product means that the company will make some donation to a veterans’ cause. The Wound Warrior charity gathered in large donations which unfortunately did not get to the veterans, but still demonstrated the public’s great desire to help.

The public has great sympathy and compassion for these veterans because they understand that our government has sent them over and over into some terrible situations that should have never been begun. These veterans were asked to begin a war. Something no other veterans in our history have done. These veterans were sent into a war that should never have been started by us. But they have gone and done their duty to their commanders. They have sacrificed lives, body parts, and emotions. The public recognizes the great debt we owe to these men and women.

Yet over the last eight years the House and the Senate have repeatedly refused to pass legislature that gave better benefits to these veterans. When veteran hospitals and medical services are so backed up that three months waiting lists are normal, when more veterans are coming home with physical disabilities and emotional needs, when the job market is complicated at home, the House and the Senate have five times failed to help veterans.

In 2015 when the Veterans Affairs Funding was presented in the Obama budget, the House Appropriation Subcommittee removed more than $1.4 billion dollars in veteran services. Included in those cuts were $690 million earmarked for direct VA medical care and another $582 million in VA construction projects. The results of those cuts were that that approximately 70,00 fewer veterans were able to receive needed care.

In 2014 there came forward a very personal and emotional bill called the Women Veteran and Families Health Services Act that was a bipartisan bill to provide fertility treatment and counseling for severely wounded veterans and the spouses. This bill never made it out of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee because Republicans wanted amendments that prevented the involvement of Planned Parenthood.

In the same year, 2014 Senator Bernie Sanders introduced Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act. This was sweeping overhaul of healthcare and education benefits. The Senate gave it a 99-0 procedural vote approval, but Senator Mitch McConnell attached all kinds of sanctions against Iran and the debate over the amendments resulted in an expanded debate over cost of the benefits and 41 of the 45 Republican Senators voted against the bill.

The refusal to vote for and give the veterans the increased benefits they deserve has a long history. Republicans in the Senate refused to approve a Veterans Job Corps Act in 2012 and Senator McConnell killed a Homeless Women Veterans and Homeless Veterans with Children Act in 2010 because they did not like the cost. But they could turn around and voted for increase military spending in the same session. This is a country that spends more on military equipment than the combined total of the next 25 developed countries (24 of which are allies) and we could not take the money from one super jet and spend it on veterans?

The American public recognizes that we, as a country, owe these men and women a blank check for benefits for what they have been willing to do for us. But that compassion, as strong as it is in the public arena, has not been felt in the Senate or the House. We need a new Senate that is better at feeling the desire and emotions of our people.

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VGCC ranked as best online two-year college in North Carolina http://homeinhenderson.com/2016/07/25/news/education/vgcc-ranked-as-best-online-two-year-college-in-north-carolina/ http://homeinhenderson.com/2016/07/25/news/education/vgcc-ranked-as-best-online-two-year-college-in-north-carolina/#respond Mon, 25 Jul 2016 04:02:30 +0000 http://homeinhenderson.com/?p=71056 Vance-Granville Community College was recently recognized as the top two-year college in North Carolina for online programs, and, in a separate ranking, was named one of the top five two-year colleges in the state for the second year in a row. 

In its list of the “Best Online Schools in North Carolina for 2015-2016,” the California-based organization, Accredited Schools Online (ASO), ranked VGCC first among all of the state’s two-year institutions of higher learning.

“Vance-Granville Community College (VGCC) is one of North Carolina’s leaders in providing individual online courses, as well as fully-online degree programs,” ASO wrote in a summary on its website, www.accreditedschoolsonline.org. “Students are afforded the opportunity to complete course work in a way that meets today’s demanding schedules and fulfills the educational requirements of this challenging economy. For many students, a degree from VGCC is the first step to a four-year college or university degree. While online courses offer convenience, they are fully as comprehensive as on-campus courses and create unique challenges for students. Self-motivation, the ability to follow instructions, and basic computer skills are crucial for the successful distance learner.”

Accredited Schools Online is a comprehensive accreditation resource that provides prospective students and families with the tools needed to make well-informed decisions about their education.

ASO’s rankings took into account a number of factors, including the number of online programs and subject areas available, the percentage of students receiving financial aid, the academic/career counseling services offered, the cost of tuition, and the student-to-faculty ratio, which in VGCC’s case was 14 to 1. ASO awarded VGCC a score of 99.56 out of a possible 100.

“Vance-Granville continues to gain national recognition for excellence, thanks to the efforts of our innovative faculty and staff,” said Dr. Stelfanie Williams, president of VGCC. “We have taken a leading role in expanding opportunities for distance learning programs that are affordable, accessible and high-quality. Whether they take their classes online or on-campus, our Vanguards receive an outstanding educational experience that prepares them to achieve professional and personal success.”

VGCC has expanded its online course offerings in recent years. In 2015, the college launched the VOLT (Vanguard Online Learning through Technology) initiative, primarily with working adults in mind. Through VOLT, five two-year degree programs are now offered 100-percent online — Associate in Arts (College Transfer), Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Medical Office Administration – Coding Specialist, and Global Logistics and Distribution Management Technology. In addition, students can take online courses in combination with traditional face-to-face courses to complete any VGCC degree program. The fall semester begins on Aug. 15.

VOLT students enjoy several specific benefits, including priority registration and guaranteed course availability. They also have access to many online resources that are available to all VGCC students, such as library services, testing and the Bookstore. Courses offered through VOLT have the same low tuition as all other VGCC courses, making them more affordable than their counterparts at for-profit institutions. In addition, Duke Energy, a longtime corporate supporter of VGCC, has provided funds for scholarships specifically for VOLT students.

For more information about VOLT, visit volt.vgcc.edu or call Evelyn Harris at (252) 738-3254, Kathy Wolford at (252) 738-3335 or Melanie Copeland at (252) 738-3271.

Meanwhile, VGCC was also recognized by BestColleges.com for the second consecutive year as one of the top five two-year colleges in North Carolina.

Just as in 2015, VGCC came in fifth on the list, in which BestColleges.com ranked the top 25 two-year and top 25 four-year schools in North Carolina.

The BestColleges.com website notes that VGCC “offers a broad range of subjects” and goes on to highlight VGCC’s technological resources for students, including the Moodle learning management system for online courses, software like Microsoft Office 365, which is available to all students free of charge, and the college’s mobile app.

The organization’s school assessments start by regarding every college and university equally, no matter their size or brand popularity. Rankings are then determined based on acceptance, enrollment, retention, graduation and loan default rates. The last criterion is an indication of post-graduation employment, since those who have found work are less likely to default on their loans.

Texas-based BestColleges.com was founded in 2012 with the mission of helping prospective students find the college that best meets their needs. Visitors to BestColleges.com can find the tools and resources to succeed throughout their higher education career. Those in the college planning stage can take advantage of college rankings, a searchable database of schools, and financial planning guides.

 

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Monday Open Line http://homeinhenderson.com/2016/07/25/quick-hits/open-lines/monday-open-line-248/ http://homeinhenderson.com/2016/07/25/quick-hits/open-lines/monday-open-line-248/#respond Mon, 25 Jul 2016 04:01:52 +0000 http://homeinhenderson.com/?p=71058 On July 24, 1894, Kenneth Royall, the last United States Secretary of War and the first Secretary of the Army, was born in Goldsboro.

After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1917, Royall joined the Army. He served in France from August 1918 until he was wounded in February 1919. At that time, Royall returned to Goldsboro and began practicing law.

In June 1942, he retired from his legal practice, by then headquartered in both Goldsboro and Raleigh, in order to accept a commission as colonel in the U. S. Army, managing the War Department’s legal services.

Royall was soon promoted to brigadier general and, in 1945, he was appointed undersecretary of war and received the Distinguished Service Medal. President Harry S. Truman selected him to be Secretary of War in July 1947.

Two months later, with the formation of the Defense Department, that position was eliminated, and Royall was designated Secretary of the Army. He held that position until he resigned in April 1949. Later that year Royall became a partner in a New York City law firm where he worked until 1968. 

Royall retired to Raleigh and died in 1971. He is buried in Goldsboro.

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts, nature and culture, visit DNCR online.

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Henderson City Council’s Public Safety Committee meeting Tuesday, July 26, 2016 http://homeinhenderson.com/2016/07/22/news/city-business/henderson-city-councils-public-safety-committee-meeting-tuesday-july-26-2016/ http://homeinhenderson.com/2016/07/22/news/city-business/henderson-city-councils-public-safety-committee-meeting-tuesday-july-26-2016/#respond Fri, 22 Jul 2016 04:03:34 +0000 http://homeinhenderson.com/?p=71047 The Henderson City Council’s Public Safety Committee will meet on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. in the Large Conference Room at City Hall, 134 Rose Avenue.  The purpose of this meeting is to discuss traffic issues.  The public is welcome.

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Newsletter from the Office of Senator Angela R. Bryant http://homeinhenderson.com/2016/07/22/press-release/nc/newsletter-from-the-office-of-senator-angela-r-bryant-5/ http://homeinhenderson.com/2016/07/22/press-release/nc/newsletter-from-the-office-of-senator-angela-r-bryant-5/#respond Fri, 22 Jul 2016 04:03:32 +0000 http://homeinhenderson.com/?p=71049    

 

Halifax, Nash, Vance, Warren and Wilson Counties

District – 4

Senator Angela R. Bryant

Volume 14, Issue X

July 21, 2016

To unsubscribe to this newsletter, please click here

 

NEWS FROM RALEIGH…

I always welcome your comments, project updates, suggestions, and visits. My office door and electronic door are always open to you!  You are also invited to attend any and all Sessions and Committees.  Visit the website for Session and Committee meeting times.  As always, thank you for your support!

 

NEWSLETTER NEWS:

  • EVENTS AROUND THE DISTRICT AND MORE: Jordan McMillen Chosen as the New Vance County  Manager; NC Restores Full Senior Citizen Discount For Camping At Kerr Lake & All State Parks
  • GRANT OPPORTUNITIES, AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS: Earn Bill Credits When you Shop Online with Roanoke Rewards; Grant Opportunity: USDA Seeks Applications for Broadband Grants  for Rural Communities; Kerr-Tar Workforce Development Board to apply for America’s Promise Job-Driven Grant Program
  • LEGISLATIVE NEWS:  Lawmaker Touts Medicaid Expansion; Several District 4 Citizens Were Appointed To Various Public Offices Pursuant To Senate Bill 898; Our Stars -Williford Leadership 5th Graders Legislative Day – May 12th; Press Conference on NC’s Economic Inequality; What Businesses Should Know about the 2016 N.C. Legislature; NC Legislative Update; Some Teachers Left Out Of State Pay Raises

·         EDUCATION NEWS: Warren County School -Summer Meals For Youths: Volunteers Needed; Halifax County Hosts Mock County Commissioners Meeting; Spend The Summer At Home With These Stem Activities: 30 Minutes Or Less; NC Stem Learning Network; Summer Meals For Youth- Volunteers Needed

  • IN THE NEWS: Warren Record; Wilson Times; Henderson Daily Dispatch; Rocky Mount Telegram

·         SIDE NOTE: Senator Bryant’s 2015-2016 Standing Committees

  • YOUR KIND WORDS ARE APPRECIATED: “Thank You”  Letters
  • SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: Facebook and Twitter

                                                                                                                         

 

SIDE NOTE:

Senator Bryant’s 2015-2016

Standing Committees:

 

Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Committee

 

Appropriations/Base Budget Committee

 

Appropriations on Natural and Economic Resources Committee

 

Commerce Committee

 

Education/Higher Education Committee

 

Judiciary I Committee

 

Pensions & Retirement and Aging Committee

 

Workforce and Economic Development Committee

 

 

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EVENTS AROUND THE DISTRICT AND MORE:

·         On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!: Warren County Memorial Library: Now through Thurs. August 4th, at the Warren County Memorial Library readers of all ages will explore all things sports and fitness this summer. Readers from preschool through adult will celebrate our theme, “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read,” with related stories, programs, crafts, games, and more. Registration is open throughout the program. READ! READ! READ! For more information, call the library at (252) 257-4990 or visit our website, www. wcmlibrary.org.

·         Community Academy Educational Session: Fri., July 22nd at 5:30 pm and Sat. July 23rd at 9:00 am at OIC’s Community Health Education Center (CHEC), 1060 Pinehurst Drive, Rocky Mount, NC. As the Twin Counties Visioning and Strategic Plan moves into action and implementation, come get this information, education and skills needed to help shape the decisions being made about the future of YOUR community. To register, please call 252-443-4659 ext. 106 or email: ljoyner@ncacdc.org.  

·         Dementia Workshop: Tue., July 26th from 2pm-5pm, at the Creedmoor Senior Center, 614 Douglas Drive, Creedmoor, NC.  Upcoming Dementia Workshop hosted by Melanie Bunn, from Alzheimer’s North Carolina. For more information or to reserve a spot, call Cheryl Carrier at 919-528-0848. Space is limited.

·         Back to School Festival: Sat., July 23rd 11am-3pm at The Boys and Girls Club, 475 W. Belvoir Rd., Greenville, NC. Celebrate and welcome the 2016-17 school year at The Association of Mexicans in North Carolina’s (AMEXCAN) Back to School Festival. All area residents are invited to attend and admission is completely free. The festival will have arts and crafts, free food, free school supplies, giveaways and much more. For more information, call 919-920-1108, for information in Spanish, call 252-258-9967.

·         Fatherhood Program Information Session: Sat., July 23rd, Thurs. July 28th, and Mon. August 1st, 2016 Family Resource Center will host fatherhood information sessions regarding connecting with children, jobs and money, and getting along with mom. Light refreshments will be served at each session. The sessions will be held respectively at the following locations: Now is the Time at 118 W. Harlem St. Pinetops, NC; Edgecombe County Memorial Library at 909 Main St. Tarboro, NC; and St. Mark AME at 1150 Tarboro St. Rocky Mount, NC. To register please contact Day 2 Day Dads via telephone at 919-384-9300 Ext. 210 or via email at Dads@frcoraleigh.org.     

·         New Teacher Bag Donations: Help is needed to welcome new teachers to Vance County. Snacks, gum, candy, water bottles, notepads, pens, pencils, coupons, etc. are needed to pack in the bags. If you would like to make a donation, please contact Melanie Mann at 252-438-8414 or info@hendersonvance.org. Deadline for donations is August 3rd.

·         Eastpointe Community Collaborative Youth Forum: Mon., Aug. 5th from 9am-2pm at the Wilson County Agriculture Center, 1806 Goldsboro St. S., Wilson, NC. Registration and other information can be obtained from Cotina Thorne, SOC Specialist, at 910-298-7187 or email at cthorne@eastpointe.net. This event is free and aimed at youth ages 14-18. Food will be provided for those who register by July 22nd, 2016.

·         Statewide Pipeline Strategy Gathering: Sat. and Sun. August 13 & 14, 2016, for all groups and local activists interested in working on local, regional and national strategy on pipeline. Rocky Mount area or north along the pipeline route. More details coming soon!

·         Lunch Break to Educate: Tues., Aug 16th 11:30 am – 1:00 pm in the Chamber conference room. 414 S. Garnett St., Henderson, NC. Educational session will feature speaker Dr. Brandon Taylor of Henderson Wellness Center. To RSVP, please contact Melanie Mann at 252-438-8414 or email info@hendersonvance.org. Lunch will be provided for a cost of $5.00. Deadline to RSVP is Monday, August 15th. For more information about Henderson Wellness Center, please visit them at www.hendersonwellnesscenter.com

·         Annual Awards Banquet: The Annual Awards Banquet will be held on Thurs., September 22, 2016 at the Henderson Vance Farmers Market, 210 Southpark Drive, Henderson, NC. Nomination forms can be found on our website, www.kerrtarcog.org, and forms must be back to Gina Parham no later than Monday, August 15th. If you have any questions please contact Gina Parham at gparham@kerrtarcog.org.

·         Gregory B. Davis Foundation (GBDF): PLEASE JOIN the Gregory B. Davis Foundation (GBDF) in partnership with Collier Harley Davidson on Sat., August 20, 2016 for the 10th Annual Bike Ride which will benefit Caregiver Support Initiatives.  Ride begins at 10:00 a.m. at Collier Harley Davidson, 316 Premier Blvd., Roanoke Rapids, NC.  For more information, please call 252-535-3718.   Please visit our website at http://www.gbdf.org/ and visit and “LIKE US” on our face book page here!!!  See flyer below and attached.  See you at this year’s Ride…..LIVE TO RIDE…RIDE TO LIVE!!!

·         Book Bag and School Supplies Giveaway:  617 East 11th Street, Scotland Neck, NC. Sat., August 27th sponsored by Scotland Neck Education and Recreation Foundation, Inc. The deadline to donate is August 21, 2016. For more information contact Mildred Moore at 252-836-2080 or mildred5041@embarqmail.com.

·         Eastpointe Community Collaborative Drug Conference:  Mon., Aug 29th from 9-11am at the NC Wayne Cooperative Extension/Wayne Center, 208 West Chestnut Street, Goldsboro, NC. Registration and other information can be obtained from Andrea Boney at 919-587-0345 or email at aboney@eastpoint.net.

·         African American Cultural Festival: Sat., September 17, 2016, Live entertainment, African Dance, Historical Exhibits, Walking Tour, vendors and festival food. Location: Historic Courthouse Square, Warrenton, NC. 919-702-3701.

 

AND MORE:

 

Jordan McMillen Chosen as the New Vance County  Manager

By Allison Tretina Henderson Dispatch

After more than a year of searching, reviewing 90 applications and conducting 22 interviews, the Vance County Board of Commissioners has appointed a permanent county manager whom they know well.

Jordan McMillen, who currently serves as the deputy county manager and has been with the county since 2008, was named county manager on a 6-1 vote Monday night.

“I have been serving Vance County for over eight years now, so it’s an honor continuing doing that,” he said. “I take the job very seriously. It is a privilege.”

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NC RESTORES FULL SENIOR CITIZEN DISCOUNT FOR CAMPING AT KERR LAKE & ALL STATE PARKS

Frank Timberlake

Lead, Public Affairs

 

We are very proud of Kerr Lake Park Watch’s roll in helping to restore to the North Carolina side of Kerr Lake, the full senior discount for camping of $6 per night.  As many campers cross state lines to camp we are sharing the attached news release with interested media and people in Virginia as well as North Carolina.

 

We began to get inundated with emails and some calls when the cut first occurred a few weeks ago and responded with information and interviews.

 

We thank all who helped with this effort.

 

As always, if you have any questions or need any information, please feel free to contact us.

 

Thanks and have a great weekend, maybe even at Kerr Lake!

 

 

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GRANTS OPPORTUNITIES, AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS:

 

 

Has this ever happened to you? You drive to the store, find a parking place, get a shopping cart, make your way down each aisle, grab your items, head to the cashier to pay for your items, and you head home wishing you could have avoided the entire experience.

Imagine being able to purchase your necessary items while never having to leave the comfort of your home and receiving a credit on your electric bill for doing so. Sound too good to be true? With Roanoke Rewards, it’s not!

What is Roanoke Rewards?

Your cooperative knows that our member-owners like to see the value in the service offerings that we provide. That’s why we’re excited to offer exclusive programs like Roanoke Rewards. With this program, member-owners like you have the opportunity to shop online with participating retailers and receive a credit on your electric bill. Each retailer sets the amount of cash back they will give you on your purchases and that “cash back” will be returned as a credit on your electric bill.

What’s the catch? There isn’t one! Roanoke Rewards is just another benefit of what it means to be a member-owner. By shopping with the online Shopping Assistant, you can earn up to 40% cash back from over 4,000 participating online retailers like Macy’s, Office Depot, and Walmart.

How do I start earning “cash back” today?

 

Once you’ve set up an account profile through the Member Service portal, you can log in at www.roanokeelectric.com/rewards and start shopping!

 

Register and start shopping today by visiting our Member Loyalty page

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Grant Opportunity:

USDA Seeks Applications for Broadband Grants for Rural Communities

 

USDA is soliciting applications for grants to establish broadband in unserved rural communities through its Community Connect program. Community Connect is administered by USDA’s Rural Utilities Service and helps to fund broadband deployment into rural communities where it is not economically viable for private sector providers to provide service. USDA plans to award up to $11.7 million in grants through the Community Connect grant program. The grants fund broadband infrastructure to help foster economic growth by delivering connectivity to the global marketplace. The grants also fund broadband for community centers and public institutions. The minimum grant is $100,000 for FY 2016. The maximum award is $3 million. To view rules, click here. To access information on applying for the grant program, click here.

 

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Kerr-Tar Workforce Development Board to apply for America’s Promise Job-Driven Grant Program

 

Funding is available to support grants under the America’s Promise Job-Driven Grant Program. ETA expects to fund between 20-40 grants, with individual grants ranging from $1 million to $6 million. This competitive grant program will build on the momentum of WOIA to develop and expand regional partnerships and training opportunities, particularly for middle-to-high skilled H-1B industries and occupations, ensuring that communities fully maximize their federal, state and local funds to build a competitive workforce. Deadline is August 25, 2016. Click here for more information.

 

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LEGISLATIVE NEWS:

Lawmaker Touts Medicaid Expansion

Rocky Mount Telegram – July 15, 2016

Lawmaker touts Medicaid expansion

Angela Bryant, D-Nash, said she believes expanding Medicaid would improve the health of working mothers and their

children. Bryant has filed a bill …

 

     

Flag as irrelevant

 

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Several District 4 Citizens Were Appointed To Various Public Offices Pursuant To Senate Bill 898

·         Marie D. Insocre of Nash County was appointed to the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc., for a term expiring on December, 31, 2019.

·         William M. Bryan of Nash County was appointed to the Criminal Justice Information Network Governing Board for a term expiring on June 30, 2019.

·         Russell L. Proctor of Nash County was appointed to the Economic Investment Committee for a term expiring on November 20, 2018.

·         Lige Daughtridge of Nash County was appointed to the Rural Infrastructure Authority for a term expiring on June 30, 2019.

·         Donald L. Wells of Vance County was appointed to the North Carolina Board for Licensing of Soil Scientists for a term expiring on June 20, 2019.

·         T. Scott Aman of Halifax County was appointed to the North Carolina Turnpike Authority Board for a term expiring on January 14, 2023.

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OUR STARS

Williford Leadership 5th Graders Legislative Day – May 12, 2016

 

 

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Area Legislators Visits NC Works and Holds Press Conference on North Carolina’s Economic Inequality

 

 

Friday, July 8th, 2016, Senators Angela Bryant, Erica Smith-Engram, Don Davis, and Representatives Shelly Willingham and Representative Bobbie Richardson visited NCWorks Career Center for a site tour and press conference to discuss actions needed to be taken to decrease the metropolitan area’s unemployment rate.

 

 

 

 

 

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What Businesses Should Know About the 2016 N.C. Legislature
Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard LLP — www.lexology.com

 

The North Carolina General Assembly has completed its 2016 “short” session. A number of bills considered by Legislators will impact businesses of all types. Here are some highlights from this year’s session.

 

Additional funds were invested in education.

·         Legislators raised K-12 educator salaries to just over $50,000 with an average increase of 4.7%. Additional funds for instructional materials, textbooks, and digital materials were also appropriated. The budget increases funds for more need-based scholarships for certain K-12 private school students. It also guarantees no in-state tuition increase for a standard four-year undergraduate term at the State’s public universities.

 

Both the income tax and sales tax were changed.

·         During the last five years, Legislators have substantially rewritten the State tax code with a focus on reducing the personal and corporate income tax rates, broadening the coverage of the State sales tax to more services, and reducing or eliminating tax credits and tax preferences. The State personal income tax rate will fall next year from 5.75% to 5.499% with a likely reduction in the corporate income tax rate from 4% to 3% based on meeting revenue collection targets.

·         During this year’s session, the standard deduction for personal income tax was raised for 2016 by $1,000500 for 2016 for taxpayers married and filing jointly in 2016, and increased an additional $1,000 to . It was raised by an additional $500 for 2017, bringing the cap to $17,500 for 2017.

·         Legislators in 2015 expanded the State sales tax to cover repair, installation and maintenance of tangible personal property and certain motor vehicles. During this year’s session, they clarified the coverage of that expansion and enacted a grace period for taxpayers subject to the tax.

 

Tax changes could be coming for multi-state companies.

·         The Legislature chose to postpone a decision on the issue of “market-based sourcing” this year, directing the Department of Revenue to adopt rules as if legislation had passed to enact it. The rules, however, cannot be effective unless the Legislature takes affirmative action on the issue in a future session. If adopted, market-based sourcing would signify a change in the State’s approach to calculating how much income is allocated to North Carolina for corporate income tax purposes. Currently, North Carolina allocates income based on where the income-producing activity occurs. Under market-based sourcing, this would change to consider instead where the benefit of the service is received – often determined by the location of the customer. This potential change would only affect companies doing business in multiple states.

 

Additional funds were invested in economic development.

·         The budget includes $3.75 million for the Commerce Department to use for marketing and advertising to promote economic development and $1 million for a new International Recruiting Coordination Office in the Department. The $30 million grant for the film industry was also extended for a year.

 

Another bill on coal ash cleanup was enacted.

·         The State has worked for a number of years on bills related to the cleanup and safety of coal ash ponds filled with waste from coal-burning electric power plants. This year’s bill allows Duke Energy to cap half of the ponds at the State’s power plants, instead of excavating them and moving their contents to lined storage. Neighbors of the plants who have drinking water wells will be connected to municipal water or given filtration systems by the fall of 2018. Duke will have to establish three centers to process coal ash into concrete and other material for reuse.

 

Transportation funding grew and development restrictions were changed.

·         About $32 million in new funds were allocated for the Strategic Transportation Investment law, which governs transportation funding. This money is in addition to changes made last year to stop using money from the Highway Fund for general purpose spending and stabilizing the motor fuel tax rate.

·         Legislators also reacted to a recent State Supreme Court decision, which struck down State law restricting development along the paths of future road projects. By implementing that law, tThe Court held that by implementing the law, the Department of transportation (DOT) was effectively taking private property without paying for it. Action by Legislators repeals transportation corridor maps, prohibits additional maps protecting routes until July 1, 2017, and charges DOT with developing recommendations for a new policy balancing property rights with road building needs.

 

Medicaid reform continues.

·         One of the largest parts of the budget is the State share for Medicaid (16% in FY 2017). In order to bring more budget certainty to this program, Legislators enacted a reform bill in 2015 to create a hybrid model in which commercial plans (typically insurance companies) and provider-led entities (hospitals and physician groups) will compete to run the program. The Department of Health and Human Services has submitted a waiver request to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as a key step in this process. The move to full capitation—that is, when the commercial plans and provider-led entities bear the financial risk for Medicaid—will be 18 months after approval of the plan from federal authorities. That could be in 2018 or even 2019.

 

A restriction on State court lawsuits for employment discrimination was removed.

·         Legislators took action on the final day of session to restore the right to sue in State court for employment discrimination, which had been initially eliminated following the passage in March of HB 2. Employees will now have one year to file a State claim (versus a three-year period prior to the enactment of HB 2). No change was made to the provisions related to local governments enacting ordinances related to bathroom use.

 

The November 2016 elections affect nearly every aspect of State leadership.

·         All 170 Legislative seats are on the November ballot. Although some incumbents are retiring, most observers expect the Republicans to retain significant majorities in both houses. Ten statewaide Council of State positions are on the ballot with the race between Governor Pat McCrory and challenger Attorney General Roy Cooper gaining the most attention. Officers in which incumbents are running for reelection include Lieutenant Governor, Agriculture, Auditor, Insurance, Labor, Public Instruction and Secretary of State. There will be a new Attorney General and State Treasurer.

 

The next session will be in January 2017.

·         Legislators are scheduled to next return to Raleigh on January 11, 2017. In the interim, a number of lawmakers will be focused on their reelection campaigns. Some will be in Raleigh periodically working on various oversight committees covering areas including education, health and human services, justice and public safety, and transportation.

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NC Legislative Update

From Nexsen Pruet

 

Legislators end short session – Wilkes Journal-Patriot 

 

Several high-profile bills left behind by lawmakers – WRAL 

 

What NC lawmakers did – and didn’t do – in the short session – Charlotte Observer 

The failure of two local bills in the House sponsored by two powerful Senators was evidence of the friction between the two chambers and was largely responsible for an abrupt adjournment. The House Finance Committee rejected Senate Bill 46 entitled Jacksonville Occupancy Tax, sponsored by Sen. Brown (R-Onslow), the Senate Majority Leader and Senior Appropriations Chairman. The bill would have used revenues from the tax to build a sporting complex or stadium. During a contentious debate, several House members noted that the bill violated a House rule requiring revenues from occupancy taxes be used to promote tourism. Later that evening, the full House rejected Senate Bill 897, sponsored by Sen. Apodaca (R-Henderson), the Senate Rules Chairman, which would have redistricted the City of Asheville. Sen. Apodaca was in the House chamber when a bipartisan coalition voted 47-59 against the measure. When approached by reporters Sen. Apodaca, who is retiring from the Senate, said “I’m sure they’re just sending a goodbye present to me.” 

 

Fractious House shoots down Asheville redistricting measure – WRAL 

 

House Republicans stood up to questionable process – Citizen-Times 

Discussions began earlier in the week regarding a potential change to House Bill 2, amid concerns that the NBA would move next year’s All-Star game out of Charlotte. Governor McCrory (R) addressed a joint caucus of House and Senate Republicans to discuss the proposed changes. He also met independently with Senate Democrats at the Governor’s mansion in an attempt to move forward with the “fix”. Draft legislation circulated later in the week included restoring a plaintiff’s ability to file discriminatory termination suits in State Court among other minor changes. The NBA however issued a press release stating that the changes were insufficient. In the final hours of Friday night, lawmakers used a Conference Committee for House Bill 169 to strip all of the regulatory reform language from the bill and pass a stand-alone provision restoring plaintiff’s ability to sue in state court for wrongful discharge due to discrimination. Prior to HB2, the statute of limitations was three years which was reduced to one under this change. The budget technical corrections bill also contained an appropriation of $500,000 to defend the State in litigation over HB2. 

 

NBA, Hornets not satisfied with latest revisions to HB 2 – CBJ 

 

Bipartisan coalition to pass HB2 changes fell apart amid pressure from Roy Cooper – WBTV 

 

Lawmakers reverse small piece of HB2 – WRAL 

 

Lawmakers set aside $500,000 for HB2 litigation – WRAL 

House Bill 169 was not the only piece of regulatory reforming legislation that failed to pass. Other bills that failed included: Senate Bill 303 the Regulatory Reform Act of 2016; House Bill 763 the Military Operations Protections Act of 2016 which included restrictions on wind farms; and House Bill 593 Amend Environmental & Other Laws. Several other high profile bills also failed to gain the approval of both chambers including:

  • House Bill 3 – Omnibus Constitutional Amendments which contained three independent constitutional amendments dealing with: reducing the maximum income tax from 10% to 5.5%; preserving the right to hunt and fish; and eminent domain 
  • House bill 100 – Local Government Immigration Compliance, which would withhold state funding to cities and counties for roads and schools if they were not following state laws on immigration; and prevent police officers from accepting ID cards from nonprofit groups and local governments to identify people 
  • House Bill 954 – Terminate Agreement for Tolling of I-77 
  • Senate Bill 821 – GSC Technical Corrections 1 

The legislature successfully passed House Bill 959, entitled DOT Proposed Legislative Changes, which makes revisions to various transportation laws. One provision requires individuals riding a bicycle to have a red rear light or wear a reflective vest or clothing visible from a distance of at least 300 feet from the rear when riding at night. Another section repeals a law that makes it an infraction for a vehicle owner who fails to sign their registration card with pen and ink upon receipt. The most notable provision repeals the MAP Act, a law that allowed DOT to restrict the use of private property falling under a proposed corridor for a potential future project. The MAP Act was recently found unconstitutional by the NC Supreme Court. 

House Passes bill effectively nullifying Map Act – Carolina Journal

 

The legislature also passed House bill 972, which regulates the disclosure of footage from police body cameras and dashboard cameras statewide, excluding both from public record laws. Concerns about transparency were raised as reviewing the footage will be more difficult under the new legislation. The bill awaits action from the Governor. 

NC Senate votes to regulate release of body-cam footage – N&O 

The House Insurance Committee heard House Bill 1048, entitled Reduce Barriers to Improve NC Health & Safety. The bill would prevent health insurers from requiring a process called Step Therapy, whereby patients must try less expensive, generic drugs before insurance will cover a more expensive drug. The bill was vigorously opposed by insurance companies, as well as the NC Chamber and the NC chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business. Opponents of the bill claim that the bill was a health insurance mandate and would further raise the costs of healthcare on employers. Proponents argued that the medicine that works best should be paid for without risking the health of the patient, with the physician making the decision for the patient. Rep. Lewis (R-Harnett) ultimately pulled his own bill, saying that he expected it would have passed the Committee, but that there was not enough time to get the bill through both chambers before adjournment. He also noted that he intends to revisit the issue next year. 

Legislator kills his own prescription drug bill after battle with insurance companies – N&O 

The House will be without a stalwart of the chamber when the 2017-18 Session convenes in January. Longtime and beloved House Principal Clerk, Denise Weeks will retire by the end of the year. She had intended to retire on May 1st, but was convinced by leaders in both parties to stay on through the short session. To prevent her from retiring altogether, bipartisan legislation, House Bill 1019, was filed by Rep. G. Martin (D-Wake) and Rep. Torbett (R-Gaston). The bill establishes duties a Principal Clerk of the House of Representatives must realize to be eligible for retirement and was debated by the Committee of the Whole, which is the full House. The bill paid homage to Mrs. Weeks, recognizing her many accolades as requirements for retirement eligibility, with the exception of one. The last duty in the proposed legislation requires the House Principal Clerk to serve in the role for 50 years, preventing her from retiring for another 27 years. The House passed the resolution unanimously in the last few minutes of the session. The problem is Denise plans to retire anyway. 

Legislation in the News: 

Some NC teachers concerned over proposed background check law – WNCN 

NC Senate opts against vote on Whitewater Center plan – Charlotte Observer 

Achievement School District clears NC General Assembly – Winston-Salem Journal 

Needle/ Syringe Exchange Bill Has Good Shot at Becoming Law – NC Health News 

Lead testing, water park testing bill clears House – WRAL 

North Carolina Governor Signs Bitcoin Bill Into Law – Coin Desk 

Bill would force NC attorney general to defend redistricting, other local acts – Winston-Salem Journal 

Budget Highlights

 

After reaching an agreement on the 235-page, $22.34 Billion budget, the two chambers passed the Conference Report for House Bill 1030, a 2.8% spending increase over 2015. The Senate passed the budget, largely along party lines 36-14, with Senators Clark (D-Cumberland) and Smith (D-Columbus) voting with the Republican majority. The House passed the budget with strong bipartisan numbers 91-22, with 19 Democrats voting with the Republican majority. Among other provisions, the budget: 

 

·         Provides additional $475 Million to the Savings Reserve Account, or “rainy day fund”, bring the total to nearly $1.6 Billion, close to 8% of state’s annual spending, in reserves for any future economic downturns

·         Increases the standard deduction on personal income, or the “zero tax bracket” for married filing jointly, from $15,500 to $17,500, over 2 years in $1,000 increments. 
Provides $500,000 for Zika virus prevention

·         Uses $18 million from the sale of the Dorothea Dix campus to expand inpatient behavioral health beds targeting rural areas

·         Provides $7.7 million for graduate medical residency program at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center

·         Provides $11 Million to create a Asheville campus for the UNC School of Medicine

·         Funds additional 300 slots for Alzheimer’s patients and their families through the Community Alternative Program for Disabled Adults

·         Increases average teacher pay from $47,783 to $54,224 over the next three years

·         Establishes a pilot program awarding performance based bonuses for 3rd grade teachers

·         Fully funds enrollment growth for K-12, community colleges and university system

·         Establishes $34.8 Million opportunity scholarship grant fund reserve for need-based scholarships

·         Establishes tuition reimbursement pilot program for up to 25 teacher assistants per County in Anson, Franklin, Moore, Richmond, and Scotland Counties who pursue a full teaching degree

·         Reduces in-state tuition to $500 per semester at Western Carolina University, Elizabeth City State University, and UNC Pembroke beginning in 2018, and stabilize tuition increases at other institutions

·         Permanent 1.5% pay increase; 0.5% one-time bonus for state employees; and 1.6% cost of living bonus for retired state employees

·         Repeals the $500,000 cap on state funding for light rail projects effective for the next round of project prioritization, but adds other restrictions

·         Provides additional $32 Million for Strategic Transportation Investment, allowing for new highway projects over the next decade

House Dems criticize state budget, but many vote for it – WRAL 

NC budget compromise: Teacher raises, low college tuition, tax cut – N&O 

Highlights of North Carolina government budget agreement – WRAL

Farm Bill

The House approved a PCS for Senate Bill 770, the NC Farm Act of 2016, sponsored by Sen. Jackson (R-Sampson). The Senate concurred with the House changes and the bill now awaits action from the Governor. The bill, among other provisions: 

 

·         Grants the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) several new powers to enforce the DACS bedding sanitation program

·         Authorizes DACS to appoint and deploy agricultural emergency response teams to respond to agricultural emergencies. 

·         Authorizes employees of the Wildlife Resources Commission and employees of federal agencies whose responsibilities include fisheries and wildlife management, to cull feral swine from an aircraft with the written permission of the landowner 

·         Eliminates the rendering plant inspection committee 

·         Allow local school boards to develop and implement policies to facilitate and maximize purchases of food grown or raised in North Carolina 

·         Extends the sunset for the production credit for commercial facilities for processing renewable fuel from January 1, 2017 to January 1, 2020. 

·         Clarifies that a building permit is not required for certain work costing less than $15,000 provided that the work is performed in accordance with the current edition of the North Carolina State Building Code 

·         Exempts any activity that constitutes a bona fide farm use, including the production of mulch, ornamental plants, sod, and other horticultural products from the Sedimentation Pollution Control Act 

·         Waives or prorates deferred taxes when property under present use valuation (PUV) is transferred for less than its true value to a nonprofit entity for conservation or historical preservation 

·         Adds section extending the renewable energy tax credit for swine and poultry waste renewable energy facilities to January 1st 2017 for those in the public utility’s interconnection queue, provided that prior to May 21, 2016, the facility has: entered into the interconnection queue and; either obtained a certificate of public convenience and necessity or reported to the Utilities Commission that it proposes to construct the facility 

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Some Teachers Left Out Of State Pay Raises

Julie Ball from The Citizen Times

ASHEVILLE – North Carolina Republican lawmakers are predicting pay raises included in their budget plan will bring the average annual teacher salary in the state to more than $50,000 for the first time.

They say the raises are part of a three-year effort to raise average pay to nearly $55,000.

But some of the state’s most experienced teachers are feeling left out. They will see some of the smallest raises, and about 4,000 are not expected to get a raise this year.

“The North Carolina legislature is happy to tell the public that they have provided significant raises for teachers in the past six years. But that’s not the whole story,” said Debi Beckman, a Buncombe County teacher who is in her 34th year.

Lawmakers in the state House and Senate approved the pay raise plan as part of the new budget. As of Thursday, the budget still needed the signature of Gov. Pat McCrory.

In a joint news release last month, Republican leaders in the House and Senate called the pay raises “dramatic.”

They said the pay plan “continues Republican state leaders’ commitment to dramatically raising teacher pay with a bold plan to boost average teacher salaries to $50,186 next school year and to nearly $55,000 within three years.”

In addition to raises, the state budget also sets aside money to pay bonuses to Advanced Placement teachers and Career Technical Education teachers based on student performance measures. And some third-grade teachers who have been implementing Read to Achieve could also earn thousands in bonuses based on their students’ growth scores, according to news reports.

“If you value teachers, vote for this budget,” said Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, told colleagues during House floor debate last month.

The pay raise plan “lays the foundation” to increase average teacher pay over the next three years, “which will provide North Carolina public school teachers an average $4,700 permanent pay raise over the same period and propel the state to the top of regional rankings,” according to the release.

Several members of the House and Senate education appropriations committees could not be reached for this story.

Raising pay for teachers has been a major issue in the state, especially as North Carolina schools struggle to recruit teachers amid a shrinking pool of applicants.

“We’ve lost quality people to Georgia for significant pay raises,” said Chris Baldwin, Macon County school superintendent.

Applicants from Alabama have also turned down jobs in Macon County after they saw the pay scale, Baldwin said.

“Teachers are aware that states around them are paying significantly more, and then their colleagues leave for that higher pay. It does play into teacher morale,” he said.

The state ranked ninth in the southeast out of 12 states in average teacher pay during the 2015-16 school year.

The Public School Forum of North Carolina predicts the latest pay raises will move the state up to seventh in the southeast when it comes to average pay, but North Carolina will still trail some neighboring states including Georgia and South Carolina.

“Other states are not standing still,” said Keith Poston, executive director of the group.

The Public School Forum found Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia “have specific increases in teacher pay planned for 2016-17; Arkansas and Georgia have increases in their education budgets that the state board of education or local districts could decide to allocate to teacher pay or other needs.”

The salary rankings include the local supplements that most school districts in North Carolina pay in addition to the state-set base pay.

Poston said three southeastern states already have average pay above $50,000, and three more will move above that level in the coming year. North Carolina would be the seventh, he said.

“Our feeling is we need to make a larger and more sustained commitment to teachers,” Poston said. He said the state has been picking “winners” when it comes to pay raises rather than making across the board increases.

In 2014, beginning teachers were the focus of much-debated pay raises. But the most experienced teachers, those who have been teaching for more than 25 years, haven’t seen big changes in their salaries. Some saw less than a 1 percent increase under the 2014-15 increases.

“These are the teachers that we have basically ignored for the last few years,” Poston said. “It’s not right. We need to be focused on keeping all of our excellent teachers in the classroom.”

Details of the plan

The increases are included in the state-set base pay. They don’t include possible increases in local supplements. Buncombe County school officials did get county dollars to increase the local supplement for local teachers. That will come on top of any state increase.

Overall, state officials have said the average of base pay raises in the plan is 4.7 percent. But it will vary depending on experience level.

With this plan, the largest pay raises occur between year 10 and year 25. Teachers moving from year 14 to year 15 will see a 13.1 percent increase, the biggest single increase in the plan.

On the lower end of the scale, those teachers already at year 25 and above will see raises of 2 percent. For a teacher with a bachelor’s degree, pay is capped at $51,000 annually starting at year 25. Teachers can earn more if they have National Board Certification. And some teachers earn more because they have a master’s degree, but that is being phased out by the state.

In 2014-15 when the state redid the salary structure, some teachers were already making above the capped level. Those teachers were “held harmless,” meaning they don’t see a pay cut, but they also won’t see an increase this year, according to the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.

About 4,000 teachers in the state fall into that “held harmless” category, according to the North Carolina Association of Educators.

“In reality, I guess they will be making less because they got a $750 bonus last year,” said Mark Jewell, president of the NCAE.

Beckman is one of those teachers.

She said she doesn’t begrudge the raises other teachers are set to receive. But she feels the state’s most veteran teachers haven’t been respected.

“They (state lawmakers) understand that we have been working for a long time for our students and that we care about our students. And because we have a number of years invested toward retirement, they don’t have to be respectful about our pay,” Beckman said.

Under the revised pay scale, the starting base pay for a teacher with a bachelor’s degree remains at $35,000.

Pay then increases each year through year 15. That’s a change from the previous pay scale, which kept pay at the same level for five years before teachers would see an increase. Starting at year 15, pay again falls into five-year tiers and teachers must wait to year 20 for another step increase. Step increases stop at year 25.

“Veteran teachers are discouraged to say the least,” Beckman said. “From year 25 to retirement veteran teachers will receive the same pay, whether they retire at 30 years or 45 years. No raise. Nothing. In 2010 a teacher with 33 years experience made $52,550. Today a teacher with 33 years experience makes $51,000. How did salaries go down for our most experienced educators?”

Rena Sutton, a counselor at South Macon Elementary School with 34 years experience, said she is also in the “held harmless” category.

She said if the state had kept the salary scale it had in place in 2008 she’d be making more money now. And teachers still feel the loss of longevity pay, which was folded into their regular base pay as part of the previous pay structure changes, she said.

“Younger teachers, thankfully, are receiving much deserved increases, but by no means overwhelming amounts of money,” Sutton said via email. “This will help them in the near future, but with increased life spans, they had better plan a move to another state to realize their income potential when they become experienced and at the full gait of professionalism in their mid-40s when the lack of increased long-term income becomes their new problem.”

Angie Cathcart, digital lead teacher at Asheville Middle School and president of the Asheville City Association of Educators, says what’s happened is the gap has narrowed between starting pay and what the most experienced teacher can earn.

“I’m glad that there was some pay increase as opposed to zero, but it’s still nominal for veteran teachers,” she said. “And me personally I feel undervalued for the kind of work that I’ve done for 26 years.”

Some teachers have also expressed concerns about plans for bonuses that target third-grade teachers.

Paula Dinga, a third-grade teacher, wants to know the details.

“I would benefit from this,” she said. “But I also think that my job is made easier by the kindergarten and first-grade and second-grade teachers. … Why are we focused on a single grade?”

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EDUCATION NEWS:

 

WARREN COUNTY SCHOOLS

Summer Meals For Youths: Volunteers Needed

Contact Quilt Lizzy

                      

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Halifax County Hosts Mock County Commissioners Meeting

 

Halifax County hosted the Pathways to Success Youth Leadership group organized by the Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce. They learned about local government and conducted a mock county commissioners meeting. Pictured from left to right with the students are Judge Manning-Vice Chair, Vernon Bryant-Chairman and Tony Brown-City Manager.

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Spend The Summer At Home With These Stem Activities:

30 Minutes Or Less

Running out of things to do with your student as summer heats up? Check out these 10 STEM activities to do at home- all in 30 minutes or less.

1. Learn about principles such as molecular attraction and separation with Science Kid’s Oil and Water experiment with things that you probably already have at home.

2. Annenburg Learner created a list of quick math games that teach odds, patterns and saving money with math.

3. Take a walk outside, searching for as many bug species as you can. Spend the time after the walk searching the internet for images of the bugs you found, and look up interesting facts about them.

4. Head to Youtube and watch videos that explain even the most complex principles. Minute Physics is a great channel to start off watching, discussing everyday physics uses such as car crashes and piano tuning.

5. Follow these steps to make your own water cycle in a bag. This is a hands-on way to visualize the different processes in the water cycle- from evaporation to condensation.

6. Build paper airplanes and have a competition to see whose plane can fly the farthest. For more advanced airplane builders, try building the paper airplane that can support the most weight.

7. Play a game with NASA Kid’s Club. Kids can color pages or go on a virtual mission to Jupiter, all from the comfort of home.

8. Science Bob shared a way to make starch slime in as an experiment, complete with questions to ask before and a discussion of how it works.

9. Have you ever put raisins in a glass of club soda? Ever wondered what would happen? PBS Kids has the experiment and the answers.

10. Raid the pantry and make a snack. Practice math skills by observing fractions hands-on while cooking or baking. Plus, at the end of the lesson, you have a tasty treat.

 

 

SCROLL THROUGH FOR GREAT STEM RESOURCES

 

North Carolina Statewide STEM Strategy

STEM Education Data and Trends

Race to the Top State-by-State analysis

The Connectory

Elementary STEM Implementation Rubric

Middle School STEM Implementation Rubric

High School STEM Implementation Rubric

STEM Attributes for North Carolina Schools

NC STEM ScoreCard

U.S. Department of Education

North Carolina Network of Grantmakers

Burroughs Wellcome Fund

NC STEM Center Funding Resources

 

STEM Grants & Awards

21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) grant

NEF CyberLearning STEM Grants for schools

NEF’s STEM+ Academy Grant


BWF Career Awards at the Scientific Interface


BWF Career Awards for Science and Mathematics Teachers


BWF Career Awards for Medical Scientists

 

STEM Trivia

 

 

Last issue’s STEM Trivia question: Researchers said this week that wear and tear on what gene makes us less social? The answer is OXT Gene, also known as the “love hormone.” Thanks for all the correct answers!

Let’s see how well you do with this week’s question …

The U.S. Navy has invested $750,000 to develop what to sniff out explosives?

Think you know the answer? Click here to submit your response to @NCSTEM. If you choose not to click that link, please include the word “answer” in your tweet so we can find it (the link will automatically do so for you). We’ll announce winners in the next e-Update!

Upcoming STEM Events

 

What’s New?

The NC STEM Center has entered into a partnership with The Connectory, the go-to place for families to discover local STEM opportunities for the children in their lives and for program providers to find partners with which to collaborate. Visit the new Find Opportunities page to browse upcoming opportunities. 

Summer & Fall

NCSSM Summer Accelerator Program

NCTA Leadership Retreat

NCHICA 2016 Annual Conference and Exhibition

5th Biennial North Carolina Summit on USA/China Education

CED Tech Venture Conference

The Close It Summit: Shift Happens

UNC CAUSE 2016

NCCCS 2016 Conference: Pathways to Success

NCAIS Annual Educators Conference

5th Annual Bridging the Gap Conference

NCREN Community Day 2016

 

Do you have an event coming up and want people to know about it?

Send us your event information to include in a future NC STEM e-Update

Thank You!

Regional STEM Resources

Greenhouse STEM Education Labs and Urban Farms – Project SEED

SEED Foundation of North Carolina promotes urban sustainability through Greenhouse STEM Education Labs.  Labs are equipped with aquaponic and hydroponic farming technology in order to provide hands-on, project-based STEM education for K-12 grade students in urban schools. The content of the curriculum is conveyed through the lens of urban farming and addresses topics in biology, chemistry, physics and earth sciences as well as the living environment. Click the image or button below to learn more about this valuable STEM resource.

Learn more more about STEM programs in your community, click here. Become a member of NC STEM Center today. Joining is free and easy. Logged-in members  get access to grant opportunities and the ability to promote their STEM programs and events.

 

 

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IN THE NEWS:

Warren Record

 

·         The board of directors of the Cherry Hill Historical Trust, Incorporated has announced the establishment of the Edwina Rooker Endowment. A contribution to the foundation will enable the directors to provide an annual concert honoring the memory of the late Edwina Rooker. The Warrenton native and longtime supporter of Cherry Hill made a bequest to the foundation to support its educational, cultural and preservation missions.

o   http://www.warrenrecord.com/news/article_849b7ac0-438d-11e6-b450-17f6a5439933.html

·         The Warren County NAACP is asking local residents to complete an online test from their home computers to help determine the quality of Internet access in various areas of the county. Dr. Cosmos George, president of the local NAACP chapter, said that the test has been arranged as a result of state legislation that will eliminate traditional paper textbooks from public schools in 2017.

o   http://www.warrenrecord.com/news/article_3bd755f2-438d-11e6-acd3-ef4976032d25.html

·         Vaughan Elementary School Principal Renee Mizelle was named Warren County School’s literacy coordinator as part of personnel action taken by the board of education during its June 28 business meeting/work session.

o   http://www.warrenrecord.com/news/article_fb0107d0-438c-11e6-a954-433f47a58c04.html

Wilson Times

 

·         Low-income residents in eastern North Carolina may qualify for low-cost home internet service through a partnership between community agencies and AT&T. Nash-Edgecombe Economic Development will host a community launch event to introduce the program from 9 a.m. to noon July 20 at the NEED Inc. office on the second floor of 200 N Church St. in Rocky Mount. For more information, contact NEED at 252-442-8503.

o   http://www.wilsontimes.com/stories/Internet-service-available-for-low-income-residents,69651?

 

Henderson Daily Dispatch

 

·         The Vance County Department of Social Services is looking for someone to fill the position of director.

o    http://www.hendersondispatch.com/news/social-services-seeking-new-director/article_6b904c79-83cd-57bc-9088-7b8818f97730.html

 

Rocky Mount Telegram

 

·         Felicia Lucas, from Rocky Mount, has been selected as the Business and Professional Women of North Carolina’s Career Woman of the Year.

o   http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/Community/2016/07/12/Local-woman-honored-by-state-group.html

 

*******************************************************

YOUR KIND WORDS ARE APPRECIATED:

 

Dear Senator Bryant:

 

The Halifax County Arts Council is very grateful for your support of the arts in North Carolina. With the funds we have received from the NC Arts Council we have been able to undertake a variety of activities in the past year that have increased awareness and access to the arts in community. In addition, we have been able to support other grassroots organizations and their arts programs. This year the Grassroots Arts Grants Program supported the Halifax County Arts Council’s Mural Program, and we have gave grants to the Concerned Citizens of Tillery, the City of Roanoke Rapids, the Town of Littleton, The Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe, the Friends of the Scotland Neck Memorial Library, and the Roanoke Rapids Business Alliance. Without your support, these programs would not be possible. The funding from the state provides a foundation for the arts in Halifax County. Without it we would not be able to continue to grow in our community and enrich the lives of all of our citizens. We hope you will join us for some of our events in the coming year.

 

Sincerely, Magda Baligh

Board Treasurer

___________________________________________________________________________

Senator Bryant,

 

The Ella Baker Day event was a grand success in the little town of Littleton! We share that success with you because of grant funding made available through the North Carolina Arts Council. We were able to provide educational visual arts materials and a performing arts experience to over 7,000 children in Warren and Halifax County Schools. The general public was able to attend a Garrett Davis Production of the stage play, “We Shall Overcome”, symposium with a historic panel of individuals that were participants of civil rights movement as “Freedom Riders”, along with local historian, and local government officials for the enlightenment of all about our history, progress and future needs in addressing social justice. We were able to purchase the video documentary, Fundi”, the Ella Baker Story that will be available for viewing each year henceforth. In addition, we thank you for your participation on the panel for the symposium, your insights about voting rights and encouragement to remain civically involved was most appreciated.  The planning committee and I would like to express our sincerest gratitude and THANK YOU!

 

Sincerest regards,

 

Carolyn Ross-Holmes

 

___________________________________________________________________________

Senator Bryant,

 

Thank you for all of your support on the Healthy Corner Store Initiative!

 

Stan

NC Alliance for Health

 

 

Follow Senator Angela R. Bryant on social media!

 

       

 

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Friday / Weekend Open Lines http://homeinhenderson.com/2016/07/22/quick-hits/open-lines/friday-weekend-open-lines-131/ http://homeinhenderson.com/2016/07/22/quick-hits/open-lines/friday-weekend-open-lines-131/#respond Fri, 22 Jul 2016 04:01:22 +0000 http://homeinhenderson.com/?p=71051 Friday, July 22nd. It’s time to pass the mixed carrots, or maybe the pear zucchini corn. Fremont, Michigan is celebrating the 25th annual National Baby Food Festival, which began Wednesday and ends tomorrow. The town of 4,000 is home to the Gerber Baby Food Company, and is welcoming thousands of visitors to enjoy entertainment as well as baby food eating contests by adults and a baby crawl race. Today in the U.S., there are around 4 million babies being cradled or held in parents’ laps for their feedings, rather than being raced.. Gerber is joined by other domestic manufacturers of baby foods and infant formula in annual sales of over $1.5 billion. Organic products capture 21 percent of this market. You can find more statistics on communities across the country by downloading the Census Bureau’s “dwellr” mobile application at <www.census.gov/mobile>.

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Granville County Intersection Switched to Four-Way Stop http://homeinhenderson.com/2016/07/21/news/granville-county-intersection-switched-to-four-way-stop/ http://homeinhenderson.com/2016/07/21/news/granville-county-intersection-switched-to-four-way-stop/#respond Thu, 21 Jul 2016 04:03:47 +0000 http://homeinhenderson.com/?p=71041 Drivers in the Oxford area need to pay attention to a change in the traffic setup for the intersection of Huntsboro Road/Tabbs Creek Road and Salem Road as it was switched to a permanent four-way stop yesterday. In the past, vehicles in both directions on Huntsboro Road/Tabbs Creek Road had to stop, but traffic on Salem Road could travel through the intersection.

The conversion was made following an NCDOT safety study that determined traffic volumes at the intersection and other factors warranted installing stop signs on Salem Road. In addition to the signs, crews installed “stop ahead” pavement markings to help warn motorists of the new traffic pattern. And the existing flasher for this location now flashes red for all directions.

Message boards and signs will remain on site for a week to remind motorists of the new traffic pattern.

As drivers approach an all-way stop intersection, they are advised to follow these right of way rules:

  • The first vehicle to the intersection has the right of way ahead of any vehicle that has not yet arrived;
  • When two or more vehicles reach an intersection at the same time, the vehicle to the right has the right of way;
  • The vehicle with the right of way may move straight ahead or, if legal and after signaling, turn left or right;
  • When two facing vehicles approach an intersection at the same time, both drivers can move straight ahead or turn right. If one driver is going straight while the other wants to turn left, the driver who wants to turn left must yield. The driver who is traveling straight ahead has the right of way; and
  • Even with the right of way, remember to use the appropriate turn signals and be careful to avoid hitting other vehicles and/or pedestrians.

For real-time travel information, call 511, visit the Traveler Services section of NCDOT.gov or follow NCDOT on Twitter.

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