Author: Scott D. Yost

About Scott D. Yost

Here are my most recent posts

Yost Shares Ancient Chinese Secret

Every now and then, when my friends and I want a treat, we will grab something from China’s Best at Lawndale Shopping Center. Over here in my section of town, the place is legendary for its Chinese food, and I would put China’s Best up against any Chinese restaurant in town that isn’t currently advertising in the Rhino. But the real treat that I always enjoy the most, when it comes to China’s Best or any other Chinese restaurant for that matter, isn’t the succulent sesame sweet and sour Szechuan shrimp or the crispy Cantonese crabmeat creations. Instead, it’s what comes after the food … The Chinese fortune cookie. The other day, I picked up a China’s Best order and when I got back to the house there were no fortune cookies in the bag and everyone was like, “Oh no – no fortune cookies?? What the hay?” We were so disappointed that I drove back to China’s Best and said, “Hey, what’s the deal?” The China’s Best lady said that fortune cookies do still come with the meals but now you have to ask for them, and then she took handfuls of fortune cookies and gave them to me, and, then, when I got home, everyone had a grand old time opening up the cookies and seeing what their futures held. In addition, I think the greatest free...

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It May Take a Village to Untangle Animal Shelter Land Deal Jumble

The most complicated thing about building a new Guilford County Animal Shelter might be selling the old shelter property. Ever since the Guilford County Board of Commissioners decided to relocate the county’s animal shelter and sell off the existing shelter property, county legal staff and facilities staff have been trying to untangle the complex string of deals, deeds and contracts that have been strung together in the 60-year period since the county bought the three connected lots on West Wendover Avenue as a home for a county animal shelter. Some of that property is owned jointly with two other local governments; part is on loan to the Humane Society of the Piedmont, and there’s been a great deal of confusion over who gets the shelter’s large parking lot when the county leaves. Some Guilford County commissioners said it was their understanding that the Humane Society would get a large slice of that parking lot, but old county records suggest otherwise. The three lots became a center of attention for staff when the Guilford County Board of Commissioners decided to move the Animal Shelter to a nearby undisclosed 12-acre site that’s closer to High Point than the current shelter. The commissioners, who are likely to take a formal vote on that move in August, plan on selling the old property once the new shelter is built; however, that could be...

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Yost Finds Freedom In Fake News

For centuries, the news has been the news; but now, in 2017, we have a completely brand new phenomenon, the thing that’s suddenly all the rage – fake news. Unlike most people, who rail against it, I consider fake news to be a highly welcome change for the stodgy and uptight journalism industry. For too long, newspapers and other media outlets have been handcuffed by the requirement that news stories be factually accurate. And, while accuracy and factuality unquestionably have their advantages – not to mention a certain pedestrian charm – those requirements also manacle news reporters in extremely confining ways. However, with fake news, stories immediately become much more interesting, there’s zero research required and reporter creativity is allowed to reach new heights. So all that got me thinking: Why don’t we just stop fighting against fake news and embrace it. As you no doubt realize by now, fake news is all around us and it’s certainly here to stay – and trying to buck that trend is a losing battle. Also, if you can’t beat them, then you know what they say you should do. So, I am in fact joining them, and this week I decided to just bring you some of the best fake news stories we could find …   Guilford County Jail Meals Go All-organic. Greensboro – Inmates in Guilford County’s two jails,...

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County Kiddie Train Leaves Northeast Park on Round Trip to California

They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch but apparently there are free kiddie train repairs. In an amazing and unexplainable turn of events in the long-running saga of the dysfunctional Little Train that Couldn’t at Northeast Park, the company that sold the defective train to Guilford County has, out of the blue, agreed to come get the train, truck it back to California, repair it and return it free of charge. That comes two months after the Guilford County Board of Commissioners voted to spend an estimated $63,000 to fix the train and tracks. The board later hired a Burlington company to do the repairs. This new development means the county could save nearly all of that money commissioners approved earlier this year in their last ditch effort to save the train. County officials had long ago given up hopes that the original supplier that sold the train to the county would fix it. Six years ago, Guilford County purchased the C.P. Huntington train from Katiland Trains to serve as a park attraction that would draw kids and their families to Northeast Park, but the train has never run properly and, aside from a short stint a year and a half ago, the ride has never been operational. The county spent nearly $370,000 to purchase the train and tracks – roughly $170,000 for the train, and...

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Guilford County Commissioners To Say Bottoms Up To Sunday Brunch Bill

After the Guilford County Board of Commissioners meeting on Thursday, July 13, adult residents of unincorporated Guilford County who enjoy throwing back beers or Bloody Marys at public establishments on Sunday mornings will be able to do just that. In a June change of state law, state legislators gave local governments across North Carolina the right, if they so chose, to move up the start time of Sunday alcohol sales at bars, restaurants and other ABC-licensed venues, from noon to 10 a.m., and Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Jeff Phillips said this week that he expects the Guilford County commissioners to vote overwhelmingly to approve the change. State Rep. Jon Hardister was one of the primary sponsors of the bill. Guilford County Commissioner Justin Conrad, who ran Libby Hill Seafood Restaurants for years and who now owns and operates a seafood supply business, said the Sunday morning alcohol sales will help area restaurants and other county businesses where alcohol is sold. “I am a supporter of it,” Conrad said of the change coming to unincorporated Guilford County. “It’s good for my industry; it’s good for people in the hospitality business and it’s also good for the county because of the added sales tax revenue.” Conrad said moving up the start time of Sunday drink sales will also benefit Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA). He said that,...

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Yost Throws Animal Party In Back Yard

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? – Matthew 6:26-27, New International Version     The road to hell is paved with good intentions.  – Often attributed to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux     Ah, summertime and the living is easy. In summer, I often sit on my patio in the backyard and commune with the birds and the bees and observe God’s creation around me and I try to guess what all the animals, insects – and even the trees – are thinking. I fancy myself as something of a “nature whisperer” who relates wonderfully well with all the creatures large and small. I wonder to myself about all sorts of things like, “Do birds and squirrels have weekends, or is every day the same to them?” I see some busy ants walk by and I wonder if, in their world, they have ant news each day like people have evening news. They probably all gather around and hear news of the day and the stories are probably like, “Today, in the east part of the yard, a giant foot came down on an anthill tragically killing thousands....

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Search for MWBE Architect Locks Up County Jail Renovation Project

A kingdom was once lost for want of a nail, and now a big move planned by the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department may be lost – well, at least delayed – for want of a black architect. In fact, if you’re a black architect who always wanted to do some county government work, now would be the time to apply. Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes said the major planned project to level the dilapidated Otto Zenke building at 400 W. Washington St., his current headquarters, build a parking lot there and move the Sheriff’s Department’s administrative offices into the old county jail at 401 W. Sycamore St. in downtown Greensboro, is now on hold due to a spat over the county’s use – or, rather, non-use – of minority architects. “Basically, it’s been put off due to the whole rigmarole,” Barnes said this week. “The architect they had was fine – they’d used him a hundred times before – but the whole thing is that they are trying to find a black architect.” There’s money in the new 2017-2018 county budget for the large project, however, Democratic Guilford County Commissioners Carolyn Coleman and Skip Alston have been on a major quest lately to bring more diversity to major county construction contracts and they want to make absolutely sure facilities officials haven’t – as they say they suspect – overlooked...

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Rhino School Salary List Leads to Jewell of a Debate over Conflict of Interest

The highest paid teacher on the Guilford County Schools (GCS) payroll, Mark Jewell, hasn’t worked for the school system since 2012, lives in Raleigh and currently heads up the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) – a political action group that lobbies state legislators on statewide school concerns. In a list of school employees provided by GCS to the Rhino Times, published last month, Jewell was listed as “Tchr – NCAE VP” with a salary of $74,088. That brief notation in a long list of names and salaries raised some eyebrows among Guilford County officials and some school system officials who were unaware the agreement existed and who find it strange and concerning. The NCAE is a union that represents teachers and other educators statewide and advocates for goals such as higher teacher pay and more school funding from state and local governments. Days after the salary list appeared, Guilford County – which recently provided the school system north of $200 million in total school funding for fiscal 2017-2018 when school debt repayments are included – sent a request for clarification about the arrangement the school system has with the NCAE. Guilford County Manager Marty Lawing – apparently in response to commissioner concerns – sent the question to Guilford County Schools Chief Financial Officer Angie Henry. In a written response to the question, Henry first summarized the request for...

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Three Commissioners Fly To Columbus For County Cannabis Round Table

The National Association of Counties (NACo) annual convention each summer is usually held in an exciting place such as Hawaii or Las Vegas, and taxpayers sometimes question whether the county commissioners who attend those conferences are going for the knowledge or for the fun. However, this year there should be no question about that since the convention is in Ohio – the place John Denver once sang was “like being nowhere at all,” and of which he also remarked, “I spent a week there one day.” Despite that less than enticing lyrical description of the locale, three Democratic Guilford County commissioners – Skip Alston, Carlvena Foster and Kay Cashion – are making the trip this year on the taxpayer’s dime to attend the conference in Columbus Ohio, which runs from July 21 to July 24. Alston’s estimated expenses, at $1,935, are typical for the cost of commissioners making this trip: Registration is $505, his hotel stay is $895 and round-trip airfare is $535. The expenses for Cashion and Foster also total just over $1900 each for the conference. Alston, who’s been on many of these trips during his two decades on the board, said he and other commissioners get a great deal out of the conferences and he added that, in the end, the public benefits from better government. Commissioners have been attending conferences for years and talking about...

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Telemarketing Calls Get a Whole Lot Better

Ringless voice mail drops are a non-nuisance form of messaging and are an alternative to robo-calls and it really does put the power in those consumers hands where they can listen to the message or not listen to the message.   – Josh Justice, CEO of Stratics Networks, a telemarketing firm     New technology doesn’t solve every problem in society but these days it does solve a whole lot of them. And I was recently very excited to learn that there had been a pretty good compromise found with regard to the telemarketing problem – a brand new solution that allows telephone pitchmen and pitchwomen to continue to make their pitches – but which, most importantly, keeps you from being bothered by a ringing telephone. In the past, one solution some have proposed to the telemarketing problem is banning the practice all together, but industry reps, quite understandably, don’t want that to happen. According to one market research website, telemarketing in the US constitutes an $18 billion industry – so you know they don’t want to see the practice put to an end. But customers get tired of the constant “spam” phone calls; and telemarketers, I’m sure, get tired of all the vitriol and anger they get from people who don’t want to be bothered by unwelcome calls. So I was delighted the other night when I saw...

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Guilford County Commissioners Decide to Move Animal Shelter, But Not Too Far

The Guilford County Animal Shelter is moving to a new site very near the current site and closer to High Point than the existing shelter. Located in the I-40 corridor, Guilford County commissioners say the new site is convenient to major population areas, will be easier for animal control workers to get in and out of and will offer enough space to accommodate future growth as well as give the county the ability to locate additional animal-related services on the same property. Once the new shelter is built, the county plans to sell the land at 4525 W. Wendover Ave. where the existing shelter is. The Guilford County commissioners have agreed to purchase, for roughly $700,000, two tracts of land that, combined, make up nearly 12 acres where the county will build the $9 million shelter. The commissioners have chosen to build on the new location, which will be announced shortly – rather than build on the existing shelter site – for a number of reasons: The topology of the current Wendover site is not favorable to construction; it is in a very congested business district; the property where the shelter now sits has a high resale value, and, if Guilford County had chosen to build a new shelter on the site of the current shelter, it would have had to find a place to put the hundreds of...

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12-Step Program May Get Northwest Off Well Water Addiction

Guilford County and the towns of Stokesdale, Oak Ridge and Summerfield have chosen Greensboro-based Timmons Group to conduct a water system feasibility study. That study will help determine whether those four local governments move forward with a transformative water project that would greatly enhance economic development in northwestern Guilford County. The four governments are in talks to explore the formation of a new regional water authority or a series of interlocal agreements that will initially be funded with $14.5 million provided by the state to look at the possibility of, and help implement, a municipal water service to northwest...

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Airport Authority Hope Passenger Numbers Take Off With New Members

Two big-name movers and shakers in Winston-Salem – including the mayor – have been named to the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority (PTAA), and airport officials hope that the men’s strong business connections can help bring more passengers from Forsyth County to the Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA). Currently, business travelers and residents from Forsyth County often choose Charlotte Douglas International Airport for their travel. Greensboro residents also frequently choose to travel in and out of Charlotte’s airport over PTIA, but with Winston-Salem’s proximity to Charlotte, the “seepage problem” is even greater there. Now some PTIA supporters are looking to the two newest Airport Authority appointees to help change that. The two new members are Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines, who’s also the president of the Winston-Salem Alliance, an economic development group, and Graham Bennett, the president of Quality Oil Company. Bennett, like Joines, has strong ties to the business community and leadership groups in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. Positions on the PTAA seven-member board are highly sought after because that board has a great deal of say over airport development, operations and projects. The PTAA controls the flow of the large amount of federal dollars and other funding that comes to the airport and its endeavors. The importance of a seat on the PTAA has grown in recent years as the economic development community has increasingly bet on PTIA –...

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Republicans Sweeten Pot to Attract Democrat Votes for County Budget

Most people can’t pull money out of thin air. However, it turns out county budget directors do have that near magical ability – and that trick came in handy on Thursday, June 15, when the Guilford County Board of Commissioners needed to find an extra $717,000 fast to get the votes necessary to unanimously pass the 2017-2018 county budget. In the end, in order to get all four Democratic commissioners on board, the Republicans needed to find more money for Guilford County Schools and fund some other projects as well – which is when Guilford County Budget Director Mike Halford worked his magic. Halford simply grabbed a pencil (or maybe a computer keyboard) and changed one figure. He bumped up the county’s estimated sales tax revenue for the coming fiscal year by $717,000. After all, those revenue projections are just that – projections – so who’s to say Guilford County won’t do a little better than expected when it comes to sales tax money in 2017-2018. The budget adopted by the Board of Commissioners, which goes into effect on July 1, will be the chief financial document for the county until June 30, 2018 – though the commissioners will amend it frequently over the next 12 months. This year, the board didn’t stray very far at all from the budget proposal presented in May by Guilford County Manager Marty...

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Million Dollar School Study May Mean Billion Dollar Ask

A school facilities and district line study sounds like the most boring thing in the world, so it’s a wonder that the new joint Guilford County Board of Education and Guilford County Board of Commissioners school study has become fascinating even before it’s begun. To name just a few of many highlights, consider these: (1) Some county commissioners took issue with the makeup of the school committee overseeing the study. (2) Conversely, some school board members took issue with the makeup of the commissioners committee overseeing the study. (3) The joint study started out last year with the county commissioners talking about a study with an estimated price tag of $600,000 – and now that price is about $1 million and climbing. And, again, that’s all before the study has even started. Earlier this month, the joint committee of county commissioners and school board members met to wade through proposals, and the group narrowed the field down to four companies that are still in the race to tackle the giant system-wide study. The exact parameters of the study haven’t been finalized, but it’s expected to be a comprehensive and independent look at school facilities needs as well as an assessment of the best way for the system to draw school district lines. The technical language being used is “Comprehensive Facility Condition Assessment (FCA)” and “School Assignment Optimization Plan (SOP).”...

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S-T-D Spells M-O-N-E-Y for Guilford

Guilford County officials always seek ways for the county to be a leader in the state – but no one wanted the county to be the leader in new gonorrhea cases. Guilford County is number one among major counties in the spread of the sexually transmitted disease. However, that does come with a silver lining: The STD is paying off in a big way because now Guilford County has been selected as one of only nine cities and counties across the country to receive a large new grant to study the disease and explore best-practices for fighting its spread. The study is being funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the arm of the federal government set up to promote health and improve disease response preparedness in the United States. The CDC is now focused on studying and battling increasingly prevalent new resistant strains of the STD that can’t be cured with medicines traditionally used to fight it. In that effort, the CDC has approved the new grant as part of its Antimicrobial Resistant Gonorrhea Study, which could mean nearly $2 million in federal money for Guilford County. The Guilford County Division of Public Health is working with Wake Forest University to implement the study and develop response strategies with the help of the grant money. The CDC is now in the second year of the...

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Telemarketing Calls Get a Whole Lot Better

Ringless voice mail drops are a non-nuisance form of messaging and are an alternative to robo-calls and it really does put the power in those consumers hands where they can listen to the message or not listen to the message.   – Josh Justice, CEO of Stratics Networks, a telemarketing firm     New technology doesn’t solve every problem in society but these days it does solve a whole lot of them. And I was recently very excited to learn that there had been a pretty good compromise found with regard to the telemarketing problem – a brand new solution that allows telephone pitchmen and pitchwomen to continue to make their pitches – but which, most importantly, keeps you from being bothered by a ringing telephone. In the past, one solution some have proposed to the telemarketing problem is banning the practice all together, but industry reps, quite understandably, don’t want that to happen. According to one market research website, telemarketing in the US constitutes an $18 billion industry – so you know they don’t want to see the practice put to an end. But customers get tired of the constant “spam” phone calls; and telemarketers, I’m sure, get tired of all the vitriol and anger they get from people who don’t want to be bothered by unwelcome calls. So I was delighted the other night when I saw...

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Democrats Get Organized: District 8 Going From Worst To First

One lesson that can be taken from the Democratic political war that took place in April in Guilford County Board of Commissioners District 8 is this: Don’t cross Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston. The District 8 precinct, G-69, that nearly single-handedly kept Alston from regaining a vacant seat on the Board of Commissioners had three executive members – a chairman, vice chair and secretary – and, in the wake of the heated contest that Alston won, all three of those precinct executives have now resigned their posts and moved out of town. When former District 8 Guilford County Commissioner Ray Trapp stepped down from the District 8 county commissioners seat in early April to take a job with NC A&T State University, all heck broke lose during the special election process to fill that vacancy. When a handful of whites on the Guilford County Democratic Party Executive Committee – led by the three from precinct G-69 – came this close to keeping the highly popular Alston from taking that seat in the largely black district, there was outrage. And now, two months later, the chips are still falling and the county Democratic Party is scrambling to make sure nothing like that ever happens again. The reason a small group of whites could nearly “hijack” the special election (to use Alston’s word) is that about three-quarters of the precincts in...

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Citizens Don’t Get Tax Cut in County Budget, But Manager Gets Spin Doctor

The Guilford County Board of Commissioners has agreed on a budget deal that will keep county property taxes at current levels (though with a reduced tax rate), fund $5 million more in operating funds to Guilford County Schools and add nearly 30 new county positions, including a public relations specialist. Budget tweaks may continue up until Thursday evening, June 15, when a final 2017-2018 county budget will be adopted, so last minute changes are always possible. However, as the Rhino Times went to press, all major aspects of the new county budget had been agreed upon if not set in stone. On Wednesday, June 14, there was a last ditch effort by some Democratic commissioners to get the Republican commissioners to add $2 million to the operating budget for the school system, but it does not appear as though that effort will be successful. The five Republican county commissioners who hold a majority on the nine-member board are all expected to vote in favor of the new 2017-2018 budget, and some Democratic commissioners may vote for it as well. The budget expected to be adopted totals $606.84 million, which is roughly $6 million more than the current budget adopted last year at this time. The new budget deal lowers Guilford County’s property tax rate 2.45 cents – from 75.5 cents per $100 of assessed property value to 73.05 cents....

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Scams, Abuse and Exploitation: The Elderly Are Often Victims

The number of adult protective services cases taken on by the Guilford County Division of Social Services (DSS) has skyrocketed in recent years. One key component of that is “elder abuse” – when older people who are physically abused or financially exploited, usually by someone in a position of trust such as a family member or a caretaker. In fiscal 2011-2012, 169 adult protective cases were accepted for evaluation by Guilford County’s DSS. By fiscal 2013- 2014, that number had grown to 283, and it shot up to 361 the following year. In fiscal 2015-2016, the most recent year with complete figures, 447 cases were accepted. In some cases, the affected adults are put in the care of the county while in other cases they are connected with outreach services or other action is taken. Most of the situations are those of mere neglect, but more and more the cases involve abuse or exploitation. Aging and Adult Services Division Director Jenise Davis said this is a serious problem that DSS is seeing with increasing frequency. She said older adults can be abused physically or a caregiver might be doing something like taking an elderly person’s Social Security checks and cashing them. “Last year was the highest instance of adult protective services reports in Guilford County, and financial exploitation is rapidly increasing,” she said. “The number of adults under guardianship...

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Yost Spills Beans All Over iPhone 8

This may be the biggest, most important and most widely read column I’ve ever written. I say that because I’ve been lucky enough to have gotten (and I say this modestly) the scoop of the century: complete specs, pricing information and every other detail about the wildly anticipated Apple iPhone 8. Never mind how I got the information: I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you and everyone you’ve talked to in the last 24 hours. So, for your sake as well as mine and theirs, it’s best we not go there and, instead, we should all clearly just adopt a don’t ask, don’t tell policy if you and your friends want to live. And, anyway, the important thing isn’t how I came upon this information but the fact that I’ve managed to get a hold of it – all the absolutely top-secret knowledge regarding the most anticipated phone in the history of mankind. Every news publication in the country is absolutely drooling for this info, so please remember that you heard it here first. You and the rest of the world have waited long enough at this point, and I don’t want you to have to wait one second longer – so, without further to do, ladies and gentlemen, stealing Apple’s thunder in a big way, I give you … The 10th Anniversary iPhone …...

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County Budget Gives Schools $194 Million – Schools Want More

The Guilford County commissioners are never more popular than they are each year in early June when they craft the county’s $600 million-plus budget and decide who gets what. Like Powerball winners – whose long lost friends and cousins twice-removed come out of the woodwork at the prospect of money – the commissioners also get a lot of people bending their ears with the hope of seeing some bucks thrown their way. That was certainly the case at the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Thursday, June 1 meeting when the board held a public hearing on County Manager Marty...

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State Made It Harder To Inspect Restaurants, So Fewer Get Inspected

The Guilford County Health Division has fallen way behind in restaurant inspections and is not conducting those examinations in the timely manner required by state law, and now the department is asking the Guilford County Board of Commissioners for help getting back on track. Guilford County Health Director Merle Green said this week that a number of factors had led to the increased difficulty of keeping up with the state mandated timetable for inspections and she said the county needed to add an inspector position and fill it. She said those inspections have become more complex and time consuming...

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All News Is Good If You Know How To Spin It

Right now, it’s budget time for Guilford County government, which might not mean much to you (until you get your tax bill!) – but, for me, it means attending a ton of budget meetings until the commissioners adopt the final 2017-2018 budget in mid June. One thing I’ve been hearing quite a bit about in all these meetings I’ve been going to is whether or not Guilford County should hire a public information officer – aka a “PIO” – in order to get someone in there who can help portray Guilford County government in a better light. This would be someone who’d basically be the “PR” person for the county. He or she would put out news stories telling citizens what Guilford County is up to and would keep people informed about county government. Now, when you read that, you are probably thinking: “But, Scott, why would we need to add a new position like that? Isn’t that exactly what you do? Don’t you bring us the news on the county and let us know what’s going on? Well, yes, as a matter of fact I do. However, the county wants someone else who will – well, quite frankly, put a more positive spin on the news and portray the county in a more favorable way. Apparently, the Rhino Times and other area media outlets don’t always couch the...

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Guilford County Wants Divorce From Mental Health Shotgun Wedding

Officials in Guilford County are fed up with the current state of mental health services and aren’t going to take it anymore. The county is now exploring all legal options for a potential pullout from its state mandated participation in Sandhills Center Inc. – a nine-county mental health administrative entity. County leaders want to bring control of mental health services back to Guilford County, where it was before Jan. 1, 2013. Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Jeff Phillips said this week that, if getting out of the current situation requires a change in state law, then so be it. He said, however, that a change in current law may not be needed, that the county has options for taking more control even under the current Sandhills-run structure and that current conditions warrant the county’s strong consideration of any and all options for regaining its control of mental health services. Every major service that Guilford County currently provides citizens is based in Guilford County except one – mental health. Somewhat unbelievably, that critical function is run out of West End, North Carolina – a small unincorporated community in Moore County that’s over an hour’s drive due south. County officials have never before even hinted publicly at an attempted escape from the state mandated system that put Guilford County’s services under Sandhills years ago, but at a special,...

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Say Yes Saying It’s Sorry to Guilford, Promising Free Tuition to Cleveland

Say Yes Guilford took a big hit earlier this year when representatives of the highly touted college scholarship assistance program for Guilford County Schools graduates announced that Say Yes would only provide college tuition aid to those in lower-income brackets – and not students from all families, as was previously billed. Now Say Yes backers are trying pick up the pieces, put the past behind them and move forward by generating new enthusiasm, new fundraising and fresh support from area local governments and the Guilford County Board of Education. Say Yes to Education was founded by philanthropic billionaire George...

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Sheriff’s Department Says Out with the .45s – Doesn’t Mean Records

After shooting bullets into some gelatin over and over again, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department decided to purchase a new type of pistol for every gun-carrying deputy. The department has used .45-caliber guns for about a quarter of a century, but now, for the first time, all of the sheriff’s deputies and others in the department will switch to 9-millimeter (mm) handguns. Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes said that, when he first joined the force decades ago, deputies used 38-caliber pistols and, when he became sheriff in 1994, the department was using .40-caliber handguns but soon switched to .45-caliber...

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Yost Tests Clout at City Hall

I have this book titled 100 Best Solitaire Games that I’ve been reading. When you are single like I am, you are always doing things like sadly playing solitaire to kill time while all your married friends are living out their idyllic existences dancing and laughing on the beach together under a moonlit sky. Anyway, you may not know this, but it turns out that there are lots of different ways to play solitaire. However, growing up I always played it the same way: with the four piles at the top and the seven columns of cards, and you could go through the deck three cards at a time; and, if you could use the top card of the three then you could try to use the next one under it and so on. You could go back through the deck again, three cards at a time, for as long as you could keep going. If you got rid of all your cards, you won, and if you couldn’t then you were a loser. But one time I was watching someone else play and they went through the cards in their hand one card at a time and they told me you could do it that way but if you did you could only go through the deck once. Anyway, that’s when I knew there were other ways to...

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EMS: From Shoebox to $20M Digs

Guilford County finally has an answer to its decade-old question, and that answer is the corner of Vandalia Road and Rehobeth Church Road. That’s where Guilford County will put a long-awaited $20-million Emergency Services maintenance, storage and logistics facility that will house the department’s vehicles and be the central hub for repair and maintenance of those vehicles. Guilford County Emergency Services officials say the location is an excellent one and that it’s a relief that this project finally has a home.   The land was once owned and used by Clayton Homes, the country’s largest maker of manufactured homes and modular housing. The lot was filled with empty mobile homes and was used for a similar purpose for Oakwood Mobile Homes before that company was bought by Clayton Homes. According to Rick Mosher, a project manager with Guilford County’s facilities department, the county is actually buying four tracts of land: 1201 and 1205 Pepperstone Road, 3802 Rehobeth Church Road and 1002 W. Vandalia Road. Moser said the total area when assembled will be just under 10 acres and the final street address is yet to be determined. Guilford County Emergency Service Manager Jim Albright said Guilford County has badly needed the service and storage center for years. Money for the first phase of the project has already been approved by the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, whose members have been...

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New GOP Chair Taking Different Path

The Guilford County Republican Party has a new secret weapon – however, due to growing success and widening reputation, that secret weapon is becoming less of a secret every day. Guilford County Republican Party Chairman Troy Lawson, the animated and passionate new head of the county’s Republican Party, was elected to a two-year term in March and he has hit the ground running. He suddenly seems to be everywhere all at once. Lawson, who’s turning 55 in July and is the first black Guilford Party Republican Party chairman, said he’s working hard to ramp up the party’s “ground game” to full speed and get more Republicans elected to office. Lawson said his main goals right now are to “find good candidates, spread the message and help fund-raising.” “The ground game is a constant thing,” he said, which includes basic but important tasks like “keeping the polls covered around election time.” When asked about a typical day, Lawson said, “It’s never a typical day.” He said that running the party office, working with a large number of volunteers, answering phones and planning events occupies much of his time. He said that this year the Republican Party of North Carolina is celebrating its 150-year birthday and there are several upcoming events related to that celebration that are keeping him busy. Lawson grew up in Boston and attended Boston College before moving...

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Lawing Proposed County Budget Looks Like A Tax Decrease But Isn’t

Guilford County Manager Marty Lawing’s $606.8 million proposed budget had a little something for everyone – but not as much of that something as some, including school board members, wanted to see. Lawing presented his budget proposal at the Thursday, May 18 Board of Commissioners meeting in the commissioners meeting room on the second floor of the Old Guilford County Court House. Lawing’s budget proposal is about $6 million larger than the current budget adopted last June. Although it technically lowers the tax rate 2.45 cents – from 75.5 cents per $100 of assessed property value to 73.05 cents – it’s not a real tax decrease because it keeps revenues from property taxes at current levels, thanks to a recent countywide property revaluation that bumped up most property values. At least once every eight years, Guilford County conducts a revaluation of every house, building and tract of land on the books, and the 2017-2018 budget takes those new values into account. If the tax rate had stayed the same after the revaluation, Guilford County would have been pulling in about $13 million more from county property owners than before under the old tax rate – so, while the shift downward in the tax rate looks good on paper, Lawing’s budget offering really keeps the county “revenue neutral.” State law requires that the county publish the revenue-neutral rate each year,...

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Yost Says N&R is A-OK

People always think that, because the Rhino Times and the News & Record are “competitors,” we don’t get along or we don’t like each other – but, really, nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, we love them and they love us. In fact, every morning I eagerly wake up and run out to the end of my driveway in anticipation of the good ol’ N&R. I bring it in the house and pour myself a nice hot cup of decaffeinated organic coffee with coconut milk and stevia and open up the daily paper to see what fast-breaking news or insightful commentary they are offering us today. And, regardless, the Rhino Times and the News & Record aren’t really even competitors in the true sense of the word since we cover Guilford County and they cover Rockingham County. So, despite what you might think, it’s all good between us. In fact, if you’re a longtime reader of this column, you know that I’m a very big fan of the News & Record, and you also know that, every year around this time, I devote an entire column to pointing out some of the excellent journalism that’s appeared in that newspaper. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that, on some stories recently, they just flat-out beat us. There’s simply no other way to spin it. In the...

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Alston and Trump Agree on One Thing: Elections Need To Be Fixed

Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston has launched a formal protest with the Guilford County Democratic Party over what Alston said was an illegitimate organizational process of a key precinct in District 8 that hurt his chances of becoming a county commissioner. The protest calls for that precinct to be reorganized in accordance with the bylaws of the Democratic Party and it addresses other issues related to the political organization of that district. Alston said this week that a group of white residents in the predominately black District 8 “hijacked” the Guilford County Democratic Party Executive Committee and nearly cost him the seat he now holds on the Board of Commissioners. He said filing the complaint is an attempt to fight injustice and overturn an effort by that small group of whites to subvert the will of the vast majority of African Americans in that district. Alston was elected as the District 8 Guilford County commissioner late last month by the county’s Democratic Party Executive Committee, which was filling a vacant seat on the Board of Commissioners that opened up when former Commissioner Ray Trapp stepped down to take a job with NC A&T State University. Alston won the seat over opponent April Parker in a heated and bitterly divisive battle that saw issues of race, sexuality and party politics come into play and left acrimonious feelings permeating the district....

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County Commissioners-School Board Funding Dance Music Starting Up

In spring, young men’s fancy may turn to love, but the fancy of Guilford County Schools officials turns to something else entirely: How much money the Guilford County Board of Commissioners is going to give the county’s school system in the upcoming county budget. That annual dance between county and school officials has officially begun. Last week, the Guilford County Board of Education adopted a proposed 2017-2018 school system budget that includes a request to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners for $20.2 million more in school funding than the county gave the schools last year. The school system’s request calls for $10.2 million more for operating expenses and $10 million more for capital outlay – that is, for building maintenance and repair. The $10.2 million increase for operations requested in local support would bring the funding from the Board of County Commissioners for the schools’ operating budget to approximately $198.6 million. On Thursday, May 19, Guilford County Manager Marty Lawing will present his 2017-2018 budget proposal to the Board of Commissioners and will recommend how much the county should hand over to the schools for the coming fiscal year. In the weeks following that presentation, the county commissioners will study the manager’s proposal and the schools’ request and then haggle over the appropriate amount to fund the schools. According to school officials, $2 million of this year’s request...

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Yost Takes “Safety Last” Stance on Playgrounds

I accidently swallowed an ice cube whole two days ago and still haven’t passed it yet. I’m not sure how worried I should be and I’m getting very concerned as I write this, but I went ahead and wrote a column anyway … ***** Recently, Guilford County Health Director Merle Green nearly killed Guilford County Commissioner Alan Perdue, who served as the head of Guilford County Emergency Services before becoming a commissioner. I don’t think Green intended to do it, but here’s how it happened … First of all, you need to know that Commissioner Perdue has a huge latex allergy. Until the commissioners meeting the other night, I had honestly never heard of any such thing in my life; I didn’t even know latex was something people were ever allergic to – much less that it could be deadly. But clearly it can be. I saw in the news the other day that Pooja Newman – a mother of three with a severe latex allergy – almost died at an Adele concert in Australia when, for festive effect, they dropped a bunch of balloons on the crowd during one song. While everyone else cheered the balloon release, a terrified Newman with no chance of escape went into anaphylactic shock as soon as the balloons hit and the reaction nearly killed her. Alan Perdue said he has a very...

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Shelter Middle of Pack in Euthanasia

The State of North Carolina has compiled animal euthanasia numbers from all public animal shelters in the state, and an analysis of those numbers shows that, among the 10 largest counties based on population, Guilford County falls in the middle of the pack in euthanasia rates for dogs, and does worse than average when it comes to the euthanization of cats. The report on animal shelters across the state was recently compiled by the Animal Welfare Division of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. It looks at the number of dogs, cats and other animals taken into shelters between Jan. 1, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2016, and lists the number of animals of each type euthanized during that period. (Mecklenburg County had not provided the state with statistics for 2016 in time for those to be included in the state’s report, so, for the purpose of this analysis, the Rhino Times used Mecklenburg’s 2015 numbers). The numbers show that, of the state’s 10 most populous counties, Guilford County came in fifth in terms of the lowest euthanization rates for dogs and seventh for cats. That means Guilford County has an average performance saving dogs and is below average in saving cats. It is important to note that the top 10 counties vary widely in terms of demographics, economic strength and other factors that affect a county’s...

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If You Build It, You Will Drive Yost Crazy

What in the world is going on in this freakin’ city? I mean, suddenly, everywhere you turn … well, everywhere you turn you can’t actually turn because there’s a giant roadblock or a detour sign or a bulldozer sitting in your way or a crane inching across the road while you wait and look on. It used to be that, each morning, I’d get in my car, put on some nice music and drive peacefully to work – but now it’s like trying to find your way around the Villa Pisani labyrinth. (I thought that might be a hard one for you, so see how I helped you out there?) Just about every square foot of the City of Greensboro, no matter where you turn, is currently under construction or being renovated or repaired. And, at the exact same time, every single road is also under repair, every electrical line is being fixed and every water pipe is being ripped from the ground and replaced with another one. For some reason I’m not sure of, suddenly, out of nowhere, about three months ago, everyone in the City of Greensboro and their brother, mother, dad, sister and boss simultaneously went into repair and construction mode – and now everything is being done all at once. In Irving Park, now, you see $2 million houses with giant bulldozers sitting in the...

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Economic Development Unveils New Greens-High Boro-Point Logo

The Guilford County Economic Development Alliance (GCEDA) has a brand new logo: a split, green, two-level image of the word “Greensboro” on the left, with a blue, likewise split, “High Point” on the right, with the phrase “you can make it here” underneath. The logo – which will be used to “brand” the Greensboro-High Point area for business recruitment and other purposes – will see widespread use on documents, images, slideshows and ad campaigns promoting the Greensboro-High Point area as a place to do business. The design team at Greensboro-based marketing firm Bouvier Kelly and the members of the Leadership Group of GCEDA have been going back and forth in the design phase of the logo for the last several months. Earlier this year, GCEDA approved the project to create the logo, along with related marketing services, for a projected a cost of $32,000 to $41,500. GCEDA met on Thursday, April 27 at the Cameron Campus of Guilford Technical Community College in Colfax and voted to approve the new logo. About a month earlier, the group had seen and discussed the three top designs. At the April 27 meeting, members of the group sounded like an Apple products design team as they talked about the last very fine details in an attempt to tweak the logo. There was also a discussion on whether the phrase “you can make it...

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Republican Commissioners Happy with the Devil They Know – Skip Alston

Former Democratic Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston has dropped the “former” from that title and added “new” to it. On Thursday, May 4, Alston will be sworn into that position by Guilford County Superior Court Judge Patrice A. Hinnant at the start of the Board of Commissioners meeting. Alston said this week that he’s raring to go. He also said that he knows he’ll be in the minority on a nine-member board run by five Republicans, but he added that he believes the Democrats, including himself, can work with the Republicans. “We need to put politics aside,” Alston said. Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Jeff Phillips is being equally conciliatory at this point. In an email to the Rhino Times, in response to a question on his view of Alston’s return, Phillips stated, “We welcome Skip Alston back to the Board of Commissioners. We’ll try to make his transition as seamless as possible so we remain focused on the priorities of our citizens. In recent years our Board has become less about our individual members and more about serving our citizens’ needs to the absolute best of our ability each and every day. I’m sure Skip will agree with those ideals.” Phillips also pointed out that a lot has changed since Alston’s departure. “I think it goes without saying that things are much different at the County since...

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$650K in Tobacco Money – Not Quite a Million but GTCC is Still Happy

The Golden Leaf Foundation of North Carolina has awarded $650,000 to the coming Center for Advanced Manufacturing at Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC). That news is making area economic development officials very happy because the project is seen as a key to the county’s economic development plans, which are centered on aviation and automobile manufacturing. The Center for Advanced Manufacturing is a giant teaching facility now in the works on High Point Road next to GTCC’s Jamestown Campus. That manufacturing training center will house a transportation and welding program and will train workers needed in the aviation and automobile industries as well as in other manufacturing sectors. The center is expected to be up and running either late this year or early next year. It has about six acres of enclosed space and GTCC President Randy Parker said earlier this year that, “The building is so big, we call it a ‘campus’ now.” When the center does open, one of the first orders of business will be to train workers for HAECO Americas’ expansion at Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA), but the center will also have the flexibility to focus on specific skill sets that any future employers might need. The center will be able to “take requests” from companies and work that training into the curriculum. The Golden Leaf money will be used purchase machinery and tools for...

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Yost’s Next Wife May Be Reading This Right Now

Recently, I’ve been trying to find someone to marry but I haven’t had much luck. I did get married once before but it didn’t take, so that has left me where I am today – a single man in need of a wife. It hit me recently that one thing I had never tried, when it comes to getting a wife, is using the scientific method. Here’s what I mean by that. If you want to fix a faucet, what do you do? Right, you read a book about how to fix a faucet or you watch a video on it. That is, you learn from the experts. And, likewise, if you want to make an upside-down lemon meringue pie, what do you do? It’s not rocket science, is it? You simply get the instructions, buy some lemons and some meringues, head down to Australia or China and follow the instructions. The key, in all these cases, is that you listen to the experts and follow the recipe. Which is what I’ve finally started doing when it comes to landing a wife. My first step was to look for experts (that is, people who have published books on the subject) – and, man, has that been a world of help. I read What Women Want, which has the subtitle, “What every man needs to know about sex, romance, passion...

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Yost Has Taxing Interview with IRS

Well, like you, I just sent in my taxes for 2016 and boy are the IRS agents being thorough these days. I don’t know if it has to do with the new presidential administration or with world events or what – but, this year, unlike any year before, the IRS had all kinds of questions for me after I sent my tax form in. I mean, I must have been on the phone with them for 30 minutes answering questions this year. It was absolutely crazy all the stuff they wanted to know. For one thing, they wanted to make sure I had spelled my name correctly on the form, and I said, “Uh, hello, I think I know how to spell my own name.” They also wanted to double check my mailing address and my Social Security number and they needed to know my birthday, the name of the city I grew up in, my mother’s maiden name, and – I kid you not! – the name of my first pet when I was a child. I mean, talk about government red tape – for the life of me I have no idea whatsoever why they need my first pet’s name and what in the world that has to do with my income taxes. But it’s the IRS so you really have no choice but to be patient...

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He’s Back. Skip Alston Returning to the County Board of Commissioners

The Guilford County Board of Commissioners just got a lot more interesting – but not as interesting as it could have been. Former five-time chairman of the board and 20-year veteran of it, Skip Alston was elected to the Board of Commissioners by a 39-to-35 vote of the Guilford County Democratic Executive Committee at a Wednesday, April 26 meeting at Democratic Party headquarters in Greensboro. Alston will take the seat of former District 8 Commissioner Ray Trapp, who stepped down from the Board of Commissioners in early April to take a job at NC A&T State University since that job, director of government relations, would have been a conflict of interest. At the April 26 meeting, Alston narrowly defeated April Parker – the only other person nominated. Parker, a librarian for Guilford County Schools, is a Black Lives Matter activist who would have been the first openly gay person on the Guilford County Board of Commissioners. Alston was the candidate all the current Democratic commissioners wanted on the board with them – in fact, he was also the one wanted by the Republicans on the board once they saw the alternative, though the Republican commissioners didn’t, for the most part, speak publicly about the battle between Parker and Alston that had been raging all week in District 8. The election of Alston followed a rollicking meeting of the Guilford...

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Guilford County Animal Shelter Hit With New Violations From State

The Guilford County Animal Shelter has been reprimanded by the Animal Welfare Section of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services over the treatment of a dog with a broken leg, inadequacies in record keeping, a failure to administer rabies shots in a timely matter and other concerns. State animal welfare officials have filed a formal complaint with the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Board and notified the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department as well as asked it to investigate to determine if any criminal charges should be filed in the case. Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes said his officers had investigated and no charges would be filed. In a Thursday, April 20 letter that was hand delivered to the Guilford County manager’s office, Patricia Norris, the director of the state Animal Welfare Section, gave notice to Guilford County of the violations that state investigators found at the shelter and she also made the county aware of the state’s subsequent actions. Norris is the same director who, in 2015, found sweeping violations and over 60 instances of animal neglect and cruelty by the United Animal Coalition (UAC), the nonprofit that ran the shelter for nearly two decades before that huge scandal. As a result of those findings, Guilford County took over operation of the shelter two years ago and the new allegations from the state are especially disheartening given...

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First State of the County Speech To Be Shown Worldwide (on Internet)

Guilford County is finally entering the big time. It will be joining the state’s other major counties – not to mention the nation’s executive branch – when the county starts a new tradition next week: a televised State of the County address. At 5 p.m. Thursday, May 4, Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Jeff Phillips will deliver Guilford County’s first annual State of the County speech, which will look back at the past year as well as ahead to the coming one. The president’s State of the Union address has been a hallmark in Washington, DC, since Woodrow Wilson in 1913. Likewise, many large counties in North Carolina deliver State of the County speeches each year – one usually given by the chairman of a county’s board of commissioners. Phillip’s May 4 State of the County address will be televised on channel 13 on the Spectrum cable network – the same channel where commissioners meetings can be found. The speech will also be posted after the fact on www.myguilford.com. (The speech will not be broadcast live on the internet due to technical problems the county is now having.) Phillips said this week that he’ll address the progress made by the county in recent years, as well as the challenges facing it. He added that there will be a press conference immediately following the speech. Phillips is...

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Bus Yost to the Moon

In all, so-called “Red Teams” of Homeland Security agents posing as passengers were able to get weapons past TSA agents in 67 out of 70 tests – a 95 percent failure rate, according to agency officials … This isn’t the first time TSA officers have failed to detect fake terrorists and their weapons. “Red Teams” have been probing TSA checkpoints for 13 years, oftentimes successfully getting weapons past airport screeners. However, this time, TSA agents failed to detect almost every single test bomb and gun, aviation experts said.   – NBC News website, June 1, 2015       What in the world is going on with the airlines? And I don’t just mean the fact that they are dragging doctors off planes and knocking their teeth out. No, I mean why is it that, every time you turn on the news, you see something amazingly crazy happening with airlines: rude crews harassing passengers, people sitting on a plane six hours waiting to take off, 15-year-old boys flying to Hawaii in the wheel-wells of Boeing 767’s, scorpions falling from overhead bins, passengers being molested by TSA but yet those TSA agents are totally incapable of finding the machine guns or nuclear weapons people are bringing on board, dead bodies being put in first class, girls being told they can’t board because they’re wearing leggings – and, of course, doctors being...

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Sneaky Strategy Keeps District 8 Commissioners Seat Up In The Air

The Executive Committee of the Guilford County Democratic Party held a raucous and chaotic meeting on Tuesday, April 18 that left many Democrats in the room angry and in a state of stunned disbelief after a contingent of white committee members in the heavily black Board of Commissioners District 8 voted successfully to put off the selection of a new commissioner for the district until Wednesday, April 26. The only item on the meeting agenda was finding a replacement for former Guilford County Commissioner Ray Trapp, who stepped down from the Board of Commissioners earlier this month to take a job as the director of government relations for NC A&T State University. Trapp had publically endorsed longtime former Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston, a five-time chairman of the board, for the District 8 seat. Trapp said Alston was the best choice to take that vacant spot and a large majority of people in the meeting room Tuesday night clearly desired that outcome as well. Alston was the only candidate running for the position and the only candidate nominated and seconded when the nominations were closed at the Democratic Party Headquarters on West Meadowview Road in Greensboro. At that point, it seemed as though the entire affair was going to last five minutes and be completely uneventful other than the perfunctory coronation of Alston. But what happened next sent the...

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Former Guilford County Animal Shelter Director Plea Bargains Cruelty Case

Nearly two years after state investigators found widespread animal neglect and abuse at the Guilford County and Davidson County animal shelters, Marsha Williams, who ran both shelters in 2015 and was charged in Davidson County with felony cruelty to animals, pleaded guilty to reduced charges. The Guilford County commissioners and other county officials now have closure on that animal shelter issue – the fate of Williams – but they’re still seeking finality on another matter: the location of the new $9 million animal shelter the county has in the works. Unlike the Williams case, that question is still unsettled. Williams wasn’t charged in Guilford County, but the lingering Davidson County case ended last week. Davidson County prosecutors were gearing up for a court battle in which Williams’ attorneys filed motions alleging selective prosecution on racial grounds. However, Williams’ plea bargain deal made that and a related motions moot. Williams, who was charged in Davidson County with one felony count of animal abuse and two felony charges of obstruction of justice, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor animal cruelty and obstruction and received a 45-day suspended sentence, 24 months of probation and a $100 fine. Davidson County District Attorney Garry Frank said that the cases of two other related Davidson County shelter workers – Williams’ daughter and one other employee – are being prosecuted separately from Williams’ case. Williams has never made...

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High Point Hopes for Home Run in $30 Million Stadium Development

The City of High Point has high hopes that, in the not too distant future, area residents will be saying, “Take me out to the ball park.” A large new $30 million downtown baseball project is the centerpiece of a massive redevelopment effort now being planned for one of the most economically distressed sections of downtown High Point, and city officials are undertaking, with verve, a plan to finance the stadium and bring hotels, restaurants, apartments, businesses and vitality to the area. At a High Point City Council meeting on Monday, April 3, the council voted 8 to 1 to move forward on the plan. High Point Mayor Bill Bencini said this week that, while there’s been a lot of focus on the new stadium, this project goes way beyond that. “It’s not about baseball,” Bencini said. “It’s about development.” The mayor said that the new stadium is just the high-profile cornerstone of a project that’s meant to reduce downtown blight and put something into vacant lots and empty buildings in an 11-acre zone that largely sits south of North Main Street, west of Martin Luther King Drive, north of Lindsay Street and east of Gatewood Avenue – though some of the new development will happen on connected lots around that central area if the plan is successful. The pitching mound of the new baseball field would be near...

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There Are No Egg Slicers In Hell

The iPhone 6 uses an Apple-designed 64 bit Cortex A8 ARM architecture composed of approximately 1.6 billion transistors. It operates at 1.4 GHZ and can process instructions at a rate of approximately 1.2 instructions every cycle in each of its 2 cores. That’s 3.36 billion instructions per second. Put simply, the iPhone 6’s clock is 32,600 times faster than the best Apollo era computers and could perform instructions 120,000,000 times faster. You wouldn’t be wrong in saying an iPhone could be used to guide 120,000,000 Apollo era spacecraft to the moon, all at the same time.   – From the article, “Your smartphone is millions of times more powerful than all of NASA’s combined computing in 1969.”  Zmescience.com     So, the other night I was very angry with the Spectrum TV app on my iPad Pro. Unbelievably, that app only runs in horizontal mode. Almost all apps on the iPad turn to suit you when you turn your tablet; but every now and then you’ll find an app that stays stuck in place when you turn the device on, and that really drives me crazy because I prefer to use my tablet in portrait mode – certainly not in landscape mode as Spectrum was heavy-handedly forcing me to do. So I was justifiably upset. I was sooooo mad at these thoughtless app makers who were making my life a...

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