Author: Scott D. Yost

About Scott D. Yost

Here are my most recent posts

iPhone Should Go Back to Kindergarten

The calculator app on the new iPhone OS is a wee bit flawed…When you quickly type 1+2+3 on the iOS 11 calculator app, you most likely wouldn’t get six as the answer. You might get 23, or 24, or 16, or 32, or something else, depending on what buttons you tap and in what order, and, obviously, none of which is the right answer.   – Boy Genius Report (BGR)     Don’t get me wrong. I like Daylight Saving Time as much as the next guy, and every time the clocks fall back in fall or spring forward...

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Flying Rocks and Water Concerns Tip Scales Against Pleasant Garden Quarry Rezoning

Opponents of a proposed rock quarry mining and blasting operation near Pleasant Garden breathed a huge sigh of relief last week when the Guilford County commissioners voted not to allow mining there – but the matter could be appealed to Guilford County Superior Court. If the board had approved the rezoning request at the commissioners Thursday, Nov. 2 meeting, and had followed that at a later meeting with approval of a special-use permit, Texas-based Lehigh Hanson would have had the green light to conduct rock blasting and mining on about 60 acres of a 350-acre area in southeast Guilford...

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Yost May Have Destroyed the Future

Three days ago, I was shooting basketball at Kirkwood Park by myself and something utterly amazing happened: In an area behind some heavy brush near the court, I heard this very, very loud commotion – it was a whirring sound followed by a loud “boom.” I walked toward the sound and, nervously, I crouched down and pushed aside some bushes and peaked at the scene. There were two men sitting there in the seats of a large contraption that looked like it was from a science fiction film or an H.G. Well’s novel or whatever. One was older, perhaps...

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County Says It Shouldn’t Have to Pay $600K for City Redistricting Lawsuit

The Southern Coalition for Social Justice is attempting to collect more than $600,000 in legal fees from the Guilford County Board of Elections, but a new court filing from Guilford County in response to that suit argues that the lawsuit is completely baseless and it would be totally unjust for the Board of Elections to be forced to pay attorney’s fees for a 2015 redistricting case it wanted nothing to do with in the first place. Guilford County Attorney Mark Payne said that, in this case, the Board of Elections has just about the best defense anyone could ask...

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Say Yes to Education Cleveland 2017 looks a lot like Say Yes to Education Guilford 2015

Say Yes to Education in Guilford County had a very rocky 2017, but the program’s problems in Guilford County Schools haven’t dampened one iota the mass wave of enthusiasm accompanying the kickoff of a brand new Say Yes program 500 miles to the north – in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District in Ohio. Residents, educators and political leaders in Cleveland are – just like their Guilford County counterparts were two years ago – sky high over the rollout of the new Say Yes program. The celebratory events, ecstatic proclamations and abundant expressions of delight in Cleveland bear a remarkable...

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GCEDA Amazon Bid: Putting the Try in Triad

Two hundred and thirty-two metro areas across North America applied to be the home of the second Amazon headquarters – and somewhere in that pile of applications in Seattle is a joint submission by Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem. Though the chance of Amazon coming here is roughly the same as the chance of winning the Powerball without buying a ticket, area economic development officials at the Thursday, Oct. 26 Guilford County Economic Development Alliance (GCEDA) meeting said there were some other very good reasons to apply besides the admittedly slim chance of winning Amazon over. Local leaders and...

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Commissioner Says He’s Not Falling For High Point’s Jedi Mind Trick Concerning Stadium

One thing is crystal clear: High Point is absolutely, positively, 100 percent, categorically committed to building a downtown baseball stadium. The High Point City Council showed that determination to proceed with the major downtown revitalization project at its Thursday, Oct. 19 meeting, where the council voted 8 to 1 to enter into a contract with Elliot Sidewalk Communities – the project’s master developer and consultant – and also voted 8 to 1 to approve “plan B” for financing the stadium. “Plan A” called for Guilford County to help fund the project to the tune of $11 million, but that...

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County Animal Shelter Gets New Top Dog

Guilford County Manager Marty Lawing got a new title on Friday, Oct. 20 – “interim Guilford County animal services director.” County managers in North Carolina, and other states for that matter, usually spend most of their day in a quiet, cushy office, but, for the immediate future at least, Lawing will be spending a lot more of his time in a noisy, odor-filled animal shelter. This move is Guilford County’s latest effort to take control of a problem-riddled shelter that’s now failed two consecutive state inspections. The change comes after a rash of complaints in recent weeks from rescue...

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An Embarrasment of Free Movie Riches

In this brand new Chevy with a lift kit It’d look a whole lot better with you up in it – Florida Georgia Line, from the song “Cruise”   When President Trump came to my neighborhood for a fundraiser two weeks ago, myself and hundreds of other gawkers and looky-loos were standing around and, before the president’s caravan (15 or so dark black SUV’s with tinted windows) arrived, the cops made an announcement to everyone lining the street. “Do not jump in front of the president’s vehicles!” he said. “They will not stop for you! They will not stop!”...

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Worley Smith, New Voice of Guilford County

After years of debate over creating the position, and months of looking for the right person to fill it, Guilford County has finally chosen a public relations specialist dedicated to handling the press, interacting with the public, making announcements for Guilford County – and, more generally, putting a positive spin on county actions and missteps. For that challenging job, Guilford County has selected Worley Smith. The county hired Smith away from the City of High Point, where he was serving as a communications specialist in the Communications & Public Engagement department. In his new position with Guilford County, Smith...

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High Point Taking Its Ballpark and Going Home

High Point leaders are tired of watching the Guilford County commissioners “prance and preen around” when it comes to financing a major downtown baseball stadium project, and High Point’s elected officials are taking their ballpark and going home. That is, they’re now going to find a way to fund the initiative without any help from the Guilford County commissioners. High Point leaders say they would still like for Guilford County to help fund the “Downtown Catalyst Project” – a major public initiative meant to revitalize downtown with a multi-use stadium. But a special High Point City Council meeting scheduled...

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School Cafeterias Have High Health GPA, But Some of the Facilities Are C Students

There are 3,429 public establishments – restaurants, hospitals, childcare centers, pools, nursing homes, educational facilities, etc. – that the Guilford County Health Department inspects and grades on a scale of A, B and C. The county’s public health inspection database lists 24 public establishments that have received a C grade since July 1, 2012 – the lowest assigned grade, which falls between 70 and 79.5 – and that category is completely dominated by schools. Of the 24 establishments that have gotten a C grade in recent years, 20 are schools; and, of all the institutions and establishments that public...

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Yost Almost Brings Home the Bacon

The other day, I left a Guilford County commissioners meeting at about 8:40 p.m. and, on the way home, I had just enough time to stop in at Deep Roots and get a few things I needed. I got some chicken, bacon, cranberries, unsweetened coconut milk and a couple of other items. At Deep Roots, where the staff is very conscientious, they are doing their best to save the planet, so they always ask you if you want a bag, and it’s more like a test than an option: You’re never supposed to say “Yes,” because, if you needed...

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Prison Farm Greenhouses to See BEST Days Yet with Hydroponic Farming

The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department’s large greenhouses at the Guilford County Prison Farm near Gibsonville have been unused for several years, but a new hydroponic farming program for troubled youths will breathe new life into those greenhouses. Up until about three years ago, the Sheriff’s Department used inmate labor to grow plants at the greenhouses to sell to the public. The new program will bring plants and people back into two of those four now-dormant greenhouses. Guilford County has entered into a contract with BEST (Brothers Excelling with Self-sufficiency to Thrive), a non-denominational 501(c)(3) organization that uses Bible-based principals...

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High Point Trying to Get to Second Base with County

High Point officials and business leaders who back a proposed baseball stadium and economic revitalization project in downtown High Point didn’t like it one bit last month when the Guilford County Board of Commissioners voted 8 to 1 to delay a decision on whether Guilford County would help finance the $35-million stadium – and those same leaders have been getting even more frustrated in the three weeks following that vote as they now play the waiting game. Project proponents have been pleading with the Guilford County commissioners for nearly three months for the county to contribute about $11.1 million...

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Like Dangerfield, DHHS Board Gets No Respect

Most people know about “the man without a country,” but few people know about the board without a county. Technically, the Guilford County Health and Human Services Advisory Board is a part of Guilford County government; however, three years into the existence of the board, it’s getting zero respect. The board is packed with prominent medical professionals as well as those with a great deal of social service experience – such as former Guilford County Commissioner Mary Rakestraw, who was on the Guilford County Board of Social Services for nine years – are all eager to contribute their expertise...

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Solving The Mystery Of The Guilford Cup

October is here and that can only mean one thing: Guilford County and the City of Greensboro facing off in football in the third annual Guilford Cup Challenge, the charity competition that pits the two local governments against each other in three sports – football, basketball and softball. Or rather, October used to mean that sports battle got underway. There will be no Guilford Cup games this year because the city and county staff either didn’t have any desire to continue the new tradition or simply forgot about it. This season would have been a rubber match: In the...

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Yost’s Weekend with POTUS

So, the other day, I’m lying in bed on Wednesday morning just minding my own business in my own perfectly pleasant little dream world, and then, suddenly, I’m woken very harshly by the sound of helicopters passing by right over my bedroom like I was in a war zone or something. WA-KA, WA-KA, WAKA! WA-KA, WA-KA, WA-KA! WA-KA, WA-KA, WA-KA! I mean, the whole house was shaking. At first I thought it might be part of a dream where I was heroically saving fellow soldiers and taking out an enemy machine-gun nest or something, but I wasn’t having any...

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Guilford Animal Shelter Fails Inspection Again

The Guilford County Animal Shelter has failed inspection and been hit with civil penalties. On Wednesday, Oct. 4, the Veterinary Division of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services sent a “Notice of Civil Penalties and Notice of Warning” to Guilford County along with failing inspection results that listed numerous problems found at the shelter. The inspection report cited, among other infractions, a failure to address the spread of communicable disease at the shelter, a lack of required rabies vaccinations and a failure to provide water continuously to dogs while outside. The Oct. 4 inspection results –...

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High Point Stadium Leads to Talk of Secession

If anyone wants to know how seriously the City of High Point takes its proposed baseball project and downtown renovation plan, one need look no further than to the fact that some High Point officials are considering forming a separate county – one freed from the oppressive chains of Guilford County government. In recent weeks, that idea has grown in popularity and, while logistics make the move an improbability, the expanding Free High Point political movement shows just how angry and upset that city’s business leaders and elected officials are with what they see as the commissioners’ continued foot-dragging...

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It’s Raining Awards at County Health Services

Guilford County Health Director Merle Green has won the prestigious Carl Durham Award for Leadership in Public Health from the Association of North Carolina Boards of Health (ANCBH); and the county’s JustTEENS program – which runs clinics targeted at those under 19 years of age – has been named as GlaxoSmithKline’s model program of the year, one that the company believes should be emulated by other public health departments. Jean Douglas, the chair of the Guilford County Health and Human Service Advisory Committee, said she couldn’t be more proud of Green given the big honor she just pulled down....

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Yost Lays Down the Movie Law

Well, I’ve had movies on the brain this week because any day now my new fantastic MoviePass is going to arrive in the mail and I’m going to start seeing a new movie every day at no cost – so it’s absolutely no wonder that movies are on my mind. In all my thinking about movies this week, it hit me that people teach you how to drive before they let you take a car out on the road, and they teach you how to operate heavy machinery before they let you do that – yet no one ever...

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Yost Will See You At The Movies, Maybe

Sliced bread was invented in 1928 when Otto Rohwedder, of Davenport, Iowa, introduced the first official bread-slicing machine to the world, and, with it, the best thing ever was born: the wonderful world-changing industry of prepackaged sliced bread. Now, as you are no doubt well aware, nothing has ever surpassed sliced bread, which is why we always use that 1928 landmark as a reference point and it’s why great new things are always the best thing “since sliced bread” but are never better than it. Some great innovations and new products have drawn comparisons to sliced bread over the...

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High Point Wanted Yes or No on Baseball Stadium Money, County Gave Strong Maybe

The Guilford County Board of Commissioners did an impersonation of the Magic 8 Ball when, to the question of whether the county would help fund High Point’s downtown baseball stadium project, the commissioners answered, “Reply Hazy – Try Again Later.” While that’s not a “no,” that answer still greatly frustrated High Point officials who didn’t want to see any delay regarding the $135 million downtown revitalization effort that is on a very strict timeline. High Point leaders hope that the centerpiece of the project – a $30 million baseball stadium – will be open by spring 2019 so the...

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Sheriff, Dogs and Cats Seeing Signs of New Digs

Guilford County just took a big step forward on two major and long-awaited projects – building a new county animal shelter and conducting a massive renovation of the old county jail in downtown Greensboro to create an office for the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department. On Thursday, Sept. 21, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners named the architects and revealed details for both projects, which the commissioners have been discussing for years. Guilford County has selected PNP Design Group to design the new animal shelter. That Greensboro-based firm, which has worked with the county on many projects before, will begin...

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Former County Tax Director Remembered Fondly by Friends, Family and Coworkers

Jenks Crayton, who served as Guilford County tax director for nearly a decade, and who passed away at 55 on Friday, Sept. 15, is being remembered fondly by family, friends and the Guilford County employees he worked with for so many years. Guilford County Benefits Manager Carol Campbell, who works in the county’s Human Resources Department, said she has wonderful memories of Crayton, and she added that he was a very considerate person who was a delight to be around. “He was a very, very nice man,” Campbell said. “I really think of Jenks as the quintessential Southern gentlemen.”...

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County Animal Shelter Lets Personal Vendetta Overrule Good Sense, Rejects Baptists’ Donation

You might think that, if one of the largest and oldest churches in High Point had collected a great deal of pet food, animal toys, electric fans and other needed items for the Guilford County Animal Shelter, the shelter would take those items. But when First Baptist Church of High Point told the Animal Shelter the good news, the shelter rudely told the church that it did not want the items and it would not participate in a connected church-sponsored bless the animals celebration and adoption event meant to help shelter animals find homes. Church member Art Cole, who...

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Pleasant Garden Quarry Gets Favorable But Confusing Vote, Now It’s Up To Commissioners

The hundreds of opponents of a proposed move to allow blasting at a rock quarry near Pleasant Garden stood and applauded gleefully on Wednesday, Sept. 13 in the packed Old Guilford County Court House after there was confusion over the ruling of the Guilford County Planning Board that actually moved the project forward with a “favorable” recommendation. Texas-based construction material supply company Lehigh Hanson has proposed rock mining using blasting at the large quarry just south of Pleasant Garden, and the celebrants who congratulated each other in the hallways and outside of the Old Court House right after the...

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High Point Pitching Hard on Baseball Issue But County Says They’re All Curveballs

Guilford County’s most watched soap opera, drama, comedy and tragedy all rolled up into one is coming up on its season finale and people on both sides of the issue are waiting with bated breath to see how it turns out. There have been a lot of twists and turns in the plot so far, but the heart of the storyline is simple enough: High Point officials want Guilford County to give that city $11.1 million in predicted increased county tax revenues over the next 20 years to help pay back the cost of the $45 million baseball stadium...

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Yost Matches Wits with Small-Minded Creature

The other Sunday night, I was working hard to get some stories in so I could get to a bunch of other very pressing matters and my phone rang. It was my mother calling from Chapel Hill. When I picked up, I knew right away that she was petrified. “A squirrel is in the house!” she exclaimed. Two days earlier, a squirrel had come down her chimney and her friends had chased it right back up the chimney – or so they thought, at least, since the squirrel had been nowhere to be found since then. And, after two days of no sign of it in the house, my mother had been certain the squirrel was gone. However, Sunday night right before she called me, she’d returned from dinner at a friend’s house and found wood shavings, urine stains and other telltale destruction in the house. Now, this isn’t the first time she’s had a squirrel in the house. Last year one got in somehow and lived there for nearly a week while she was on vacation in New Jersey. That squirrel had completely demolished the place – gnawing off window panes, breaking glasses, furiously ripping down curtains and blinds, shredding furniture, pooping and urinating all over the place – you name it. Now, there are a couple of things to mention here … (A) The fact that my...

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High Point Tries to Drive Baseball Issue Across Home Plate But County Says Numbers Batty

By Scott D. Yost Tempers have been flaring in the heated back and forth between Guilford County commissioners and High Point officials over a proposed baseball stadium for downtown High Point. But this week there was a new wrinkle: The project had some county commissioners fuming at their own staff. The fireworks started early at the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Thursday, Sept. 7 meeting when the commissioners were debating whether to set a public hearing to get input on the project that would use $45 million in public money to fund a stadium and land purchases in the effort to revitalize High Point’s downtown. The commissioners voted 7 to 2 to hold the public hearing at the board’s next meeting, Thursday, Sept. 21, but it’s still anyone’s guess whether the board will approve county financing for the project in the form of tax revenue sharing over the next 20 years. High Point officials argue that the project will bring a great deal of economic development to downtown High Point and therefore increase property values in the area, and they say the county should use almost all of Guilford County’s increased tax revenue for about two decades to help repay the cost of building the stadium. However, the commissioners have been asking a lot of questions and some commissioners have been dissatisfied with the answers. At the Sept. 7...

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Accusations on Unauthorized Animal Shelter Facebook Page Getting County’s Goat

Just as many celebrities don’t appreciate what’s reported in unauthorized biographies about them, Guilford County officials are getting highly aggravated about the posts that have been going up on a popular Facebook page – Guilford County Animal Services WATCH. The page isn’t affiliated with Guilford County government in any way and it is clearly labeled as “unofficial” on Facebook. It’s run by Shawn Henegar, an animal welfare advocate who’s been very vocal – and very critical – in recent years about shelter operations and animal care in Guilford County. Henegar, along with several WATCH page administrators, runs the site...

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After Court Ruling, Elections Board Still Up In The Air As Election Approaches

The wheels of justice may turn slowly but, when it comes to elections, time marches on. A recent ruling by the North Carolina Supreme Court makes that fact about time ominous because that ruling means there will be further delay before a now vacant state board of elections is named. The Supreme Court decision sends the high-profile politically charged case back to Wake County Superior Court and gives that court 60 days to make a determination on the merits of the case. The same ruling also allows some counties with only two board of elections members, such as Guilford...

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The Shame of Newscasters Phoning It In

Wow, this year is really speeding by. It’s already getting cold outside. Already. And it was just spring like two days ago. There is clearly no time whatsoever to waste, so let’s get straight to it.… ***** I was at Atlantic Beach recently, sitting by the pool with my nephew Parker Yost, and I caught a glimpse of his iPhone, which was just in tatters. And I said, “Oh my goodness? How in the world is that iPhone even working – and how did your phone get in that condition??” He said he had no idea; he said it was just “normal wear and tear.” I had a bottle of Coke I was holding and I’d forgotten to bring a bottle opener and Parker noticed and said, “Oh, I can get that for you.” Thinking he must have a bottle opener on his keychain or something, I handed the bottle to him. He took his iPhone and, I’m not making this up, somehow shoved the edge of the phone under the cap, using the phone as a bottle opener, and popped the cap off. I’m still not quite sure how he did that, but I do think I have a better understanding of how his $800 smartphone got to be in the condition it’s in. ***** Speaking of phones, I understand that some people like to look at their...

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High Point and Guilford Take Swings At One Another Over Funding Baseball Stadium

High Point officials call Guilford County’s coming decision whether or not to participate in a new downtown baseball stadium project a “no brainer,” but, in the days leading up to the Board of Commissioners Thursday, Sept. 7 meeting, the commissioners have been wrangling over whether they should even hold a public hearing on the matter. The contentious $45 million project calls for a $30 million stadium with additional land acquisition and other costs totaling $15 million, financed by the city through a bank loan. One criticism leveled against the project has been that the High Point leaders didn’t seek...

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State of Community Better Than People Think

Clearly the Greensboro community has some image problems right now – and, for once, the 2017 State of Our Community Luncheon acknowledged those issues, and the presenters and audience members alike were able to laugh about the city’s somewhat blah reputation. Thanks to that tack, the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce’s annual State of Our Community Luncheon, held on Wednesday, August 30 in the Koury Convention Center at the Sheraton Greensboro Hotel at Four Seasons, was a lot more upbeat, enjoyable and at times even downright funny, than many of the stuffy and stodgy affairs of past years. The Greensboro...

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Deeds Office Has Your Passport To Fast Service

On Tuesday, Sept. 5, the Guilford County Register of Deeds office opened the only no-appointment “walk-in” passport application office in the county, which means citizens can show up unannounced and get instant passport service. Guilford County Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen said he’s very excited about the new service, which he said should dramatically cut down wait times for passport seekers, make things easier on customers and generate new revenue for Guilford County government. “We want to make this process as convenient as possible and become the premier location for passports in Guilford County,” Thigpen said. The service, available...

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City Needs to Put the ‘Sas’ Back in Sasquatch

I saw in the news that downtown Marion, North Carolina, is having a Bigfoot Festival in 2018 and I can promise you that, by doing so, they are going to draw in people from all over the place. It’s really going to be something. Now, this got me thinking – with my mind that always goes a million miles an hour – and I realized that this is just absolutely brilliant. This is just an absolutely fantastic idea. Get a few people to say that they saw Bigfoot in the area and then your place is an instant tourist attraction with festivals and all. I mean, think about it: Why in the world would anybody go to Marion? Right, they wouldn’t. Ever. Ordinarily, no one in their right mind would go to Marion on a trip. Look up Marion on the internet if you don’t believe me and check it out. I think you’ll see what I mean. I Googled attractions in Marion, NC, and TripAdvisor.com came back with a list of the top 10 attractions and it includes “English Farmstead cheese” and “the McDowell Arts Council Association Gallery Gift Shop.” Now, keep in mind that those things are on the top 10 list of things to do in Marion, so I think you get what I’m saying. However, now, because of the creativity of the Marion tourism officials...

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Yost Offers Eclipse Humor While He Can

Before you get inundated with clever snarky tunes, may I remind you: There WILL come a time that you lose your phone somewhere in the house. You WILL ask your wife to call it to help you find it. Good luck explaining that ringtone.   – Reddit post   Well, the good news is that the eclipse is now more than a week behind us and we can all go back to staring directly into the sun. I swear, I like a good solar eclipse as much as the next person, but I think that, as a society, we all...

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Early Voting Same-Day Registration Provides Loophole for Procrastinators

They say knowledge is power and, in some cases, a lack of knowledge about election procedures may cost people their power to vote. That’s because some information provided to voters leads them believe that, if they register 24 days before the election, they can’t vote in that election, when in fact they can. Same-day registration during early voting allows them to register and then vote – however, people have to know about the option in order to use it. Anyone who goes go Guilford County’s election website or many other election websites across the state will be told they...

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High Point and County in Pickle over Stadium

There has been a whirlwind of frantic activity behind the scenes this week as the Guilford County commissioners try to decide if they want to play ball with High Point by using county property tax revenue for the next two decades to help fund a proposed new stadium meant to spur downtown development in that city. The tension over the project has become so heated in recent days that it’s almost not an exaggeration to say that a “no” vote by the Guilford County Board of Commissioners could lead High Point to contemplate an attempt to break away from...

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High Point Mayor Tries to Strong Arm County Chair into Supporting Baseball Stadium

At the Thursday morning, August 24 meeting of the Guilford County Economic Development Alliance (GCEDA), a confrontation between High Point Mayor Bill Bencini and Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Jeff Phillips left many alliance members in stunned silence after it became clear that the disagreement between the two could mean an end to GCEDA – a group that was formed with great effort two years ago to promote countywide cooperation in economic development. At the meeting, the two men went head to head in a disagreement that stems from a proposal by High Point to build...

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Yost Enjoys the View at the Wyndham

Last weekend, I decided on a whim that it might be fun to play a round of golf, so I grabbed my clubs and headed out to Sedgefield Country Club. I know I should have called ahead to get a tee time but I didn’t bother, and I have to say, I wish I had, because for some reason the place was absolutely slammed. I mean, not only were all the tee times taken, but there were rows and rows of gawkers lining the course and, at that point I didn’t care to play anyway; because who wants to play golf in...

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High Point Pitches Baseball Project, County Wants to Know if There’s a Catch

If the proposed High Point baseball stadium and downtown rejuvenation project is as well backed and well planned as that city’s pitch to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, it will be a raging success. However, some county commissioners question if the huge undertaking has been as well thought out as it needs to be. They question, for instance, whether developers will jump in and build restaurants, bars, apartments and other facilities around the proposed stadium. That’s a key component of the plan meant to bring High Point’s downtown back from the dead. A Thursday, August 17, afternoon work...

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Courts Scramble to Handle Judge Shortage

The Guilford County court system has a desperate need for more judges, is struggling hard to keep up in light of the current judge shortage and just lost some valuable help that it had been getting from the state in the form of temporary judges. That’s according to Guilford County Chief District Court Judge Tom Jarrell and other county court officials who are feeling the pinch in a big way after state lawmakers sliced the number of “emergency judges” serving North Carolina. Those are temporary, traveling judges – often retired judges – who are sent to court systems where...

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County Commissioners Sniff Around For Animal Shelter Director  Who Will ‘Stay’

Now that the Guilford County Board of Commissioners has selected a site for the county’s new animal shelter, the county still has to find a major piece of the puzzle – a new Animal Services director – in order to complete the picture. County officials are searching hard but it now looks like Guilford County will hire an animal services management firm to help run the shelter until at least the end of 2017. In addition to providing a temporary director, that firm is also expected to review the shelter’s programs, practices and procedures. Last week, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to purchase land to build a new $9 million shelter at 979 Guilford College Road. That 12-acre tract of heavily wooded property in unincorporated Guilford County is on the west side of Guilford College Road between Greensboro and High Point. The commissioners didn’t discuss the land purchase for long at the board’s Thursday, August 17 meeting before taking a vote. However, in the two years leading up to that decision – especially behind closed doors – they’ve talked with each other until they were blue in the face about where the county’s new animal shelter should go. With that decision now out of the way, Guilford County officials have turned to helping staff find a director who doesn’t quit or get fired soon after taking...

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Yost Says Lady Justice Is Blind, Not Deaf

Last century, there were two trials of the century – the 1925 Scopes Trial and the 1995 O.J. Simpson Trial – and it’s still a toss up which one of those was bigger. And, now, in this century – which is either the 20th or 21st century depending on who you ask – we are in 2017 and we already have the clear winner for what will no doubt be the uncontested trial of the new century – a trial that will certainly never be rivaled in terms of scope, notoriety and importance before the year 2,100 rolls around,...

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Council Apologizes For Klan-Communist Shootout

The Greensboro City Council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 15 was largely about the events in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, August 12 and Nov. 3, 1979 in Greensboro At the meeting, the City Council voted to apologize on behalf of Greensboro for the city’s role in the shootout that took place nearly 40 years ago between the members of the Communist Workers’ Party and members of the Klu Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party. That shooting left five dead and others injured. The motion to apologize, made by Councilmember Sharon Hightower, passed on a 7-to-1 vote, with Councilmember Tony Wilkins voting...

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Council Revives Police Review Board

The Greensboro City Council is working hard to find the best way to provide citizen oversight of the Greensboro Police Department; however, at a Tuesday, August 15 work session in the Plaza Level Conference Room of city hall, it became clear that there are still a lot more questions than answers when it comes to doing that. Earlier this summer, the City Council voted to halt handing over any new cases to the Police Community Review Board (PCRB) – the oversight body that’s been addressing complaints about police actions. Several city councilmembers said at the work session that the...

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County Hires School Chair For Legal Defense

Guilford County has hired a big gun – one of the area’s most recognized attorneys – to help defend the Guilford County Board of Elections in a lawsuit filed against that board by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ). Guilford County Board of Education Chairman Alan Duncan – an attorney with Turning Point Litigation (Mullins Duncan) – has been hired to represent Guilford County in the court battle in which the Guilford County Board of Elections is being sued for over $600,000 in attorneys’ fees and other costs related to a case that Guilford County lost regarding the state’s redistricting of the Greensboro City Council districts. Guilford County officials know Duncan very well because each year the Guilford County Board of Commissioners works with Duncan and other school board members to determine the size of the county’s contribution to the school system budget – this year over $200 million. The schools always ask for more money from the county each year and in most years the amount given to the schools is a point of serious contention. The Guilford County Board of Elections met with Guilford County Attorney Mark Payne in two closed sessions in June and July and the board evidently gave Payne the go-ahead to hire outside help on the case. Several elections officials said that was a wise move since this will be a highly...

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