PILOT LIGHT: First Eve Rescheduled
The annual Southern Pines First Eve celebration has been rescheduled for Saturday, Jan. 6.
Organizers decided to postpone the event, which helps ring in the New Year, because of the rainy weather Sunday evening. It will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. and will feature live entertainment, other festivities and food, as originally planned for the New Year's Eve celebration.
It is a free, nonalcohol event for families. North West Broad Street will be blocked off between West Pennsylvania and West Connecticut avenues for the event.
This year's theme is "Mayberry." The train depot will be the main stage again this year. The Cowboy Band will perform. A disc jockey will spin music for children from 6 to 8 p.m. and for teenagers from 8 to 9 p.m. on the opposite end of Broad Street.
Barney and Gomer (Scott Epperson and Bruce Newman of Mayberry Memories) will be in town with their classic squad car. Happy Dan the Magic Man and Jingles the balloon artist will be there, along with a face-painter and fire-eater.
GOP -- The Moore County Republican Executive Committee will meet Thursday, Jan. 18, to work out details of precinct meetings to be held in February and to plan the county convention in March.
The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the (new) Courts Facility building second floor courtroom in Carthage.
Do Shaver, county GOP secretary, says notices of the meeting, along with an agenda and minutes of the December meeting, will be sent to members, either by e-mail or by Postal Service. The decision to schedule the January planning session was made at the committee's December meeting.
FORD -- Former President Gerald Ford visited Moore County in 1984 to support Harris Blake's campaign for Congress.
Ford, who died last week, made a number of visits to Moore County during the 1970s and 1980s, including dedication of the Golf Hall of Fame and opening of the Pinehurst No. 8 golf course.
Blake, now serving in the state Senate, was campaigning against incumbent 8th District Congressman Bill Hefner, a Democrat. Ina Keegan, who keeps up with Republican campaign efforts, recalls that Hefner won that close race.
"It was a real squeaker," Keegan said.
Moore County was later divided into two congressional districts, the 8th and the 2nd, and finally all of the county was placed in the 6th District, where it remains today.
MORGAN -- Also remembering Ford visits to Moore County is state Rep. Richard Morgan, whose term in office expires in a few days.
Morgan reminds readers that he is the "young man" standing at right in the photograph of Ford reproduced in the Dec. 29 edition of The Pilot.
"I remember working on the advance for that trip and at the last minute the road sign had to be taken down and Richard M. Nixon Boulevard was replaced with Gerald R. Ford Boulevard because Nixon had just resigned over Watergate," Morgan said. "I also remember when credentials were obtained, the fellow standing right behind me at the time was Chris Shinkle with ABC Wide World of Sports."
WAGE -- An increase in the minimum wage is one of several laws in effect with the new year in North Carolina.
The minimum wage increase, from $5.15 to $6.15 an hour, is expected to affect about 150,000 people across the state.
It is one of about 30 laws enacted by the North Carolina General Assembly to go into effect Jan. 1.
Other new laws include: lowering the highest individual income tax rate from 8.25 to 8 percent; the hiring of 90 new assistant district attorneys; extension of the license renewal period for most adult drivers from five to eight years; deregulation of the cable television industry by phasing out local franchise agreements in favor of service filings with the Secretary of State.
ETHICS -- The legislative research office is sending a four-page memorandum to all legislators advising them that a new ethics law goes into effect Jan. 1.
The new law requires mandatory ethics training for legislators and legislative staff, to be provided by the new State Ethics Commission in conjunction with the Legislative Ethics Committee. Legislative Researcher Walker Reagan says he expects the special training to be available in January and February.
The Ethics Commission, made up of eight members, will collect economic disclosure forms from people in all three branches of government and accept ethics complaints.
New laws also reduce the maximum cash contribution a candidate can accept from $100 to $50 and prohibit contributions by check or money order with blank payee lines.
Another new law prohibits lobbyists from giving most gifts and campaign contributions to legislators, Council of State members and candidates for these offices.
Ethics laws were tightened after a series of campaign finance and lobbying questions were raised in connection with the state lottery and the office of House Speaker Jim Black.
Florence Gilkeson can be reached at 947-4962 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More like this story