Pilot Light: Moore Has One of Highest Census Response Rates
Moore is among the North Carolina counties claiming the highest early response participation in the 2010 U.S. Census.
The county can share honors with the state when it comes to saving an estimated $1.6 billion in census costs.
William W. Hatcher, Charlotte regional director for the Census Bureau, issued the report last week after U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced that the decennial census would come in 22 percent under budget this year, an unusual accomplishment in any year.
Final figures have not been revealed, but Moore County had significant participation within the first week after census forms were mailed in early spring. The county's return by mail rate was 69 percent, compared with 65 percent across North Carolina and 63 percent nationally.
Residents were encouraged to return the forms by mail as soon as possible, an action that saves money by reducing the number of home visits required by census personnel to follow up on households not returning the forms.
JULY RATES - As of July, Moore County had a 76 percent participation rate, again ahead of the state, with 74 percent, and the nation, with 72 percent.
The village of Whispering Pines, with an 89 percent return rate, ranked highest in North Carolina.
Locke attributed the savings to several factors, including contingency money for disasters that did not occur. Other factors were better-than-expected productivity by field personnel and an advertising campaign targeting "hard-to-count" populations.
DEMOCRATS - The Moore County Democratic Executive Committee will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at county headquarters, 104 McNeill St., Carthage.
Party Chairman Jim Heim says the main topic will be the North Carolina coordinated campaign, now under way to support Democratic candidates at all levels. The meeting is open to all Democrats.
FIRST LADY - Congressman Howard Coble scolded first lady Michelle Obama in one of his rare appearances in the U.S. House of Representatives well last week.
"I make infrequent appearances in the House, but today I feel obligated to express my disappointment in Mrs. Obama's decision to conduct an elaborate vacation in Spain," Coble said. "She and members of her entourage are spending lavishly and American taxpayers will subsidize this vacation with lavish payments as well.
"With the dismal American economy in the tank, this Spanish vacation, Madame Speaker, was ill-conceived, ill-timed and generously laced with illogical arrogance. It is my belief that the first lady owes an apology to American taxpayers for this exercise in reckless spending. I thank the speaker and yield back."
Coble, who represents Moore County, was allotted one of five Republican slots at the beginning of the session to deliver what is known as "one-minutes." House members were called back into session Tuesday to vote on the $26 billion jobs bill.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at email@example.com.
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