An Eagle, by First Bank, for taking the rare step among corporations and waiving $75,000 in remaining incentive payments Moore County owed for another five years.

County commissioners agreed to pay the bank $150,000 — $15,000 a year for 10 years — in 2013 if the bank moved its headquarters from Troy to Southern Pines. The county so far has paid half that amount and the bank is forgiving the rest.

The final $75,000 is being earmarked for an expansion of Hillcrest Park in Carthage.

“It’s a wonderful thing to be part of this, particularly when we started talking about opportunities at Hillcrest, and help the children and others in the community,” said First Bank executive Hugh Bingham. “We’ve been blessed to be part of the community and be able to support a lot of things. This is an important thing for us. We are glad to be partners with you on it.”

This is an act of unrivaled generosity and community mindedness, and we all owe thanks to the bank.

Birdie, by the town of Aberdeen, for trying to get ahead of growth and revising its development standards.

No municipality in Moore County has seen population growth over the past 20 years like Aberdeen, and the town is still play catch-up with need for services. Planning Director Justin Westbrook said the standards need updating to handle a large number of projects the town sees coming. Commissioners could approve the updates this fall.

Now is the perfect time to ensure the town has some control of its future, lest the market drive the town.

Birdie, by Susan Southard, for getting Moore County part of a national effort known as Civic Saturday. Southard, a Southern Pines-based nonfiction author, has spearheaded the event, which is designed to engage in conversations in a face-based, non-partisan way.

The latest effort came Saturday with “Facing the Climate Crisis: Urgency, Action and Hope.”

Citizen University, a Seattle-based nonprofit with a national platform of fostering responsible and empowered citizenship, launched the Civic Saturday program in 2018. It is designed to break away

from polarized politics and talk about “democratic citizenship.”

“Civic Saturdays are meant to help us practice being together as citizens; that is, as diverse individuals willing to show up in public life together,” Southard said.

In this day and age of everyone screaming at each other and not listening, more of these kinds of civic — and civil — discussions are welcome.

Birdie, by Pinecrest history teacher Elena Samkin, for spearheading a Memorial Day Weekend trip with a few dozen students and chaperones to Washington, D.C., to study — and honor — the sacrifice of those who gave their lives in battle.

The trip started with honoring soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery and included a number of other stops designed to foster mindfulness and raise awareness of the sacrifice of others.

Senior Madelaine Bradley hoped the trip would become a regular thing: “I think it is important to remember that Memorial Day is a time to honor our service members, and this trip allowed us to honor men and women who died serving their country.”

These are the lessons we could stand to increase for our students.

Birdie, by the community of Eagle Springs, which earlier this month decided to leverage its small-town roots in a large way.

“We were a community and we didn’t even know each other,” said Alita Hamilton Chambers.

Over the years, residents have periodically gotten together and performed a number of community service projects, including painting the Eagle Springs post office and a community mural; sponsoring a children’s parade; installing a Free Little Library and a Welcome to Eagle Springs sign on N.C. 211; and coordinating a quarterly highway clean-up crew.

Because being small town doesn’t have to mean small time.

(1) comment

Kent Misegades

Incentives to businesses are a form of corporate welfare, bribes of tax dollars confiscated from one business used by politicians and bureaucrats to influence the actions of another. How can giving back something one never really owned be considered generosity? Businesses typically decline incentives when the requirements that come with them, in particular hiring goals, can not be met. Just say no to corporate welfare, minimize taxes and regulations and let free markets determine winners and losers.

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