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Rhino Times - 2017-12-21
Magazines / Newspapers | Government 2017-12-21 00:00:00
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    Vol. V No. 51 Greensboro, North Carolina www.rhinotimes.com Thursday, December 21, 2017 Council Moving City in Right Direction Scott D. Yost Kiddy Train Going Well, Except For . . . plus Under The Hammer, Uncle Orson Reviews Everything AND MORE

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    2 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, December 21, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com Remembering the Gifts You Never Got by Dick Hammer The following story by my father had become a Christmas tradition at the Rhino Times. We printed it during the Christmas season for years, and for years Dad tweaked it, changing a word or two or cleaning up a messy sentence, as writers do. Dad died in March 2004, so there’s been no tweaking for quite a while, but we think the story stands the test of time as it is. – John Hammer It all began with a strange man walking up and down the sidewalk in front of our house on Christmas Eve in 1931. We were right in the midst of the Great Depression, but unlike many families mine had been lucky. The New York bank where my father worked was sound and had only closed for the federally mandated bank holidays. My dad still went to work every day, and while much of the nation suffered, we were ready to have a bountiful Christmas. In the refrigerator, the fi rst one we had ever owned, sat a big turkey ready for the oven. Our old icebox was still out on the porch in case this newfangled refrigerator didn’t really work. The area under the Christmas tree was already piled high with presents for me, my older sister and two younger brothers and we knew there were more to come. My older sister, Mary Lou, who was 10, was the fi rst to notice the man who walked back and forth in front of our house. Or she was the fi rst to decide that it was our house he was stalking, not one of the other three on the block, and that he was going to break in and steal our Christmas presents. Mary Lou eventually convinced my mother that this man was up to no good, and my mother decided that the best thing to do was to take all of us with her when she went to the train station to pick up my dad. Dad was a fairly typical New Jersey commuter. He left every morning on the 6:39 a.m. train and, before the Depression, used to return on the 7:42 p.m. Since the Depression he was the cashier at the bank and got to come home on the 6:27 p.m. train. I don’t know how he felt about leaving work “early,” but all we kids knew was we got to see more of him. My dad loved bridge, and was part of a rolling group of six or seven that played each morning and occasionally on the evening train. They played from the time they got on the Jersey Central to the ferry in Jersey City. Sometimes some of them caught an earlier or later train, hence the six participants. The Great Depression took a lot of jobs, especially on Wall Street, and the bridge group was another victim of the ’29 crash. On this Christmas Eve, with “the strange man” out in front of the house, Mom loaded Mary Lou (10), me (8), Bob (6) and Paul (4) into the car to pick Dad up at the train station. We left the house locked. Dad’s train was on time as usual, and we quickly picked him out among the derby clad commuters. To our delight he had a bag of presents. We all started talking at once telling Dad of the stranger stalking our home. Mom quieted us and Dad heard the story from her. “Well, if he were going to rob us, he has done so by now. Let’s go home,” said Dad. Mom drove us straight home and as we pulled into the garage Dad jumped out and walked quickly to the stranger still walking slowly up and down in front of our home. All of us, including Mom, were already peering out of the curtained windows as Dad walked with the stranger up to our front door. Mom opened the door to let them in. Dad said, “This is my good friend John Smith, who used to be my bridge partner.” He introduced us all to Mr. Smith. Mom and Dad went into the front parlor to talk with Mr. Smith. We kids had already eaten supper, but we gathered in the kitchen, talking and wondering about Mr. Smith and why he was walking in front of our house. It seemed like an eternity to us before Mom came in and said, “Your Dad has something to say to you.” Dad came in and said, “Your Mother and I are going to drive my friend home. But before we go, we’re going to split our Christmas dinner and gifts down the middle with the Smiths. Turkey and all. Mr. Smith and his wife have three children approximately the ages of you three older children. He has no job and no immediate prospects. I’d like for you, Mary Lou, Dick and Bob to consider sharing your gifts with the Smith children.” Mary Lou and I looked dubiously at each other. The turkey dinner was one thing, but our Christmas presents – that was an entirely different prospect. But before we could say a word, my 4-year-old brother Paul piped up. He said, “It’s not fair if they get to give half their gifts, I want to give half of mine.” While Mom fed Dad and Mr. Smith in the kitchen, we kids went to the pile of presents under the tree and loaded half of our wrapped gifts into laundry bags. Mr. Smith came in and thanked us with tears on his cheeks. We felt plenty thanked. Dad somehow managed to cut the raw turkey in half and we all helped carry things to the car. Mary Lou was our babysitter when Mom and Dad drove Mr. Smith to his house. We stayed up late and when Mom and Dad got home we wanted to know all about the Smith children. Mom said they were sweet, a little younger than us but about the same sizes. She said Mrs. Smith was a lovely and gracious lady and that they all really appreciated our generosity. Still, giving up half our presents hadn’t been easy and I said, “Mom, we don’t even know what gifts we gave away to the Smiths. Mom said, “The gifts you never got will be the ones you’ll never forget.” Mom was right. 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    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, December 21, 2017 | RHINO TIMES 3 table of CONTENTS 2 REMEMBERING GIFTS YOU NEVER GOT BY JOHN RICHARD HAMMER 5 NEW COUNCIL’S FIRST MEETING MOVES CITY IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION BY JOHN HAMMER 6 COUNTY KIDDY TRAIN PLAN GOING WELL, EXCEPT FOR ENGINE, TRACKS, TRAIN CARS, FENCE BY SCOTT D. YOST 7 GOOD-BYE PTIA, HELLO CNCIA BY SCOTT D. YOST 9 SEXUAL HARASSMENT NOT JUST NATIONAL NEWS BY JOHN HAMMER 10 NC BOARD OF ELECTIONS’ ABSENCE CREATES HEADACHES ALL OVER STATE BY SCOTT D. YOST 12 YOU CAN MAKE IT HERE: TOYOTA- MAZDA, THIS MEANS YOU BY SCOTT D. YOST 13 UNCLE ORSON BY ORSON SCOTT CARD 23 YOST COLUMN BY SCOTT D. YOST 25 ASK CAROLYN BY CAROLYN WOODRUFF 35 UNDER THE HAMMER BY JOHN HAMMER 4 RHINO SHORTS 14 PUZZLE ANSWERS 17 REAL ESTATE 18 NYT CROSSWORD 19 CHILDREN’S SCHEDULE 21 SOUND OF THE BEEP 21 SUDOKU 26 NEWS OF THE WEIRD 28 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 8 Cover by Anthony Council PUBLISHER Roy Carroll EDITOR-IN-CHIEF John Hammer managing editor ELAINE HAMMER county editor SCOTT D. YOST contributing editor ORSON SCOTT CARD GENERAL MANAGER Joann Zollo creative director ANTHONY COUNCIL advertising consultant DONNA GOODWIN 216 West Market Street, Greensboro NC 27401 P.O. Box 9023, Greensboro NC 27429 | (336) 763-4170 (336) 763-2585 fax | sales@rhinotimes.com | www.rhinotimes.com

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    TAYLOR'S DISCOUNT TIRE 4 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, December 21, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com RHINO SHORTS by John Hammer It seems like Tex and Shirley’s Family Restaurant has always been on Pembroke Road in Friendly Shopping Center serving breakfast, but it won’t be much longer. Tex and Shirley’s is moving, and the last day at its current location is Sunday, Dec. 24. So if you’re just dying for some Tex and Shirley’s pancakes, you might want to get over there before Christmas. Maybe the name will grow on me, but Central North Carolina International Airport is not very appealing. I agree that Piedmont Triad International Airport was not a good name, but it’s hard to see how the new name is much of an improvement. The good news is that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) code will not change. It will remain GSO. Take that Winston- Salem and High Point. What would be truly great for the airport would be more flights at lower rates. And really, who refers to an airport by its name? I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say they were flying out of Douglas, which is the name of the Charlotte Airport. Do people say, “Oh no, I have to change planes at Hartsfield-Jackson.” – the name of the airport in Atlanta? In cities with more than one airport, Kennedy or LaGuardia in New York, the name is used, but it’s going to be a while before the Piedmont Triad has another major airport. I have flown in and out of Newark Liberty International Airport for years and never knew it had Liberty in the name until I just looked it up. I think maybe I would have gone with the Greenpoint Salem International Airport and confuse people even more. Or the name that makes the most sense – the Toyota-Mazda International Airport. Or even “Hoorah for Toyota- Mazda International Airport” At the same time they could announce that there would be daily nonstop flights to Tokyo. Those flights would have to be heavily subsidized by the state at least for a while, but if it brought the Toyota-Mazda plant to Randolph County, it would be well worth the expense. And if the state were subsidizing the flight then people who reside in North Carolina should get a discount and Tokyo might become a prime location for vacationing North Carolinians. For me the weather so far this month has been one of the things that makes me like calling North Carolina home. We had snow but the temperature never fell low enough for it to cause problems on the roads. So we got the beauty of a snow but not the problems. Then we had a couple of cold nights with the temperature in the 20s and Tuesday the high was near 70. I suppose if you don’t like variety this would be a terrible place to live, but if you like having to look at the weather forecast to know whether to put on shorts or an overcoat, it couldn’t be better. You can learn a lot traveling. Recently, when the Muse and I were in Portugal, I didn’t feel well and the Muse went out and bought some cold medicine, which unfortunately is not more or less effective than the cold medicine we have on this side of the pond. But there were some pills whose name I didn’t recognize and I don’t take random stuff, so I read all about all the dangers and side effects. I mean this stuff sounded really deadly. And then, when I got to the bottom, there was a note that it was also sold under the name Tylenol. Count on us to keep you on the go with our expert service and the long-lasting value of MICHELIN ® tires. More miles. With the safety you expect. THE NEW MICHELIN ® DEFENDER ® TIRE. Taylor’s Discount Tire 2100 E. Cone Blvd STOP IN TODAY! Fair, honest pricing Family owned and operated TAYLORSDISCOUNTTIRE.COM (336) 375-8883 MON - FRI 7:30 - 5:30, SAT 6:00 - 12:30 NO HIDDEN TIRE INSTALLATION FEES NO HIDDEN TPMS RESET FEES FREE ROTATION AND BALANCE FOR LIFE OF TIRES Life never stops moving. So take on every mile – and be there for every moment – with Michelin’s longest-lasting tire. * * Based on commissioned third-party wear test results in tire size 225/55R17 97H vs. Goodyear® Assurance® TripleTred™ All-Season and Continental® TrueContact™ tires in size 225/55R17 97H, and Pirelli® P4™ Four Seasons+ tire in size 225/55R17 97T, on a 2016 Chevrolet Malibu; and in tire size 205/55R16 91H vs. Bridgestone® Turanza™ Serenity Plus tire in size 205/55R16 91H on a 2015 Honda Civic. Actual on-road results may vary. Copyright © 2017 Michelin North America, Inc. All rights reserved. The Michelin Man is a registered trademark owned by Michelin North America, Inc.

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    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, December 21, 2017 | RHINO TIMES 5 New City Council’s First Meeting Moves Greensboro in the Right Direction by John Hammer The first regular meeting of the new City Council was a whale of a night. For the City Council, the meeting began at 4 p.m. with the official photograph, followed by a closed session, and ended at 12:25 a.m. By the end, nobody was at their best, even City Councilmember Yvonne Johnson – who is usually the height of decorum on the council – was peevish. Tuesday, Dec. 19, the City Council approved the construction contract for the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts, a project that began in 2011, and approved the funding for the two new downtown parking decks. The council also officially changed the format for meetings next year, limiting speakers from the floor on non-agenda items to one meeting a month. After the number of speakers at the Tuesday meeting, that seemed to be more than generous. The newly formed Democracy Greensboro, which appears to be made up entirely of senior citizens, revealed its apparent strategy to attempt to talk the City Council to death. Several speakers spoke over and over, saying much the same things about different agenda items. The two downtown parking decks attracted the most opposition, which ranged from people who don’t believe the city should be in the parking business at all, to those who don’t think the city should build parking decks to help business, to those who opposed the parking decks because the bids for the decks haven’t been accepted so the city doesn’t know exactly what they will cost, to those who like to hear themselves speak. The parking deck planned for East Market and Davie streets and is slated to have a Westin Hotel built on top of it had a real issue – an easement owned by the Cone Denim Entertainment Center from Davie Street all the way across the lot where the parking deck is slated to be built to the back door of Cone Denim. City Attorney Tom Carruthers asked the City Council to use eminent domain to take the easement and, after a lengthy discussion, the City Council – on a 6-to-2 vote – agreed to start the proceedings to condemn the property that the city values at $55,000. Councilmembers Sharon Hightower and Michelle Kennedy voted no. Councilmember Justin Outling was recused from all the votes involving the parking deck and proposed hotel because of a conflict of interest involving one of his law partners at the Brooks Pierce law firm. Amiel Rossabi of Rossabi Law Partners, representing the owners of Cone Denim, Rocky Scarfone and Jeff Furr, told the council, “What you do know is, if you condemn it, we will sue; we have no choice. Our venue will City Councilmembers Sharon Hightower, Tammi Thurm, Justin Outling, Marikay Abuzuaiter, Mayor Nancy Vaughan, Mayor Protem Yvonne Johnson and Councilmembers Goldie Wells, Michelle Kennedy and Nancy Hoffmann (from left) lining up for their official photo before the marathon meeting Tuesday night close if we don’t have the access that we have now.” He said that in the case where taking an easement is taking the entire business, the city would have to pay the cost, not of the easement but of the business itself. According to previous correspondence, Scarfone is valuing the business at upwards of $5 million. Rossabi said, “We will seek a preliminary injunction and we will seek PHOTO BY JOHN HAMMER a permanent injunction.” Rossabi began by asking for a 30-day postponement to continue negotiating with the city and asked, “What’s the rush?” In the course of the lengthy discussion, the rush was revealed. According to the City Council, the rush really has nothing to do with building the parking deck. The rush is to get (continued on page 30) RHINO TIMES BUSINESS AND SERVICE DIRECTORY For information to advertise in our Directory call (336) 763-4170 Reach over 50,000 in our Service Directory. Reserve your space by calling (336) 763-4170 or emailing sales@rhinotimes.com

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    6 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, December 21, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com Guilford County Kiddy Train Going Well, Except for Engine, Tracks, Train Cars and Fence by Scott D. Yost All Guilford County wanted for Christmas was to have its kiddie train up and running at Northeast Park, but the county’s not going to get that. In July, Guilford County sent the train to California to be fixed “within 90 days,” a timeline that would have brought the repaired train back home by October. However, the county’s seemingly jinxed kiddie train is still on the West Coast, some 2,200 miles away, and now it looks like there’s no saving the train’s engine, which has become known as the Little Engine that Couldn’t. The kiddie train’s cars are reportedly being repaired in California, but the county may buy a new engine at a greatly discounted price. Officials now hope to get the attraction open at Northeast Park in early 2018, but only a madman with no knowledge of the train’s long problem-filled history would put any money down on that bet. The Guilford County Board of Commissioners approved the purchase of the kiddie train for the park in 2011. The engine cost about $170,000 while the tracks ran nearly $200,000. Over the years there have been so many attempts to fix the train and the tracks that it’s difficult to say exactly how much the county has put into the effort, but the best estimate based on available information is that that number is over a half million dollars. However, in the last six years, the train has never run for any length of time, and for nearly all of that six years, the train has sat idle in a storage shed at the park. It did miraculously run a few weeks in December 2015 during the park’s Country Lights Aglow and, at that time, it was enjoyed a great deal by kids and adults alike – until it broke down again soon after. Earlier this year, county officials were hoping the train would be running at the park by this Christmas season, but that’s not going to happen. County officials are still hoping to eventually get the train operational without spending any more than the $63,000 in new money the county allocated in April 2017 to fix it, but an evaluation of the train track at Northeast Park has shown it will need more extensive repair than anticipated – even though that track was built only five years ago and has hardly been used. In addition, state inspectors are now saying that Guilford County must build a fence around the attraction before it will pass inspection. The fence will cost about $10,000 according to preliminary estimates. It’s likely Guilford County will buy a new engine for the train, which it expects to get for the greatly discounted price of $10,000. Earlier this year, when the Board of Commissioners voted to spend the $63,000 to save the choo-choo that’s been the source of major headaches for years, it was estimated that fixing the track would cost about $16,000 and engine repairs would be about $47,000. At that time, Guilford County chose Diesel Engine and Heavy Equipment Repair of Burlington to repair the train. However, when Diesel Engine contacted Katiland Trains – the California-based company that sold the train to the county and now operates under the name Western Train Co.– Western offered to come get the train, repair it at no charge and return it to Guilford County in running condition within 90 days. That July offer by Western Train had many Guilford County officials scratching their heads, since the county has had an ongoing dispute with the company over the train for years. That 90-day mark has come and gone, but now the commissioners have an offer on the table to buy a new engine for about $10,000. Western would repair the train cars, provide the new engine and return the train to Guilford County. That’s the plan at least. Guilford County Facilities, Parks and Property Management Director Robert McNiece said this week that Guilford County is likely to get the new engine to replace the old one since the county would be getting such a good price. “They’re giving us a 2015 engine that’s never been run for $10,000,” McNiece said, adding that that same engine would ordinarily cost “well in excess of $100,000.” McNiece said the California company is repairing the train’s cars. Though those cars have hardly been used, there are issues with them coming off the train track. Then there’s the fence. County officials said that, originally, state inspectors didn’t require that Northeast Park attraction to have a fence, but once the train gets back they will. One source said state officials indicated that the train attraction at Northeast Park should have been required to have a fence all along, but an oversight by an inspector allowed the ride to be permitted without that. The good news is that the projected costs combined aren’t expected to cost any more than the $63,000. The commissioners are likely to vote to purchase a new engine at the discounted price at their next meeting on Thursday, Jan. 19. Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Alan Branson represents much of northeastern Guilford County, where the kiddie train has sat idle for years. In July, when the train company offered to take the train and fix it for free, Branson said it sounded suspiciously too good to be true, but he also said at that time that just about anything was worth a shot when it comes to the train. Now that the 90-day period has come and gone, he’s sounding a little more wary and he said the track is in bad condition. Branson also said he was alarmed at the rate of demise of the train track at the park. “The ties have rotted and need to be replaced,” Branson said. “I was surprised to see that treated material decay so fast.” He said he believed that, within 30 to 45 days of the commissioners’ decision regarding the engine, the train could be up and running. Branson, who once called the train situation a “damn nightmare,” was just elected chairman of the board. When asked if could guarantee that, by the end of his first term as chairman in December 2018, the long sought after kiddie train at Northeast Park would be up and running, he said he could not. “I wouldn’t say that for love or money,” Branson said. He added that the fence that state inspectors are now requiring is a new issue that has to be addressed. “They have some rosebushes around it to keep the kids out, but I think the fear is that, with kids playing in the area, they might throw a ball in there and then go on the tracks if there’s not a fence there,” the chairman said. It’s also interesting to contrast the experience of (continued on next page)

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    www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, December 21, 2017 | RHINO TIMES 7 Say Good-Bye to PTIA and Hello to CNCIA by Scott D. Yost Shakespeare said a rose would smell as sweet by any other name but, apparently, when it comes to airports and marketing the region they serve, the name matters a great deal. A renewed effort to effectively market Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA), and the three-city region around it, is the main reason that, on Tuesday, Dec. 19, the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority voted unanimously to change the name of that airport to Central North Carolina International Airport. The airport authority voted unanimously to put the new name into effect starting Jan. 1 for the airport that serves Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem and the surrounding area. An airport name change has been a matter of discussion behind the scenes for about half a year in confidential conversations between elected officials, area economic development leaders and some other area movers and shakers – but, until this week, there was no public awareness those talks were going on, and the “Central North Carolina International” moniker was kept tightly under wraps until Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines, who serves on the airport authority board, gave the big reveal. The medium-sized meeting room was perhaps more packed than it’s ever been for an airport board meeting. There were way too many high-profile people in the room to list, but that list includes the mayors of Greensboro and High Point, as well as Joines, and the chairman and former chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners. Throw into that high-powered mix just about every print and broadcast media outlet in Guilford and Forsyth counties and it meant a packed house for the highly anticipated unveiling. Before Joines announced the new name by reading the resolution, Piedmont Triad Airport Authority Board Chairman Steve Showfety, the president of Koury Corporation, explained the reasoning behind the name change. He said this area has a great opportunity at this moment to use its prime location to its advantage. He added that he and others are very optimistic about the prospects for the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite, as well as the new megasite under construction at the airport, and he stressed that the central location of this area was a big selling point. Showfety said that, during a discussion at a Piedmont Triad Partnership meeting in August – held about the same time as the Wyndham Championship golf tournament – it became clear that “Piedmont Triad” had some identity issues. He also said it became clear that one huge advantage the airport and the area had is its centrality – “its longitude and latitude.” The Piedmont Triad Partnership is a regional economic development group and, at that meeting earlier this year, Showfety said he heard the message regarding the identity problems of this region loud and clear from those (continued on page 14) PHOTO BY SCOTT D. YOST Piedmont Triad Airport Authority board member Paul Mengert, Chairman Steve Showfety, Executive Director Kevin Baker, and board members Linda Shaw and Jim White (from left) following the announcement that they would soon be the Central North Carolina Airport Authority board train (continued from previous page) Guilford County with that of the City of Burlington and the train that’s 14 miles away from the Northeast Park train. Burlington has had a kiddie train at Burlington City Park running since the late 1930s. According to Rachel Kelly, the public information officer for the city, the current train began running in the ’70s, and ran well until 2012, when it underwent a major overhaul including a new engine. Since then, it has been running with the exception of a period 2016 when flooding damaged the tracks and later when an automobile accident damaged the structure. One area train enthusiast, Mike Small, who has contributed to train magazines for decades, conveyed a recent experience. “I was bike riding in Burlington Sunday and heard the park train running,” Small wrote in an email. “To my amazement they were running in October and up until dark. I quickly locked the bike to a pole and got a ticket – $1. This is the same type of train with a C. P. Huntington locomotive like the one at NE Park but this one has been running for many years, even when our kids were little. This one is from Chase Manufacturing in Wichita, Kansas.” It is also interesting to note that, while Guilford County has been working on getting a kiddie train at the park operational for six years and still does not have one, in the 1860’s, the 1,912-mile long Transcontinental Railroad was completed in six years.

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    8 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, December 21, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com Winter National Championships at GAC PHOTOS BY RUTHANNE BRAME AND SANDY GROOVER

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    Sexual Harassment Not Just National News www.rhinotimes.com | Thursday, December 21, 2017 | RHINO TIMES 9 by John Hammer Sexual harassment is all over the news these days. And Greensboro has had some sexual harassment that has a lot of the aspects of the national stories, with one woman coming forward, followed by another and another, until you have a room full. On Wednesday, Dec. 13, a former employee of the News & Record, Kelly Marcel Young of McLeansville, pled no contest to one count of indecent exposure. Another former News & Record employee, Gayla Price, had brought the charges against Young in April after he had been fired by the News & Record. Price left the N&R in May. As in many of these sexual harassment stories, Price never reported Kelly to her superiors and didn’t file a criminal complaint until after Young had been terminated by the News & Record. Price said she is not at all satisfied with the way the N&R handled the matter, but then she never reported the incidents to anyone at the paper. What happened when Price brought charges is that other women came forward saying that they had had similar experiences. It now appears the number of women that Young exposed himself to in the office was at least five, and maybe as high as seven. News & Record Publisher and Editor Daniel Finnegan, in a prepared statement, said, “After Mr. Young was fired, several other employees came forward to say they had experienced similar incidents. One of them dated to 2014 and was not properly documented by an HR representative, who left our company in 2015. This lack of documentation left management unaware of the 2014 incident until after Mr. Young was terminated.” So in 2014, somebody dropped the ball. But Finnegan states, “After a complaint was made in November 2016 that Mr. Young’s pants were unzipped and his penis was exposed while talking to a female employee, we conducted an investigation but could not determine whether the incident was intentional. “We met with Mr. Young on Jan. 3 to warn him that he would be fired if we received any other complaints.” The second complaint came in March 2017 and Young was terminated several days later. Finnegan said he remembers discussing calling the police to report the incidents but that for whatever reason it wasn’t done. In April, Price filed a criminal complaint for two counts of indecent exposure. According to the police report, Price’s description of what occurred leaves little doubt that it was intentional. In an email Price states, “The criminal case accused, the male N&R employee, Kelly Marcel Young, of walking up behind me while I was seated at my desk and when I turned around, he removed a folder covering his groin area and exposed his penis out of his zipper area. Due to my seated position and his standing position, his penis was less than a foot from my face. As I turned back around, Mr. Young continued to stand behind me, trapping me between him and my desk.” Another N&R employee told police that Young had similarly exposed himself to her when they were the only two in the building. She said he had exposed himself to her on four separate occasions over a period of several months. In court, along with Price, two other female N&R employees appeared to offer testimony. When asked why she didn’t report the incidents to the human resources department, Price said, “I thought it was me and I felt like no one would help me.” She said that she didn’t think she would be believed, but when Young was fired she thought it was because some other woman had complained about a similar incident so she would have someone to back up her story. Price also said, “The police should have been called.” She said that she didn’t think it was fair that she had to take it on herself to file a criminal complaint against Young. She said that until the court date she thought there were three victims and it was only in court that she discovered there were at least five. When the N&R was notified that the case against Young would be heard in court on Dec. 13, they notified the other victims that they knew about to give them the opportunity to go to court and two did. Price said that one of the reasons she resigned was that she found work so stressful when Young was there, (continued on page 11)

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    10 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, December 21, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com NC Board of Elections’ Absence Creating Headaches All Over the State by Scott D. Yost A human being can go about two days without water before major warning signs appear – and, apparently, a state can go about six months without a board of elections before big problems start to show up. The State of North Carolina has now gone a half-year without a state board of elections and it’s heading into 2018 with no sign that a board will be in place any time soon. That absence of a state board is starting to show itself in multiple ways – and the problems are only mounting as time goes on. During the last election on Tuesday, Nov. 7, problems arose that the state board would normally have addressed, leaving election officials in something of a quandary; and, in the aftermath of that election, there are lingering disputes – some of which require the state elections board to adjudicate them. However, since there is no board, those disputes are being handed over to Wake County Superior Court. Also, with no state elections board in place, there’s no one to certify the winners of multijurisdictional seats across the state – races that cross county borders, such as the High Point mayor’s race. Nor is there a state elections board to certify new voting machines. Some counties will see their existing machines decertified at midnight, Dec. 31. The NC General Assembly and Gov. Roy Cooper have been battling since late last year over the nature of the state board of elections, and that dispute has left the state election board-less while the court system handles the matter. The General Assembly passed legislation that created a newly structured state elections board – one that was combined with a state ethics board into the new NC State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement. However, Cooper argued that that move was unconstitutional and he has refused to appoint any members to the new combined state board. The courts upheld the new elections and ethics board created by the legislature; however, the matter has been appealed to the state’s Supreme Court, and now Cooper, election officials across the state and everyone else involved are awaiting a decision. Since that state board appoints members to county boards of elections – and since there’s no state board to appoint new members – more concerns have been arising as county board members resign, die, move away or lose interest in serving on the board. The NC Supreme Court did rule earlier this year to allow boards with only two members to continue operating, even though the state boards all have four seats under the new law, and two members would normally not be sufficient for a quorum. So far, there is no news of any board in the state going to one or zero members due to death, illness, resignations or other issues – but that’s only a matter of time and, any day now, a county could find itself with a onemember board that cannot legally supervise that county’s elections. Several election officials, both state and local, said this week that they have no idea when the Supreme Court will make a decision. One current case that would normally have been addressed by the state elections board originated in Winterville – a small town near Greenville – where one candidate for a Winterville Town Council seat came out ahead by a single vote, but 10 votes were apparently cast inadvertently from outside the town limits due to a clerical error. The local elections board wrote a letter to the state elections board noting that the election result couldn’t be certified and that board was therefore sending the matter to the NC State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement. However, since there is currently no such board, the state’s elections office submitted the matter to the Wake County Superior Court, where apparently judges, rather than election board members, will determine the winner. Another case that came up was in the town of Sharpsburg, a small town about 60 miles east of Raleigh, where the incumbent mayor received 139 votes and his opponent 136 votes. A problem at one polling place kept some from voting and county boards don’t have the legal authority to extend voting hours without the state board’s approval – so the Wilson County Board of Elections was unable to extend those hours. Now, some are asking the Wilson County Board of Elections to call for a new election, but the county board doesn’t have that power either – a county board can only make a recommendation to the state board, which ultimately makes the decision. If that dispute isn’t complicated enough already, the town spans three counties – Edgecombe, Nash and Wilson. Also, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice has now gotten involved and there are racial tensions over the contest results since one candidate is black and the other white. Whoever the state board of elections members are once they’re named, they might hope that that dispute gets worked out by the courts before the new state board is established. In Guilford County, Board of Elections Director Charlie Collicutt said he has no idea when the issue will be resolved. He said he’s hearing radio silence from state officials and the court. “I’ve heard nothing at all,” he said. County elections boards certify the results of races that are within one county, but the state board certifies races that cross county lines, such as the High Point mayor’s race. Before the November election, several legal and election officials told the Rhino Times that a state board had to be put in place before the election because that board was needed to certify those multijurisdictional winners; however, since then the election has come and gone – and there’s still no state board. Those winners were sworn into office despite the issue. Patrick Gannon, the public information officer for the State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement, said that, in lieu of signed certifications the state board would normally send to winning candidates after an election, the state’s elections office has sent a letter to the candidates explaining the situation. That letter, which is signed by Kimberly Strach, the chief state elections official for North Carolina, reads, “Ordinarily, the State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement (“State Board”) would issue a signed certificate of election to the winner of a multi-county election. Because of ongoing litigation regarding the agency, however, members have not been appointed to the State Board. Signed certificates cannot be issued at present.” That letter also states, “Results for your contest have been certified by individual county boards of elections and confirmed by careful audits conducted by the State Board Office. Official county results and unofficial state results confirm you are the winner, and we wish to extend our best wishes as you assume office.” Gannon said it was his understanding that election disputes that would have ended up with the state board will be transferred to Wake County Superior Court. “We’re just awaiting a Supreme Court decision,” Gannon said, adding that he had “no prediction” when that decision would be handed down. (continued on next page)

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