WRAL.com Weather


User login

Chatham County BBS

xx NC Democratic Chair Gives Ga. Democratic Party $2,000
Yesterday at 01:37:18 PM by Muddylaces

These people are haters.   I hope the chair's leadership continues, we need to give one of our own our support.     Long live the chair.
6 comments | Write Comment

xx Candidate for budget axe
September 28, 2014, 08:15:58 PM by DC
Funding for the condom mobile.

I have no problem with the program but dressing up the truck is an absurd expense. Whoever approved that one should be forced to pay us back.

5 comments | Write Comment

exclamation Videos: Debate questions about Chatham School budget & teacher pay
September 27, 2014, 08:48:21 AM by Gene Galin
From The Chatham County Commissioner Candidates' Debate at the Courthouse in Pittsboro

First, a question to the incumbents for a clarification about Chatham County School budget
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/NZDLPCzzCy0&amp;rel=0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/NZDLPCzzCy0&amp;rel=0</a>

Then a question to Jim Crawford about teacher pay raises
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/SEtkPij55X8&amp;rel=0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/SEtkPij55X8&amp;rel=0</a>
0 comments | Write Comment

xx One killed in Moncure facility accident
September 27, 2014, 08:23:35 AM by WolfpackFan
A 29-year-old man was killed Friday afternoon at the Boise Cascade Company's plywood manufacturing facility in Moncure, authorities said.

Williams Jeffrey Belk, of Sanford, was killed when a piece of machinery fell on him, according to authorities.

Boise Cascade is one of the largest producers of engineered wood products and plywood in North America and a leading U.S. wholesale distributor of building products.

Read more at http://www.wral.com/one-killed-in-moncure-facility-accident/14020396/#qXZXbMWeBy3kGzLM.99
1 comment | Write Comment

xx Did anyone get video of CRawford's freakish facial expressions
September 25, 2014, 11:04:03 PM by DC
that he made while others were speaking? It would be worth the price of admission to see a highlight film of that.
1 comment | Write Comment

xx Video clips from the Chatham County Commission candidates' debate
September 25, 2014, 07:09:35 AM by Gene Galin
Video clips from the Chatham County Commission candidates' debate

I've started uploading video clips from Tuesday's Chatham County Commission candidates' debate at the Chatham County Courthouse in Pittsboro.

We'll have the candidates' opening statements followed by each question. It will probably take about a week to get all of it uploaded. I will let you know as more video clips become available.

This we start of with three introductions by Pam Stewart, Karen Howard and Walter Petty.

Chatham County Commissioner Pam Stewart
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/QZ22I4YiDns&amp;rel=0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/QZ22I4YiDns&amp;rel=0</a>

Chatham County Commission Candidate Karen Howard

Chatham County Commission Chairman Walter Petty
5 comments | Write Comment

xx Check your receipts..
September 24, 2014, 05:30:19 PM by natvrabit
Suppose it happens everywhere occasionally. however most every time I have gone to new Walmart/15/50l there has been a discrepancy from what signage price has stated and what rang up on register on 1 or more items.
I buy very little there really, so I can only imagine how much people with larger purchases are being misled on/overcharged for.
Beware the discount aisle there! A small bottle of craft paint I looked @ was priced $1.50. When I went to actual aisle where rest sold~dang thing only cost .50 regularly!!
Not only not a discount, but triple the norm...
Most of the help there act like zombies, so...

12 comments | Write Comment

sad Chatham liberals Hales, Crawford & Howard lie about BOC cutting school funding!
September 24, 2014, 07:47:56 AM by zorro
Chatham County's liberal county commissioner candidates Diana Hales, Jim Crawford & Karen Howard continue to lie about the Chatham County Board of Commissioners cutting school funding!!!

From this morning's Chatlist -

Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2014 08:39:31 -0400
From: Fact Guy
Subject: Rhetoric vs Reality

Based on Comments from the democratic party chair and candidate Hales one would expect our school system to be in terrible shape at this point. Let's compare their words with reality.

Jan Nichols warned us in 2010 by saying:

"*The opponent's slate ... represents extremists who want to impose reckless policies.., if they succeed, ... chatham will be exposed to ... massive local budget cuts, that will ruin our schools. These radicals want to overturn the wise investments we have made ..., most important, the schools"*

Diana Hales carries the theme into this year by saying *"greater support for public schools is essential, especially raising teacher pay. The republican majority on the current board have consistently squeezed the annual budgets"*

Now lets look at reality within the schools over the past 4 years:

BOC has NEVER reduced spending to our schools. According to the approved budgets that are posted online, spending has increased year over year for the past 3 years.

BOC increased local supplement to teachers even though the BOE did not request it.

BOC funded the first locally funded system wide teacher pay incentive program that will give every educator a bonus this year.

Two of our schools are now nationally top ranked American High Schools

Graduation rates now exceed the state average

All 17 of our schools met or exceeded growth expectations (1 of only 14 in the the state to achieve this)

Chatham County schools out-performed NC Math I, Biology, English II, and ACT SAT scores have risen 10%

The BOC has funded upgrades to all facilities (roofs and other facilities had been allowed to deteriorate)

That's just a sampling of what "reckless" policies and "squeezing budgets" by the conservative majority has done.

The bottom line is that our schools are in better condition and outcomes are better than they ever have been. No matter how often the democrats repeat a false narrative, there is only one version of the truth.

You don't have to take my word for it, it's all public record.
3 comments | Write Comment

xx Debate
September 23, 2014, 06:25:18 PM by Muddylaces
Lots of bock Stewart petty swag
33 comments | Write Comment

xx Megasite
September 23, 2014, 07:34:13 AM by Muddylaces

TOKYO Four high-level state Commerce Department officials spent last week crisscrossing the sprawling city of Tokyo, with its vast rows of office towers, glittering high-fashion districts and packed subways beneath the worlds largest metro area.

But their thoughts were on tracts of mostly vacant fields back in North Carolina one of them in Siler City where efforts are accelerating to recruit a large-scale automobile plant, or something like it. The administration of Gov. Pat McCrory is backing the recruiting in a serious effort to land a large-scale factory.

North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker made it clear in an interview as she wrapped up four days of meetings in Tokyo: The state is aggressively jumping in to secure what she called a catalyst-for-jobs factory.

The automotive industry is the prime target because its assembly plants generate thousands of jobs at above-average wages. Suppliers also build near the plants to provide parts and other components, generating more jobs.

Automakers are widely forecast to be adding production capacity in coming years as demand picks up, which is expected to lead to at least two or three new plants in North America.

But the state faces competition from other Southeastern states as well as a new threat Mexico, which has won the last six auto plants announced or opened in North America on the strength of low wages, improved utility infrastructure and wider free-trade deals. Kia was the latest, last month choosing to build a $1 billion plant near Monterrey.

Incentives are another potential hurdle. North Carolina has for years come up short as lawmakers in both parties balked at packages offered elsewhere in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Last week, Decker led the group of commerce officials, including two officials who are based in Japan, in a series of private meetings with undisclosed business interests.

She conducted other informal talks in conjunction with an annual meeting among government and business officials from Southeastern states and Japan that wrapped up Saturday. Honda and Toyota officials who work in North America also made the rounds here.

Decker said she met with several auto and auto-related businesses.

We are talking with companies of a variety of sizes and capacity, she said. Weve talked with both suppliers and manufacturers.

At the conferences opening session, top officials from other states in the Southeast touted the jobs, wages and investment in their states at auto factories. Japanese companies also spoke highly of workers in the Southeast, and there were talks of more than just auto plants. South Carolina has a major all-terrain vehicle plant, for example. Honda Jet is headquartered in Greensboro.

Decker said she leaves Japan with signals from manufacturers that there is opportunity for us in automotive.

Weve got to catch the wind the economy is recovering, she added. And we need a couple of catalyst opportunities that are a magnitude enough that we can get strong multipliers to get the job creation moving.

North Carolina probably came closest in a similar attempt at an auto plant two decades ago, almost reaching an agreement with Mercedes-Benz to build a factory near Mebane.

In 1993, Mercedes went to Alabama instead. The land off Interstate 85/40 that is still called the Mercedes site by some in Mebane has recently sprouted an outlet shopping center and, soon, a Wal-Mart distribution facility.

At the time, BMW had just put a plant in South Carolina, and Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Toyota and Volkswagen would follow with plants across the South.

North Carolina was often outbid in incentive packages and hampered by a lack of large-acreage sites that were already prepared on the scale needed for a big plant.

Both those issues have been addressed, Decker and others said in interviews, which will give the state a better shot at future plants.

Sites ready to go

Three large scale megasites are in various stages of preparation, including one on the edge of Siler City. Its owners say its essentially ready now for a company to start construction.

Decker said shes been able to point to that site, in Chatham County, as well as sites in development north of it, in the town of Liberty, and a 1,200-acre tract near Rocky Mount.

Were finding that, as were talking with some now, that youve got to be in a position that you can get to the market fast, she said. And we have that now.

Tim Booras, a Greensboro beer and wine distributor, and D.H. Griffin, a major construction contractor, have teamed up to offer a huge swath of about 1,800 acres they own near Siler City as a possible megasite for an auto plant.

Its mostly been quail hunting grounds, Booras said on a recent tour. His truck bounded along the dirt roads that slice up the timbered land until he reached a high point with sweeping views.

On the ground was some orange spray paint that marked a makeshift helicopter landing pad. He said state officials, who have permission to market the property, had just used it days earlier, bringing three unidentified company representatives to take a look.

I couldnt even know who they were, he said. Its kept secret.

Booras has set up a war room in his spacious garage nearby, complete with maps and other information about why it makes sense for an automaker or another large-scale user to choose his site. He said numerous studies have found no problems with the tracts ability to hold a large plant. It has water and sewer capacity, a nearby rail line, ample power, and other such infrastructure.

Separately, economic developers in nearby Randolph County are piecing together a site near the town of Liberty.

And officials in Edgecombe County have assembled a 1,200-acre site that they think fits well for auto.

Mike Randle, who covers the industry in the South for a trade publication, SouthernAutoCorridor.com, said he believes the Piedmont in North Carolina is a likely place for the next new plant in the South. He said the states effort should be taken seriously.

Mexico emerging has really curtailed our chances, he said. Theyre kind of on a roll that we cant seem to stop. But I do think there will be one or two or three in the next five to seven years that will land in the South. Well have to see who they are.

What will we spend?

In speeches around the state, Decker has openly asked the key question this type of recruitment raises: Are lawmakers willing to pay incentives in a mix of cash, tax rebates and training at a level needed to secure a deal?

In the General Assembly session that just ended, legislators refused to give Decker control of a $20 million closing fund she could have used to seal the deal on projects with 500 or more jobs.

It was a setback in the administrations effort to line up the type of funding that will be needed. Decker said she remains optimistic that lawmakers would back an auto plant if a deal is close.

The price of incentives for a major factory is generally $200 million to $400 million in various forms of rebates and other benefits, Randle said.

Decker said her office has been lining up funding options from existing sources, including local governments, in anticipation of making a final deal. She said the state has a range of options.

The Southeast already has its own corridor of auto plants, stretching generally along Interstates 65 and 75 from the Gulf of Mexico north toward Detroit.

But Mexico has had recent success, which represents a significant shift in the auto landscape in North America, said Mike Mullis, a site location specialist who has advised auto companies on dozens of projects in the U.S. and has an office in Mexico.

As these projects are growing, Mexico has become a very, very formidable competition to the United States, Mullis said. There will be other assembly plants. Theres no doubt about it. From the Southeast U.S. perspective, it will be more competition with Mexico than with other states.

Labor at auto plants in Mexico is running at $5 to $6 per hour compared with about $15 to $20 an hour in the South, Mullis said.

Officials in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and South Carolina are all pitching sites they say are ready for future auto plants. Still, Mullis said North Carolina can compete and is in a position now to go after those projects aggressively.

Already, the state ranks high in auto parts suppliers, with more than 25,000 employed in that sector. Aisin AW in Durham, for example, is a major automatic transmission maker.

Decker said 35 of the roughly 150 major suppliers in the world now are operating in the state, which also has helped grab interest.

Assessing the odds

Mullis said the states chance at landing an auto plant in the next three to five years was probably 50-50. He declined to identify any automakers he is representing that are studying locations.

North Carolina has the workforce, the attitude of business, the training programs that can achieve winning such a project, he said. One of the challenges has been, historically, they didnt have the real estate to support the need.

But he said that has changed, too, with land development work going on at three different locations.

I would say in the past years, North Carolina was not in the mix, Mullis said. For whatever reason, we couldnt get it to the altar. Now, North Carolina is a player. But the legislature will have to step up.

State Sen. Bob Rucho, co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee, had helped write bills in the last session to cut back on incentives. But he said in an interview that he believes lawmakers would act on a big factory.

Most incentives dont deliver, he said. But he said key lawmakers have agreed that the state would invest $100 million or $200 million or $300 million on a major project because the return on the investment could be there.

Rucho said key senators, including Senate leader Phil Berger, are open to incentives on a large-scale project, though specifics would always decide it.

Its not a pie-in-the-sky decision, he said. It needs to be a large facility.

Lawmakers in the House have been against incentives recently, and there is more uncertainty about their position since Speaker Thom Tillis is giving up his seat to run for the U.S. Senate.

Decker said she thinks local leaders will play a more important role in future incentives offerings, which has been something missing in past efforts. Decker said she talked with numerous officials who were involved in past attempts to figure out what happened.

I heard the same stories cant get your act together, cant get the legislation, cant get a decision, she said.

Decker said she thinks thats about to change.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/09/20/4165230_car-chase-in-search-of-a-major.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
4 comments | Write Comment

    follow me on Twitter

    Chatham County News Network

    Chatham Photos



    Chatham Area Twitters