ASHEBORO – Ten Randolph County residents filed to run for office during the first five hours of filing.
Three of those are seeking to retain spots on the City of Asheboro’s city council.
Filing opened at noon Friday and continues through noon July 21.
Incumbents Eddie Burks, Jane Hughes Redding and Charles Swiers signed up for the candidate list for Asheboro’s city council.
Gidget Kidd and Ryan Patton are bidding to keep their seats on the Asheboro City Schools board of education.
For Randleman’s city council, first-day filers were Mike Dawkins (at-large), Steve Grooms Jr. (Ward 1) and Lee Hinson (Ward 4). Dawkins is an incumbent. Ward 4 is listed as vacant.
Greg Carpenter filed for the position of Liberty’s town commissioner.
Michelle Hooker-Ravenell is seeking to become Staley’s mayor.
The election is Nov. 7.
RAMSEUR – More than 1,000 power outages were reported in Randolph County after severe thunderstorms rolled through late Saturday afternoon.
The hardest hit area was in Ramseur, where the total outages exceeded 950.
By Sunday afternoon, there were no outages in the county listed on Duke Energy’s “Outages in the Carolinas” map.
Flood advisories were also issued by the National Weather Service for parts of Randolph County stemming from the line of storms.
Locations in Guilford County and Alamance County also reported power outages.
A North Carolina state senate resolution honoring the life and memory of former state Sen. Jerry Tillman passed last week.
Tillman spent nine terms in office representing Randolph County before stepping down in 2020. He died Feb. 4 at age 82 in Greensboro.
In part, Senate Resolution 753 states: “The Senate wishes to express its highest appreciation of Jerry Wayne Tillman, former State Senator, as a citizen and public servant and extend its sympathy to his family for the loss of its distinguished member.”
The resolution’s sponsors included David Craven, who has filled Tillman’s seat. Senior president pro tem Phil Berger of Rockingham County and Durham Democrat Mike Woodard joined Craven.
The motion to adopt passed 46-0.
Tillman, a Republican, was chairman of the Senate Finance Committee in addition to his other committee roles. He was the Senate majority whip.
“Jerry was an incredible advocate for Randolph County,” said Craven, whose 29th district also includes Anson, Montgomery, Richmond and Union counties. “He was a dedicated educator, coach and statesman.”
Tillman had been active in the Archdale/Trinity Lions Club. He was also a member of the Archdale Friends Meeting.
At the time of Tillman’s death, Berger, the Senate leader, said: “Jerry was truly larger than life. He was never afraid to share his thoughts on a particular bill and would often lighten the mood by regaling us with tales about music, racing, and baseball.”
Numerous schools have stellar results for individuals
ASHEBORO – Asheboro’s boys’ and girls’ track and field teams were superior in the Randolph County Championships on Tuesday.
But the Blue Comets had plenty of company from entrants from other schools when it came to special individual performances.
On the girls’ side, Brecken Snotherly of Eastern Randolph won four events on the track and Randleman’s Gracie Beane was strong in field events. Asheboro’s Jalaya Showers, Wheatmore’s Ariel Martin and Trinity’s Kensley Fox also won multiple individual events.
In boys’ races, Southwestern Randolph’s Adam Cole was the top sprinter, Asheboro’s Nicolas Chavez claimed both hurdles events, Wheatmore’s Zach Hazelwood had huge successes in distance events, and Asheboro’s Lance Everhart was two-event winner and a runner-up in two other events.
Asheboro’s girls compiled 145½ points to runner-up Wheatmore’s 118½ among the seven teams.
The Blue Comets, competing at their home facility (at South Asheboro Middle School), were more dominant in boys’ competition by winning seven events and racking up 186 points, while Trinity was second with 130.
Here’s a look at some highlights:
Snotherly, who scored 40 of her team’s 47 points, dominated in some events and had challenges in others.
She was pushed in the 400 meters by Wheatmore’s Peyton Wilson. Snotherly maintained a slight edge down the stretch and finished in 1 minute, 4.42 seconds, compared to Wilson’s 1:04.99.
In the 800, Snotherly (2:38.82) used a strong finishing kick to overcome Southwestern Randolph’s Coley Shiflet (2:41.18).
Snotherly had no threats in cruising in the 1,600 (6:06.00) and 3,200 (13:25.19).
Showers, a freshman, won the 100 (12.69) and 200 (26.11)
Beane won the high jump at 5 feet, 4 inches and the triple jump at 34-1¼. She was second in the long jump.
Martin won the 100 hurdles (19.01) and 300 hurdles (52.97).
Fox was the winner in the shot put (29-4½) and discus (86-8).
Asheboro’s Sion Murrain was the winner in the long jump (15-10½). Teammate Lia George was the only entrant in the pole vault.
Asheboro’s girls won the 400 relay and 800 relay, while Wheatmore claimed the 1,600 relay and Providence Grove was first in the 3,200 relay.
Cole won the 100 (11.16) and 200 (22.76). Cole had 20 of Southwestern Randolph’s 51 points, plus he anchored the Cougars’ third-place 400 relay (that resulted in six more team points).
Chavez edged Everhart in the 110 hurdles in 16.07 and ran away in the 300 hurdles in 41.67.
Hazelwood won the 1,600 (4:51.52.) and 3,200 (10:55.65). He was second in the 800 behind Trinity’s Jose Castillo (2:12.80).
Everhart won two events by claiming the long jump (20-1) and pole vault (11-0). Teammate Kai Matthews was the 400 winner in 54.72.
In field events, Chase Farlow of Randleman won the high jump in competition that extended for a large portion of the meet. He cleared 6-2, with Everhart the runner-up at 6-0.
Randleman had three other winners in field events: Amari Ferdna (triple jump, 40-3), Landon McGee (discus, 118-9), Amarion Moton (shot put, 40-6¼).
Boys’ relay winners were: Asheboro in the 400 and 1,600 and Trinity in the 800 and 3,200.
ASHEBORO — The Randolph County Board of Commissioners met Monday, April 3, with various public hearings and property matters on the agenda.
The first action the board approved was to allow the exchange of property between the Randolph County School Board and the City of Archdale.
“At our last Board of Education meeting, our board declared a piece of property as surplus, but before we can make this exchange with the City of Archdale, we have to give you [the board of commissioners] the first right to this land at either fair market value or a value agreed upon between the board of commissioners and board of education,” said Randolph County Schools Superintendent Dr. Stephen Gainey.
The board also approved the reclassification of two soil and water positions.
“We are requesting to reclassify the Soil and Water Administrator to a Soil and Water Environmental Education and Support Coordinator,” said Soil and Water Department Head Kaitlyn Johnson. “That position would start identifying more educational opportunities in the county and work to provide new educational programs, classroom activities, teacher workshops, and even adult education programs.
“The other position would be transitioning the Environmental Specialist to a Soil and Water Director role. That would still allow us to provide the technical assistance that that position has typically always done as well as just oversight of the office and supervisory functions that are needed to keep the office progressing.”
The board also was presented with the proposed renovation plan by Smith Sinnett Architecture for the Northwest Human Services Center.
In the 15,825 square foot building, the plan lists 14 offices, eight on the upper level and six on the lower, three areas of open office space, a break room, a mailroom, two conference rooms, one training room, and a large multipurpose area with a final cost estimate of $3,120,000.
“When I was reading this, I was glad I was sitting down because we paid $1.5 million for the building, and I wasn’t thinking that it was going to take twice that to renovate it,” said Vice Chair David Allen.
As such, the board requested for the firm to break the costs down between the two floors and see about having the bottom floor listed as a bid alternate expenditure cost and then for that plan to be brought back before them at a later date.
The board then approved the awarding of a contract to Garanco Construction for the Health Department Renovation Project. According to County Engineer Paxton Arthurs, the base bid for Garanco is $1,975,200 for construction costs, but for all the alternates, the cost would go up to $2,351,500.
The board was then presented with two economic development opportunities, one for Project Spring and the other for the Caraway Speedway.
“[Project Spring] is a Texas-based manufacturing facility that has been in business for several years,” said Economic Development Business Development Director Crystal Gettys. “Their product and their business in sales has been expedited to the point where they feel the need to have a second facility to cover east of the Mississippi. This has been a search for an existing building over the last six months or more across multiple states. They have narrowed that pool down to the top two, and Randolph County is in that top two.”
According to Gettys, the incentive package includes $33,340 over a five-year period, and the state of North Carolina will also provide incentives, including a OneNC grant and a building reuse grant.
The board approved the economic development incentive package following a public hearing.
“In expending its Coronavirus state fiscal recovery funds, the state of North Carolina created something called the Motorsports Relief Fund,” said Associate County Attorney Aimee Scotten. “The purpose of this fund is to enhance amenities and increase the opportunities for events at motorsports venues in recognition of the impact that those events have on the local tourism, travel, and hospitality industries. Randolph County received a grant from this fund specifically for the benefit of Caraway Speedway in the amount of $485,000. Caraway plans to use that money to replace some aging and kind of dilapidated seating and to repave certain sections of the track.”
The board also approved the use of the Motorsport Relief funds for the Caraway Speedway.
The board then held public meetings for the restructuring of five Fire Tax districts – Coleridge-Erect, Fairgrove, Julian, Northeast, and Staley – in line with the other dozen or so that have already been restructured.
There were no comments made for or against the restructuring, and so following the hearings, the board voted to abolish and then reform the districts in order to remove the $0.15 tax cap.
The change is not a direct tax increase but simply gives the district the ability to ask for a higher tax rate from the county commissioners should the need ever arise. The new districts also cover the exact same area as before.
The board finally approved a budget amendment to cover a change in the schedule for USDA debt service payments in relation to the Farm, Food, and Family Education Center.
“Last year, we got approved for two $2 million loans through the USDA going through REMC,” said Assistant County Manager Will Massie. “Since going through the approval, REMC has been trying to work with USDA to get the funds down here. Currently, they’re not down yet. We don’t have the loan and haven’t closed on that, but they think they’re pretty close. One of the things that the USDA has requested is to have monthly payments rather than annual ones. If we do close this month, that would indicate that we would have a debt service payment in May and June.”
The Randolph County Board of Commissioners will next meet May 1.
ASHEBORO — The Randolph Board of Education met Monday, March 20, with a few budgetary updates and items on the agenda.
The board was presented with the outcome of a grant application submitted by New Market Elementary School.
“New Market Elementary School received a Donors Choose Grant in the amount of $224.00 on March 7, 2023,” said Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Cathy Waddell. “The grant will provide funding to purchase items for students to prepare and track their running mileage in the school’s Go Far Club.”
The board was also presented with the first draft of the proposed budget for Randolph County Schools’ 2023-24 budget.
“We’ll bring it back next month for approval, and it will be delivered the next day [to the county commissioners],” said Finance Officer Todd Lowe.
In terms of the projected budget for 2023-2024, the proposed increase in local funding is $1,428,000.
This accounts for a $711,000 increase for continuation costs (matching insurance, retirement, legislative salary, energy, etc. increases and charter school payments), a $173,000 salary increase for lead custodians and school treasurers, a $114,000 increase for additional SROs and a $430,000 increase for a 1.5% supplement increase for classified employees.
There are no additional capital outlay requests with the proposed budget.
The board then approved a fee and application cost for proficient students for the 2023 Summer Reading Camp Fee and Applications for proficient students.
“Local boards of education may request a fee amount to be equal to the per-student program cost of participating in the Reading Camp, not to exceed $825,” Waddell said. “Priority enrollment in the Reading Camp is for students offered a Reading Camp as a literacy intervention. The local board of education shall establish application procedures and enrollment priorities for reading camps for students demonstrating reading proficiency.
“The total cost for the Summer Reading Camps that were held at the end of the 2021-2022 school year was $220,693.38, and 405 students attended one of the reading camps in the school district. Based upon the cost of the 2022 reading camps and the number of students who attended, it is recommended that the Randolph County Board of Education approve an attendance fee of $545 for any second-grade student who has demonstrated appropriate developmental abilities in reading comprehension and for any third-grade student who has demonstrated proficiency on third-grade reading standards.”
According to Superintendent Dr. Stephen Gainey, the fee last year was $629, and the district works hard to keep those costs down.
“Only the students who aren’t proficient get to go for free,” Gainey said. “This is an interesting initiative, and it’s been in many different phases over time starting in 2013-14, where it was really only one grade level, and that was grade three. It’s kind of transitioned a few different ways over the last 10 years. Our fee has always been considerably less than what the state would allow us to charge.”
The board finally approved a recommendation to revise the 2023-24 school calendar in order to add four early release days.
“A revision to the 2023-2024 school calendar is being recommended to allow for the early release of all schools in the school system at 12:30 p.m. on the following dates: October 26, 2023, December 14, 2023, February 15, 2024, March 21, 2024,” said Executive Director of Operations Dale Brinkley. “The release time on the previously-identified days will be used for professional development for staff members at all schools. It will be particularly helpful with the state-required LETRS training for staff members at elementary schools in the school system.”
The Randolph County Schools Board of Education will next meet April 17.
It’s been a busy start to the year under a new Republican majority in the U.S. House. Yet last week, it sure was good to be home.
It’s so important to travel across this district and hear from you about issues facing our community and nation. One thing is for sure—Washington needs more common sense and less government bureaucracy. Each week, I try to bring some of that North Carolina wisdom back to our nation’s capital.
In order to best address the challenges you and our communities are facing, I stayed busy over the work period and held roundtable discussions with elected officials and folks across our district. In Asheboro, I met with the Mayor, County Manager, members of the Randolph County Board of Commissioners, and the Randolph County Chamber of Commerce. We discussed economic development in the area, the needs of our towns and county, and projects I can fight for in Washington. These discussions included water and sewer issues impacting portions of Randolph and Chatham County and the necessary funding needed to further expand the Asheboro Regional Airport. We also discussed the recent substation attacks in Moore and Randolph Counties and the need to increase security and resiliency measures for our energy infrastructure. My family lost power like so many others in Moore County, and I want to stop similar attacks from happening again. In our discussion, I listened to our local leaders and shared my ideas.
In addition, I visited with our local 9-1-1 telecommunicators at Randolph County Emergency Services Center to learn first-hand about the critical role they play as lifelines between you and first responders when an emergency strikes. As the co-chair of the Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus, I am actively working on bipartisan legislation to update our nation’s 9-1-1 infrastructure. I was honored to recently receive the Leadership in Legislative Service Award from the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International for leading these efforts. It is a privilege to be the voice in Congress supporting our dedicated telecommunicators, medical professionals, and law enforcement. I will continue working to provide them with the resources and tools they need to keep you and your family safe.
In Sanford, I met with members of the Sanford Area Growth Alliance to discuss the recent economic growth in Sanford and Lee County and future economic opportunities for the region. In order to sustain and increase economic growth in our community—we must ensure a strong labor force with the tools and training they need to get a good job. Good news—we’re ahead of the game. The Growth Alliance shared with me the great work Central Carolina Community College has done to partner with Caterpillar to establish the Caterpillar Clayton Apprenticeship Program designed to continue developing a talented pipeline of skilled employees. This highly competitive program provides high school students the opportunity to take classes while also working as a part-time Caterpillar employee, developing skills for a career immediately after graduation. We also discussed major infrastructure projects that would increase accessibility across Lee County, including the potential expansion of current Highway 421 to Interstate-685 that would run from Greensboro all the way to Wilmington.
Finally, in Moore County, I’m excited to share that we opened our new flagship district office in Southern Pines. I am happy to now call Southern Pines home for both this new office and my family. Thank you to all the local elected officials, community leaders, members of local law enforcement, and residents from across Moore County who helped us celebrate our grand opening. Renee, Lane, and I are thankful for the warm welcome from the community and are excited to be here for a very long time.
The dedicated staff in our new district office in Southern Pines is here to serve you. Whether it’s requesting a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol, providing assistance with federal agencies such as the Social Security Administration or the VA, making service academy nominations, or even helping with federal grants. I am committed to helping you cut through government bureaucracy.
My goal is to continue to provide you with high-quality constituent service and be accessible to hear your needs, thoughts, and concerns on key issues facing our community and nation. As Fort Bragg’s Congressman, helping our active-duty military, their families, and veterans deal with the Department of Defense and the VA is especially important, as many military families call Moore County and our district home.
In addition to the new office in Southern Pines, my office in Fayetteville will remain open and available to serve folks across the region. To find out our exact office locations and office hours, visit Hudson.house.gov or call us at 910-910-1924.
Responsive constituent services, accessibility, and a focus on policies that give you and your family a better tomorrow is my mission. Stop by our new office to say hello; we would love to see you.
Now as I head back to Washington, rest assured I’ll be bringing your wisdom and some Cheerwine back with me.
Richard Hudson is serving his sixth term in the U.S. House and represents North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District. He currently serves as the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee and is a member of the House Republican Steering Committee.
Last week, Randolph Electric Membership Corporation (REMC) officials presented state and local fire representatives with checks to assist with purchasing new fire engines. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded the REMC grants for each fire truck – $225,000 to Robbins Fire Rescue in Moore County and $360,000 to the Ulah Volunteer Fire Department in Randolph County – through the Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant program. “We are thankful to receive this funding from Randolph EMC,” said Charlotte King, fire chief of Ulah VFD. “This new fire engine will benefit the residents and businesses of southern Randolph County, including Seagrove, Asheboro, and neighboring fire districts. This will enhance our emergency response capabilities.” These grants are combined with a 20% match from the REMC and will be loaned to the recipients at a zero-point interest. As these funds are repaid, REMC will receive the payments into its Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund for lending toward future projects. “Randolph EMC cannot repay our firefighters for the sacrifice, courage, and strength they embody every day,” said Nicole Arnold, communications and public affairs manager for REMC. “But we can play a small part in improving the tools they work with to save the lives of those in danger.”
ASHEBORO — The Randolph County Board of Education met Monday, February 20, with mostly financial updates and dealings on the agenda.
Superintendent Stephen Gainey presented to the board a current expense request to be brought before the Randolph Board of Commissioners in May for a supplement increase for classified employees.
“The new current expense request will be a supplement increase for classified employees by 1.5%,” Gainey said. “The total cost of this additional current expense request will be $430,000, and if approved, it would take our supplement percentage for classified employees from 3.75% to 5.25%.”
“Many times when the state does raises, classified employees get missed. We’ve talked about our 197 locally paid employees. Most of them are classified employees. There are no teachers on local pay. There’s no locally paid assistant principals or locally paid principals. I feel very good about this additional request. We have a lot of workforce needs in the classified employee group.”
The board was also presented with the findings from their 2021-22 audit.
“I’m pleased to announce that our opinion form for your financial statements is unmodified, which is the best opinion you can get, and in school finance terms, it’s an A+,” said Shannon Dennison, CPA with Anderson Smith & Wike PLLC who did Randolph County Schools audit.
According to the audit, as of June 30, 2022, Randolph County Schools had a general fund balance of $5.2 million and a capital outlay fund of $2.2 million. Dennison also touched on the district’s child nutrition fund.
“Last year, you gained $2.56 million in funds for child nutrition, so you have $6.9 million in cash in the child nutrition program,” Dennison said. “Last year was a little unique in that it was continuing on from COVID, so all the students received free meals, and the federal reimbursement rate was higher than a normal year, so I would not expect that to remain a trend next year.”
However, the sizable savings will allow Randolph County Schools to be able to operate without much disturbance from rising food prices, at least for a little while, according to Dennison.
“I’m just thankful it’s pretty healthy right now because it will probably take a hit,” said board chair Gary Cook. “They’ve done a good job of managing it and keeping it up. I guess planning for a rainy day was pretty smart.”
The board then approved the second reading of the school calendar for the 2024-25 school year.
“The calendar includes 180 student days, 14 teacher workdays, 11 holidays, and 10 annual leave days,” said Executive Director of Operations Dale Brinkley. “The first day for students will be on Monday, August 26, 2024, and the last day for students will be on Tuesday, June 10, 2025. The calendar includes an inclement weather make-up plan where the first five days missed are absorbed, and then days will be made up as scheduled.”
The board also approved the 2023-24 school calendar for Randolph Early College High School, which has the same breakdown of days but will align its start and end time with the Randolph Community College schedule.
“Early College programs have flexibility with their calendar guidelines that traditional schools do not have,” Brinkley said.
The board then approved the acceptance of a $57,965.95 Local Food for Schools Grant that was awarded by the United States Department of Agriculture through the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food Distribution Division that will go towards the additional purchase of locally sourced food to be used for school meals.
“A lot of stuff is made from scratch now, and the nutrition staff, there’s not a lot of them working in the school, so for them to go in… they just do so much,” Cook said. “Three at most in most places, and you’re cooking from scratch for that many people, that says a lot. You used to hear complaints a little bit, but overall you don’t hear that now. People talk about how good the food is. We appreciate all of that.”
Finally, the board approved the acceptance of a $176,000 Center for Safer Schools Safety Grant in order to help fund additional SROs for the elementary schools.
“We have to submit a mid-year and end-of-year report, and as long as we submit that documentation, we get the $176,000 again for next school year,” Brinkley said. “Right now, though, it’s just for this year and next year.”
The Randolph County Board of Education will next meet March 20.