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Tourism season approaching for 8th district

This week and next, the House is in recess so it is great to be back home in North Carolina. This past weekend I was incredibly lucky and honored to have the opportunity to serve as the Grand Marshall and Honorary Starter for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at the zMAX Dragway at Charlotte Motor Speedway. What an incredible event and such a fun day. As I said to the crowd on Sunday, I’m proud to be your Congressman which means I go up to Washington every week and tell them to keep their ha...

3 days 8 hours ago | | | Email

Who opposes school choice — and why?

Liberal activists may fume, and left-wing editorialists may grind their teeth, but legislative leaders are going to defend their 2013 opportunity scholarship bill against lawsuits by the teacher union and other special interests.Senate leader Phil Berger, House Speaker Thom Tillis, House Speaker Pro Tem Skip Stam (the main architect of the program), and other leaders won’t be defending school choice because they oppose public education. They won’t be defending school ch...

3 days 8 hours ago | | | Email

First young leader’s meeting a success

A few weeks ago I decided to contact young leaders from my five-county senate district and invite them to come together. Many of them are taking on leadership roles within their communities in business, in government, in education, within the legal field and in various non-profit agencies. Frankly, I hoped maybe a dozen would show up for our organizational meeting. I thought they might benefit from meeting one another and I knew from my experience that problems in our rural communities can be...

3 days 8 hours ago | | | Email

May 1 is deadline for election letters

The Laurinburg Exchange welcomes letters or guest columns regarding the May 6 primary, but no letters about that election will be published after May 1. The deadline to submit letters to the editor concerning the primary is April 29, but to best ensure publication, letters should be submitted as soon as possible.

4 days 8 hours ago | | | Email

Scotland County’s tourism revenue explained

A few weeks ago, I presented some data and research that probably surprised some people: The insight that travel & tourism in Scotland County generated a total economic impact of $38.78 million in 2013, accounts for 350 jobs in our community, and generating state and local tax revenue for Scotland County to the amount of $2.74 million. This tax revenue represents a $75.35 tax savings to each and every county resident.In response to that article, a number of folks have inquired as t...

5 days 8 hours ago | | | Email

University production puts community talents on display

To the editor:Where else in Scotland County could one be transported back to 1947 Hollywood, indulging in a “Flaming Gay Paris” coconut drink complete with festive umbrella? This was a bit of the noir comedy and history meshed together in the SAU-ENCORE! Theater performances of Bill Robens’ “Kill Me, Deadly” enthusiastically enjoyed by 250 or more people on April 10-April 12 in St. Andrews University’s Morris Morgan Theater.

5 days 8 hours ago | | | Email

Citizen group wants Malloy to fill board’s vacated seat

To the editor:Many residents packed our recent Scotland County Board of Education meeting on March 10, with standing room only. Two concerned citizens were chosen to speak and the board appeared to be listening, but moved forward with the superintendent process without appointing a representative to fill the vacated seat of Duke Williams. We would have been greater pleased if the appointment would have been made sooner to allow our voices to be heard in the selection of our new sup...

6 days 8 hours ago | | | Email

School board candidate answers forum questions

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend our community forum last week due to a prior commitment to the students I teach at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Thanks to my high school friend and colleague, Aku Opata, who took notes for me during the event, I am able to respond to the questions asked of candidates to the Scotland County Board of Education, which have been paraphrased below.“Do you agree that it is time to find a new solution to funding our schools?R...

6 days 8 hours ago | | | Email

Laurinburg After Five moves to Fridays

I am excited to share with you again for this year what we have planned for our Murphy Brown Laurinburg After Five (LAF) events. It will be a fun year with great bands, lots of children’s activities, and best of all (at least in my opinion) a wonderful opportunity to spend time with some of the greatest people around — yes, all of you who live in Scotland County. I love watching you all come out with your lawn chairs and seeing the smiles on your faces really is one of the things ...

6 days 8 hours ago | | | Email

The problem isn’t ‘stepping on toes’

Gov. Pat McCrory seems to think that every time people in Raleigh have questions about one of his proposals, it is because he is courageously “stepping on toes” of people in entrenched institutions who refuse to consider doing things differently.McCrory used the line in a recent speech in Charlotte — where he seems to be spending an inordinate amount of time in recent weeks — talking about the lukewarm reception for his proposal to turn over the state’...

7 days 8 hours ago | | | Email

For teachers, a slide of job satisfaction

In the classroom, nothing beats a good teacher. Abundant research affirms teacher quality as the most significant in-school predictor of student achievement. Teachers know they have the power to leave a profound imprint on the minds of students; for many, this core belief shapes their choice of teaching as an occupation.Yet scores of teachers are withdrawing emotionally from their work. A pair of recent surveys paints a portrait of alarmingly low levels of engagement and satisfacti...

7 days 8 hours ago | | | Email

‘Thanks’ an incomplete expression of gratitude

“Thanks for your service.”Maybe we have done a better job of showing appreciation to the members of the armed forces who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan than we did for those who served in Vietnam. Some opponents of that war made many Vietnam veterans feel that coming home was like leaving one war only to be thrown into another.But today’s “Thank you for your service,” is not substantially better, as far as some at Afghanistan-Iraq veterans a...

7 days 8 hours ago | | | Email

FCC could challenge state network laws

In February, Federal Communications Chairman Tom Wheeler declared that the North Carolina General Assembly had no authority to determine telecommunications policy in North Carolina.Well, okay, Wheeler didn’t single North Carolina out for particular scorn. But he did say that in the coming months, the FCC might decide to challenge state laws, like the one the North Carolina legislature enacted in 2011, that govern the ability of cities and counties to create their own broadban...

10 days 8 hours ago | | | Email

Country must rein in over-spending

This week, I heard from countless constituents concerned with Washington’s out-of-control spending and unsurmountable debt. I’d like to share a letter I received from a constituent in Concord:“My wife and I are most concerned about the huge and growing debt the U.S. has accrued. I urge you and Congress to do what is necessary to cut government spending as necessary to get rid of the deficit. Ronald Reagan said it best when he said the problem with U.S. Government ...

10 days 8 hours ago | | | Email

NC should open comeback to all

The folks currently running things in North Carolina keep touting what they describe as the Carolina Comeback, unemployed workers flocking to all the jobs they say have been created by the policies of the General Assembly and the McCrory Administration.The Carolina Comebackers credit everything from tax cuts for the wealthy to weakening environmental regulations as responsible for the alleged boom in the state economy.What they cite most often are the draconian cuts to u...

11 days 8 hours ago | | | Email

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