Show Canceled

December 28, 2010 – SMITHFIELD – The Carolina Morning Show on WARZ TV-34HD has been canceled. The producers and management discussed the show and came to the mutual decision to cancel.

Brad, Raquel, Vanessa, Christy, Chris, and I thank our viewers for watching and thank our guests for being on the show. We’d also like to thank WARZ-TV34 HD for the opportunity to be on the air. We enjoyed bringing Johnston County a morning talk show.

We’re currently looking into options and may be back on the air in other areas. If you want to keep up with us, check out for Brad, for Raquel, and for Jim.  We’re all on Facebook as well.

Thanks again for watching!

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Snow Blankets North Carolina

Downtown Smithfield

December 26, 2010 – SMITHFIELD – Snow is the big story today. Most locations in our viewing area received 6” or more, some with over 11”. This picture of Downtown Smithfield was taken by Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation’s Executive Director, Chris Johnson taken early Sunday. As DOT continues to clear the roads, drivers are urged to stay home if possible. If you must get out, allow extra time for your travel and take your time.  Much of this snow is expected to last for a few days, and roads could re-freeze overnight. The Highway Patrol says that if you must travel during a winter storm, store an emergency kit in your vehicle that includes blankets, a battery-powered radio with extra batteries, a first aid kit, a flashlight with extra batteries, battery booster cables and flares, a tire repair kit and pump, a road map, a sack of cat litter (for tire traction), a tow rope, bottled water and non-perishable high-energy foods such as granola bars, extra clothing to keep dry, and a windshield scraper and brush.

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New Leadership Roles in NC Wildlife Resources Commission

Maj. Jack Staley has his oak leaf insignia pinned by wife, Connie.

December 26, 2010 – RALEIGH – The New Year will usher in new leadership roles within the Division of Law Enforcement of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

Maj. Keith Templeton, supervisor for field operations, will retire effective Jan. 1. His successor will be Jack Staley, previously a captain in District 5, a jurisdiction that includes Alamance, Rockingham, Orange, Granville, Durham, Person, Caswell, Randolph, Chatham, Lee and Guilford counties.

“I’m confident that the transition will be a smooth one,” Templeton said. “I am pleased with the direction that the division is headed and I’m sure there are some exciting times on the horizon.”

Staley will be responsible for supervising a statewide hierarchy of some 200 uniformed wildlife officers who enforce the fish and game regulations and boating laws of the state. He is a 27-year veteran of wildlife enforcement and brings 19 years of field supervision to the office. He holds a business administration degree from Elon University.

“The mission of conservation and public safety carried on by our wildlife officers is critically important,” Staley said. “There are challenges before us, but there are opportunities, too. And there will be a continuation of the firm and fair application of the law, just as there was under Maj. Templeton.”

Sportsmen and the public can assist wildlife officers in their duties by reporting violations anytime by calling 1-800-662-7137.

(NC Wildlife Press Release)

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Celebrate Black History Month Early

December 26, 2010 – RALEIGH – Kick off Black History Month three days early at the 10th Annual African American Cultural Celebration on Saturday, Jan. 29, at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., this free family event will feature more than 75 presenters – well-known musicians, storytellers, dancers, playwrights, authors, artists, re-enactors and more – who will bring to life North Carolina’s diverse African American heritage and culture. Both fun and educational, this festival includes hands-on activities for all ages. Parking is free.

Where else can you celebrate with free performances by Grammy Award nominee and neosoul gospel singer Cynthia Jones, blues guitarist Cool John Ferguson and so many other talented individuals? For a quick overview of this large festival, a sampling of topics and highlights follows. For a complete schedule with specific performance and presentation times, go to or call 919-807-7900.

Celebrate Music and Movement

Catch performances by these musicians and dance groups:

● Raleigh’s Cynthia Jones, a two-time Prestige Award winner;

● Cool John Ferguson, named Most Outstanding Guitarist by Living Blues Magazine, who has collaborated with B.B. King, Taj Mahal, and the Stylistics;

● the reggae group Positively Nelsons from Raleigh, with four albums to date;

● the Abdullah Rahman Trio, a jazz group from Winston-Salem;

● Jo Gore and the Alternative, a Durham group known for its unique mix of soul, blues, jazz and folk;

● the Purple Charlotte Steppers, also presenting a “steppin’ ” workshop;

● the Oneaka Collective, an African dance group from Charlotte; and

● an Afro-Cuban Zumba® Party with Lawanna Harris, who will also lead a class based on this dance-fitness phenomenon spreading the globe.

Celebrate Literature and the Spoken Word

Hear from a photographer, authors and storytellers who will share stories of African Americans:

● Katina Parker, photographer and creator of the online photographic essay One Million Strong: Photos from the Million Men, Women, and Youth Marches;

● Kelly Starling Lyons, author of the children’s book One Million and Me;

● award-winning author Zelda Lockhart, who will read from Fifth Born II: The Hundredth Turtle;

● Dr. John Williams, author of the forthcoming book God, Guts and Game: Survival of Three African American Families: 1747-2000, based on 38 years of research about his great-grandparents; and

● E.J. Stewart, a member of the N.C. Association of Black Storytellers, presenting a dramatization of a slave narrative.

Celebrate History, Drama and Film

Learn about African American life from these individuals and groups:

● Curator Earl Ijames, who will highlight the museum’s upcoming online exhibit A Change Is Gonna Come: Black, Indian, and White Voices for Racial Equality, focusing on North Carolina and the Civil Rights movement;

● Natalie Bullock Brown, host of UNC-TV’s “Black Issues Forum,” and Darryl Lester, president of Hindsight Consulting, who will present a talk about giving back to communities;

● Tarboro’s C. Rudolph Knight, who will focus on Princeville and the all-black town’s struggle to survive despite political, social, and legal setbacks from the late 19th century to the present;

● World War II veteran and author Clarence E. Willie, who will share veterans’ experiences from his book African American Voices From Iwo Jima; and

● re-enactors who will present a Civil War re-enactment focusing on Fort Fisher; Battery B, 2nd U.S. Colored Light Artillery, 18th Army Corps; and the 37th U.S. Colored Troops.

Celebrate Craft and Art Traditions

See a collection of works by local artists from the Triangle African American Artists Association. Watch these artisans and others at work:

● basketmaker Neal Thomas, furniture maker Jerome Bias, doll maker Marilyn Griffin; and

● the Ebony Raleigh Area Group Stitchers and the African American Quilt Circle.

With activities for all ages, there won’t be a dull moment during the African American Cultural Celebration. Hands-on activities include tobacco tying with staff from Duke Homestead State Historic Site, a scavenger hunt, and an opportunity to make a necklace from a cowrie shell.

In addition, watch a cooking demonstration by Rhonda Muhammad or join a hair-braiding workshop led by Diana Mitchell, author of The Hair Braider’s Secret Reference Manual. Stay for lunch and purchase foods from vendors on Bicentennial Plaza, directly outside the museum.

The African American Cultural Celebration is co-sponsored by the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission, whose vision is to transform and enrich people and communities by sharing North Carolina’s African American history, arts and culture. The event is also supported by the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, with funds from the United Arts campaign, the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes a great nation deserves great art.

For more information, call 919-807-7900 or access or Facebook®.

The N.C. Museum of History’s hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free. The museum is part of the Division of State History Museums, Office of Archives and History, an agency of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. The department’s Web site is

NC Dept. of Cultural Resources Press Release

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Pet Food Recall

December 23, 2010 – RALEIGH –Tests done at two state laboratories in west Raleigh are responsible for the Kroger pet food recall in 19 states. The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ vet and feed labs were both involved in discovering the presence of aflatoxin in dog food after the deaths of several North Carolina dogs.

In late November, a cocker spaniel was necropsied at the Veterinary Division’s Rollins Diagnostic Laboratory and feed samples were referred to another laboratory after a pathologist identified liver damage consistent with aflatoxicosis. The feed sample came back with a high percentage of aflatoxin.

Last week, additional bags of food were collected and taken to the feed laboratory, part of the N.C. Food and Drug Protection Division’s Constable Laboratory system, after other dogs from the same kennel also died with symptoms consistent with aflatoxicosis. Lab tests showed high levels of aflatoxins in the dog food.

The dog food was traced to a plant in Tennessee, and NCDA&CS officials notified the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Tennessee officials about the problem. The distributor, Kroger, voluntarily recalled bags of Pet Pride Cat Food, Pet Pride Kitten Formula Food, Old Yeller Chunks Dog Food, Kroger Value Chunk Dog Food and Kroger Value Cat Food with expiration dates of Oct. 23 and 24, 2011.

“Kroger should be commended for their cooperation in this investigation and for quickly recalling the affected pet food,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Anyone who has bags of this dog and cat food should immediately stop feeding it to their animals.

“This is an example of the importance of the food, drug and feed testing that we provide. Testing not only protects humans and our food chain, but also the companion animals that enrich our lives,” Troxler added.

Aflatoxin is a byproduct of the mold Aspergillus flavus, and can be harmful to both humans and animals. Young and pregnant animals are especially vulnerable to the toxin. To help prevent aflatoxin from reaching the food chain, the N.C. feed lab does free aflatoxin testing of corn that is to be used for feed.

(NCDA&CS Press Release)

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Benson Moonshine Bust

December 22, 2010 – BENSON – N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement agents and Johnston County Sheriff’s deputies seized 255 gallons of non-taxpaid liquor Dec. 17 in Benson and charged two people with possession.  As a part of this bust, moonshine was also seized in Warren and Halifax counties and two others were charged.

The Benson operation was located at 3260 Woods Crossroads. ALE agents there destroyed 3,948 gallons of mash used to make moonshine.  John L. Wood of the same address was charged with possession of non-taxpaid alcohol, possession for sale and sell non-taxpaid alcohol, manufacture alcoholic beverages and possession of equipment intended for use in the manufacture of alcoholic beverages.  ALE agents also seized $855 in cash.

A search warrant was later executed at the home of James C. Adams of 1457 Ivey Road in Benson.  Adams was charged with possession of non-taxpaid alcohol, possession of non-taxpaid alcohol for sale and selling alcohol without an Alcohol Beverage Control permit.  ALE agents also seized a car from this location.

ALE agents also located 294 gallons of liquor in a vehicle at 154 Falkner Quarter Road, Warrenton, the residence of Harry Stegall Jr.  Stegall was charged with five counts of possession of non-taxpaid alcohol, five counts of possession of non-taxpaid alcohol for sale and two counts of transporting non-taxpaid alcohol. ALE agents seized three vehicles and $1,289.

In Halifax County, a search warrant was executed at the home of James D. Richardson of 38896 Highway 561 in Hollister.  Agents seized six gallons of non-taxpaid alcohol and a shotgun.  Richardson was charged with possession of non-taxpaid alcohol, possession of non-taxpaid alcohol for sale, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

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Novartis Expanding in Holly Springs

December 22, 2010 – RALEIGH – Gov. Bev Perdue announced today that Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, Inc., a global leader in vaccine and diagnostics, will add a development lab and pilot plant at the site of its pandemic and seasonal flu production facility in Holly Springs.

The company plans to create 100 new positions in North Carolina and will invest $36 million as part of the project, which was made possible in part by state grants from the Job Development Investment Grant program and One North Carolina Fund.

“Once again, a top international company is bringing well-paying jobs to North Carolina,” said Gov. Perdue. “Novartis has transformed the economic base for Holly Springs and now is expanding in that fast-growing area. Companies like Novartis know the value of our state’s skilled workforce, thanks to our investments in education and worker training.”

Novartis, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, employs more than 100,000 employees in over 140 countries. Novartis is a global leader in vaccines and diagnostics for human therapeutics and diagnostic testing. The company is planning the design, construction, and validation of a development lab and pilot plant at the existing Novartis facility in Holly Springs. The proposed facility would contain research and development scale equipment as well as medium scale equipment and facilities necessary for clinical manufacturing.

“Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics is excited to start construction of our new viral lab and pilot plant that will enable us to advance our viral vaccines pipeline and develop new technologies so we can get life-saving vaccines to patients quicker.  We chose the Holly Springs location for this important project because of the great talent pool to recruit from, proximity to area universities and the relationship we have with our neighbors in the state, county and town of Holly Springs”, said Matthew Stober, Global Head of Technical Operations for Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, Inc.
While individual wages for the 100 additional positions will vary by job function, the overall average for the new jobs will be $106,200 a year, not including benefits. The Wake County average annual wage is $42,692.
To help facilitate this expansion, the company has been awarded a $1 million grant from the state’s One North Carolina Fund.  This fund provides cash grants to attract business projects deemed by the governor to be vital to a healthy and growing state economy. No money is paid up front and companies must meet job creation and investment targets to receive payments. One North Carolina Fund grants also require a local match, and this grant is contingent upon approval of local incentives

Also, the state Economic Investment Committee today voted to award a Job Development Investment Grant to Novartis. JDIGs are awarded only to new and expanding businesses and industrial projects whose benefits exceed the costs to the state and which would not be undertaken in North Carolina without the grant

Under the terms of the JDIG, the company is eligible to receive a grant equal to 65 percent of the state personal income withholding taxes derived from the creation of new jobs for each of the nine years in which the company meets annual performance targets. If Novartis meets the targets called for under the agreement and sustains them for nine years, the JDIG could yield $2.7 million in maximum benefits for the company

Other partners that assisted with this project include: the N.C. Department of Commerce, N.C. Community Colleges and the Town of Holly Springs.

Through Gov. Perdue’s JobsNOW initiative, the state continues to work aggressively to create well-paying jobs, train and retrain its workforce, and lay the foundation for a strong and sustainable economic future.

For more information about Novartis, including job opportunities, visit:

(Governor’s Office Press Release)

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Business Ordered To “Clean Up Its Act”

December 22, 2010 – Raleigh – A Stanley County custom engine business that took more than $800,000 from consumers for products it never delivered is under court order to clean up its act, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today.

“When a business accepts your money, you expect them to deliver what they promised,” Cooper said. “My office will continue to look out for North Carolina consumers and make sure they’re treated fairly.”

Under a consent judgment filed today in Wake County Superior Court, T and L Engine Development, Inc., its owner Lloyd McCleary Sr. and employee Lloyd McCleary Jr. are permanently banned from collecting money upfront for any products or services unless they secure a $500,000 bond first to protect consumers or deposit money with an escrow agent until the product is shipped. The agreement approved by Judge Ripley Rand also requires the defendants to auction off all business assets and equipment and the owner’s primary residence and use the money to pay refunds to consumers.

The North Carolina Secretary of State on August 12, 2010 administratively dissolved T and L Engine Development, Inc., which also conducted business as T and L Engines.

Cooper filed suit this month against T and L Engines, which advertised its custom engines on the company’s website and on eBay. As alleged in the complaint, consumers were required to make a substantial down payment before the company would start work on an order, and then had to pay the balance in full before the engine would be shipped.  But consumers who paid complained that they never received their engines and got the run-around when they tried to find out the status of their orders.  Consumers whose engines didn’t arrive by the scheduled date also say they were promised refunds but never got them.

More than 120 consumers complained to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division that they paid T and L Engines for orders that never arrived.  Consumers’ losses totaled more than $800,000.

Cooper contends that T and L Engines repeatedly violated a federal rule that protects consumers from orders that don’t arrive when promised.  The federal Mail and Telephone Order Merchandise Rule requires sellers to ship your order within the time they told you or within 30 days if they didn’t give you a date.  Under the rule, companies that fail to deliver on time must let you choose between agreeing to a later delivery date or canceling your order for a full refund.

“Keep this rule in mind if your holiday orders don’t arrive on time, or whenever you shop online, over the phone or by mail,” Cooper said. “If you pay for something that doesn’t arrive, you have the right to a refund.”

Consumers who had dealings with T and L Engines or who have problems with orders that don’t arrive can file a complaint with Cooper’s office by filling out a complaint form at or calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within state.

(NC A/G Press Release)

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Arvato to Expand

December 21, 2010 – ASHVILLE – Arvato, a leading provider of digital services, will expand its call center facility in North Carolina. The company plans to create 408 jobs and invest $1.8 million during the next three years.  Arvato Digital Services is a leading provider of a range of comprehensive services and integrated solutions to business partners in the IT, high-tech, gaming, video and audio sectors.  Arvato Digital Services is part of Arvato AG whos parent company is headquartered in Germany.  Arvato has over 60,000 employees in 35 countries including over 500 employees in North Carolina.

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MLK Grants Awarded

December 21, 2010 – Raleigh – Fourteen grants of $2,500 each have been awarded to non-profit agencies across North Carolina by the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission of the N.C. Human Relations Commission. Funds will be used to create or strengthen programs that support of legacy of Dr. King, especially those which benefit youth.
Grantees will be recognized at a reception following the Annual State Employees’ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Observance Program, to be held at noon on Jan. 14 in the First Baptist Church, 101 S. Wilmington Street in Raleigh.
The Commission received 55 applications this year. Non-profits selected to receive the 2010 MLK grant awards are:
  • Brevard Middle School of Transylvania: Brevard Middle School’s year-long program, “Inter-racial Freedom Training and Beyond,” an application of Dr. King’s principles, begins with a leadership program for educators and community members. The program, conducted by participants of Alabama’s Civil Rights Movement, addresses the era’s impact on students’ expectation (contact: David Williams, 828-884-2091).
  • United Way of Haywood County Inc.: The United Way of Haywood County Inc. provides Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library books to all children from birth to five years old in Haywood County. Although the program is offered to all children, special effort is made to enroll children from low income families. Books are delivered directly to children’s homes at no cost to them. The goal is to get quality, age-appropriate books in the hands of children, so they will be ready to learn when they go to school (contact: Celesa T. Willett, 828-452-2005).
  • Gotodad Inc. of Fayetteville: The project is designed for youth ages 8-15 with a focus on black males. It will address ways to avoid conflict and deal with existing conflicts peacefully, identifying and appreciating others’ values, leadership skills, and choices and their consequences (contact: Joe McGee, 910-978-2829).
  • HOLLA! (Helping Our Loved Ones Learn and Achieve) Community Development Corp. of Anson County: The proposed program, The Literacy Project, is designed to engage several segments of the community toward improving Anson County’s literacy rate by engaging several segments of the community beginning with a literary festival in February. HOLLA! also will incorporate quarterly literary challenges and essay contests into this year-long program. (contact: Leon Gatewood, 704-694-3552 or 704-694-9147).
  • City of Salisbury Parks and Recreation: This program is designed to address the need for affordable recreation in the community and to provide all youth the opportunity to participate in Salisbury Parks and Recreation programs and services. The scholarship funding will be given to qualified youth to allow them to participate in youth basketball, summer camps, after school programs, music and art programs and variety of other program offerings available, thus keeping them engaged in positive youth activities (contact: Elaney Hasselmann, 704-638-4460).
  • Clinton’s Corner of Catawba County: This program is geared toward youth ages 5-21 and meets during the summer and the school year. A healthy lunch and snack are provided to approximately 80 youth each day. The Academy is held at Clinton Tabernacle AME Zion Church Family Life Center in Hickory. The purpose of the program is to meet the needs of youth who are at risk of joining gangs and/or dropping out of school (contact: Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, 704-267-9017).
  • Dubs & Above Car & Truck Club of Wilson: The program goals include organizing a series of events to do the following: nourish the ambitions of disadvantaged you; promote positive yet profitable occupation outlook and educate the youth on the need to be responsible and disciplined. The events proposed include a Martin Luther King Jr. Festival in January and a “We Can Make It” back-to-school celebration to challenge attendees to keep pursuing excellence and never give up on their dreams. Participating students will receive backpacks, school supplies, haircuts and gift certificates from local merchants (contact: James Silver, 252-230-1290).
  • Franklin-Granville-Vance Smart Start Inc.: The goals of this program are to reduce repeated teen pregnancies; increase participant graduation from high school; increase the successful transition of participants to adulthood including enrollment in post-secondary education, vocational training, or employment in livable wages; and residence in safe and stable housing after graduation from the program (contact: Garry Daeke, 252-433-9230).
  • YWCA of the Greater Triangle: YWCA’s multi-pronged effort is to remove barriers to racial equity in public schools generally and create eight education-focused and two community-based Study Circles for the 2010-2011 year. It will promote dialogue across race and focus on racial equity (contact: Crystal Hayes, 919-828-3205 ext. 18).
  • Lenoir-Greene County Partnership for Children: This service-learning initiative is designed to help rural and low-income youth find solutions to those problems affecting our communities. The program provides training, educational opportunities and a student recognition program designed to empower Lenoir County youth between the ages of 11 and 18. Its goal is to empower youth to make positive life choices when affected by peer pressure and negative behaviors (contact: Keith Sylvester, 252-939-1313).
  • ZECA Inc. (Zero to Eighteen Education Concept Academy) of  Onslow County: ZECA Inc., in collaboration with Aspire, will create a high school program called Project Greatness that will help students gain insight into other situations and develop compassion and empathy for others as they participate and plan a community service project (contact: Stacey Owens Howard, 910-333-8035).
  • Cornerstone United Church of Christ of Davidson County: This program will involve 30 multi-racial youth ages 7-18. The Youth Ministry Auxiliary members from Cornerstone will recruit participants from community outreach throughout local churches, schools, public housing communities and the community at-large (contact: Marie Kindle-Allen, 336-991-9289).
  • Native American Studies Academy, UNC-Charlotte: Cedar Tree’s purpose is to increase collaboration between the UNC-Charlotte Native American Studies Academy, the UNC-Charlotte Native American Student Association and Metrolina Native American Association to address the education support needs of American Indian families in the region (contact: Dr. Kathryn V. Johnson, 704-687-4586).
  • Outreach Development Inc. of Guilford County: The program will focus on middle school students who are performing below grade level in reading. There will be mentoring and tutoring during regular school hours, help with career and technical application activities two Saturdays per month, and creation of partnership relationships between families and schools to encourage positive and proactive involvement (contact: Mildred Hoffler-Foushee, 336-314-0198).
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