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Local Government
Roger Echols To Succeed Retiring Leon Stanback As Durham District Attorney PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 15 August 2014 14:54

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - District Attorney-Elect Roger Echols will take over as Durham's full-time DA following the retirement of Acting District Attorney Leon Stanback on August 31.

 
Echols is currently serving as Chief Assistant District Attorney.  His new job will become effective September 1.
 
Gov. Pat McCrory made the appointment on Friday.
 
Echols received his bachelor’s degree in economics from  the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law. 
Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 14:54
 
Multiple Counties Snag Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund Grants PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 15 August 2014 12:45

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - At least a dozen North Carolina counties have been awarded 23 grants for conservations easements and other agricultural projects.

 
The $2.3 million will be distributed from the North Carolina Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund.
 
Funding resources included statewide general appropriations, Tennessee Valley Authority settlement funds and, for the first time, military funds.
 
“The trust fund awarded 23 grants for this cycle, including conservation easements, agricultural projects and plans,” Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said in a statement. “Our new partnership with the military will protect and enhance the top two economic sectors in North Carolina: agriculture and the military.”
 
Recipients, by county:
 
Buncombe:
The Buncombe County Soil and Water Conservation District received $375,000 to assist with the purchase of a perpetual conservation easement on 134 acres of farm and forestland owned by Janet Peterson of Fletcher. 
 
Caswell:
The Piedmont Land Conservancy was awarded $314,000 to assist with the purchase of a perpetual conservation easement on 363 acres of a livestock and poultry farm owned by V. Mac and Peggy Baldwin of Yanceyville. 
 
Cleveland:
The Cleveland County Soil and Water Conservation District was granted $14,000 to aid the development and adoption of a farmland protection plan. 
 
Duplin:
The Duplin County Soil and Water Conservation District received $172,575 toward the purchase of a perpetual conservation easement on 60 acres of a crop and forestry farm owned by Mitchell and Marlene Paige of Faison. 
 
Franklin:
The Black Family Land Trust was awarded $143,475 toward the purchase of a 20-year conservation easement on 436 acres of a livestock and horticulture farm owned by Martha Mobley of Louisburg. 
 
Haywood:
The Haywood County Soil and Water Conservation District was granted $362,500 toward the purchase of a perpetual conservation easement on 100 acres of a livestock and crop farm owned by Andrew and Jamie Francis of Canton. 
The Haywood County Soil and Water Conservation District received $87,500 toward the purchase of a 30-year conservation easement on 100 acres of a livestock and forestry farm owned by Austin and Kathy Swanger of Clyde. 
The Southwestern N.C. Resource Conservation and Development Council was awarded $188,500 toward the purchase of a perpetual conservation easement on 80 acres of a livestock and forestry farm owned by Charles and Janice Henson of Canton. 
The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy was granted $135,780 toward the purchase of a perpetual conservation easement on 175 acres of a livestock, crop and forestry farm owned by Robbie Kirkpatrick of Candler. 
 
Mitchell:
The Mitchell County Soil and Water Conservation District received $12,000 to aid the development and adoption of a farmland protection plan. 
 
Person:
The Piedmont Conservation Council was awarded $14,000 to aid the development and adoption of a farmland protection plan. 
 
Swain:
The Swain County Soil and Water Conservation District was granted $10,200 to stimulate profitable and sustainable farms through a series of educational workshops, market studies and marketing efforts. 
 
Watauga:
Watauga County Soil and Water Conservation District received $25,000 to buy high-cost farming equipment for rental to new and limited-resource farmers. 
 
The trust fund also awarded grants to the following organizations for projects of multi-county and regional impact:
 
 
Henderson County was awarded $60,000 to expand and upgrade a cider facility at McConnell Farms in Hendersonville. This project will impact the TVA region. 
 
Jackson County was granted $10,000 to assess whether a viable business model can be developed for a profitable red-meat slaughter and processing facility in Western North Carolina. This project will impact the TVA region. 
 
The Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center at Mount Olive University received $30,000 to prepare Cost of Community Services studies in Craven and Pamlico counties. 
 
The Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center at the University of Mount Olive was awarded $192,764 to evaluate and analyze the potential for value-added soybean processing in Eastern North Carolina through the expansion of services provided by Mule City Specialty Feeds, an independent agribusiness company in Johnston County. The project will serve Alamance, Bladen, Chatham, Cumberland, Duplin, Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Nash, Orange, Robeson, Sampson, Vance, Wake, Wayne and Wilson counties. 
The Mountain Valleys Resource Conservation and Development Council was granted $33,000 to install solar water heating systems on dairy farms in Western North Carolina. This project will impact the TVA region. 
 
The Southwestern N.C. Resource Conservation and Development Council received $25,000 to develop a Smoky Mountain Agriculture Economic Strategy focusing on the needs and opportunities for farmers in Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties. 
 
The Swain County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $16,000 for the creation of a mobile soils exhibit that will serve as an interactive education display in order for the public to better make connections between the conditions of soils and water on quality of life. This project will impact the TVA region. 
 
The University of North Carolina at Asheville Foundation was granted $7,000 to demonstrate the innovate use of perennial food crops on marginal land to increase small farm profitability. The program will serve Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison, Mitchell and Yancey counties. 
 
WNC Communities received $25,000 to establish a system to deliver brewers grain as an alternative and cost-saving feed source to family farmers with smaller livestock herds. This project will impact the TVA region. 
 
WNC Communities was awarded $32,500 to fund enhancements and safety upgrades to the WNC Regional Livestock Center in Haywood County. The trust fund was a partner in the construction of the center. This project will impact the TVA region. 
Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 12:46
 
Water, Health Officials Responding To Outbreak Of Algae Blooms Near Topsail Island, Lake Tabor PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:11

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - Hot weather isn't just uncomfortable to work and play in. State officials say recent hot weather in the southeastern part of the state has created a surge of algae blooms that have spurred response from multiple agencies. 

 
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources reports its Division of Water Resources is working with state public health officials, staff from UNC-Wilmington, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
 
State officials detected algal blooms near ocean piers at Topsail Island. Those blooms have since moved offshore. 
 
State officials also investigated reports of algal blooms at Lake Tabor, and although no visual bloom was occurring, local officials posted a precautionary swimming advisory until water testing is completed. 
 
Samples are being analyzed at the state Water Resources lab, with results expected at the end of this week.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:13
 
Jobs Watch: Plastics Manufacturer Expansion in Transylvania County Will Deliver 80 New Jobs PDF Print E-mail
Local Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 14:57

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - Sigma Plastics Group will restore the former Excelsior Rosman plant in Transylvania County and create 80 new jobs under the newly formed New Excelsior Incorporated.  

 
The announcement came on Monday.
 
The project was made possible in part by a performance-based grant from the One North Carolina Fund of up to $80,000.
 
In addition to the new jobs, the company plans to expand manufacturing operations and invest $5.5 million over the next three years in Brevard. 
 
“The New Excelsior project demonstrates how investments in critical infrastructure can spur job creation,” said Secretary of Commer Sharon Decker in a news release.  “This will promote Transylvania County as well as Western North Carolina as a hub for manufacturing and attract more businesses from around the world.”
 
In addition to the 80 new jobs, New Excelsior has already hired approximately 50 former plant employees. 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 14:58
 
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