Wednesday, February 28, 2007

RPI in North Carolina

This week's college basketball rankings, with each team's overall record (through Tuesday) and its record against the other Division I teams in North Carolina:

3. North Carolina (24-5, 6-1)
9. Duke (22-7, 4-1)
56. Appalachian State (24-6, 6-3)
62. Davidson (26-4, 7-2)

116. N.C. State (14-13, 6-2)
122. Wake Forest (13-14, 5-4)
131. UNC Charlotte (13-14, 1-1)
169. High Point (22-9, 4-1)
196. UNC Greensboro (15-12, 6-6)

251. Western Carolina (10-19, 2-8)
261. UNC Wilmington (7-21, 1-3)
265. Gardner-Webb (9-20, 2-6)
269. UNC Asheville (12-18, 0-5)
281. Campbell (13-16, 2-2)
285. Elon (7-22, 3-7)
298. North Carolina A&T (14-15, 0-0)

303. Winston-Salem State (5-23, 0-1)
312. East Carolina (6-21, 1-3)

CHARLOTTE (AP) -- High Point forward Arizona Reid was named the Big South player of the year Monday.

Reid, a junior, was second in the league in scoring at 21.6 points a game and led the conference with 9.6 rebounds in helping the Panthers to their first 20-win season since the school moved to Division I eight years ago.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Krispy Kreme to unveil all-wheat doughnut

The Associated Press is reporting that Krispy Kreme will soon unveil a doughnut that is made of whole weat.

The doughnut will have just 180 calories, caramel flavoring and will be covered with its original glaze.

"The Krispy Kreme Whole Wheat Glazed doughnut delivers the delicious taste that our customers have come to expect from us," Stan Parker, the company's senior vice president of marketing, told the AP.

"Krispy Kreme sales started slipping three years ago as the company expanded its operations during the height of the low-carbohydrate diet craze," says the news service. "Executives also had to sort out an accounting mess, with the company's board concluding that two former executives were trying to "manage earnings" to meet Wall Street expectations."

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Food tourism in N.C.

This article on's Travel page about "food tourism" got me thinking: Would you travel far distances to try out or enjoy different foods in North Carolina? If so, what would they be?

"Nationwide, an increasing number of vacationers are basing their travel around food and wine — and a study released Wednesday says that 27 million Americans have made culinary activities a part of their travels within the last three years," says CNN.

" 'It's something that really took off in the past five years or so,' said Cathy Keefe, the manager of media relations for the Travel Industry Association of America, which helped pay for the study along with Gourmet magazine and other organizations. ..."

Personally, there are some places that are known for food and worth the drive. The obvious ones are barbecue in Goldsboro, Wilson or Kinston; seafood in Morehead City; Moravian cookies in Old Salem; wine in Asheville.

But some are not so obvious: A Pepsi in the soda's birthplace, New Bern; Ashe County cheese in West Jefferson.

I'm sure there are more out there. What are your choices?

Update: A smoking ban in tobacco country?

We've discussed this quite a bit in the past (both here and at the Raleigh Philosophical Society site), but the push for a statewide smoking ban in North Carolina is on.

"A bill filed in the state Legislature on Tuesday would ban smoking in public places such as bars, restaurants and workplaces across North Carolina," says

Rep. Hugh Holliman, D-Davidson County, the House majority leader who is sponsoring the bill, says "it's no secret that second-hand smoke causes cancer and that the legislation's goal is to protect the citizens of North Carolina."

WRAL says the bill would prohibit smoking indoors with very few exceptions, for example bars that sell mostly alcohol and very little food.

"Why should we be subjected to the recycled filth of someone else's self-inflicted bad habit?" Roger Thompson, a supporter of the bill, told the news channel.

Good point.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

RPI in North Carolina

This week's college basketball rankings, with each team's overall record (through Monday) and its record against the other Division I teams in North Carolina:

2. North Carolina (23-4, 5-1), vs. N.C. State on Wednesday
10. Duke (20-7, 4-1)
55. Appalachian State (22-6, 4-3)
59. Davidson (24-4, 7-2)

116. N.C. State (14-11, 6-1)
117. Wake Forest (13-13, 5-4)
136. UNC Charlotte (12-13, 1-1)
168. High Point (20-8, 4-1)

214. UNC Greensboro (15-12, 6-6)
237. Western Carolina (10-18, 2-7)
257. Gardner-Webb (9-19, 2-5)
263. UNC Wilmington (6-20, 1-3)
284. Elon (6-21, 2-6)
289. UNC Asheville (9-18, 0-5)
290. Campbell (11-16, 1-2)

304. Winston-Salem State (5-22, 0-1)
309. North Carolina A&T (12-15, 0-0)
314. East Carolina (5-20, 1-3)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Quick hits: BET and bridges

Charlotte named best city in America for black families by
"Charlotte was named the best city in the U.S. for black families in a new research project announced by," writes the Charlotte Observer.

" is an affiliate of Black Entertainment Television. The project studied 22 cities across the U.S. and ranked them based on criteria such as economics, education and crime.

"According to the Web site, Charlotte stood out because it has a 'burgeoning black middle class,' low cost of living, high homeownership rates among blacks, low black poverty rate, proximity to quality colleges and universities, thriving nightlife among other areas. ..."

Old-timey bridges to be replaced
"A one-lane truss bridge that has carried traffic since before World War II and is a landmark in this community in Buncombe County’s southeastern corner is destined for the scrap heap," writes the Asheville Citizen-Times.

"The state Board of Transportation recently awarded a contract for the replacement of what is usually called just the old iron bridge that carries Morgan Hill Road across the Broad River near N.C. 9, almost five miles north of Bat Cave.

" 'I’m sad to see it go,' said Erin Gore, who lives nearby. 'The steel part of it is really neat.'

"The NCDOT did a study in 2001 that said the bridge — and a smaller truss bridge about half a mile away on Lower Sand Branch Road — should be torn down. The bridges are expensive to maintain and are becoming more unsafe as they age, a DOT engineer said at the time. ..."

Friday, February 16, 2007

Outer Banks among top 10 romantic places

Coastal Living has compiled a list of top 10 romantic places to which escape. (Note: The magazine's list -- found on's Travel page -- was published just in time for Valentine's Day.)

Making the top 10 are North Carolina's Outer Banks at No. 10.

"The Outer Banks offers the most elementally 'out there' experience of any bridge-accessible U.S. destination," writes CL's Steve Millburg. "Standing on a thin ribbon of sand, with the mainland out of sight over the western horizon and burly Atlantic Ocean waves thundering in from the east, you truly feel untethered from your everyday world." And it is "easy to sneak away and find your own private stretch of beach, with vivid stars overhead, moonlight-silvered surf at your feet, the sea breeze tousling your hair, and magic ready to happen ..."

Coastal Living's Top 10 Romantic Escapes
1. Naples, Florida
2. New York, New York
3. Barbados
4. Sausalito, California
5. Niagara Falls, Ontario
6. Fairhope, Alabama
7. Cannon Beach, Oregon
8. St. Michaels, Maryland
9. La Jolla, California
10. Outer Banks, North Carolina

Quick hits: Patriots, primaries, poets, postal honors and Pikeville chocolate

Greene statue planned for Greensboro bicentennial
"One of the city's leading givers has a new gift in store: a downtown statue of Greensboro's namesake," according to the Greensboro News & Record.

"The Joseph M. Bryan Foundation will provide a larger-than-life statue of Revolutionary War Gen. Nathanael Greene as part of the city's bicentennial celebration next year.

" 'I've been saying for 20 years that we need a statue of General Greene downtown,' said Jim Melvin, president of the foundation. ..."

Senator wants N.C. among early primaries
"North Carolina is a national leader in banking and boasts a large military presence, among other attributes, so why shouldn't the state be among the first to help choose candidates for president?

"N.C. Sen. Andrew Brock doesn't see why not," according to the Salisbury Post. "He introduced a bill in the General Assembly on Wednesday that would move the state's presidential primaries from May to the first Tuesday in February.

" 'We would be the largest state with a presidential primary that early and we would instantly become a major player' on the national stage, Brock said Wednesday. ...

"Brock said moving North Carolina's primaries near those in South Carolina, which plans a Democratic primary Jan. 29 and a Republican primary Feb. 2, will make the Carolinas, and their combined 23 electoral votes, a force with which candidates will have to reckon. ..."

Shuler introduces bill to expand Sandbeurg property
"The Carl Sandburg historic site in Flat Rock is closer to a proposed expansion that would protect its view from encroaching suburban growth, add more parking and add a visitor's center," according to the Hendersonville Times-News.

"Western North Carolina freshman U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler introduced a House bill Thursday to allow the site to expand its borders by 115 acres. The bill is Shuler's, a Democrat from Waynesville, first piece of legislation as a lawmaker.

"The bill has bipartisan support in both chambers. It's the companion to a bill introduced last week by Sen. Elizabeth Dole.

"The famous poet's home (shown) and 264-acre site is about three miles from Hendersonville in Flat Rock, two growing communities popular with retirees. Officials want to expand by 115 acres to protect the site's scenic views from development, something Shuler's predecessor, eight-term Rep. Charles Taylor, blocked. ..."

Jazz great puts her stamp on Elizabeth City
"It was a day of firsts in Elizabeth City on Thursday," according to the Daily Advance.

"For the first time, U.S. postal officials unveiled a commemorative stamp in Elizabeth City, at the K.E. White Center. The event itself was organized by the city's first black postmaster, Kesha L. Holifield. And the portrait on the new stamp everyone came to see was that of Ella Fitzgerald, the 'first lady of song.' ...

"Holifield, who took over as postmaster in June, said one reason she wanted to celebrate the new stamp here is that Fitzgerald was born nearby — in Newport News, Va. Another reason was Holifield's desire to raise the profile of the post office in the community. ..."

Pikeville Chocolate Festival coming up
"The town of Pikeville will be holding a chocolate festival, 'Life is Sweet,' on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Charles B. Aycock High School to raise money for the Relay for Life," according to the Goldsboro News-Argus.

"For a $5 admission, people can enjoy all of the sweet treats, which include any cookies, cakes or pies, entered for the festival.

"Others can bring in their own entries free of charge. Organizers ask that anyone bringing in an entry bring in two identical treats to the event. One will be savored by the judges and the other will be sold during a silent auction later in the day. ..."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ed Teach and the slave trade

An article in the Jacksonville Daily News mentions that the Queen Anne's Revenge, the boat of Edward Teach (North Carolina's most famous pirate "Blackbeard"), was formerly used in the colonial slave trade to the New World from Africa.

"In a display case at the N.C. Maritime Museum," the article says, "beside a model of the Queen Anne's Revenge, sits a detached cross section of the replica representing the half deck. ...

"It is not the most notorious part of the ship's history - most people associate the QAR with the infamous pirate Blackbeard and his blockade on Charleston Harbor.

"Yet the QAR holds just as many links to African-American history as it does to pre-revolutionary piracy.

"For some years prior to its capture by pirates in November 1717, the QAR was the Concorde, a French slave ship that traveled the seas back-and-forth from Europe to Africa to the Caribbean."

What is intriguing is that history tells us that five of the QAR's nine crew members who survived at Ocracoke were black. (Blackbeard didn't make it out of the battle alive.)

"Researchers do not know if Blackbeard kept these five aboard from the Concorde or if they came from another slave ship captured by the pirates just prior to the battle, Moore said.

"What researchers do know is that the QAR is not the only pirate ship with ties to the colonial slave trade."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

RPI in N.C.

This week's rankings (with last week's ranking and each school's most important basketball-playing alumnus):

2. North Carolina (2, Michael Jordan)
17. Duke (8, Christian Laettner)
60. Appalachian State (45, Belus Smawley)
61. Davidson (71, Dick Snyder)
122. N.C. State (106, David Thompson)
129. Wake Forest (124, Tim Duncan)
136. UNC Charlotte (144, Cedric Maxwell)


176. High Point (189, Gene Littles)
216. UNC Greensboro (193, none)
234. Western Carolina (242, Kevin Martin)
260. UNC Wilmington (239, Matt Fish)
262. Gardner-Webb (273, Artis Gilmore)
285. UNC Asheville (282, none)
294. Campbell (295, George Lehmann)
295. Elon (270, Jesse Branson)
300. North Carolina A&T (278, Al Attles)
309. East Carolina (312, Blue Edwards)
313. Winston-Salem State (292, Earl Monroe)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

RPI in N.C.

The Rating Percentage Index (RPI) has been used by the NCAA since 1981 to supplement theselection of at-large teams and the seeding of allteams for the NCAA basketball tournament.

Here are how the teams in North Carolina rank in the RPI rankings through Sunday:

2. North Carolina
8. Duke
45. Appalachian State
71. Davidson
106. N.C. State
124. Wake Forest
144. UNC Charlotte

There are 336 Division I teams, so these teams are in the bottom half of the sport:

189. High Point
193. UNC Greensboro
239. UNC Wilmington
242. Western Carolina
270. Elon
273. Gardner-Webb
278. North Carolina A&T
282. UNC Asheville
292. Winston-Salem State (first season in Division I)
295. Campbell
312. East Carolina

Thursday, February 01, 2007

N.C. on two wheels listed as a travel bargain by MSN Travel

MSN's Travel webpage has an article listing 10 "Bargain Destinations" across the world. One of the selections is "North Carolina on two wheels."

"A statewide bicycle ride is a terrific way to get to know a place up close and personal, at speeds of 15 mph or less," says the article, which also lists Buenos Aires, Nicaragua, Telluride and others among the "bargain" spots. "Several states sponsor organized rides across their length; one of the best is Cycle North Carolina (, which has traversed the Tar Heel state since 1999. The route varies slightly from year to year, but usually starts in the mountains near Asheville and stops in communities in the Blue Ridge and the Piedmont before ending at the Atlantic Ocean. Expect to cycle about 400 miles over seven days; shorter options are also possible."

For $200, you can enjoy mechanical support, showers and entertainment at campgrounds each night, as well as "baggage transportation and food and drinks at the rest stops.

"Most riders camp in their own tents, but hotel rooms are also available for those willing to pay for the privilege. After a long day’s biking, a comfortable bed may be the best bargain of all."

This is North Carolina, right?

A festival celebrating barbecue -- yes, BARBECUE -- is in peril. In North Carolina.

"The Greater Hickory Smoke Barbeque festival won’t be held this May," says the Hickory Daily Record. "The host organization, Hickory’s Southwest Business Association, dissolved. That left the event without sufficient support. ...

"The inaugural festival, held at the Catawba Furniture Mall parking lot in 2004, drew about 17,000 people. Successive festivals held at L.P. Frans Stadium, home of the Hickory Crawdads minor league baseball team, had lower attendance."

All right, Hickory folks: there's got to be a way to continue a barbecue festival, for crying out loud. Don't let us down.