Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Quick hits: A new movie coming to Wilmington, pick your fave N.C. sports moment, and the Blue Ridges are pretty

New feature film coming to Wilmington

"The rumor circulated for several days. Local film industry workers dropped hints that 'a big project was coming to town,'" says the Star-News.

"Now, there’s proof.

"The office of Governor Beverly Perdue announced Monday that the New Line Cinema film, 'Journey 2: The Mysterious Island' will start production in Wilmington later this month. The film stars Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock), Michael Caine and Josh Hutcherson. ..."

Great moments in N.C. sports history

"The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame has created a new program to recognize and honor Great Moments in North Carolina Sports History. 'Great Moments' highlights special accomplishments by both individuals and teams through the years.

"A special panel choose from a list of 20 'Great Moment' in sports history in North Carolina, the most significant as candidates for our first-ever award.

"You are invited to participate by helping to choose the first winner from the top five “Great Moments” previously selected in 2010 ..."

In Blue Ridge Mountains, autumn hues are wedded with history

"When the Blue Ridge Parkway beckons me, I answer, especially in autumn, when I long for its twists and turns, its waterfalls, natural gardens, forests and upland meadows that dot its nearly 500 miles in Virginia and North Carolina," says the LA Times.

"Little has changed here in the 75 years since the parkway construction began, permanently linking Virginia's Shenandoah National Park in the north and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the south. It took 52 years and hundreds of workers to complete this public works project, which helped Appalachia climb out of the Great Depression.

"Thanks to varying elevations, a drive in October and even into early November will yield good views of fall hues. Hickory, tulip poplar and ash are ablaze with yellows, and reds burst forth from dogwood, maple, sumac and sourwood trees. This year mountain ash trees at higher elevations have an outstanding crop of bright red berries. ..."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quick hits; A new NASCAR Hall class announced, and N.C. is very good for jobs

Pearson headlines second NASCAR Hall class

"David Pearson finally received his spot in the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Wednesday, earning the most votes a year after the 105-race winner was surprisingly excluded from the inaugural class," says the AP.

"The Silver Fox received 94 percent of the vote and was the first of the five inductees called by NASCAR chairman Brian France. He immediately received a standing ovation from those gathered in the Great Hall of the Hall of Fame.

"He insisted he wasn't upset that he had not made it in with the first class.

“ 'There was no sting about the first place, a lot of people thought there was, but I knew three weeks before I wasn't going in,' Pearson said. ...."

Forbes names N.C. No. 3 for jobs

"North Carolina is the third best state in the country for business and careers, Forbes magazine says in a new report.

"The Tar Heel state climbed two spots in the rankings from a year ago," says WRAL.

Forbes listed North Carolina as:

  • No. 3 in business costs
  • No. 15 in labor supply
  • No. 3 for regulatory climate
  • No. 18 for economic climate
  • No. 9 for growth prospects
  • No. 32 for quality of life

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Quick hits: Banning pig pickin's and this time the Rangers party with Canada Dry

EPA dust regulations could threaten barbecues
"Until recently, no one in North Carolina, home to so many tobacco companies, could have imagined a statewide smoking ban in public buildings," writes the Carolina Journal.

"And yet it’s possible that federal environmental regulators could target another signature Tar Heel State tradition: the pig pickin’.

"Several cities in California, Colorado, and other states have banned outdoor grilling — particularly where wood or charcoal is involved — at parks and other public areas and at events including weekend festivals. And if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tightens its regulations covering coarse particulate matter in 2011, mobile smokers could be endangered. ..."

Rangers celebrate with ginger ale ... for Hamilton

"After the Texas Rangers clinched the American League East in Oakland in September, the champagne and beer celebration quickly swept through the visiting locker room.

"The celebration took place though without one key figure…the Rangers’ MVP-candidate outfielder Josh Hamilton.

"Hamilton, whose battles with substance abuse are well documented, avoided the alcohol, dressed in a side office and went back into the stands to speak to a church group about his life," says FoxSports.

"But a team that has driven itself all season on unity and family made sure that no one was excluded from the party in Tampa Bay Tuesday night.

"Shortly after Cliff Lee finished his magnificent performance in closing out the Rays 5-1 on the road, it wasn’t beer and champagne that was on ice in the locker room.

"It was ginger ale. ...

"It was a respectful gesture by a team that many thought had no chance to make a splash this season. Facing an unsure ownership situation and bankruptcy, the players all season had each other’s backs and pulled together to shock the baseball world. ..."

Friday, October 08, 2010

Gazetteer fun: G-I

The highly entertaining and educational North Carolina Gazetteer has been updated for the first time since it was first published in 1968.

We figured we would highlight some of our favorites from the book every now and then. This version will look at random listings that begin with letters, G, H and I. (Click here to see some older versions.) There are some 2,ooo-plus listings in the Gazetteer, so feel free to search for your own faves.

Glassy Rock, mountain in se Henderson County overlooking Flat Rock community. According to legend, renegades hid there during the Civil War, and money and other valuables they concealed in the caves there were later found. Trail from Connemara, the Carl Sandburg house, leads to the overlook.

Haines Eyebrow, peak in nw McDowell County near the head of Buck Creek.

Intelligence, community in w Rockingham County served by post office, 1901-11. Known as Bald Hill until about 1920. Between 1850 and 1900, several tobacco factories flourished there. Named because the first public school in North Carolina was there. "Danbury," plantation home of Governor Alexander Martin (1740-1807), was nearby. Sharp's Institute, operated by James Sharp, father of N.C. Supreme Court justice Susie Sharp, was there.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Six to receive top N.C. award

Six North Carolinians will be honored with the highest civilian award the state bestows in a ceremony at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh Thursday, says the AP.

Among those receiving the North Carolina Award are Winston-Salem attorney Mike Leonard, High Point poet and author Carole Boston Weatherford, Greenville artist and teacher Robert Ebendorf, and Asheville painter and sculptor Donald Sultan.

Also being recognized are Margaret S. Newman of Winston-Salem, chairman of the board of directors of the N.C. Center for Nonprofits, and F. Ivy Carroll, a scientist in the field of medicinal chemistry.

The North Carolina Awards were created by the General Assembly in 1961 and have been presented annually since 1964. It recognizes contributions to the state and nation in fine arts, literature, public service and science.

Friday, October 01, 2010

ASU looking to move up in the football world

Appalachian State is one of (if not the) most successful and consistent college football programs in the state. The Mountaineers may soon see how they can fare against the big boys on a full-time basis.

The school, known for its stunning upset of Michigan in 2007 and its three straight national titles last decade, announced Thursday it will evaluate shifting from the Football Championship Subdivision to the Bowl Subdivision [says the AP].

The feasibility study could take up to a year.

“With the changing Division I landscape and the unprecedented success that our football program has enjoyed on and off the field in recent years, the time is right to analyze all of our options as a Division I athletics department and football program,” athletic director Charlie Cobb said.

Appalachian State joins fellow Southern Conference member Georgia Southern and Montana in beginning discussions about moving to the FBS.