Thursday, April 28, 2011

'Jack Donaghy' to shoot movie in Triad

According to news sources, Alec Baldwin will be part of a movie being shot in the Triad soon. The movie will be filmed in parts of Guilford, Rockingham and Davidson counties in the coming weeks, according to the Greensboro News & Record.

The movie, "Hick," is slated to be about a Nebraska teen who "gets more than she bargained for when she sets out for Las Vegas, according to"

Also reported to be starring in it is Chloe Moretz, Blake Lively, Juliette Lewis and Rory Culkin.

Some parts of the movie are also slated to be shot in Wilmington.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Editorial: Protect the coast

From the Greenville Daily Reflector:

It was with unintended comedy that three Republican members of the state Senate would hold a press conference calling for offshore drilling in North Carolina on the first anniversary of the BP oil catastrophe. N.C. Sen. Bob Rucho of Mecklenburg County said the timing was ironic, though “tone deaf” may have been a more apt description.

The Gulf states are still reeling from an environmental disaster that showed oil companies capable of drilling holes in the ocean floor lack the skills and equipment needed should things go wrong. That is why a majority of the state opposes a similar risk along the North Carolina coast and why any effort to open the state to drilling should be fiercely resisted. ...

The tone in North Carolina was quite different on Wednesday as three senators called for offshore exploration along the Outer Banks. Claiming that North Carolina stands to gain 6,700 jobs and generate $500 million every year, the sponsors — Rucho, Sen. Harry Brown of Onslow County and Sen. Tommy Tucker of Union County — called for the state to enter a compact with Virginia and South Carolina to create a regional partnership for drilling. ...

They underestimate the people of this state, whose opposition to drilling is well reasoned. The Outer Banks is one of the state's most critical environmental resources and a source of millions in revenue each year. Residents along the gulf can readily attest to the risks of offshore drilling, and North Carolina would be better served to heed their warnings rather than the sponsors of this bill.

Cheerwine going nationwide

Born in the South. Raised in a glass.

That’s part of Cheerwine’s ad campaign as the Salisbury, N.C.-based soft drink expands distribution to all 50 states for its 100th anniversary.

The New York Times has the story.
The Cheerwine parent, the Carolina Beverage Corporation in Salisbury, N.C., has hired Woods Witt Dealy & Sons, a New York agency with a creative reputation, to develop what is being called the brand’s biggest campaign to date.

The campaign has two goals: stimulate interest in Cheerwine among those who have not tried it while at the same time forging stronger ties with fans.

The campaign has a budget for this year estimated at $2 million to $4 million — a hefty amount for a brand that, according to Kantar Media, a unit of WPP, spent $44,000 to advertise in major media in 2009 and only $15,000 last year.

Ads in various venues carry the word “Legend,” followed by this phrase: “Born in the South. Raised in a glass.” ...
As a lifelong drinker of Cheerwine, it’s not important to me that everyone have a taste, but I hope the company doesn’t expand too big too soon like Krispy Kreme, then encounter similar financial troubles.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chris Hondros (1970-2011), stand-up guy

Paul Woolverton of the Fayetteville Observer writes an appreciation of his friend and former colleague Chris Hondros, an award-winning photojournalist who died Wednesday, when he was struck in the head by shrapnel during intense fighting between rebel and government forces in Misrata, Libya. | story

I already knew about his talent and drive to do great work, to live greatly. To charge ahead with smiles and draw his friends ahead with him. ...

We first met in the late 1980s at N.C. State University’s student newspaper. We became friends when he moved back to Fayetteville in 1996 from Troy, Ohio. He had the talent and drive to go someplace bigger, more prestigious, someplace better-paying. But he told me later that he returned to his hometown to be near his father, who was battling cancer and died in 2000. ...

He loved [New York] city, a vital world capital, and frequently invited friends and friends of friends to stay at his apartment. After a party in April 2004, celebrating several major journalism awards he won that month, his roommates woke to approximately 10 out-of-town house guests.

A few years later, Chris decided he wanted his own place and no roommates. But a friend separated from his wife and needed a place to stay. Chris took him in for at least a year.

Chris Hondros: his work | The News & Observer | Technician | N.C. State

Gazetteer fun: P-R

My apologies for not doing this in a while. Quite honestly, it just slipped my mind.

The highly entertaining and educational North Carolina Gazetteer was recently 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, P, Q and R. (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.

Pinch Gut Branch*, rises in e[astern] Surry County and flows s[outh]e[ast] into Stokes County, where it enters Big Creek. Said to have been named by Saura Indians in the vicinity who almost starved because of the scarcity of game.

Quail Roost, community in n[orthern] Durham County. Named for a former hunting club there acquired in 1925 by George Watts Hill of Durham, who turned it into a dairy farm. In 1963 the farm was given to the state of North Carolina by Hill. The large house is used as a conference center by the University of North Carolina; North Carolina State University makes use of the surrounding land, designated as Hill Forest.

Relief, community in w[estern] Mitchell County on Toe River. Alt. 2,092. Named for the patent medicine Hart's Relief, a popular product with a high alcoholic content sold at John Peterson's store there after about 1870.

*There are at least seven Pinch Gut/Pinchgut locations in the state, including Pinch Gut Creek in Anson County, Pinchgut Branch in Duplin County and Pinchgut Creek in Caldwell County, which has the distinction of being named by the same person who named another nearby creek "Coldass."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Civil War: 150 years later

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, the War of Northern Aggression, the Late Unpleasantness -- whatever you want to call it. In short, it was an ugly period in American history. Fortunately, some VERY good things came from it.

Yahoo News has put together a slideshow of rare photos from the time. You can view it here. After all, it was probably the first war to be documented with film.

The war, writes Yahoo News, "is so often described in battles — the Battle of Gettysburg, the Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Fort Sumter — that it may be easy to forget that the soldiers who fought in the four-year war had a lot of time between fighting."

North Carolina was late to "the game" (actually, the latest of the southern states to get involved) of the War.

"Many North Carolinians, especially yeoman farmers who owned few or no slaves, felt ambivalently about the Confederacy; draft-dodging, desertion, and tax evasion were common during the Civil War years," writes Wikipedia. "However, North Carolina contributed more troops to the Confederacy than any other state. The Union's naval blockade of Southern ports and the breakdown of the Confederate transportation system took a heavy toll on North Carolina residents, as did the runaway inflation of the war years. In the spring of 1863, there were food riots in North Carolina."

In the end, North Carolina gave more resources and men to the Confederate cause than any other state. (That includes you, Virginny.)

Also from Wikipedia: North Carolina "provided an important source of soldiers, supplies, and war materiel to the Confederate States of America ... The city of Wilmington was among the leading ports of the Confederacy, providing a vital lifeline of trade with England and other countries, especially after the Union blockade choked off most other Confederate ports. Large supplies of weapons, ammunition, accoutrements, and military supplies flowed from Wilmington throughout the South.

"Troops from North Carolina played a major role in dozens of major battles, including the Battle of Gettysburg, where Tar Heels were prominent in Pickett's Charge. One of the last remaining major Confederate armies, that of Joseph E. Johnston, surrendered near Bennett Place in North Carolina after the Carolinas Campaign."

As the famous memorial states, North Carolina's troops are remembered as such: "First at Bethel, Farthest at Gettysburg and last at Appomattox."

Friday, April 01, 2011

Twitter: A major motion picture to be shot in Charlotte?

Maybe, according to the Twittersphere.

@Ronnie_Bryant hints that a major announcement is coming soon of a big-budget movie to be shot in the Charlotte region. #pcmtg

That post came from @WCooksey, a member of the Charlotte city council.

Gas prices won't stop vacations

As gasoline prices inch closer to $4 per gallon, tourism officials start wondering if people will just not take vacations.

Not likely, according to this article from Kentucky.

Five years ago, Candy Thompson says, she thought nothing of dropping thousands of dollars for airfare, ferries, restaurants and related expenses for a spring break trip to the British Virgin Islands.

But this year, she, her husband and their fifth-grade daughter will pile into the family car and drive Friday to High Point, N.C., to spend the night with friends before moving on to their final spring break destination in Holden Beach, a North Carolina shore town where relatives live.

With gas, groceries and savings on free lodging, Thompson expects to spend roughly $600 on the trip — which is still more ambitious than last year, when the Prospect, Ky., family stayed home.

"Back in the good old days, we lived like rock stars," said Thompson, a stay-at-home mom whose husband owns a self-storage business. "Now, it is all about the deal. We just don't want to spend the money."

That's common across the nation, as underscored by a recent consumer confidence survey, compiled by the business-funded Conference Board, that found rising food and gasoline prices, combined with the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters in Japan, still are weighing on Americans' outlooks.

Gas prices have been high for months and showed signs of rising further.


Still, more families like the Thompsons are moving back into the spring break travel market this year, with an 8 percent increase in bookings over 2010, according to American Express Consumer Data. Top spring break destinations noted by American Express include Nassau, Bahamas; Barcelona, Spain; Cancun, Mexico; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Orlando, Fla.; and Palm Springs, Calif.

Consumers weary from coping with years of economic turmoil just want to shake loose from the doom and gloom and get away, said Faust, adding that "whether the recession is over or not, people are ready to go somewhere again."