Members of the West Stanly Lions Club and the City of Locust hope to usher in the holiday season with a full afternoon of festivities Saturday.
The day starts with a holiday festival in the Locust Town Center beginning at 1 pm. The parade takes place in downtown at 3 pm and attendees can enjoy entertainment until the tree light- ing, scheduled for 5 pm.
While many of the festivities carry over from previous years, Locust Parks and Recre- ation Supervisor Tate Os- borne said they have made some changes, including moving the Christmas tree lighting up so there is not as big of a gap after the parade.
Attendees can do some of their holiday shopping at the Town Center shops and at the vendor market, which will be open throughout the afternoon. Osborne said the vendors include Pampered Chef products, jewelry, ceramic art, Thirty-One gifts, Mary Kay and crafts. Visitors can learn more about
Stanly County Community College and other organizations. Food will also be available for purchase.
“It’s important for Locust to hold onto tradi- tions,” Osborne said. “The parade has been around forever and a lot of people grew up going to it. …. It’s a good family event that is free and gives people a chance to do Christmas shopping and have a good time.”
With so much to do, there is no reason not to come early before the parade — whether going as a spectator to catch candy or to join the parade lineup. “We want as much par- ticipation as possible so we’ve tried to make it as accessible and affordable as we can,” said Lions member Wayne Sasser. “Anyone who wants to is welcome to come partici- pate (in the parade). We are very inclusive — we are not exclusive at all. We like people to call and tell us they are going to be in the parade, but they are welcome to come day of and join if they decide they want to.”
By Carrie C. Causey
By Carrie C. Causey firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s an announcement Locust Council member Harry Fletcher has been waiting a long time to say. The proposed senior center that has been in the works for two years has finally found a home and the dream of having a place for elderly residents to have fun and fellowship is well on the road to fruition.
Fletcher made the announcement during the monthly Locust City Council meeting November 7, but afterward, he was happy to detail how residents have made it possible and what they hope to accomplish with continued community support.
The West Stanly Community Center Foundation, Inc. will be housed in the former library building, 216 Town Center Drive. Fletcher said youth from Locust Presbyterian Church and other organizations have already been asked to do some painting and other maintenance to have it ready to open early January. Continue reading
By Leah Schmalz
At the November meeting of the Stanfield Board of Commissioners, J.F. Morgan enlisted the help of the council with the future upkeep of Clarks Grove Primitive Church and its graveyard. Morgan recounted the work he has put into maintaining the grounds over the years, as well as the effort he has made to determine who owns the church.
“Recently I’ve got my stone in place so I’ve got a dog in the fight now,” said Morgan, referring to the grave- yard. “Going forward I’d like to know, after I’m gone, who’s going to be looking after it.” He hasn’t been able to uncover the owner, but he noted that the church is within the city limits. He asked the Board to research any grants that may be available to aid in the mowing and maintenance. The Board agreed to help and Bob Harvey is going to look into information on available grants.
By Carrie C. Causey email@example.com
Oakboro’s town administrator Doug Burgess will be wearing an additional hat come January. Friday, the Stanly County Board of Elections announced Burgess won the Oakboro mayoral race without ever being on the ballot.
“I knew there was a write- in campaign, but I didn’t expect the overwhelming response,” Burgess said of receiving 103 write-in votes, compared to unop- posed mayoral candidate Allan McGuire’s 29.
As a former Oakboro commissioner for eight years, Burgess said he’d been encouraged to run but never really thought about it.
“Thank you for showing that you have confidence in me to be able to do the job,” Burgess wanted to express to the residents.
Because of the small size of the town, Burgess said he will be able to continue his role as town administrator and mayor for the time being. But for the most part, he hopes to use the position to continue doing what he has always done
“I want to continue to carry the town forward and going the right direction,” he said. That means being fiscally conservative, trying to obtain more grants and reaching out to resident to help the town.
Oakboro commissioners with the most votes were Ernest Lee Broadway, Mike Efird and Georgia Osborne-Harvey.
Having a person win by a write-in vote during a municipal election isn’t unusual. In fact, this year New London’s winner, Tate Daniels, was also decided by canvass.
“The major difference about municipal elections is that write-ins don’t have to be certified,” said Elections Director Kimberly Wilson. For other elections, write-ins have to pe- tition to be counted. “For municipal and nonpartisan elections, anyone can be a write-in.”
Wilson said for this reason she advises people to always cast a ballot.
“I encourage people to vote even in small decisions and large ones,” she said. “They are all different, but every decision affects us in our everyday lives. Voting always matters.”
That being said, voter participation dropped this year, according to Wilson. In 2011, 157 people voted in Oakboro’s municipal election compared to 130. And in Locust, 405 people voted in 2011, compared to 110 this year.
The Locust difference may come from the fact there was only one candi- date for mayor and three candidates for three spots on the city council. During the city council meeting Nov. 7, Mayor Steve Huber thanked everyone who came out to vote and congratulated incumbents J.C. Burris and David Walker. He welcomed Roger Hypes, who will join them on the board.
Earlier, Hypes said he is honored and humbled to have been voted in, having only lived in Locust eight years. He appreciated all those who came out and asked him questions and showed an interest in the election.
After what she considers a stressful election in Mid- land, Mayor Kathy Kitts retained her seat with 58 percent of the vote, beat- ing out council member Don McSheehan, who had 38 percent, and Robert Webb with 4 percent.
“Getting 58 percent was huge for me,” she said. “It tells me we are doing the right thing and there are people out there who believe in what we are doing.”
Kitts said she is excited for another four years and hopes to continue their growth efforts.
“My biggest desire is to keep going on making the community proud,” she said.
Council Member Rich Wise will also serve an- other term along with John Crump, who is returning to the political field having previously served as mayor.
By Leah Schmalz
Stanfield, Red Cross councils stay the same
Mayor Kevin Barbee will hold office for another term after a win over Rick Huggins on Tuesday. Barbee collected 177 votes, while Huggins had 86. There was one vote for a write- in candidate. “For Stanfield that was a lot of people, so I’m glad everyone came out and voted,” said Barbee. The turnout for Stanfield’s primary voting precinct, Furr Number 2, was 27.46 percent.
James Davis Griffin collected 169 votes and Greg Lucas won 187 votes, so both will keep their seats on the town council. Brian Webb received 63 votes, Rick Williams had 62, and there were three write-in votes. “We’ll have the same council,” said Barbee. “Everybody works well together so I look forward to continuing to work with them.” Continue reading