The Weekly Post Holiday Decoration Winner

unnamedCongratulations to our Holiday House 2013 Winner! We would like to Thank everyone who has participated! Look forward to this and many more opportunities to share your photos throughout the year. We would like to wish all of our readers,their families and our advertisers a Happy and Safe Holiday Season! The Weekly Post Staff

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Holiday spirit on parade in Locust this Saturday

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.”

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Oakboro employees to receive holiday payment

By Carrie C. Causey
Oakboro Meeting Wrap-up
Monday night, the Oakboro town council recognized Clerk Taffy Smith as being the town’s first clerk to become certified, having recently finished her training. 
Following closed session, the board awarded her achievements by giving her a pay increase of 50 cents an hour, totaling $15 an hour, and an extra week of vacation.
Commissioners also voted to ask their intern David Smith to stay on until May if willing. Smith, Town Administrator Doug Burgess’ grandson, is a graduate student at Wingate University and has been working with the Parks and Recreation department. Burgess told the board Smith had mentioned he’d like to stay on because he has more ideas. 
But the board’s generosity toward their employees didn’t stop there. 
They voted to give all full-time town workers $250 and all part-time employees $100 as a one-time payment during the holiday season. Contract employees, Burgess and Special Projects Manager Larry Branch, will also receive $250. Continue reading
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Developer changes plan with ordinance in Midland

By Carrie C. Causey 

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 10.01.42 PMA neighborhood developer wants to come back to the Midland Town Council to update a plan to be more in line with a new ordinance. 
During the November 12 meeting, Planning Zoning and Subdivision Administrator Richard Flowe told the town council that the Saddlebrook plan had previously been approved under the town’s old ordinances, but have decided they want a traditional neighborhood development overlay to allow them to make some changes.
“We have found more recently, as we have conversations about different parts of the project, that our new ordinance offers them greater opportunity to do things a little differently than old ordinance,” Flowe said. “The new ordinance design has a greater opportunity and is a win-win for the town, neighborhood and developer. It does it within the same land area.”
December 10, the board will hold a public hearing for the traditional neighborhood development overlay to amend Saddlebrooks’ plan for more open space, different sidewalk positions, among other minor changes. It won’t change the overall plan or zoning, but some of the design.
“This is kind of a first. This is unique and new one for the town,” Flowe said of having someone come back.  Continue reading
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Farm Fresh Ventures Celebrates Successful First Year

The multi-county, two state partnership of local agricultural producers that organized as Farm Fresh Ventures last spring is celebrating its first year as a success.
In a very wet 2013 summer, the group successfully boxed and delivered 2201 boxes of fresh local produce to 130 first-year subscribers in the six-county region.  
Over the course of 18 weeks, a variety of 37 different items, all grown in the region, were delivered.  In light of this success, rave reviews, and interest in future opportunities, the board of Farm Fresh Ventures has voted to continue the project into 2014.  Plans are underway now for next year’s growing season.  
Farm Fresh Ventures Cooperative brings farmers in Anson, Chesterfield, Montgomery, Richmond, Stanly and Union Counties together to sell their products through a weekly produce box subscription.  The cooperative provides consumers with fresh, local produce at peak season while creating new marketing outlets for our area farmers.   Continue reading
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Stanfield welcomes 20 new jobs from UFP London

By Leah Schmalz
 
The Stanfield Town Council and the Stanly County Board of Commissioners voted Monday at a joint public hearing to approve an economic incentive with UFP New London that is expected to bring 20 new jobs and invest more than $1 million in the town of Stanfield. The company, a subsidiary of Universal Forest Products, Inc., will use the vacant building located at 301 West Stanly Street to set up a heat lamination and assembly operation.  
 “We had several locations for this expansion, but the Stanfield location was the best fit for our products and our employees,” John DeVitto, the General Manager of Operations, said in a company statement. The company expects the facility to be fully functioning by the end of the year. Universal Forest Products manufactures and distributes wood and wood-alternative products for use in areas such as residential and commercial construction.  
As part of the performance agreement, Stanfield and Stanly County are offering local property tax grant incentives to the company. The incentives rely on the company’s agreement to create 20 new full-time jobs and invest a minimum of $1,053,000 in the town over the next five years.  
“The jobs are critical to all of us and we look forward to a long and rewarding relationship with John Devitto and his crew as we go forward with economic development within Stanly County,” said Mayor Kevin Barbee. “It’s good to have 20 new jobs instead of having that building sit there unused.”
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City of Locust senior center gets a home

By Carrie C. Causey  carrie@weeklypostnc.com

Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 10.01.25 PMIt’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

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Board agrees to help with future of Clarks Grove Primitive Church

By Leah Schmalz

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 4.17.23 PMAt 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.

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Burgess wins with write-ins

By Carrie C. Causey   carrie@weeklypostnc.com

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 6.07.35 PMOakboro’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.

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Barbee wins Stanfield mayoral race

By Leah Schmalz

Stanfield, Red Cross councils stay the same

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 6.07.35 PMMayor 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

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