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Rocky Mount

100th Anniversary
Classifeds.... 1-6E
Community... 1-4B
Dear Abby........ 2E
Motoring.......... 1E
Todays Headlines
Art by Tyler Cashwell,
Falls Road Baptist Church School
SuNNy ToDay
High, 64; low, 41.
WorlD CommuNITy SPorTS
The U.S. and
Libya with
missiles and
targeting Moammar Gadhafs
forces Saturday.
RBC Bank has made a
$50,000 contribution
to the Rocky Mount/
Edgecombe Community
Development Corp.
in support of the
organizations housing
development center and
its work.
Nash Centrals baseball
team is preparing for
a run at a Big East
Conference title.
Gardners in the Twin
Counties turn to compost
for their topsoil.
Covering The Twin Counties For 100 Years
Duke, UNC in action today
Volume 101, No. 160 $1.25
7 5 00776 00125
Authorities help dispose
of prescription medicine
Staff Writer
Authorities across North Carolina are band-
ing together to ensure proper disposal of unused
medicine with Operation Medicine Drop as part
of National Poison Prevention Week.
Dropping off these medicines for us to destroy
keeps them from falling into the wrong hands,
Rocky Mount police Lt. Marty Clay said. It makes
sure they are not being used in ways they werent
With the average North Carolinian flling 14 pre-
scriptions a year, studies show many people have
unused medication lying around their homes.
Clay said children getting into medication is a sig-
nifcant problem.
By Jim HOlT
Staff Writer
ublic school teachers
jobs are on the chop-
ping block in North
Whether or not the
axe will fall and how sharp the
blade will be is up to the N.C.
General Assembly as the legisla-
ture prepares budget proposals.
Gov. Bev Perdue said the dis-
cussions about trying to destruc-
ture the public school system is
dangerous for the state.
(Public education) is what has
transitioned us from an economy
based on agriculture, primarily
in low-wage manufacturing, to
one that has lots of opportunities
for our workers, Perdue said.
Its all about education.
In her budget proposal, Perdue
cut public education by 4 percent,
but local school districts have
been asked to prepare budget sce-
narios incorporating 5 percent,
10 percent and 15 percent cuts in
preparation for what the General
Assembly decides.
I am not going to go back-
wards on public school teachers.
Im not, Perdue told the Tele-
gram editorial board on Thurs-
day. No governor in the history
of North Carolina, Republican or
Democrat, has ever turned their
back on the public classroom, and
I wont be the frst.
The governor said she refuses
to balance the budget on the
backs of public schools.
You hear all this rhetoric like
Lets just add four kids to a class-
room. Well what four kids added
to a classroom does is eliminate
24,000 school teacher positions,
she said. What it really means
is that were going to eliminate
6,200 teachers every time we put
another child in somebodys
classroom, and thats wrong for
North Carolina.
Given the relatively small size
of Edgecombe County Public
Schools, Perdue said if teachers
are eliminated or state funding
for the positions is done away
with, the school district wont
have the money to pay for those
teachers locally.
They are going to have to have
a third-grade teacher, they are
going to have to have an eighth-
grade history teacher and they
are going to have to have a
Telegram photos / Emma Tannenbaum
Ms. Elmina Smith helps kindergartner Tristan Rice, 5, with his school work while Bryson Rackley, 5, left, looks
on Friday at Benvenue Elementary School.
Perdue defends teachers jobs
PrePare for BudgeT CuTs
Tynesia Williams, 5, raises her hand to answer a question in Ms. Robin
Westcotts kindergarten class at Benvenue Elementary on Friday.
See JOBS, 2A
sees signs
of progress
Staff Writer
Eastern North Carolina has been a region that
has been slow to recover since the height of the
states fnancial downturn. But
Gov. Bev Perdue said she be-
lieves key components already
are in place for the Twin Coun-
ties to achieve economic suc-
Continuous innovation and
investment in areas such as
high-tech job creation and pub-
lic education under way in Nash
and Edgecombe counties will al-
low the region to move forward,
Perdue said.
Perdue was in the Twin Coun-
ties last week, paying a visit to
local community colleges and
long-standing companies, which
she said, are leading the way for
Eastern North Carolina to re-
In an exclusive interview with Telegram staff
Thursday, the Democratic governor issued a re-
Touts advantages of
area during her visit
Visit our
website to
watch Gov. Bev
Perdue explain
her positions in
her own words.

SUNdAY, MARCH 20, 2011
port card of how her admin-
istration has fared during her
two years in offce. She said
her focus will remain on mak-
ing North Carolina competi-
Perdue said some ways to
keep the state competitive are
through lowering the states
corporate income tax rate a
reduction from 6.9 percent to
4.9 percent investing in pub-
lic school education by retain-
ing teachers and reorganizing
the size of state government
by slashing about 10,000 jobs.
While were doing this
and trying to set North Caro-
lina straight and get things
reorganized for a 21st cen-
tury enterprise, weve con-
tinued to focus on the core,
which in my mind is driven
by two things that are insepa-
rable: jobs and education,
Perdue said. Any place you
go to lure a company or grow
a company, there has to be a
strong discussion about what
the workforce quality will be.
Not just now when a compa-
ny decides to come to North
Carolina, but long term.
They want to know for two
or three generations their
workforce is going to be so-
phisticated enough to do the
initiative, Perdue said.
Perdue said theres no deny-
ing that many residents and
businesses in Eastern North
Carolina are on the back end
of seeing benefts of the eco-
nomic recovery. After talking
with local public offcials dur-
ing her visit, Perdue said she
acknowledged factors such
as high unemployment and
a uneducated workforce con-
tinues to stand in the way of
more local success.
We have to all come to-
gether one more time and
stand up public and private
leaders of the business com-
munity to fgure out what
we need to do, Perdue said.
I think the worst thing for us
is for Rocky Mount and (the
Twin Counties) to become a
bedroom community for Ra-
leigh. That would be wrong.
You tell me who to call, or
tell me who to get, and Ill go
get them for you.
Perdue gave her take on
Nash Countys controversial
pursuit of poultry producer
Sanderson Farms. Perdue
said that she was familiar
with the Laurel, Miss.-based
company, and toured its
deboning facility in Lenoir
County, praising the company
for its environmental stew-
ardship and clean operations
at that facility.
Environmental statements
and hydrology reports al-
ready have been issued re-
garding the proposed plant
site the intersection of In-
terstate 95 and N.C. 97 stat-
ing that region would not face
potential harm because of the
plant. The N.C. Department
of Environment and Natural
Resources will render a fnal
decision as to whether Sand-
erson Farms 180,000-square-
foot processing plant would
be allowed to build in South-
ern Nash County. The site is
one of two under consider-
Perdue said she feels con-
fdent that DENR will be
thorough in examining the
project and any possible en-
vironmental faws that could
If (DENR) scientists can
tell us this is safe, then its go-
ing to be up to the local off-
cials whether to go forward,
Perdue said. The state has no
skin in this game, other than
the skin to make the decision
a local one. This is between
the elected leaders and Nash
Nobody can force Nash or
Wilson counties to take this
plant. Its up to you all.
Perdue said the recent suc-
cesses made at industries like
QVCs Rocky Mount plant
which has committed to hir-
ing 200 new full-time workers
and investing $71 million over
the next fve years expanding
its warehouse and Spirit
AeroSystems in Kinston are
proof that some headway is
being made in the eastern
part of state. Offcials from
both companies have credited
state economic development
grant funds as reasons for in-
vesting in the region.
QVC was given a $1 mil-
lion grant through the One
North Carolina Fund, which
requires frms to meet cer-
tain job creation and invest-
ment standards to receive the
money. In 2008, the Golden
LEAF Foundation granted
$100 million to the N.C. Glob-
al Transpark Authority in
Kinston to build a plant for
Spirit AeroSystems, which
builds aircraft parts for ma-
jor airlines.
But both pots of money have
been targeted by Republicans
in the N.C. General Assem-
bly to use for balancing the
states upcoming budget. The
General Assembly is working
to fll a $2.4 billion hole.
Perdue criticized the move
and has even vetoed a bill
that takes money from the
One North Carolina Fund and
Golden LEAF Foundation for
the states general fund. She
said the proposed legisla-
tion to completely wipe away
the existence of the Golden
LEAF Foundation would be
disastrous for statewide
economic development.
The money they can allow
us to use to close the deal is
critical money, Perdue said.
For Eastern North Caro-
lina, the fact that money was
intended to help us replace
tobacco dependent commu-
nities is really important.
When you drive throughout
the Twin Counties, you see
the history of the tobacco
livelihood of our people. If it
doesnt help communities like
ours then what good is it?
Its short-term deci-
sion-making with long-term
harm, Perdue said. Im try-
ing to remind (the N.C. Gen-
eral Assembly) the decisions
they make today ... there our
decisions and what happens
to this state is our responsi-
bility. This is our shot and we
cant rewind the clock. This
is the only chance we have to
build a better state.
From Page 1A
Telegram photo / Emma Tannenbaum
Gov. Bev Perdue talks Thursday with the Telegram editorial board at the newspapers offce about
issues facing the Twin Counties and the future of North Carolina.
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Rocky Mount Telegram n Sunday, March 20, 2011 A