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international art

gallery to close

After two decades of bringing international art to uptown Charlotte, Farvan International Gallery is closing.

The cause, owner Farida Sweezy said in a statement, is the higher cost of rent at her North Tryon and 7th Street space. “We've received notice that new lease rates will be many, many times the current rates, and, frankly, this type of business can't afford it.”

Sweezy sold artwork from developing countries in Africa and other continents and shared profits with artists in those places. An auction and sale of products and store fixtures will be in November on a date to be announced.

Sweezy said she will continue to work as a consultant.

Richard Maschal

Meck briefs

Charlotte

Aides to Rep. Robin Hayes, a Concord Republican, will hold office hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Grier Heights Community Center, 3100 Leroy St., Charlotte.

The aides will help 8th Congressional District residents with their questions about Social Security, workers' compensation, student financial aid, veterans claims, disaster assistance and other federal issues.

Jim Morrill

Regional briefs

Iredell County Mooresville

Mooresville eased water restrictions Thursday after the Catawba-Wateree Drought Management Advisory Group recommended relaxing restrictions for Charlotte area customers.

Town Manager Steve Husemann said Mooresville will allow customers to water lawns, wash cars, top off swimming pools (filling is not allowed) and run outdoor fountains two days a week on this schedule: odd-numbered addresses on Tuesdays and Saturdays; even-numbered addresses on Thursdays and Sundays.

To view Mooresville's entire conservation ordinance and check for updates, visit www.ci.mooresville.nc.us.

Joe Marusak

Orange County Chapel Hill

UNC Chapel Hill has set a new record for applications received for the third year in a row.

More than 21,500 students applied for admission in 2008, with 7,309 (34 percent) gaining acceptance. Among those accepted, 3,864 enrolled – or 52.9 percent.

The statistics on entering classes at UNC have been getting steadily more impressive in recent years. In 2008, 79 percent of entering students graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class. More than 13 percent were the valedictorian or salutatorian of their class.

Members of the UNC Board of Trustees took these and many other factors into consideration Thursday as they continued a long-running discussion of whether to increase enrollment at the state's flagship public university.

The decision is clearly a difficult one given the steep costs of adding faculty, students and facilities to support them in a troubled economy. Trustees are particularly concerned about the resources needed to continue attracting top-flight students and whether the university could expand without diluting its quality or prestige.

Shirley Ort, from the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid, presented a report Thursday that identified several existing goals, including the need to “significantly increase private support for merit scholarships.” She displayed a chart illustrating decreases in acceptance levels of several categories of merit scholarship offers.

Seventy-three percent of applicants offered Morehead-Cain Scholarships for the 2008-09 school year accepted, compared with 83 percent the previous year.

(Durham) Herald-Sun

Burke County Morganton

Bicyclists will converge on Morganton on Sunday as part of the Mountains to Coast bike ride.

The ride is to start Sunday in Black Mountain and end Oct. 4 in Oak Island, with riders expected to travel about 60 miles a day. Morganton is the first stop for the riders, say organizers.

The city is providing entertainment on the Old Burke County Courthouse square Sunday evening for the riders and the public. Walking Home, a local bluegrass band, will open for Cherryholmes, which takes the stage at 7 p.m.

Riders are from 48 states and six countries, including Canada, Germany, Spain and Mexico

Because the riders travel light, Gary Leonhardt, director of parks and recreation for the city, said it would be nice if some residents brought an extra lawn chair to lend to a rider for the show.

This is the 10th anniversary of the event, which covers 400 to 500 miles throughout the state, say organizers.

(Morganton) News Herald

Morganton residents must start taking their trash to the curb to help the city save on gas, city Manager Sally Sandy said.

City sanitation workers pick up trash in Cushman vehicles, which run on gas. Workers drive the Cushman down driveways and behind houses to pick up trash. City officials say cutting out those trips up and down driveways will help conserve gas.

“The same distributors that provide fuel to gas stations provide the fuel for city vehicles,” Sandy said. “If we can conserve fuel at the government level during the current shortage, then more fuel will be available for our citizens.”

If someone is elderly or disabled and can't take their trash to the curb, Sandy said the Chushman will still pick up their trash as normal.

Trash will be picked up on a normal schedule, but residents should have their garbage cans out to the curb by 7 a.m. starting Monday and running through Thursday, according to information from the city.

(Morganton) News Herald

Davidson County Lexington

School buses could soon be rocking to the Jonas Brothers, now that the Davidson County Board of Education has tentatively approved a new radio program aimed at young people.

BusRadio is a company based in Massachusetts that provides radio programming with age-appropriate music to more than 1 million listeners from the ages of 6 to 18, according to the company's Web site. Its music choices range from teen sensation Miley Cyrus to Coldplay.

The Davidson County Schools would be the first school system in North Carolina to try the program, which is in about 170 school districts in the United States.

The contract hasn't been signed and is being reviewed by the school board's attorney, David Inabinett, said Fred Mock, the school superintendent.

Jay Temple, the school system's transportation director, said that the new program would help ensure safety on school buses and reduce discipline problems among students.

“Music has a soothing effect on kids,” he said.

Winston-Salem Journal

Brunswick County Shalotte

The school board is asking a federal judge to dismiss a discrimination lawsuit an employee filed against them in August.

In court documents filed Thursday, the Brunswick County School Board said the lawsuit filed by Lorene Williams, dean at Shallotte Middle School, did not specify “actionable claims” of discrimination. The motion also stated she failed to file her charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within the allotted 180 days and that the charge filed with the EEOC was not done appropriately. Specifically, she did not mark the appropriate box.

The board's attorney, Kathleen Tanner of Raleigh-based Tharrington Smith, said in an e-mail that a ruling could come within six months.

The board also filed a motion asking the court to not allow depositions or other discovery until it rules on the motion to dismiss. Both parties consented to that motion, Tanner said.

Romallus Murphy, attorney for Williams, could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Williams, a 33-year veteran of the school system, said the school system discriminated against her by denying employment opportunities and contract rights because she is diabetic with complications, including neuropathy, hypertension, high levels of cholesterol and obesity.

(Myrtle Beach) Sun-News

Police digest

Cabarrus County Concord

Concord police have charged a 17-year-old with misdemeanor death by vehicle in connection with a wreck that killed a 75-year-old woman and injured her daughter.

Steven Louis Robbins of Concord will appear in Cabarrus County District Court on Oct. 29. He was charged Thursday.

At about 4 p.m. Wednesday, police say, Robbins ran a stop sign at Northlite Shopping Center in a 2008 Jeep and t-boned a 2003 Toyota driven by 54-year-old Pamela Moose Wadford. Wadford's mother, Martha Holsclaw Moose, 75, was a passenger. Both women were taken to Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast, where Moose died. Wadford has been released from the hospital, said police Maj. Wendell Rummage.

Robbins and his passenger, Jeffrey Allen Solomon, also 17 and of Concord, were not seriously hurt.

Greg Lacour

Gaston County Gastonia

Two men who tried to rob the Fort Financial Credit Union on North New Hope Road in Gastonia on Friday morning were arrested at around 2 p.m. Friday afternoon.

According to Gastonia police, the men tried to run into the building, but the security doors closed and shut them out.

The men left in a white vehicle. Police chased the vehicle, which wrecked in Belmont on Interstate 85, at Exit 26.

Included in the search were Gastonia police, Charlotte Mecklenburg County K-9 teams, Belmont police, the Gaston County Sheriff's Office and Gaston County police.

Joe DePriest
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