Montgomery Co. 4-H youth wins “Cecil & Leonard” humor award

A local youth has been honored by a Triangle broadcaster.

17-year-old Austin Morris of Montgomery Co. is interviewed on WRAL-TV, Raleigh, Aug. 28, 2014, after he won the "Cecil & Leonard" award. (WRAL image)

17-year-old Austin Morris of Montgomery Co. is interviewed on WRAL-TV, Raleigh, Aug. 28, 2014, after he won the “Cecil & Leonard” award. (WRAL image)

17-year-old Austin Morris was recently named winner of the “Cecil and Leonard Award”, presented by Capitol Broadcasting of Raleigh in memory of long-time WRAL farm reporter Ray Wilkinson.

Wilkinson created the fictional characters of Cecil and Leonard and often told humorous stories of their adventures. Now, the company sponsors a contest through North Carolina 4-H to carry on the legacy, awarding an annual prize through a 4-H talent competition.

Austin Morris said he was encouraged to compete by Montgomery County 4-H agent Chrissy Haynes. Haynes has worked with Morris as he has completed community service projects and developed his presentation and public speaking skills.

Morris was recently inducted in the 4-H Honor Club.

Click here to see the WRAL-TV interview.

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Town Creek to host event for Grandparents Day, Sep. 7

Town Creek Indian Mound is planning a special Grandparents Day event for this weekend.

This sign marks the entrance to Town Creek Indian Mound, a North Carolina State Historic Site just east of Mount Gilead. (Town Creek photo)

This sign marks the entrance to Town Creek Indian Mound, a North Carolina State Historic Site just east of Mount Gilead. (Town Creek photo)

To coincide with the annual observance of the day, the State Historic Site near Mount Gilead is inviting grandparents and grandchildren to spend the afternoon together at Town Creek. Planned activities include touring the reconstructed Native American village, strolling the quarter-mile trail, and making keepsake bracelets and clay creations to commemorate the day.

Picnickers are also welcome, and Town Creek staff will take family portraits in the village to be emailed later.

“This is an opportunity to share quality family time with grandparents in a fun and educational environment,” says Site Manager Rich Thompson. “We’re happy to provide a setting for the creation of fond family memories.”

Grandparents Day is observed on the Sunday after Labor Day. In the 1960s and 70s, a push to make it a national holiday failed in Washington, but President Jimmy Carter recognized the day with a proclamation in 1978.

This weekend’s event at Town Creek will be held during regular operating hours, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. More information is available at 910-439-6802, or online at http://www.towncreekindianmound.com.

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Accidents claim motorists, Highway Patrol urges caution

The North Carolina Highway Patrol is urging motorists to use extra caution on the roads this Labor Day holiday.

140114_Police_Lights_AbstractThe state law enforcement agency defines the holiday period as running from midnight at the start of the day Friday to midnight at the end of the day Monday, and several fatal accidents had already been reported across the state during the first half of the long weekend.

In neighboring Moore County, 51-year-old Ronald Oscar Hill Boren of Raeford was killed when his motorcycle collided with a car and pickup truck Friday afternoon on N.C. Hwy. 24/27 between the Montgomery County line and the intersection of N.C. Hwy. 705.

Also in Moore County, 23-year-old Richard Chad Camp of Vass died early Saturday morning when his SUV ran off the road and struck a pine tree on Furr Rd.

A couple from Moore County – John Burl Hudson, 57, and Fiona Frances Hudson, 55, of Southern Pines – were killed Friday when a freight train struck their car in the Wake County town of Morrisville.

Elsewhere in the state, Don Tilley, the 78-year-old owner of a Harley-Davidson dealership with locations in Statesville and Salisbury, died late Friday in a single-motorcycle wreck on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Buncombe County. Tilley’s wife, Robinette, was critically injured.

In a release provided before the holiday weekend, Highway Patrol Lt. Jeff Gordon said, “Speed is the number one factor in fatal collisions and we will be looking for aggressive drivers, drunk drivers, and other violators while patrolling throughout the state during the holiday week. We are committed to doing our part to reduce traffic collisions throughout our state but we need the motoring public to do their part by obeying all traffic laws while traveling to their holiday destination.”

Gordon said citizens may report crashes, drunk drivers, stranded motorists or other highway situations to the Highway Patrol by dialing *HP (*47) on their cellular telephones. This is a toll-free call that connects the caller with the nearest Highway Patrol communications center.

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First Bank to close Candor branch, nine others

First Bank has announced its intention to close the institution’s Candor, N.C. branch and nine other locations as part of a consolidation plan.

First Bank, formerly based in Troy, N.C., in 2013 moved its headquarters into this building on Southwest Broad St., Southern Pines, N.C. (Image © Google Maps)

First Bank, formerly based in Troy, N.C., in 2013 moved its headquarters into this building on Southwest Broad St., Southern Pines, N.C. (Image © Google Maps)

Chief retail banking officer Cathy Dudley said the changes are due to a shift in customer banking preferences and a need “to build stronger branch banking centers that will serve larger areas.”

In a media release, Dudley noted that First Bank has seen the industry-wide trend of more online and mobile banking usage, and fewer face-to-face transactions in its branches.

In Montgomery County, the Candor branch of First Bank will be closed, shifting its accounts to the new branch at Montgomery Crossing in Biscoe. Other area branches to be closed include Pinebluff, and one each in Asheboro, Rockingham and Thomasville.

Three other North Carolina branches will close in Candler, Maxton and Washington, along with one each in Cheraw, S.C., and Dublin, Va.

First Bank was founded as Bank of Montgomery in 1935. It has been about a year-and-a-half since First Bank announced it was moving its headquarters and about 40 jobs from Troy to Southern Pines.

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