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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

‘Fracking’ a future possibility in Stokes

(By Meghann Evans, The Stokes News) - Drilling and hydraulic fracturing, known commonly as “fracking,” is currently illegal in North Carolina. But a new study by the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources shows that it could be a possibility for Stokes and Rockingham counties in the near future if approved by the state.

The N.C. Geological Survey has stated that there is a reserve of natural gas underneath the Sanford Sub-Basin, which spans Lee, Chatham and Moore counties. But now scientists also believe it is located underneath the Dan River Basin in Rockingham and Stokes counties.

A draft report issued this month by DENR determines that hydraulic fracturing of shale gas can be done safely in North Carolina as long as the right protections are in place prior to the issuance of any permits for the practice.

‘News’ Or ‘Point Of View’? Anchor Tamron Hall Does Income Inequality Advocacy Promo For MSNBC

(By Alex Alvarez, Mediaite) - Chances are you’re at least somewhat familiar with MSNBC’s “Lean Forward” campaign, which features the network’s hosts and anchors offering up their take on the issues they’re most passionate about, be it Social Security or voting or how the GOP is like a group of children going after delicious blueberry pie. Tamron Hall, who hosts 'NewsNation' at 2 pm, devoted her ad to discussing how support for our nation’s troops shouldn’t be an issue divided by political affiliation, race, sexual orientation. Her newer ad, however, takes a look at income inequality — certainly a far more partisan, politically fraught issue than expressing support for our nation’s troops.

Bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs dies at age 88

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Associated Press) – Bluegrass legend and banjo pioneer Earl Scruggs, who helped profoundly change country music with Bill Monroe in the 1940s and later with guitarist Lester Flatt, has died. He was 88.

Scruggs' son Gary said his father died of natural causes Wednesday morning at a Nashville, Tenn., hospital.

Earl Scruggs was an innovator who pioneered the modern banjo sound. His use of three fingers rather than the clawhammer style elevated the banjo from a part of the rhythm section -- or a comedian's prop -- to a lead instrument.

GOP’s Richard Vinroot opposes NC marriage amendment

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (By Joe Borlik, WGHP) — A former GOP nominee for governor and mayor of Charlotte is one of the highest-profile Republicans opposing North Carolina’s proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions.

The Charlotte Observer reported that Richard Vinroot is speaking up after state House Speaker Thom Tillis predicted the amendment could be repealed within a generation because young people tend to support same-sex marriage rights.

Vinroot says he doesn’t see the point of changing the state Constitution for something the Republican House speaker thinks is tenuous.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Buckley Report: Effects of the Affordable Care Act

(By Bob Buckley, WGHP) - President Obama said the Affordable Care Act would provide health care for the more than 30 million people who weren’t getting it. But what if there’s no longer a doctor to care for those patients?

In the video above, hear from some doctors who say that may happen–all because of simple economics.

The doctors share their ideas on what can save America’s medical system in a future Buckley Report.

The nation’s medical schools said that, at the current graduation rate, the country will be short 150,000 doctors 15 years from now.

Mega Millions reaches record $476 million jackpot

ATLANTA (WGHP) — It’s almost unimaginable. No one picked the six correct numbers in the latest multi-state Mega Millions lottery game, sending the jackpot to a record $476 million for the Friday drawing.

Tuesday night’s jackpot was $363 million, fed by weeks of drawings without a top winner. The previous record jackpot in the Mega Millions game was $390 million in 2007, split by two winners in New Jersey and Georgia.

In Tuesday night’s game, 47 players came very close, matching 5 of the 6 winning numbers. Each of those tickets is worth at least $250,000.

Virginia man injured in gun accident gets new face

BALTIMORE (WGHP) — A 37-year-old Virginia man injured in a 1997 gun accident has received what University of Maryland physicians say is the most extensive face transplant ever performed.

University of Maryland Medical Center officials announced Tuesday that Richard Lee Norris of Hillsville is recovering well after last week’s surgery and is already brushing his teeth and shaving. The 36-hour procedure, which included teeth, tongue and upper and lower jaw, has given Norris his life back, Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez said.

Denise Franklin out as general manager for WFDD

(Winston-Salem Journal) - Denise Franklin, a familiar voice on Triad radio for many years, is no longer the general manager at WFDD 88.5-FM, Wake Forest University's public radio station.

On Monday evening, Franklin said, "There are a lot of talented professionals at WFDD, and I wish them the best. I can't comment beyond that."

Brett Eaton, the executive director of news and communications for Wake Forest, said, "I can confirm that she is no longer employed by the university." He said he could not comment on details of her departure.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Stokes County delays police department decision

(By Meghann Evans, The Stokes News) - The county commissioners decided Monday afternoon that they need more information before making a decision about the sheriff’s office providing law enforcement services in King.

It was the consensus of the board to move the item to the action agenda portion of the next regular Stokes County Board of Commissioners meeting, which will be held on March 26 at 6 p.m. in the county government center in Danbury.

King Mayor Jack Warren came before the board during the public comment period at the start of the meeting to request that the commissioners take action on the item that afternoon, but the commissioners were in favor of gathering more information and finding out what citizens had to say at the public comment session set for March 19 in King.

Sheetz opens in King on Thursday

(The Stokes News) - The new Sheetz convenience store and restaurant in King will open at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 15, and people are expected to line up hours ahead of time to be the first 50 in line to receive $100 Sheetz gift cards.

“Each new store we open is drawing larger and larger crowds, with many people arriving hours before the official opening to be part of the excitement,” said Stan Sheetz, company president and CEO, in a news release. “We can’t wait to serve our new friends in the King area as they become part of the Sheetz’ experience.”

Travis Sheetz, vice president of operations, will join local officials at the 10:45 a.m. ribbon-cutting at the new 5,941-square-foot store. The 703 East King Street location will be one of 10 new Sheetz stores opening in North Carolina this year and will feature a drive-through for Sheetz’ trademark fast service. During the King opening, customers can play games to win prizes and enjoy samples of Sheetz food and specialty beverages.

Portrait of former Sheriff Mike Joyce unveiled at courthouse

(The Stokes News) - Local government officials and coworkers of former Stokes County Sheriff Mike Joyce paid tribute to Joyce with speeches as his portrait was unveiled in the courthouse on Saturday, March 10.

Joyce, who had retired in Dec. 2010, passed away in Dec. 2011 after a long battle with leukemia.

The speakers were, from left to right (to photo): former chief deputy Durward Bennett, County Commissioner Ernest Lankford, County Commissioner Leon Inman, former sheriff’s office secretary Mable Booth, portrait framer Arzelle Montgomery, Sheriff Mike Marshall, former deputy Larry Barnes, former county commissioner Buster Robertson, former chief deputy James Joyce and Republican Executive Committee Chair Virginia Smith.

Vets angry over American flag featuring Obama

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. (WFTV) — Tempers are flaring over a version of the American flag flying in Lake County. A veterans group says the flag is an outrage.

The flag, which features a picture of President Obama, was taken down Tuesday afternoon.

Korean war veteran Don Van Beck said his blood was boiling.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chris Matthews Likens Mitt Romney to ‘Indian’ or ‘Third World’ Computer Techs, Says GOP Is ‘Outsourcing’ Election ‘To a Mormon’

(By Tiffany Gabbay, The Blaze) - Addressing a poll that revealed a number of Americans in the primary states of Alabama and Mississippi believe President Obama to be a Muslim, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews took the findings as an opportunity to disparage Mitt Romney. For Matthews, Romney is like an Indian (“or somewhere in the Third World”) computer scientist fixing your computer: “you don’t care who is fixing it, just fix the damn computer!”

When asked by host Ed Schultz whether he thought the region was “going to be rough terrain” for Romney, Matthews argued that Americans are “willing to outsource it [the election] to a Mormon.”

Caught on Camera: Free-Range Cow Rams Woman on Bike!

(By Liz Klimas, The Blaze) - These days there’s often a lot of talk of the benefits of free-range farm animals. But for one Fresno, Calif., woman, the more animal-friendly rearing technique could have turned deadly. A free-range cow charged her while she was cycling, causing her to fly 30 feet down a hill off her bike.

The local ABC affiliate (KFSN) reports that Melanie Spigelmyre was left “battered and bruised, but okay” after the bovine slammed into her over the weekend. Spigelmyre was training for a cross-country bike race and the team photographer happened to catch the action.

Stokes Co. Commissioners learn costs of proposed King Police takeover

STOKES COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) - Stokes County Commissioners now have a rough idea of how much it would cost to have deputies take over law enforcement duties from the King Police Department.

County Manger Rick Morris presented commissioners with the proposal on Monday. The proposal had been worked on by both Morris and Sheriff Mike Marshall.

It would cost the county $1.6 million to take over King’s law enforcement duties for the first year, according to the proposal. The King Police Department’s annual budget is $1.5 million.

Commissioners decided to table the issue at Monday’s meeting so they could discuss it more.

King City Council will hold a public hearing on the issue at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the King Elementary School gymnasium.

Reynolds American to reduce workforce by 10 percent - biggest cuts will be in Forsyth County

(By Richard Craver, Winston-Salem Journal) - Reynolds American Inc. said today that it will reduce its U.S. workforce by 10 percent by the end of 2014, with most of the cuts coming in Forsyth County.

The job reduction affects Reynolds American, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and RAI Services Co.

According to an annual company filing, Reynolds reported it had about 5,400 employees in the United States, which signifies the loss of about 540 jobs.

The company has about 2,500 local employees. The last available production workforce count from Reynolds was about 1,400.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Kirsten Powers: Critics of Rush Limbaugh Continue to Ignore Bill Maher, Matt Taibbi Misogyny

If Democrats are so outraged by misogyny in the media, why is President Obama’s super PAC taking Bill Maher’s $1 million? And why is David Axelrod reportedly going on ‘Real Time’?

(By Kirsten Powers, The Daily Beast) - The truth hurts.

Members of the professional left reacted with outrage to my column this week calling them out for their fake war against media misogyny. Instead of addressing the encyclopedia of left-wing misogyny I raised, many liberals chose instead to start a ferocious battle with all manner of straw men.

“It’s not true that liberals never call out people for misogyny!” is the refrain. Of course it’s not true, and I never said it was. Many of the professional left seem incapable of distinguishing between a few blog posts and comments condemning left-wing misogyny and a full-scale war to remove someone from their job. This really shouldn’t be so hard to grasp: If you hate misogyny and sexism in the media, then react to the consistent and repeated misogyny of men on the left with the same fervor that you have reacted to Rush Limbaugh’s sickening outbursts.

ABC News: Obama’s inconvenient truth

(The Right Scoop) - Jake Tapper reports on Obama’s new documentary and how it only works if you ignore Obama’s dismal record:

Kony 2012: Joseph Kony Video Goes Viral, Has 50 Million Views

(By Deborah Netburn, LA Times) - Forget Justin Bieber and Rihanna: This week the teenage crowd is obsessed with Joseph Kony, an African warlord responsible for vile acts against children in Uganda and surrounding countries.

That's a shift.

The reason? Kony 2012 -- a video produced by Invisible Children, a small San Diego-based nonprofit, that suggests that thanks to the power of social media, people right here in America (and around the world) have the power to stop Joseph Kony -- if only they are willing to spread the word through Facebook and Twitter.

Whether Invisible Children will be able to bring down Joseph Kony is up for debate, but there's no question that the group has been successful at getting the word out. As of Thursday, the video had been viewed 37 million times on YouTube, and 13 million times on Vimeo.

NC waiter fired for posting photo of Peyton Manning’s tip

RALEIGH, N.C. (By Scott Gustin, WGHP) — A waiter at a steakhouse in Raleigh was fired after he posted a receipt that showed Peyton Manning left a $200 tip at a restaurant near Duke University.

The receipt from the Angus Barn in Raleigh shows Manning left a $200 tip for a $739.58 tab that included 18% gratuity. The receipt was dated March 2nd.

Earlier that day Manning was filmed throwing on campus at Duke University.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Barney Frank’s Words Stricken from Congressional Record Over Personal Attack on Fellow Congressman

(By Mytheos Holt, The Blaze) - Congressman Barney Frank went too far today. While railing against Republicans for allegedly stealing credit for several bills from Democrats, Frank specifically singled out several Republicans for personal criticism.

“Madame Speaker, I yield myself 30 seconds to say I have never seen truth stood on its head more rapidly than by my colleague from Texas. He accused us of being too concerned about credit, and said ‘I and my friends,‘ well I’m proud to say that the Republican member from Arizona, Mr. [David] Schweikert, is someone I consider a friend, and that’s one of the people from whom the credit was stolen. This notion that ‘who cares about the credit,’ if that were honestly what the Republican leadership believed, why did they take the credit from Mr. Schweikert and Mr. [Jim] Himes, and give it to Mr. [Ben] Quayle?” Frank shrieked. “It is they who engage in this credit grabbing!”

‘Everything’s Cool’: Rush Limbaugh Says Media Reports About His Advertisers Are Misleading

(By Becket Adams, The Blaze) - In the wake of the “kerfuffle” over Rush Limbaugh mocking 30-year old Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, news outlets including the Huffington Post, Politico, and the Associated Press have breathlessly reported that a growing number of businesses have abandoned the three-hour radio program — despite a written and on-air apology from its host.

Some critics, Limbaugh included, believe that the purpose of these reports is to convince audiences that Limbaugh has done irreparable financial damage to his brand and that his show won’t last much longer.

“People are reporting things that, A, are not true, and B, I don‘t even think the people reporting it have the slightest idea what they’re talking about, nor do they have the ability to understand it,” Limbaugh said during his show on Wednesday. “No, we have not lost 28 sponsors.”

Is SEIU Using Unionization to Extort Medicaid Money From Home Caregivers?

(By Mytheos Holt, The Blaze) - Michigan’s elderly citizens have a problem — their Medicare money may be funding unions rather than their own care. Breitbart.com reports that following a scheme by the SEIU to unionize home care givers for elderly people and disabled children, the SEIU has been pilfering millions of dollars from Michigan’s coffers in mandatory dues — dollars that could have gone toward higher wages for caregivers, or better care being offered. Watch a video courtesy of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy explaining the problem here:

Dashcam Captures Ohio Wrong-Way Driver Seconds Before He Kills 3 Sorority Sisters

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A wrong-way interstate driver slammed into a car full of sorority sisters on spring break about one minute after an Ohio trooper received a report about the errant driver, according to dashboard camera video released Wednesday by the State Highway Patrol.

The footage shows the wrong-way driver seconds before the crash that killed the driver and three of the Bowling Green University students on Interstate 75 south of Toledo. The early morning crash on Friday also left two other students in critical condition.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Teacher Behind ‘Food Police’ Incident in N.C. Suspended Indefinitely

(By Jonathon M. Seidl, The Blaze) - The Raeford, N.C. teacher behind at least one incident where a four-year-old’s lunch was replaced for not being healthy enough has been suspended indefinitely, according to a letter sent home to parents.

Last month, The Blaze reported on the initial incident and also a separate incident brought to our attention by a second mother. Both lunches included meat-and-cheese sandwiches and apple juice. They were replaced with school meals involving chicken nuggets.

Stokes County Officer resigns, another suspended

(The Stokes News) - Two employees of the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office were charged last month in separate incidents that are said to have occurred while the officers were off duty. One employee has resigned; the other has been suspended.

According to Sheriff Mike Marshall, Sgt. David Shearin resigned on Feb. 6 after being charged with misdemeanor shoplifting in Forsyth County the Saturday prior. Marshall said Shearin turned in a letter of resignation the Monday morning following the incident.

A little over a week ago, part-time officer Chad Poteat was charged in Surry County with communicating threats and damage to property, Marshall said. The sheriff’s office has suspended him pending the outcome of the trial. As a part-time officer, Poteat worked according to demand.

Marshall said of the incidents: “Our office took appropriate action as soon as it happened … We hold everybody accountable for their actions. No one is above the law.”

King Council cancels police car orders, sets public comment session

(By Meghann Evans, The Stokes News) - “It’s going to be alright.” That is the message Mayor Jack Warren wanted the crowd to leave with from the King City Council meeting, which included discussion about controversial police department topics.

The comment came near the end of the council’s regular meeting on Monday night, after the council set a tentative date for a public comment session about the police department and voted to cancel a purchase order for two police cars.

The mayor said he had requested discussion be included on the agenda about setting a date to hold a public comment session about the possibility of the city contracting with the county to provide law enforcement services. At last month’s meeting the council voted to begin discussions with the county about the possibility.

Stokes County historian Bob Carroll passes away at 104

(By Leslie Bray, The Stokes News) - A treasured part of Stokes County history has been lost. Longtime historian of the county, Robert “Bob” Carroll, passed from this life on Tuesday afternoon, March 6, just a little over a month after he celebrated his 104th birthday. The cause of death is listed as complications of pneumonia.

Residents of Stokes came to know Carroll as a living encyclopedia of “who was kin to whom” in these parts. He authored a book on the subjects of local genealogy and history. For 27 years, he penned a popular column for the Danbury Reporter entitled “Old, Odd and Other Things.”

“As a historian he dedicated his life to preserving Stokes County history and taught us all that in discovering our roots we find ourselves,” said Emmy-winning FOX 8 WGHP news reporter/anchor, Chad Tucker.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Wild Video: Tucson Occupiers Brawl, Target Cameraman as One Attacks a Woman

(By Jonathon M. Seidl, The Blaze) - This certainly won’t help the argument that the Occupy movement is united and non-violent.

Local news station KVOA-TV was at the protesters’ camp Thursday with a camera rolling when the group started fighting. The focus seemed to be on calming down one man who was sounding off on the others and accusing them of not sleeping at the camp. And during the altercation, at least one man started targeting the cameraman.

But that wasn’t the end. Near the end of the video taken by the photojournalist, a woman can be seen stepping in to calm things down. That’s when the wild man turns his anger on her, shoving her to the ground in an aggressive manner.

Bomb Squad Descends on Rush Limbaugh’s Home After Mysterious Package Arrives From Fan

PALM BEACH, Fla. (The Blaze/AP) — Authorities say a suspicious package sent to Rush Limbaugh’s South Florida home was not dangerous or hazardous.

Instead, police say the item investigated Thursday turned out to be an electronic plaque sent by a listener of the radio talk show host’s program as a “business opportunity” for him. It concerned the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth.

A Palm Beach police spokesman said during a news conference the package was delivered late Thursday afternoon. When it was screened by an X-ray device, staff members saw what appeared to be wires and called police. The Palm Beach Post reports that a sheriff’s office bomb squad went to the home to investigate the package.

DC Transit Authority Refuses to Pull ‘Go to Hell Barack’ Metro Ad, Says it‘s ’Protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution’

(By Tiffany Gabbay, The Blaze) - In a move its creator says was “designed to express the magnitude of anger over our move toward socialized medicine,” Independent filmmaker Logan Darrow Clements is standing by his decision to use the phrase, “Go to hell Barack” in a DC Metro advertisement for his movie Sick & Sicker. Not only that, but the DC-area transit agency is standing by the ad as well.

“I’m extremely upset the government is going to take over health care. I’m not mildly upset. I’m extremely upset,” Clements said.

An advertisement for Clements’ movie in the Clarendon Metro station states: “Barack Obama wants politicians and bureaucrats to control America’s entire medical system.”

It adds: “Go to hell Barack.”

Teacher quits, leaves family, moves in with teen student

MODESTO, Calif. (By Joe Borlik, WGHP) — A California teacher quit his job, left his wife and kids, and moved in with an 18-year-old student less than half his age, saying he knows “she’s the one.”

The relationship between James Hooker, 41, and high school senior Jordan Powers shocked loved ones and community members, and prompted police to launch an investigation into whether there was inappropriate contact between the two before Powers turned 18 last September.

In the meantime, the teenager’s mother has waged a campaign on her Facebook page and in the media to publicly shame the man she called “an arrogant pervert.”

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart is dead at 43

(FoxNews.com) - Widely read conservative Internet publisher Andrew Breitbart, whose flare for battle with politicians and the mainstream media earned him a reputation as one of the nation's most influential commentators, died Thursday.

The websites he founded ran a statement Thursday morning announcing that Breitbart, 43, died "unexpectedly from natural causes" in Los Angeles shortly after midnight. His attorney and editor-in-chief of those sites confirmed his death to Fox News.

"We have lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a dear friend, a patriot and a happy warrior," the statement said. "Andrew lived boldly, so that we more timid souls would dare to live freely and fully, and fight for the fragile liberty he showed us how to love."