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Governor visits local day care
  • Updated

HIGH POINT — Gov. Roy Cooper came to High Point on Thursday to spotlight a program providing grants to help make pre-kindergarten care more affordable and help retain pre-K teachers.

Taking part in a game of hot potato and an interactive reading of “The Three Little Pigs” was a bonus.

Cooper and several local elected officials toured Kid Appeal Learning Center on Greensboro Road, and Cooper joined children in two indoor classes and one outdoors as television camera operators jockeyed for position to film it.

During the reading of “The Three Little Pigs,” the teacher let him hold a card showing the wolf because Cooper raised his hand without screaming, “ME!” as the children had been told they should. He also correctly recited the wolf’s words threatening to blow down the house made of twigs.

Speaking to the media later outside the building, Kid Appeal co-owner Bruce Davis said the Child Care Stabilization Grants that Cooper came to tout kept Kid Appeal afloat during the worst of the pandemic.

“We knew that without help we would struggle to survive,” he said. “The Child Care Stabilization Grants have been a blessing as they have allowed us the opportunity to keep staff working, when under normal circumstances we would cut hours and send teachers home.”

Instead Kid Appeal has been able to give pay increases and bonuses regardless of the number of children in attendance, he said.

The $800 million for the grant program came from the American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill passed in early 2021 to speed the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. More than $655 million has been distributed to more than 4,200 child care facilities across the state.

Cooper said the program has helped not only the child care centers but businesses throughout the communities they serve.

“These child care investments are providing parents with the support they need to get back into or stay in the workforce while ensuring children get the early childhood education they need to succeed,” he said.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Manning, D-6th, said the grants have helped support 2,000 child care jobs in Guilford County.

Cooper said he is committed to continuing the program through at least the end of 2023, and he said he will seek more funding from the federal government as well as the N.C. General Assembly.

NY man wins lottery prize in High Point
  • Updated

HIGH POINT — A man from New York state won a $10 million N.C. Education Lottery prize with a ticket bought at a High Point convenience store.

Ryan Patrick of Oswego, New York, bought the $30 Colossal Cash scratch-off ticket at the Pick-N-Go on Eastchester Drive. The ticket awarded him the game’s top prize of $10 million.

When Patrick arrived at lottery headquarters Tuesday, he had the option of collecting the prize as an annuity of $500,000 a year over 20 years or taking a lump sum of $6 million. He chose the lump sum and, after state and federal tax withholdings, took home $4,260,609.

Because Patrick’s was the last $10 million top prize in the Colossal Cash game, the lottery has ended the game.

Council tours City Lake construction
  • Updated

HIGH POINT — The City Council spent some time Thursday getting a look at construction progress on the City Lake Park renovations.

The council held a strategic planning retreat in the building that previously housed the park’s gymnasium and has now been completely reconstructed into a meeting center with offices.

Parks and Recreation Director Lee Tillery led council members on a tour of the facility and the adjoining pool area, which also is undergoing major renovations.

“City Lake Park was built in 1935. It’s one of the oldest parks in North Carolina,” Tillery said. “It’s the most used park in the system, and it’s going to get more regional use with this renovation.”

The meeting center has a large room that can accommodate about 130 people. One of the walls in the building is devoted to the history of the park, with vintage photos and descriptions of its development over the years.

Tillery said the city hopes to start operations in the building in early 2023. It does not yet have a permanent power connection because contractors are contending with supply-chain delays in obtaining the needed electrical equipment.

The bottom floor includes renovated locker rooms and concession areas, as well as additional restroom facilities.

A new parking lot in front of the building adds 75 spaces where the lawn and stage area were, and they have been shifted slightly west.

The pool, at one time billed as the largest in the Southeast, is being transformed into two sections, with a 50-meter pool on the north side and a lazy river and other play features with a zero-barrier entrance on the south side.

A new splash pad has replaced a portion of what was the shallow end of the pool closest to the old gym.

The renovations also revamped the pool’s outdated mechanical systems and other infrastructure.

The park’s water slide is also being renovated and a new dual-racer water slide is being installed.

Tillery said the renovations to the pool area have been designed with offerings that appeal to everyone, from young children to seniors.

The pool will open Memorial Day weekend of 2023.

Other aspects of the park renovations include a new pedestrian bridge across Koonce City Lake. Tillery said current estimates are that it will open by late November.

The total budget for the park renovations is $24.5 million.

The retreat served as a strategic planning session for the council, which devised five long-term goals: continuing blight reduction, enhancing High Point’s culture for art and design, increasing the quality and quantity of housing, evolving the city’s role in the downtown catalyst project to provide parking and perhaps other features, and looking ahead to “catalyst project 2.0,” which is possibly a small-scale manufacturing hub in a former hosiery plant the city is buying in southwest High Point.

The retreat concludes today, with the council slated to discuss strategies for implementing these goals.

County goes green for veterans
  • Updated

GUILFORD COUNTY — The members of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners purposefully wore green attire at their meeting Thursday night for a worthy cause.

The commissioners and Guilford County government will take part Nov. 7-13 in Operation Green Light, a national campaign to recognize military veterans during the week of Veterans Day.

“We are all wearing our green for our veterans tonight,” board Chairman Skip Alston said.

Guilford County courthouses and other county buildings will be illuminated in green and display green lights for Operation Green Light through Nov. 13. Veterans Day is Nov. 11.

Businesses and homeowners can join the campaign by illuminating their buildings or residences in green or by changing one light bulb to a green bulb.

There are more than 29,000 military veterans in Guilford County and more than 600,000 veterans live in North Carolina.

The Guilford County Veterans Service Office offers resources for veterans and their families and is part of a nationwide network of programs at the county, state and federal level designated to assist veterans and their families. The county has a veterans office in High Point and the phone number is 336-641-3434.

The National Association of Counties is encouraging 3,069 counties, parishes and boroughs across the United States to join Operation Green Light. The campaign was announced and launched earlier this year during the National Association of Counties annual conference.

At their meeting, the commissioners not only wore green but each had a green light bulb at their places on the dais in the boardroom of the Old Guilford County Courthouse in downtown Greensboro. Veterans who were at the meeting were asked to stand and received a round of applause.


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