Jeff L. Thigpen Register of Deeds

Friday, March 30, 2007

Best Wishes to Martin Lancaster

Martin Lancaster, President of the NC Community College System, will be retiring after a career of distinguished service in North Carolina.

I served as an intern and staff assistant to Martin in Washington DC in 1992. I had a great experience and learned a great deal about politics and public policy. Martin was very accessible and appreciated his public integrity. I ran into Martin a few years ago in Savannah at a conference and we had a great lunch and even went for a run in a historic setting.

Good Luck and Best wishes Martin! Here's a piece from the News and Observer.

The Strategic Alliance: Guilford County Strategic Planning Initiative

The Strategic Plan Process Committee, chaired by Sharisse Fuller, previewed their research and offered suggestions for the Board of Commissioners to consider during the special meeting on March 29th. The concept of developing the County’s initial comprehensive strategic plan was discussed by the Board of Commissioners during their annual planning retreat on January 5, 2007.

Members of the study committee, representing 12 departments and a cross-section of County functions, were charged to propose a process that incorporates best practices that would best serve Guilford County. Already, the group has reviewed strategic planning efforts completed by both cities and counties within North Carolina and across the United States. The Committee recommended that a multi-component business plan be created that will take 14 to 16 months to fully develop and implement. A time line was presented that divides the work into four phases: Assessment, Goal Setting, Plan Development and Managing for Results.

Since the Assessment requires maximum community involvement, the Committee encouraged the Board to offer forums in their respective districts as well as community surveys to gather input from the general public and key stakeholders. A stakeholder survey that will identify various stakeholder groups and yield a data base has been distributed to County departments for completion. Opinions and feedback from the surveys and forums can be used to formulate the vision for the County. Tentative dates for the forums are May 8, May 15, and May 22 with all sessions scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

More information will give provided on the forums as we move closer to the dates!

Dellinger for Durham DA

(From NCSPIN) It is widely speculated that Mike Nifong, Durham’s embattled District Attorney who is charged with misconduct by the State Bar, will not survive and will resign as part of a negotiated settlement. We have heard that Hampton Dellinger, former legal counsel to Governor Easley and announced candidate for Lieutenant Governor, is being frequently mentioned as a replacement when Nifong resigns.

Would this mean he wouldn’t run for Lt. Governor?


NC School Bond Bill Information

Bill: HB1203

Sponsors: Yongue (D46); Holliman (D81); Johnson (R83); Carney (D102)


Status: 03/28/2007 – Filed in the House

Comments: The county-by-county allocations in this bill are substantially similar to S1144 (Hoyle) but include one notable distinction. Like S1144, the bill divides the $2 billion into three pots – 50 percent is divvied up by ADM, 25 percent to counties experiencing ADM growth over the last five years, and 25 percent to “low wealth” counties. Unlike S1144, this bill requires counties to match their proceeds designated in the distributions based on ADM or High Growth. Counties who receive a distribution from the low-wealth pot do not have to match the proceeds they receive from that pot, but they do have to match the proceeds from the other two pots. The formula used to determine the county match is 3 cents times the county's ability-to-pay rank for every $1 of allocated bond proceeds. The "county's ability-to-pay rank is its rank in the ranking of counties from lowest to highest county wealth as a percentage of State average wealth made by the State Board of Education for the 2006-2007 fiscal year pursuant to Section 7.6 of S.L. 2005-276."

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Carolina Mama makes Wilmington Star News!

Memories of Jordan from 1982
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Geraldine Thigpen | ‘Carolina Mama’
My cousin worked at GE with James Jordan (Michael's dad). My brother, Julian Lewis, who lived in Kansas, gave us four tickets to the Final Four in New Orleans for Christmas in 1981. Of course, we didn't even know that Carolina was going to be playing at that time. I took my two sons. It was our first time on an airplane, so that was exciting.

We stayed with friends in New Orleans. It was unbelievable, a dream come true for us just to go. I always wanted to go to just an ACC game, then to go to the Final Four, when you're there the atmosphere is so strong.

At the end, I knew we had to win this game. I said, 'They've got to give it to Michael Jordan, he's going to do it for us.' When he did, that place exploded. Then what stands out is Fred Brown made the pass to James Worthy. It was exciting. I look at it today and I was a part of that history.

I've always liked Michael Jordan - he was a fine young man. James invited me to their house on Gordon Road. And Michael gave me an autographed picture of him and James Worthy. I have a picture of that last shot. These are memories that we've collected.

Dean Smith | UNC coach at the time
Usually I don't take a timeout; with so much practice, we should know what we are going to do. I'm very slow to take a timeout late in the game. But (assistant coach) Eddie Fogler said, 'We may need a timeout. Jimmy doesn't know what we're running,' which he did. At the timeout, ... I said, 'I know they'll stay in a zone defense because I know coach (John) Thompson just loves James Worthy and Sam Perkins, so stay with our 2-game,' which is usually we have one post guy high, he goes low and we have another one come in behind him and usually we'd get that.

But I knew coach Thompson knew that too, because he was with us when we used to run that in the '76 Olympics. We thought they might jam. We were certainly looking for Worthy first and then Sam. And then I said if that's not open, it's bound to be open for Michael on the wing. I patted him on the tail and said, 'Knock it in.'

Jimmy (Black) took his time. I thought I made clear - get a good shot in 10 seconds, it wasn't quite as quick as I wanted. There was no rush.

I think he really did get some confidence from (making the game-winner), who wouldn't? He was confident and got better and better.

As much as has been said about Michael making the shot, it was his defense on the next play. We were in our scramble defense and if you look at the tape, Fred Brown starts to throw to the corner to Sleepy Floyd but Michael stepped into the passing lane and Brown knew that he would have to lob the ball to get it to the corner. He turned and threw the ball to James. Michael was graded our defensive winner in that game - we probably should have been publicizing that.

Woody Durham | Voice of the Tar Heels
They came across the time line with 30 seconds, thought the players looked a little unsettled and Eddie Fogler said call timeout. (UNC coach) Roy (Williams) was asked about it last week. He even said when they came over he saw the look in their face, which worried him. He thought for the first time that Carolina might lose; they didn't look confident. Coach Smith was marvelous in the way he calmed them down. 'We are right where we want to be,' he said. 'We're going to determine the outcome of the game.' Roy had to turn his back to the huddle and look at the scoreboard and make sure it said 62-61. When the players left the huddle, Roy said then he thought that they were going to win. That's just the kind of confidence coach Smith gave his players.

Coach Smith knew (John Thompson) wasn't going to let Perkins or Worthy beat him. He was going to have some defense that wouldn't let that happen. He knew Michael was going to take the shot, slapped him on the rump. My problem in broadcasting the game came when Michael made the shot. I expected John Thompson to call the timeout. We were seated more to the Georgetown end of the floor, closer to their bench on the second row of the press seating.

I'm trying to get my thoughts together as to, 'What the hell am I gonna do if they make the last shot and Carolina loses again?' I'm trying to sort that out mentally and on the court not more than 30 feet away from us Fred Brown threw the ball to James Worthy. ... I look down to my left and Coach Smith is trying to settle everybody down on the bench. He realized that there is still going to be time left. Of course, James missed the free throws and Sleepy Floyd took a desperation shot at the end and Sam caught the ball and the celebration began. I was so relieved.

Rich Chvotkin | Voice of the Hoyas
The first thing I remember about the shot, it was after Georgetown went up and North Carolina brought the ball down. I remember there was 32 seconds left on the clock, vividly. And I said we're going to have to put on our best defensive effort, and we went into a 1-3-1 zone.

I saw them rotate the ball around to the side where Jordan was, and I was literally a hand away from touching that ball. It was just the perfect rotation against the zone, Jordan had a clean look and hit it. That's basically what happened.

In that ball game you had Ewing, you had Worthy, you had Perkins, but I don't think anybody thought at that time that shot would lead Michael Jordan to be the great NBA player he was, maybe the greatest of all time.

He didn't have a dominating game. He played a very good ballgame, but that shot obviously made history for Carolina and for Michael Jordan.

I think (Fred Brown's pass) was just an unfortunate thing, and I always asked the question: What was James Worthy doing out on the perimeter? And what they said was North Carolina was in some kind of scramble, and obviously Worthy was so far out of place. If you look out on the floor, why was there a 6-9 guy out on the wing? It was one of those things where Freddy looked and thought it was a Georgetown player, because what's a Carolina player doing there?

Fred Lynch | Laney basketball coach
I remember watching the game. The end was great; the whole game was exciting. We were all excited that he was there. It surprised me that he was the one that took the shot at the end of the game. I guess coach Smith knew something that we didn't know.

Everybody at Laney was talking about it the next day, just like everybody was all over North Carolina. It was such a big deal for us because he was one of ours. I was already a Carolina fan, but a lot of people became Carolina fans when Michael decided to go there.

I didn't see any difference in his game after that. He just kept doing what he had always done, throughout high school. I'm sure it was great for his confidence, but to me he was the same player. Once you make a shot that monumental, I guess the rest are no big deal.

John Thompson | Georgetown coach

He made it. That's what ... I recall. He made the ... shot. Well, I just think it was indicative of competition. Michael hit the shot, and I like Michael an awful lot now as a person and am proud of what he's accomplished.

I kid him every now and then that he wouldn't have been so open if we weren't so afraid of James inside. There might not have been any finals that had any more accumulation of stars than who were in that game. And the game was indicative of that because it was a helluva ballgame.

Billy Packer | Color analyst for the game
I think of that game more about James Worthy and Patrick Ewing than I do Michael Jordan. What probably comes to my mind is about a year before that he'd broken the (scoring) record for the McDonald's All-American game but didn't get the MVP. His mom was all upset about that, and I calmed her down after the game that night and said, 'He's going to North Carolina, he's playing for a good coach. He'll do all right. Don't worry about him; it's not going to be the end of his career.'

So that night he hit the shot, and I see his mom and dad on the streets in New Orleans, and I was kidding her about it - I've often kidded her about it over the years - and I said, 'I told you that (MVP) wasn't going to be the highlight of his career.'

... The one thing that is a connector is that he's one of the greatest competitors in any sport, and his career has shown that he wanted to take that shot. The guys that make those shots don't happen by accident. They want the shot and they know they're going to make the shot. That was the first time we saw that.

Remembering THE SHOT!

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Dean Smith, Michael Jordan, Roy Williams and Geraldine "Carolina Mama" Thigpen

It was ALMOST 25 years ago when I witnessed Michael Jordan launch that 16 footer that gave Coach Smith his 1st National Championship in 1982 at the Super Dome in New Orleans. My brother Michael (State Fan and middle child...his only defense) and I went to the game with my mom Geraldine and our Uncle Julian Lewis. (Rabid UNC fans!)

The Wilmington Star News is planning a 25 year piece that should come out in the next few days. Geraldine "Carolina Mama" Thigpen will be interviewed tomorrow morning for the piece by Neil Amato. My sister laughed when she told me "Yeah, the guy called and told me he'd just gotten off the phone with Michael Jordan and Dean Smith. I gave him mama's phone number".

With car plates UNC-MOM, tapes, pictures, and stories, Neil will have his hands full! Only those who know Carolina Mama understand her persona. She is a true southeastern NC legend.

I look forward to reading about Pender County's undisputed #1 Carolina Fan!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Taxes, Taxes....

Five counties in NC seek 1% local option tax on real estate transfers.

The Strategic Alliance: Building Tomorrow Today

Guilford County government is working on something that will be made public soon.

That phrase is kinda catchy, right?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bill filed for $2 Billion School Bond!

Sen. David Hoyle filed updated legislation earlier this week that would provide for a $2 billion school bond referendum. S1144 included county-by-county allocations. The $2 billion was divided into three pots – 50 percent is divvied up by ADM, 25 percent to counties experiencing ADM growth over the last five years, and 25 percent to “low wealth” counties. Each county is guaranteed at least $1 million. The distribution formula appears to be very similar to that which was pushed by the “Education: Everybody’s Business” Coalition during the winter. If the bond bill gets any traction, the allocation formula is likely to be changed during negotiations. For instance, seven counties are actually slated to receive significantly more money than what DPI has listed for their five-year facility needs.

County officials are being urged through the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners to examine the bill to see if the funds would be significant to their county and contact their legislators to make sure they understand county public school capital needs.

The legislation calls for the election to be held Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Meeting "Pistol Pete" Maravich...

I attended the Campbell College Basketball Camp in the mid 80's. I remember being in an old gym in Angier and being introduced to "Pistol Pete". I shoke is hand, said "hi", and didn't figure much about it. I didn't know much about him, but over the next hour I watched him do unbelievable ball tricks.

The highlight was when he bounced the basketball between his legs in one powerful motion that drove the ball about 30 feet in the air (missing his privates I might add!).

We were amazed. He also sank several half court shots before retiring from his session with us. Afterwords, I lost the free throw shooting contest. Oh well, got to met a legend.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Subprime Loans lead to increase in bankruptcy.

Foreclosures are increasing according to Mortgage Bankers Association study.

And, here come the FEDS.

A sub-prime lender is one who lends to borrowers who do not qualify for loans from mainstream lenders. Some are independent, but increasingly they are affiliates of mainstream lenders operating under different names. They charge higher interest rates the lower the credit score.

To Catch A Predator: Register their email addresses!

Today, Lt. Governor Bev Perdue, Senator Julia Boseman, Representative Bruce Goforth and Representative Karen Ray introduced legislation requiring convicted sex offenders to report their e-mail address and other instant messaging and online identifiers to the Sex Offender Registry.

“This is an important tool to protect our children and others from dangerous internet predators who want to do them harm,” said Lt. Governor Bev Perdue. “Child predators have turned to computers to help them commit these heinous acts, and we must do all we can to prevent these crimes from happening.”

Once the online identifiers are provided to the Sex Offender Registry, they will be provided to electronic mail services and other internet services in order to screen online users. Sex offenders would also be required to notify the local sheriff’s office if they make changes to their e-mail address or any other online identifiers. Failing to do so would be a felony offense.

The Sex Offender legislation would also include these other key provisions:

-Adds Felony Child Abuse to the list of Sex Offender Registry Offenses when:

- the crime involves prostitution of a juvenile by a parent or someone else providing care

- a sexual act upon a juvenile by a parent or legal guardian.

-A court could order a sex offender to forfeit professional, business, and privilege licenses for failing to register

-Creates a grant program for law enforcement agencies when they develop innovative programs to track and monitor sex offenders

-Allows for more efficient notification to a local sheriff’s department when a sex offender does not receive an active prison sentence

“These additional steps will help our law enforcement agencies stop sex offenders in their tracks and make it more difficult to prey upon our children,” added Perdue.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, incidents of child exploitation in North Carolina increased from 225 in 2005 to more than 400 in 2006.

Department Directors Great Leaders!

The Department Directors will also be participating in a Franklin Covey Leadership Training April 25-27 entitled, “Great Leaders, Great Teams, Great Results”. This exercise will be in line with the expressed goal of achieving our maximum potential. Here are some of the goals:

• Have a clearer understanding of how they lead their team to support the County’s customer service initiatives;
• Participate in an assessment of their skills and capabilities in order to develop a plan for continuous improvement;
• Learn how to better align to the County’s goals and strategies;
• Understand the essential components that drive their own leadership success, as well as, motivating their team members to higher performance and building on their talents.

Yeah, I know, I'm sure someone will say its a waste of money...etc..etc. But I look forward to this opportunity. Big thanks to County Manager David McNeill and HR Director Sharisse Fuller. Guilford County are in the infantal stages of a Strategic Planning process that I believe will lead to more efficient and cost effective services for Guilford citizens.

Tax and Planning and GIS are at Independence Center!

The big move is completed which will pave the way for the Guilford County Courthouse renovation project.

The transition to the Independence Center seems to be going well. The Independence Center is directly across from the Federal Courthouse downtown on Eugene and Market Streets.

Big congratulations to Francis Kinlaw, who was appointed the Tax Director last night at the Board of Commissioners meeting!

GUIL-TOID: Guilford Center deals with Substance Abuse Issues

The Guilford Center has been discussing a proposal with key public partners about implementing a community-wide system of care for substance abuse treatment.

This modified system would establish an on-going substance abuse academy to train staff within these public agencies about addiction, client engagement and induction strategies, and evidence based practices. A community team composed of public partners would be created following this training that would target its efforts to increase community awareness of science based perspectives of substance use disorders, to reduce stigma impeding service access for substance abusers, and to facilitate referrals to treatment. This community team project is being underwritten by the Duke Endowment through a grant to the North Carolina Evidence Based Practice Center in collaboration with the Greensboro AHEC and Duke University. Paul Nagy, Program Director of the Duke Additions Program, will be facilitating this initiative in partnership with the Guilford Center. Mr. Nagy is a national expert in substance abuse treatment. He and his colleagues at Duke have been providing the Guilford Center with training, consultation and technical assistance for over 7 years.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

"You Give a Brother A Chance....."

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He can take advantage of the opportunity.

Tony Womack is interviewed with Washington Nationals.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Dr. Seuss, Governor Easley and Principal Michelle Thigpen

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These pictures were taken today at Hampton Leadership Academy in Greensboro!

Robin Royal has a visit from Friends!!

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Our friend Robin Royal is seen in the middle. Crunched between David Smith and Debbie Johnson to the left and Marcelle Fowler and Robin's mother.

We brought Robin a gift basket and spend some time with her. Good Deeds Team will be selling baked goods and coffee for her on Monday from 7:30 to 9 am in the Guilford County Courthouse.

Spring Cleaning in Guilford County

Plans have been finalized for the 2007 Spring Cleanup at the Agriculture Center. The event is sponsored by Guilford County and the City of Greensboro, and will be held Friday, March 30th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Residents will be able to drop off tires, appliances, household hazardous waste, e-waste, and pesticide containers for disposal at no charge.

Public Health Department focusing on Customer Service and Public Access

The Public Health Department is in the preliminary stage of implementing a Capital Improvement Project at 1100 E. Wendover. The theme behind the project is to make access to care within the facility easier for the client and enhance the quality of services while reducing cost. The goals of this best practice project are to systematically enhance the quality of services while reducing cost by: quantifying the current level of performance and identifying process changes that will improve quality and customer service while lowering costs.

Greensboro/HP ranked #1

Gov. Mike Easley announced that North Carolina, for the second consecutive year, tops the Southeast in attracting new industrial plants and moved up two spots to rank No. 3 nationally in business growth, according to Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup ranking. The magazine’s tracking of new corporate plant locations, released in its March edition, ranked the Mooresville/Statesville area as the nation’s No. 1 rural region and Greensboro/High Point as the nation’s top region with a population of 200,000 to 1 million

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Please help our friend Robin Royal

Dear Friends,

The Good Deeds Team at the Guilford County Register of Deeds office has unanimously agreed to seek donations to support Robin Royal during the months of March and April 2007.

Robin is a Guilford County employee who recently took early retirement due to her most recent battle against cancer. She has been a long time employee that worked in the mailroom just across from the Land Records area. Robin has many friends in the Deeds office and she has been a dedicated employee to the County.

The Good Deeds Team will have a coffee and baked goods sale on Monday, March 5th from 7:30 am to 9 am at the two main entrances to the Guilford County Courthouse in Greenboro. If you would like to give a monetary donation to help Robin, please drop by our office in Greensboro or contact me at

GUIL-TOID! (Like Factoid)

According to the NC Association of County Commissioners (NCACC), lottery ticket sales for FY 2006-2007 could fall short of the $1.2 billion needed to fund the state’s $425 million lottery appropriation for education spending that includes $170 million for county school construction needs. It is predicted that lottery sales will only generate $1.0 billion leaving $140 million for school construction, unless other action is taken. The anticipated revenue amount drops from $10.6 million to $8.7 million, a $1.9 million reduction for Guilford County.

More great news going into a County Budget that's 9 cents in the hole before budget negotiations!