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Items from across the Triad and beyond

TEEN SUMMIT THIS SATURDAY

The City of Greensboro is hosting a summit to inform teens about programs and community events they can do over the summer. The Teen Summit will be held downtown on Saturday.

Councilwoman Sharon Hightower promoted the event at the end of the last City Council meeting and again at the end of the East Greensboro Study Committee meeting on Thursday afternoon.

“There’s going to be free food, it’s going to be fun and hopefully it will encourage kids to stay busy and out of trouble,” said Hightower.

Guilford County School students end the school year on June 19th this year. For a bored, unsupervised kid with working parents and nothing else to do, summer vacation can lead to problems.

The City Summit will have more than 15 local service providers there to advise and inform teens about different career paths and how they can get involved in their communities. Members of City Council will also be there to encourage teens to get participate in local government.

The Teen Summit will be held from 3-6pm on Saturday at the Greensboro Cultural Center on 200 N. Davie Street.

VAPOR EXPANSION BRINGS 200 NEW JOBS On Friday morning Governor Pat McCrory and Susan Cameron, president & CEO of Reynolds American, were at the RJ Reynolds Tobaccoville campus to inform the public about the company’s newest project and how it will help Forsyth County’s economy.

Cameron announced that the Tobaccoville campus will soon manufacture VUSE vapor cigarettes. VUSE vapor cigarettes are already sold in Colorado and Utah, and given the success in those markets, they will now be sold nationwide.

“This company could have went anywhere in the country with a new production facility, and they chose North Carolina,” Governor McCrory said. “And they made this decision with no incentives.”

According to Cameron, over 200 new jobs will be created at the Tobaccoville location for the production of VUSE vapor cigarettes. These jobs will be full-time. They will also be “around the $40,000/year range” and they will offer benefits. Hiring will begin soon, and it will continue over the next 2-4 years.

“We’ll set the standard for E-cigarettes,” Cameron said.

HYDROPOWER SETTLEMENT REVEALS $25M RETENTION FUND

Deliberations over a Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority hydropower lawsuit settlement caused City Council to review the current $25 million risk retention fund for the city of Greensboro. Council members expressed concern that residents might continue to sue the city even if the City approved the $1.2 million settlement.

“As long as there are lawyers on the face of the earth, we can’t do anything to protect ourselves,” said Tom Phillips, current Director of Piedmont Triad Water Authority

for the City of Greensboro.

Council asked Phillips, a 22-year veteran for the Water Authority, to share his thoughts on whether or not the settlement was fair. “I wouldn’t say it’s fair, but it’s reasonable,” said Phillips “It appears that a lot of dirty politics played out in this decision,” said Councilman Tony Wilkins. Wilkins then referred to reports that the judge in the case had ruled in favor of a company associated with Senator Kay Hagan’s husband after Senator Hagan had nominated the judge to a lifetime appointment.

“I could talk all night about the things that were wrong with that case,” said Phillips.

Despite the dirty politics the Water Authority had voted in agreement with the settlement almost unanimously.

Ultimately City Council decided that a settlement was in the best interest of the City and passed the item.

“If we vote against this then we are voting against our own interlocal government,” said Mayor Vaughan. “It’s not a great decision but it’s one that I feel we are bound to go with.”

Councilwoman Sharon Hightower then asked where the City would get the money for the settlement. Greensboro City Manager Jim Westmoreland explained that the City has a $25 million risk retention fund to cover liability claims. This was news to most of City Council, including Mayor Nancy Vaughan. Greensboro City Attorney Tom Carruthers said that the City of Greensboro puts about $2 million into the fund each year. !

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