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by YES! Staff

Film school dean calls for increased incentives Jordan Kerner, dean of the School of Filmmaking at the UNC School of the Arts, called on the NC General Assembly to increase the state’s film incentive package from 15 percent to 25 or 30 percent, when it reconvenes in January. Kerner spoke at a Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce Tech Council forum on Nov. 12. Other states such as Louisiana, Connecticut and New Mexico currently offer film productions tax rebates of 25 to 40 percent, Kerner said, arguing that the net result is a loss of talented film school graduates from the Piedmont Triad. Ninety percent of School of the Arts film school graduates moved to Los Angeles last May because of a scarcity of film work in the area, Kerner said. Film industry advocates are proposing the construction of a 10 th sound stage at EUE/Screen Gems, two mediumsized stages in Asheville and a Park in the Piedmont film studio in the Triad, which would include eight sound stages. Warner Brothers, NBC/Universal, MGM and Lionsgate will soon be looking for places outside of Los Angeles to locate animation studios, and the Triad could be that place, Kerner said. “The primary intention is to bring a film like Batman here,” he said. — KB

Whither Huey: Blogger or politician EC Huey, who was defeated during his primary contest for Guilford County School Board at-large, has launched a new blog, Guilford School Watch (www. guilfordschoolwatch.blogspot.com). A former reporter, Huey so far has proved to be a more effective social critic than politician. He came in last among the five candidates on the ballot on May 6, garnering less than half the vote of another candidate eliminated in the first round — David Crawford. Huey writes in a Nov. 14 post that Sandra Alexander, the eventual victor of the at-large seat that he sought, “may make an interesting addition to this board.” As to Huey’s political future,

he’s playing coy, but he broached the subject himself. “Long-time board member Dr. Nancy Routh has already hinted at her retirement from the GCS board, creating a future open seat,” Huey wrote, adding that “it’s way to early to speculate” about his possible candidacy. — JG

Forsyth Commissioners accept JAG funds The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on Nov. 10 to accept $66,393 from the US Department of Justice to be evenly divided between the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and the Winston- Salem Police Department. The police department plans to use its share of funds from a justice assistance grant program to purchase a vehicle location system, which will enable the agency to monitor and track the movements of its patrol vehicles equipped with GPS. The department also plans to purchase Police-to-Citizen software, which will allows citizens to retrieve, enter and print police reports. The Forsyth County Sheriff’s office plans to purchase a high-density shelving unit, a fully automated fingerprinting system or “fuming chamber,” and other equipment with its share of the grant money. The procedure for allocating the funds is a formula based on population and crime statistics, according to the Department of Justice website. The program has already disbursed more than $4 million to law enforcement agencies in North Carolina this year, including a combined $106,354 to the Greensboro and High Point police departments, and the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office. — KB

Righting the good ship GOP More Republican recrimination has been emanating from Raleigh. Take this salvo from Americans for Legal Immigration PAC President William Gheen, who took aim at the business wing of his party. “Blue collar and middle class Republicans are advancing on the once proud captains of the GOP hoping to see Bush, McCain, and their most ardent supporters walk the political plank, in an effort to save the party from decades of fallout,” he wrote in an essay circulated by e-mail on Nov. 12. “Let’s face the truth. Bush, McCain, Senators Graham and Martinez have not only led the GOP to destruction, they have run the great ship called America upon the rocks, with their brand of ‘leadership’ in the US Senate and the White House.” It gets better: “The GOP lost any real chance of retaining the White House the day John McCain won the primary. Due to election dynamics, a Ted Kennedy-loving, amnesty-pushing, free trade-pushing, globalist, Democrat in Republican clothing named John McCain won. On election day, the resounding message and historical example became ‘You can’t screw over the conservative base and still win as President!’” — JG

Music programs and heating, among school concerns Guilford County Schools’ “Mo Wants to Know” campaign to gather input to improve the school system has elicited more than 4,000 suggestions, the district has announced. More than half came from employees, with the balance being submitted by parents, students and community members. The district reported that suggestion included setting more money aside for school music programs such as orchestra; allowing principals to stay at schools longer to build relationships with students and parents; and ensuring that all schools have quality heating and cooling systems, and equitable facilities. — JG

Chief of staff and chief admin officer appointed to Guilford schools Superintendent Mo Green has made two major administrative appointments, the district announced. Green named Nora K. Carr as chief of staff, and Eric J. Becoats as chief administrative officer. Becoats served as co-interim superintendent before Green was selected to fill the position. “I am delighted that Nora has chosen to join us at GCS,” Green said in a statement. “She is a masterful communications strategist. She is highly skilled in the art of moving organizations forward. Her presence here is vital to helping the district achieve its goal of becoming the nation’s leading public school system.” Of Becoats, Green said, “Eric has been an invaluable part of this district in the three years since he got here. I value his counsel, his good judgement and his encyclopedic knowledge of public education.” — JG

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