Home sales in six Forsyth County residential markets included in U.S. Treasury-certified “opportunity zones” continue to produce mixed results, according to a third-quarter report released by Attom Data Solutions.
Opportunity zones, launched in May 2018, are economically-distressed census tracts qualified to receive private investments.
The program was created by Congress and is designed to connect those tracts with investors, offering tax credits and other incentives.
All but one of the 11 Forsyth tracts are in the central part of Winston-Salem. They account for more than 25,000 residents. They are among 47 in the Triad and 252 statewide.
The Forsyth tracts reviewed by Attom for the third quarter are:
Tract 1 in the central business district. The average sales price was $413,750, compared with $268,000 in the second quarter and $190,000 a year ago.
People are also reading…
Tract 3.02 in the Kimberly Park neighborhood. The average sales price was $71,000, compared with $81,000 in the second quarter and $75,000 a year ago.
Tract 14, which contains Whitaker Park, a 1.7-million-square-foot former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. plant. The average home sale price was $107,500, compared with $150,000 in the second quarter and a year ago.
The campus is part of a high-profile renovation project being undertaken by Whitaker Park Development Authority Inc. and Cavalier Winston Development, an affiliate of Frye Properties of Norfolk, Va.
Tract 16.02, Smith Reynolds Airport and neighborhoods south of the airport. The average home sale price was $62,500, compared with $50,000 in the second quarter. There was no sales during the third quarter of 2022.
Tract 17, which contains Lakeside Villas multifamily housing development. The average home sale price when the opportunity zone program began was $143,000. It has since fluctuated from a low of $55,000 in the third quarter of 2020 to $214,000 in the third quarter of 2022. It was $167,000 in the second quarter and $210,000 a year ago.
Tract 33.13, which contains Horneytown Road. The average home sale price was $235,000, compared with $277,500 in the second quarter and $296,500 a year ago.
Not reviewed for the third quarter were: Tract 2 in the central business district; Tract 3.01 in the Boston-Thurmond neighborhood; Tract 7 contains Innovation Quarter in downtown Winston-Salem; Tract 8.01, which encompasses Winston-Salem State University, the UNC School of the Arts and Happy Hill neighborhood; and Tract 8.02 covers the Atkins Community Development Corp.
Winston-Salem city officials consider opportunity zones as another “tool in the economic and community development toolbox that can be used to help spur private development and redevelopment in some of the areas in our community that have not seen the growth.”
There are 12 tracts in Guilford County, along with four in Alamance, three each in Randolph, Rockingham, Surry and Wilkes, two in Davidson and one each in Alleghany, Ashe, Davie, Stokes, Watauga and Yadkin.
The certified “opportunity zones” list for North Carolina has at least one low-income census tract in each of the state’s 100 counties.
METHUEN — Following a large surrender of a variety of animals from a single home in Hampden County, the MSPCA at Nevins Farm is calling for adopters.
Almost 50 animals were surrendered on Nov. 10 from a single home in the Springfield area. Now Nevins Farm, at 400 Broadway, is looking to find dogs, cats, rats, chinchillas and birds new homes.
“The circumstances around which the animals came to us are under investigations,” said Mike Keiley, MSPCA-Angell director of adoption centers and programs. “But the most pressing thing for us right now is finding them the loving new homes they deserve.”
The surrender follows an MSPCA Law Enforcement investigation, according to the press release. The organization, however, cannot comment about the case at this time.
“The sooner we’re able to rehome these animals, the better, as we’re still operating at or near capacity, given the ongoing dog population crisis,” Keiley said.
Caring for these animals is expected to cost $10,000, according to the press release. Donations can offset the cost at mspca.org/donate.
Several surrenders have pushed shelter capacity to the brink, according to Sara-Rose Brenner, senior public relations manager.
Dog euthanasia jumped 39% last year, from 93,697 in 2021 to 129,850 in 2022, according to the Shelter Animals Count, which tracks animal shelter data across the country. Early data from this year suggests the upward trend is continuing.
The MSPCA announced an ambitious goal in May to place 2,500 dogs into adoptive homes by the fall. At that point in 2023, Keiley said, the organization had already taken in 10% more dogs compared to the same period in 2022.
MSPCA transported 485 dogs to Massachusetts from out of state this summer, a nearly 30% increase over the same period last year.
From June 1 to Aug. 31, the MSPCA found homes for 732 dogs, the most ever during that period in the organization’s more than 150-year history.
Of the surrendered animals, 24 cats vary in age between roughly four-months to 13-years-old.
“It’s always traumatic for cats coming out of situations like these,” Keiley said. “All are social and will be great companions. Some will take a little longer to adjust to their new surroundings and are seeking quieter home settings, while others are more resilient and can be adopted into various lifestyles.”
There are six dogs. All are mixes of small breeds, including chihuahua, schnauzer and terrier. Their ages range from 1- to 10-years-old.
Additionally, the MSPCA is looking for adaptors for 13 birds, three rats and two chinchillas.
The animals will be added to the MSPCA’s available animal page, at mspca.org/adoption-search.
“A lot of these animals need a little maintenance, like treatment for fleas, dental cleaning and grooming,” Keiley said. “Some will also need to be spayed or neutered, but we expect them all to become available for adoption this week or next.”
Interested adopters should monitor the page and visit the shelter’s open hours Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 3 p.m.
Follow Monica on Twitter at @MonicaSager3
Follow Monica on Twitter at @MonicaSager3
The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina and Dogwood Health Trust are partnering to launch the WNC Community Enhancement Program that will award grants to charitable organizations and eligible public agencies to fund projects in downtowns or commercial corridors that enhance appearance, infrastructure or the pedestrian experience.
CFWNC will administer the program and will award grants up to $10,000 for projects not exceeding a total cost of $50,000. Dogwood Health Trust provided the funding for the one-year pilot. Grants will be reviewed and announced quarterly.
To apply organizations must be tax-exempt and located in the Qualla Boundary or one of the following counties in western North Carolina: Transylvania, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain or Yancey. Priority will be given to projects located in rural or other under-resourced areas.
“WNC Community Enhancement grants can help build, rebuild or refresh community spaces that foster connections and economic development,” said CFWNC Scholarship and Program Officer Lezette Parks who will manage the program. “In general, funded projects will be stand-alone, rather than part of a larger project, and we anticipate that most will address beautification or infrastructure improvements.”
Those interested in applying can learn more at www.cfwnc.org.
CFWNC works with families, businesses and nonprofits to strengthen communities through the creation of charitable funds and strategic grantmaking. A permanent charitable resource, the foundation manages over 1,200 funds and facilitated $34 million in grants last year, bringing total giving to more than $362 million since its founding in 1978.
Thousands of people pass by the Robert E. Jones Municipal Building on Main Street without giving much thought to who Robert E. Jones might be. Well, they should.
Jones helped lead a fundamental change in Danville’s city government, and helped the community recover from a significant economic loss in strong fashion.
Longtime city residents might remember Jones as the owner of the former Colonial Parkway restaurant or as the 40-year owner of the Dairy Queen on East Main Street. Others might recall the three terms he spent as Vermilion County treasurer.
Jones, who turns 85 this month, received the honor of having city hall named after him through his leadership as the city’s mayor for 16 years. City council members and the public deservedly honored Jones recently with an open house and presentation of a key to the city on Nov. 7.
Jones took over as mayor in 1987, the first mayor elected after a federal court mandated a change in the city’s government as a result of a civil rights lawsuit. The ruling abolished the commissioner positions that had controlled the city and instituted a mayor-aldermanic system that remains in place today.
Jones and members of his new city council had to navigate the change and uncertainty in the wake of the court ruling. As Jones recently told Bill Pickett on vermilioncountyfirst.com, “Well, I think our first term where we had a change in the form of government … all the aldermen worked together. … I think those were some trying times, but we got through them with everyone cooperating and working together.”
That ability to build a coalition among community leaders paid dividends for Jones when, within a decade of his taking the top job, the community suffered the blow of an announcement from General Motors that it would close the Tilton Foundry with its 1,000 or so jobs. Experts estimated the move would mean another 1,000 jobs lost from local companies that supplied and supported the foundry.
City and county officials worked together to combat rising unemployment rates and put together efforts to recruit new businesses, both industrial and retail. Jones likes to push credit for that success — attracting such community mainstays as McLane Midwest, Sygma, Fiberteq and AutoZone, among others, as well as retail development along North Vermilion from Liberty Lane to West Newell Road — to others. But without Jones leading the way for the city, and the residents he pledged to serve, the local economic scene would not be as robust as it is today.
Jones often worked behind the scenes, working to improve the community without thought to personal acclaim. Personal beliefs could be put aside for the greater good. The late Eugene “Radio” Thompson, who served on the city council when Jones was mayor and stood at the opposite end of the political spectrum, often talked about the two working together toward goals meant to benefit the entire community.
Jones always kept the goal of moving the community forward, of progress for as many people as possible, as his priority. His ability to build compromise, where both sides of an issue could see gains, is a skill far too few elected officials share today. He never claimed credit for successful projects, instead heaping praise on others. His satisfaction came from knowing his community was a better place.
Jones’ commitment to the city goes beyond politics. He helped create a dyslexia center housed in the Masonic Temple in 2008 and continues to support its efforts.
We add our good wishes as former Mayor Jones celebrates his 85th birthday. His legacy and its positive effect on the city he loves will continue for years and years to come. Happy birthday, Mayor Bob, and we hope you enjoy many more yet to come.
This week, the Community Colleges of Illinois launched a new brand campaign, For Every Student, For Every Community, to bring attention to the benefits and opportunities available in communities across the State through local community colleges. We want people to recognize the essential contributions of local community colleges that add up to a stronger and more competitive Illinois and a better quality of life for our citizens.
The message is based on five pillars that are shared by each of the 48 individual community colleges in Illinois. We are individuals with a shared purpose … to make the State of Illinois stronger and create a competitive workforce.
First, on our campuses, everyone belongs. We serve all students and strive to make our campuses welcoming to everyone.
The second pillar is that we are outcomes-driven. Illinois is No. 1 in the nation in terms of its community college students earning bachelor’s degrees and Illinois’ community colleges are the largest providers of workforce training in the State.
Pillar number three is that we open access to more rewarding futures. The State’s community colleges offer affordable tuition, financial aid counseling, faculty mentoring, comprehensive student success services, and flexible class schedules. Community Colleges educate 64 percent of the students enrolled in Illinois higher education institutions.
The fourth pillar speaks to our flexibility, innovation, and agility. We meet students where they are and make the most of their prior learning experiences. We deliver education that’s relevant to workforce needs in the community. We can ramp up and re-engineer programs to help local businesses remain competitive.
The fifth and final pillar is that we’re dedicated and accountable to our communities. We return your investment in us by boosting local education levels, developing new generations of leaders, and being a trusted, proactive partner in local economic development. We are resilient and we help to make resilient, responsible, contributing citizens from our students.
We are launching this new, collective brand message at the same time as most of the colleges are beginning registration for the upcoming spring semester. At Danville Area Community College, we’re offering an Early Bird incentive for those who choose a full-time class schedule for spring. For continuing students, those who have been with us during the fall semester, if you register by Dec. 1, you’ll be automatically entered into a drawing for an iPhone 15 Max Pro. New students who weren’t with us this fall have until December 20 to register. On Jan. 30, 2024, we will draw one name from the continuing student pool and one name from the new student pool, check to confirm that they are enrolled as full-time students, and award a phone to each of them. At last check, each phone is valued at $1,599.
If you are a current student at DACC, there is no reason not to enroll by December 1, and every reason to get in to see your advisor early. If you’ve been considering school, but putting it off, now is a great time to stick your toes in the water. Call it an early holiday gift to yourself. You could win the latest and greatest iPhone by simply choosing not to procrastinate this year.
Please remember that DACC, and all the other community colleges in the State of Illinois are here for every student and every community. We’re here to make life better for you. Now that’s something to be thankful for.
Let’s make a deal. American parents stop harassing schools over library books that deal sympathetically with differences in sexual preference. And America’s schools stop withholding information about a student’s said preference from the parents.
First, the ugly clashes over offerings at school libraries. Parents should understand that reading a wide range of viewpoints improves critical thinking. A book about a child whose parents are both female doesn’t turn the reader gay. Ask a child psychologist about that.
The sons and daughters of lesbian parents I’ve known all turned out heterosexual. Not a scientific sampling, I know, but if the school library contains a book that makes the offspring of gay parents feel OK about their home life — and other kids respect them — where’s the harm?
Furthermore, parents should be grateful that their kids are reading books. Those who fear their children might be exposed to damaging influences would best take their mobile phones away. Go after TikTok and leave school librarians alone.
Now the second part of the deal. Schools should drop the idea that if students declare a sexual identity different from the one they were born with, they should not tell the parents. An example would be hiding information from parents that their son Jack wants to be called Sue in class.
This reflects the current obsession with LGBTQ issues. The initials stand for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (or questioning). These are individuals who are attracted to people of the same sex or both sexes, or their gender identity does not align with the sex assigned to them at birth.
It is withholding information about the last category, children who identify with a gender other than the one they were born with, that has a lot of parents up in arms. And they’re not all the expected groups — social conservatives, evangelicals and tradition-oriented immigrants. They include Democrats and gay people.
I asked a father who is quite liberal and has close gay friends how he feels about schools hiding the declared gender identity from parents.
“They have every obligation to tell me,” he said, anger in his voice. “They’ll tell me if he’s picking his nose in the class. He’s a minor, and that’s a major event.” This is information that helps a parent be a parent.
Sonja Shaw, head of a school board in Chino Valley, California, complained to The Economist that boys who identified as girls were allowed in her daughters’ locker room. Hers became the first school district in California to require that schools not keep a child’s gender identity secret from their parents. Hundreds of school districts do.
There is, of course, pushback to changing the rules. Kristi Hirst, a parent and former teacher, characterized school board debates in places like Chino as fearmongering. “Teachers do not have nefarious intentions to keep secrets,” she said. That may be true, but good intentions don’t always equal wise policies.
The thinking is that parents might beat up on kids who veer from their presumed gender. Or that such information could be used as ammunition in custody cases. That could happen, but abuse of children or holding up gender identity as evidence of bad parenting is a matter for law enforcement and the courts. And having to navigate different identities in class and the family dinner table can be highly stressful to the child as well.
The broad coalition objecting to these policies suggests the sense agreement that time spent on LGBTQ concerns is taking time away from such essential subjects as math, reading and history. Rather than simply treating these issues with delicacy, many schools seem to be obsessing on them. These parents have a point.
Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Sandra Juanita Gutierrez is not a native of Danville or Vermilion County, as she is from Loredo, Texas. Her family members were migrant farm workers that transitioned to the area for farming.
Growing up, Sandra’s parents were very strict about sending their children to school, even when they were working on the farms, they would get to school an hour late and leave an hour early so they would still get their education.
In 1972, Sandra officially moved to the Vermilion County area after her mother convinced her to come visit after talking up the beauty of it all. After being here for four years, she moved back to Loredo for a couple of months. However, she realized that it was too hot, and she had fallen in love with Danville.
She moved her husband and two kids back to Vermilion County and bought land on Route 1.There was some pushback because it was the ‘70s and many people had left the community, but the area was beautiful, and Sandra couldn’t find anything wrong with it.
Sandra started working at the Illinois Migrant Council in Hoopeston and began going to Danville Area Community College to restart her education. She had decided that she wanted to go to the University of Illinois, but because it was expensive, she had to find a way to pay for it. She spoke to recruiters and found that her education could be paid for if she joined the National Guard.
She continued to work and go to school all while raising her kids and providing for her family. Her husband has always been supportive of all Sandra’s goals, and he has always pushed her to be great and believed in her.
Once she achieved a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, she obtained her Master of Educational Administration degree from Eastern Illinois University. She has since been a translator for the county courthouse, held a Spanish radio program, held Fiesta Latina in Ellsworth Park, was a caseworker for District 118 schools, and worked at Community Action for three years.
She has also been inducted into the Kenneth D. Bailey wall of honor in 2014 and is the Vice President of AFSCME for our Local Union 2971.
“I always wanted to be a part of something,” Sandra reflects. She couldn’t be a part of after-school activities or volunteer opportunities growing up because of having to work. Due to that, she decided to be a part of the community now and do as much as possible.
For Sandra, it was never about the accomplishments but the goals and barriers that she broke. She went to college, entered the National Guard, and completed graduate school while raising her children. Sandra says, “I wanted to show my kids that anything is possible and that they can also accomplish anything they set their minds to.”
Sandra now owns multiple properties and even started renovating a newer property on the lake with her son. Sandra is grateful for everything that she has worked so hard for.
We thank Sandra Juanita Gutierrez for the example she has set for the Latino community of Vermilion County and everyone else that has been lucky enough to know her.
We get the allure of the Great American West, the majestic landscapes, rivers teeming with trout, clean air. When TV talk show star Kelly Clarkson announced she and her family were leaving Los Angeles, she said her first choice was “Montana.” She kept moving, though, landing in New York City. Business considerations, you know.
But we understand what she meant by “Montana.” And during the pandemic, a lot of claustrophobic Americans thought likewise and transferred themselves to Big Sky Country. Too many for local tastes.
And that might be the boost Sen. Jon Tester needs for a reelection race that Democrats in Trump country are finding difficult. Why so many allegedly live-free Westerners would listen to a real estate blowhard from Manhattan who talks like a mobster, and thinks that way, too, over a Montana wheat farmer is a mystery.
But there’s hope in the Tester camp that Republicans represent a phenomenon that could close off the wild gorgeous spaces that ordinary Montanans treasure — or even their ability to buy a house in town. There’s growing discontent over the state’s population boom, The Wall Street Journal reports.
In 2021-22, the state’s migration rate exceeded even that of Florida. House prices have shot up 42% since before the pandemic. In Flathead County, rich outsiders are snapping up lakefront property. That means rising prices, which mean rising property taxes forcing families to sell their cabins, according to The Journal.
One likely Republican challenger to Tester is Tim Sheehy. He is already being tarred as a multimillionaire who “got rich off government contracts.” What could sink him, though, is apparent evasion of Montana taxes. Despite owning a 20,000-acre spread in central Montana with about 2,000 cattle, Sheehy appears to have not paid Montana taxes on his animals over several years.
Another is Matt Rosendale, originally a real estate developer from Maryland. Rosendale is among the handful of right-wing hotheads who helped boot Kevin McCarthy out of the House speakership. Rosendale claims to be a rancher, but actually, he leases the land and others work on it.
Elsewhere in Montana politics, the Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte just vetoed a bill that would have restored $30 million to a program dedicated to improving public access and conserving wildlife habitat. Writing in the Daily Montanan, local conservationists John Todd and Christopher Servheen noted that 130 of 150 state legislators, from both parties, supported the bill. “It was a boon for wildlife and for the activities and way of life that make Montana so special, a testament to our love for the outdoors and our commitment to preserving them for generations to come.”
It is hard to explain how Gianforte got elected governor in the first place. He was a rich executive from New Jersey who made a pile of money, bought a big hunting estate in Montana, and promptly made war on locals who thought they could walk to a fishing stream they used for generations.
In 2009, Gianforte sued the state to remove a public easement that gave anglers, walkers and others access to the East Gallatin River via his property. In the old days of the West, landowners didn’t fret much about their neighbors crossing their property.
Gianforte is among rich out-of-state buyers from all over the world who are amassing huge tracts of land in the rural West and erecting no-trespassing signs around their kingdoms. Their friends jet in to do private hunting in the vast landscapes that are being closed off to ordinary outdoorsmen.
As for the regular people living in Montana, the right wing that yaps about freedom is fencing them off. In the end, though, they get what they elect.
Layoffs are coming up at Morgan Olson at Cane Creek Centre Industrial Park in Ringgold.
Company spokesman Kenneth Klein said via email Tuesday morning that orders from the plant’s customers for its products “will be delayed due to current economic conditions and forecasts.”
“As a result, Morgan Olson will reduce their workforce at all three Morgan Olson locations in Michigan, Tennessee and Virginia,” Klein told the Danville Register & Bee. “Ongoing production will continue at all locations as the company works towards expansion of its customer base and preparation of market recovery.”
The company makes walk-in vans.
It was in October 2019 when then-Gov. Ralph Northam announced that Morgan Olson would bring 703 jobs to the industrial park. The company is located in the 925,000-square-foot former Ikea facility.
People are also reading…
Ikea had announced it was shutting down at the end of 2019 and, soon after, Morgan Olson’s plans to locate in Ikea’s building for a $58 million capital investment were announced.
The company initially promised 703 jobs, but a few months after its 2019 announcement, the company said it planned to add 300 positions, bringing its job-creation total in the region to about 1,000 jobs.
Klein did not answer the Register & Bee’s question as to how many employees the company has at its Ringgold location or how many would be laid off at the facility and Morgan Olson’s other sites.
It was just a year ago that Morgan Olson received a $500,000 grant from the Port of Virginia for more than 500 jobs created at the Ringgold facility so far in October 2022 and the company’s use of the port.
The grant money was to go toward retaining jobs at the facility. At the time, the plant’s manager, Steven Parker, said Morgan Olson intended to ramp up production to 48 vans per day hire more employees over the 703 promised.
Parker said in October 2022 that the company had 612 employees with three production lines simultaneously on a two-shift schedule, making 30 delivery vans per day.
Pittsylvania County Economic Development Director Matt Rowe said of the upcoming layoffs: “We certainly acknowledge the unfortunate situation. Our main focus is in helping the employees impacted and also helping Morgan Olson.”
The Virginia Employment Commission’s Rapid Response Team will work with the company in response to the layoffs and “we’re firing up and getting existing companies ready for job fairs,” Rowe said.
A job fair is coming up Nov. 1 at the Danville Community Market downtown.
Danville Community College, in collaboration with Pittsylvania County Community Action, Virginia Career Works, Danville/Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce, BrightView, PATHS, Hire Dynamics and the city of Danville, is set to host a community-wide All Citizens Job & Resource Fair at the Danville Community Market on Nov. 1 running from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Morgan Olson has not received any local incentives from its location in Ringgold, Rowe said.
“We haven’t provided the company any discretionary incentives up front,” he said.
However, the company has received a $500-per-job incentive from the city of Danville and the county through the Danville-Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority as part of the state’s Enterprise Zone Program. That money was awarded apart from any performance agreement and was for 574 jobs created in a designated area in need of economic development.
“It [the program] enables the state and locality to provide job and real-property investment grants,” Rowe said.
Danville City Manager Ken Larking said the layoffs will be a stressful time for the employees.
“We have compassion toward the people impacted by this layoff,” Larking said.
There are opportunities for work elsewhere in the region, he added.
“We will be working with the company and others to help employees during the transition,” Larking said.
Rowe believes the layoff is a temporary situation for the company.
“We have full faith in Morgan Olson hiring more employees and growing again in the future,” Rowe said.
John R. Crane (434) 791-7987