22 Feb

What Matters for Monday, February 22, 2016

North Carolina is in a waiting game. After the General Assembly passed new congressional district maps Friday and the Supreme Court denied a stay on the old maps, lawmakers and citizens are waiting to see if the three-member panel of the 4th Circuit Court will approve the new maps so we can move forward with our congressional elections which are now going to be held on June 7th. That’s only congressional elections, mind you, that will be held in June. The other elections will be held in March. Will anyone show up at the polls or know who is running in their district? Are you confused yet? So is everyone else.

Next, Chad speaks with Benson Mayor William Massengill. Chad asks if there is confusion over whether the town is in Johnston or Harnett County. Mayor Massengill laughingly says there is, but they’ve spent a lot of time convincing the people of Johnston County Benson is indeed part of this county and not Harnett. Mayor Massengill says the RTP has benefited from the growth of the RTP. They feel one challenge is keeping their infrastructure up-to-date. Mayor Massengill shares the history of Mule Days. He says at one time Benson had 13 liveries. Town leaders attended a similar event in Tennessee and when they returned, they established what has become an event attended by 40-50,000 people. Chad says Benson’s downtown still has that vibrant Mayberry feel. Mayor Massengill tells Chad they had $45 million in new investments last year. He says residents in Benson love the look and feel of downtown. Chad notes the fast trains that used to run through the middle of town. Mayor Massengill says the trains do not go as fast anymore, but there are still tracks that run through the middle of town. The Mayor says he’d like to see lawmakers put more money back into the community development block funding program. Chad asks what he’s most proud of accomplishing. Mayor Massengill says he hopes the citizens will look back and say he was fair to everyone. He is also proud of a park they’ve developed from a middle school. He says it has baseball fields, walking trails and more. He has hopes it will be mostly complete during his tenure as Mayor. This is always a great segment you’ll enjoy.

In the second hour, Civitas President Francis De Luca joins Chad. Francis and Chad discuss how lawmakers determined the new congressional maps. They also discuss Charlotte City Council’s controversial vote on making all public restrooms transgender and the Governor’s declaration he will take legislative action if Council approves the measure. They also talk about the latest information on CLC, what tickets are still available and how you can buy yours if you haven’t already.

Finally, are some media outlets going overboard about the risks of getting the Zika virus? Chad compares the alarm over this to the misunderstanding of the how the Ebola virus is spread. He points out that fear can overcome fact when we don’t go to the right sources.

AFP State Director Donald Bryson joins us tomorrow.

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