History on Tap: Visitors get chance to see progress on The Salisbury renovation

By Elisabeth Strillacci

SALISBURY — The Historic Salisbury Foundation welcomed the return of the History on Tap (H.O.T.) series Thursday when more than 300 people toured the former Southern Bell building on West Council .

The series, in its eighth year, entails an open house at a historic building or structure the fourth or last Thursday of June, July and August. Attendees sample cold beer from New Sarum while getting an insider’s view of some of the city’s historic spots.

The first tour site of the summer, The Salisbury, is currently in the midst of renovation into 12 apartments from the former Southern Bell phone company building. Constructed in the late 1920s, the three-story building at 121 W. Council St. had not been touched since 1985, but Josh Barnhardt, who had been hearing the stories of the building’s former glory from his grandmother, Edith Thompson, saw more than a little worth salvaging. Thompson was a switchboard operator at Southern Bell starting in the 1940s, and would often regale her family with stories from her time in the beautiful art deco building.

With the renovations, all the essentials, such as electrical, plumbing and flooring are new, but the architectural details that set the building apart remain. Six apartments are one-bedroom units and six have two bedrooms. The historic outside of the building along with numerous interior details are being restored or maintained, making it an ideal stop on the summer tour.

“Whitney Wallace was the instigator of History on Tap in the beginning,” noted Sherry Beck of the Historic Salisbury Foundation. “One of our goals as an organization is to become more diverse in our events, reaching out and bringing in families and the wider community. And we take a lot of pride in finding locations that show off some of our local historic structures and learn about the history of our town.”

Renovation of The Salisbury, as it was originally named, began on the third floor and the first tenants were originally scheduled to move in June 1, but as with nearly all ongoing construction right now, delivery of materials, along with a few other issues, have caused delays.

Jimmy and Linda Thompson, who have lived in Rowan County all of their lives, will be two of the first tenants, having signed a lease on the first apartment at the top of the stairs on the third floor. Their living room windows look out on the front lawn of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, which Jimmy said was just what he wanted.

“He absolutely loves this view,” Linda said. The couple currently live on High Rock Lake in Davidson County, but have missed living downtown, where they can walk to everything. They were the first people to purchase a unit in the Kress Building, and Linda said living there taught them everything they did — and did not — want in moving back downtown.

“We wanted a place to park, and an outdoor space of some kind,” she said. The Salisbury will have a rooftop community gathering space, and a designated parking lot just beside the building. “It hit all the things we wanted.” She said they anticipate in four to five years, they will sell the lake house and live solely in the Salisbury. She was chatting with friends during the open house about decorating in art deco style to coordinate the decor in communal areas and to work with the style of the building, though she said she is trying to be patient as the new move-in  date of Sept. 1.

Kimberly Steig of Historic Salisbury said the next open house is scheduled for July 28 at The Old Textile Products Building at 121 N. Main St., and is nearly full already, so anyone interested should register quickly. Free registration is available from the website at HistoricSalisbury.org.

“We have quite a few people who have figured out that we fill up fast and they’ve gone ahead and registered for all three,” she said. “We didn’t quite anticipate how fast this would fill, but we’re certainly thrilled that so many people are coming out!”

‘A second round of your talents’: Outgoing interim city manager Brian Hiatt given key to city

By Ben Stansell

SALISBURY — When the City of Salisbury began searching for an interim city manager to fill the gap after Lane Bailey’s retirement at the end of last year, Mayor Pro Tem Tamara Sheffield knew just the person for the job.

“I was like, ‘Please let it be Brian. Please let it be Brian,’” Sheffield said, recounting the moment during the city council meeting on Tuesday night.

Sheffield was referring to Brian Hiatt, who served as Salisbury’s interim community planning director for five months in 2018 after retiring following a 19-year tenure as city manager for Concord.

Sheffield got her wish.

Hiatt was brought back for the interim job and served as city manager until Jim Greene Jr. took the helm in May. When Hiatt started in the temporary role, he told the Post he wanted to “keep the car in the road” until the city brought in a permanent replacement.

According to the members of the city council, he did more than that.

“One of the things that a lot of public servants like to say or corporate leaders like to say is they like to leave a place better than when they found it, and you’ve done that twice,” Council Member David Post said. “We’re all grateful for that.”

For his two stints with Salisbury, Mayor Karen Alexander and city council on Tuesday bestowed Hiatt with a key to the city.

“Thank you for giving us a second round of your talents,” Sheffield said.

Hiatt said this is the first time he’s received a key to the city, despite spending about 42 years in local government.

“I am certainly honored and humbled by all of this,” Hiatt said. “When you leave an organization full of great public servants you will miss them.”

Greene, who has known Hiatt for more than two decades and worked with him at the City of Concord, said Hiatt is “a great man with the highest of ethical standards and a big heart.”

City Attorney Graham Corriher spoke highly of Hiatt’s leadership. “It’s been very important during this period of growth that we’ve experienced to have somebody that’s experienced that growth from where he came from in Concord to lead the ship. And not just to keep it in the road as he claimed to do, but solve the problems that needed solving.”

Council Members Anthony Smith and Harry McLaughlin, both serving their first terms on council, also thanked Hiatt for his guidance.

“You meet people and they have the wisdom to do things in their body, like it’s just a part of them,” Smith said. “I appreciate the way you’ve brought that wisdom to, especially those of us who are new to this work because honestly it’s been like drinking from a fire hydrant for the past couple of months.”

“Brian was able to come in and take the time and really rein you in and help you with that transition from being in campaign to being a city council member,” said McLaughlin, who added that he’s particularly grateful for Hiatt’s patience.

Leaving Salisbury for a second time, Hiatt said the city is “in good hands.”

“You’ve hired an excellent city manager, and I know because I’ve seen him.”

City of Salisbury hosts open house on Fisher Street bridge possibilities

By Madeline Wagoner

SALISBURY — Community members gathered Thursday in City Hall for an interactive discussion with planning and public works officials for a presentation on the future of the East Fisher Street bridge.

According to Community Planning Director Hannah Jacobson, what people have to say about the options will be presented to City Council in August to show how they would like to move forward with reviving the historic bridge.

Poster boards outlined the ideas and goals put together by the city, including reopening the bridge for vehicular traffic in two years or turning it into a pedestrian bridge with added design features as a safe gateway to downtown. Posters had blank squares for people to place a sticker under the option they liked best, including what additions they would like to see in the finished product.

Public Works Director Craig Powers said the pedestrian option could open more opportunities for tourism in Salisbury as it would renovate the bridge while offering an option to walk downtown to support businesses.

“Bridge permits take a long time to obtain,” he said. “As far as repairing the bridge, a vehicular bridge would require more frequent maintenance. If you have bikes and people, it wouldn’t need it as often.”

A pedestrian bridge could also include bench seating, public art, festive/colored lights, planters and greenery, educational signs and historic markers, ballards and painted pathways. New lights got the most votes, while painted pathways only had one.

Jacobson said ultimately City Council members will have the last word for the bridge’s future, but the community can help them make the best decision.

Another poster board was designated for public comments on how closing the bridge has affected residents. Some people said it helped ease traffic on Fisher Street; others noted it has been difficult to make deliveries and that East Bank Street traffic has built up.

Acey Worthy, a property owner on East Bank Street, said it wouldn’t bring in tourism like the city is hoping due to lack of parking and who is coming to the area.

“If a mom wanted to take her daughter to the bridge, she’d have to park in front of Autozone,” he said. “To get to downtown, she’s not going to cross this bridge.”

While voting for either option was split down the middle, with eight votes on each proposed idea, several people voiced that they would like to see the bridge transformed for vehicular purposes.

“The idea is great, but as it’s gone on, it’s only gotten worse and worse,” said Jeremy Tatum, another property owner on East Bank Street. “I see the light at the end of the tunnel, but is there really a light, or will we be hitting a brick wall?”

A community member wrote on the comment poster that making it a pedestrian bridge would help with safety, by limiting the streets with cars.

Planning and public works officials also included estimated values to the poster board, where repairing the bridge for vehicles would cost an estimated $900,000 and the pedestrian option would cost an estimated $150,000 to $200,000. For driving, it would take two years to reopen; the walking and biking option would take an estimated 18 months. The I-beams would eventually need to be repaired, even if made into a pedestrian walkway.

“These beams have to be custom-made into almost a C-shape to fit the bridge,” Powers said.

Once City Council makes a decision, planning and public works will apply for grants and gather estimates before moving forward.

Hallmark movie to be filmed in Salisbury next week

Road closures, detours expected along South Fulton, West Horah, Main, and Fisher streets.

By David Whisenant

SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) – A made-for-TV Hallmark movie is set to film in various locations in Salisbury next week, according to the City of Salisbury.

The production may affect travel near Salisbury High School, homes along the 400 block of South Fulton Street, and the 100 block of East Fisher Street, Tuesday, June 28 through Friday, July 1. Intermittent road closures also may occur on Saturday, July 2 along South Fulton Street. Detour signage will be in place.

Expected road closures and/or traffic shifts include:

Tuesday, June 28

400 Block of South Fulton Street from West Monroe to West Horah Streets

300 block of West Horah Street from South Fulton to South Jackson Streets

Wednesday, June 29 (and possibly Saturday, July 2)

400 Block of South Fulton Street from West Monroe to West Horah Streets

300 block of West Horah Streets from South Fulton to South Jackson Streets

Friday, July 1

200 block of South Main Street from Bank to Fisher Streets

100 block of East Fisher Street from South Main to South Lee Streets

Residents, merchants and downtown visitors will have access to homes and businesses during filming.

An air date for the movie is unknown.

Salisbury’s Social District debuts Friday, July 1

SALISBURY, N.C. (Thursday, June 23, 2022) – The Downtown Salisbury Social District (DSSD) becomes official Friday, July 1, after months of preparation, discussion, merchant information sessions and final City Council approval.

               A social district is a designated area in which alcoholic beverages are allowed to be carried in open containers on the street. Salisbury’s Social District follows the passing of the Bring Business Back to Downtown Bill by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, which aims to increase economic vitality in North Carolina downtowns.

               Beginning Friday, July 1, downtown visitors will be able to purchase an alcoholic beverage in a special DSSD cup from an ABC-permitted, participating business. Participating businesses, including retailers that allow drinks into their stores, will feature a “Downtown Salisbury Social District” sticker at the door/window.

               DSSD boundary signs will be posted along the route over the next few days. A boundary map also is available on the Downtown Salisbury website, and accessed via the QR code on all social district signs. Drinks must be consumed within the social district and before entering any vehicle.

               Visitors may stroll within the district Monday through Sunday between noon and midnight. Within Bell Tower Green Park, Monday through Sunday, as follows:

  • November 1 through March 1: between 5 p.m. and park closing
  • March 2 through October 31: between 6 p.m. and park closing

               Alcoholic beverages may not be consumed or sold during and within the boundary of a public street festival, during a special event sponsored by the City of Salisbury, or within the boundary of Bell Tower Green Park when the event is permitted and held per city ordinance. This does not prohibit the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages within Bell Tower Green Park pursuant to a properly licensed and permitted event.

               Violations of social district rules should be reported to the Salisbury Police Department at 911.

               For more information, lists of participating businesses and rules and regulations, visit downtownsalisburync.com/socialdistrict.

As a Main Street America™ accredited program, Downtown Salisbury is a recognized leading program among the national network of more than 1,200 neighborhoods and communities who share both a commitment to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. All Main Street America™ accredited programs meet a set of National Accreditation Standards of Performance as outlined by Main Street America. Please visit us on the web at www.downtownsalisburync.com.

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Downtown Salisbury Social District Goes Into Effect July 1st

June 23, 2022  Marvin BeachSamantha Gilstrap

Beginning Friday, visitors to downtown Salisbury can walk around with their alcoholic beverage of choice thanks to the execution of a new social district.

The Downtown Salisbury Social District (DSSD) becomes official Friday, July 1st, after months of preparation, discussion, merchant information sessions and final City Council approval.

A social district is designated area in which alcoholic beverages are allowed to be carried in open containers on the street.

Salisbury’s Social District follows the passing of the Bring Business Back to Downtown Bill by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, which officials say aims to increase economic vitality in downtowns across North Carolina.

In the new social district, visitors will be able to buy an alcoholic beverage in a special DSSD cup from an ABC-permitted, participating business.

Participating businesses, including retailers that allow drinks into their stores, will feature a “Downtown Salisbury Social District” sticker at the door/window, according to a news release.

Officials say DSSD boundary signs will be posted along the route over the next few days.

A boundary map also is available on the Downtown Salisbury website, and accessed via the QR code on all social district signs.

Officials say drinks must be consumed within the social district and before entering any vehicle.

Visitors may stroll within the district Monday through Sunday between 12 p.m. and 12 a.m., and within Bell Tower Green Park, Monday through Sunday, as follows:

  • November 1st through March 1st: between 5 p.m. and park closing.
  • March 2nd through October 31st: between 6 p.m. and park closing.

Officials say alcoholic beverages may not be consumed or sold during and within the boundary of a public street festival, during a special event sponsored by the City of Salisbury, or within the boundary of Bell Tower Green Park when the event is permitted and held per city ordinance.

This does not prohibit the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages within Bell Tower Green Park pursuant to a properly licensed and permitted event, according to a news release.

Click here for more information on rules and regulations for The Downtown Salisbury Social District.

Downtown Salisbury mourns loss of popular street artist

On the left, a picture of Joseph from a past WBTV story, on the right, flowers on the bench he occupied most every day.(David Whisenant-WBTV)

Joseph Heilig passed away on Saturday

By David Whisenant

On the left, a picture of Joseph from a past WBTV story, on the right, flowers on the bench he occupied most every day.(David Whisenant-WBTV)
On the left, a picture of Joseph from a past WBTV story, on the right, flowers on the bench he occupied most every day.(David Whisenant-WBTV)

SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) – Joseph Heilig’s studio was the sidewalk.

Every day he sat on a bench in front of Fuller’s Market on South Main Street in Salisbury, working on his drawings and taking the time to speak with anyone who wanted a conversation.

On Monday night there were flowers placed on that bench and a hand-painted sign with angel wings carried the message “RIP Joe.” According to a friend, Joseph Heilig, 65, passed away at the hospital on Saturday night.

“So sorry to hear of his death! May he Rest In Peace!” Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander posted on a WBTV social media page.ADVERTISEMENT

“He was a very talented man! So gifted! I always enjoyed stopping by & talking with Joe!” said Susan Beeker. “Rest In Peace Joseph Heilig!”

“Joe always had a kind word for me as I patrolled downtown,” wrote retired Salisbury Police Officer Lynn Foster. “Rest In Peace my friend. I will miss you.”

“Oh no!! I’m so shocked,” wrote another well-known local artist, Cherathee Hager. “Joe was one of those rare individuals who never met a stranger. He was beyond amazing as an artist and even more so as a kind soul. I have known him for years but we became close friends when I started painting storefront windows in Downtown Salisbury. I always welcomed his visits and enjoyed looking at his current artwork. There will always be a huge empty space in our little city and no one will be able to ever fill his big shoes. I certainly hope his family preserves his artwork and that our city finds a location to share it with everyone to enjoy for years to come. RIP my friend.”

In a WBTV story from several years ago, Heilig said he grew up in the Queensbridge housing project of Long Island City, N.Y. He attended art school in New York. Heilig moved to Salisbury, his mother’s hometown, in 1999. He’s been a familiar sight in downtown Salisbury for at least 10 years.

https://www.wbtv.com/2022/05/31/downtown-salisbury-mourns-loss-popular-street-artist/

Cheerwine Festival’s economic impact hits record-breaking levels, Rowan County’s tourism flourishes

By Madeline Wagoner

SALISBURY — The Cheerwine Festival had massive success this past weekend with one of the biggest crowds to date.

According to Nick Aceves, Salisbury’s Parks and Recreation director, the festival welcomed an estimated 60,000 crowd to the celebratory event of Salisbury’s original soft drink. This is the same estimated outcome of 2019’s festival.

The total is calculated using Jacobs rule of thumb, a crowd estimation strategy used by event coordinators to keep track of the number of visitors in a single gathering.

The Cheerwine Festival draws a large crowd. Photo by Andy Mooney, Salisbury Post.

In 1967, Herbert Jacobs determined that the number of people in a gathering can be determined by multiplying area by density. In the Cheerwine Festival’s case, a dense crowd gives one individual an area of two and a half square feet. The city of Salisbury used this method with an area containing 100 estimated individuals to determine the total event attendance of the entire festival space.

The astounding variety of Cheerwine-themed foods seemed to bring the most favor of all the annual attendees. This year’s festival welcomed returning vendors and new ones for purchasing pleasures including baked goods, barbecue and drinks.

The following vendors released their approximate numbers of sales from Saturday:

  • Mean Mug, a local cafe in Downtown Salisbury, sold a total of 500 Cheerwine Frappuccinos at the truck and 300 at its storefront location.
  • The Old 97 Kettlecorn Company from Spencer sold a total of 900 bags of kettlecorn, 300 being its Cheerwine flavor.
  • Wowza BBQ, of Gold Hill, sold a total of 964 pounds of barbecue and 48 bottles of the signature Wowza sauce.
  • Que Viva Latin Street Grill, of Winston-Salem, sold 130-140 units of Cheerwine flan, each unit being cut into 24 pieces.
  • Abigail’s, a bakery in Downtown Salisbury, sold 18 dozen Cheerwine cupcakes, 38 dozen Cheerwine macarons, 14 dozen crispy rice treats and eight gallons of homemade Cheerwine ice cream.
  • New Sarum Brewery sold 400 cases of Cheerwine lager, each case holding 24 cans, 124 gallons of sour, 107 gallons of hazy IPA and 93 gallons of stout.
  • Hive & Co. sold out of its 30 custom-made Cheerwine Festival shirts. It also sold 56 Cheerwine jellies, 26 four ounce candles, 20 three ounce wax melts and 20 small candle tins. 
  • Little Widdler, of Winston-Salem, sold eight coin banks, six wall-mounted bottle openers, 24 magnets, 3 photo stands and three N.C. outline signs, all based on Cheerwine. The business sold out of the bottle-openers and outlines.
  • Mambo Grill & Tapas sold out of its Cheerwine cheesecake empanadas, 270 Cuban sandwiches and 1,700 of its savory empanadas.

“We’re truly grateful for all the customers who supported the business,” Wowza BBQ co-owner Starla Daniel said. “We’re looking forward to coming back next year.”

Businesses felt called to honor the soft drink through their products.

“We’ve been pushing hard to represent Cheerwine the best we can since it does come from Salisbury,” said brewmaster and co-owner of New Sarum, Andy Maben. “I feel we did that. We were also set up for success since we had our physical brewery open along with our two tents.”

The vendors also gave praise to the festival staff who took care of their needs and helped with preparing them for the crowds.

“We were tickled, this was our first year,” said Suzy Bennett, co-owner of Little Widdler. “It was a great festival, the staff were helpful and notified us of the oncoming storm so we were able to batten down the hatches and plan accordingly to protect the merchandise.”

Eric Balseca, co-owner of Que Viva Latin Street Grill, also recognized the event organizers and staff, saying that they made sure the vendors were comfortable and taken care of through out the day.

Despite a passing afternoon storm, the event hit a record breaking economic impact of $1.85 million, a 20.9% increase from 2019’s numbers at $1.53 million. The total included sale profits from vendors, direct funding toward the festival and paid lodging through a submitted grant to the city for the music performers. Promoting the Cheerwine Festival goes through multifaceted marketing, using social media and digital advertising to play off of its own popularity and assets.

According to Rowan County Tourism Director James Meacham, this year’s Cheerwine Festival was an economic success, with 60% of the crowd Saturday including locals from inside the county while the other 35-40% of attendees came from out of town.

Overall tourism for the county has hit record levels as of May 2022, ahead of its status in 2019. Business travel has been the only low level as companies continue to use remote solutions for their practices, according to Meacham.

Despite an increase of gas prices, Meacham said there’s been no pull backs as of May 14 but the Tourism Development Authority is keeping a close eye on the effect it has on travels.

“Dining numbers may lessen with families choosing to stay home for meals,” said Meacham. “But as far as tourism, we’re staying cautiously optimistic since fall events bring in a lot of tourists to Rowan County.”

Nightly hotel rates rose from $119 to $120.44 Saturday. Meacham said 90% of commercial hotel rooms were occupied on the day of Cheerwine Festival, translating to 712 hotel rooms out of 793 in the County. Compared to 2019’s festival, the occupancy rate increased by 16.5%.

‘A Salisbury for all’: New city manager plans to focus on balanced, equitable growth

By Ben Stansell

SALISBURY — James “Jim” Greene Jr. is well-acquainted with the pressures that come with municipal growth.

During a 15-year tenure with Concord that started in 1999, Greene supervised numerous city departments first as assistant manager for operations and then as deputy city manager. Serving as Raleigh’s assistant city manager for the past eight years, he guided the planning and development departments of one of the state’s fastest growing municipalities.

At both stops, Greene helped cities adjust to increasing populations.

Greene, a native of Lenoir, plans to put those experiences to work as he settles into his new position as chief administrative officer of Salisbury, a city he believes is poised for progress.

“(Growth) is coming,” Greene said. “So, we have to start focusing on our growth and developing that vision. What do we want this growth to look like and how are we going to be prepared?”

New Salisbury City Manager Jim Greene Jr., middle, meets with city officials during his third day on the job. To Greene’s left is outgoing interim city manager Brian Hiatt and to his right is Assistant City Manager Zack Kyle. Ben Stansell/Salisbury Post

Selected for the position in April, Greene’s first day on the job was Monday. He assumes the role from Brian Hiatt, a former Concord city manager who had been serving in an interim capacity since Lane Bailey retired at the end of 2021. Hiatt will continue to work with the city in an advisory role until the end of June to see through the fiscal year 2022-23 budget he helped assemble.

The recommended budget was presented to council on Tuesday night. A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held at 6 p.m. on June 7 at council chambers, located in City Hall at 217 S. Main St.

As city manager, Greene will lead more than 400 full- and part-time employees, direct development and prepare and present the city’s annual budget. Greene said one of his top priorities is to carry out council’s vision for balanced growth that maintains Salisbury’s “special character” while also ensuring progress doesn’t leave parts of the community behind.

“The other thing I heard loud and clear from council was wanting to make sure that as we grow that this is a Salisbury for all,” he said. “That there are opportunities for all to pursue here in Salisbury and that, as a community and a local government, that we welcome everyone and help everyone pursue these opportunities.

An equitable approach to economic development, Greene said, will be critical to achieving that goal.

“We have to look for inclusive economic development opportunities,” he said. “So, when we’re recruiting industry and working on economic development, making sure that it’s diverse, that it provides opportunities for everyone in the community and there’s economic development throughout the community, not just in one area.”

The city, Greene said, also needs to plan for transportation infrastructure that works for everyone.

“Certainly transportation and traffic are always concerns about growth,” he said. “We need growth that is focused on walkability and neighborhoods.”

Greene said he wants to develop a strategic five-year plan to work in concert with the city’s Forward 2040 framework, a comprehensive plan for the next 20 years that is being developed.

Increased development will no doubt have an effect on city utilities such as water and sewer, Greene said. As of May 12, the city has issued 648 water/sewer tap permits, which puts it on pace to exceed the 687 permits issued in fiscal year 2020-21.

“We’ve got an excellent utilities department, but with the growth that we’re seeing, we need to look at our plans and make sure our infrastructure is able to support the growth that is coming,” Greene said. “Especially on the wastewater site, and this was talked about at the council retreat, is looking at opportunities to expand our treatment capacity so that we will be in a good position to handle this growth.”

As Salisbury naturally expands, Greene said he wants to ensure downtown remains vibrant.

“The downtown is like the core of the apple and if the core is rotten, the whole apple is rotten,” Greene said. “It impacts the whole community.”

With residential and commercial expansion comes an increased demand for public services like fire and police protection. Keeping those departments and others staffed is one of the most pressing issues facing Salisbury, Greene said.

In the coming weeks, the city expects to receive the results of a compensation and benefits study being conducted by Cary-based Management and Personnel Services Group. In the budget recommended to council Tuesday night, Hiatt called for establishing a $1.1 million compensation “bucket” within the Human Resources department to implement changes based on the study’s results.

Beyond competitive compensation and benefits, Greene said he wants to make sure employees feel valued and have pathways toward career advancement within Salisbury.

“Bottom line: we want Salisbury to be the employer of choice,” Greene said. “We want the talented folks in this region to see that there are a lot of exciting opportunities here at the city of Salisbury and encourage them to join.”

The city’s staff is one reason why Greene was willing to leave Raleigh.

“We have a great team here and that was one of the things that really attracted me to this position,” Greene said. “The employees here are known the be creative, dedicated and hardworking and I wanted to be a part of this team.”

Greene plans on meeting with plenty of city employees over the coming days. He plans to connect with community members as well.

“I’m trying to be a sponge over the next couple of weeks.”

South Main Book Company hosts Banned Book Read Out, fundraiser for Rowan County Literacy Council

CONTACT:
Alissa Redmond Owner – South Main Book Company
W: 704-630-9788; c: 704-630-9788
southmainbookcompany@gmail.com www.southmainbookcompany.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Books with diverse content (including, but not limited to, LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities) are generally overrepresented among banned and challenged books; in 2015, 9 of the 10 most challenged books fell into this category.

To bring awareness to a growing nationwide trend, and to raise funds for the Rowan County Literacy Council, South Main Book Company will host a “read-out” featuring Banned Books on Saturday May 28 at 1pm, and we invite you to participate!

WHAT IS A READ-OUT?

A continuous public reading of a single or multiple banned books.

WHAT WOULD I HAVE TO DO?

Select your favorite Banned Book; either bring your own copy or borrow one of ours; and read it aloud for a few minutes.

WHAT IF I WANT TO PARTICIPATE, BUT I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO READ?

Ask our staff for recommendations – we are confident we have just the right book for you on our shelves.   If you’d like to prepare in advance, the American Library Association’s lists of the Top Ten Challenged Books (https://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top10) or Frequently Challenged Books (https://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks) may provide some inspiration on which books to read from or talk about.

CAN I WIN A PRIZE AT THIS EVENT?

Yes!  By entering our raffle – through a $5 donation towards the Rowan County Literacy Council – you will receive a chance to win a bundle of challenging books right off our shelf!

WHAT IS THE ROWAN COUNTY LITERACY COUNCIL?

Rowan County Literacy Council (RCLC) is dedicated to improving the lives of adults, youth and families by enhancing literacy and life skills, with the belief that a literate community prospers.  RCLC provides instruction to Rowan County residents of all ages.  As a non-profit organization, the Council’s primary focus is free and confidential, one-to-one tutoring by trained volunteer tutors.  Learn more about RCLC here: https://www.rcliteracy.org/

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