Insights and Observations
Thursday, April 8, 2004
By Henry Hinton
Broadcaster & Owner
of Greenville Cable 7
Politics churn around Med
The fight continues from the Brody School of Medicine
for the proposed Eastern North Carolina Cardiovascular Institute.
You will remember that the university is asking for $60
million in the upcoming session of the General Assembly which commences in
Raleigh the second week of May.
The leadership in the Senate has stated publicly that
it supports the effort and intends to have it attached to a bill which will
include the new cancer center at UNC-Chapel Hill.
The co-speakers of the House of Representatives have
also pledged support. However, the support is not unqualified. Republican
Co-speaker Richard Morgan continues to say that he supports the idea in
general but wants to see how it will be funded first.
The idea of a cigarette tax has been floated on several
occasions and Morgan has stated firmly that he would not support it in that
Dr. Randolph Chitwood, the chief architect of the
institute, and other administrators are concerned that the idea will not
receive a positive vote in the General Assembly without a specific funding
Late word on Tuesday is that Governor Easley and the
leadership of both parties are working to try and find a way to make it
happen before the legislature comes to town in a few weeks. Some creative
financing is in the works.
ECU will remain positive but concerned until the vote
is taken. There is no question this will be put on the table, but in a tough
economy and rugged budget year the outcome is still in doubt.
Bull-fight looms for East
Finally this week is beginning to feel like spring. The
warm weather has arrived just in time for another big baseball weekend in
Greenville as the South Florida Bulls come to town.
Randy Mazey had his team playing well on the road,
winning seven games during an eight-game swing that concluded last night
with a 7-5 victory at Duke.
With a 25-6 record, the 17th-ranked Pirates hope they
will be even better when they return home this weekend for the stiff test
with USF. The Bulls have traditionally been a tough out in Conference USA.
Great timing with Harrington Field the scene for the
Easter weekend series. Get out, enjoy the weather and hope for another good
outing by the Pirates.
Bowdens visit Greenville
This past Sunday night over 1,000 sports fanatics,
young and old, got a rare opportunity to hear from a living legend.
Bobby Bowden visited Greenville to be the key note
speaker for the annual Fellowship of Christian Athletes event at Oakmont
FCA has had an incredible rebirth around Eastern N.C.
since former minor leaguer Sam Martin took the reigns as executive director
three years ago. Martin has brought in some big names in the last few years
including former New York Yankee great Bobby Richardson.
However, Sunday night’s event was a high water mark.
The legendary Florida State coach was joined by son Tommy Bowden, the 2003
ACC Coach of the Year from Clemson.
As I listened to them speak it hit me that they both
had quite a year. Tommy bounced back from a rough start with the Tigers to
get some big wins, including one over Dad.
That Florida State loss did not prohibit Bobby from
surpassing Joe Paterno as the all time winningest coach in NCAA history.
While their message included some jokes about each
other and some good natured ribbing, along with some good football chat,
they both focused on the youth in the audience.
Bobby Bowden’s speech was akin to a good Southern
Baptist sermon. He is eloquent in delivery and one can tell he very much
believes what he says.
It was a great event and fun for people in and around
Greenville to hear from someone of his stature.
Update on high school
The Greenville City Council has been approached about
helping with the funding for the Eastern Regional High School Playoffs
starting this fall.
A few weeks ago, North Carolina High School Athletic
Association officials offered ECU and the City of Greenville a chance to add
various sports to the already successful basketball event at ECU, starting
with football later this year.
Each sport has a price tag attached which includes
payment of all expenses for the association, the teams involved and the
The Greenville-Pitt Chamber of Commerce raises $45,000
annually for the basketball event held in Minges Coliseum and Rose High
School each year.
On Thursday night, the Greenville City Council will
vote on a proposal to inject an additional $50,000 annually into the
project, which would allow ECU to host two football regionals in December
and two best-of-three baseball series in the Pirates' new baseball stadium
If the council agrees to fund the regionals, ECU will
host two football games, from classifications to be determined at season’s
end, in Dowdy-Ficklen the first week of December.
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02/23/2007 10:13:24 AM