Sunday, October 4

• Rosary at Our Lady of the Americas Church – 8:00 am, 298 Market Rd. Biscoe.

• West End United Methodist Church – Sunday School, 9:45 am, Worship Services, 8:30 am or 11:00 am. Everyone welcome, child care available

• Chapel in the Pines – 9 am worship service, 581 Seven Lakes Drive.

• St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church – 9:30 am, Holy Communion. 1145 Seven Lakes Drive.

• West End Presbyterian Church – Sunday School 9:45 am, 11 am, Everyone welcome. 275 Knox Lane, West End.

• SunFlix at the Sunrise – 2:30 & 7:30 pm, Grandma. Stars: Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden. Sunrise Theater, 250 NW Broad Street, Southern Pines (910) 692-3611.

• Fall Foraging – 3 pm, Join a Park Ranger for a presentation about the many foraging habits of different animals and what some will do over winter. Program will be fun for everyone. Weymouth Woods, 1024 Fort Bragg Rd., Southern Pines, 910-692-2167. Free and open to the public.

• West End United Methodist Church EXPLORERS – dinner with youth from 6 – 6:30 pm, meeting 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm for children grades K-5. Time of learning, crafts and activities before eating. Children’s ministry, explore God’s Word through scripture, crafts, games. West End United Methodist Church, 4015 NC Highway 73, West End, 673-1371.

• The Rooster’s Wife – doors open at 6 pm, show at 6:45 pm, in the gallery of Poplar Knight Spot. Music guest: Mr. Sun. Rooster's Wife. 114 Knight St., Aberdeen, (910) 944-7502.


Monday, October 5

• Moore County Board of Education - Work Session – 12:30 pm, Central Office. Review meeting packet.

• Weight Watchers Meeting – 5 pm to 6 pm, at St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church, 1145 Seven Lakes Drive, Seven Lakes.

• SunFlix at the Sunrise – 7:30 pm, Grandma. Stars: Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden. Sunrise Theater, 250 NW Broad Street, Southern Pines (910) 692-3611.


Tuesday, October 6

• Healing Service – 11 am, St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church. 1145 Seven Lakes Dr., Seven Lakes. Intercessory prayers for the sick & troubled, those in harms way, traveling, bereaved or deceased. Reverend Carol Burgess. All are welcome.

• Seven Lakes Kiwanis Club – lunch at 11:30 am, meeting at 12:05 pm. *New meeting location, Fellowship Hall of the Chapel in the Pines. Visitors are welcome.

• Moore County Board of Commissioners – 5:30 pm, at the Historic Courthouse, Carthage. Review agenda or meeting packet.

• Trivia Tuesday at Sandhills Winery – 6 pm to 8 pm. 1057 Seven Lakes Drive. 673-2949.

• SunFlix at the Sunrise – 7:30 pm, Grandma. Stars: Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden. Sunrise Theater, 250 NW Broad Street, Southern Pines (910) 692-3611.

Read more: The Week Ahead

On Thursday, October 8, Moore County's new Fire Commission will  review the final draft of a funding formula developed to drive budgeting for the County's seventeen fire and rescue departments.

The work of the Commission to standardize service across the County has already become controversial, at least in West End and Foxfire Village, as bits and pieces of the funding formula have appeared in the minutes of the Commission.

It appears inevitable that the funding model will recommend that the County pay for fewer paid firefighters at West End Fire and Rescue [WEFR] than that department's Board of Directors currently has on staff.

Both the WEFR Board and the Village of Foxfire, which is served by the West End department, have expressed concern that a reduction in paid personnel will undermine coverage.

The Times met with Fire Commission Chairman Mike Cameron; Rich Lambdin, President of the Moore County Fire Chief's Association; and County Fire Marshal Ken Skipper on Tuesday, September 22 to better understand the rationale behind the Commission's funding formula.  Cameron is Chief of Cypress Pointe Fire & Rescue; Lambdin is Chief at Whispering Pines Fire and Rescue.

Read more: Fire Commission aims to improve service countywide

The October 2 edition of The Seven Lakes Times is now available for download in pdf format. You can download a high-quality PDF here, or, if you have a slower internet connection, download a smaller PDF here.

Highlights of this 32-page edition include:

- SLLA Treasurer Mark Gyure presented the basic outline of a new security system for Seven Lakes North and South that would replace paper ID cards with "proximity cards" that could make it easier for landowners to access amenities.

- Lakes & Dams Director Mark Widman presented a list of in-house dam maintenance projects.

- Moore County's new Fire Commission has been hard at work on a funding formula that will be rolled out on October 8. We have a look at some of the thinking that went into that model.

- Westsiders will no longer be able to reserve and rent Johnson Point gazebos on Summer weekends, the SLWLA Board decided. The concern is that big family events add to overcrowding at the Point.

- Repaving is set to crank up in Seven Lakes West . . . if it ever stops raining.

- Foxfire Village will forego making a PARTF grant application this year. With major repairs to the swimming pool and a potential expansion of Village Hall on the agenda, finding money to match a state grant was a bridge too far for the Council.

- The Village's Land Use Plan Steering Committee got off to a good start with a review of Village demographics.

- Moore County's Animal Operations Advisory Committee is making prevention a priority in order to reduce the number of unwanted pets entering the shelter.

- The Sports Club hosted its annual kids fishing tournament, and Beacon Ridge held its annual member/guest.

- Some West End Elementary students planted Pinwheels for Peace, and Bruton Vineyards is harvesting muscadine grapes. 

- Harry marvels at the changes the world has undergone since he graduated from high school, and Don Fentzlaff thinks the new pasture fence is not the fence the SLLA Board approved. 

Download the high-quality PDF edition (or, if you have a slower internet connection, download a lower-quality pdf edition) and read it all this morning, pick up a copy at locations all over Seven Lakes this afternoon, or check your mailbox tomorrow.

The Board of Commissioners has tabled a request by Moore County Schools [MCS] to use $800,000 in NC Education Lottery funds to purchase the site for a new Aberdeen Elementary School and to pay for due diligence and design fees. The unanimous vote came during the Board’s Tuesday, August 4 meeting.

“Using lottery funds for furthering the capital needs of our schools is right on,” Commissioners’ Chairman Nick Picerno said during the meeting. “That’s what they are actually supposed to be used for — to build schools.”

“What my issue is, and has been all along,” Picerno continued, “I am not voting to spend one penny on any school construction of any kind until the Board of Education and the Board of Commissioners have met, got on the same page, and understand the beginning, the middle, and the end of what we are trying to accomplish, what the timeframe is to accomplish that, what the anticipated cost is going to be, and what problems we are actually solving as we go through each of these processes.”

MCS Administration and the Board of Education undertook a lengthy process of identifying and prioritizing the County’s needs for new and expanded school facilities in 2013 and 2014. That process included a projection of student population growth by a research firm affiliated with NC State University, evaluation of existing MCS campuses by Moseley Architects, community meetings and a survey to gather public input, the convening of a task force of community leaders to provide recommendations to the School Board, and significant debate by the School Board itself.

The result was a priority list of ten projects with an estimated total cost of $110 million, including the expansion of Pinecrest and Union Pines High Schools, the construction of a new specialty high school, three new elementary schools, expansions at Pinehurst and West Pine Elementary Schools, renovations at North Moore High School, and a new middle school.

What the process did not produce — and the Commissioners want — is a detailed projection of the timing of those projects, and the cash that will be required at each step of the process, so that the County can decide how best to come up with those funds.

Read more: Commissioners table funding for new school site

Parents for Moore plans to welcome the more than one hundred new teachers who will join Moore County Public Schools this Fall with welcome baskets stocked with gift cards and discount coupons for local businesses, small gifts, and even school supplies.

The group — formed to lobby for increased funding for public education — is also developing ways to show community support for classroom teachers.

Gift baskets will be distributed to new teachers at a welcoming celebration in mid-August. The program will be extended to returning teachers in September.

Jennifer Theis Hafer, who is heading up the project, told The Times that there are several ways that local businesses, non-profits, and individuals can participate:

Mondays for Moore - Businesses are encouraged to dedicate a percentage of receipts from the first Monday of each month to supporting public schools. For example, a restaurant might pledge that ten percent of its First Monday sales would go toward the effort. 

The funds collected will be divided evenly among the County's public schools and routed through the PTA or Principals office at each school. Businesses participating will be recognized in a Parents for Moore directory that will be included in teacher gift baskets. Hafer even hopes to have the directory translated into a smartphone app that teachers and others can use to locate "teacher-friendly businesses."

Chili's in Southern Pines has already signed on, and will host a Mondays for Moore event on Monday, August 3.

Teacher Discounts - Businesses offering an ongoing discount for teachers will also be listed in the directory.

Gift Cards & Coupons - Businesses can donate a supply of gift cards, coupons, or special offers for teachers for use in the gift baskets. Hafer said the group will need 155 of each in order to place one in each new teacher gift basket. Those donations will be recognized in the Parents for Moore directory.

Welcome Baskets - Finally, businesses, organizations, or individuals can build their own welcome basket filled with gift cards, gifts, school supplies, and-or various other goodies. Those baskets will be included among those given out to new teachers in mid August.

In addition to being listed in the Parents for Moore directory, Hafer said, participating businesses will receive a decal or sticker that can be placed near their cash register, identifying them as a "teacher-friendly" business.

Gift cards, coupons, and other smaller items may be mailed to Parents for Moore, PO Box 4764, Pinehurst, NC 28374. Those with larger items or gift baskets can email Hafer to have them picked up.

In order to be included in the gift baskets for new teachers, donated items must be received by Thursday, August 6.

For more information on the program, email Jennifer Theis Hafer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ray Sohl has resigned as Community Manager of the Seven Lakes Landowners Association [SLLA] to pursue a career opportunity in California.

Sohl announced his resignation during the Thursday, July 23 Work Session of the SLLA Board of Directors. He said he had given notice of his resignation to President Chuck Leach four weeks earlier.

Sohl's final day on the job was Friday, July 24. He told The Times that his family would be relocating to the San Francisco area.

CAS, Inc., SLLA's management company, will provide an interim manager while the search proceeds for a permanent replacement for Sohl. A notice of the opening is posted on the website of the Community Associations Institute, a national trade group for landowners associations.

"I think you will have an easy time filling it," Sohl said of his position. "This is a beautiful community. I have really learned to love it. The lakes and the amenities really make you unique in the state of North Carolina. I'm just really sorry that I can't take this community with me."

"I have appreciated my time serving the Board and this community," Sohl said. "I think you have an excellent Board. I think they are representative of the community. It's a tough job, and I want to say how much I appreciate them, and how difficult this decision has been for me."

"He has been a dedicated, honest, and loyal Community Manager," President Chuck Leach said of Sohl, "with very few people knowing how much he truly cared for Seven Lakes."

"His primary focus has always been on doing what is right, and doing what is in the best interest of this community," Leach said.

"Ray can leave Seven Lakes with pride in his accomplishments and the satisfaction of a job well done. As he looks forward to new challenges in California, he has our respect, appreciation, and our very best wishes."

Read more: Sohl Resigns as SLLA Community Manager

Moore County has finally received a response from state lawmakers to its resolution on school funding.

The resolution points out that the way the state calculates how many teachers to fund in each district shortchanges every district in the state, because it doesn’t take into account the number of teachers actually needed to serve the students in each school.

The Board of Commissioners have passed the resolution in three consecutive meetings, and the Parents for Moore advocacy group mailed a copy to every county and school district in the state.

During the Commissioners’ Tuesday, July 21 regular meeting, Chairman Nick Picerno reported that the county has now received responses to the resolution from Governor Pat McCrory, Senator Jerry Tillman, Representative Allen McNeill, and Philip Price of the NC Department of Public Instruction, “all acknowledging that the hole we have identified certainly does exist.”

“Now that we have people in our state government acknowledging the problem, we’ll have to continue to work on a way to fix that,” Picerno said.

He added that the Board of Commissioners will hold a critical Issues Summit on September 10 and 11 that will include a session with the Board of Education on funding issues. State lawmakers will also be invited to that session.

For that meeting, Picerno said he had asked Moore County Schools [MCS] for “a real detailed, non-political, no spin” presentation on where its fund are being spent — “Where we are actually spending our money, from the state, and from the county taxpayers.”

Read more: Lawmakers respond to teacher funding resolution

The drive for a recall election that would remove Laura Lang from the Moore County’s Board of Education ran aground during the Tuesday, July 21 regular meeting of the Moore County Board of Commissioners.

But we may not have heard their last word on the subject.

The Commissioners unanimously rejected a resolution that would have added Moore County’s name to a recall bill for the Stanly County Board of Education. 

A few hours later, Chairman Nick Picerno pledged to put the resolution again before the Board during their August 4 meeting, and to support it at that time.

Picerno made that pledge on the Parents for Moore Facebook page, in response to protests from the group’s members.

The bill in question, House Bill 111, was filed by Representative Justin Burr of Albemarle, and currently pertains only to the recall of members of the Stanly County School Board. 

It was approved by the House in a 71-43 vote in March, passed its first reading in the Senate on April 1, and has been shuffled between the Senate Rules Committee and the State and Local Government Committee since.

Read more: Commissioners back away from recall election

Steven Charles Behre, a 52-year-old resident of Middlesex, NJ, died of apparent drowning at Lake Sequoia Tuesday evening, July 7.

Moore County Sheriff's Detective Kathy Williams told The Times that Behre was found in the water near the dock at 122 Overlook Drive by family members, who began CPR. 

The home is owned by Roger Behre. Mr. Behre and his late wife, Claire, retired to Seven Lakes in 1993.

Williams said the emergency call came into the 9-1-1 center at 6:17 pm. Seven Lakes EMS, Seven Lakes Volunteer Fire and Rescue, and West End Fire and Rescue all responded to the scene, taking over efforts to revive Behre.

Williams said the incident "looks like a bad accident" but could not speculate on whether the cause of death was drowning or some other medical event. 

Behre was transported to FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. The cause of death will be determined by an autopsy conducted by the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Raleigh.

Moore County Schools Superintendent Dr. Bob Grimesey says the district will be undergoing some "organizational renovations," aimed at creating "a new culture of collaboration, trust, and respect." 

"The work of the Board of Education and Moore County Schools [MCS] will never return to its status quo, but will foster and cultivate a new normal," he said in a video released on Monday afternoon, June 29.

The carefully-worded statement honored the unprecedented level of public outcry that was sparked by his recent termination — and that succeeded in having him reinstated. But it also expressed a determination that any changes the district makes "follows appropriate due process."

Dr. Bob Grimesey from Moore County Schools on Vimeo.

"After all, are we not the same Moore County community who spoke with a single voice so loud that it gained the attention of the entire state?" Grimesey asked.

The public attention that was focused on MCS as a result of the dismissal of the Superintendent included substantial criticism of the role the Central Office staff plays in determining what is taught and how it is taught in the classroom. 

Read more: Grimesey Promises "Renovations" for School District

In Memory Of

  • William Fred (Bill) Schmidt Jr.

      80, of Seven Lakes, NC, died in his home Wednesday, September 9.  A Memorial Service will be held 4...

  • William Clyde (Bill) Kerchof

    97, passed away Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, at his residence in Pinehurst. Mr. Kerchof was an early...

  • Anderson L. Lowe

    85, of Seven Lakes North, passed away Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, at FirstHealth Hospice House in...

  • Rickie Alan Luc

    68, of Seven Lakes West, died at his home Saturday, September 19. His funeral mass was celebrated...

  • Marie Antoinette Garvey

    76, of Seven Lakes and formerly NY died at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte on Thursday,...

  • Gilbert Lynn Russell

    82, of Seven Lakes, died at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, on Thursday, September 10. A...

  • Donna Joan Skimin Fellows

    87, formerly of Seven Lakes died Monday, August 31, at Quail Haven Village, Pinehurst. A memorial...