Sunday, November 15

• Our Lady of the Americas Church – Rosary 8:15 am, 9 am Mass. Mexican food and drinks available after Mass. 298 Farmers Market Rd., Biscoe, 910-974-3051.

• 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, 10 am, children ages 3 through grade 5, middle school, high school, and adults. Check for schedule for adult classes offered. Worship Service, 11 am. Nursery care provided, 275 Knox Lane, West End.

• “End of Life Planning Program” – 2 to 5 pm, at West End United Methodist Church. The church welcomes everyone to come and be part of this educational and informational class. Speakers from FirstHealth Hospice; Fry Prickett Funeral Home, Carthage; Boles Funeral Home and an Attorney. The speakers will be available to meet with individuals and answer questions after the presentation. If you are interested in attending this session, please contact the church office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 673-1371.

• West End Presbyterian Church Turkey Bowl VIII – 4 - 6:30 pm, the track at West End Elementary School for a Youth/Adult Flag Football Game followed by dinner at the church. Call Kris Adler-Brammer at 673-4341 by November 8 to sign up to play and order a long sleeved T-shirt.

• West End United Methodist Church Explorers – dinner with youth 6 – 6:30 pm, meeting 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm for children grades K-5. Crafts and activities before eating. Children’s ministry]. West End United Methodist Church, 4015 NC Highway 73, West End, 673-1371.

• SunFlix at the Sunrise – 7:30 pm, Burnt, Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) is a Chef who destroyed his career with drugs and diva behavior. He cleans up and returns to London, determined to redeem himself by spearheading a top restaurant that can gain three Michelin stars. Sunrise Theater, 250 NW Broad Street, Southern Pines (910) 692-3611.


Monday, November 16

• “Wellness Fair” – 9 am-12 pm, Free Hearing Screenings, Eye Screenings, Blood Pressure Screenings and Flu Shots (for those with Medicare). Call 215-0900 to reserve your seat. Senior Enrichment Center, 8040 NC Highway 15-501, West End.

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

• West End Presbyterian Church – 7:30 pm, Evening Women’s Circle meeting, at the Crawford Center.

• SunFlix at the Sunrise – 7:30 pm, Burnt, Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) is a Chef who destroyed his career with drugs and diva behavior. He cleans up and returns to London, determined to redeem himself by spearheading a top restaurant that can gain three Michelin stars. Sunrise Theater, 250 NW Broad Street, Southern Pines (910) 692-3611.


Tuesday, November 17

• 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.

• League of Women Voters of Moore County – 11:30 am, luncheon and meeting at Table on the Green, Pinehurst, $13 per person. Guest speaker: Glenda Clendenin, Director of the Moore County Board of Elections. She will give an update on elections. Everyone welcome. Reservations required, (910) 944-9611 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

• 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 full meeting packet.

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

• Seven Lakes West Landowners Association – 7 pm, meeting. West Side Park Community Center. Review agenda.

• SunFlix at the Sunrise – 7:30 pm, Burnt. Sunrise Theater, 250 NW Broad Street, Southern Pines (910) 692-3611.

Read more: The Week Ahead

The Moore County Sheriff's Office is asking citizens to help identify a person suspected of robbing the Short Stop Exxon station on NC Highway 211 in Seven Lakes in the early morning hours of Wednesday, November 11.

During the investigation, surveillance video was located in the area that captured an image of the suspect in this case.

Anyone with information about this crime or the possible identity of this subject is asked to contact the Moore County Sheriff’s Office at (910) 947-2931 or the Sheriff’s Office Anonymous Tip Line at (910) 947-4444.


The November 13 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:

- The Times will be skipping our Thanksgiving edition. We'll be back on December 11. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from us and ours.

- Filing for next November's election begins December 1, and Westsider Louis Gregory is the first announced candidate for the District 2 seat on the Moore County Board of Commissioners. Commissioner Nick Picerno will not stand for re-election, leaving the seat up for grabs.

- The School Board has started the process of securing architects to design the Advanced Career Center and four new elementary schools.

- Treasurer Mercedes Herdrich has resigned from the SLWLA Board; Stan Makson will replace her.

- The outflow of water from Lake Ramapo in Seven Lakes North has undermined a portion of Edgewater Drive. The Board is having Jewell Engineering design a new culvert. Meanwhile, the roadway is closed to traffic.

- The SLLA Board increased the allowable length of boats on Lake Echo.

- Newcomer Don Boito and incumbent Jon Sedlak were elected to the Foxfire Village Council.

- The Council will meeting in a day-long planning retreat on Friday.

- Mike Griffin delivered his final presentation on the challenges facing the Moore County Schools budget. Griffin, who has stayed on until this year's budget was complete, will fully retire on November 30.

- The School Board is suing the state to recover motor vehicle fines that were being shunted to a state program to relieve jail overcrowding. A state appeals court has already ruled the transfer unconstitutional.

- Volunteers from Middle Cross Baptist Church spent some time last month helping out local folks in 'Operation Inasmuch.'

- Halloween brought a number of events aimed at letting kids have fun while keeping them safe. We have photos from the Seven Lakes Fire Department Open House, the party at the SLLA Stables, and the Westside's Trunk or Treat.

- Phil McElroy is offering our readers an opportunity to pass a letter or card of thanks to Seven Lakes founder Fred Lawrence, and other letter writers weigh in on an variety of issues.

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.

Moore County's Board of Commissioners is ready to fund the construction of four new schools — those at the top of the Schools Board's revised Master Facilities Plan.

That was the clear message from two meetings the Commissioners held on Tuesday, October 20: a Work Session to look at the options for financing school construction and a joint meeting with the School Board to hear about the revised priority list.

"I think our visions marry up very well," Chairman Nick Picerno said at the conclusion of those meetings.

"By having these joint meetings, I think we have shown something that should be a model for every county across our state," Picerno said. 

"Get in a room, lay it on the table, say the pros and cons, show where you disagree, try to work to a middle, and get things done."


Programming the Advanced Career Center

The meeting began with a review of facilities decisions the Board of Education made during their October 12 meeting, rearranging the previously approved Master Facilities Plan to give top priority to the construction of the Advanced Career Center [ACC], near Sandhills Community College, and the next three spots in the priority list to three new elementary schools.

The Commissioners appeared particularly impressed by a presentation of the proposed ACC curriculum by the three current principals of Moore County's high schools.

North Moore Principal Jenny Purvis said, "We want to make sure that, if we build this, we are going to have students there."

So the principals pulled together actual course requests submitted by students last year and compared those with the current offerings at the three high schools.

"We decided to focus on those areas where we have large overcrowding," Purvis said, "where we just can't serve the number of students who are requesting the course." 

An example would be nursing, where state law severely limits the number of students in the classroom, and the high schools can't meet the demand from students.

They also highlighted situations in which students requested a course — but not enough students to make it feasible to offer that course on an existing campus.

An example would be advanced auto technology courses, where there are not enough students on any one campus to warrant offering the courses, but combining all those requests at the ACC would allow those students to be served.

For the principals, the process means losing some courses on their home campuses, while gaining other advantages.

"I lose a lot of courses," Pinecrest Principal Bob Christina said. "But we are sharing, because we care about all the kids in Moore County."

He mentioned specifically the possibility of losing the ROTC program, which could become a part of the Global Leadership pathway at the ACC.

"What does that do for me? That frees up space," he said. "I'm not giving up practice fields for them to drill. I'm not giving up classroom space for four periods. That frees up opportunities for my teachers who don't have classrooms, and have to float, to have their own classroom."

"I have had students come up to me everyday," Union Pines Principal Andy McCormick said, "asking about what are the course offerings at the ACC . . . . I think it will be a tremendous opportunity for the students of Moore County — making them shine, making them more competitive across the state and across the country."

"Kudos to all of you," Commissioner Graham said. "We need those service jobs. We need those electricians. We need those plumbers. CNAs. They know then that they want that RN, so they don't waste two years and then decide, "Hey, this nursing's not for me.'"

"There are a lot of pathways to being successful," Commissioner Randy Saunders said. "I'm for anything we can do to give our kids a competitive advantage. I think this is a game changer for our kids."

Read more: Boards ‘marry visions’ on school facilities

Will Moore County taxpayers support a quarter-cent sales tax increase to help build new schools? 

That question will be answered on March 1, when the Presidential Primary ballot will also include an opportunity to vote for or against a "local sales and use tax at the rate of one-quarter percent (0.25%) in addition to all other state and local taxes."

If the voters approve, the new tax will add an estimated $2.2 million to County coffers in FY 2017.

The Moore County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved, during their regular Tuesday, October 20 meeting, a resolution asking Elections Director Glenda Clendenin to put the question on the March Primary ballot.

The referendum question, cannot, by law, include any statement about the intended use of the funds. But the Commissioners have made clear that they intend use most — if not all — of that new revenue to support the building of new schools.

The Commissioners and Board of Education held a joint meeting earlier in the day, and that conversation revealed a willingness on the Commissioners part to fund the first four projects on the School Board's priority list: the new Advanced Career Center near Sandhills Community College, a new elementary school in Area 1 (Carthage, Cameron, Whispering Pines, and Vass), and new elementary schools in Aberdeen and Southern Pines. [See story on page 7 for more details.]

The new voter-approved sales tax is allowed under Article 46 of Chapter 105 of the NC General Statutes. 

Unlike other local sales taxes authorized by the General Statutes, Article 46 taxes are distributed to the county alone, rather than being shared with the municipalities. The tax will not be applied to purchases of groceries or gasoline.

State law prohibits the County from advocating for or against the sales tax; however, the County can spend money to educate voters about the referendum. County Manager Wayne Vest said his leadership team would "immediately begin an initiative to educate and inform the voters."

Prior to the vote , Chairman Nick Picerno recalled that he was asked, in a candidates forum during his first campaign, whether he would support an increase in the sales tax. He was the lone candidate who said he would not support an increase.

"The reason I did not support it at that time was that they had no proven reason for additional revenue. There was no excuse to raise the tax. I think we have shown over and over through our discussions with the School Board and our educational construction needs — and the way we are getting rooked by the tier system not giving us our fair share — that this is the only way that we can supply the revenue we need."

Read more: County seeks quarter percent sales tax hike

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 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

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...