03/23/04 — River Landing development gets award

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River Landing development gets award

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on March 23, 2004 2:03 PM

KENANSVILLE -- River Landing of Wallace received the President's Award from James Sprunt Community College. After presenting the award, the college's president spoke of the funding problems the school faces.

Receiving the award were the owners of River Landing subdivision, Pete and Lynn Murphy, and Dawn Sprye, executive assistant to Kevin Hine, the vice president and general manager.

Economic Development Director Woody Brinson said entrepreneurship is a pet word today, and he is trying to help "the home grown businesses here in Duplin County, and what finer entrepreneurs than the Murphy family?"

The award is given each year to honor a business for what President Mary Wood called its "solid, enduring partnership with the college."

The community college has serious problems and won't be able to keep the doors open to all who need it without help from the General Assembly, said Dr. Wood. The instructors need salary increases, and the college needs money to keep up with technology and enrollment growth.

"The ratio of what we're earning in our formula budget has been slowly eroding," she said. The amount the community colleges receive in their continuation budgets has declined by 13 percent per student over the past four years, although they're fully funded for their new students.

One of the students, Sonja Boykin, said the instructors at college have become "like family" to her. She started attending the community college after she was laid off from her job of 25 years. She said the teachers were supportive and worked with her when she had to miss classes to care for her terminally ill brother.

State Sen. Charles Albertson said lawmakers were expecting a $4 million to $5 million shortfall at the end of the year. "We need to do more cuts or find additional revenue," he said. "I need to hear from you to tell me what you think I ought to do."

State Rep. Larry Bell told the group he represents Duplin until the next election, but his new district will not include the county. "I tried with everything I could to hold onto Duplin County," said Bell, who is from Faison and lives in Sampson County. "I will always represent Duplin County. Where ever I go, you're going. I will always look out for your interests."