07/25/04 — Local digest

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Local digest

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on July 25, 2004 2:01 AM

Farm worker union to protest at trial

DUDLEY -- Activists from the Wayne County office of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, or FLOC, will attend the trial of two of its members at 9 a.m. on Aug. 3 in Nash County Court.

Student intern Francisco Heredia of the Student Action with Farmworkers and Blake Pendergrass of FLOC were charged with criminal trespass during an educational meeting with migrant farm workers in a labor camp in Whitakers.

At the request of the grower on June 25, Nash County Sheriff Jimmy Grimes sent deputies to the meeting between FLOC and 20 cucumber pickers. FLOC officials said the farm workers were meeting to discuss concerns over substandard living and working conditions and pay that was below the minimum wage.

Bell speaks at national conference

N.C. Rep. Larry M. Bell was a panelist Monday at a pre-conference session on "The New Physical Education" prior to the National Conference of State Legislators in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Bell spoke about North Carolina's experience with childhood obesity, the State Board of Education's decision to establish local school health councils and strategies to combat rising youth obesity rates.

Bell, a former educator, has written legislation that would require children to get at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week in schools.

The panel was sponsored by the American Heart Association and the Utah Department of Health.

A Sampson County Democrat, Bell represents a portion of Wayne County in the N.C. General Assembly. He is unopposed for re-election this year.

Stroud appointed to state council

KENANSVILLE -- Jo Ann Stroud of Kenansville has been appointed to the state Extension Advisory Council representing 13 counties.

The appointment came from Jon Ort, assistant vice chancellor, associate dean and director of N.C. State University.

The advisory council is a liaison between extension administration and the county advisory councils.

Ms. Stroud has been on advisory councils at the local level for many years.

She has won the Governor's Outstanding Volunteer award and other awards for her involvement in agriculture.

She and her husband, Jimmy Wayne Stroud, grow row crops, livestock and poultry. They have one daughter, Allyson Perry, who works for Murphy-Brown.

Chief court counselor selected

The North Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has appointed Joe Testino as chief court counselor of the 8th Judicial District, which spans Wayne, Lenoir and Greene counties.

Testino was court counselor supervisor of the 7th Judicial District. He began his new position on July 1.

"I'm honored," Testino said of being chosen. "There's a great group of folks here, and a lot of good things in place. I'm excited about being a part of it."

Testino attended Mars Hill College and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1983. An active member of the Stoneybrook Church of Christ in Wilson, Testino serves as an elder and Sunday school teacher. He and his wife, Anita, have two children, Lauren, 14 and John Anthony, 11.

Valentin completes nursing program

CHAPEL HILL -- Nathalie Valentin of Dudley was a participant in the 2004 Nursing Exploration Week at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing.

Miss Valentin was among 36 high school students from across the state accepted to the program, now in its 15th year. More than 140 students applied for the competitive program, which requires candidates to have a grade point average of "B" or better and to write a statement about what they hope to gain from the program. Those selected had a 3.63 median grade point average.

Participants spent June 21-25 paired with nurses at UNC Hospitals, Durham Technical Community College, Durham Veteran's Affairs Medical Center and Rex Healthcare to learn first-hand about a nurse's work day. Students observed patients receiving medical treatments, nurses providing care to critically ill patients and therapy provided to children.