12/15/04 — Briefly

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By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on December 15, 2004 1:58 PM

Generous kettle givers

Holiday shoppers have been generous so far this season with the Salvation Army's kettle drive.

As of Monday night, the Army had collected more than $49,000, Capt. John Leidy said Tuesday. That's far ahead of last year's collection rate and on the way to this year's goal of $65,000.

"We still have a lot of ground to go, but I feel good about where we are," he said. "I want to thank the community for its great response this far. It is much appreciated."

The kettle drive is the Salvation Army's main fund-raiser to support its holiday programs and year-round activities. People who want to contribute may do so at 17 Wayne County locations through 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 24.

A vote that counts

More than 1.9 million North Carolinians voted for President Bush's re-election last year, but Ann Sullivan of Wayne County cast one of the 15 ballots that really counted.

Mrs. Sullivan was chosen earlier this year by the N.C. Republican Party as one of the state's representatives in the Electoral College. State law awards all 15 of the state's votes to the candidate who won the popular vote here.

The electors met Monday in Raleigh at the old capitol building to carry out their duties. "We sat in desks with ink wells," she said Tuesday.

Mrs. Sullivan was chosen as the group's secretary and helped tally the vote. That would have been easier if they hadn't accidentally handed out 16 ballots, she said. The electors voted orally on the second go-round.

The ceremony took about 90 minutes and was well worth it, she said. "You just have no idea what this has meant to me. I was just so humbled to be there and then picked secretary. It was everything I expected and more."

All the Electoral College votes will be opened Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C.

Pickle drop

A pickle descending at 7 p.m. on New Year's Eve is just as good as a glittery ball dropping in New York City, say the people in Mount Olive.

And besides, 7 o'clock is actually midnight if you follow Greenwich Mean Time.

So with that in mind, the Mt. Olive Pickle Co. will hold its New Year's Eve Pickle Drop on Dec. 31 for the sixth year in a row.

The event will be held at the corner of Cucumber and Vine streets in Mount Olive and will be open to the public. The festivities will start at 6 p.m., and the pickle will drop will be at 7 p.m.

Activities include a lighted three-foot pickle that will be dropped down the company's flagpole and into a redwood pickle tank. Mr. Crisp, the eight-foot-tall pickle, will also make an appearance. There will be live music by the Harmony Boys and free refreshments -- including pickles.

The event is also a food drive. Those attending can bring canned-food items for the Salvation Army food bank.

For information, contact Lynn Williams at Mt. Olive Pickle Co. at 658-2535 or by e-mail at lwilliams@mtolivepickles.com.

You'll also find a history of Mt. Olive's New Year's Eve Pickle Drop, and driving directions, at www.mtolivepickles.com.