Ask a question here

Welcome to Live Wire!

I’ve said it before — in the text over there to the right — but I want to say it again: Please feel free to pose questions to Live Wire. You can do it here at the blog, by replying to this post. Or you can e-mail You can also call the Live Wire line — 486-3516 — and leave a message.

You can also respond to other posters here if you know the answer to a question or if you have a comment or suggestion. Please chime in! Greg and I will keep an eye on the blog and we’ll try to answer your questions here or in the column itself.

As you may know, the six-day-a-week Live Wire column is now pritch-mug.jpeggreg-mug.jpegauthored by both me (Catherine Pritchard) and Greg Phillips. (He’s on the left — if you couldn’t guess. 😉 ) I now sign my answers C.P. and he signs his, well, G.P.

Besides Live Wire, we share responsibility for the Fay to Z breaking news blog and we both do other work for the paper as well.

If you’re new to Live Wire, the column tackles anything we consider to be of general interest or consumer interest — or both. Anything, as I have said, that’s outside of scary Dear Abby territory. Ask us something. We’ll see if we can answer — or if another poster can. If you’re not sure how to post or what’s involved in that, check here. Again, welcome. — c.p.



54 Responses to “Ask a question here”

  1. Jose I cardona Says:

    Question #1
    How much money was retired General Mcneil paid this Aug 15 when he spoke at the ASOM.
    Question #2. Isn’t airborne day supposed to be Aug the 16 as proclaimed by this city? and if it is why was it celebrated on the 15th.
    question #3.
    Can you tell me the size of the hat that Jim Cooke wears on his head? He is the radio announcer in wfnc.640.
    Question #5. How much monies did the ASOM Made last year from the internet sales and the Bob Hope foundation?.

  2. dlee Says:

    Where was Steve’s Tower in the Sky (the tower) located exactly? I know that MLK bypass was the reason for it’s demise, but would like to know where the bldg would be if it was still standing. Thanks

  3. dlee Says:

    Is there anywhere on the internet that provides historical data for amount of money per pupil that has been budgeted for the CC schools?

  4. The Moose is Loose Says:

    Jose…what happened to question #4….:-)

  5. chitownjoe Says:

    moose: glad to see you’re always on the ball moose. i almost missed that one. good show.

  6. Jose I cardona Says:

    While driving drunk,on the telephone you are also speeding and just happen to get pull over. can you still call the Mayor and get of the hook. Thanks moose I was drinking some of that kool aid that this president is trying to get all of us to drink. “Airborne leaders come and go,but soldiers are still on welfare”.

  7. The Moose is Loose Says:

    Nice question #4 Jose….very nice…:-)…I gotta keep you straight ya know….

  8. dlee Says:

    Today’s column addressing this question:
    I am curious as to why there has been so much controversy over the Hotel Prince Charles situation and there’s nothing being said about the burned-out hull of the old Gas House on Rowan Street. To me, that’s more of an eyesore than what’s going on downtown. Please let us know what’s being done about that. – T.W., Lillington

    seems to have missed the point. I believe the interest is more in finding out why the city has allowed the situation to continue, not in what the owner has, or actually has not, planned.

  9. Catherine Pritchard Says:

    Hi y’all. We’ll see what we can do to answer/address all these questions/comments.

    But I can go ahead and give some info to dlee on the location of Steve’s Tower-in-the-Sky Drive-In. It was at the corner of Gillespie Street and what was then Elizabethtown Road (now the MLK/NC 87) — southern side of the MLK, western side of Gillespie Street. It seems to have been kind of between the current road and the off-ramp there, or maybe under the off-ramp, too.

    The Sky-Vue Drive-In Theater operated on that property originally, starting in 1948.

    As dlee almost certainly knows, the Tower-in-the-Sky was a drive-in with a glass tower over it where a DJ sat playing Top 40 records and requests. The Tower-in-the-Sky operated from the late ’50s until 1969 when it was done in by changes in the culture, the business and word that the state was going to build a road there — though that section of the MLK didn’t open ’til 1997.

    If you’d like to see a couple of old pix from the Tower in the Sky, click on this link and this one.

  10. The Moose is Loose Says:

    For 10 points AND the win..who is the DJ in the second link?

  11. Catherine Pritchard Says:

    [whistles innocently]If you really want to guess, you won’t want to right-click on the pic or look at its URL.[/whistles innocently]

  12. The Moose is Loose Says:


  13. The Moose is Loose Says:

    Hey and thanks for opening this up to questions…great add to your work at the FO…

  14. cicvet Says:

    Where does one ask if the CFRT or the Gilbert Theater needs volunteer stage crews? I’m not talking artistry, designing, etc., — just labor.

  15. dlee Says:

    Catherine, thanks a bunch for that! Looks like that must have been when it first opened. Funny how things seem so much smaller as you get older.

    Bet Jeff Thompson could share some stories and pictures, too!

  16. Catherine Pritchard Says:

    Cicvet: CFRT vol info and Gilbert Theater vol info. Break a leg! (But not really.)

  17. Catherine Pritchard Says:

    dlee, you’re welcome! And Jeff and others are certainly welcome to post stories and pic links. (Or pix can be sent to me and I’ll upload them to a site to which they can be linked.)


  18. cicvet Says:

    Thanks, lady — you done good. If I get to help out there, and you visit the theater, remember: Don’t whistle backstage.

  19. Catherine Pritchard Says:

    Lucky then that I can’t whistle! I’ll limit my clapping to the audience, too, so as not to violate another of the many theatrical superstitions.


    p.s. You’re welcome.

  20. cicvet Says:

    Har de har har. I hope others check out your link. You’re a goody, girl. Thanks again.

  21. The Moose is Loose Says:

    Catherine Pritchard Says:

    August 18th, 2009 at 11:02 am
    [whistles innocently]If you really want to guess, you won’t want to right-click on the pic or look at its URL.[/whistles innocently]


    Catherine Pritchard Says:

    August 18th, 2009 at 3:15 pm
    Lucky then that I can’t whistle! I’ll limit my clapping to the audience, too, so as not to violate another of the many theatrical superstitions.


    p.s. You’re welcome.

    Ok OK which is it….????

  22. joyce bosco Says:

    I have a question concerning federal and state income tax fraud. My granddaughter last year for the tax year of 2008 was claimed by her father even though he he was in prison for seven months of the year. I come to find out because I went to file taxes and he told me he already had got the money and claimed her I said that was not fair because I was the one who supported her and her mother for almost that whole year. You see they are not married and felt it was his right. I found out later on that I was supposed to claim her but I thought it was too late since he already got the money from H and R Block. He thinks he can do it again for this tax year however he has not even supported both of them at all this year and I want to find out what I can do so he will not do this again. I know his name, where he works at now, I don’t know his social security number, and also he does not even had paid any type of child support to the baby. I have supporting her and the baby all this year. I hope you can help me with this matter so he does not get away with this again and how do I notify the H and R Block so he does not get away with this again. I thank you for any assistance you can give me with this matter.

  23. joyce bosco Says:

    I hope you can assist me in this matter.

    edit by c.p. at 7:20 p.m.: Joyce, I made your post right below private for just me and Greg since it contained your cell phone number. We will see what we can find out about this for you.

  24. joyce bosco Says:

    no comment at this time

  25. Catherine Pritchard Says:

    From Moose: Ok OK which is it….????

    Whoops! Contradictions r us. OK, I can whistle figuratively but not literally.


  26. Carl Grant Says:

    I work for a utlity company that has recently expanded our coverage area from Robeson county all the way to Angier in Harnett county and Fuquay Varina in Wake county and were told if we dispatch there and working on a problem and it is after 5:00 PM and say we finish the job at 6:00 PM we should sign out (Off The Clock) and then drive home an hour or so off the clock saying the company will not pay for us driving home even though we are operating a company vehicle.Is this legal /Is the company liable if we are in anaccident?Is this right ?

  27. Catherine Pritchard Says:

    Hi Carl. We’ll look into this but, in the meantime, look at this info from the N.C. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

    It says travel from the employer’s office to a worksite and back again may be work time — but not necessarily.

    And the fact that you’re driving home, not back to the office, is another factor. Regular commuting isn’t worktime. I understand this is what you might say was irregular commuting — not your normal commute — but still.


  28. Carl Grant Says:


  29. Catherine Pritchard Says:

    Carl, sorry if I wasn’t clear — if that’s what all those question marks mean.

    As I said, we’ll look into this further.


  30. Jessica Says:

    Can someone please tell me how someone can only spend 12 years with parole in 3, in prison for second degree murder, but someone who got caught with 71 grams of cocaine gets 20 yrs with NO PAROLE?

    Also, can someone tell me how the NC Child Support System/Legal System can morally and ethically allow women to lie about paternity of their children and trap men and suffer no reprecussions or consequences, but can have the best of both worlds while the man stuggles financially? NC is condoning adulterous affairs by allowing men who are married and go through a divorce to have paternity tests. Now wouldn’t you think if you are married, you shouldn’t HAVE to question the paternity of your children??? But for men who do not marry the women and sign the affadavit of paternity because they have been in what they believed was a monogamous relationship for 8 yrs, but then later discover the woman lied and as a result the child is not biologically theirs, are not allowed to have a paternity test and are made to pay child support for that child. I can understand some situaitons, but when you have the woman refusing to let the alleged father see the child, but still has a court order through child support for money, and then lets the biological father have all rights and just give her money on the side, is WRONG!!! She should be punished. Granted it is not the childs fault and if the child and alleged father have a relationship, then it should be handled differently. NC should handle each situation differently. It is not fair to men who get caught in that situation, they lose out financially and emotionally. WHere is the justice?

  31. Catherine Pritchard Says:

    Jessica, your thorny questions are better posed to lawmakers and perhaps lawyers as well.

    But I can point you to some general information on these issues. Read about the state’s current structured sentencing laws here. In sentencing, both the class of an offense and any prior record by the offender is considered.

    You can see how state law defines first- and second-degree murder here.

    The state’s controlled substance law is here.

    This site talks particularly about paternity issues faced by military members following divorce. But I believe the information here that particularly touches on your question applies to civilians as well.


  32. Catherine Pritchard Says:

    Jose, I’ll see what I can find out about your questions.

    Same with yours about historical per-pupil spending stats online, dlee. I can offer you this stat — from the school system’s 2009 annual report.


  33. Jim Says:

    I was leaving Fayetteville going through Spring Lake via Murchison Rd. I have always been unhappy over the appearance of the road, in particular right as you leave the base.

    Well, yesterday I saw a lot of the area that has been an eyesore being cleared off! Yeah, about time. That was giving a terrible impression to anyone who came that way into Fayetteville.

    Anyway, my question is, who is clearing it? Is it military? Can’t be the city, they can’t agree on anything, much less a simple appearance improvement. What are the plans for that area?

    If there was a story on this I missed it.


  34. Benjamin Wright Says:

    Hi, I was wondering what had happened to 500 blunt street skate park. I noticed it was closed down and i wondered if you happened to know why or if you could find out for me? Also, i wondered if you could (please) find out about what they are going to do with all those ramps and quarter pipes in there (and the rails)?


  35. Catherine Pritchard Says:

    This story should answer your question.


  36. Catherine Pritchard Says:

    Benjamin, I’ll check into that.


  37. Jeff Thompson Says:

    Catherine, it might interest you to know that the picture of a d.j. you posted with the Tower in the Sky piece is that of Paul Michels, circa 1966 or thereabouts. The ‘tower’ was originally the projection booth above the former drive-in theatre restaurant. During the time S.T. Horne operated the restaurant and lounge (1959-1969), WFNC aired the live radio show from the ‘tower’ from 8-12pm nightly and 3-12pm on Sundays. We took record requests from drive-in patrons who would write their requests on cards and leave them in a mail box at the base of the staircase to the ‘tower.’ Among the personalities who d.j.’d there were Arlan Miller, David Boddington, Chris Mack, Bill Ashford, Jerry England, Johnny Black, Paul and myself. My tenure was from 1964 thru 1967. You fairly accurately pinpointed the building’s location. Steve Horne Jr. decided to close down the place in 1969 because he feared it would loose its wholesome reputation because of the growing inclination of young people to use marijuana. If I’m not mistaken the state had already purchased the property for eventual construction of the M.L.K. Freeway.

  38. Catherine Pritchard Says:

    Thanks for the info, Jeff. It sounds like a real scene!


  39. Benjamin Says:

    thank you

  40. Keith Riddle Says:


    Would you by any chance know what ever happened to Bill Ashford? He was the first dj in Fayetteville, in my memory anyway, who veered away from the top 40 format of the 60’s and started playing more progressive rock and album cuts. I remember looking forward to his show every evening in the late 60’s, and bought a lot of albums that I still cherish today on his over-the-air advice.

  41. Keith Riddle Says:

    Oops! Never mind Jeff. After asking the question I decided to google him and found that he passed away this past December in Florida after a long career in Colorado. He sure influenced a lot of people’s musical tastes back in the 60’s!

  42. Jeff Thompson Says:

    Keith, I didn’t realize Bill had passed. He was a dear friend albeit for only a couple of years. You may remember he married Coumbia Records Folk Singer Judy Roderick. They moved, as you note, to Colorado where he worked for a contemporary country music station for several years. After that I lost contact with him…..

  43. Keith Riddle Says:

    Yes, I do remember that he married a folk singer, but I couldn’t remember who it was. I used to work in a record store in the late 60’s and Bill was a good customer because we would special order albums for him that other stores didn’t carry in inventory. I learned a lot about music from him and enjoyed many conversations with him.

  44. Jim Says:

    Thanks Catherine for the link. I went to it and realized I made the comment at the end about a map.

    A story about road work, exp work where there are no roads, would be better with a map.

  45. Catherine Pritchard Says:

    I like maps, too, Jim.

    So I’ve made some. This one shows the stretch of loop being built between Bragg Boulevard and Murchison Road.

    This one shows a bigger view of the loop plans. The unbuilt section is in red. The yellow section of the road — seen at the right of the map — is what’s already there.

    And this one shows the entire loop plan.

    I got all this from this site, which is run by the Fayetteville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.

  46. Peggy McQueen Says:

    What items are included in the new North Carolina sales tax? Is food and restaurant purchases subject to the increase?

  47. Catherine Pritchard Says:

    Hi Peggy. See this link for your answers.


  48. michael lambert Says:

    hello CP or GP I’m inquiring in on the new trash law for for wade area and other places which are required to seperate their trash. I’m sure fay. and other places are already seperating their trash bottles ,cans and so forth but my qustion is has there been any news about this because I haven’t seen anything accept the other day about plastic bottles. my concern is all the neighbors I’ve talked to shared with me it was only a day’s notice that was received about the new law or procedure for the trash dump sites cumberland county didn’t even have any papers at the dumps nor sent anything out about this. complaining to someone in cumberland co. won’t get nowhere. so I’ve come to you by the way my neighbor shared something about If the dump site finds a mixture of trash their will be a major fine. lol cumberland co. don’t mind spiting fine’s but are so unorganized they forget to release the paperwork on what the towns people should follow I’m affraid that there is going to be a big stink over this trash ordeal.thanks for your time.

  49. Jaclyn Gray Says:

    My boyfriend is having trouble finding jobs that are hiring in Fayetteville. If you know of any jobs that are hiring and have flexible schedules, please notify me.

  50. viral Says:

    when speed limit posted 35 , 45 , and 55 mph but people alwaays go like 40 , 50 , and 60
    is that leagle ?? and what corect speed are allow when posted speed limit and what deffrence are allow when 45 mph speed limet posted

  51. Catherine Pritchard Says:

    If people are exceeding the legal speed limit, they’re breaking the law. But if no one’s around to catch them at it, they get away with it.

  52. Emily Oprea Says:

    Responding to Keith Riddel & Jeff Thompson’s posts this past August…Judy Roderick died in 1992 but her music lives on, on Facebook. Send us your memories of either Bill Ashford or Judy. Judy’s longtime companion, Dexter Payne, released Judy’s “When Im Gone” in Jan. 2009 and it is available at or on Amazon, Rhapsody, ccbaby & a couple of others. Bill Ashford & Judy co-wrote a lot of the tunes on that one. Check it out !

  53. ankit Says:

    dear mam

    what is the best way to increase credit (please say detailes)

  54. Raines Cohen, Cohousing Coach Says:

    Thanks for answering a question about cohousing neighborhoods in your Fay Observer Column today, Catherine.

    Since cohousing communities are resident-created (often in partnership with a professional developer) and self-managed with no employees, many communities don’t necessarily respond to inquiries, especially at times when there are no units available for rent or for sale. Because members tend to stay longer than the typical American homeowner does, and communities are small (generally less than 40 units) and rare (there are just over 120 established across the entire U.S., with more in formation), there’s no need for dedicated sales and marketing staff… many have rapid resales, even in today’s housing market, with homes going to friends of friends and never even getting listed on the market.

    It also may be that with the amount of spam hitting any published email address these days, the person message didn’t make it through a filter, so she shouldn”t assume the snub was intentional. The same can be said for paper mail addressed to the Home-Owner’s Asociation (HOAs): plenty of lawyers, roofers, management companies, and other service providers regularly write to any listed address, hungry for their business.

    Smart communities keep up their websites with a current point of contact and lots of info to educate and recruit potential members, whether or not there’s a current opening. Some areas, especially those with multiple communities like the Research Triangle area of ENC, host tours and other inter-community events to build the pool of prospective members ready to spring into action when an opening comes up.

    I think you’ll find all EcoVillages are perpetually “in development” – they realize that they have yet to reach their ecological goals, but the process of getting there is how they accomplish their amazing sustainability levels that go way beyond the “sticks and bricks” of green building and bring about deep social change. It is worth noting that, as part of how they Earthaven able to be so affordable, that conventional bank mortgages are not available, and that the “cohousing” neighborhood there is fairly different most of the others around the country, so your letter-writer should pay a visit to see if it meets her needs.

    I’ve visited more than 92 cohousing neighborhoods across the U.S., lived in two, and advised dozens, and I heartily encourage anyone interested to learn more at the Cohousing Association’s national website,

    Raines Cohen, Cohousing Coach
    Planning for Sustainable Communities (Berkeley, CA)

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