David Tennant, Ian Somerhalder, Tyler Hoechlin, Liam McIntyre among top celebrities scheduled to attend inaugural Wizard World Comic Con in Raleigh

Wizard World, Inc. continues its 2015 schedule with its first visit to the Raleigh Convention Center at Wizard World Comic Con Raleigh, March 13-15. David Tennant (“Doctor Who,” Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), Ian Somerhalder (“Vampire Diaries’), Karen Gillan (“Doctor Who,” Guardians of the Galaxy), Tyler Hoechlin (“Teen Wolf,” Road to Perdition), Liam McIntyre (“Spartacus: War of the Damned”), WWE® Diva Eva Marie™, John Schneider (“The Dukes of Hazzard,” “Smallville”) and “The Walking Dead” stars Sonequa Martin-Green and Sarah Wayne Callies headline the roster of celebrity guests scheduled to attend the pop culture extravaganza.

CCCC Small Business Centers announce partnership with NCMBC

The CCCC Small Business Centers and North Carolina Military Business Center (NCMBC) announce the appointment of Denny Lewis as Federal Business Development Specialist for Chatham County and the surrounding region. As a member of the NCMBC’s business development team, Lewis will identify future and current federal prime and subcontracting opportunities, identify and notify companies of those opportunities and provide one-on-one assistance to help companies bid on and win contracts. A point of emphasis will be identifying those businesses that are located in a designated federal HUBZone and assisting them with the registration and bidding process.

Chatham EDC has always supported Chatham Park

In November 2013, the Chatham Economic Development Corporation’s board of directors unanimously approved a motion to adopt a resolution supporting the 7,100-acre Chatham Park project. The resolution was written and signed by Larry Hicks and Keith Hurand, board co-chairs at the time, on November 26, 2013. Since that time, the Chatham EDC has publicly promoted and supported the mixed-use development.

Former teacher union lobbyist comes out in support of school choice

Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina (PEFNC) President Darrell Allison announced today that the organization is teaming up with former North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) Chief Lobbyist Brian Lewis to ensure all children have the opportunity to learn in an environment that works for them. “Darrell and I have participated in many public forums and media interviews in which we’ve stood on opposing sides of parental school choice,” Lewis said. “But we’ve also had – over the past many years –honest, candid conversations about how we can improve the quality of education our children receive. I have also had real personal experience around this as well, and all of this has led me to believe that if we continue to take a ‘public schools only’ approach to education, we will continue to fail our children.”

North Carolina school grades: Don’t get lost in the noise

On February 5, North Carolina released A-F grades for all traditional public and charter schools. News outlets have been all over the story and pundits are angling to put a spin on what is expected to be a tough day for many schools. For the past several days, public school officials have been bracing themselves for what they expect to be a torrent of bad publicity and questions. Officials at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction have been coaching local officials about how to explain results. If they didn’t see a need they wouldn’t do so.

Can a redistricting panel avoid politics?

Kudos to Senate leader Phil Berger for his incisive answer as to whether he would support an independent redistricting commission. According to Gary Robertson of the Associated Press, Berger said: “I have yet to see a so-called independent redistricting commission that is truly independent. … I’m still out there looking for that nonpartisan soul that really has no opinion about politics one way or the other that has an informational background in politics.” Common sense and the experience of other states show how difficult – or even quixotic – the quest for a nonpartisan commission is.