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Realtor Report

REALTOR Report - 7/9/2010

Glen Baity, 7/9/2010


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THE REALTOR® REPORT JULY 8, 2010
TOP STORY

JUST ANNOUNCED: LDO BROWN BAG JULY 27

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What does Greensboro's revised Land Development Ordinance mean for you? Find out at our LDO Brown Bag Lunch on July 27
at 11:30 a.m.!

We're teaming with the Greensboro Builders Association to bring you this briefing for REALTORS, Builders and Remodelers that will cover everything you need to know about how to use the new ordinance. Learn about any changes that will affect your business!

Presentation by and Q&A with:

  • Dick Hails, Planning Director
  • Rawls Howard, Chief Zoning Officer
  • Steve Galanti, Planner
Bring your lunch and join us! Sign up online here, or contact Sharon Gray, 854-5868 or sgray@grra.org for more information.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

TAX CREDIT, FLOOD INSURANCE
EXTENSIONS PASS CONGRESS


After a close brush with the deadline, Congress has passed an extension of the Homebuyer Tax Credit closing deadline, the Homebuyer Assistance and Improvement Act (H.R. 5623). The extension applies only to transactions that have ratified contracts in place as of April 30, 2010 that have not yet closed. The legislation is designed to create a seamless extension the new closing deadline for eligible transactions is now September 30, 2010. There is will be no gap between June 30 and the date the President signs the bill into law.

NAR worked closely with Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle to enact this important legislation. Extending the Tax Credit Closing deadline will help provide additional stability to real estate markets across the nation.

For additional information on the extension visit www.realtor.org/government_affairs

Additionally, the United States Senate has passed the National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act of 2010 (H.R. 5569) an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program until September 30, 2010. This will allow transactions to move forward. The bill is retroactive and covers the lapse period from June 1, 2010 to the date of enactment of the extension.

For more information on the flood insurance program visit www.realtor.org/government_affairs

LINKS


Association News

Residential News

Commercial News

Upcoming Events

Member News

Wellness Update

Technology News




REALTOR PARTNERS

TAKE OUR NEW SURVEY TODAY

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The GRRA survey is new this week -- we want to know about how you use the
REALTOR Partners Program.

Click here to take the survey!


As always, the survey takes less than a minute and your responses are confidential. And don't forget, all of our past surveys are archived on the GRRA Survey Results Page so you can compare your answers with your fellow REALTORS.
ADVANCE TICKETS ON SALE

HOPPERS NIGHT AT THE BALLPARK

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REALTOR Night at the Ballpark is coming soon! Get a free "GRRA Swings for the Fences" T-shirt with every $7 advance ticket purchased for the 7:00 PM August 10, 2010 game between the Greensboro Grasshoppers and the Hickory Crawdads. Hurry -- quantities are limited, and shirts are issued on a first come, first-served basis. Buy your ticket at the GRRA front desk, and plan to wear the t-shirt to the game. Help promote the REALTOR brand, GRRA, your community, and the Greensboro Grasshoppers.

PSA

CITY EXPANDS COVERAGE OF URBAN LOOP MAPPING TOOL

The City of Greensboro’s Department of Transportation (GDOT) has revised its interactive Urban Loop Mapping Tool to now include other major City- and state-planned roadway projects. The tool, now called Road Project Mapping Tool, can be accessed from the left column of the City’s website home page at www.greensboro-nc.gov.

The purpose of the new mapping tool is to provide easy Web access to major roadway project locations and design information. Simply click on the Road Project Mapping Tool link, enter an address within Guilford County, and see how close a property may be to a planned major roadway project.

CALLING ALL REALTORS

GET A KID READY FOR SCHOOL NEEDS YOUR HELP!

Through mid-August, RCSC committee members will be collecting donations for the annual Get a Kid Ready for School fundraiser. As it does every year, this drive will help local students who can't afford school supplies have all the items they need on the first day of school.

Please remember RCSC is trying to get all of their donations in place as early as possible since there are no regular luncheons between now and August (there is no luncheon in July). You should start to see the familiar pencil boxes popping up in major offices. You can also find one at the GRRA's front desk.

Thank you for helping local students achieve to their fullest potential. If you have any questions please contact Megan Tasman at mmoore@grra.org.



Association News

GUILFORD TAX INFO SERVICE NOW LIVE

The Guilford County Tax Department has announced that the long-awaited overhaul of its Billing and Collections system will be unveiled to the public on July 6, 2010. Read about it here (.pdf file).

HELP LEGALIZE SIGNS IN OAK RIDGE

In the first meeting of TREBIC's Small Town Sign Legalization Task Force, Oak Ridge was designated the first priority. Oak Ridge is the only town that actually prohibits the signs, and they enforce heavily.

The Task Force is organizing a meeting of the Realtors AND BUILDERS most involved in that area to determine a consensus on how to move forward in this jurisdiction. The meeting will be held at the Allen Tate office in Oak Ridge (2215 Oak Ridge Road) on Tuesday, July 27 at 6:30 p.m. Please spread the word to agents and builders that regularly work in Oak Ridge. It is imperative that we have their input.

The next meeting for Small Town Sign Legalization Task Force is Wednesday, July 28 at 3:00 pm at GBA upstairs. Contact Judy Stalder at TREBIC (jstalder@trebic.org) if you would like to join the task force for

a) all meetings OR

b) to participate in discussions about a particular town or jurisdiction

Here is how you can help:

1) Email Judy Stalder at TREBIC (jstalder@trebic.org) if you know of any areas where enforcement of sign ordinances is occurring and/or causing problems

2) Think about the “mood” of staff and elected officials in your town. Are they friendly/sympathetic to builders and Realtors? Are they builders or Realtors themselves? Email information to Judy.

3) Archdale, Trinity and Jamestown have ordinances that specifically allow off premise real estate signs. Let Judy know if you have experienced problems in these jurisdictions.

REALTOR PARTNER NEWS

July Partner of the Month

Think BIG and save along the way! Your NCAR membership entitles you to discounts on UPS ground, air and international shipping every time you ship. Whether you send 50 shipments a month or two shipments a week, the savings add up. With UPS, even small businesses save big! Click here to sign up: www.savewithups.com/enroll/ and enter the promotional code: SER213!

2011 Committee Request Forms

If you would like to serve on the REALTOR® Partner Committee in 2011, please fill out the attached application or visit our website to submit a request online at www.ncrealtors.org.

TREBIC: ALL THINGS AIRPORT JULY 20TH

4:00-5:30 pm, Tuesday, July 20th

ALL THINGS AIRPORT!

3:30-4:00 Networking

4:00 PTIA Master Plan Briefing, Kevin Baker, Deputy Director PTIA

4:45 Heart of the Triad Briefing, Jeff Hatling, Kernersville Planning Director

5:15 Aerotropolis Land Supply Analysis Update, Marlene Sanford, Subcommittee Chair

At High Point Regional Association of Realtors

1830 Eastchester Drive, High Point 27265

Members of the following associations are invited to this area-wide event:

TREBIC

GRRA, HPRAR and WSRAR

GRCA, HPRCA and WSRCA

GBA and HBAWS

TAA and NAIOP

Parking is limited to 80 vehicles, so carpool if you can.

REALTOR.COM SITE REDESIGN ENTERS BETA TESTING PHASE

We want to bring you up-to-date on the new REALTOR.com® website redesign that is currently in beta testing. The new site enhancements make accessing all the rich data available on REALTOR.com® intuitive and better than ever! The millions of consumers who visit REALTOR.com® each month will be able to find properties, as well as companies and agents, faster and more easily.

The “new” REALTOR.com will have upgrades to the search functionality and mapping presentation for current properties for sale, and the user interface design has been updated with new coloring and a tab layout at the top of the page.

Key Features of the “new“ REALTOR.com – currently in “beta” release:

New “Find REALTORS®” and Free Member Profile Pages for ALL

ALL members will have the opportunity to have a Profile Page within the new Find REALTORS® search experience. All members will be able to:

  • upload their photo
  • include an “About Me” romance paragraph
  • identify designations/certifications
  • specify languages spoken, specializations
  • Interface with social networking links (Facebook®, LinkedIn®, Twitter®).
  • Provide listing metrics – which can be turned off/on by the agent

The following link includes a short video and downloadable instructions for your members on “how to” add or revise their profile:

Click here

Improved presentation of listing data and property information

  • The Listing Detail Pages are enhanced with more information -- including more prominently displayed Open House section, property tax and sales history, and better integration of neighborhood information
  • The New Map Search allows consumer to explore neighborhoods, find points of interest, and learn about home values all on an easy-to-read map.
  • Easier access to information that has been available on REALTOR.com for several years, such as the ability to more easily search recently sold properties and area sales statistics

New platform with improved speed and flexibility

In addition to the upgrades in the user experience, this release includes the launch of our new underlying system architecture and unified data base – bringing more technical flexibility to the site and faster search results for all users.

Users may choose to explore the Beta version of the new site now by clicking on the link at the top of the REALTOR.com® home page. We anticipate that the new REALTOR.com® experience will be fully released in Summer 2010.

Over One Million Downloads of REALTOR.COM® iPHONE APP in Five Months

We are also pleased to announce that the REALTOR.com iPhone application has had over 1,300,000 downloads since it was launched in January 2010! The REALTOR.com® iPhone application is the most comprehensive real estate search on iPhone. Consumers can search based on GPS location, search nearby Open Houses, show listings on a map, and “one tap” call to the listing agent. The REALTOR.com® iPhone app can be downloaded from Apple iTunes: itunes.apple.com/us/app/real-estate-search/id336698281 or visit our iPhone information page at www.realtor.com/iphone


EPA DELAYS LEAD PAINT ENFORCEMENT UNTIL OCTOBER


Big news in the world of lead-based paint: The Environmental Protection Agency this week announced it would delay enforcement of its new lead-based paint rules for contractors.

No action will be taken until October 1 against contractors who haven't yet fulfilled their training.


Read more about it at the GRRA Blog

PITCH IN TO HELP REALTOR VICTIMS OF NASHVILLE FLOODING

Your Association is trying to reach out to our colleagues in Nashville who were affected by the recent floods. We have been contacted by the Williamson County Association of REALTORS®, which is trying to coordinate relief efforts for REALTORS® whose homes have been damaged by the floods.

The GRRA hopes to send a group of volunteers in the next few weeks to do clean-up and repair work, but we need to know how many people we can send. Ideally, we’d like to send people over a weekend. The association will take care of all related expenses.

If you’re interested in helping out, e-mail Glen Baity (gbaity@grra.org), or call him at 854-5868. When you write, be sure to include the following:

1) Your weekend availability in June and July

2) Any unique expertise you have (hanging drywall, etc.)

Once we get an indication of how many volunteers we may have, we can start firming up details. This trip could make a huge difference in the lives of your REALTOR® colleagues in Tennessee, so we hope you’ll consider donating your time and sweat to this worthy cause.

NEWS FROM THE CITY OF GREENSBORO

ACCESS WATER BILL INFO ONLINE

The City of Greensboro is making it easier for customers to access information about their water bill with a new online service called WebConnect. WebConnect, which can be accessed at www.greensboro-nc.gov/onlineservices, is a secure way for customers to pay their water bill, make changes to their billing information, and review bill details such as water usage online. Customers can also use the service to sign-up for e-billing to receive water bills via e-mail.

When customers log on to WebConnect, they will be able to choose what level of access they want─ premium, standard or landlord. Premium access requires customers to create an online account with a user name and password, and provides all billing information. Standard access doesn’t require customers to create an account and only provides bill balance and payment options. And, landlord access, which also doesn’t require customers to create an account, allows landlords to view bill balances on all their properties and make payments. It’s free to use all options, but a convenience fee of $1.95 will be charged when making online payments.

For more information about this new service, call 336-373-CITY (2489).

CITY CRIME DECLINES IN 1ST QUARTER

Crime rates for January to March of 2010 have declined compared to the same months last year, according to the Greensboro Police Department (GPD). Violent crime is down by 24 percent, property crime by 2 percent and homicides have dropped by 80 percent.

"We monitor crime trends regularly and have seen a steady reduction over the last year. Now, the challenge we face is driving those numbers even lower and stabilizing them at a lower level. That's a task we have to to have community involve in," said Police Chief Tim Bellamy.

Bellamy also links the decline in crime to the decline in the number of weapons seized as evidence. That number also decreased by 40 percent for the quarter compared to last year.

According to Assistant City Manager Michael Speedling, the crime data suggests police and residents are working together effectively. “A lot of factors affect crime and some of those are harder to impact than others. One thing I’m sure of is that we wouldn’t have such significant drops if we weren’t all working toward the same goal of creating a safer City.”

The Chief also cautions against interpreting downward trends as license to be less vigilant. “Crime trends generally follow a cyclical pattern and just as crime decreases for a variety of factors it may increase in the future if those factors aren’t in place,” Bellamy said.

GPD generates data based on reported offenses during the year. Occasionally,crimes are reported in one calendar year, but actually occurred in another and occasionally cases are unfounded and haven't occurred. For that reason, data that was presented in previous years may be slightly different than data generated with the most current information. Bellamy urges residents to use the crime reports as trend indicators rather than specific counts of criminal offenses.

GUILFORD METRO 9-1-1 AWARDED SECOND INTERNATIONAL ACCREDITATION

Guilford Metro 9-1-1 (GM 9-1-1) was recently awarded international accreditation as an Emergency Medical Dispatch Center of Excellence from the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED), a standard-setting organization that promotes safe and effective emergency dispatch services world-wide. This is the second accreditation GM 9-1-1 has received from IAED in less than four months; the first was for achieving the Emergency Fire Dispatch Center of Excellence accreditation.

GM 9-1-1 is now the 134th emergency communications center / 9-1-1 center in the entire world to be awarded this distinction, and becomes only the fifteenth emergency communications center in the world to hold dual accreditation in Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) and Emergency Fire Dispatch (EFD).

GM 9-1-1 received this accreditation due to its comprehensive implementation and compliance with the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS). MPDS is a comprehensive emergency medical dispatch system designed to provide responder and caller safety, maximize utilization of resources, prioritize responses, provide efficient delivery of pre-arrival instructions, and improve overall emergency medical customer service.

To receive this designation from IAED, GM 9-1-1 had to have proper 9-1-1 communications center management oversight and on-going quality improvement programs in place, and had to make sure its entire staff was in compliance with all MPDS practices.

GM 9-1-1 will be recognized as an Accredited Center of Excellence at the IAED conference later this month in Orlando, Fla.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT FROM USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT

USDA Rural Development has $42,500,000 available for our 502 and 504 direct loan and grant programs.

Eligible applicants who want to purchase a home or build may be able to receive 100% financing along with payment subsidy. No down payment and no points. Applicants must have adequate repayment ability and acceptable credit.

The website below will determine if your adjusted gross household income based upon family household size will qualify you for assistance.

Look for income eligibility on the left side.

http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do

Funds are available for our guaranteed rural housing program. These loans are made through local financial institutions.

If you own a home with deeded ownership and reside in it as well, you may be eligible to receive up to $20,000 at a 1% interest rate. You must be at least 18 years of age and have acceptable credit. Loans are available to pay tap on fees, install new wells, septic systems, make home more assessable and/or energy efficient, install new HVAC, roof, etc….

Office telephone number: 336 629 4449 ext. 4.

Call if you have questions, needing additional information and would like to apply for assistance.

FOR REALTOR EYES ONLY: EXCLUSIVE RATES FOR EXCLUSIVE REALTORS

NAR is pleased to present REALTORS Core Health Insurance (RCHI) - an affordable and guaranteed-acceptance limited medical insurance program designed exclusively for REALTORS, their eligible dependents, and REALTOR staff members under 65.

Members who will benefit from Realtors Core Health Insurance include those

who:

  • Cannot afford comprehensive health insurance
  • Have comprehensive health insurance with high deductibles or out-of-pocket costs, and who need affordable coverage for everyday healthcare
  • Have tried to get health insurance and have been turned down

Highlights of the RCHI program:

  • Guaranteed-acceptance- No medical questions/exams required
  • Low cost- Plans start as low as $70.69 per month
  • Freedom to choose any provide
  • Next day coverage (30 day waiting period for sickness)

Benefits Include: doctor office visits, wellness visits, emergency room benefits, surgery benefits, and more! For coverage information, no-obligation quotes, or to enroll, call a benefit specialist today at (877) CORE-PLAN, (877)267-3752, or visit www.RealtorsCoreHealthInsurance.com/AE

THE GRRA BLOG HAS MOVED!

Visit the GRRAblog at its new home on Blogger.com! You can now find us at http://greensbororealtors.blogspot.com. It's a great place to catch up on REALTOR happenings at the local, state and national levels.

To make sure you don't miss anything, be sure to add us to your RSS feeds. If you don't know how to use RSS (which stands for Really Simple Syndication), check out this entry for a quick tutorial.

And don't forget, the GRRA is also on Facebook and Twitter.

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Member News

If you have news you'd like to share with your fellow REALTORS, send it to Glen Baity, gbaity@grra.org or 854-5868.


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Upcoming Events

July 27 - Greensboro LDO Brown Bag - 11:30 a.m.
- RSVP to Sharon Gray, 854-5868 or sgray@grra.org.

July 29 - New REALTOR Orientation -
Required for all new REALTORS -
Contact Megan Tasman for more information, 854-5868 or mmoore@grra.org.

August 3 - GRRA Membership Luncheon - 11:30 a.m. -
Come hear the candidates in the upcoming GRRA Elections speak - RSVP to Sharon Gray,
854-5868 or sgray@grra.org.

August 9 - Voting begins for GRRA Elections - 12 p.m.

August 10 - RCSC Blood Drive - 8:30 to 12:30 -
Contact Megan Tasman for more information, 854-5868 or mmoore@grra.org.

August 12 - Triad MLS Brown Bag Lunch - 11:30 a.m. - MLS EVP Richard Renton joins us to talk about new features and field your MLS-related questions. RSVP online here.

August 10 - REALTOR Night at the Greensboro Grasshoppers - Contact Charles Hinerman, 854-5868 or chinerman@grra.org for more details.

August 17 - Transportation Improvement Program Brown Bag - 11:30 a.m. - GDOT's Craig McKinney returns to the GRRA to discuss the contents of the new draft TIP - RSVP to Sharon Gray, 854-5868 or sgray@grra.org.

August 19-20 - Get a Kid Ready for School Sorting and Distribution

August 24 - GRRA-RCA Joint Membership Luncheon - RSVP to Barbara Gilliland, 854-5868 or bpgilliland@grra.org

August 26 - Healthcare Reform Coffee Talk - 9 a.m. - Stan Park of Craft Insurance joins us to talk about the first changes from the healthcare reform bill, and what you can expect down the road. RSVP online here.

September 1 - GRRA Annual Meeting

September 6 - GRRA Closed for Labor Day


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Wellness Update

MOSES CONE EVENTS

For a complete calendar of event and descriptions go to www.mosescone.com. To register for these classes, call 832-8000. You may call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Registration is required and classes are free, unless otherwise noted.

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Technology News

Sony says 535,000 laptops at risk of overheating
More than half a million Sony laptops sold this year contain a software bug that could lead them to overheat, the company said Wednesday.

Docusign launches new tools
If you’ve ever had to sign your life away to buy or sell a house, take out a loan or finalize a sales agreement, you know what a tedious process it can be to actually sit and sign your name over and over and over again.

Hulu starts paid subscription TV service
Hulu introduced a new paid subscription service for watching TV shows and movies on mobile devices, game consoles, television sets and computers, and joined other media companies trying to strike a balance between paid and ad supported models.

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Residential News

Bill would give drivers rights if vehicle towed
The state House voted unanimously Tuesday evening to arm drivers with a few basic rights in their dealings with tow-truck companies that haul away cars left without permission in private lots.

Post office wants to raise stamp price to 46 cents
Buy those Forever stamps now. The cost of mailing a letter is going up again.

N.C. Lottery likely to fill budget gap
When lawmakers created the lottery in 2005, supporters pledged the state-run gambling enterprise would be additional money for education and not take the place of tax dollars.

Editorial: Reopening city landfill: obstacles, opportunity
If you plan to dig into a landfill, hold your nose and wear thick boots and gloves.

Market trends: Home sizes shrinking
When the going gets tough, the houses get smaller. Or at least that’s what data from the U.S. Census Bureau are suggesting.

Get the facts on reverse mortgages

A reverse mortgage can be a helpful tool for seniors who need extra cash on hand or simply want more financial flexibility. But there are a number of factors to consider.

State bill would require recycling electronics
A new bill may let North Carolinians dump their old computers on the street for recycling pickup alongside their plastic bottles and cans.

Mortgage rates at record low; few taking advantage
Mortgage rates have sunk to the lowest level in more than five decades, but consumers aren't rushing to refinance their loans or buy homes.

Editorial: Power over property
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in Kelo v. City of New London four years ago triggered strong political responses across the country.

Tentative $19 billion budget passes
Two House lawmakers from Greensboro provided some of the most vociferous objections to the $19 billion budget the House and Senate tentatively approved Tuesday.

A&T gets no funds for new building
The state budget for the coming fiscal year is not yet official, but lawmakers are sure it won’t include a new engineering building for N.C. A&T.

Editorial: Family feud in Guilford

Go ahead. I double-dog dare ya.

Greensboro fees increase
Your property taxes will go down this year, but as of Thursday, other city fines and fees are going up, up, up.

'Borrowing to live' will have reckoning day
A debt hangover is apparent across the country. Eight million remain without work in the aftermath of the mortgage meltdown.

Get the facts on lead repair regulations

The Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to delay enforcement of lead renovation guidelines does not apply in North Carolina, which set its deadline for compliance months ahead of the federal program.

Navigating the ins and outs of foreclosures
Buying a foreclosure involves homework, patience and often a good measure of luck.

With students gone, school repairs begin
Summer is here and the toy dump trucks and palm-sized building blocks that once were scattered about school yards have been put away, replaced by their full-scale counterparts.

City to change schedule for trash collection days
The city will change its residential trash and recycling collection days for some residents beginning Aug. 9.

Unpaid fines add up for city
How long does it take to run up a $3,510 tab with the city?

Up Close: David Schenck
David Schenck has always had an adventurous streak.
Any signs of an economic rebound have yet to stem the rise of students enrolling at the Triad’s community colleges.

Bank of America alone in eliminating overdraft fees
Bank of America Corp. wants to be the leader in eliminating overdraft fees on checking accounts. But its competitors aren’t following.

Triad foreclosure filings still rising
Foreclosure filings in the Triad spiked more than 30 percent from January to May this year when compared with filings during the same period in 2009, evidence that the region is still feeling the pain of the national mortgage crisis and rising unemployment.

New Web tools to enhance marketing for Triad Realtors
By the end of summer, more than 4,000 Triad real estate agents can access new Web tools designed to help them boost exposure for properties and gain a more comprehensive view of the local market.

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Commercial News

Revised hotel project returns
A development group seeking $26 million in federal recovery zone bonds for a downtown luxury hotel has submitted a new plan to Guilford County's bond authority, its first step to approval.

The nanoschool gets real
The school has been under construction for several months on East Lee Street at the Gateway University Research Park’s south campus. While waiting for the building to be completed, students will study in a temporary space on the park campus.

Partnership nears CEO decision
The Piedmont Triad Partnership will have a new CEO — soon.

Microsoft coming to Alamance?
Microsoft, the Redmond, Wash., software giant, wants to build a major data center on the East Coast and could be considering a location in eastern Alamance County.

Jobless rates improving
Unemployment rates in roughly two-thirds of the nation's largest metropolitan areas dipped in May as the gradual economic recovery spurred some hiring.

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