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 In the News, September 18, 2017 

For a mayor’s mayor, the Long Leaf Pine

In 1941, when he was just 5 years old, Leonard “Lenny” Williams suffered through the tragic death of his mother, who was just 40. She left behind Williams, his father and 11 other children, all of whom lived in a small, two-bedroom home in Enfield in eastern North Carolina. While friends and family offered to take some of the children in, the brothers and sisters decided that no matter what, they would stay together. Afraid that he would lose his father like he lost his mother, Williams decided that no matter what, he would stay at his father’s side. Decades later, as mayor of Gibsonville, Williams has carried on that tradition. First joining town Board of Aldermen in 1993, he was elected mayor in 2001. He’s never missed a board meeting. It is that kind of dedication to the town that led to the surprise he received at this month’s meeting: the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian honor bestowed on a North Carolina resident, for his service to the town and state.

The countdown begins: One year until Mill Spring hosts ‘Olympics for horses’

In less than a year, a small North Carolina town will host one of the biggest sporting events ever to come to the state. Tickets will soon go on sale for the 2018 World Equestrian Games, which tourism officials describe as the “Olympics for horses.” Tryon International Equestrian Center, situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains about 80 miles west of uptown Charlotte, won its bid to host the games last November.

Hillsborough pledges to transition to 100% renewable energy

The Sierra Club has announced that two more U.S. municipalities have made commitments to transition to 100% clean energy – the Town of Hillsborough, N.C., and the Borough of Phoenixville, Pa. On Monday, Hillsborough became the first town in North Carolina and the 43rd in the U.S. to commit to transition to 100% renewables. Specifically, the town’s board of commissioners voted to establish a 100% clean energy goal by 2050.

Belville celebrates new town hall opening

The long wait is over. After a decade of renting space when its original town hall was condemned, Belville celebrated the opening of a new town hall on Saturday. The 6,280-square-foot building sits at 51 River Road that was purchased last year. Belville residents helped select the conservative design for the one-story building that includes a council chamber that can seat 56 with potential capacity for 156 people.