North Carolina Workers Compensation Insurance Options For Small Businesses

While still facing the effects of the economic downturn of the 2008-2010 recession, North Carolina small businesses are struggling just to survive and stay afloat.
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For many companies in the state, just paying mandatory employee-related business expenses is a stressful obligation. Next to maintaining inventory, one of the highest costs to run a small business in NC is the expensive mandatory costs associated with payroll.
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These mandatory expenses include the costs of state and federal taxes as well as one of the hardest hitting mandatory payroll expenses- workers’ compensation insurance.
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Regulated by the North Carolina Industrial Commission, the North Carolina Workers ‘Compensation Act states that all employers within the state whom maintain at least 3 or more employees are required by state law to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
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This mandatory law has been in effect for many years but recently because of the poor economy and rising work comp premiums, it is causing employers struggling to afford their employees very few options. Many see no choice but to lay off workers or find other ways to lower their North Carolina workers’ compensation insurance premiums.
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Small business employers would prefer proactive methods to lower North Carolina workers’ compensation insurance premiums while maintaining their labor force.
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Employee leasing companies are providing the solutions NC companies need. These companies are being utilized more frequently as the best way to reduce North Carolina workers’ compensation insurance costs without reducing staff. When small businesses utilize this option, they are able to save thousands of dollars each year and not only maintain the employees they have, but become able to hire more and increase productivity.
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The best savings, sometimes as much as $ 10,000 + each year, are being seen by companies that employ labor in high risk industries and use work comp job codes for their employees classified as high risk. These savings translate into significantly lower labor costs and give businesses the opportunity to make more competitive business decisions and get ahead of their local competition.
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Employee leasing companies, also known as Professional Employer Organizations, are able to provide savings by grouping thousands of North Carolina small businesses seeking the same work comp solutions together into a master policy.
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This allows for serious rate reductions that many average small businesses never see when obtaining an workers’ compensation insurance policy on their own. One downside, however, is that there are many Professional Employer Organizations- and it can be overwhelming trying to pick the best one.
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An employee leasing or PEO broker can help many businesses pick the right Professional Employer Organization. These educated professionals can answer questions about employee leasing and PEOs- as well as find a company for your business that will offer the best savings on workers’ compensation insurance.
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They have access to hundreds of state-approved employee leasing companies and their job is to make sure you are set up with one that is not only approved by your state, but is also the best fit for your company.
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In addition to North Carolina workers’ compensation savings, these brokers have access to other employee-related cost reducing options businesses can use to save money.
Bitcoin steered the cryptocurrency market to a recovery phase of the phenomena from the lows recorded in the last week of August. Bitcoin’s graceful correction of over $ 10,700 resurrected investor hopes to see older cryptocurrencies above psychological level at $ 11,000. However, the hit on the BTC paused just under $ 10,800 and pulled in at $ 10,500. At press time, the price of Bitcoin is hovering at $ 10,550 after a subtle decline of 0.78% per day.

Although Bitcoin’s short-term trend paints a positive picture, a number of analysts with big follow-ups on Twitter are advising investors to proceed cautiously. For example, Johnny Moe says Bitcoin is down if it moves. The consolidation witnessed in the last two months suggests a potential massive drop to about $ 6,000.
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When Hamas was trying to collect bitcoin by denying it through a number of digital wallets, a startup was able to see what was happening and warn its customers.

Based in London, Elliptic sells blockchain analytics tools on some of the world’s largest cryptocurrency platforms – including Binance and Circle – as well as banks. The company’s software is used to investigate criminal activity in the bitcoin digital ledger and monitor transactions to prevent money laundering.

The company recently learned that Al-Qassam Brigade, the military wing of Hamas, used a donation website that generated a different bitcoin wallet address for each person they visited. This made it harder to find funds and see where they were sent. The group has been designated a terrorist organization by Israel, the US and the EU.


North Carolina Golf Vacation – Beyond the North Carolina Beaches and Coast

Ask most golfers about their recent North Carolina golf vacation and they will most likely tell you about their golf trip to the North Carolina coast. The golf and beaches are great up and down the coast but don’t forget about the other great golf destinations in the state. Below, I’ve listed a few North Carolina golf package destinations you should definitely check out.
Raleigh – The capital city is a great place to start your state-wide golf vacation. It is centrally located and easily accessible by air or ground.
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The Raleigh-Durham International Airport offers more than 400 flights daily and I-40 runs through Raleigh, NC while I-95 and I-85 pass within 25 miles.
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In recent years, the city has seen an increase in quality golf courses. Make sure to book a few rounds at The Neuse Golf Course, Lochmere Golf Club and Crooked Creek Golf Club.
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Charlotte – The Queen City has a mild climate which allows you to book golf packages and play comfortably almost any time of the year. With professional sports – NFL, NBA and NASCAR – and other dining and entertainment options, you’ll find plenty off the course to keep you busy. When you are teeing it up, try Ballantyne Resort Golf Course, Skybrook Golf Course, Birkdale and Highland Creek to name a few.
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Asheville – Head to the North Carolina mountains and enjoy a golf vacation filled with culture, great restaurants and of course world-class golf. The scenic beauty of this area is unmatched in the Tarheel State. With over twenty championship golf courses, the visiting golfer of any skill level will find a challenge. Some suggestions for your golf vacation include: Reems Creek, The Waynesville Inn Golf Resort & Spa, Mount Mitchell Golf Club and Black Mountain Golf Club.
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Fayetteville – Location and value are what it is all about with this North Carolina golf vacation destination. This city is located just off Interstate 95 and close to Pinehurst. Golf Digest has ranked the Fayetteville area at 52 out of 312 destinations for its value for golfers. It is an excellent stop to add when driving from Raleigh or Charlotte towards the NC coast or vice versa. Check out Kings Grant and Baywood.

Sandhills – This region is home to the world-famous golf destination Pinehurst. If you are going to plan a golf package in North Carolina, you cannot neglect the Sandhills area. And even though there are enough courses to overload any scorecard, you will also find entertainment and dining options off the course. Some must plays include: Southern Pines, Tobacco Road, Anderson Creek, and all the Pinehurst Resort courses just to name a few.

Wine and BBQ – The Ultimate Faux Pas?

Can I drink wine at a BBQ?

The grill is fired up and the smell of smoky meat fills the air. The ultimate companion for BBQ, beer is chilling in ice buckets. The problem is I don't really care for beer. I don't care if an ice cold beer is the perfect complement to beer. So what's a girl to do when it's hot and humid and she's not a big beer drinker? Can you really drink wine at a BBQ? The answer is yes but pairing wine with BBQ can be tricky. The smokiness that makes BBQ so good can overpower a subtle wine. The sauces that are either brushed on or kept to the side can also conflict with the wines.

If you want to keep it simple go for a Zinfandel or mix up some pitchers of Sangria. Zinfandels have a strong intense fruity flavor that doesn't compete with the sauces and can hold up to the heat in some BBQ. Sangria is good because it has a cool fruity effect and can be made inexpensively in large quantities to help keep cool on a hot day.

Looking for a more precise pairing? You need to understand the types of BBQ you may encounter. Each region of the US has a claim to a unique BBQ style. There are 6 distinct types of barbeque that are the subject of intense debate over who makes it best.

East North Carolina BBQ – This BBQ tends be whole hog and has a strong thin vinegar sauce. The pork has a lot of flavor and is extremely acidic. Go with a Riesling, a sweet wine. Wakefield Promised Land and Snoqualmie Naked Riesling are good bets. Think of it as the wine version of sweet tea. Another option would be a Barbera since its sweet and has big flavor with a lot of tannin. Vajra Barbera d'Alba, or Michele Chiarlo Barbera d'Asti are good picks

Lexington North Carolina BBQ – A thicker sweeter version of East NC BBQ. Pair it with a Petite Syrah like Stags Leap Winery Petite Syrah

South Carolina Mustard BBQ – Another wet style BBQ with a sharp sweet and tangy sauce. Go with a intense rich wine

Memphis Style BBQ – The sauce is more of an accent to the ribs which are slowly smoked for hours. A Merlot like the Northstar Columbia Valley Merlot would be a good pairing

Kansas City BBQ – This bbq is sweet thick and hot. You need a bold assertive wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon blend or a Zinfandel.

Texas Style BBQ – This is all about the rub and brisket reigns in Texas. No wet covered sauce her. The BBQ sauce is definitely a sidekick and served on the side. I would go with a Tempranillo or a big pitcher of Sangria to keep cool in the Texas heat

If you decide to go with Sangria go with inexpensive wines. No need to pull out your expensive wines to make this wine "punch". Some good picks are:

  • Gnarly Head 2009 Old Vine Zinfandel
  • Williamette Vineyards Riesling
  • Tablelands Sauvignon Blanc
  • 3 Stones Sauvignon Blanc
  • Snoqualmie Sauvignon Blanc

Check out additional articles written by this author at Wine Storage Solution .

How to Persuade People – Persuasion Lesson From a Historical Piece of Paper

Techniques on how to persuade people have been around for many years now. Sometimes, we're aware of what exactly it is we're doing. Other times, we apply these methods of persuasion subconsciously. Let me tell you a story on how to persuade people using one of the techniques called the law of scarcity.

A few years ago, a case involving the theft of one very important piece of American history surfaced in North Carolina. It concerned one of the 14 hand-drafted Bill of Rights commissioned by President George Washington back in 1789.

The president had kept one copy for his own and distributed the rest of the copies to the 13 states. The copy in question was that of North Carolina's, which had been stolen some time in 1865. While this whole set-up sounds just like the plot of National Treasure, it did, in fact, happen in real life.

The dealers offered the Bill of Rights to the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia for a whopping $ 4 million and warned the organization not to alert the law. In fact, the dealers even threatened to destroy the Bill of Rights if the police ever got involved.

If the artifact in question was just a common piece of art or something that every museum had, the National Constitution Center wouldn't have given the offer much attention. However, the dealers knew how to persuade people to do something about the situation using the law of scarcity.

Why The Persuasion Law of Scarcity Works

Destroying the piece would mean destroying a very important part of history forever. There may be 14 Bill of Rights in all, but only one copy intended for North Carolina. The law of scarcity states that something perceived to be of limited supply is perceived to have greater value.

The organization wasn't the only one clamoring for the ancient documents. Other buyers all over the world wanted that one-of-a-kind North Carolina parchment. It was a unique item you certainly don't see everyday. The National Constitution Center couldn't just let it go in the hands of private collectors.

How To Persuade People Using The Law Of Scarcity

While I do not urge you to use this persuasion technique in a negative way, the example above does explain how the law of scarcity works. You can use it to influence people to think or act a certain way if you know which buttons to push.

For example, you want to boost your t-shirt store's popularity. Instead of dropping your prices to the point of going bankrupt, why don't you start selling limited edition products? By using the law of scarcity, you are persuading people to pay more attention to your store.

Remember: The more scarce a resource is perceived to be, the higher its perceived value.

Customers will flock to your store wanting what only a select people can have. They want to have exclusivity and will do almost anything if you dangle your bait well enough. If they're rich enough, they'll even pay double the product's worth.

If you want to learn how to persuade people using the law of scarcity, you have to be mindful of how you build up a certain product or idea. You have to make sure that the others understand how rare your product is and how it is selling like hotcakes.

If you're curious about the art dealers who held the Bill of Rights hostage, they were eventually arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. While the law of scarcity might have been a great way to persuade the National Constitution Center to sit up and take notice, it wasn't enough to keep the culprits out of jail.

Quality Public Education

In 2004 Forbes magazine ranked Raleigh, North Carolina’s Wake County Public School System (WCPSS), third in the nation for “Best Education in the Biggest Cities”. It’s no wonder, as Greater Raleigh is able to provide superior education opportunities in both public and private settings. WCPSS is a national leader on the education front. The school system boasts a solid high school graduation rate, great access to educational resources, and affordability in housing. All these factors, combined with it’s amazing programming make for an undeniably strong school system.

If you are moving to the Greater Raleigh area and want to know about specific WCPSS programming, read on:

K-12: The Formative Years

Committed to excellence, The Board of Education has adopted an ambitious goal. They aim to have 95 percent of WCPSS students in grades three through 12, at or above grade level by the end of this year! Such ambitious goals are indicative of a forward thinking and committed board, who are dedicated to providing the best education and ensuring that positive growth continues.

Parents in this area have a wide variety of educational options. There are many traditional public schools and also numerous private and special-needs schools. WCPSS offers over 20 programs in the district with 51 magnet schools. The award winning magnet school program provides creative approaches for teachers to reach students and to meet different student’s individual learning styles and needs. Magnet schools in the area, have been especially recognized with awards such as the United States Magnet School of Excellence of award and the Magnet School of Distinction award.

Recently the district received a portion of a 2.3 million dollar grant to open a health and life science themed high school aimed at developing students for both higher education and jobs in biotechnology and health care. Students at these schools will have the opportunity to participate in internship programs and will have access to community college and university level courses. There’s other grant funding in place which comes from the New Schools Project, an 11 million dollar grant that will create more than 100 new and redesigned high schools across the state.

Post- Secondary: Superior Education at Your Doorstep!

North Carolina State University, as one of the nation’s top research universities, is a great example of one the best post secondary options in Raleigh. Home to BTEC, The Golden LEAF Biomanfacturing Training and Education Center, this University is committed to providing a highly trained, industry-focused workforce. Dedicated to pursue “innovation in action”, NCSU partner’s with business’s, industry and government with a focus to collectively create innovative products and research.

The region’s community colleges also offer solid programs for those wishing to pursue technical, or specialized training in particular sectors of the workforce.

North Carolina community college is focused on biotechnology training to provide a highly trained workforce for the estimated 125,000 residents of NC who will be employed in this sector by 2025.

Wake Technical Community College is a leader in biological and chemical technology programs. They also offer North Carolina’s only community college lab facility for industrial pharmaceutical technology. As a state leader providing over 20% of all industry training offered by community colleges in the state, Wake Tech serves as a catalyst for economic growth and development. This exceptional community college assists thousands of businesses with its superior Small Business Center and New and Expanding Industry Program.

It is easy to see why Raleigh, North Carolina boasts one of America’s most educated workforces. If education is important to you and your family, consider Raleigh, North Carolina as a smart option for a solid future.

The Final Chapter

Several months ago, I read an article about a 22 year old, successful young lady who died a premature death in a plane crash. The more I read this article, the heavier my heart became because she died in the midst of her formative years. Equally tear-jerking was the fact that she died before completing a book that she was writing – before completing her final chapter.

Right now, your book is being written – and you are the author. Every moment that passes, every day that appears and vanishes, your pages are being written. Every word you speak, every action you take – shapes page after page in your book of life. How you live and how you treat others also shape the pages of your book – from cover to cover.

In retrospect, perhaps the beginning of your book may not have been written well, because of mistakes, or unwise decisions – but you can finish a bestseller.

You can finish a bestseller, because you are the starring character and you, by your present and future actions, control how the final chapters of your book will read. You can finish as the winner by doing the things that you love and not taking your life, or others for granted.

Start a new chapter today – a chapter that will give you and others a delight to read.

Enjoy who you are and what you do. Keep writing and live life to the fullest.

How does your book read thus far – and – what will your FINAL chapter say?

Copyright 2002 by Audrina Jones Bunton. REPRINTING THIS ARTICLE: Permission is granted to reproduce or distribute this article only in its entirety and provided copyright is acknowledged. You can find other articles to choose from at http://www.purposefully-living.com/mailing%20list.htm

Spa Weekend Getaway in Asheville, NC

If you are planning a weekend getaway why not include some time at the spa to ease away stress and the daily grind? A visit to Asheville, NC, known as a place for relaxation, rejuvenation and healing, could be the cure you are searching for. Asheville has become a place where alternative medicine, bodywork and other healing modalities flourish. Asheville draws some of the best massage therapists, chiropractors, Reiki masters, reflexologists, aroma therapists and others into its culture of healing.

Realizing that body, mind and spirit need to be tended, many visitors to Asheville come here seeking relief from bodily pain and stress and renewal through spa treatment. Some are surprised by the assortment of choices, and the level of expertise in spa services available in this Western North Carolina town.

There are some excellent spas in Asheville, with a variety of price ranges for services. In fact there are so many choices, they are too many to mention here. For visitors seeking ideas, I am going to highlight some of my favorite places to find the best contemporary spa treatments in Asheville, utilizing all of the latest methods of bodily rejuvenation.

Spa Theology

This downtown Asheville spa is known for its world-class spa treatments. Experts here use the most contemporary methods of bodily rejuvenation. Enjoy full body treatment packages such as the Cleansing Clay and Tea Ritual, the Ultra Luxe Facial, or Sacred Spa Day. Or, have a massage and choose specific treatments to add such as a Soothing Aloe Wrap or Aromatherapy Oil Wrap or an Exfoliating Foot or Body treatment. Energize yourself and enhance natural beauty with these treatments in elegant and soothing setting.

Spa at Biltmore Village

For those who prefer a spa that offers the traditional body treatments, the Spa at Biltmore Village may be just the right choice. This is a "day spa for men and women" offering waxing, skin and nail treatments, anti aging treatments and massage. The Spa at Biltmore Village is conveniently located in South Asheville, in the shops near the gates of Biltmore Estate.

Appalachian Spa Ventures

Day spa treatments and spa packages are available at Appalachian Spa Ventures. This spa also provides mobile on site services, and has a solid reputation of serving the Asheville area for 10 years. Appalachian Spa Ventures specializes in offering unique massage styles such as hot rock or deep tissue massage, and related healing modalities, including reiki, reflexology and aromatherapy services. With over 20 modalities of Massages, facials, body wraps, hand and feet treatments and couples treatments packages, Appalachian Spa Ventures is a great choice.

Sensibilities Day Spa

Sensibilities is a well respected spa with two locations. One is in Downtown Asheville at 59 Haywood Street and there is another location underneath the Hilton Hotel in South Asheville. Sensibilities Day Spa is a popular choice among visitors and locals. Choose from a variety of massage and reflexology techniques. Or, select an all-natural body treatment, waxing treatment or nail care. Spa packages that combine massage with manicures, pedicures, facials and other services are available. Some of the spa packages take four or more hours, so keep this in mind when booking.

Outcall Massage Services in Asheville

For mobile spa services that bring massage to you, there are two services I trust well from past experiences. One is Mobile Spa Services, and the other is Around Town Massage. Massage therapists bring their tables to a pre-determined location. Individuals receive massage in the comfort of their hotel room, cabin rental, residence or business, and are free to relax afterwards.

Visitors have a wide variety of options for spa services in Asheville, NC They can select something that meets their budget and own personal tastes. Some spas offer additional types of bodywork such as reflexology and reiki, while others offer attractive spa packages and traditional day spa services such as facials, body wraps and waxing. One thing is certain. If you're in the mood for some pampering, stress relief and beauty enhancement, you are sure to find exactly what you're looking for in Asheville, NC

Growing in Up in Aurora, NC – Segregation

While watching a show on “The History Channel” recently about the turmoil of the 1960’s there was a sign over a water fountain that said “White Only”. This brought back memories of being a young boy in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Growing up in eastern North Carolina segregation was the way of life in the 50’s and 60’s. Because it was predominantly a rural farming area a large percentage of the population was “colored”. At the time this was the polite way to referring to African Americans as oppose to the “N” word, which was also widely used. Segregation affected all aspects of life. You knew the unwritten rules and you followed them.

One event that I clearly remember occurred at my great granddad’s funeral. A few of the black people who had worked for him for many years asked Granddaddy if they could go to the funeral. He said yes. When they came into the church they sat on the back pew. I still remember people in the next pew getting up and moving. When my grandmother died in the 1980’s the black woman who had worked for them and help her for years sat with the family. Different times.

I still remember the signs over the water fountains / coolers in Washington and other towns, designating them as “White Only” and a few, in out of the way places, marked “Colored Only”. This was one of the rules I always found a little funny having worked on Granddad’s farm. All the people who worked for him where black except me. When we were out in the fields working on a hot day Granddad would bring water out in a gallon glass jug and we would pass it around, everyone drinking out of the same jug. When you left the field the rules changed and you were white and they were colored again.

There were “White Only” signs on all the public bathrooms in the stores and other places. I remember behind “the dime store”, on Main St, in Washington there was a wooden building which was marked “Colored Only” and I was told that was the bathrooms for them.

A lot of the department stores had dining areas but they were for “Whites Only”. You never saw colored people sitting in them. Usually there was one small corner of the counter where they could place a “to go” order but they could not set while they waited. This is one of the reasons these became a target of early civil rights set-ins.

I can remember going to the movies at the theater and blacks had to set in one small section in the back of the balcony. This was after they went to a separate entrance marked “Colored Only” to buy there tickets. This was not unusual as there were separate entrances and waiting rooms for “Colored Only” for bus and train stations, doctor’s offices, and hospitals. Almost all public places and businesses were segregated.

When the county fair came to town in the fall you never saw blacks there. During the week long event there was one day designated for the colored people to go and you new not to go on that day.

This all began to slowly change in the late 1960’s but not without issues. There were very vocal people on both sides of the issue voicing their opinion whether right or wrong. When I was around 13 or 14 it was announced Aurora High School would begin partial integration the next school year. I remember this is when the negative talk became the loudest even to the point of a large KKK rally being held in the Aurora area. Times were changing and nothing was going to hold back progress. The next school year Aurora High School was partially integrated.

Even though it only involved approximately 12 black kids coming to our school it was a major change. The kids were all from the Porters Creek area and I had work with some of them on Grand Dad’s farm but I never acknowledge them. I still remember the first day when they came into school and we all look at them wondering what was going to happen especially after seeing all the integration trouble on TV. Thinking back you could see fear in both the black kids and the whites because our world was changing. There were no issues that day and for the next two years. We were fortunate that the change went smoothly unlike some schools.

Then in September of 1968 full integration began. The SW Snowden High School, formerly the colored school, became the elementary school with grades 1 through 6. Aurora High School became the high school with grades 7 through 12. Again there were no real issues. There were a lot of changes in the mindset of many people which had to be made by both sides. Once we fully integrated the white kids became the minority as there were approximately two black students to every one white student. It was different.

Even though the schools were integrated old beliefs and ways held on. I played basketball on the high school team and we went from an all white team to just Craig and I being the only white boys on the team. This made for interesting comments when we played all white, none integrated, schools in the area. One of my good friends from school and basketball was Kelvin. We played ball together for three years and became close friends at practice and at school. I never invited him to my house or ask him to go hangout with my other friends because deep down I was conditioned that this was not done. Old ways are hard to change and I look back with remorse and think how ridiculous those beliefs were.

A friend/classmate related another story to me of how strong attitudes were back then. She was a cheerleader who lived near the school. Another friend of ours and a cheerleader who was black did not have a ride back to school for the games so she would set on the school steps until game time, sometimes several hours. My one friend would ask her mother if she could come over to her house to wait but her mother refused because she was worried what the neighbors would think. My friend would then make them both a sandwich and go back to school and wait with her on the steps.

A lot of people would like to forget about this and erase it from their minds and our history. Yet, it is just that, our history. We need to remember our good times and our bad times, not to dwelling on them but learning from them. History that is forgotten or lost has a way of repeating itself until we learn the truth from it. Slavery, segregation, and the mistreatment of our fellow man needs to be remembered. Teach it to our children so the same mistakes will not be made again.

This too was part of growing up in Aurora NC.

More Home Inspection Surprises

When inspecting homes, ordinary doors can provide a surprise. Some doors lead to rooms, some doors lead to a dark void, and some doors are curiously locked. Sometimes you get all three.

I was inspecting a large vacation home north of Cashiers, North Carolina, on a fast running creek. It was full of boulders, twists and turns, and waterfalls. The drive to the home was narrow and steep, leading to a heavy gate. The remote the agent gave me worked, and the gates slowly opened on complaining hinges.

The house was beautifully built into the side of the granite ledges, with stunning floor to ceiling windows. Although the home had a small footprint – perhaps 1500 square feet – two stories towered upwards, taking advantage of the very steep lot. The home had been foreclosed on, and was now vacant.

The first part of the inspection on the first floor revealed no anomalies. I started up the stairs to move upwards and noticed a closet door with a deadbolt lock. When you see something like this, owners are usually trying to protect something. Normally I note in the report that I could not access the closet or room, but in this case the bank was the owner and I doubted that they knew anything about this locked door.

I quickly got on the phone to the real estate agent.

“I’ll call the bank,” she said.

Three minutes later the phone rang.

“No one has a key to that door. If we did I’d say enter and report what you find. Can you pick it?”

“I’m no locksmith. No problem, I’ll put it in my report,” I said and hung up.

But I was curious.

I ran my hand across the top of the door trim which is where I “hide” a key. My fingers encountered an object with Velcro stuck to the trim. A key! I put the key in the lock and tried rotating it. It worked! Leaving the key in the tumbler, I turned the knob and opened the door.

A black void.

I pulled out my flashlight and aimed it into the area. A black metal circular staircase came into view. Now I felt like Nancy Drew. I started slowly down the narrow stairs and began to hear the sound of water. When I reached the bottom, my feet were on an uneven stone floor and I was in a room about six by six feet with two more doors in the walls. I looked around for a switch. I found it on the opposite wall. I flipped the switch and light filled the room. I was amazed to see that the walls were carved into the cliff.

One closet was a tiny space with an electrical box. The other door was locked with a deadbolt like the one upstairs.

“Oh! I left the key upstairs,” I said to myself. “Shoot, I’ll have to go back up and get it.”

I went back up the circular staircase to retrieve it. I moved back down the stairs to the locked door. The key worked, and I opened the door. I was in a very narrow passageway. The walls were solid rock and I could see the furrows where blasting caps had been used. I was feeling a little claustrophobic. Should I keep going?

The sound of water grew stronger as I moved slowly down the cavern path. After traveling 12 feet, I was suddenly outside! The waterfall that was visible from inside the home was directly in front of me.

What a surprise! Never underestimate what might be behind a locked door.

Foreclosed Homes For Sale in Charlotte

Charlotte, the largest city in North Carolina, is located in Mecklenburg County. Although this area has not been hit as hard by the recession as other states have until recently, they still have a few homes that have gone into the foreclosure category.

Currently, there are 7,561 homes in foreclosure in the state of North Carolina, with Mecklenburg County claiming only 1,270. Charlotte has 1,168 of those homes now in foreclosure.

Interest rates are lower than they have been in years, but who knows how long they will stay that way. If you have been thinking of owning your own home, and investing in your future, now is the time to buy a home in Charlotte.

The largest concentration of foreclosed home for sale in Charlotte North Carolina appear to be located around Charlotte's central area. Several of these are located in the Mount Holly area. The foreclosed home in this area are listed from $ 40,000 to over $ 100,000, with estimated values ​​ranging from $ 70,000 to over $ 150,000

There are also foreclosed home for sale near Lake Wylie close to Pine Harbor. These homes range in cost from $ 100,000 to 200.000 and are only a short drive to the center of Charlotte.

Charlotte has much to offer one who is considering taking advantage of the low interest rates and becoming a resident of The Queen City in North Carolina. For entertainment, you can find everything from theater to NASCAR. Charlotte also has the distinction of being the nations second largest financial center.

If looking for a home, whether a resident, or coming from another town or state, contact one of Charlotte's local real estate agents. Let the agent know what type of home you are looking for. Ask the agent about the foreclosed homes in the area. If you are unfamiliar with the Charlotte and her surroundings, let the real estate agent know your wants and needs, such as the distance you require from a school or business. There are many rural areas that have homes for sale also. If country living is what you seek, inform your local Charlotte real estate agent of land size, house size, and barns.

With several houses in foreclosure that have an estimated value of over twice what they are worth, and the interest rates so low, buying a home in Charlotte as a primary residence, vacation home, or as an investment, only makes good sense.

USA Mid-Atlantic Seafood

The Mid-Atlantic region of the USA offers some of the highest quality seafood in the world. From New York to North Carolina, fishermen catch a wide range of shellfish, finfish and other wild caught seafood. In addition to wild caught seafood, the Mid-Atlantic states are home to farmed seafood such as clams, oysters, mussels and fish.

Depending on the port, Mid Atlantic states may offer shellfish including lobsters, shrimp, red crabs, blue crabs, hard clams, ocean quahog clams, surf clams, oysters, mussels, and others. Finfish of the region include cod, haddock, pollock, hake, whiting, Atlantic mackerel, winter flounder, summer flounder, yellowtail flounder, monkfish, scup, black sea bass, striped bass, white perch, weakfish, drum fish, spot, croaker, mullet, shad, red snapper, groupers, tuna, wahoo, mahi mahi, sharks and others.

New York and New Jersey are famous for several types of seafood. Boats from these northern states are within range of some of the cool water fish that are also associated with New England fishing such as cod, haddock, pollock, scup and monkfish. The states are also known for shellfish, including sea scallops, surf clams and quahogs from the open ocean and hard clams and oysters from inshore estuaries.

In the middle of the region is Delaware and Maryland, both states that border large bays. Delaware has both coastal waterfront and property along the Delaware Bay. This small state has landings of blue crabs, clams, oysters and fish. Maryland has waterfronts with access to the Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay and coastal bays. While Maryland's access to the Atlantic is limited to the port of Ocean City, its landings are important to the state. Top quality seafood passes through the port including scallops, clams, crabs, lobsters, tuna, wahoo, mahi mahi, swordfish, sharks, flounder, sea bass, monkfish, croaker, spot, striped bass and other species.

The southern states of this region are Virginia and North Carolina. Virginia seafood is dominated by several important fisheries. From the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, commercial fishermen harvest blue crabs, oysters, striped bass, croakers, white perch, catfish and other species. From the Atlantic, sea scallops are by far the most valuable catch for the Commonwealth. Sea scallop landings make Hampton Roads Virginia among the top ports in the country in terms of income. In addition to wild caught seafood, Virginia is known for its clam and oyster aquaculture operations which produce year round harvests of top quality shellfish. North Carolina also has important fisheries, including inshore harvests of blue crabs, oysters, clams, shrimp, summer flounder, spot, croaker and other finfish. In addition to inshore fisheries, North Carolina boats fish the offshore waters for sea scallops, mahi mahi, tuna, wahoo, king mackerel, grouper, snapper, amberjack and other species.

What Exactly is a Boar?

The wild boar is a male animal of the pig family, or swine. It is only two feet high and four feet long, but it is strong enough to kill a tiger or a bear. The boar has a woolly body covered with bristles, which are short, stiff hairs. The boar has several tusks in its mouth, and they are almost as sharp as razor blades. These dangerous little animals used to live and be hunted in England until they were all killed, about five hundred years ago.

Today you can still find wild boars in the forests of central Europe and in certain parts of Russia, India, and the United States. The wild boars that now live in America were brought to North Carolina about fifty years ago by an English sportsman. He wanted to raise them so he could hunt them on his estate. Some of them escaped. Now they wander over a large area of dense forest in the southern part of the Great Smoky Mountains. People who live in the hills of Tennessee and North Carolina often see them.

Hunting the wild boar has been a favorite sport of man for many thousands of years. In India, the boar is hunted with spears and the sport is known as “pig-sticking.” Most often the boar is hunted on horseback, with rifles and a pack of specially trained brave dogs. The dogs are no match for an angry boar, but the dogs can chase and tire the boar out until the hunters arrive. A wild boar is so strong and courageous that it will not cry out no matter how badly it is wounded. Even when it is shot through the heart and is dying, it will stay on its feet and kill anyone who comes near.