Sunday, May 18, 2008

Moore County - Um, Golf-Town USA

The week of May 12 was a full week of criminal court in Carthage, NC. My assignment was criminal superior court in Moore County, the county seat for those popular golfing destinations of Pinehurst and Southern Pines.

This was the first full week of reporting I've done since I started the job in February. Five full days - with juries deliberating and all kinds of sentencings, pleas, and parole violations.

By the time Friday rolled around, I had already received two notices of appeal (from guilty verdicts in jury trials) and one trial was dismissed for insufficiency of the evidence. It was 4:30 p.m. and I finally started packing up and gearing up for my next adventure.

But let me say, I really LOVE being a roving reporter for the State. I get to see different courthouses, meet some really great people - the deputy clerks, the bailiffs, the attorneys, and judges - that I would never have had the opportunity to meet otherwise.

The bailiffs were so wonderful to me, greeting me every morning, sharing their lunchroom with me, getting me water when my bottle got low. The Deputy clerk, on Friday, brought me a piece of homemade chocolate iced pound cake. WOW, was that good. She bakes for a local restaurant, and I jokingly said, Hey, if one doesn't look quite right, I'm happy to take a piece off your hands. And, voila, there was a piece of cake on my desk the next morning. I didn't want to eat my lunch first - I wanted to swallow that cake whole. Man, some folks are great cooks!

I had the opportunity to stay in town as the courthouse was over 50 miles from my base courthouse - and close to 80 miles from my house. I stayed at a Homewood Suites. Breakfast and dinner every night. More nice people.

If you ever have the opportunity to visit a small-town courthouse, you will be pleasantly surprised by the folks you'll meet there working for you and the cause of justice. I can't wait to get assigned to Moore County again!

However, next week I'm going back to Nash County, where I started my first two weeks on the job. It's going to feel pretty good getting back and seeing my first friends on the job.

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