The Moore County Board of Commissioners held their regular meeting on Tuesday.
Friend to Friend Executive Director Anne Friesen presented a proclamation requesting that January 2019 be declared Human Trafficking Prevention and Awareness Month in Moore County. Friend to Friend is a non-profit organization in Carthage with a mission ‘to help survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking rebuild their lives.’
According to the North Carolina Department of Administration, Human Trafficking is defined as:
a. sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or,
b. The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. A victim does not have to be physically transported from one location to another in order for the crime to fall within these trafficking definitions.
In 2017, North Carolina had 221 reported human trafficking cases, which places North Carolina as eighth in the nation in reported cases. The proclamation was adopted by the commissioners unanimously.
You can find more information about human trafficking in North Carolina at this website.
In additional business, after a lengthy public comment period, the commissioners adopted changes to the Unified Development Ordinance.
The revisions now give The Board of Commissioners decision-making authority on many areas that had previously fallen under the purview of the planning board including Conditional Use Permits; Conditional Rezonings; Major Preliminary Subdivision Plats; Vested Rights; Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) Expansions; Public Road Additions and Closures; and Amendments to the comprehensive land use plan.
Many of the 10 speakers during the public comment session spoke in opposition to these changes feeling that it would increase regulation and hinder growth. In response, Board Chair Frank Quis stated the amendments were not anti-growth but would give the county’s elected officials the ability to control growth and prevent the chaos that comes from unregulated growth.
In addition to human trafficking and housing development discussions, Captain Justin Johns was awarded a certificate of appreciation for his work and support of the Moore County Dogs Tags Program. The program is intended to pair wounded soldiers with dogs.
Soldiers are taught how to train Animal Services’ dogs, so they are more likely to be adopted. The curriculum includes proper handling of dogs, how to manage an aggressive dog, basic obedience training, insurance issues, information about search and rescue dogs, and careers associated with dogs.
To learn more about the program or to adopt one of the furry friends, please contact the Moore County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services Center at (910) 947-2858.
Also, Pinecrest High School Football Coach Chris Metzger was recognized as the US Cellular National Most Valuable Coach. Metzger was hailed as both a leader and mentor of his students and athletes. As a result of the award, Pinecrest High School received $50,000 and a $30,000 Samsung Technical Award.
The commissioners next regularly scheduled meeting will be February 5 at 10:20 a.m.
Article by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Chris Prentice.
Photo courtesy of Moore County.