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210 Pittsboro Street, Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
(919) 962-2091   FAX: (919) 962-2279


Not for publication

May 22, 2000 -- No. 298

Local angles: Morganton, Yadkinville

Tar Heel Bus Tour faculty to see juvenile prison, tour high-tech textile plant

Thursday, May 25

Participants on the fourth day of the Tar Heel Bus Tour will tour Foothills Correctional Institution and tour in Morganton and Unifi Inc. in Yadkinville. Later in the day, the group will dine with State Supreme Court Justice Henry Frye.

The privately funded classroom on wheels starts Monday (May 22) and will stop in Morganton, Lenoir, Yadkinville and Greensboro on Thursday (May 25). In a weeklong road trip spanning more than 1,000 miles, 30 new faculty and officials new to North Carolina will visit a dozen sites across the state aimed at enhancing how their teaching, research and public service work can help improve the state.

Carolina is among a handful of major public universities that take newcomers to the far reaches of their states. Since the inaugural tour in 1997, almost 100 participants have journeyed from Beaufort on the coast to Chimney Rock in the mountains and points in between. They have held tobacco leaves, trawled in fishing boats and had breakfast with the chief executive officer of the Bank of America. They have leapt from a 34-foot paratrooper tower, sped around a motor speedway in an official pace car, observed a father and son making pottery in Seagrove and visited a Civil War fort. And they have square-danced to bluegrass music and nibbled on North Carolina barbecue and soft-shell crabs.

After five intense days on the road, participants come home to Chapel Hill with an awareness of the state’s culture, economy, history and new friends from departments across campus. They see some of the places 82 percent of Carolina’s undergraduate students call home. And, organizers hope, they are inspired to develop projects and research that address the challenges facing the state.

Thursday’s schedule includes these stops:

9:45 a.m. Foothills Correctional Institution, Morganton. Media are invited to participate in the tour but prison officials have set guidelines on access and photography. Those who wish to join the bus tour group need to call Assistant Prison Superintendent Herb Myers before Thursday at 828-438-5585 for instructions on participation.

11:30 a.m. Judges Riverside Barbecue, Morganton.

3:30 p.m. Unifi Inc., Yadkinville. Unifi officials say media are welcome to participate in the tour, but they will not permit news photography inside the plant.

In Morganton, the group will tour Foothills Correctional Institution, which houses inmates in close custody from the ages of 18 to 23. Foothills provides more than 700 close security cells. Capt. James Green, assistant superintendent of the IMPACT West boot camp program, will address the group. Toney Stamey, superintendent of the Foothills facility, will host the tour. The group will eat lunch at Judge’s Riverside Barbecue. Special guests will include city officials Dr. Alfred Hamer and John D. Greene.

In Yadkinville, participants will see Unifi’s plant number five to better understand how technology is transforming industries like textiles. Bobby Todd, director of the Yadkin County Chamber of Commerce, will provide an overview about Unifi’s importance to the local economy. Then Unifi officials Raymond Hunt, Eddie Norman, Ricky Oaks and Greg Sutton will host the tour.

In Greensboro, participants will have dinner with N.C. Chief Justice Henry E. Frye.

Interviews: Tour hosts and participants are available for print and broadcast interviews at stops or by cellular phone by making arrangements through News Services, (919) 962-2091, or University Relations staff members Scott Ragland or Gary Moss on site.

For more information: For additional information about the university, the Tar Heel Bus Tour, tour participants, directions or site visits, call News Services. Additional background about the bus tour can be found at:

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