Originally created 11/24/03

Across the southeast



College students earn Rhodes Scholarships

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -Elizabeth Kistin's mom calls her "the traveler" for venturing across Latin America to pursue her passion of rural development.

So it hardly came as a surprise when the family learned late Saturday that Elizabeth's passion has earned her a Rhodes Scholarship.

Elizabeth Kistin was one of 32 American college students selected as 2004 Rhodes Scholars, the scholarship trust announced Sunday.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill senior was one of three undergraduates with North Carolina ties selected for the scholarship.

Jennifer Harris of Lawton, Okla., a senior at Wake Forest University, was selected, as was Cristina Bejan of Durham, N.C., a senior at Northwestern University in Illinois.

A fourth scholar, Pooja Kumar, of Boston, was a 2000 graduate of Duke University.

The scholarships provide two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England.

Flight festival vendors have long wait for pay

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -It's been months since the celebration of the Wright Brothers ended in Fayetteville, and 29 vendors say they still haven't been paid.

The nonprofit festival's five-person executive committee is searching for as much as $262,000 to pay vendors after low attendance hurt the May 16-27 celebration.

Vendors were sent checks of $250 in September, which came from private donations.

Committee members said they are continuing to try to raise money from any source they can. They say small contributions come in, but nothing significant.

Hundreds mourn state agricultural leader

RALEIGH, N.C. -The state's political elite, relatives and plain folk who admired retired Agriculture Commissioner Jim Graham filled a church Sunday to remember one of North Carolina's legendary political figures.

"A living legend must now be handed over to the history books," said the Rev. J. Daniel Day, the pastor of First Baptist Church.

Mr. Graham, the son of a seventh-generation farmer from Rowan County and state agriculture commissioner for nine terms, died Thursday at the age of 82 from complications from pneumonia.

The Democrat spent 36 years as agriculture commissioner - longer than anyone else in that role in the United States. He retired in January 2001.

While he was in office, Mr. Graham saw North Carolina's agriculture industry change from one dominated by tobacco to one driven by pork and poultry and the growing sweet potato and cotton markets.