Roses and Raspberries: Ron Stutts, July 24

July 23, 2013 

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Ron Stutts was recently named the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters' 2013 Personality of the Year in the small market division.

COURTESY OF WCHL

Roses to Ron Stutts, the host of the WCHL morning news, for being named the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters’ 2013 Personality of the Year in the small market division.

Radio announcers don’t get a lot of credit – unless they scream a catchphrase like Robin Williams in “Good Morning, Vietnam” or routinely stick their foot in their mouth, like another well-known Triangle morning radio jock.

In truth, the great ones do neither. They show up day after day, rising alone in the dark to be there when our alarm clock goes off, the coffeepot percolates or to accompany us on our drive to work.

Stutts, who started at Chapel Hill’s hometown radio station July 11, 1997, is one of the great ones. His friendly voice, enthusiasm for his guests and caring for his community are present whether he’s reading the news, sharing trivia with Freddie Kiger or talking the word of the day with Wayne Pond and the clean joke of the day (and you know, sometimes they’re really funny).

Stutts also produces the daily Village Pride Award, where the station honors someone who has contributed to the community – typically a leader in the local nonprofit sector. He covers breaking news, weather, and sports, too. And if you’ve hung out under the elm on Carrboro Day, seen the sky light up over Kenan Stadium or lingered by the stage with a bit of pulled pork at Hillsborough Hogg Day, well, Ron’s been there, as well.

“It’s great,” Stutts told his colleagues of winning the award. “It’s flattering, it really is. I’m absolutely exhilarated to hear this.”

As Dr. Pond would says, “Back at you, big guy.”

Roses to state Rep. Pricey Harrison for pushing legislation that gives rescue workers explicit permission to break into a car to rescue a trapped animal.

The Greensboro Democrat could have given up on her initial bill when legislators leaders parked it in rules, the committee, “where bills go to die,” she told us last week.

Instead, she attached the rescue part of her proposal to a related animal shelter bill, which passed both House and Senate and now goes to Gov. McCrory for approval.

The amended bill lets police, firefighters, animal control workers and emergency personnel use any reasonable force to enter a locked car. That’s a power only about a dozen states spell out, according to a national animal legal center.

The new legislation would not have helped in the case of Worthy, the golden retriever that died the day after the program manager for Eyes Ears Nose and Paws left him in a car for two hours. By all accounts, Worthy sat in the car unnoticed until the program manager returned for him. But Harrison did cite the Carrboro case on the House floor to emphasize the danger of dogs left in cars, even on mild days and even when the windows are cracked.

Ironically, Harrison’s sister was one of the first recipients of an EENP dog. She had a brain tumor that affected the vision on her right side. The dog steadied Harrison’s sister until she died; it now lives with Harrison’s niece.

It’s a sad story all around, the death of Worthy. But perhaps other animals will benefit from the tragedy, if the story raises awareness. If you see an animal in car on a warm day, call 911. You might save a life.

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