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- [commentator] this is aproduction of pbs charlotte. - just ahead on carolina impact. - carolina cotton mills havebeen struggling for years, but how are carolinacotton farmers doing? i'm jeff soniers; stick around. we'll have details, coming up. - plus, we'll spotlight programshelping refugee children stay on track withtheir schoolwork. and carolina cookin' takes us to
a popular diner oncharlotte's east side, offering great meals andmouthwatering desserts. don't go anywhere; carolinaimpact starts right now. (energetic music) - [narrator] carolina impact. covering the issues, peopleand places that impact you. this is carolina impact. - good evening; thanksso much for joining us. i'm amy burkett.
check that label inside thecollar of your cotton shirt; chances are it doesn'tsay made in the usa, even though thecotton it's made from was probably grown in the usa. now cotton farmershere in the carolinas are trying to change that, partnering with nearbytextile companies to produce garments,like this one, that are truly homegrown.
our story is part of a newseries on carolina impact we're calling remadein the carolinas, how local textiletowns are bouncing back after years of mills closingdown and jobs moving. tonight, carolinaimpact's jeff sonier takes us to stanly county, and the cottonfields just outside of the town of albemarle. - yeah, you know,with all the struggles
that carolina cottonmills have been through over the past couple of years, you'd figure carolinacotton farmers would be struggling too; but actually, it'sjust the opposite. the farmers say that, muchlike this cotton field we're standing in right now, their business is actually,you know, growing. (twangy guitar music)(machinery whirring)
- if you don't enjoy it,it's not in your blood, this is hard work. - [jeff] farmer butchbrooks grows his cotton on 100-year-old family fields. he picks it frombehind the wheel of a half-milliondollar harvester. so yeah, growing cottonand picking cotton is just cotton-picking hard. â™ª i gotta say it, i ain'tgonna pick any mo' cotton
- [jeff] it's alsocotton-picking expensive. - well, i don'tthink it's great; just, we're blessed to beable to grow a crop like this. â™ª i said i ain't gon'pick no mo' cotton - [jeff] but thiscrop of cotton here at sunnybrook farmin stanly county, these 5,000 pound cotton bales rolling from the backof that big harvester? well, it's not just any cotton.
experts say thisis the good stuff. so when you say 'good cotton,'what are we talking about? - well, with good cotton, take this righthere for an example. as you can see fromthis cotton plant here, you can see the nice, pure white into the cotton lint itself. that is, that denotesthe high quality. textiles want this qualitycotton for expensive garments,
for high-quality clothing. problem is, there aren'tmany big textile companies left here in stanly county. the mill buildingsare still here, but the jobs are long gone. not like the old days... - [olde tyme newscaster]time was when cotton was king of thecoastal plain, but-- - [jeff] when cotton cropsdidn't travel very far at all
from the field to the factory. - we actually sold cottonto wiscassett mills here in albemarle, sevenmiles down the road, you know. so it went from thefield behind the gin, to here, straightto the manufacturer, and then, youknow, they're gone. there's no spinningmills in my county; there's very few within50 miles of me anymore. so all that has changed.
- [jeff] wes morgan runs therolling hills cotton gin, where local cottongrowers have been bringing all those 5,000-poundbales they harvest for the past 21 years. morgan shows us how the ginpretty much does the rest. it's all automatedand computerized; and man, is it loud. (machinery whirring) these huge machines separateand clean the cotton fiber
tons at a time. the leftover cotton seedsells as feed for cattle, and the gin repacksthe cotton itself; this time, into smaller bales, bar-coded and ready for sale. - yes, until weget all the fiber, you know, seedsremoved from fiber, we get the fiber graded, how long, how strong, howwhite, color, trash, all that
get it into a bale, getit into a warehouse; until we get all that done, the farmer can't get paid. - [jeff] but if most of thecotton mills are gone now, then who are the cotton buyers? well, turns out the majorityof this carolina cotton goes to the same place thosecarolina jobs went: overseas. - this area of north carolinais the center of cotton in the world at onetime, basically.
people wanted to be ableto go to the store and buy, you know, a shirt madein the united states; well, right now, there'salmost none of that. can we get that again? can we have something completelymade in the carolinas? (machinery whirs and clicks)(twangy guitar music) - when nafta hit,they basically said textiles in thiscountry are dead; you either go overseas,or you go outta business.
- [jeff] but eric henryand his textile business had a different idea; somethinghe calls dirt-to-shirt. - there's more to a t-shirtthan just the cost of a t-shirt; where it's made, how it'smade, the impact it has on the people, impactit has on the planet. i.e., we grow cotton here,we can make apparel here. - [jeff] henry modernizedhis t-shirt factory here in burlingtonwith new equipment, churning out shirts labeledcotton in the carolinas.
the cotton comes from thosesame growers and ginners in stanly county weshowed you earlier. (twangy guitar music) shirts are cut and sewn atthis factory in greensboro, then boxed up andsent to burlington for dyeing and printing. the shirts even havespecial color coded threads in the hem and the sleeves, so you can track back yourshirt to the very beginning.
- you take those twocolors and go to a website where, w-h-e-r-e,your clothing dot com, you put in these two colors, a map pops up;and from that map, i'll introduce you tothe farmer, the ginner, the spinner, theknitter, the finisher, the cut-sew, and ts designs. and when i say introduce, i give you a picture, igive you a phone number,
i give you a physicaladdress, i give you-- we make our supply chaincompletely transparent all the way back to the farmer. - [jeff] that's not necessary, but people kinda wantthat, don't they? i mean, people like tobe able to see that. - [eric] well it's,back what i said about what's happening with food; people wanna know wheretheir food comes from,
and it supports people inthe state which they live in. - and the group known ascotton in the carolinas says eventually, that so-calleddirt-to-shirt program that they're working on now... well, it's not gonna put thecheap overseas shirt makers out of business, but it iscreating a whole new business. - we have had great cotton inthis state for a long time, and all we're doing isreconnecting that cotton to jobs in textilesback in our state.
- grown and sewn herein north carolina. amy? - thanks so much, jeff. apparently, more customersare trying, and buying, homegrown shirts producedby cotton in the carolinas. the business has grown 80%over the past three years with more than 400,000shirts sold so far. to learn more aboutthem, you'll find a link: where your clothing oncarolina's impact page
at pbscharlotte.org. well, joining menow is sam buff, director of the textiletechnology centerat gaston college, the belmont campus; sam,thanks so much for your time. - it's a pleasure to be here. - as i understandthat old adage of the death of thetextile industry is greatly overexaggerated may hold true in this story.
talk to us a littlebit about it. - it, it's quite disturbingto me to hear those, those words andthat description; and i recently read anewspaper article here in a local paper, in charlotte,that was pretty dark, and gave a really, a bleakview of textiles in general, and i just totallydisagree with it. - what was excitingin that story to see folks making a differenceand getting some excitement
and people watchingthat thread count and trying to track their shirt, i think is something that is going to have thepotential to go viral, and to create more energyand excitement around it. - there's a lot of energyin the textile industry, and even from small businesses to very large,multi-national corporations, there's a lot of energy,a lot of innovation,
a lot of newtechnologies that will change our lives,our everyday lives. - so you talk about technology; you know, that's an image thatpeople don't really think of when it comes to cottonfarming for sure, and turning theminto cotton shirts. talk to us a little bitabout that technology. - well, it's a game-changer. one of the most excitingtrends that i think we'll see
in the upcoming yearsis the marriage between electronics andtraditional textiles. if you think about howfar we've advanced, even in the past decade orso, which is telephones, imagine your cellphone beingintegrated into your shirt into your car intoyour airplane; which, we're kindaalready there now. but it'll do morethings than just that; what you wear will talkto the internet of things.
so if you thinkabout applicationsin the medical field, heart rates, temperature, gps-- - my shirt could tellyou my heart rate? - certainly; a lot of-- - and my temperature? - see, a lot of that technologyalready exists today. it's driven in acoupla different ways. department of defenseis always spendin' money on some very interestingthings for our men and women.
- but it sounds expensive. wouldn't it be cost prohibitive? - well, yes, initially. until you, until you get to, the technology to a pointwhere it's more affordable. because of the things we'reasking yarns and fabrics to do is very different thanit has been in the past, so there's gonna be a changein how we approach it, how it's processed,and we'll have to go
into the textilefacilities and actually retrofit some of that equipment. - and that changesthe workforce a bit. are you having troublefinding the skilled workers for the new technologyin the plants? - very much, very much. there's a, there's a gap there, and if you think about the, and we do have an imageproblem of a sort in textiles.
if you think abouttextiles in like, my grandparents' generation, people still have this image of, of their grandmother in thesack dress and child labor, you know, li'l kidsrunnin' around; that's just notwhat it is today. it's very different;it's highly automated, lots of robotics. and so, you know, if youlooked at it as a resume
for 50 years ago, you neededsomebody with a strong back. now you need somebodywith a strong mind, and the differenceis the technology; so these machines, theystill have gears in 'em. most of 'em are electronics;it's all computers, it's robotics, it's automation, so they've eliminated alot of the labor out of it. but the labor wehave now is just on a different level,skill set wise.
- do you see therebeing more jobs in the textileindustry in the future? - it's interesting; it'sa two-part, maybe, answer. yes, because of theexpansion of the industry, which is real exciting;and then no, because compared to pastnumbers, just because there's that marriage betweentechnology and people. - [amy] the automation.- exactly. - fewer people, but withhigher skill levels.
- exactly. - and does that meanhigher-paying jobs? - yes. - so that's goodfor the economy, and good for ourlocal community. - i think so, and i thinkmanufacturing in general has changed, alongwith textiles; and you have that ripple effect that maybe you don't getin other job creators.
- thanks so much, sam buff. we appreciate your information from the textile technologycenter at gaston college, and we're lookingforward to seeing the future of your industry. - thank you. - next up, according to the carolina refugeeresettlement agency, about 700 refugees are resettledin charlotte each year.
in the last five years,approximately 3,000 refugees started calling charlotte home. many of these children attendhigh-poverty title i schools. carolina impact's tonishajohnston introduces us to a program connecting afterschoolresources with students who need a little extratutoring to stay on track. (percussion music) - [tonisha] immigrants andrefugees come to charlotte looking to turn over a new leaf
as they search forbetter opportunities and a safer place toraise their families. refugees come from awide range of places, like argentina,ethiopia, and vietnam; but once they end uphere in the queen city, one key to their successis learning english. but that can be a challenge. - i was veryscared, 'cause like, on the first day ofschool, i was okay,
but like, on the secondday of school, i cried. - [tonisha] that's whyafterschool programs like our bridge for kids... - come on everybody, youstill need to line up. - [tonisha] tries tohelp them succeed. - what we do herewith the children is we help themlearn english faster, and also feel confidentand, you know, help their self-esteem increase
by bringing part of who theyare, where they come from. - [tonisha] fromreading to math, volunteers tutordozens of students from some ofcharlotte-mecklenburg'shigh-poverty schools. - how many juice boxesare you going to have? - eight, tom-says. - [tonisha] 16-year-oldrashika chamlegai volunteers with agroup of students who recently moved to the us.
she knows firsthandhow hard it is to adjust to lifein a new country. - coming here, i barelyknew any english. like, when somebody said "hi," i used to be like "hey"and just walk away. and now when somebody says "hi," i go full-onconversation with them. - [tonisha] rashika's family moved to the us aboutseven years ago.
a high school freshman now, rashika says she wouldn't be nearly as far alongin high school without the help she receivedfrom our bridge for kids. - if i hadn't come to bridge, i feel like i would havebeen speaking english, but not as fluent; like, not being able tointeract with people, not being able to understandother people, cultures.
- [tonisha] sil ganzosays it's rewarding to see how far some of the studentsshe's tutored have come. - very nice to see howwell adjusted they are to, you know, the american culture, and how well they speak english. - [tonisha] mecked isa non-profit working to improve educationalopportunities for children inmecklenburg county. recently, they launcheda new initiative
called charlotte next, which aims to meethigh-poverty needs and reduce dropout rates, especially amongmiddle school students. as president ofmecked, ross danis says another goal of charlottenext is bringing together all afterschool programsunder one umbrella. - we're, you know,providing a locator, so parents cansearch by interest
and by cost and by location; so they can makegood, informed choices for their young people. - [tonisha] by connectingfamilies to programs, he says everyonebenefits in a huge way, especially immigrant families. - having those environmentswhere you can interact in sometimes a playfulway, a fun way, in addition to an academic way,
not only builds relationships, but it helps peoplewho live here understand what it's like tocome from another country. - [tonisha] danis sayskeeping better track of the afterschoolprograms available not only assists thestudents who need them most, but can also connectthese programs with possible funding sources. while our bridgefor kids receives
a steady streamof grant funding, happy gbozo saysthat's not the case for the program she leads called transformationeducational services, or tes. - here you go, here you go. - [tonisha] becauseshe's operating ona shoestring budget, just simply arrangingtransportation to pick up kids in her program cuts down on studenttutoring sessions.
tes tutors kids when thereare additional volunteers to help with transportation... - so eight times eight is 64. - [tonisha] and, whenmath tutor chris ametwossi is available, to carry someof the financial burden. while it's not easy, happy and chris apply forgrants and stay encouraged when they see how far astudent advances in school. - it's huge, and youcan go to their school;
all of them are a in maths. some are a plus. - [tonisha] for ninthgrader issa adam, the help he received has madehim more confident at school. - when i first got here, iwasn't that great at math, and now i feel likei'm almost an expert. right now, sadlyi'm rocking a 97. well, it's really,it's way better now 'cause here, i cancome do my work here
and they can teach me more. - [tonisha] issa's mother says she's proud of herson's progress. - he's more outgoin'now, he had that, and he's helpin' other children that need help in that area. - [tonisha] while it'slike a juggling act, waiting on students,picking them up, and taking them totutoring sessions,
chris says it's worth it. - in my vision,their future is 100% the level of their education. if we miss, they miss. - [tonisha] that'swhy charlotte next hopes that by connecting withafterschool groups like tes, our bridge for kids, and others, it will make it easier forparents to find programs that can help their children
who might otherwise fall behind and miss chances toexpand their horizons. for carolina impact, i'mtonisha johnson reporting. - thanks so much, tonisha. charlotte next isworking on a website that will give parents access to an afterschoolprogram locator with informationabout each site; they're also hoping to openup a mini-grant program
for afterschool careproviders by september. well, do you have a sweet tooth? unfortunately, i do; and this is a dangerousplace to have one. the queen city is rankedas one of the top 20 bakery capitals of america. according to residentialreal estate data website find the home, charlotteranks 16th nationally. on this week's carolinacookin' segment,
jason terzis takesus to one place that does a whole lotta baking and tons of cooking, too. (rock music) - [jason] strawberry cheesecake,chocolate mousse cake, cinnamon raisin rolls,sweet potato cheesecake. â™ª simply irresistible carrot cake, chocolatecovered strawberries, lemon layer cake,giant homemade cookies.
if it's sugary and scrumptious, you'll no doubt find itat the landmark diner on central avenue in charlotte. - they make 'em look so good. - [man] baklava! - and you'll, makeyou wanna try it. - [jason] here, theymake over 200 varieties of cakes, pies, and pastries.- [man] apple. - [jason] you'll seethe delectable delights
proudly displayedright as you walk in. - we have the creamcheese danish, our cinnamon danish;also our cinnamon roll, our cherry turnover,our rugelach, our elephant ear; ginormous,awesome with whipped cream. - i look in the case and see, and i say "we'll try thisone this time." (laughs) - our layeredchocolate napoleon. our tuxedo mousse,which is vanilla mousse,
chocolate mousse, layerof marble cake in between with a chocolate layer on top and chocolate-coveredstrawberry. - we gonna get awhole one today. - our chocolatemarble cheesecake; in the back, we have ournew york plain cheesecake, strawberry cheesecake,jumbo eclair. - [jason] the manresponsible for all this ooey-gooey goodnessis larry kaltzunis.
he and his wife lula doit all, start to finish, in landmark's basement bakery. everything startswith the basics: eggs, water, yeast, and oil. once it's all mixed,flour gets poured in, and a few minutes later,the dough is ready. to make cinnamon-raisin danish, the bread is first flattenedand dusted with flour. next, a cinnamon pasteis spread on top,
then a coating of egg wash,brown sugar, nuts, and raisins. then it all gets rolled,cut off into sections, spread onto a baking sheetand flattened by hand. when it comes out of the oven, a syrupy glaze is spread on top. how 'bout an apple turnover? first, dough is sectioned off. a handful of turnoverfilling is plopped on top, then it's folded overand pressed down.
egg wash coating is spread over, and into the oven it goes. how about a classicchallah bread? simple; roll three pieces ofdough to about equal size. braid them together, twistthe ends, coat with egg wash. toss on some sesameseeds, and bake. last one,- opa. - [jason] a pineapplecoconut cake. first, larry slices avanilla cake horizontally,
then starting withthe bottom layer, he spreads pineapplefilling over the slice; then comes whipped cream, and then another layer of cake. the process repeatsthree more times before a final layer of creamcovers the top and sides. shredded coconut is thenspread on the sides, and final decorations go on top. (spatula clangs)
but if sweets aren't your thing, the landmark hasstill got you covered. it is a diner, after all; and what are dinersbest known for? serving pretty muchanything at any time. just scroll down the menu: burgers, salads, sandwiches, steaks, seafood, greekfood, italian food. you name it, it's here; andbreakfast's served any time.
french toast,omelets, home fries. - how many people can come in, say, 9 or 10 o'clock at night, and one person wantin'two scrambled eggs, another person wantin'steak and lobster, another personwantin' a greek meal? and everybody getwhat they want. - [jason] by not specializingin a certain type of food and having so much to offer
also leads to potential issues. is it really? - that's also been oneof our biggest headaches, is being able to have all that, being able to haveall that inventory, being able to have thatavailable in the kitchen. - [jason] but whateveryou decide to order off the landmark menu,expect a lot of it. - the portion sizesare ridiculous.
- [jason] the landmarkis known for serving huge portions ataffordable prices. - if i order like, thefettuccine alfredo for dinner, i take half of it homefor lunch the next day. - their food is always good; it's always consistent, youknow when you order something, you're gonna get high quality. they give you greatportions; usually, you've got some carry outfor the next day. (laughs)
- [jason] the landmarkfirst opened in 1989. brothers john, tom and larry came to north carolinafrom new york. they wanted to open aclassic greek diner, something charlottedidn't have at the time. - there were noother diners then. this was the only true diner; and it was a littlehard in the beginnin'. i think the biggest problemon any restaurant is
the old sayin', "anybodycan open a restaurant, "but keepin' it is the secret." - [jason] the early yearshad some growing pains, but as time went on, the landmark developeda loyal following. - my husband and i, my family, have been coming to the landmark for probably 27, maybe25, over 25 years. - [jason] brothers johnand tom have retired;
larry now runs theplace with nephew angelo and nephew-in-law milton. - we chop up onions andgarlic, and we saute it, and we add our ingredients thatmake it what the old greeks, the old people ingeneral, used to do. - [jason] if the landmark diner doesn't get you with their food, they'll surely get youwith their desserts. for carolina impact, i'mjason terzis reporting.
- thanks so much, jason. the landmark is one of manycharlotte-area restaurants to be featured onthe hit tv show diners, drive-ins, and dives. as a result of that publicity,the restaurant now has lots of out-of-townvisitors stopping by, many of whom bring locals whohaven't been there before. i've really gotta get over there for lunch one of these days.
but i'm gonna try my bestto avoid the pastries. well, from food to art, artists work in allkinds of mediums: painting, clay, andphotography, just to name a few. recently, wediscovered an artist in tega cay, south carolina,who works in fabric. as producer russhunsinger shows us, mia tyson is a fiber artist who creates her ownwomen's clothing line, too.
- this is my label,living out loud with mia. hello, i live out loud(laughs) all the time. (upbeat music) if you have an eye, that's it. that's all you need is an eye; and if you do have an eye, you can recreate yourselfhundreds of times with different materials;that's all it takes. (rhythmic thumping)
my fiber art is, idesign the garment, (sewing machine whirs) but then i, by eye,figure out where to put all the needle felting on it, because it's justlike a painting. i want the balance,i want rhythm in it. i want all those things thatyou look into a painting. any artwork that hasthe same outlines, there's a balance, there'sa rhythm, there's a flow.
i was at a point in my lifewhere my body had changed, and i couldn't find anyclothes that flattered it. i made the garments,designed the garments, but i couldn'tmake them mine yet. it just didn't havemy signature on it, and i see a needlefelting demonstration. i went "ah! now i canspeak through my work." the needles havelittle barbs on them, and as they go downinto the fabric,
it picks fibers downand brings others up, so it gets woven, moreor less into the fabric. i just let the materialtell me what it want to do. (sewing machine whirs)(cheerful guitar music) when i do them, i mark it, and then i look at how thedesign fits on the garment. but all of a sudden,it was like a pang, and i said "oh! it's right." and if it didn't, ikept working on it.
(hangers rattle) and this is my favorite piece. this was in themaking for three years until i finally gotit where i wanted it. sometimes, i have peoplewho come in and see she and they said "i have wornthis jacket every day," and i said "well,don't you think "it'd need a companionby now?" (laughs) this was the veryfirst vest i did.
contemporary, cleanlines, and can be worn, not just to a party or museumopening, but every day. i did this for a customer, and i said "oh,that looks good." and so i kept it. (camera shutter clicking) i get a lot of ideasfrom my customers. they'll put it on something, they'll ask me, "ifyou make it for me,
"can you do this at this angle,or that short, or whatever?" and then things come from "did i go to townwith the design?" and something elsewill pop out of that. and this is mohair. so these women,they are so happy that they have somethingthat looks good on them that's different;(hangers squeak) and there's always some elements
on the back of the garmentsas well as the front. and that's where my,my biggest payoff is, when they're satisfied,and they look good. (cheery guitar music) i make them feel good, and they do feel good whenthey see the garment on them. you know, you've gothigh fashion, where it's, you can't wear it every day. you have to wear itto special things,
and i'm glad i make a garment that you can wear every day, and a lot of people can wear it. (sewing machine whirring) yeah, it makes me happy. - thanks so much, russ. to learn more aboutmia's clothing line, we've got a link to her website posted along with this storyon our carolina impact page
at pbscharlotte.org . well, thanks somuch for joining us. we always appreciate your time, and we look forward toseeing you back here again next time on carolina impact. good night, my friends. - [commentator] aproduction of pbs charlotte.