Episode 010 – Horton Park; Amy Simon (Part One); 1968 Drought

Episode #010 of the Apex Roundup Podcast. It’s the “Horton Hears from You” special!

Model and Voice Talent Amy Simon in the studio

In this episode, I’ve rounded up for you…

  1. Part One of my interview with model, actress, voice artist and Apex resident, Amy Simon
  2. Old News about the Apex drought of 1968, and
  3. Town council updates from October 17 meeting, including the Horton Park project

All coming your way. Right now.

Jumping into podcasting with both boots, I’m Lance Olive, host of the Apex Roundup Podcast. I’m glad you’re here with me right now. My goal is to bring you the news of Apex that the print media no longer covers. The Apex Herald? They folded in 2013. The Southwest Wake insert to the News & Observer? They’ve gone foodie. It’s not even news. And even social media posts almost never present both sides of the story.

That’s why I’m here. Thirty minutes, twice a month, I round up the stories, the decisions and the opinions, and I share ’em with you.

You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, iTunes and Google. Just search for Apex Roundup with Lance Olive.


Council Updates
Bam! Let’s get started, shall we?

The Apex Town Council met on October 17th, at 7:00pm to hold its second regularly scheduled meeting of the month at town hall. Council member Dozier was unavailable due to work, we did have a quorum with 4 of the 5 there. The planned agenda contained 2 presentations, 7 public hearings and 2 closed session items.

In Presentation #1, Vance Holloman, the town’s Finance Officers, received the Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting. There was much rejoicing.

In Presentation #2, Travis Parrish, CALEA Director of Client Services, presented the Apex Police Department with the CALEA Reaccreditation Certificate. Chief John Letteney and Sergeant Matt Kutcher accepted it.

Apex Police Department receive Accreditation Certificate

Consent Agenda passed unanimously.

Public Hearing #1 was the Horton Park PUD, a proposal to rezone 23 acres on Jessie Drive to Office and Industrial Employment, and 149 acres comprised of 7 parcels on Jessie Drive, Dezola Street and Smith Road. This rezoning request was numbered as #17CZ19. Most of this land belonged to the Horton family going back 100 years, but was mostly land-locked as development wrapped around them. The neighbors to the east are in a county subdivision that has their own community well, individual septic systems and county “ribbon pavement”, with no curb or gutter. After Amanda Bunce, the town planner, presented, the applicant’s representatives, Jason Barron and Jeff Roach answered questions for the council. 8 citizens spoke against this proposal, with half expressing worry about the traffic at Ten-Ten Road and the other half wanting Colby Chase Drive to have a delayed opening. With both staff and the planning board recommending approval, the proposal passed by a 3-1 vote, with Council Member Jensen voting no.

Screen Shot 2017-10-21 at 2.34.23 PM
Horton Park will connect Jessie Drive to Colby Chase Drive

After a 10 minute recess, council reconvened at 9:15 to resume the public hearings.

Public Hearing #2, Annexation #613 for 4.5 acres on Whistling Quail Run, was withdrawn by the applicant.

Public Hearing #3 and #4 were for annexation and rezoning of 232 acres on Old US Highway 1, about as far southwest as you can go on Old Number 1 and still be in Wake County. This project is being called the Gracewood PUD. The maximum density of this project will be less than 2 residential units per acre. No citizens spoke during the public hearing. With full recommendation from staff and the planning board, the council approved Gracewood PUD unanimously.

Screen Shot 2017-10-21 at 2.38.36 PM
Grace wood PUD, near Bonsal, was annexed into Apex

Public Hearing #5 included amendments to the Sweetwater PUD to allow a maximum of 81 units to be constructed on a somewhat lower foundation in order to reduce, by 2, the number of steps from the inside of the garage to the inside of the home. Many would-be buyers were walking away because of problems dealing with stairs, and the back lots had a grade drop off that exacerbated the height problems. Mr. Schmidt had the best quote of the night when, referring to folks who were reticent about the climb from garage to home, stated that “for many people STEP is a 4-letter word.” The amendments were approved unanimously.

Public Hearing #6 was a UDO amendment to allow some properties that face a limited-controlled highway with no other road frontage the opportunity to reduce the required buffer to 50 feet. One citizen, the owner of such a piece of property, spoke in favor, indicating that the current buffer restriction was blocking her ability to sell the property for development. The amendment was approved unanimously.

Public Hearing #7 was a request by the Economic Development Director, Joanna Helms, to approve a contract to acquire property for the purposes of economic development. This contract was approved unanimously.

At 10:25, the Council went into closed session to consult with the attorney on a legal matter, and also to discuss a personnel matter.

The meeting formally adjourned around 10:59 pm.


This podcast is proudly produced in Apex, North Carolina. By listening to it, you agree to hold me harmless for anything I say here. Although I am indeed the mayor, the opinions expressed by me are my own. All information shared on this podcast is already public record. This podcast is a private venture and no public or campaign money was used in its production. Make decisions by doing your own research, because I’m just here for your entertainment.



In this episode I begin my interview with Amy Simon, Apex resident, model, actress and voice artist.

But first, this episode is sponsored by Time 2 Go Travel, featuring group trips for home school families and girl scouts. Time 2 Go Travel is now developing a Concierge Trip to Ireland, where someone else plans all the logistics of the trip and takes you and your friends to at least five cities in Ireland. Learn and have fun while someone else does the hard work to make your Irish dream trip happen. All you have to do is pack, and meet the group at the airport. To learn more about this concierge trip to Ireland, go to apex roundup dot com slash ireland. If you book the trip and use the promo code “APEXROUNDUP”, you’ll receive $100 off the cost of the trip.

Here’s how my conversation with Amy Simon went.

I met Amy two years ago. She’s from Ft. Thomas, Kentucky. She moved to Miami at age 22 to pursue a career in modeling and acting. She worked as an extra on TV shows and movies. Despite not having gone to college, not having acted before nor was an early success in her first acting class, she committed herself to overcome her fears and pushed through to become successful enough to pay her bills with this career. She met an acting coach and some other actors that helped her get an agent.


Amy Simon came to the podcast studio


Amy got a job as an infomercial TV host for about a year where her confidence grew and she then began doing car commercials and spokesperson work for other companies. She works for Grand Home Outlets for almost two years. She moved to Apex in 2013 after being invited by friends. She targeted Lufkin Middle School in Apex for her daughter. He daughter’s father was willing to move to NC as well, so they all moved so the joint custody and visitation privileges would stay intact.

That concludes my interview with Apex resident, model, actress and voice artist, Amy Simon. I have a nice photo of us in the recording studio up on the web site. You can see it at apex roundup dot com slash 010. On the next episode of the Apex Roundup Podcast, I’ll have the second half of that interview.


In today’s Old News segment, I have a couple of goodies for you from the Western Wake Herald, August 25, 1968.

First up is a summary of “The Apex Town Board” meeting. In the article, the commissioners formed a committee to study how to remodel the town hall building in order to fit in a district court room. At the time, the town hall was, what we now refer to as the Halle Cultural Center on North Salem Street. If you’re ever walking by there, you can check out the cornerstone. The non-Raleigh courtrooms in the district were eventually placed in Apex, Fuquay and Wendell. Next item discussed was the police department. James Ragan and Franklin Woodruff were hired as new  officers.

At the request of Apex High School principal Joe Collins, South Mason Street, next to the school was converted to a one-way street from 7am to 4pm for safety. This is the property that is now the Apex Middle School. And, lastly, Mayor Bob Barker reported that Apex had purchased 3 million gallons of water from Cary because our reservoir, the town pond, had dried up.

Which brings me to the second old news item. A photo of a dry lake bed, the town pond, was printed in the August 29th issue in 1968, with a caption that reads: “The baked and cracked earth of the Apex Reservoir shows the results of no rainfall of any appreciable amount for the past several months in our area. Pumping water from the pond has dropped to approximately one-fourth of the daily requirements for the town with the other three-fourths coming from the Cary water system.”

It’s quite amazing to think that Apex, with it’s 3,000 residents, could run out of water, but then again, it was, and still is, a very shallow pond.

Lastly, I have a quick montage of headlines, put together demonstrating that the Western Wake Herald was THE print news for the western part of the county. It includes Apex, Cary, Morrisville, New Hill, Olive Chapel and Friendship.

Pardon me as I wax nostalgic, but what a great little paper it was.


Hey! Thanks for joining me today for the 10th episode of the Apex Roundup Podcast.

Today I brought you updates from the October 17th, 2017 Apex Town Council meeting, including the Horton Park project. If you want to review the show notes for this episode, point your web browser to apex roundup dot com slash 010 and you’ll be able to scroll down to read this entire episode.

Next episode I’ll be share the happenings of the Apex town council meeting for November 7th. I’ll also have the second half of that interview with Amy Simon. So subscribe to the podcast and make sure you don’t miss it.

You can find this podcast on the web at Apex Roundup dot com and subscribe in iTunes and Google Play. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook (@apexroundup).


Hey. What’s on YOUR mind? Do you have an opinion to share? Got any questions related to Apex? Go to Apex Roundup dot com slash contact and you can find multiple ways to get in touch with me.

I’m so glad you listened all the way to the end with me today. Until the next roundup… Happy Trails!

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