Friday, August 1
KANNAPOLIS (AP) - Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart was the guest of a billionaire developer who prompted local officials to take down flags honoring the late NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt in his hometown, newspapers reported Friday.
Stewart visited the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis on Thursday with David Murdock, the campus founder and owner of Dole Food Co.
Stewart said she would take ideas from the campus to her Center for Living at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
Last week, city workers took down flags honoring Earnhardt after an official at Murdock's real estate company and a local tourism official said some were dirty and torn and might upset a Murdock guest, who wasn't identified.
The 350-acre biotech complex was started in February 2006. Murdock's real estate company, Castle & Cooke, is developing the campus.
"It's fascinating to see something happening in such a short time," Stewart told the Salisbury Post after the tour. "The effort should be applauded."
Stewart took photos out the window as Murdock drove her around the complex and strolled through Cannon Village, a shopping area near the former Cannon Mills complex where the campus is being constructed.
Stewart's visit had been in the planning stages for several months, Castle & Cooke president Lynne Safrit told the Independent Tribune of Concord and Kannapolis.
Murdock took Stewart to a research lab scheduled to open in the fall, toured stores in the village, accompanied Dr. Steve Zeisel, director of the UNC Nutrition Research Institute.
Safrit said Stewart is giving Murdock an award in November for his work on nutrition.
The research lab is expected to get nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers next week. The machine will allow researchers to see the sub-atomic level of molecules, said Steve Leath, president of the David H. Murdock Research Institute.