The Charlotte Observer reports:
Over the last year, when companies announced plans to grow their footprints in North Carolina, state leaders have presented them with an unusual gift: An oak bowl carved from wood from the state capitol grounds.
So when PayPal unceremoniously canceled its plans for an expansion in Charlotte over opposition to House Bill 2, state officials did what any jilted ex might: Asked for their stuff back.
“We reached out to them and said, ‘Give us the bowl back.’ That is a North Carolina artifact from the North Carolina state capitol made by North Carolina artisans for companies that are coming into North Carolina,” N.C. Commerce Secretary John Skvarla told the Observer Monday during a visit to Charter Communications’ training center in Matthews.
“We got it back, gave it to a charity auction, and they raised money that is for the benefit of the state capitol.”
The origin of the bowls traces back to about a year ago, when an oak tree on the capitol grounds was struck by lightning. Crews were about to come chop up the tree and dispose it, but Skvarla called the governor’s office to implore them to keep the pieces.
— Andy Shain (@AndyShain) October 24, 2016