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Proposal To Rename Falls Lake After Jesse Helms Making Waves

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RALEIGH, N.C. — State Rep. Walter Jones wants to see Falls Lake renamed in honor of former Sen. Jesse Helms.

Jones introduced the bill Thursday, but the Republican from Farmville did not discuss the idea with either of the congressmen whose districts fall near the lake -- Democrats David Price of Chapel Hill and Brad Miller of Raleigh.

Although Jones' district is in the eastern part of the state, he wanted to rename something near Helms' home in Raleigh.

Some residents have some thoughts on the potential name change.

"The name, I think, just doesn't fix," resident Stephanie Dorner said.

"He has been in the Senate a long time, but has he represented all of North Carolina? I don't think so," resident Sharlene Lee said.

Helms was not available for comment, but his office said his family was honored and appreciative by the proposal. It will go before a House committee for future review.

It is not the first time Jones has made waves on topics outside his district. Earlier this year, Jones took stances on things like Lumbee recognition in Robeson County, a hate speech fight in Chapel Hill and a debate in Wilmington over an elementary school book about two gay princes who marry.

Jones was also involved in a fight out of the state. He supported Virginia Military Institute's efforts to have non-denominational prayer, a request the courts denied.