CITY OF NEW BERN BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING JANUARY 23, 2018 – 6:00 P.M. CITY HALL COURTROOM 300 POLLOCK STREET   1.   Meeting opened by Mayor Dana E. Outlaw.  Prayer Coordinated by Alderman Bengel.  Pledge of Allegiance. 2.   Roll Call. All present, with Ward 6 Alderman Jeffrey Odham dialing in remotely. Consent Agenda – Approved 7-0 3.   Approve Adopting a Resolution Closing Specific Streets for the Annual Black History Month Parade on February 17, 2018. (Wards 1 and 2)  Victor Taylor, Chairman of Vision Forward, has requested streets be closed for the annual Black History Month Parade from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday,Read More →

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for our area in advance of snow predicted for later today. Craven County Schools are releasing early today to get children home before the roads get too bad. Here is raw data from the National Weather Service: URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City NC 1010 AM EST Wed Jan 17 2018 …LIGHT SNOW TO DEVELOP OVER EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA LATE THIS AFTERNOON… …COASTAL LOW WILL BRING LOCALLY HEAVIER SNOWS TO COASTAL NORTH CAROLINA TONIGHT… .Rain will begin early this afternoon for the Coastal Plain, then transition to a rain and snow mix, then primarilyRead More →

Eric Queen, a retired Marine seeking to unseat N.C. House District 3 Rep. Mike Speciale, is a Bronze Star recipient. I asked Queen for details. Here is the narrative on the Bronze Star award: For exceptionally meritorious service while deployed in support of Operations Enduring Freedom as a member of the Recruiting Assistance Team, NATO Training Mission and Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan. As the primary convoy commander, Staff Sergeant Queen planned and executed over 100 convoy missions accumulating 8,000 miles on some of the most dangerous routes of Afghanistan, placing him at significant risk to hostile action multiple times weekly in the executionRead More →

With more snow in the forecast for later Wednesday, folks may be thinking back a couple of weeks to the snow event that shut down much of New Bern for several days and left streets and highways coated with ice. But there are big differences between the snow predicted for Wednesday and the snow that fell on Jan. 3. “Snowmageddon” shut down the city for two days and schools for a full week, from Wednesday, Jan. 3, when the mere whiff of snow in the forecast was enough for jittery administrators to stop the buses, through Tuesday, Jan. 9. Country roads were in such poorRead More →

The Republican primary for N.C. House District 3 has two former Marines squaring off against each other. The seat, occupied by Tea Party firebrand Mike Speciale, has been under Republican control since Norm Sanderson unseated Alice Underhill during the GOP sweep of Raleigh in 2011. Speciale, a former Marine who has been unpopular among Democrats and traditional Republicans but loved by everyone else, has been noted for being outspoken and divisive, quite a change from the affable Sanderson, who went on to become a state senator, and the even more affable Underhill. Seizing on Speciale’s precarious position, New Bern resident and retired U.S. Marine Bronze StarRead More →

Start the clocks. There was a thunderstorm late last night into early this morning, which according to many is a harbinger for snow within a week. Meteorologists scoff at the idea, saying there is no link between winter thunderstorms and the proximity of snow in North Carolina. Anecdotally, I have noticed it nearly always happens. My theory is that the collision of warm and cold fronts (aka, thunderstorms) indicates turbulence in the weather accompanied by moisture and, of course, cold air. We all know about the “Snowmageddon” the other week, followed by a couple of days late in the week that were so warm andRead More →

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources named William J. McCrea, a veteran department employee, as the new executive director of Tryon Palace. McCrea has been serving as interim director of Tryon Palace since March of this year. McCrea replaces Lee Johnson, who was abruptly fired in February after 16 months on the job. The N.C. DNCR issued a short statement about Johnson’s dismissal: “Careful thought and consideration has been given and a change in leadership has been made for Tryon Palace. Mr. Johnson’s appointment as director has ended effective Feb. 23, 2017. We appreciate his service to Tryon Palace and to the state.”Read More →

A tradition within the New Bern Fire Department and its ancestors since 1879, threatened by a row over former mayor Lee Bettis, is now no longer a habit, a tradition, or a whim — it’s city law. Aldermen passed a resolution on Tuesday making it official city policy to add the name of the mayor in office when a fire truck is authorized for purchase. The policy gives a mayor the option to decline the honor. The resolution passed on a vote of 5-2, with Mayor Dana Outlaw and Alderman Jeffrey Odham voting against the measure. The controversy arose when the previous Board of AldermenRead More →