Two environmental groups have agreed to drop their opposition to construction of a U.S. 70 bypass around Havelock in exchange for several steps by the N.C. Department of Transportation to protect rare longleaf pine habitat along the highway’s path, the News & Observer of Raleigh reported today. In an agreement announced Monday and reported in the News & Observer, NCDOT will give a conservation easement to protect land it will own along the 10.3-mile bypass, as well as provide $5.3 million to the N.C. Coastal Land Trust to create a fund to protect land in and around the Croatan National Forest. NCDOT also will establish a $2 millionRead More →

City Laundry, New Bern’s quirky foodie/coffee/wine/beer/live entertainment venue on Pollock Street, is closing on April 30, according to a Facebook post. Here is the post: “It has been a wonderful ride, but we will close our doors on April 30th. We want to invite everyone to come say goodbye at any of our upcoming events (we have event pages for all of them). You can call us or message us here for a reservation to any of our last events. 252-876-7007. New Bern has been great to us, we thank you all for your support!” Here is a link to the Facebook event.Read More →

By JIM SCHOUT Commentary I seem to always be confused with the operations of this great city of ours. The Sun Journal ran an article last week announced the grand opening of the new art gallery on South Front Street. This group, now called “Community Artists Gallery and Studios” is the same one that was forced to abandon their previous location on Broad Street due to water issues.  But, isn’t this also the group the old Firemen’s Museum is being modified to accept? I recall our Board of Aldermen voted to spend $25,000 to update the city’s building on Metcalf Street to accommodate this identical group.Read More →

By MICHAEL GEBELEIN Carolina Public Press Lack of progress on North Carolina students’ test scores is “frustrating,” state superintendent of schools Mark Johnson said this week. A nationwide evaluation of educational achievement in fourth- and eighth-graders found that scores for North Carolina students largely remained stable between 2015 and 2017, but went down in some areas. Scores for poor students and minority students also lagged significantly behind other students. “Teachers in North Carolina are working hard, and our state has made strong investments in early grades,” Johnson said in a Department of Public Instruction press release. “While it is frustrating for educators and state leaders to see incrementalRead More →

I’ve never been a fan of how the city charges exorbitant fines, fees, and deposits on electric utilities customers who are least able to afford it. Then I sat in on a PowerPoint presentation by JR Sabatelli, the city’s finance director, and I was nearly persuaded. I think several aldermen planned to come out of Wednesday’s special meeting of the Board of Aldermen with the deposit policy cancelled. But that didn’t happen. Sabatelli did that good a job making his points. Rather than trashing the policy, aldermen directed city staff to find ways to be more customer friendly. But being a CPA, Sabatelli was perhaps aRead More →

An artist rendering of the Greater Five Points Transformation Plan. Released in February 2016, the plan could be the roadmap for an Urban Redevelopment Commission. After a lengthy discussion in which an informal motion first lacked the votes to pass, the Board of Aldermen on Wednesday directed city staff to develop plans to establish an Urban Redevelopment Commission to kickstart long-stalled city improvement plans. The board directed City Attorney Scott Davis to draw up plans to establish a Redevelopment Commission with nine city resident members who are not members of the Board of Aldermen and who will serve staggered terms. The next step is forRead More →

Ordinary Women of Extraordinary Deeds:  Teisha Glover as Sarah Dudley Pettey, Carol Becton as Charlotte Rhone, Nelda Coates as Kady Brownell, Cinda Hill as Dr. Lula Disosway, and Pat Mora-Coxe as Bayard Wootten. Contributed photo Historical Society’s previously sold out Women’s History Month Event will repeat An encore presentation of Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Deeds will be presented at the Craven County Library on Johnson Street at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 22. This event was so overwhelmingly popular that the New Bern Historical Society is bringing it back by popular demand. This program features a visit from five remarkable women from New Bern’s past. Some willRead More →

New Bern aldermen and the mayor will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, one day after the Board of Aldermen’s regular meeting, to discuss a proposed redevelopment agency and controversial utility deposits. The special meeting will start at noon Wednesday in the City Hall Courtroom. This meeting was scheduled separately from the board’s regular meeting due to the complexities of the two issues. Aldermen and the mayor have been looking at forming a redevelopment agency to solve problems of urban decay in the Five Points area. The utility deposit program, initiated by the previous Board of Aldermen shortly after it was seated, imposes deposits onRead More →

New Bern Parks & Recreation is celebrating several new additions to its Little Free Library (LFL) program. On Saturday, April 7 at 10 a.m. at Seth West Parrot Park, 1225 Pinetree Drive, the city will open its newest pop-up library.  This event kicks off a week-long celebration of National Library Week, April 8-14, the city announced in a news release. Little Free Library is a global nonprofit organization.  According to its website, its mission is to inspire a love of reading, build community, and spark creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. The idea behind the program is simple: communities, churches, businesses orRead More →

CITY OF NEW BERN BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING APRIL 10, 2018 – 6:00 P.M. CITY HALL COURTROOM 300 POLLOCK STREET   (Note: Links expire when the next agenda is posted) 1. Meeting opened by Mayor Dana E. Outlaw.  Prayer Coordinated by Alderman Kinsey.  Pledge of Allegiance. 2. Roll Call. 3. Request and Petition of Citizens. This section of the Agenda is titled Requests and Petitions of Citizens.  This is an opportunity for public comment, and we thank you for coming to the Board of Aldermen meeting tonight to share your views.  We value all citizen input. Speaker comments are limited to a maximum of 4 minutes duringRead More →