By North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper This pandemic has affected every corner of our state, including our state budget needs. For many families, it has also shifted their priorities. Last week, I proposed a budget that tackles the challenges we’re facing today while building for the promise of tomorrow. We can emerge from this crisis even stronger than before if we invest wisely. My budget, Support for a Determined North Carolina, uses the state’s remaining $900 million CARES Act funding to continue responding to COVID-19 and providing relief to communities. I’ve proposed for $175 million to go toward critical public health services, including contact tracing andRead More →

It is more important than ever to have responsible, thoughtful leaders representing our local governments. In times of crisis and strife, we look to leaders and advocates from Governor Cooper to our county’s local Sheriff to guide and protect our collective experiences as we traverse troubled times, together. Certain events like Hurricane Florence or COVID-19 bring us to our knees through life’s most difficult moments — at the very least, we should be able to believe that each-other’s best interest is as at heart. If you aren’t aware, Alderwoman Sabrina Bengel and former Mayor and Attorney Lee Bettis host a show on the Facebook-centric NewRead More →

Craven County reported its seventh and eight deaths from COVID-19-related causes, the first time since April that Craven County has had more than one death per month. Craven County’s first COVID-19 case was reported in mid-March, and the first death of COVID-19 causes occurred on April 9.  It was the first of four deaths in April. That might lead reasonable people to be concerned about the pandemic. Then there was a lull. More than a month passed from the last death in April (April 21) until the next death, which occurred on May 27. It was almost another month before the next death on JuneRead More →

On June 23, 2020, after a Public Hearing; the New Bern Board of Alderman denied a request to rezone 2409 Oaks Road from Residential R6 to Commercial C4. Only the owner of the property was in favor, and all others were opposed. A previous request to rezone this property from Residental to Commercial C3 was denied in 2019 (corrected year). As Craven County has no zoning, the property had been used commercially in the past. When 2409 Oaks Rd became part of the City it was Zoned residential. This amounted to a promise to the community, that there will be no future commerical use. CitizensRead More →

Craven County released a fresh batch of COVID-19 statistics today (June 19, 2020), and it provides no useful or meaningful information. Here’s why: Craven County had a super cluster of family, friends, and co-workers between mid-April and early May, which added more than 150 lab-tested cases to the county’s total, which is 289 by the county’s count, or 292 by state count. That cluster number is mixed in the overall total, but for privacy reasons, officials only report the total number for the cluster. Meanwhile, the county statistics about age and gender don’t give you a clear picture because cluster numbers are mixed in. AllRead More →

After working diligently with community leaders from the Duffy field area for two years, receiving 8 million dollars in grant money from FEMA, and designing/quoting the project with an architect in totality, members of the New Bern Board of Aldermen want to re-locate the Stanley White Recreation Center. This may seem small if you are outside the community, but believe me when I tell you just how much this land means to the people who have grown up in the facility. I am seriously shocked at the city’s adamant attempts to relocate this major asset seeing as every opinion that they have carefully considered hasRead More →

@JeremyKonyndyk wrote: Alright. There is a LOT of chatter on this website bashing those who are saying most of the country still isn’t ready for a safe reopening. So, as we approach what would normally be summer pool season, here’s a short analogy about pooping and accountability. Imagine you’re at the pool, and a kid poops in the water. It happens a few times every summer. What happens next? Everybody clears the pool. That’s the initial step to protect people from the poop. But it’s not the end of the story. There’s a next step – some poor soul on pool staff has to goRead More →

I’ve been doing almost all my grocery shopping at Publix over the last few months, and yesterday, I felt like I was Billy in a Family Circus cartoon. I blame the cereal aisle. The late Bil Keane (yes, that’s how he spelled his first name) drew Family Circus cartoons for years, and a highlight were the intricate mazes that he would draw depicting young Billy’s winding journeys. Since the local Publix store started putting one-way directional arrows on its aisles, there were several seemingly out of kilter, and the first was the cereal aisle. Once you finished in the produce section (because everyone starts inRead More →

Around a decade ago, banks’ “deposit advance” products put borrowers in an average of 19 loans per year at more than 200% annual interest Important FDIC consumer protections repealed On Wednesday, four banking regulators jointly issued new small dollar lending guidance that lacks the explicit consumer protections it should have. At the same time, it does require that loans be responsible, fair, and safe and sound, so banks would be wrong to use it as cover to once again issue payday loans or other high-interest credit. The guidance also explicitly advises against loans that put borrowers in a continuous cycle of debt — a hallmarkRead More →

COVID 19 UPDATE  Internationally – total confirmed cases 4,892,550. Deaths 322,821 Gives a death rate of 6.59%. That is 66 people out of 1000 confirmed cases died with this virus. United States – total cases 1,527,355 Deaths 91,845 Gives a death rate of 6.01%. That is 60 out of 1000 confirmed cases died with this virus. North Carolina – total cases 19,700 Death 691. Gives a death rate of 3.51%. That is 35.1 out of 1000 confirmed cases died with this virus. 585 hospitalizations. Surrounding counties. Lenoir – total cases 160 death 5 Jones – total cases 22 death 2 Greene – total cases 50Read More →