With the passing of Craven County Commissioner Johnnie Sampson Jr. from complications of COVID-19, state law dictates that it will fall to his fellow board members to select someone to fill his seat on the board. The board, which is Republican-majority, must select a Democrat to replace Sampson, who was a Democrat. The successor must be chosen within 60 days from Nov. 5, the date of Commissioner Sampson’s death, and also reside in the same district, District 3, shown in purple in the map below. Here is the law (relevant portions shown in bold type): § 153A-27. Vacancies on the board of commissioners. (a) IfRead More →

Craven County Commissioner Johnnie Sampson Jr. died at 9:03 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, of complications from COVID-19, which he had been battling for about a month. Craven County Board of Commissioners required to select Sampson’s successor.More Commissioner Sampson, 87, was tested Oct. 5 and the test came back positive the same day. He and his wife of more than 60 years, the Rev. Ethel Sampson, were both hospitalized in their battle against COVID-19. They had been discharged but Commissioner Sampson took a turn for the worse and was battling both COVID-19 and pneumonia. Craven County hosted a moment of silence at 2 p.m., onRead More →

Craven County Commissioner Johnnie Sampson Jr. and the Rev. Ethel Sampson are both hospitalized in a battle against COVID-19. New Bern Alderman Sabrina Bengel revealed the Sampsons’ situation during her videoblog program, CityTalk, on Friday morning. No other details were available. Craven County has 280 active cases as of today, with 18 Craven County residents hospitalized for COVID-19 related reasons. There have been no deaths reported over the past 24 hours, and the total stands at 48, the highest death toll of the eight-county region in and around Craven County. Craven County has had 1,866 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic reached its borderRead More →

Two elected boards—the Craven County Board of Commissioners and the Craven County Board of Education—will meet sometime after Sept. 17 to discuss concerns over the COVID-19 remote learning plan that is in place for Craven County Schools for the first nine weeks of the school year. The meeting was precipitated by the Board of Commissioners, which asked for the meeting when Republican members of the board questioned the necessity to keep children out of the classroom. As COVID-19 has spread in Craven County, it has become a partisan issue over whether to restrict businesses, close schools, and even wear masks. Craven County has 1,289 lab-confirmedRead More →

A Craven County Schools employee has tested positive for COVID-19. Three others tested positive last week at Creekside Elementary. The location of this new case was not given. The school system backed away from in-person classes and chose online-only classes for the first nine weeks of the semester. Only faculty and staff have been on campus while school is in session. Craven County Schools follows guidance from the Craven County Department of Health (CCHD), North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to ensure the safety of all staff and students during the pandemic. “We have beenRead More →

Twin Rivers YMCA is offering remote learning camps at five Craven County school sites to assist families challenged by the district’s Plan C-remote learning system during the first 9 weeks of the new school year due to COVID-19. During the Aug. 18, 2020 presentation to the Board of Education, some members were not present and action was tabled until all could be present for the discussion. No action was taken by the Board of Education at the Board of Education Work Session or the Board of Education meeting on Aug. 20, 2020. “Our district leadership and staff are charged by the state through our roadmapRead More →

If you bring kids back to schools, there is a very high likelihood there will be COVID-19 activity, much like there is spread of the flu, which spreads through schools “like wildfire,” said Dr. Scott Harrelson, director of the Craven County Health Department. But you wouldn’t want to shut a whole school down, he said. Harrelson was speaking to the Craven County Board of Commissioners at its meeting Monday. County commissioners say they are getting inundated by people telling them they disagree with nine-week delay. Craven County Board of Commissioners Chairman Thomas Mark said constituents are expressing the importance of children being in school. HeRead More →

Craven County commissioners say they are getting inundated by people telling them disagreeing with nine-week delay in resuming in-person classes at Craven County schools. The board requested a board-to-board meeting with the Craven County Board of Education no later than Sept. 15 to discuss the decision to delay the start of in-person teaching by nine weeks. The board will also request specific information from the school district by Aug. 28 about attendance, whether assignments are being completed by students, and other information that was still being formulated. Board Chairman Thomas Mark brought up the issue during Monday’s meeting. He said it is important to have dailyRead More →

North Carolina has the most equitable school districts in the nation, overall, and Craven County is among the most equitable in North Carolina, according to a recent study by WalletHub. Craven County Schools ranks 18th among NC’s 115 school districts in terms of equitability. To find out where school funding is distributed most equitably, WalletHub used data from of the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics. The 115 districts in North Carolina were scored based on two metrics: average household income and expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools per pupil. The Craven County school district spends an average of $8,761Read More →

The Craven County Board of Commissioners reversed its April 15 decision to decline renewal of the curbside recycling program in Craven County at its specially called meeting held on April 26. The curbside recycling program in Craven County will continue, though residents will see modifications.  The Craven County Board of Commissioners voted to renew the curbside recycling contract with Waste Industries for the next five years to provide a monthly curbside pickup of recyclables in a 95-gallon rolling container. The current curbside recycling program will continue as is until Craven County and Waste Industries are able to implement the program changes.  Residents will see aRead More →