Category: Community

March 1st, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

The New Bern Historical Society’s 29th annual ABC (Attic-Basement-Closet) Indoor Yard Sale is Saturday, March 9, from 8 a.m. until noon at the Knights of Columbus Building, 1125 Pinetree Drive, New Bern.

Everything from dishes to dolls to door knobs will be sold at this one-day-only fundraising sale.  Executive Director Mickey Miller is expecting this to be one of the largest ABC Sales ever, as donations have overflowed storage spaces.

Value-spotting shoppers eagerly await this huge annual event. Items available include antiques, collectibles, pictures, furniture, kitchenware, hardware, toys, jewelry, linens, silver, seasonal decorations, sporting equipment, electronics, brass, dishes, and much more.  This sale is especially known for its excellent antiques, silver, art, and fine collectibles. Be there early for best selection. Admission is free.

This year there is an abundance of very nice furniture, much of it in excellent condition. Furniture shoppers are reminded to come prepared to transport their purchases as it will all have to be removed by noon.

Collection for the sale is ongoing.  To donate items to the ABC Yard Sale or for information call 252-638-8558 or e-mail.  Bring your donated items to the Historical Society office, 511 Broad St., New Bern until March 4.  Following that, bring them to the Knights of Columbus building as preparations will be underway there.

Proceeds from the ABC Sale benefit the educational programs of the New Bern Historical Society.  The Historical Society is a non-profit organization whose mission is to celebrate and promote New Bern and its heritage through events and education.  With a 501(c)(3) status, donations qualify as tax deductions to the extent allowed by law.

Posted in Community, History, New Bern Historical Society

February 21st, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Craven Community College’s (Craven CC) Adult Enrichment Program (AEP) will host a symposium entitled “Stop the Cravin’!” in an effort to promote substance abuse education, prevention and intervention.

This free event will take place at Orringer Hall on the New Bern Campus from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14.

The event will feature a diverse panel of speakers from local health care providers, local and state law enforcement and community-based organizations. It will provide statistics for the area, health effects and the science behind the many aspects of addiction, case studies and firsthand accounts from those in the medical field. There will also be perspectives shared by former addicts, an emergency room charge nurse and local law enforcement.

Professional panelists include Kenneth W. Wilkins, Jr., MD, FACP, endoscopist and president of Coastal Carolina Health Care, PA; Matt Knight of the NC Task Force for Safe Schools and NC Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) branch; Henry D. Beckwith, PsyD, a licensed psychologist; and Nadine Williamson, a certified substance abuse counselor.

Those in attendance will have the opportunity to: participate in a Q&A, learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of opioid and related substance abuse issues, how to intervene and prevent future addictions. Equipping people with knowledge so they know what to do in such situations can ensure that loved ones don’t become just another statistic.

“Our goal is to raise awareness of the substance abuse epidemic that is steadily increasing and affecting our community and communities throughout the country, and in turn aid in the prevention of their use,” said Megan Johnson, AEP coordinator. “It is our hope that this symposium will be of great benefit to those who have been touched by this crisis and who are impacted in their daily personal and professional lives.”

Preregistration is not required and CEUs are available for eligible professionals. Doors open at 7:45 a.m.

This event is sponsored by Craven Community College, the CCHC Foundation, the Harold H. Bate Foundation, ABC of Craven County, Coastal Coalition and Trillium Health Resources.

For more information, contact Johnson at 252-638-7273 or johnsonm@cravencc.edu.

Posted in Community, Community issues, Craven Community College, Health, New Bern, Public safety

February 19th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

A BSH forklift is unloaded at Craven Community College, to be used in a training program as the manufacturer ramps up its workforce.

BSH Home Appliances, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of home appliances, is expanding the workforce at its New Bern manufacturing and assembly lines to meet demands for its products.

Working in collaboration with Craven Community College (Craven CC) and Blue Arbor Staffing (BAS), BSH is seeking to add approximately 50 new employees to its current workforce.

Craven CC will offer a Manufacturing Career Pathway (MCP) program from March 11-April 11 to help train and screen potential employees. The MCP will be dedicated specifically to the initiative to enhance the success for individuals wanting to start a career with BSH.

This program will provide training in the following topics: Intro to Manufacturing, Forklift Operator Certificate, Lean Yellow Belt, OSHA 10-Hour Safety, Workplace Ethics and Intro to Microsoft Word. Students will also receive hands-on training with mock simulators.

Students who complete the program will work through BAS. BAS will arrange an interview between the candidate and BSH. Candidates chosen after the interview process will start in a temporary position and work toward permanent placement. 

Craven CC offers MCP programs throughout the year that conclude with interviews from local manufacturers for potential direct-hire positions. At the conclusion of Craven CC’s last MCP class, 55% of the students were offered direct hire positions with local industries, 18 percent chose to further their education through Craven CC by enrolling in a trade program and 100 percent were asked to complete applications for potential employment through local employment agencies.

For additional information on the program, contact Eddie Foster, Craven CC executive director of environmental safety and corporate training, at 252-638-3919 or fostere@cravencc.edu. To register, contact Cat Johnson at 252-633-0857 or johnsonc@cravencc.edu.

Posted in Business, Community, Craven Community College, Economy, Economy and Employment, Education, New Bern

February 19th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Buddy Bengel of Bengel Hospitality in New Bern received statewide recognition Monday evening at the 2019 Stars of the Industry Awards, hosted by the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association.

Bengel won the Ken Conrad Award for Service to the Community for his dedication to the people of New Bern and his willingness to go above and beyond in his position.

More than a dozen hospitality industry professionals from across the state were honored during the annual event, who were selected based on their exemplary service, leadership, innovation and dedication in the restaurant, lodging and hospitality industries.

Bengel on his Facebook page, said ” I am beyond humbled and honored” for the award.

When Hurricane Florence hit the coast, Bengel staged his mobile food unit in preparation to feed affected residents and volunteers, according to the group.

But Bengel did much more than that. He helped rescue people trapped by flooding and evacuate others in the path of the hurricane, and more.

Posted in Business, Community, Hurricane

February 12th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Request will be made at Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting

New Bern community members and non-local activists will urge the New Bern Board of Aldermen to “Ban the Box” for hiring city employees at its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 12.

“Ban the Box” is a hiring practice that encourages employers to identify potential hires with the best skills and experience and delay asking applicants about their criminal records until after a conditional offer is made.

Durham and Carrboro are among cities in North Carolina that have already adopted this “fair chance” hiring practice.

Ban the Box is a movement started in the early 2000s by All of Us or None, a national organization created and led by individuals directly impacted by incarceration and the criminal legal system.

People who have been involved in the criminal justice system often face collateral consequences, difficulties people face in finding housing, education, and employment because of a criminal record.  

Trouble finding employment is one of the most common collateral consequences that people face upon release. Those who have a record and disclose it on their initial job application are 50 percent less likely to receive a callback than their peers without a record.

Ban the Box programs do not prevent employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal record, but rather calls for employers to remove the initial question about criminal records from job applications (“the box”) and delay any related questions until after a conditional offer is made. This process ensures the best person is being hired for the job and also allows the employer to continue to make decisions about the relevancy of the record to the job.

What: Public comments on ‘Ban the Box’ at New Bern Board of Alderman meeting

When: Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 6 p.m.

Where: City Hall Courtroom, 300 Pollock St., New Bern

Who: New Bern community members and representatives from All of Us or None – NC and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice Clean Slate Project

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Community, Community issues, Crime, Economy, Economy and Employment, Housing, Mayor, New Bern

January 30th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

The Craven Community College Foundation is accepting nominations for the 9th Annual Community Fabric Awards, an event that awards individual, educational and business leadership in the community. The deadline to nominate is 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21.

The Community Fabric Awards were created by the Craven CC Foundation to celebrate and showcase excellence in leadership as demonstrated by outstanding initiative, impact of service and the inspiration of others.

Previous individual recipients include J. Troy Smith, Jr., Dr. Jim Congleton, Linda Staunch, New Bern Alderman Sabrina Bengel, Nelson Bell McDaniel, Maj. Gen. Tom Braaten USMC (Ret.), David L. Ward, Jr. and Robert L. “Bob” Mattocks. Business recipients include Trent Cadillac Buick GMC, Century 21 Zaytoun-Raines, The UPS Store, A Dog’s Dream, Mitchell Hardware, Moen, CarolinaEast Health System and Minges Bottling Group, Inc.-Pepsi. Previous educators to receive the award include Jorge Benitez, David Wang, Dr. Shelly Hines-Brooks, Jessica Cofield, Jeffrey Brown, Jessica Saxon, Donald Carpenetti and Dr. Bruce Waugh.

Funds raised through event sponsorships and tickets are used to support the Craven CC Foundation’s programs, as well as equipment, facilities and emerging initiatives of the college. To date, the Community Fabric Awards have netted more than $350,000 in support of the Foundation’s mission.

Submission forms for all three categories are available online at www.cravencc.edu/cfa.

After all submissions are in, the three award recipients will be selected by a confidential and independent committees. This year’s awards luncheon will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 18 at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center.

For additional information about the Community Fabric Awards, contact Tanya Roberts at 252638-7351 or robertst@cravencc.edu.

The Craven Community College Foundation has supported the vision of higher education for the residents of Craven County and beyond for more than 40 years. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides financial support to students through scholarships and funding for programs, equipment, new and emerging initiatives, facilities and other priorities on the New Bern and Havelock campuses.A

Craven Community College is part of the North Carolina Community College System. With campuses in New Bern and Havelock-Cherry Point, Craven CC serves about 3,200 curriculum students and more than 10,000 continuing education students each year. The college offers a wide range of associate degree and certificate programs, as well as college transfer courses, career and occupational offerings, partnerships with four-year universities, specialized workforce training options, developmental studies and basic skills classes. The Lifetime Learning Center and Adult Enrichment Program offer lifelong learning opportunities. Craven Early College High School programs are available on both campuses. Craven CC is also home to Public Radio East, one of the few community colleges nationally with this distinction. For more information about the college, visit www.cravencc.edu

Posted in Community, Community Fabric Awards, Community issues, Craven Community College

December 8th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Did you go by the new Harris Teeter since it opened on Wednesday? Odds are pretty good that you did.

In a small town like New Bern, folks here can be relied on to try something new. Remember when Cook Out opened?

On opening day, I saw city officials including Jeff Odham, in whose ward the new Harris Teeter is located, and City Manager Mark Stephens proudly roaming the vast floor space of the gleaming new store.

Coke Mann, a partner with Columbia Development Group, developer of the shopping center, was quoted in the Sun Journal crediting Odham and Mayor Dana Outlaw for their bringing the super-expanded HT to New Bern.

I saw lots of regular people combing through the almost 100,000-foot feet of shopping space, which is more than just a simple supermarket. (Some say the store actually has 105,000 square feet of floor space.)

We are not wedded to a particular grocery store. We shop at Publix most often, but not exclusively, and mainly due to its modern and wide selection coupled with its less crowded aisles.

With the opening of the new Harris Teeter, that may change.

The store replaces a 55,000-square-foot store on South Glenburnie Road, which closed the day before the new store opened.

It is claimed to be the largest Harris Teeter out of the chain’s 246 stores. Some media outlets have called it the largest in the world, but since its world is pretty much contained within Southern states, that’s a somewhat pretentious claim.

Still, it’s plenty big, and within it are sections that by themselves are impressively large.

There is a Starbucks inside the Harris Teeter, just as there was at the old location, but this one has a dining area that has to make this particular Starbucks one of the largest in the world, and that’s saying something.

Then there is the food court, contained within an area that could be a nice-size grocery store all by itself.

There is a bakery, fresh produce and meats, a deli, a sushi bar, a buffet, a burger bar, a specialty bar with changing themes, and a bar-bar. Yes, a bar … where you can get beer and wine by the glass.

As for the grocery aisles, they are so long they are subdivided, with a third row intersecting at the middle. Looking from one end toward the other, the aisles extend almost as far as the eye can see.

Filling all those aisles with merchandise must be a challenge by itself. I have not looked deeply into it, but the few places I did look showed a much-expanded variety of brands and varieties.

Staffing this store must be equally challenging. I counted six people working at the Starbucks counter, four at the burger bar, three at the beer and wine bar, and so on.

I am not sure if they staffed up for opening week or if they plan to maintain that staffing level.

Sarah, Mark and I went there on opening day and had dinner. We bought a couple of items from the grocery aisles before going home.

We returned on Saturday to find the same buzz one encounters when surrounded by hundreds of happy people. The store is large enough to accommodate a thousand customers without feeling overly crowded.

Sarah got several selections from the sushi train and described the quality as good as any restaurant in New Bern. I went for simple–a burger and fries. The way I figure it, if you can’t do a burger and fries right, then what can you do right?

And boy, did they do it right. It paired nicely with the glass of Mother Earth pale ale that I got at the bar.

While waiting for my order, I ran into four people I knew, and that’s the great thing about a venue like this. It’s a magnet that draws people together, and for more than one purpose.

Before, you would go to Harris Teeter for groceries. Maybe you might grab something from the salad bar or deli or the Starbucks counter, but there was really nothing that set it apart from any other modern grocery store.

This Harris Teeter is not just a retailer, it is a community amenity. You can literally spend the day there, enjoying a fresh breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a couple of glasses of beer or wine later in the day before actually doing any grocery shopping.

Note: the beer and wine bar opens at 10 a.m. daily except Sundays, when it opens at 11 a.m. But who’s judging?

The parking lot is large and full but sufficient and well laid out. Other stores in the shopping center, which is called New Bern Marketplace, round out the remaining two-thirds of retail floor space at the 34-acre, 325,000-square-food retail venue.

One thing it has over Downtown New Bern: parking is not limited to two hours.

So what can you expect at the Teeter?

Greeting you as you arrive at one of the entrances is the floral counter managed by Mary Gierie-Merrell, who Mayor Outlaw has described as New Bern’s unofficial mayor.

At that same entrance, off to the right, is the Starbucks counter with its spacious and open dining area. It is equipped with tables and booths and two big-screen TVs. The window-wall is lined with a long counter with tall chairs for computer users and enough USB ports and electric sockets for every two chairs.

Beyond is the amazing food court, and to its left, the expansive grocery aisles.

One glitch was WiFi. Though it is provided, I was unable to connect to the internet using it. Another quibble is that if you want to sit at a table and plug in your device or computer to a power source, there are just two tables within range of just one wall socket, and they are right underneath a big-screen TV. That may be by design. It is understandable why a store would not want its tables taken up by people using computers all day.

The impacts of the new Harris Teeter on New Bern will be interesting to see.

It will undoubtedly cut into business of other existing grocery stores. But being so large, it will draw shoppers from outside New Bern and maybe from outside Craven County.

When the N.C. 43 connector is extended from U.S. 70 to U.S. 17 in the next few years, it will make access to New Bern Marketplace easier to reach from Pitt and Lenoir residents. It’s already the easiest retail center to reach in New Bern from Jones and Onslow counties.

As I said, this Harris Teeter is not just a store, it is a community amenity.

Fun facts

  • Harris Teeter’s previous largest stores, measuring at 80,000 square feet of store space, are located in Pinehurst and Charlotte.
  • The New Bern store is only the second location to have a juice bar.
  • It is the first to have a build-your-own burger bar.
  • It is the first to have a sushi train.

Posted in Achievements, Activities, Aldermen, Beer, Board of Aldermen, Business, Commentary, Community, Craven County, Downtown New Bern, Economy, Economy and Employment, Entertainment, Events, Food, Mayor, New Bern, New Bern business and commerce, Opinion

December 7th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

New Bern was selected as one of the nation’s top retirement destinations and one of its best small retirement towns by WhereToRetire.com in its sixth edition of “America’s 100 Best Places to Retire,” a guidebook of the country’s most appealing retirement towns.

WhereToRetire.com spent 11 months researching more than 800 cities. The chosen cities vary in size, climate, amenities and lifestyle, and each falls into one of 10 categories that focuses on the city’s defining feature, such as beaches, mountains, low costs, four seasons and appealing downtowns. Each city profile combines extensive research, local knowledge and in-depth interviews with retirees who made the move.

New Bern is a certified retirement community. The Certified Retirement Community designation means a city has completed a comprehensive evaluation process with requirements outlined by the North Carolina General Assembly.  Certified Retirement Communities are recognized for providing the amenities, services and opportunities retirees need to enjoy active and productive lives.

New Bern was recognized in April 2015 as one of the “10 Most Beautiful Towns in North Carolina,” and one of the “Top 10 Coastal Towns Where You Can Afford to Retire.”

Founded in 1710, New Bern it is the second oldest city in the state. It was the last colonial capital of North Carolina and its first state capital. “The City is a grand mix of carefully restored and maintained historical homes with old growth trees, a historic downtown, and contemporary houses ranging from condos to mansions, many with riverfront locations,” according to the website, Visit New Bern.

“New Bern’s character is palpable, and the people you meet are as vibrant as their surroundings. In addition to its beauty, New Bern is well-situated at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent Rivers, and only 35 miles from the Crystal Coast. The Atlantic Ocean is accessible by boat from New Bern, and New Bern’s rivers and creeks make a perfect playground for sailing, yachting, kayaking, Stand Up Paddle Boarding and fishing. New Bern has direct access to rivers and beaches without the high costs associated with beachfront living.”

Eight North Carolina cities were selected as top retirement destinations in “America’s 100 Best Places to Retire.” Other North Carolina towns are Boone/Blowing Rock, Charlotte, Durham, Hendersonville, Sylva, Wilmington, and Winston-Salem. 

North Carolina had the second highest number of towns on the list, behind only Florida. In addition, Winston-Salem was among the Best Four-Season Towns; Charlotte and Durham were among the Best Low-Cost Towns; and Boone/Blowing Rock, Hendersonville and Sylva were among the Best Mountain Towns.

For more information on visiting or relocating to New Bern go to www.VisitNewBern.com or www.visitnewbern.com/retire-new-bern/ Questions may be directed to marketingdirector@visitnewbern.com

Posted in Business, Community, Craven County, Downtown New Bern, Economy, Economy and Employment, Education, Entertainment, History, Housing, New Bern, Retirement

October 5th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

The original plan for Craven Thirty included a large, robust area for commercial and light industrial development.

Remember back in  2012, all the buzz about Craven Thirty? All that sweet, sweet new retail space, a multiplex theater, and new neighborhoods? You probably also remember how last year Craven Thirty morphed into West Craven, with less focus on business and more focus on residential.

Now, more than a year later, West Craven has emerged into the public eye again. Its developer, Weyerhaeuser NR Company, is asking for the city to enter into a development agreement. It is on the Board of Aldermen’s agenda for next Tuesday, when the board is expected to set a date for a public hearing.

And this latest version of West Craven looks a lot like the original Craven Thirty, but with even more commercial space.

Zoning codes are: C-3 commercial, R-6 residential, I-2 light industrial, A-5F agriculture district.

The city entered into a development agreement with Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Development Company in September 2010 for what was to become Craven Thirty. The city annexed the 550-acres Craven Thirty property in December 2012.

A ribbon cutting was conducted by then-Gov. Bev Perdue, and construction was announced to begin in spring 2013. Some streets were put in, along with other infrastructure, but nothing else was built during he intervening six years. Blame the economy.

The revised and renamed project would include just under 250 acres for residential development, just under 250 acres of commercial development, just over 47 acres for light industrial, and just over 27 acres of agriculture forestry district with low-density residential uses.

The plan calls for a total of 1,500 residential units phased in over 15 years, 500,000 square feet of non-residential space, a 150-room hotel sometime during the first five years, and 10 acres for a private school, also during the first five years.

The agreement establishes the development phasing sequences for the project, establishes a Master Development Plan and development review process that can accommodate the timing, phasing and flexibility of the project, coordinates the construction and design of infrastructure that will serve the project and the community at large, confirms the dedication and/or provision of public amenities by the developer, and provides assurances to the developer that it may proceed with the project in accordance with the approved original zoning and the terms of this agreement without encountering future changes in ordinances, regulations, technical standards or policies that would affect its ability to develop the relevant parcels under the approved zoning and the terms hereof.

The project will include small neighborhoods, a walkable village area, and connections to open space that will “support and reinforce the City of New Bern as an attractive place to live, work and recreate.” The size and scale of the project requires a long-term commitment of both public and private resources and requires careful integration between the programming of public capital facilities, the phasing of development and the development review and approval process.

The West Craven site is well suited for access from all parts of New Bern, or it will be. It is located at the intersection of U.S. 70 and the N.C. 43 connector. There are plans to extend the N.C. 43 connector from where it now ends just west of U.S. 70, all the way through to U.S. 17.

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Business, Community, Mayor, New Bern, New Bern business and commerce, Planning and Zoning

September 27th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Learn How to Build Gingerbread House Class Oct. 19

Getting back to normal is the priority for New Bern following Hurricane Florence.  The New Bern Historical Society’s Gingerbread House Contest is moving forward with just that in mind. Florence means there will be some adjustments; it means plan B, which in this case means Bring People Downtown. The imaginative gingerbread creations drew many to downtown windows last year and the Society is hoping for even more this year as merchants work hard to re-open.

Executive Director Mickey Miller said, “We invite everyone to enter the contest.  Your creative baking and building will produce the wonderful pieces that will draw folks to the contest downtown. If you are among those who were blessed with less damage, please consider using your kitchen for this project.”

You may enter as individuals or teams in three categories:  Youth, Adult and Professional.  There will be prizes at each level and two additional prizes.  One is the People’s Choice, voted on by the public.  The other is the Nancy Chiles Heritage Award for the creation that best represents the theme “Historic New Bern Christmas.” This in memory of long-time Board member and avid Gingerbread supporter, Nancy Chiles.  The first 50 who enter will receive a hand-crafted pottery ornament made by the Potters of New Bern Art & Wellness Center.

If you are interested in building a gingerbread house, but are unsure of your skills, you are in luck.  The Society will be presenting a “Building a Gingerbread House” class on Friday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. at Craven Community College.  It will leave you with all the skills and information you need to build your own creation.  Registration fee is $10 which will go to support the Gingerbread prizes.

All the information and details for the class and the contest are available at www.NewBernHistorical.org/gingerbread or by calling 252-638-8558. The deadline to enter the contest is November 5.  Further information is available on Facebook in the Gingerbread New Bern group.

The mission of the New Bern Historical Society is to celebrate and promote New Bern and its heritage through events and education.  Offices are located in the historic Attmore Oliver House at 511 Broad St. in New Bern.  For more information, call 252-638-8558 or go www.NewBernHistorical.org or www.facebook.com/NewBernHistoricalSociety.

Posted in Community, History, New Bern

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