Habitat for Humanity of Craven County was presented with a grant award of $20,000 from International Paper’s New Bern Mill to assist with Habitat’s repair, rebuilding, and recovery efforts with Habitat and non-Habitat homeowners in Craven County. Pictured from left are Allison Arens of IP New Bern Mill, Board President Richard Peebles, Volunteer Coordinator Deedra Durocher, Executive Director Mike Williams, and Catherine Burgess of IP New Bern Mill.
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.
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.
New Bernwas selected as one of the nation’s top retirement destinations and one of its best small retirement towns byWhereToRetire.comin its sixth edition of “America’s 100 Best Places to Retire,” a guidebook of the country’s most appealing retirement towns.
WhereToRetire.comspent 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.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has extended the deadline to apply for physical disaster damages in North Carolina. Businesses and individuals with physical damages caused by Hurricane Florence on Sept. 7 – 29, 2018, should apply for SBA low-interest disaster loans before the Dec. 13,
The disaster declaration covers the North Carolina counties of Anson, Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Chatham, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Durham, Greene, Guilford, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Orange, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Union, Wayne and Wilson; for economic injury only in the contiguous North Carolina counties of Alamance, Cabarrus, Caswell, Dare, Davidson, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Franklin, Granville, Martin, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Nash, Person, Randolph, Rockingham, Stanly, Stokes, Tyrrell, Wake and Washington; and the contiguous South Carolina counties of Chesterfield, Dillon, Horry, Lancaster and Marlboro.
SBA disaster loans are available to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters to cover uninsured losses from the disaster. Interest rates are as low as 3.675 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations, and 2.0 percent for homeowners and renters. Loan terms can be up to 30 years.
Economic injury disaster loans are also available to provide disaster related working capital to small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov.
To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or download the FEMA mobile app. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.
Additional details on the locations of Disaster Recovery Centers and the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Dec. 13, 2018. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 14, 2019.
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.
Michelle Lee, Principal of Roger Bell New Tech Academy, has been selected as the 2018-19 Principal of the Year for Craven County Schools.
In her role as Principal of the Year, she will serve as the local adviser to the Board of Education and will represent Craven County Schools in local, regional and state events.
Lee’s selection qualifies her to compete with other local award recipients for the Southeast Regional Principal of the Year title. From the regional winners, one will be named the 2019 NC Wells Fargo Principal of the Year.
Lee was one of the two finalists that interviewed with a local selection committee on Oct. 24.
During her interview, Lee stated that she has been lucky to be able to create the environment that exists at Roger Bell this year.
“This has been the greatest gift to be able to build basically a new school from the ground up. I’m not going to say that it wasn’t hard, because it was.”
Lee said parents had to learn to trust her and know that she was there for the long haul.
“I had some parents to push back on me, but I let them know that I wanted to make good decisions for their family.”
Changes made to the school by Principal Lee include hiring Instructional Coaches to assist teachers and creating a space where lessons are modeled and practiced by teachers while receiving real-time feedback.
“I’m completely invested in the school, parents and the children there, and they know that I care about their children. During the hurricane, I had parents to call me and ask for help. They now look at the school as a resource and we want to be able to provide them with resources and services outside of the traditional scope. We have to deal with basic needs before we can start working on higher order thinking skills.”
Lee said that her goals were to hire strong teachers for every classroom, be highly-visible in the building and to create an environment where teachers can get their work done at the school, and then go home and have family time.
“These things allow teachers to re-energize and it builds community. We’re all in this together and I wouldn’t ask them to do anything that I wasn’t willing to do. I’m willing to get into the weeds with them and get the job done.”
The Wells Fargo Principal of the Year Award was introduced in 1984 to recognize outstanding leadership in North Carolina’s schools and the role of the principal in establishing an environment conducive to the pursuit and achievement of academic excellence. Wells Fargo sponsors the award in conjunction with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.
Each district winner will receive monetary awards from Wells Fargo in recognition of their achievement and will continue in the regional selection process. The culmination of the Principal of the Year Program is a ceremony in Raleigh where the statewide winner is announced.
The announcement is set to coincide with the N.C. State Board of Education meeting. The N.C. State Superintendent and other State Board members will also attend this event.
The following schools are currently on normal hours for students, Friday Oct.12.
◦ Ben D. Quinn Elementary
◦ Bridgeton Elementary School
◦ Craven Early College
◦ Creekside Elementary School
◦ Early College EAST
◦ Grover C. Fields Middle School
◦ New Bern High School
◦ Oaks Road Academy
◦ West Craven High School
◦ Vanceboro Farm Life Elementary
If you are interested in reviewing the Air Quality Reports for the Cleared schools from the External Industrial Hygienist Click HERE. An Information Session for Parents will be held on Friday, Oct. 12 at 9 a.m. at the Board of Education.
Craven County parents, whose families have been displaced due to Hurricane Florence can visit the HERE and provide information so that the school district can reach out to help.
The five-day cone prediction of Hurricane Michael as issued by the National Hurricane Center at 11 a.m. Wednesday.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for New Bern and surrounding areas as Hurricane Michael is set to make landfall in the Florida panhandle today.
Tonight’s forecast is showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 76. Southeast wind 7 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
On Thursday, tropical storm conditions possible. Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. High near 83. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
Thursday night, tropical storm conditions possible. Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Low around 71. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New rainfall amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.
On Friday, showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 8 a.m., then a chance of showers between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Mostly sunny, with a high near 77. North wind 9 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Clearing is expected Friday evening, with sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s on Saturday and Sunday.
Here is addition information from the National Weather Service:
Hurricane Michael is expected to make landfall as a major hurricane
along the Florida Panhandle today, then weaken to a tropical storm as
it tracks through the Carolinas Thursday and Thursday night.
Tropical storm force winds, especially in gusts, are expected across
Eastern North Carolina later Thursday afternoon through early Friday.
The strongest winds are expected near the coast and areas adjacent to
the sounds. Winds along the coast could gust 50 to 70 mph, while inland
areas could see gusts of 40 to 50 mph. These winds could result in downed
trees causing sporadic power outages, and even some minor structural
damage. Be sure to secure any tarps on rooftops from previous storm
Periods of heavy rain are expected today through late Thursday night.
At this time rainfall is expected to range from 2 to 3 inches near the
coast to 3 to 5 inches well inland, with locally higher amounts. This
could result in localized flash flooding given the already saturated
ground and debris from Florence potentially clogging drainages. River
levels along the Tar and Neuse are expected to reach moderate flood
stage late this weekend and early next week.
Some minor to locally moderate storm surge impacts will be possible
with Michael. Based on the current forecast track, minor inundation of
1 to 3 feet above ground level will be possible for areas along the
coast and adjacent to the sounds. Local amounts of 2 to 4 feet above
ground may be possible on the sound side of the Outer Banks,
especially north of Cape Hatteras late Thursday night and early Friday
as Michael lifts north of the area. A slight shift in the track could
change which locations may see the most inundation. Minor beach
erosion and overwash will be possible along the beaches as well due to
wave run up.
A few tornadoes will be possible Thursday and Thursday night.
Dangerous marine conditions are also expected, with seas building to
10 to 20 feet. A high threat of rip currents and large and dangerous
shore break is expected.
Prepare for hazardous wind having possible limited impacts across
Eastern North Carolina. Potential impacts include:
– Damage to porches, awnings, carports, sheds, and unanchored
mobile homes. Unsecured lightweight objects blown about.
– Many large tree limbs broken off. A
Be sure to let friends and family members know of your intentions for
weathering the storm and your whereabouts. Have someone located away
from the threatened area serve as your point of contact. Share vital
contact information with others. Keep cell phones handy and charged.few trees snapped or
uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are
shallow rooted. Some fences and roadway signs blown over.
– A few roads impassable from debris, particularly within urban
or heavily wooded places. Hazardous driving conditions on
bridges and other elevated roadways.
– Scattered power and communications outages.
* FLOODING RAIN:
Prepare for dangerous rainfall flooding having possible significant
impacts across portions of Eastern North Carolina. Potential impacts
– Moderate rainfall flooding may prompt several evacuations and
– Rivers and tributaries may quickly become swollen with swifter
currents and overspill their banks in a few places, especially
in usually vulnerable spots. Small streams, creeks, canals, and
– Flood waters can enter some structures or weaken foundations.
Several places may experience expanded areas of rapid
inundation at underpasses, low-lying spots, and poor drainage
areas. Some streets and parking lots take on moving water as
storm drains and retention ponds overflow. Driving conditions
become hazardous. Some road and bridge closures.
Prepare for locally hazardous surge having possible limited impacts
across coastal areas of Eastern North Carolina, especially for the sound
side of the Outer Banks north of Cape Hatteras. Potential impacts in this
– Localized inundation with storm surge flooding mainly along
immediate shorelines and in low-lying spots, or in areas
farther inland near where higher surge waters move ashore.
– Sections of near-shore roads and parking lots become overspread
with surge water. Driving conditions dangerous in places where
surge water covers the road.
– Moderate beach erosion. Heavy surf also breaching dunes, mainly
in usually vulnerable locations. Strong rip currents.
– Minor to locally moderate damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks,
and piers. A few small craft broken away from moorings.
Prepare for a tornado event having possible limited impacts across
Eastern North Carolina. Potential impacts include:
– The occurrence of isolated tornadoes can hinder the execution
of emergency plans during tropical events.
– A few places may experience tornado damage, along with power
and communications disruptions.
– Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys
toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned,
large tree tops and branches snapped off, shallow-rooted trees
knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats
pulled from moorings.
Be sure to let friends and family members know of your intentions for
weathering the storm and your whereabouts. Have someone located away
from the threatened area serve as your point of contact. Share vital
contact information with others. Keep cell phones handy and charged.
Listen to local official for recommended preparedness actions,
including possible evacuation. If ordered to evacuate, do so
For those not under evacuation orders, assess the risk from wind,
falling trees, and flooding at your location. If you decide to move,
relocate to a safer location nearby. If you do not relocate, help
keep roadways open for those under evacuation orders.
* OTHER PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION:
Now is the time to check your emergency plan and emergency supplies
kit and take necessary actions to protect your family and secure your
home or business.
When making safety and preparedness decisions, do not focus on the
exact forecast track since hazards such as flooding rain, damaging
wind gusts, storm surge, and tornadoes extend well away from the
center of the storm.
If in a place that is vulnerable to high wind, such as near large
trees, a manufactured home, upper floors of a high-rise building, or
on a boat, plan to move to safe shelter.
If you live in a place particularly vulnerable to flooding, such as
near the ocean or a large inland lake, in a low-lying or poor
drainage area, in a valley, or near an already swollen river, plan to
move to safe shelter on higher ground.
When securing your property, outside preparations should be concluded
as soon as possible before conditions deteriorate. The onset of
strong gusty winds or flooding can cause certain preparedness
activities to become unsafe.
Check on those who may not be fully aware of the situation or who are
unable to make personal preparations.
Closely monitor weather.gov, NOAA Weather Radio and local news
outlets for official storm information. Listen for possible changes
to the forecast.
There is a threat from tornadoes with this storm. Have multiple ways
to receive Tornado Warnings. Be ready to shelter quickly.
* ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION:
– For information on appropriate preparations see ready.gov
– For information on creating an emergency plan see getagameplan.org
– For additional disaster preparedness information see redcross.org
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain invites families in New Bern and surrounding areas to a community dinner for those impacted by Hurricane Florence.
Provided in partnership with sponsors Toyota of New Bern and Taco Bell, guests are invited to take a break from recovery efforts to have dinner and fellowship and pick up much needed supplies for those who need them, with music provided by CapitalDJ.
WHAT: Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain holding Community Dinner. Admission is free.
WHEN: Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 6:30pm until 8:30pm
WHERE: New Bern Farmer’s Market, 401 S. Front Street, New Bern
The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. There are 17 Clubs throughout Pitt, Beaufort, Lenoir, Martin, Greene, Carteret, and Craven Counties serving approximately 1,400 members daily and 3,600 yearly. For more information, visit the Clubs online at www.bgccp.com or call 252-355-2345.
Due to the increased populations of mosquitoes caused by flooding from Hurricane Florence, Gov. Roy Cooper on Friday ordered $4 million to fund mosquito control efforts in counties currently under a major disaster declaration.
“To help local communities in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, I’ve directed state funds for mosquito control efforts to protect people who live in hard-hit areas.” Gov. Cooper said.
Funding will allow control efforts to begin as soon as Thursday. Each county’s allocation will be based upon their share of the total acreage requiring mosquito treatment in the 27 counties. None of the counties will be asked to share in the cost for these services up to their specific allocation amount. They will have the flexibility to determine the most appropriate means to provide this service.
“I’m grateful to Governor Cooper for taking this action to allow us to provide a critical public health service,” said Craven County Health Director Scott Harrelson. “This has been a serious issue for our county and many others impacted by Hurricane Florence.”
Increased mosquito populations often follow a hurricane or any weather event that results in large-scale flooding. While most mosquitoes that emerge after flooding do not transmit human disease, they still pose a public health problem by discouraging people from going outside and hindering recovery efforts.
Although rare, the most commonly reported mosquito-borne illnesses that can be acquired in North Carolina are LaCrosse encephalitis, West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis. Nearly 70 percent of mosquito-borne infections reported in the state in 2017 were acquired during travel outside the continental U.S.
While outdoors, peoples should remember to:
Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants while outdoors.
Use mosquito repellent that contains DEET or an equivalent when outside and use caution when applying to children.
For residents who suffered losses during Hurricane Florence, Disaster Recovery Centers are now open in several locations around the state, with information and resources to assist in recovery.
These centers offer in-person support to both individuals and businesses. Specialists can discuss available recovery programs and provide guidance for filing applications for disaster assistance.
All centers are fully accessible to people with disabilities, and for those who need translation assistance.
Whether you are a homeowner, renter or a business owner, it is important to register for disaster assistance prior to visiting a recovery center by going online to www.DisasterAssistance.gov or calling FEMA at 800-621-FEMA.
If your home is insured, file your insurance claim before visiting a Disaster Recovery Center. Be sure to take photos to document your damage.
When you arrive at the recovery center, please bring the following information with you:
Address for home or business that was damaged
Current mailing address
Current telephone number.
Total household annual income.
Routing and account number for checking or savings account to allow for direct transfer of funds into your bank account.
A description of disaster-caused damage and losses.
Centers are open in these locations:
Former Eckerd/Rite Aid Drugstore
710 Degraffenreid Ave.
312 Western Blvd
Grantsboro Town Hall
10628 NC Highway 55 East
County Civic Center
794 Highway 58 South
Bobby Andrews Center
231 East Seventh Street
Additional Disaster Recovery Centers will be opening in the coming days and weeks.