Category: Craven County

April 26th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

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 a recycling fee increase on their annual tax bill and that fee will be determined during the Craven County Board of Commissioner’s annual budget process.  The fee is expected to be between $56 and $60 per household per year.  More details regarding the changes to Craven County’s curbside recycling program will be announced at a later date.

The Special Meeting of the Craven County Board of Commissioners was held in response to citizen demand for the continuation of curbside recycling services after the initial decision was communicated.

“The Board of Commissioners wants to be responsive.  I am so glad so many in the community support environmentally friendly policies,” E.T. Mitchell, Craven County Commissioner, said in a prepared statement.

Craven County’s curbside recycling program accepts aluminum cans, newspapers with inserts, clear/green/brown glass, #1 PETE clear plastic, #2 HDPE natural plastic, rigid plastic bottles with the neck smaller than the body of the container (except motor oil and pesticide containers), corrugated cardboard cut down to no larger than 2’ x 3’ and steel/tin cans.

Craven County offers a host of trash and recycling programs including electronics recycling, paint exchange and scrap metal recycling.  For additional information on Craven County’s trash and recycling services please contact Craven County Solid Waste and Recycling at 252-636-6659 or visit www.cravencountync.gov.

Posted in Community, Community issues, Craven County, Craven County Board of Commissioners, Environment

April 24th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Craven County commissioners will be reconsidering a short-sighted decision to end curbside recycling following backlash from citizens upset by the decision.

Commissioners made the decision on April 15 rather than double the fee due to cost increases.

This is one of those no-win situations for the board, a majority-Republican group with two newcomers (E.T. Mitchell and Denny Bucher) hesitant to raise taxes or fees because, well, they’re Republicans.

But here’s the thing: ending curbside recycling forces people to do one of three things: discard their recyclables with the regular garbage; make trips to county convenience centers to drop off their recyclables; or toss their recyclables into the woods or by the side of roads along with their other garbage because people like that suck.

For those of us who actually try to be law abiding and who care about the environment, throwing out recyclables with the regular garbage actually violates county rules that forbid recyclables from going into the landfill.

On top of that, citizens would be charged $3 for every 33 gallons of recyclables they illegally send to the landfill.

On top of that, the amount of materials going into the landfill would increase significantly, reducing the life of the landfill. You want to talk about spending taxpayer dollars? Try expanding landfills or opening new ones.

The good news is, commissioners are going to reconsider their decision.

The Board of Commissioners will hold a special called meeting Friday April 26 at 10:30 a.m. (I know! The time sucks!) in the Commissioners’ Board Room at the corner of Broad and Craven streets. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the decision made by the board on April 15 concerning the curbside recycling contract.

So here’s the other side. If county commissioners vote to continue curbside recycling, they will be accused of increasing taxes and fees by the usual group of folks who can’t see past this evening’s episode of Hannity.

The reason recycling has become an issue is because China has stopped accepting U.S. recyclables. We as a nation do a terrible job of separating our recyclables and properly preparing them, and the Chinese have decided it’s not worth the effort and expense to process it.

I know this doesn’t apply to New Bern Post readers, who statistically are better educated about such things and care about the environment. But, sad to say, you are in the minority.

If you want to make sure county commissioners do the right thing and continue curbside recycling, show up at Friday’s meeting.

Posted in Commentary, Community, Community issues, Craven County, Craven County Board of Commissioners, Environment

April 23rd, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Update: The Board of Commissioners will hold a special called meeting Friday April 26 at 10:30 a.m. in the Commissioners’ Board Room. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the decision made by the board on April 15 concerning the curbside recycling contract.

Countywide curbside recycling in Craven County will cease on Friday, June 28, 2019.  The decision was made by the Craven County Board of Commissioners on Monday, April 15, after learning the cost to taxpayers of curbside recycling collection services will nearly double for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2019.

Craven County and residents of all of the municipalities in Craven County are part of the countywide consolidated recycling program so this will affect all residents with curbside recycling.

“Waste Industries sells recyclables and the demand for recycled material is market-driven.  At this time, buyers of recycled materials are not purchasing the same quantity the world is producing.  As a result, recycle service providers are not able to sell the material for sufficient revenue and need to increase their service fee to continue providing services,” said Jack Veit, Craven County Manager.

Recycle bins currently provided as a part of Craven County’s curbside recycling program will be collected by Waste Industries on the last day of service the week of June 24.

Recycling is still extremely important to Craven County and citizens are urged to use Craven County’s seven Solid Waste and Recycling Convenience Sites for recycling.  Mixed recyclables and paper can be dropped off at no cost on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the following locations:

• 3555 NC Highway 101, Havelock, North Carolina.

• 605 NC Highway 55 East New Bern, North Carolina.

• 205 Belltown Road, Dover, North Carolina.

• 7775 Highway 70 East, Havelock, North Carolina.

• 4001 Old Cherry Point Road, New Bern, North Carolina.

• 135 Sanders Lane, New Bern, North Carolina.

• 232 Bailey Lane Vanceboro, North Carolina.

Waste Industries will be offering residents subscription curbside services for most areas in Craven County. Waste Industries is currently in discussions with municipalities to determine what, if any, services they would like to provide for their residents. More details on pricing and service areas will be available after May 15.

Residents in areas where subscription curbside services will be offered can call, email or sign up for services online with Waste Industries after May 15.

Craven County’s convenience site recycling program accepts aluminum cans, newspapers with inserts, clear/green/brown glass, #1 PETE clear plastic, #2 HDPE natural plastic, rigid plastic bottles with the neck smaller than the body of the container (except motor oil and pesticide containers), corrugated cardboard and steel/tin cans.

Craven County offers a host of trash and recycling programs including electronics recycling, paint exchange and scrap metal recycling.

For additional information on Craven County’s trash and recycling services please contact Craven County Solid Waste and Recycling at 252-636-6659 or visit www.cravencountync.gov.

Posted in Craven County, Craven County Board of Commissioners, Economy and Employment, Environment, New Bern

March 30th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Dawn Zimmer / Wikipedia

Dawn Zimmer, former mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, is giving a presentation on resiliency in New Bern on April 4.

A special meeting of the New Bern Board of Aldermen was called for 1 p.m. Thursday, April 4 in the City Hall Courtroom located on the second d floor, at 300 Pollock St., for the presentation.

According to Wikipedia, in 2012 Zimmer was widely acclaimed for leadership during the aftermath Hurricane Sandy. On Sept. 9, 2013, she was recognized as “Hero of the Harbor” by the Waterfront Alliance for her work “to make her city a national model for preparedness, meeting with FEMA and state officials, surban planners, scientists and many others to create an ‘integrated solution.'”

For her leadership during Hurricane Sandy, Zimmer was appointed to the President’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force.

More about Dawn Zimmer:

Posted in Board of Aldermen, Community, Community issues, Craven County, Hurricane

March 2nd, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

GATHERED for a check presentation and celebration of a $50,000 grant award for disaster relief from the national Unitarian Universalist Association are some representatives of the Duffyfield Phoenix Project, the Craven County Disaster Recovery Alliance, and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of New Bern.  They are, first row, seated, Paula Saihati, Grace Hudson, the Rev. Dr. Ethel Sampson, Fred Pittinger, and Anne Schout.  In the second row, Elijah Brown, Johnny Sampson, the Rev. Robert Johnson, Carole McCracken, The Rev. John Robinson, Robert Benjamin, Jim Schout, and the Rev. Charlie Davis.   Standing behind are Mike Avery and Sully Sullivan.

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of New Bern (UUFNB) received a $50,000 grant from the national Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Disaster Relief Fund to aid in disaster recovery in New Bern, primarily in the Duffyfield area.  

UUFNB has partnered with the Craven County Disaster Recovery Alliance (CCDRA) and will coordinate efforts with the Duffyfield Phoenix Project, (DPP).

Individual Unitarian Universalists locally, and from various parts of the country, sent unsolicited donations for UUFNB disaster relief efforts shortly after Hurricane Florence created such devastation in the area.  

UUFNB formed a committee to distribute the funds to UUFNB congregants impacted by the storm and in most need of assistance Concurrently, UUFNB strengthened its partnership with CCDRA to undertake a community-wide effort.  CCDRA is a group of faith-based, non-profit, government and business organizations formed to provide coordinated recovery efforts to county residents. Of primary concern to the UUFNB is the large number of hurricane victims in urgent need of assistance in New Bern’s Duffyfield area.

UUFNB prepared and submitted a grant application to the UUA’s Disaster Relief Fund and was given $50,000 to support CCDRA efforts in the Duffyfield community.  Ten percent is available to respond to emergencies outside of Duffyfield. The remainder will focus on priority Duffyfield cases identified by CCDRA with the assistance of DPP.  This is a natural fit as DPP’s mission is to improve both the physical surroundings and quality of life for Duffyfield residents.

On Friday, Feb. 8, representatives of all three entities gathered at UUFNB to announce the grant to the press, answer any questions they had and formally turn over the grant funds to CCDRA.

   

Posted in Achievements, Community, Community issues, Craven County, Economy, Economy and Employment, Environment, Hurricane, Infrastructure, New Bern

December 17th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

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.

Posted in Craven County, Habitat for Humanity, New Bern

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

November 7th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

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 disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

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.

Posted in Craven County, Economy and Employment, FEMA, Housing, Hurricane, New Bern, SBA

October 25th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

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.

Posted in Craven County, Craven County Schools, New Bern Tagged with:

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