New Bern received a mediocre score for family friendliness in North Carolina from WalletHub, a website that produces data-driven articles ranking various subjects in various categories.
In ranking North Carolina cities for “2019’s Best Places to Raise a Family in North Carolina,” New Bern ranked 56th out of 87 cities. The top-ranked city was Cary, while coming in at 87th was Laurinburg.
In Eastern North Carolina, Havelock — you read that right — was the highest rated city in the survey, coming in at 35th. Other Eastern NC cities were Wilmington (44th), Greenville (53rd), Jacksonville (59th), Wilson (70th), Elizabeth City (75th), Tarboro (77th), Goldsboro (81st), and Kinston (84th).
Taking just Eastern North Carolina cities into account, then, New Bern ranked fourth, just behind Greenville and ahead of Jacksonville.
The rankings took into consideration 10 metrics, of which New Bern did better than average in just three: violent-crime rate per capita, unemployment rate, and playgrounds per capita.
New Bern ranked low in several categories, including percentage of families with children under age 17, median family income, and high school graduation rate. It rated near the bottom — 72nd — in housing affordability.
New Bern appears at the top of many lists, from Top Charming Small Towns to Top Small Retirement Towns, but these are typically niche categories. Raising a family is about as fundamental to a city’s purpose as you can get, and New Bern’s ranking, indeed rankings of all Eastern North Carolina cities, should raise some red flags and help policymakers in making decisions.
The data used in these rankings is entirely publicly available, and is the same information that companies look at when determining expansion and relocations.
True, New Bern is constantly looking for ways to up its game. But take one example, the planned Martin-Marietta Park. New Bern already ranks high for playgrounds per capita (24th in the state). Martin-Marietta Park won’t move the bar one iota in rankings such as these, even if it’s a park that is physically larger than most of Craven County’s smaller cities.
The focus should be where New Bern and Craven County are average or weak — median family income, quality of school system, high school graduation rate, poverty rate, and perhaps foremost, housing affordability.
Here are specific rankings for New Bern:
Raising a Family in New Bern (1=Best; 43=Avg.; 87=Worst)
64th– % of Families with Children Aged 0 to 17
57th– Median Family Income (adjusted for cost of living)
The popular Harry Goodman Battlefield Adventure Day for families isSaturday, March 23, at the New Bern Battlefield Park.
A day full of learning activities, period games and living history,it is held annually at the Park, which has been extensively upgraded by the New Bern Historical Society. This year the event is open to guests of all ages, with special activities for children 6-12 years old. Check-inbegins at 11:30 a.m.with activitiesfrom noon to 4 p.m.
Guests will be greeted by re-enactorsfrom the 5th and 7th North Carolina Regiments.The event kicks off with a commissary lunch for all guests, provided by Moore’s Bar-B-Que.
There will be Civil War era games, crafts, and hands-on displays for the entire family. Children will participate in practice drills and Civil War period activities and crafts. Historical Society battlefield guides will provide an informative and entertaining walking tour of the battlefield.
The day’s activities will conclude with an exciting artillery live fire demonstration by McCullough Living History.
Cost is $10 for the first family member, plus $5 for each additional adult or child, with a $20 maximum for a family.Special price for active duty military and families qualifying for free/reduced school lunch program. For more information or to register: New Bern Historical Society,252-638-8558 and www.newbernhistorical.org
At the end of the day they will take part in the American Battlefield Trust’s Park Day, an opportunity for the public to lend a hand at battlefields and parks across the country. Participants will help rake out the redans. Park Day will begin after the Adventure Day activities are completeat 4 p.m.
T-shirts will be given to the first 45 participants.
New Bern Battlefield Park is located off U.S. 70 at the entrance to the Taberna subdivision at 300 Battlefield Trail. This program is supported through the generosity of the family of Harry K. Goodman, who was key to the preservation and restoration of the Battlefield Park.
Colorfest will hold its annual event, Night Out With The Arts (NOWTA), on May 10 at the New Bern Golf & Country Club.
Attendees will be introduced to the Colorfest Team, sponsors, and learn more about the things that Colorfest aspires to do in the community. The event will also feature live music by Songstress Rasheeda Waddell and Band, comedy, art exhibition from local artist, live painting and an art auction. All proceeds raised go towards paints, supplies, art scholarships and to the community Colorfest serves. Dinner will also be served.
Those who wish to become a sponsor can call 404-725-3053 or email email@example.com by March 20.
Night Out With The Arts
Date: May 10, 2019
Time: Doors open at 7 p.m. Show is 8-11 p.m.
Location: New Bern Golf & Country Club, 4301 Country Club Road, New Bern
Cost: $30 General Admission (include entertainment, meal and one complementary raffle ticket)
On the web: www.colorfestinc.org
Since 2011, founder, Derrick Bryant has come back to his hometown and helped beautify the area by painting murals downtown on Queen Street in 2011 and 2016. He’s developed an event/program for youth to tackle problems and have fun at the same time.
Colorfest is an event for youth of all ages to come out and take part in helping to beautify the city of New Bern. Future Colorfest projects are being planned to reach the communities in Eastern North Carolina and Georgia.
A main focus of the Colorfest Team is to break chains in impoverished communities. It sees the arts as a way to give young artist positive ways to channel their creative energy and talents.
“For many years we have seen the decline of funding in schools for art based programs, causing children to lose access to curriculum that would otherwise enhance and nurture the creative process,” Bryant said in a news release.
Colorfest Inc. active sponsors 2018-19 include Walmart, American Airlines, Kiss 102, Baker’s Kitchen, Bern Investment Group,The Tiny Tornado, and B.L.U.U.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. To register, contact Cat Johnson at 252-633-0857 or email@example.com.
In 2017, our local Wells Fargo representatives recognized the need for technology in Craven County Schools’ classroom, and together with Partners In Education, established the Wells Fargo Tech Grant. This grant seeks to engage our students using the most advanced technology available and demonstrates Wells Fargo’s commitment to improving the educational experience in our public school classrooms.
The winner of the 2018-19 Wells Fargo Tech Grant is Claudia Casey and Michelle Smith with Tucker Creek Middle for their grant, “Building Logic and Reasoning Skills with Ozobots.” The $2,500 check was awarded at the January Principals’ End of Month Meeting. If you would like to learn how your organization can make a difference through Craven County Schools’ local education foundation, PIE, contact Darlene Brown, Executive Director, at 252-514-6321.
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.
Looking for the perfect way to have a delicious pancake breakfast before visiting Santa in Bear Plaza, taking in some shopping, and enjoying the many activities happening during the holiday season in beautiful, historic downtown New Bern?
Join Pancakes for PIE at Morgan’s Tavern & Grill, 235 Craven St. Breakfast will be served Saturday, Dec. 15, from 7– 10 a.m. to benefit Partners In Education, the local education foundation for Craven County Schools. Morgan’s will be festively decorated for the holiday season and is the perfect setting to start your day with pancakes, bacon, sausage, fruit cup, orange juice, coffee, and water. All this for just $7 per adult, and $5 for children 12 and under. Reservations are not required as this is a pay at the door event. Debit, credit cards, checks, and cash are accepted. In order to expedite seating, have checks or cash ready.
Where & Who: Morgan’s, 235 Craven St., Downtown New Bern
What: Pancakes for PIE – Delicious pancake, bacon, sausage, fruit, orange juice, coffee & water breakfast for $7/adult, $5/children 12 and under
When: Saturday, December 15, 7:00 – 10:00 am
Why: To benefit Partners In Education, the local education foundation for Craven County Schools
Don Brinkley, PIE Board President, explains, “This event is open to the public and is an excellent opportunity for our community to show their support for Craven County Schools. Morgan’s is generously donating all proceeds from the breakfast to PIE, who will use the funds to support our local schools through PIE grant programs. Serving our pancakes will be Morgan’s staff along with PIE volunteers consisting of teachers, school staff members, and community supporters.”
Brandy Popp, Chair of the PIE Fund Raising Committee, said, “It is so very giving of Adam and Candice Simmons and their employees to provide the staffing, food, and venue for this event. We all know Morgan’s dishes up excellent food and our volunteers are always up for serving some ‘PIE’! We are absolutely thrilled Morgan’s is hosting Pancakes for PIE and we encourage everyone to bring the whole family and spend the day in beautiful downtown New Bern! We have sent a special invitation to Santa and we are hoping he will be on hand to share holiday cheer!”
For more information about Pancakes for PIE, or other programs offered by PIE, contact Darlene Brown, Executive Director, Craven County Partners In Education, at 514-6321 or www.CravenPartners.com.
Partners In Education is a 501(c)3 nonprofit Local Education Foundation that provides grant funding and special programs to classrooms and schools within the Craven County Schools system.
Since 1989, PIE has been changing the lives of students and families in our community by providing our educators with financial resources that enhance and reward innovative approaches to educational excellence.
As a leading resource for campus and online learning, the site released its annual ranking for the 2018-19 school year, honoring Craven Community College for its excellence in online learning.
Craven CC was ranked No. 4 on the list 44 two-year colleges in North Carolina offering online programs.
“We wanted to highlight schools like Craven Community College who are providing exceptional online education experiences for their students,” said Doug Jones, CEO and Founder of the Community for Accredited Online Schools. “These schools continue to uphold rigorous accreditation standards and show an overall commitment to maximizing student success.”
To qualify, schools must be regionally or nationally accredited, hold a not-for-profit status in the United States and offer at least one online degree. Schools were then ranked based on their quality, affordability, flexibility and degrees granted to their students.
Go here For more information on Craven CC’s online learning ranking and further details on the methodology used to rank each school.
Founded in 1965, 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.
The Community for Accredited Online Schools (AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org) was founded in 2011 to provide students and parents with quality data and information about pursuing an education that has been certified by an accrediting agency. Its community resource materials and tools have been featured by over 1,000 schools and universities and span topics such as college accreditation, financial aid, and online learning resources. Its annual school rankings feature higher education institutions that offer excellence in online learning programs.
Partners In Education and Craven County Schools, Craven Smart Start and Newspapers In Education, are providing an opportunity for our community to donate books for Craven County Schools’ media centers and classrooms. The Book Drive will take place Nov. 5-9.
The drop-off locations are: Craven County Schools Central Services/Partners In Education at 3600 Trent Road, Craven Smart Start at 2111-F Neuse Blvd., AlphaGraphics at 3731 Trent Road, Century 21 Zaytoun-Raines at 312 S. Front St., and the Sun Journal at 3200 Wellons Blvd.
Brandy Popp, PIE Fund Raising Committee Chair, said, “The most successful way to improve the reading achievement of our children is to increase their access to print. Communities ranking high in achievement tests have several factors in common: an abundance of books in public libraries, easy access to books in the community at large, and a large number of classroom books per student. Commit yourself to increasing student reading achievement and literacy in Craven County by giving to our Book Drive.”
Popp said, “Last year, through the generosity of our community, Partners In Education was able to donate thousands of books to our classrooms and media centers and to Craven Smart Start. Based on this success, Partners In Education is recruiting the help of all our community partners so that we are able reach more students this year. Please think of books for all of our school children, PreK-13.”
The donated books will be made available to Craven Smart Start and Craven County Schools teachers for their classrooms at a Book Giveaway.
Partners In Education is an education foundation that provides grant funding and special programs to classrooms and schools within the Craven County Schools system.
For more information about this event, or how you can support PIE, contact Darlene Brown, at 514-6321, or at Darlene.Brown@Cravenk12.org. Visit the PIE website at www.CravenPartners.com to learn more about this program and others offered by Partners In Education.
Since 1988, PIE has been changing the lives of students and families in our community by providing our educators with financial resources that enhance and reward innovative approaches to educational excellence.
The impact of the 2018 tropical systems in North Carolina wasn’t confined to coastal areas. Near the state’s geographical center, the route of N.C. 42 through Carbonton runs under floodwaters from the Deep River on Sept. 18, in eastern Chatham County, near Lee and Moore counties. Courtesy of the N.C. Department of Transportation.
CAROLINA PUBLIC PRESS | Hurricanes Florence and Michael caused school districts in their paths to miss several days of school. The state is helping districts avoid official penalties, but educators across the state are divided about the long-term wisdom of losing so many days of instruction.
As school districts recovered from Florence, Gov. Roy Cooper signed legislation Oct. 3 to grant calendar flexibility to schools in districts with federal disaster declarations. This allows the districts to waive up to 20 days of absences if they choose to. That choice isn’t necessarily automatic.
According to the N.C. Department of Public Safety, 30 counties have been federally declared for both individual assistance and public assistance, and 11 counties have been declared for public assistance only. School districts located in counties with either of these types of declarations can take advantage of the waiver policy. Although the legislation originally applied to those affected by Florence, it also covers districts with declarations due to Michael.
Valita Quattlebaum, chief communications officer for New Hanover County Schools, said her district will be using this waiver in addition to creating a new calendar to recoup days. Hurricane Florence heavily affected the coastal district’s schools and means of transportation, she said.
“We were out 17 days,” Quattlebaum said. “We had to get our buildings cleaned up, we had to clear up debris and make our campus safe enough for students to go into. We had repairs to do, get rid of damaged furniture, things that had gotten wet.”