Category: New Bern

July 2nd, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

He was standing in a near empty parking lot. She was standing in isolation at CarolinaEast Medical Center. Only a pane of glass separated them on their 25th anniversary.

From CarolinaEast Medical Center: This sweet patient, Cynthia Williams, was made to feel quite special by her husband and CarolinaEast staff. Mr. and Mrs. Williams celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this week and although they weren’t able to be together the way they’d hoped, Mr. Williams found a unique way to celebrate their marriage with flowers and a “visit” through a window at CarolinaEast. Mrs. Williams appreciated seeing her love, even in this unconventional way. Happy 25th Anniversary to the Williams!

Posted in CarolinaEast, Health, New Bern

June 30th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

On June 23, 2020, after a Public Hearing; the New Bern Board of Alderman denied a request to rezone 2409 Oaks Road from Residential R6 to Commercial C4. Only the owner of the property was in favor, and all others were opposed. A previous request to rezone this property from Residental to Commercial C3 was denied in 2019 (corrected year).

As Craven County has no zoning, the property had been used commercially in the past. When 2409 Oaks Rd became part of the City it was Zoned residential. This amounted to a promise to the community, that there will be no future commerical use. Citizens throughout New Bern pay taxes for the benefits that zoning provides. All residents of New Bern are lawfully entited to equal protection of the law.

The next two items on the agenda were essentially the same for other properties, both were denied after unamious opposition from their communities. The above is fact In my opinion spot zoning results in a windall for the property owner and the destruction of neighboods.

After the third denial a recess was called.

After the recess a motion was made to rescind the vote on Oaks Road. The motion passed after all who spoke against the change had left and with only the property owner remaining the descion on Oaks Road was rescinded.

I reccomend checking orginal sources to protect against misinformation, so view the metting here and decide for yourself.

See New Bern TV 3 Board of Alderman June 23 items 6A and 6B.

This is a perfect example of spot zoning from Residential to Commercial, which only creates a windfall for property owner, while neighboring residental properties lose value and neighborhoods go downhill.

Anyone can see Oaks Road is a fragile community, I ask you to help residents who are working to improve it.

I urged all Citizens in New Bern who care about their neighborhoods and open government, to speak at the New Bern Board of Aldernan meeting July 7 at 6 p.m., during the Petition of Citizens and also there may be a future public hearing on this matter.

You may contact members ofthe New Bern Board of Alderman here.

Mike Duffy, New Bern NC
Where every one comes together

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Commentary, Community, Community issues, Mayor, New Bern

June 25th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

June 25, 2020 Today, the Lenoir County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to relocate a Confederate Monument that has been on display in our community since 1924. The Board took swift action in order to avoid a potentially prolonged and divisive debate. As you have surely seen, these issues can quickly tear at the fabric of a community, and we are unwilling to let that happen. The monument is a part of the history of this Nation and will soon be relocated to the First Battle of Kinston Civil War Battlefield Park, 1400 Harriette Drive. Drive,Kinston.

We feel as a Board we can remain committed to the respectful remembrance of our shared past, while also acknowledging the tragedy in our history. The Board of Commissioners made this decision so that we can continue to dedicate our time, energy and efforts on building a brighter future for Lenoir County and all residents who call it home.

Sincerely, the Lenoir County Board of Commissioners

Linda Rouse Sutton, Chairman

Roland Best, Vice Chairman

June Cummings

J. Mac Daughety

Preston Harris

Craig Hill

Eric Rouse

Michael S. James, County Manager

Joey R. Bryan, Assistant County Manager

Vickie F. King, Clerk to the Board

Lenoir County Courthouse

Post Office Box 3289

130 South Queen Street

Kinston, NC  28502

Telephone:  (252) 559-6450

Fax:             (252) 559-6454

Posted in New Bern

June 24th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen today announced that North Carolina will remain in Safer at Home Phase 2 for three more weeks. Cooper also announced that face coverings must be worn when people are in public places as officials seek to stabilize concerning trends of increasing viral spread.

Cooper and Cohen were joined by Dennis Taylor, President of the North Carolina Nurses Association and Eugene A. Woods, President and CEO of Atrium Health.

“North Carolina is relying on the data and the science to lift restrictions responsibly, and right now our increasing numbers show we need to hit the pause button while we work to stabilize our trends,” said Governor Cooper. “We need to all work together so we can protect our families and neighbors, restore our economy, and get people back to work and our children back to school.”

“I know North Carolinians are strong, resilient and care deeply about our communities. We pride ourselves on helping our neighbors. The best way we can do that now is by taking the simple action of wearing a face covering that covers your nose and mouth. If we each do our part, we can get back to the people and places we love,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen, NCDHHS Secretary.

Growing evidence shows that cloth face coverings, when worn consistently, can decrease the spread of COVID-19, especially among people who are not yet showing symptoms of the virus. Until now, face coverings had been strongly recommended. Under today’s executive order, people must wear face coverings when in public places where physical distancing is not possible.

In addition, certain businesses must have employees and customers wear face coverings, including retail businesses, restaurants, personal care and grooming; employees of child care centers and camps; state government agencies under the Governor’s Cabinet; workers and riders of transportation; and workers in construction/trades, manufacturing, agriculture, meat processing and healthcare and long-term care settings.

“Wearing a face covering is an easy thing to do that can make a huge impact for all of us. A major spike in cases would be catastrophic to the system, and without your cooperation, nurses and our fellow healthcare providers will have a harder time caring for sick patients for weeks and months to come,” said Dennis Taylor, a nurse, and President of the North Carolina Nurses Association.

“As the leader of the state’s largest health system, I am pro-health and also 100 percent pro-business. In fact, the two are inextricably connected and I’m very proud of the way business leaders and health experts are working together to keep our economy strong,” said Eugene A. Woods, President and CEO of Atrium Health. “Medical science says to reduce the spread of COVID-19 masking works, and my sincere hope is that all the people of North Carolina can join forces to make wearing a mask not something we feel we have to do – but something that we want to do to keep each other, our neighbors, our children and our loved ones healthy and safe”

Based on the metrics laid out in April by Governor Cooper and Secretary Cohen, North Carolina is evaluating a combination of the data from the following categories that shows the indicators moving in the wrong direction, causing officials to implement today’s pause in Phase 2.

Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is increasing.

Trajectory of Lab-Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed cases starting to level, but is still increasing.

Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive remains elevated.

Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days

  • North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations are increasing, though we have capacity in our healthcare system.

In addition to these metrics, the state continues building capacity to be able to adequately respond to an increase in virus spread. These areas include:

Laboratory Testing

  • North Carolina is averaging more than 17,000 tests a day for the past week and there are more than 500 sites listed on online plus additional pop-up sites.
  • North Carolina labs and labs around the country are seeing supply shortages for laboratory chemicals needed to process tests.

Tracing Capability

  • There are over 1,500 full-time and part-time staff supporting contact tracing efforts at the local health department level, including the 309 Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative contact tracers. These new hires reflect the diversity of the communities they serve, and 44% are bilingual.

Personal Protective Equipment

  • Our personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies are stable.

Businesses can download templates for signs on face coverings here. Downloadable social media graphics are also available for use.

Read Executive Order No. 147 that implements today’s announcement.

Read Frequently Asked Questions about today’s executive Order and mandatory face coverings.

Read NCDHHS guidance on face coverings.

View the slide presentation from today’s briefing.

By Ford Porter, NC Governor Roy Cooper’s Office

Posted in Craven County, Health, New Bern, State news, State politics

June 20th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Craven County added 19 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 between Thursday and Friday afternoon, and one additional death.

The death, the sixth in Craven County due to the disease, was of a resident who died from complications related to COVID-19 on June 19, 2020.  The individual had several underlying health conditions. The death was reported to the Craven County Health Department on June 19, 2020. To protect the family’s privacy, no further information about the individual will be released.

The new cases bring Craven County’s total to 302 confirmed as of 4 p.m. on June 19, 2020 Friday.

Craven County has been seeing about seven new cases per day on average since May 8, at least partly coincidentally at the same time Phase 1 started relaxing rules to prevent the uncontrolled spread of the disease.

Of the newest cases, 12 of those are due to direct contact with a previously confirmed positive case.

Out of the 302 confirmed positive cases,Of the 302 cases, eight have been related to out of state travel, 46 are from community transmission, 244 are a direct contact with a previously confirmed positive case, and four are unknown at this time.

In this county, 192 of those individuals who were sickened have recovered, are doing well, and are out of isolation. The recovered cases completed the necessary isolation requirement and have been free of COVID-19 symptoms for at least 72 hours.

Five of the active COVID-19 cases are currently hospitalized.

 

Total Confirmed Cases Craven County

Active Cases

Craven County

Recovered 

Craven County

Deaths

Craven County

Currently Hospitalized 

Craven County

302

104

192

6

5

 

In the eight-county Eastern North Carolina region in and around Craven County, 57  new cases were reported over the past day ending Friday, with Pitt and Craven commanding the largest increases, and the rest spread among most of the rest of the counties.

Posted in Craven County, Health, New Bern

June 18th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

In December 2012, An officer from City of New Bern, NC Police Department pulled a gun out on me, I was 13 years old, walking to the post office to mail a Christmas present, if I was Black I would probably be dead.

2012 was the year that New Bern Chief of Police Toussaint E. Summers Jr assumed his position as Chief of Police.

Over the past 8 years it has become increasingly evident that under Mr. Summers Leadership that The New Bern Police Department has operated in a culture that is at best disorganized, and at worst, a calculated effort of community intimidation.

In 2015 Mr. Summers along with a Captain and Two Lieutenants rushed to a local media outlet in an attempt to intimidate a Journalist for reporting in a way that Mr. Summers did not like. (PS. This particular situation has to do with reports of human trafficking.)

At a peaceful protest just last week in New Bern, The New Bern Police Department deployed a multitude of undercover police, something that many, including myself, view to be a complete and absolute waste of taxpayer money.

Now this week Officer Nick Rhodes with The New Bern Police Department made a public post stating that the shooting of #RayshardBrooks was justified, even after The Atlanta Police Department itself found that action to be so despicable that the officer that shot Rayshard Brooks was fired and has been charged with murder.

Furthermore The Chief, Members of The Governing Board, and The City manager have been notified of this statement by Officer Nick Rhodes and have yet to make a statement or take appropriate action.

In fact The City of New Bern leadership itself has taken no adequate action, and made no adequate statement to address the obvious racial inequities across North Carolina and The United States that have led to our current Civil Rights Movement.

What I have stated above are just a small snippet of the culture of intimidation and fear perpetuated by The New Bern Police Department, and so just like in the 1990s it would behoove the citizens of New Bern to possibly have an SBI investigation opened into The New Bern Police department to evaluate their practices and culture.

Nick Rhodes should resign by the end of the day.

I would also like to See Dana Outlaw, Mayor of New Bern call for a special session of The Board of Alderman, for the public to come and comment on their experiences with The New Bern Police Department.

Finally it is clear that Chief Summers does not hold the trust of the community and if he cannot take appropriate action to handle this moment, and allow for an investigation into his department, in a transparent manner, should resign himself. #NoJusticeNoPeace
City of New Bern, NC Government

Braedon Oliver, used with permission

Note: New Bern Post has reached out to Officer Rhodes, Chief Summers, City Manager Mark Stephens, and Mayor Dana Outlaw for their comments about the post by Officer Rhodes.

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Civil Rights, Community, Mayor, New Bern, Police Department, Public safety

June 18th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

After working diligently with community leaders from the Duffy field area for two years, receiving 8 million dollars in grant money from FEMA, and designing/quoting the project with an architect in totality, members of the New Bern Board of Aldermen want to re-locate the Stanley White Recreation Center.

This may seem small if you are outside the community, but believe me when I tell you just how much this land means to the people who have grown up in the facility. I am seriously shocked at the city’s adamant attempts to relocate this major asset seeing as every opinion that they have carefully considered has echoed the need to re-build on the existing site.

I want to address a few frequently asked questions, in my opinion —

the new land is built outside of the flood zone, so it won’t flood anymore!

The land at Henderson Park and the streets around it are poorly maintained. That’s why Duffyfield flooded so terribly in 2018. With an eight million dollar investment, the city is able to build Stanley White up to code (for only ~$400k) AND integrate the new building with the retention ponds, ditch renovations, and other proactive responses to basic land maintenance. If this is done correctly, the risk of flooding should be minimized greatly.

But the flood insurance is so high, $100k a year? Just to maintain a community center?

Flood insurance in downtown New Bern will ALWAYS ALWAYS be high. From now until forever. Duffy field still exists, and if this project is moved even 100 feet outside of the current building zone, I fear that the neighborhood will never see the investment that it so deserves. While the population has dwindled due to storm damage, we cannot let it slip through the cracks. This maintenance is long overdue and the money was given because there is a serious need.

If they build the building back where it was, it can’t be used as a shelter anymore. Where will the people stay?

This issue is totally independent of Stanley White Rec Center. City of New Bern should be building a shelter that can house thousands of people or multiple community buildings that are more centrally located. Yes, they will be able to find funding for this. Yes, there are plenty of undeveloped buildings that would be available to accommodate this. No, it is not the burden of the community in Duffyfield to hold. If they put the center out on Gaston Blvd. they will totally neglect the issues that remain in the community and it will flood horribly again and the neighborhood will fall to disrepair and the city will clear the land and it will suddenly be a bougie park or a shopping center or some other form of gentrification that does not serve the community that it surrounds. It may seem like a proactive decision, but it totally ignores the complexities of the land and the neglect that it has faced over the years.

The land will always be a park! They can’t build a road through it.

The fact that they felt compelled to re-state that a road could not be built through it proves their intentions in “finding” this new land to begin with. If they’re just going to build a park on the land, why can’t they rebuild Stanley White? Why are they so quick to use the 8 million elsewhere? Why do we have to kill two birds with one stone when it comes to investing in low-income neighborhoods? It’s a shame. Especially after dragging the community along for the last two years.

Curious to know what everyone else thinks and even more interested in how much money has been granted to the city using the statistics of low-income neighborhoods, and how much of that money was actually seen by the people it was supposed to serve. I have SO MUCH TO SAY about housing in New Bern — but let’s talk about this for right now.

— Kelly Rogers, used with permission

Posted in Civil Rights, Commentary, Community, Community issues, Parks and Recreation

June 17th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

When I cut on the TV I see an illusionary model of black people that this is Black people. I stepped off the porch as a young black male and tried to reenact the sequel.

In 1896 Plessy vs. Ferguson proved that we are not equal. How is it that every portrayal of a black man is nefarious, criminal, evil.

In schools we are taught that Black People didn’t contribute to America. We are falsely taught about slavery, Dr. King, only to prove we are inferior.

My worse fear is to be pulled over because I fit the criteria. Why is it that a black man jogging can only stimulate hysteria.

When will we have laws that increase our chances of owning a business. When will I be able to walk in a bank without being labeled a menace.

When we mention racism in 2020 everyone’s face should grimace. Almost 400 years of a learned hate that egregiously is far from finished.

We spend more in mass incarceration, then we do in education. The cage bird sings of his trials and tribulations.

Our hurt, our pain, what we have undergone for so long we have stood and remained patient. The traumatic storms of our past has now precipitated the uproar in this nation!

We have undergone every type of hate that your mind can perceive. There is a 1 out of 3 chance we’ll go to prison from the time we were conceived.

For years if you wonder what we have gone through think of all the black men just in your own family that has hung from trees. Even back then, back then, they were crying: I CAN’T BREATHE!

Kevin Slade, used with permission

Posted in Civil Rights, Community, New Bern

June 17th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

The city of New Bern has about $8 million at its disposal to spend on the Stanley White Recreation Center, which has sat unused and moldering while awaiting decisions on its fate since it was flooded during Hurricane Florence in September 2018.

Some city leaders say the existing facility is too vulnerable to flooding. Rebuilding it would be putting good money after bad. In fact, the city had just put $1 million into the facility just before Hurricane Florence.

To move things forward, the city spent about $440,000 to purchase several lots between Broad Street, Gaston Boulevard, Third Avenue, and Elm Street.

Mayor Dana Outlaw and Alderman Jeff Odham have led this effort, hoping to build a new recreation center facing Broad Street, or at least with better access off Broad Street, that would be out of the flood plain and have easier access to users from outside the Duffyfield Community.

That’s a sticking point for black residents in New Bern who see Stanley White as more than a gymnasium. It is a community center for the predominately black neighborhoods that surround it.

Proponents of moving the building (and making it much larger and versatile) say it is virtually impossible to rebuild it in place, saying it will cost the city $700,000 a year in flood insurance, that the facility won’t be available as an evacuation center, and that because it would have to be built on stilts (pilings, actually), there would have to be a long stairway to the entrance and an even longer handicap ramp.

That’s what happens when you paint yourself into a verbal corner, then build arguments to support it while avoiding any possible options.

I have another idea.

Putting a rebuilt center on pilings has a lot of disadvantages, but it has one advantage in supporting Outlaw/Odham’s plan: because the pilings are part of the structure, it will remain subject to flooding.

They say it would be expensive to use earth to raise the foundation, adding that including the parking lot in the raised foundation would be cost-prohibitive.

But raising the foundation with earth does something else: because it is not part of the structure but actually raises the building’s elevation, it puts the facility outside the flood zone and would negate the need for flood insurance.

Including the parking lot in the raised elevation (something much easier to do because it is just a parking lot and not a building) would put the entrance at ground level, negating the need for long steps and a handicap ramp.

Rainwater runoff from this raised elevation can drain into a retention pond created within the boundary of Henderson Park. This retention pond can be designed and landscaped to become an amenity, with a walking trail around it along with benches, chess tables, decorative lighting, etc.

The remainder of Henderson Park would be shifted from two soggy ball fields, to a leisure area of covered and uncovered picnic areas with grills, benches, grassy fields, restrooms, and a concession stand.

The acreage recently acquired by the city facing Broad Street can become an active recreation area, such as an outdoor basketball arena, parking, and a leased restaurant facility.

The entire campus can be well suited for seasonal and annual events and festivals.

Let me know what you think, and if you have other ideas.

 

 

Posted in Community, Community issues, Hurricane, New Bern, Parks and Recreation

June 7th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Several hundred people marched from Five Points (the center of New Bern’s black community) to Union Point Park, near where the city was founded in 1710, in a continuing and so far peaceful demonstration against racism in the United States.

Like others around the world, the demonstration in New Bern was in response to the slaying of George Floyd by Minneapolis, MN, police on May 25. If you don’t know who George Floyd is by now, you seriously need to get out more often. And if you don’t think racism is a problem in the United States, then you probably are one.

Another demonstration the week prior started at Five Points and ended in front of City Hall in Downtown New Bern.

Both protests drew hundreds of protesters, but the Sunday, June 7 protest appeared to be double in size or more.

Though the event was organized by both blacks and non-blacks, blacks led the protest Sunday, while most of the protesters were not black.

In a way, it represented the movement across the nation, where whites are speaking out against the systemic and societal racism that has plagued the nation since 150 years before it declared independence.

Important to note: All protests in the United States over the George Floyd slaying have been peaceful, unless provoked by law enforcement or by President Trump himself. Riots and looting have also occurred, and while they may be due to anger welled up over lifetimes because of (or in some cases in defense of) racism, they have nothing to do with the protests that have taken place.

Here is a New Bern Post video of the June 7 protest at Union Point:


 

And here are some pictures (Credit: Mark Foster):

 

Posted in New Bern

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