Category: New Bern

February 19th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Election filings for offices in Craven County or including Craven County, so far. The filing period began Feb. 12 and ends Feb. 28. The primaries will be held May 8. Listed by office and then alphabetically.

* Incumbents

Craven County Board of Commissioners District 1

Tom Mark, Republican*

Jeff O’Neill, Democrat

Craven County Board of Commissioners District 2

Jason Jones, Democrat*

Craven County Board of Commissioners District 3

Johnnie Sampson, Jr. Democrat*

Craven County Board of Commissioners District 4 

(Incumbent Scott Dacey not running for this office)

Billy Joiner, Republican

E.T. Mitchell, Republican

Craven County Board of Commissioners District 5

Rufus Carter, Jr. Democrat

Theron McCabe, Democrat*

Craven County Board of Commissioners District 6

George Liner, Republican*

Craven County Board of Commissioners District 7

(Incumbent Steve Tyson not running)

Denny Bucher, Republican

Kelli Muse, Democrat

Craven County Board of Education District 2

H.R. Orr

Craven County Board of Education District 6

Kimberly Rice Smith*

Craven County Sheriff

John Gillyard, Democrat

Chip Hughes, Republican

Jerry Monette, Democrat*

Craven County Clerk of Superior Court

Terri Sharp, Democrat*

District Attorney District 4

Scott Thomas, Democrat*

N.C. State Senate District 2

Ginger Garner, Democrat

Tim Harris, Libertarian

Norman Sanderson, Republican*

N.C. House of Representatives District 3

Charles Dudley, Democrat

T. Lee Horne, III, Libertarian

Eric Queen, Republican

Michael Speciale, Republican*

N.C. House of Representatives District 79

Bryson Jones, Democrat

Keith Kidwell, Republican

Jerry Langley, Democrat

U.S. House of Representatives District 3

Scott Dacey, Republican

Walter Jones*

Phil Law, Republican

Posted in New Bern

February 19th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

The American Red Cross is holding several blood drives in this area in response to an urgent need for blood donations.

Red Cross Blood Drives are being held Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at different locations in the New Bern area. Go here to find a day and location that is convenient for you.

According to a news release, CarolinaEast Medical Center is over 600 units short of blood due to disasters, shootings, etc.

Register on line for a faster donation time and shorter wait time.

Posted in New Bern

February 17th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Winnie Smith and Lindsay Sims, daughters of the late Greg Smith, have taken over the running of Mitchell Hardware. Greg Smith died suddenly on the morning of Jan. 29 while working at his store. A story by the ever-excellent Bill Hand at the Sun Journal here.


Shoe Carnival, a discount shoe store at Rivertowne Square (you know, the one with Books A Million on one end and Wal-Mart Supercenter on the other), is closing. A source with the company said the New Bern store was under-performing, and faced with the prospect of competition from Rack Room and Academy Sports at the New Bern Marketplace shopping center, the company threw in the towel on its New Bern location. Shoe Carnival fans can still find stores in Greenville and Jacksonville.


Rivertowne Square is in the process of facade renovation work on its east end.


3rd Rock Brewing’s plans for a tap room off Pollock Street have been put on hold while the owner looks for a different, perhaps larger location. Negotiations continue.


Business snapshots:

On South Front Street, near Farmers Market

At New Bern Mall

Posted in New Bern, New Bern business and commerce

February 17th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Out (for now): Hotel and parking structure at Craven and Pollock


Policy wonks from the UNC School of Government are urging the City of New Bern to turn its attention from a possible parking structure and hotel across from City Hall, and return its attention to a vacant lot at the corner of Craven and South Front streets.

UNC SoG special projects managers Marcia Perritt and Omar Kashef appeared before the Board of Aldermen on Tuesday to advise on behalf of the pivot.

The Pollock and Craven parking structure/hotel SoG had been advocating has been put on hold while Craven County officials decide whether they want to participate. Participation for the county is no small matter. It includes moving the county tax office, donating the property on which the tax office resides to the project, and pooling its tax revenues from the ensuing project until the city pays off the seven-figure costs to build the parking deck.

Editor note: My notes are incomplete, and the PDF the city originally posted online for the project is offline at the moment. Link

The vacant lot at the corner of Craven and South Front streets was acquired by the city as two separate purchases totaling $209,000 in 2000 and 2001. Tax value of the property is now listed at $567,630.

In the mid-2000s, Talbots looked at the property to build a department store, but opposition to the plan put a stop to that. Since then, the lot has been home to grass and one stately tree, with occasional events being held there.

SoG envisions a hotel being built on the property, assuming that some agreement could be made with the city to lease nearby public parking spaces for hotel guests.

SoG apparently is unaware that nearby municipal parking lots are part of a proposed parking master plan tied in with enforced two-hour parking streetside and a push to get visitors and downtown workers to use the municipal parking lots.

Kashef said the goal of SoG’s efforts is to keep people downtown after 5 p.m. by finding projects that serve the public interest and that are financially feasible.

Other areas needing attention, he said, are undeveloped and under-developed parcels and buildings, insufficient parking, and development of second-story uses such as residential and office space. The

Alderman Sabrina Bengel pointed out that downtown’s second-floor spaces are being developed “one right after another. I don’t see that holding us back as much as development of empty lots, vacant buildings and underutilized buildings.”

Bengel also urged SoG to make sure there is public participation in the process.

Alderman Johnnie Ray Kinsey reminded that the Five Points area continues to lack any attention from the city in terms of economic development.

“It would be good to see the city grow together,” he said.


Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Craven County Board of Commissioners, Mayor, New Bern, New Bern business and commerce

February 17th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

The historic Ghent Neighborhood in New Bern is hosting its fourth annual Mardi Gras Parade and Festival on Saturday, March 3, from noon to 5 p.m.

The parade will be led again this year by the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band and begins at 2 p.m, with festivities and parade line-up beginning at noon on the 1400 block of Spencer Avenue.

This year’s parade and festivities will feature the Craven Brass Quintet, the Antique Car Club, and Jonkonnu. Musicians include Alisa Mike, Middle Street Jazz, and Junkroad Crossing, and will be joined by vendors including Brewery 99, The Tiny Tornado food truck, and more.

After the parade, the festival will continue until 5 p.m. on Spencer Avenue on the 1500 and 1600 blocks between Third and Fifth Streets, and will feature food, live music, performers, and vendors.

All ages are welcome and encouraged to dress in costume. For more information and to register for the parade visit, or call Pam at 252-637-5281.

Posted in Events, New Bern

February 15th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Faced with a 20-day suspension of his ABC licenses, James Monette, owner of Monette’s Grocery on Old Cherry Point Road, has agreed to pay a $2,000 penalty to keep that suspension from happening.

Monette, brother of Craven County Sheriff Jerry Monette, knowingly possessed gambling equipment at his convenience store around Aug. 31, 2017, according to state ABC officials.

The gambling equipment was described in comments by a member of the Monette family as a “quarter pusher” that has been in the store for a long time.

Monette’s Grocery, at 4001 Old Cherry Point Road at the corner of East Thurman Road, holds licenses issued in 2003 to sell malt beverages on site, and fortified and unfortified wine off site. Monette has operated a convenience store at that location since it was built in 1972, according to Craven County tax records.

The state ABC Commission accepted Monette’s offer to pay the penalty in lieu of the suspension during its meeting on Tuesday.

The suspension would have started March 16 and lasted 20 days. ABC license holders who face suspensions commonly pay fines for any transgressions, since the fines are often less expensive than the lost revenue from suspended beer and wine licenses.

Editor’s note: Stephanie K. McIntyre, who gave an invalid email address, emailed this feedback: The story about Monette Grocery is in accurate. First of all the brother that owns that store is not the Sheriff’s twin brother Gary. I’m willing to bet you got your information from either Matt Knight or Chip Hughes. Monette’s Grocery have not paid the fine, they have received a letter. So, yes this is fake news. Because so far the primary facts are inaccurate.

My response: I have corrected the story to indicate that he is the brother, not the twin brother. The state ABC Commission approved Monette’s offer to pay the fine in lieu of suspension, which is accurately reported in the story. Regarding what led me to the information, it was a colleague at another newspaper in North Carolina pointing out to me that the ABC Commission was considering whether to approve the Bridgeton ABC store. While looking through the agenda, I spotted the agenda item about Monette’s. McIntyre’s definition of “fake” is far broader than mine. I suggest that her assertions and allegations are fake, whereas my article contained a small error that I have corrected. / Randy Foster/New Bern Post

Posted in New Bern business and commerce Tagged with:

February 14th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

The ABC store in James City is slated for closure just before its lease expires in June 2019, and a new store will be built in Bridgeton to open in May 2019.

The plan received approval from the state ABC Commission on Tuesday.

Google Maps satellite view of the planned ABC store in Bridgeton.

The Craven County ABC Board requested approval from the state ABC Commission to relocate its James City store to a new location in Bridgeton just off U.S. 17 at C and Pine streets.

In his report to the state commission, Craven ABC General Manager Paul Brown said the James City store’s lease expires in June 2019 and will close upon opening of the new store in Bridgeton.

Brown said the James City store would be affected by future construction on U.S. 70.

Brown said the Bridgeton store would be on a busy highway and tap into an additional market (east of the Neuse River) in that area.

Brown estimates sales at the Bridgeton store to be $2.4 million the first year of operation, compared to $2.1 million at the James City store last year.

That construction would turn that stretch of U.S. 70 from a surface street into a controlled access expressway, or freeway.

Craven County has five ABC stores. The Bridgeton store would be built from scratch.

Craven ABC entered into a purchase agreement for the 0.6-acre lot for a price of $269,900.

The closest ABC store to the Bridgeton store would be on South Front Street in downtown New Bern. Another ABC store is located near Harris Teeter on South Glenburnie Road.

Floorplan of the planned ABC store in Bridgeton.

The Bridgeton store would be 4,800 square feet for retail space and 1,000 square feet for office and warehouse. Cost of construction is estimated at $1.25 million, funded through a bank loan with First Citizens Bank.

Posted in New Bern, New Bern business and commerce

February 10th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

The North Carolina State Board of Education approved the request submitted by the Craven County Board of Education for Roger Bell Elementary and Oaks Road Elementary, two schools identified as persistently low performing over the previous several years, to transition to the Restart Model beginning with the 2018-2019 school year.This model authorizes the Craven County Board of Education to operate both schools with significant flexibility. This designation does not however make them charter schools. Roger Bell Elementary and Oaks Road Elementary will continue to be public elementary schools under the responsibility of the Craven County Schools Board of Education.We are excited about this additional flexibility and encourage school staff, parents, students, and the community, to be a part of the redesign process to help meet the individualized needs of the students for which each school serves.The ultimate goal is to improve student achievement at Roger Bell Elementary and Oaks Road Elementary while providing the best learning resources and tools, the Restart Model will assist with the following:

  • Improve student learning;
  • Increase learning opportunities for all students, with special emphasis on expanded learning experiences for students who are identified as at risk of academic failure or academically gifted;
  • Encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods;
  • Create new professional opportunities for teachers, including the opportunities to be responsible for the learning program at the school site;
  • Provide parents and students with expanded choices in the types of educational opportunities that are available within the public-school system; and
  • Throughout the implementation of the Restart Model, the Craven County Board of Education together with school families and staff, will work diligently to ensure our students have the best educational opportunities available.

Join them on Monday, Feb. 12, to learn more about the future learning possibilities for the students of Oaks Road Elementary School.  There are two sessions available-10 a.m. and 6 p.m., the morning session will be held at Oaks Road Elementary School and the evening session will be held at Two River Church located at 3321 Neuse Blvd, New Bern, NC 28560.

Posted in New Bern

February 9th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Gregory Fitzgerald Smith

The Craven Community College (Craven CC) Foundation has established a new scholarship endowment in memory of Gregory Fitzgerald Smith, a well-known community leader, Craven CC Foundation board member and owner of Mitchell Hardware who passed away suddenly on Jan. 29.

Approved by the Foundation’s executive leadership committee Thursday, Feb. 8, the Gregory Fitzgerald Smith Scholarship Endowment acknowledges the positive and substantial impact Smith had on the students at Craven CC, as well as his service as a board member and chair of the foundation’s current Community Campaign.

Gregory Fitzgerald Smith

“Greg was always one to find ways to make things better and we wanted to honor that sentiment in a way that is appropriate and respectful,” said Lloyd Griffith, Craven CC Foundation president. “With help from this endowment, we are excited about the potential lives that will be touched by Greg’s influence.”

The new scholarship endowment will provide financial assistance for part-time students who reside in Craven County. Craven CC has numerous scholarships in place for full-time students, but the Gregory Fitzgerald Smith Scholarship Endowment is the first in school history to provide assistance exclusively for part-time students.

“There is a recognized need for those students who are seeking that next step up but can only do it on a part-time basis … and need to do it on a part-time basis,” added Griffith. “Rather than simply adding a scholarship in Greg’s name, we felt like this was a spot in the community we could make a real difference.”

Several donations made to Craven CC in Smith’s name have already been earmarked for the scholarship endowment.

“Greg’s compassion for our students is being realized through this endowment,” said Craven CC President Dr. Ray Staats. “Greg put his heart into everything he touched and we are humbled that members of our community chose to honor Greg’s legacy with an endowment that will touch the lives of students for many years to come.”

At the time of Smith’s death, he was serving as a Craven CC board member and was chair of the Craven CC Foundation’s Community Campaign. Smith, as the owner of Mitchell Hardware, was also a recipient of the 2014 Community Fabric Award (CFA) for Business Leadership, which he received during the Craven CC Foundation’s annual CFA ceremony and fundraising luncheon.

“I was delighted when Greg, as one of the strong community leaders, agreed to serve on the Foundation board,” said Griffith. “Like everything else he did, when he joined, he gave it his complete dedication to make it better. After a year, we asked him to chair the community campaign and he enthusiastically said ‘yes.’ He saw the impact that the college was making on the lives of so many people and it seemed fitting to the Foundation board to continue his legacy by investing in the students with opportunities to make their lives and consequently this community better.”

Efforts to recognize Smith’s community leadership are being discussed by other community organizations as well, including the interagency committee consisting of representatives from Craven CC, Swiss Bear, Craven County Government, City of New Bern, the New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce, Craven County Tourism Development Authority, Tryon Palace and others.

“There is a desire among all of us to do something downtown to memorialize Greg,” said Lynne Harakal, executive director of Swiss Bear. “We are taking our time and brainstorming ideas to think about what this is going to be. There will definitely be opportunities in the near future for people to participate in this effort and express an appreciation for his life.”

For more information about the Craven CC Foundation or the Gregory Fitzgerald Smith Scholarship Endowment, call 252-638-7351 or visit

Posted in Community, Craven Community College, New Bern Tagged with:

February 5th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

Sarah Foster before she started using Herbalife products in June 2016, left, and in October 2017.

Sarah Foster of New Bern says:

Update: Sarah has lost more than 80 pounds now.
I was hooked on ice cream and junk food. I thought I was going to be fat forever and I hated it. Then I started substituting healthier options for the junk and the weight came off so much quicker than I put it on.
I have lost 70 pounds and counting and I feel great.  The shakes are a perfect substitute for ice cream for me. Whenever I have a shake I feel like I am having a treat.
I notice people make eye contact with me now and they are more likely to engage in conversations with me.
I don’t know which changed: people’s perception of me, or my self perception. Either way, it changed my life.

Click here or the link below for information about Herbalife products, or fill out the form below for more information.


Posted in New Bern Tagged with:

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