Category: New Bern

June 12th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin
Habitat organizations across the country are mobilizing to influence policy and system changes at the federal, state and local levels

Nearly 19 million households across the United States are spending at least half of their income on a place to live, often forgoing basic necessities such as food and health care to make ends meet.

In Craven County, 33% or 13,370 households, are cost-burdened and having difficulty meeting their monthly mortgage or rental payments, according to the 2017 statistics reported by the NC Housing Coalition.

A family needs to earn $33,120 per year in order to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment at $828 per month, while the average renter can only afford a rent of $683 per month. The stability that housing should bring continues to remain out of reach for many people.

On Wednesday, Habitat for Humanity of Craven County joined Habitat organizations across the country to launch a new national advocacy campaign aimed at improving home affordability for 10 million people in the U.S. over the next five years.

Marking significant growth in Habitat’s commitment to ensuring that everyone has a safe and decent place to call home, the Cost of Home campaign seeks to identify and improve policies and systems through coordinated advocacy efforts at the local, state and federal levels.

Cost of Home focuses on improving housing affordability across the housing continuum in four specific policy areas: increasing supply and preservation of affordable homes, equitably increasing access to credit, optimizing land use for affordable homes, and ensuring access to and development of communities of opportunity.

Habitat for Humanity of Craven County already has taken several steps toward these goals. In April, Executive Director Mike Williams and Homeowner Services Coordinator Betsy McDonald spent two days in Raleigh with area State representatives to advocate for policies and funding to support affordable housing in eastern North Carolina. Mike Williams also serves as the chair of a sub-committee on the County’s long-term recovery alliance for housing options.

“The impact of hurricane Florence has made affordable housing a major shelter issue in all of eastern North Carolina,” said Mike Williams, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Craven County. “It will take creative and intentional housing legislation and policies, on local and state levels, to solve this issue.”

More details about Habitat’s Cost of Home policy platform and campaign activation are available at habitat.org/costofhome. For more information or to speak to Habitat Craven County about the campaign, please contact Deedra Durocher or Betsy McDonald at 252-633-9599.

Here are some ways you can support the campaign:
  • Post to social media. Use #CostOfHome, #CostOfHomeCraven, and tag @CravenHabitat.
  • Write or call your legislators. Tell them to support policies to improve housing affordability.
  • Tell three friends about the Cost of Home campaign. Send them a link to this story and ask them to help.

Posted in Economy, Economy and Employment, Habitat for Humanity, Housing, New Bern

June 9th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Capture your loved ones’ life stories, voices, and images with Your Story.

Randy Foster, a journalist with more than 30 years of experience, interviews your loved one and literally writes a book about it — and much more.

The Your Story package includes:

  • Comprehensive interviews and research about the individual
  • A coffee-table-format, full color, hard-back book including the biography, significant life-event photos, and a biographical timeline
  • An SD card with audio and video files from interviews, raw research materials, and photos
  • A web page for the biography that includes a photo gallery, audio and video from the interviews, and a public comments section

“People will often tell a journalist stories they won’t tell their own loved ones,” said Foster. “This is a way for people to have a record of the person they love, admire, and respect, that they can keep forever.”

For more information, please complete the form below and click “submit.”

Posted in New Bern

June 2nd, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

The current activities towards Environmental Justice and a Just Florence Recovery will be presented by Naeema Muhammad and Ashley Daniels of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network and the Just Florence Recovery Coalition.

Date: Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.

Place: The Harrison Center, 311 Middle Street, New Bern

Environmental Justice is the effort to promote health and environmental equity, clean industry, safe work places, and fair access to all human and natural resources, especially for low income communities and peoples of color.

The Just Florence Recovery aims to help these communities get the resources now to continue getting help after the hurricane and flooding devastation, but also to build resilience in affected communities for future climate related events.

Ashley Daniels has been an activist with the NC Sierra Club in Wilmington and a founding member of the NC Sierra Club’s Equity, Inclusion and Justice Committee. She is an organizer for the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network and for the Just Florence Recovery.

Naeema Muhammad has been Organizing Co-Director with NCEJN since 2013. She has served as a community organizer working with communities dealing with waste from industrial hog operations and has co-authored publications regarding community based participatory research. She currently serves on the NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Secretary’s Environmental Justice & Equity Advisory Board.

Hosted by the Carolina Nature Coalition, and cosponsored by the Craven County Branch of the NC NAACP and the NC Sierra Club Croatan Group.

All presentations are free and open to the general public. Questions and discussion are always encouraged.

Further Information: carolinanaturecoalition.org or 252-626-5100

Posted in Economy, Environment, FEMA, Hurricane, New Bern

May 3rd, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

New Bern Police Department will be participating in training exercises in downtown New Bern on Saturday morning, May 4.

“We’d like to give residents and businesses a heads up to alleviate concern if/when they see police vehicles, equipment and our Special Response Team (SRT) downtown.

“We do not anticipate any residential, business or traffic impacts from these training exercises… These are training exercises only.”

Posted in New Bern, Public safety

April 23rd, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

A local couple is taking over The UPS Store franchise in New Bern from longtime franchisees Pat Drake and Mack Paul, who are retiring after nearly 25 years in business.

Jim and Middleton Hinckley of New Bern will take over management of the store around the end of April. An Open House will be held at the store at 1822 S. Glenburnie Road, New Bern, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 4, celebrating the new owners as well as the retirement of the previous owners.

The New Bern store has 1,200 square feet of floor space and employs three full-time and two part-time workers, in addition to the owners.

Jim and Middleton Hinckley discovered The UPS Store franchise was available while looking for opportunities to operate their own small business.

“UPS Stores are franchised with local ownership,” Jim Hinckley said. “It’s a great small business model and I think local ownership is a valuable business attribute.”

The UPS Store locations offer domestic and international shipping, packaging, printing, mailbox services, postal services, drop-off shredding, moving supplies and other small-business services.

Jim Middleton has been spending April preparing for the transition, including two weeks at a training store in Florence, S.C., and two weeks at the corporate headquarters in San Diego, Calif.

“Pat and Mack run a great business,” he said. “We have a great staff in the store so we are excited about that and look forward to getting to know them. The UPS Store offers a lot of services so we’ll be looking for opportunities to grow.” 

The Hinckleys have been in New Bern for seven years. They have three children, Brent age 13, Middy age 12, and Marshall age 8.

Jim Hinckley’s background is in car sales, while Middleton Hinckley has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Notre Dame. She worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University before starting a family.

“It’s a unique and wonderful town,” Middleton Hinckley said. “For us, The UPS Store is a great way to further our ties to New Bern and contribute to the community.” 

Pat Drake moved to New Bern in 1994 from Long Island, N.Y., and opened the New Bern Mail Boxes Etc. franchise in September 1994 (Mail Boxes Etc. became The UPS Store starting in 2002).

She met Mack Paul a month later as a customer. He was a journalist working for the Pamlico News. They married in 1997 and Paul started working at the store in October 1997.

Pat Drake and Mack Paul are known for excellent customer service as well as community service. They were recipients of a Community Fabric Award from the Craven Community College Foundation in 2016, are active in the Tryon Civitan Club, and have helped collect food and diapers for Religious Community Services and the Salvation Army.

With that in mind, they were not interested in selling their franchise to someone who would simply run the business.

“We didn’t want to sell to just anyone,” said Mack Paul. “We wanted someone who would continue our tradition of being active in the community—and they fit the bill.”

“Following Pat and Mack is somewhat daunting,” Middleton Hinckley said. “They not only run a great business, but they are also involved in the community in so many positive ways. We bump into their work and contributions in the area everywhere we turn. We plan to continue our own involvement in the New Bern community as well as many of the contributions Pat and Mack are making through The UPS Store.”

“Pat and Mack have earned their tremendous reputation in the community,” Paul Hinckley said. “Every single person I talk to comments on their tremendous customer service and philanthropy. Community involvement is near and dear to my heart, so I’m looking forward to the challenge of maintaining their example.”

Pat Drake and Mack Paul will remain in the area and continue to make repairs to their home, which was damaged by Hurricane Florence.

“Someone asked if I was quitting the Tryon Civitan Club,” Mack Paul said. “Why would I do that?”

“We’re not moving away. This is still home,” Pat Drake said.

Posted in Business, Community, Community Fabric Awards, Economy and Employment, New Bern

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

April 22nd, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

CITY OF NEW BERN

BOARD OF ALDERMEN MEETING

APRIL 23, 2019 – 6 p.m.

CITY HALL COURTROOM

300 POLLOCK STREET

  1. Meeting opened   by   Mayor   Dana  Outlaw. Prayer Coordinated by Alderwoman Harris. Pledge of Allegiance.
  1. Roll

Consent Agenda

  1. Consider Adopting a Resolution Calling for a Public Hearing on the Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2019-20.

At this meeting, the City Manager will present the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2019-2020. Budget workshops are scheduled for April 30th and May 1st beginning at 1 p.m. each day. Following those workshops, a public hearing will be held as required by state statute. The proposed date of the hearing is May 14, 2019.

4. Consider Approving a Proclamation for MumFest 2019.

(Ward 1) Charlene Harvell, Promotions Coordinator with Swiss Bear, has requested a proclamation in honor of MumFest 2019. This represents the festival’s 39th year.

5. Consider Approving a Proclamation for the 2019 National Day of Prayer.

In conjunction with the 68th Annual National Day of Prayer, Tharesa Lee has requested a proclamation observing May 2, 2019 as a day of prayer in New Bern.

6. Approve Minutes.

Minutes from the May 4, 2019 special meeting and May 9, 2019 regular meeting are provided for review and approval.

********************

7. City Manager’s Presentation of Fiscal Year 2019-20 Budget.

Mark Stephens, City Manager, will distribute copies of the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2019-2020 and will share a PowerPoint presentation to spotlight significant areas within the budget.

 

8. Conduct a Public Hearing and Consider Adopting an Ordinance to Annex Property at 846 Highway 55 West.

Othella Clarence Best and Shelia Best petitioned for their property at 846 NC Highway 55 West to be annexed into the city limits, and the Board accepted the petition at its May 9, 2019 meeting. The property is further identified as Tax Parcel ID 8-222-169. After conducting a public hearing on the request, the Board is asked to consider adopting an ordinance to annex the property. A memo from Morgan Potts, City Planner, is attached.

9. Discussion of Duffest 2019.

Duffest, a city-sponsored event, is held annually in May. This year, the Duffyfield Residents Council would like to have the event in June. This will allow the event to coincide with activities planned for a Juneteenth celebration. The Board is asked to consider allowing this change in schedule. Carol Williams, on behalf of the Duffyfield Residents Council, will be in attendance to share information and answer questions the Board may have.

 

10. Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving a Substantial Amendment to the 2018 CDBG Program.

At its March 26, 2019 meeting, the Board adopted a resolution approving a substantial amendment to the FY2018 CDBG program. After that, staff realized the adoption of the amendment was sought too early and should have been delayed until a public hearing was held at the Office of Development Services. That public hearing was conducted on April 9, 2019, and no questions or comments were received. The Board is now asked to again consider adopting the resolution approving the substantial amendment. As a reminder, the amendment authorizes reallocation of funds that will be used to construct up to four units of affordable housing that will be available for rent.

 

11. Consider Adopting a Resolution Indicating Intent to Consider an Ordinance Amending the Election Method from Nonpartisan with Runoff to a Nonpartisan Plurality Method and Calling for a Public Hearing on the Proposed Change.

 As recently directed by the Board, the City Attorney drafted a resolution to change the municipal election method from a nonpartisan election with a runoff to a nonpartisan plurality method. Since North Carolina has a state statute that authorizes municipalities to amend their charters to change the election method from one of the four basic options (all of which are in odd years), the Board can proceed with a charter amendment by following the statute, or by seeking a local bill from the General Assembly. The Board also has the option to call for a special election for the purpose of submitting the ordinance to a vote. Mr. Davis can further explain these options, if desired.

Presuming the Board wants to amend the charter consistent with the statutory authority, a resolution has been prepared to indicate the Board’s intent to consider an ordinance that will amend the charter. The resolution also calls for a public hearing to be held on May 14, 2019. Following that hearing, the Board can consider adopting the amended ordinance at its May 28, 2019 meeting.

12. Consider Adopting a Budget Ordinance Amendment for the FY2018-19 Operating Budget.

This budget ordinance amendment recognizes $17,500 from the Governors Highway Safety Grant to purchase a police patrol vehicle. It also amends the FY2019 budget to advance repayment of the installment purchase debt for the ERP Phase I project.

13. Discussion of Water Resources Capital Item.

The FY2018-19 budget included $60,000 in Water Resources to convert the ammonia system at the water treatment plant from a gas to a liquid system. This figure included $20,000 for materials and $40,000 for installation and transition. Staff has determined they can complete the conversion without utilizing outside assistance, which will save $40,000. It is requested that the Board authorize staff to implement a budget revision to allow for the $40,000 to be spent on the installation of a much-needed generator at the Industrial Park tank. The cost of installing the generator is estimated at $53,000. The additional $13,000 in funds need for the generator can be taken from the amount budgeted for the installation of a generator at the Cove City standpipe.

14. Appointment(s).

  • Carol Williams’ second term on the Planning and Zoning Board has expired, and she is ineligible for reappointment. Alderwoman Harris is requested to make a new appointment to fill this vacancy. The new appointee shall serve a three­ year
  • Rose Williams’ appointment on the New Bern Appearance Commission expired February 8, 2019. She is eligible for reappointment, or a new appointment can be made to allow others an opportunity to serve. Mayor Outlaw is asked to make an appointment to serve a three-year term. The ordinance provides appointees shall be residents of the City’s planning and zoning jurisdiction and shall, when possible, have had special training or experience in a design field such as architecture, landscape design, horticulture, city planning, or a closely­ related
  • Mattie Tatum’s appointment on the New Bern Appearance Commission will expire February 22, 2019. She is eligible for reappointment, or a new appointment can be made to allow others an opportunity to serve. Alderman Bengel is asked to make an appointment to serve a three-year term. The ordinance provides appointees shall be residents of the City’s planning and zoning jurisdiction and shall, when possible, have had special training or experience in a design field such as architecture, landscape design, horticulture, city planning, or a closely-related
  • Anne Schout resigned from her seat as an alternate on the Board of Adjustment effective March 1, 2019. Alderman Kinsey is asked to make an appointment to fill the remainder of Schout’s term, which will expire on November 12, 2021.
  • Mike Markham’s seat on the Friends of the Firemen’s Museum Board will expire on April 22, 2019. Mr. Markham has expressed interest in being reappointed. Alderwoman Harris is requested to reappoint him or to make a new appointment to serve a three-year

15. Attorney’s Report.

16. City Manager’s

17. New

18. Closed

 

Posted in Board of Aldermen, New Bern

April 17th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Join Earth Day celebrations on Saturday, April 20 from 1 – 4 p.m. at the corner of Craven and South Front Streets in the vacant lot next to Mitchell Hardware for fun afternoon of learning, children’s activities, giveaways, and an after party!

The goal is to bring people together for a fun, learning experience about our local ecosystem and discover how we can all become more socially-conscious.

“We want to start the conversation and spread awareness of how we can take steps to “Refuse, Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.'”

The event will kick off with the reading of the Mayoral Proclamation of Earth Day 2019 (officially recognized on April 22).

Meet organizations who are making a difference in the preservation and conservation of our local environment. Your children will have fun with eco-conscious activities hosted by the Boys and Girls Club of the Coastal Plains with materials sponsored by U. S. Cellular.

Continue the celebration with The After Party will be hosted by NCMZ.live and the Brown Pelican held from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Brown Pelican with live music by the Carolina Swamp Dogs and the Neuse River Ramblers.

New Bern Parks and Recreation is partnering with New Bern Now to present New Bern Earth Day 2019.

Educators:

  • Carolina Nature Coalition, 252-626-5100  
  • Coastal Environmental Partnership, 252-633-1564
  • Young Living Essential Oils by Dona Baker, 252-672-5933
  • New Bern Parks and Recreation, 252-639-2901
  • NC Sierra Club – Croatan Group
  • Trent Woods Garden Club, 252-288-4846
  • Veterans Employment Base Camp

You’ll also be given a map highlighting participating Downtown Businesses.

Enjoy giveaways both at the event and at participating businesses.

Participating Downtown Businesses:

  • Carolina Creations – Recycled Art Exhibit, 317-A Pollock St., 252-533-4369
  • Hanna House Bed & Breakfast – Beekeeping, Tesla Charging Station, and Water Reuse System Exhibits, 218 Pollock St., 252-635-3209
  • Living Well Down East – Healthy Living and Giveaways, 309 Middle St., 252-637-0011

Special thank you:

  • Volunteer Members of the Earth Day Planning Committee and Day of Volunteers.
  • Sponsors: Boys & Girls Club New Bern, U.S. Cellular, AlphaGraphics of New Bern, Harris Teeter, NCMZ.live, The Brown Pelican, Century 21 Zaytoun-Raines, Carolina Creations, New Bern Woman’s Club, Salon #9, The Sanctuary Gallery, and the aforementioned Exhibitors and Participating Businesses.

Posted in Community, Community issues, Entertainment, Environment, New Bern

April 8th, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

Performers from local improv group Walk-In Bathtub will bring Neil Simon’s “London Suite” to the New Bern Civic Theatre stage April 12-13.

Four distinct stories come to life within the walls of a single hotel suite in this unique tale by one of America’s premier comic playwrights. The four stories include Settling Accounts, Going Home, Diana and Sidney and finally, The Man on the Floor. While each story explores unique relationship challenges and a variety of character flaws, the single hotel suite and Simon’s masterful style of dry humor are the only common thread in a series of mishaps and unforgettable characters.

“London Suite” offers the first scripted production by Walk-In Bathtub. The group has performed three improv shows at New Bern Civic Theatre and has several others scheduled throughout the year, including a show set for May 4.

“It has been so exciting to see the crowds continue to grow and come back for our shows at the New Bern Civic Theatre,” said George Oliver, founding member of Walk-In Bathtub and cast member of “London Suite.” “We always want to give our audiences something new to come back for. Several members of the group are also regular actors in community theater productions and it just seemed like a great fit for us to try a scripted comedy. We’re not afraid to make fools of ourselves and Neil Simon’s writing certainly lends itself to our style of humor.”

In Settling Accounts, the suite is occupied by an inebriated Welsh writer who is holding his long-time business manager at gunpoint. The villain concocts increasingly farfetched explanations of what he was doing at Heathrow with the cash. Going Home finds a daughter trying to convince her mother to go on a date with a rich Scotsman. The second act opens on a bittersweet note with Diana and Sidney, another chapter in the lives of two characters from California Suite. Diana, the Oscar-winning actress, and Sidney, her bisexual husband, are now divorced and are seeing each other for the first time in years. The Man on the Floor introduces an arguing married couple from New York who have lost their tickets to Wimbledon and are about to lose their suite to Kevin Costner. 

Running for a single weekend, the

Posted in Entertainment, New Bern, New Bern Civic Theatre

March 22nd, 2019 by newbernpostadmin

The city needs input from the local community and requests assistance from city residents in identifying the community’s resources and unmet needs that exist in the city.

The City of New Bern is preparing its FY 2019-23 Five Year Consolidated Plan and FY 2019 Annual Action plan. These plans are required by HUD so the City can receive its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. The City has retained a planning consulting firm, Urban Design Ventures, LLC, to assist in the preparation of these planning documents.

You can find a resident survey asking for the needs within the city and ideas on what residents would like to see CDBG funds budgeted for. To complete the survey, click here.  If you’d like to print out and submit a paper copy, click here.

You can drop off your completed form at Development Services, 303 First St., anytime between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The city will accept surveys until Friday, April 26, 2019. If you have any questions, please contact D’Aja Fulmore, Community Development Coordinator for the City of New Bern, at 252-639-7586 or send an email.

Posted in Board of Aldermen, Community issues, New Bern

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