December 19th, 2018 by newbernpostadmin

When power is restored, reduce your consumption and save on reheating costs by adjusting your thermostat two degrees above the current temperature inside your home.

Once your thermostat reaches that temperature, continue increasing it by two degree increments until you reach your desired setting.

This will keep the heat strips from coming on. For example, if your thermostat says 62 degrees when the power comes back on, increase it to 64 degrees. When the temperature inside your home reaches 64 degrees, increase the thermostat to 66 degrees … and so on until you get back to your desired setting.

Posted in Duke Energy, New Bern, Utilities, Utilities Tagged with: ,

December 24th, 2017 by newbernpostadmin

A little late getting this out; I was a couple of days early last week, so it all balances out.

Canterbury Road Christmas balls.

We made it out to Canterbury Road in Trent Woods Christmas Eve evening to catch a view of the Canterbury Balls — probably the best neighborhood-wide Christmas display in New Bern.


Publix was handing out boxes and boxes of fresh baked goods to last-minute shoppers on Christmas Eve.

On our way back home, we stopped at Publix to satisfy a sweet tooth craving. By about 6:15 p.m., with about 45 minutes before closing for Christmas, Publix staff was handing out surplus bakery items, which would have otherwise been discarded. Our purchase of a frozen chocolate pie, two pints of ice cream, and two pieces of candy, came to $16 and some change.

The rest, pictured at left, including the chantilly cake, came at no extra charge.

Merry Christmas to everyone who worked on Sunday, Christmas Eve, and who are working Christmas Eve.

Posted in New Bern, New Bern business and commerce Tagged with:

December 21st, 2017 by newbernpostadmin
3rd Rock Brewing Company has something planned for the back side of this Pollock Street location in New Bern. Google Street View image


Jay Mazzone, owner of 3rd Rock Brewing Company in Trenton, Jones County, said his new venture in downtown New Bern will be a 30-tap tap room offering weekend live entertainment. It will be called the Rock Room.

He expects it to open in February, and it will seat 50 to 100 people with entertainment offerings rotating between live comedy, dueling pianos, local performers and a headline performer.

The address is 117B Pollock St., behind Carolina Creations. It will include a patio area that will be constructed.


Mazzone plans to open another tap room in Tampa, Fla., and a third tap room at a location to be announced.

This is a new thing for 3rd Rock Brewing, said Mazzone, a former Army pilot who lives in New Bern. The brewery has been focused on brewing and distributing its own lines of beer, which is sold at locations from New Jersey to Florida.

The Rock Room will preserve the 19th century flavor of the building, he said. With regularly scheduled events, the Rock Room will provide a consistent venue for live entertainment in Downtown New Bern.

Posted in New Bern, New Bern business and commerce Tagged with:

December 20th, 2017 by newbernpostadmin
3rd Rock Brewing Company has something planned for back side of this Pollock Street location in New Bern. Google Street View image

Recent business improvements reviewed by City Hall include:

Site plan review of 3rd Rock Brewing Company located at 317 B Pollock St. Behind Carolina Creations, across the street from Christ Church. 3rd Rock Brewing Company is located in Trenton in Jones County. Documents do no indicate the nature of the business planned for Pollock Street. A source says 3rd Rock Brewing Company has a taproom kind of situation going on in the back of the building that opens to a rear patio. Update

Site plan review of Italian Restaurant at 3946 Dr. MLK Jr Boulevard. A new, unnamed restaurant near New Bern High School.

Site plan review of Craven Glass Company located at 2613 Trent Road. Improvements to existing business.

Posted in New Bern, New Bern business and commerce Tagged with:

December 6th, 2017 by newbernpostadmin

Three developers persuaded New Bern planning and zoning board members to hold off endorsing a proposed revised street ordinance, saying a Fire Department push for wider residential streets and bigger cul de sacs will hurt the environment and push up costs for new houses that could make affordable housing a thing of the past.

The board voted unanimously (with one absent and one vacancy) to table the decision and send the proposed ordinance back to staff for further discussion and research.

It was one of three option the board had: Approve it and forward it to the Board of Aldermen for further consideration, reject it, or table the discussion for the time being.

Tuesday’s agenda item was innocuously stated, “Consideration of a request by the City of New Bern to amend the City Land Use Ordinance Article XIV: Section 15-210 “Street classification.”

The proposed ordinance does a lot of things, from cleaning up wording to classifying streets. It was proposed requirements increasing the minimum width of residential streets from 24 feet wide, to 27 feet wide, and to increase the diameter of cul de sacs to 96 feet, that got three developers going during Tuesday’s meeting.

A photo provided by the New Bern Fire Department shows the problem it encounters on narrow residential streets: Not enough space for the equipment, and not enough room for residents to evacuate.

The Fire Department has been pushing for the wider residential streets out of safety concerns. Fire officials, who were not present at Tuesday’s meeting, say that 27 feet is the minimum width necessary to provide access to its bigger ladder trucks and for them to deploy their stabilizers, while still leaving room for residential evacuation if it is necessary.

Wider cul de sacs would make it easier for larger fire trucks to turn around. (Fun fact: cul de sac is French for “bottom of the sack,” though some translate it to mean, “ass of the sack.”)

Kenneth Kirkman, an attorney and Carolina Colours developer, said changes to city building rules over the past years have steadily driven up costs to develop new subdivisions, and these new changes would have unintended, undesirable consequences.

For example, the city will happily take over maintenance of a new subdivision’s streets — as long as those streets have curbs and gutters, which make streets last longer but greatly add to the cost of development. The city also requires one side of the street have a sidewalk.

Under the proposed rules, the minimum width for a street right of way, including sidewalk, would be 57 feet, an increase of 3 feet. The minimum diameter for a cul de sac would be 96 feet — 3 1/2 times the size of the room where the Board of Aldermen meets, he said.

Not only would this affect the cost of dedicating the street right of way and construction, it would also increase the percentage of water-impervious ground surface, increasingly the likelihood that expensive rainwater runoff systems would be necessary, he said. He said the added requirements could increase the cost of a lot at Carolina Colours by $27,000, and result in “cookie cutter subdivisions that are full of asphalt.”

It would also make it prohibitively expensive to develop more affordable subdivisions, he said.

“With very little discussion, things have been adopted without looking at the totality of what will occur,” Kirkman said. “I think it’s now overriding common sense.”

John Thomas, of John Thomas Engineering, which is developing a 253-lot subdivision near Carolina Colours, urged the planning and zoning board to “pull back and have more discussion.”

Posted in Board of Aldermen, New Bern, New Bern Fire Department, Planning and Zoning Tagged with:

December 5th, 2017 by newbernpostadmin

New Bern is profiled in the January/February 2018 issue, available nationwide on Dec. 12. The article describes New Bern as a “low-cost haven.”

New Bern has been selected as a top retirement destination by Where to Retire, the only magazine in America geared toward helping people with retirement relocation decisions.

New Bern is profiled in the January/February 2018 issue, available nationwide on Dec. 12, the magazine announced in a news release today.

New Bern gets promo’d on the magazine cover, left, under the headline, “Low-Cost Havens.” Where to Retire Editor Annette Fuller said New Bern possesses qualities important to today’s retirees.

“Say hello to North Carolina’s stunning Inner Banks — the lesser-known cousin to the state’s Outer Banks. The star city is New Bern, at the confluence of the Trent and Neuse rivers. For a small city, it has an abundance of arts offerings, including downtown galleries and the Carolina Chamber Music Festival. Colonists settled here, and downtown still has many 18th century buildings. The best New Bern trivia? Pepsi was invented here in 1890s by a drugstore owner,” Fuller said.

Each year, 700,000 Americans relocate to new towns to retire. Generally, relocating retirees are healthier, better educated and more affluent than those who choose to not relocate, the magazine said in its news release. They bring significant economic benefits to their new states and hometowns.

Nationally, two dozen states and hundreds of towns seek to attract retirees as a source of economic development.

Where to Retire, now in its 26th year of print, is published six times a year. The magazine covers the best retirement regions, towns and master-planned communities, and recently released its 10th biennial list naming the 50 best master-planned communities in the U.S.

It has a national circulation of 200,000 and is sold on various newsstands and at Barnes & Noble bookstores.

Posted in New Bern, New Bern business and commerce Tagged with:

November 27th, 2017 by newbernpostadmin

This vintage fire truck, parked in front of the New Bern Fire and Rescue Headquarters near the corner of Neuse Boulevard and First Street, is being used as a receptacle for donated food during the “Fill a Fire Truck” food drive.

New Bern Fire-Rescue is launching its “Fill a Fire Truck” food drive, which kicked off on Nov. 24 and lasts through Dec. 19. The goal of the food drive is to help City of New Bern employees and local families who are in need of food this holiday season.

Residents and visitors to New Bern are encouraged to stop by New Bern Fire-Rescue Headquarters, located at 1401 Neuse Blvd., and drop off non-perishable food items to help fill the fire truck.  An engine is parked in front of the station with a large “Fill a Fire Truck” banner on the side, so donors andpassersby can’t miss it.

New Bern Fire-Rescue is

also accepting monetary donations.  Those donations will be used to purchase perishable foods such as turkeys from local grocers to supplement the donated items. All food will be collected and boxed and presented to employees in need on Dec. 20. The remainder will be taken to Religious Community Services (RCS) for distribution to needy residents.


“While you’re out doing your holiday shopping Friday, stop by and drop a few items into the fire truck,” Fire Chief Bobby Boyd said in a news release. “Everything stays local so that all of our employees and neighbors in need can celebrate the holidays with their families near and with a nice warm meal.”

While the food drive lasts through mid-December, the department is hosting a special event on Dec. 9 fro

m 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. that is designed to invite the public to visit the fire station headquarters, have fun, and give what they can to help support the food drive. The event will feature music, popcorn and a visit from Santa.

“We want this food drive to be successful — so successful that it becomes an annual event,” Boyd said. “We already have firefighter shifts challenging other shifts to collect the most food and donations. This will be a holiday blessing for so many families, both in-house and in the community.”

Non-perishable and monetary donations will also be accepted at our fire stations located at 800 W. Thurman Road and 3101 Elizabeth Ave.

Posted in New Bern Tagged with: ,

November 20th, 2017 by newbernpostadmin

Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, wreath-laying ceremonies are held at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as over 1,200 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea, and abroad. This year, the event falls on Dec. 16, and one of the locations will be New Bern National Cemetery.

Ken Dimpsey of National Wreaths Across America said there are four national cemeteries in North Carolina — New Bern, Wilmington, Salisbury and Raleigh. New Bern’s is the largest in the state, with 1,517 souls buried there.

The organization is accepting donations of to cover the $15-per-live-wreath cost.

“The main thing we’re trying to do is honor veterans,” Dimpsey told the Board of Aldermen last week.

Nov. 22 is the cutoff date for accepting donations. (Go here to donate.)

The Dec. 16 ceremony in New Bern National Cemetery will start at noon. More details about the event will be added to this article as they become known.

Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Mayor, New Bern Tagged with:

November 15th, 2017 by newbernpostadmin

Sometime soon, when you call 911 in New Bern for an ambulance, the 911 dispatcher may ask a lot of questions that, in the heat of the moment, may seem beside the point.

But the questions 911 dispatchers ask, and the answers they get in return, will save lives.

New Bern’s 911 dispatchers are rolling out a system called “Emergency Medical Dispatch.” The system is a combination of software and training that allow 911 dispatchers to ask medically pertinent questions and then give medical advice about how to save that person’s life.

The program was hatched in New Bern earlier this year, and in October the first phase of implementation began: software installation and training.

Expect to see a PR blitz including brochures and a video explaining the system.

Said Dr. Stanley Koontz, Emergency Medical Services coordinator for Craven and surrounding counties, “We’re trying to make our city safer. I think we can save some lives. This is a good first step.”

Craven County 911 dispatchers have already been using the Emergency Medical Dispatch system for some time, said Koontz.

If you find yourself in one of those situations, don’t worry that the EMTs and ambulance will be delayed while you are answering questions and delivering first aid. The dispatchers will have already taken care of those details simultaneously.



Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Craven County Board of Commissioners, Mayor Tagged with:

November 15th, 2017 by newbernpostadmin

In its final meeting Tuesday before all hell breaks loose, the Master Parking Plan Advisory Committee (it only took me three weeks to get the full name right) plowed through last week’s draft of recommendations and added several more.

The committee is delivering its recommendations to the Board of Aldermen at a workshop the board has scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 21.

One new addition to the recommendations is that the Board of Aldermen not take any action, but leave the public hearing and final decisions to January 2018, after new board members take their seats and have had a chance to get settled in and get through the holidays.

But like all the other items on the committee’s list, delaying any decisions until January will be up to the current board.

Four new aldermen will take their seats on Dec. 12 — a majority of the seven-member board.

For a last meeting, the committee had a lot to wade through in 90 minutes: decide which of last week’s recommendations would make the cut this week, tweaking them, hearing a report about directing traffic to city parking lots, whether those lots would be overwhelmed by downtown workers, and so on.

Tom Braaten, who retired last year after running Coastal Carolina Regional Airport, attended the meeting and offered a couple of suggestions, the first of which is that any new signage include the phrase, “Welcome to Walkable Downtown New Bern.”

Braaten also questioned the concept of enforced two-hour street-side parking that the committee is expected to recommend. Braaten said two hours isn’t enough time for visitors who may want to dine and visit a shop or two, and suggested a three-hour limit, instead.

The insistence of enforcing two-hour parking is to discourage folks who own or work at businesses downtown from taking up premium parking spaces all day long.

It is hoped that the 300 or so folks who fit that description will use city parking lots at Farmers Market, near the Convention Center, and behind the New Bern Firemen’s Museum.

The problem with that is, there are only about 150 parking spaces in those lots, and there are fledgling plans to add signs directing visitors and tourists to those very same parking lots. Do the math.

Complicating matters further is that some of those parking spaces — about 20, city officials estimate — are leased. To avoid a run by those seeking to lease more spaces, the committee added a recommendation to place a freeze on any new leased spaces.

Ultimately, it will be up to the Board of Aldermen (either the outgoing board if it so chooses, or the incoming board if the outgoing board allows it) that will make any tweaks and final decisions. Tune in next Tuesday, folks.

Committee members recognize that their recommendations may be loaded with unintended consequences, such as a gross over-demand of limited spaces at city lots, a flood of downtown workers descending on neighboring streets where there is no time limits, and so on.

“A year from now the answers will be a lot more clear,” said committee member and outgoing Ward 3 Alderman E.T. Mitchell.

One of those answers may be whether Downtown New Bern needs a multi-level parking structure.



Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Mayor, New Bern, New Bern business and commerce Tagged with:

November 4th, 2017 by newbernpostadmin

The New Bern Post staked out its territory early: I cover local government and policy. That leaves huge gaps all over the place, but there’s no point reinventing the wheel when there are great websites like New Bern Now providing comprehensive news and information about other useful, interesting and important things in our community.

With permission from Wendy Card, founder of New Bern Now, I have added an RSS feed to highlighting the most recent examples of New Bern Now’s great community coverage.

The feed is located in the top right side of web pages,

We met over coffee at Bee Bops and agreed with a handshake. No corporate confabs or conference calls, no meetings with corporate lawyers, no stewing over “best practices.”

We just decided it would be a good thing for the community, and shook on it.

That’s just how we roll.

Posted in New Bern Tagged with:

November 2nd, 2017 by newbernpostadmin

Foster Hughes

The city hired a South Carolina man as its new parks and recreation director, a position that pays $106,500 a year.

Foster Hughes, former parks, recreation and tourism director for Conway, S.C., starts his new job in New Bern on Nov. 6.

Hughes has 18 years of experience working in parks and recreation and extensive expertise in budget oversight, park and facility improvements, wellness and athletic programming, seasonal camps and programs, and special event planning, according to the City of New Bern website.

City Manager Mark Stephens said the city received about 400 resumes for this position.  “Mr. Hughes distinguished himself among a large pool of qualified and talented candidates.  His experience has prepared him to tackle some of the city’s future plans and challenges in parks and recreation, including the development of the new Martin Marietta Park.”

Hughes graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  In 2016, he earned his master’s degree in Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Sports Management from N.C. State University. Early in his career, he worked as a program supervisor coordinating youth and adult athletic leagues and a full schedule of aquatics programs. He rose through the ranks to become Director of Special Programs, then Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation, and finally Parks and Recreation Director.  In his cover letter expressing interest in the position with the City of New Bern, Mr. Hughes wrote “Parks and Recreation, simply put, is my life.”

Posted in New Bern Tagged with:

October 20th, 2017 by newbernpostadmin

Martin Marietta donates 55 acres to the 888-acre project, gets naming rights


The city is moving forward with plans for what will become the city’s largest park.

Martin Marietta, the current owner of approximately 55 acres along South Glenburnie Road, presented the city with a proposal in September to donate the land under recommended usage.

The land was formerly used as a rock quarry,

These 55 acres completes a contiguous stretch of land and lakes totaling approximately 888 acres that will now be owned by the City of New Bern.  With the addition of this property, the City can now look at developing a master plan outlining multi-recreational and cultural opportunities, as well as the proposed amphitheater, that will be available to the citizens of New Bern as well as eastern North Carolina.

Martin Marietta’s donation coincides with the city’s vision to create a regional park with multi-recreational opportunities and the potential of an outdoor amphitheater capable of hosting entertainment and performances.

In exchange for the donated land, the company has requested that all advertising, broadcasts, and print materials describe the venue “at Martin Marietta Park” and feature its logo.  The company also requested that Martin Marietta aggregate products be used exclusively in the construction and development of the site.

The company stated in its proposal letter that it understood the city would have to raise funds for the project, even to consider amphitheater naming rights.



The scope and size of amenities at the future Martin Marietta Park will be determined after further study.  However, the rise in the number of outdoor concerts and entertainment in New Bern supports development of such a venue, according to city officials.


Posted in Aldermen, Board of Aldermen, Mayor, New Bern Tagged with:

October 20th, 2017 by newbernpostadmin

Basketball Hall of Famer and Olympic Gold Medalist was born and raised in New Bern



Walt Bellamy Jr. Park is now open to the public following a dedication ceremony during MumFest weekend.

The park is located at the intersection of Pollock, Jones, and Liberty streets,

Walt Bellamy, Jr. was born in New Bern on July 24, 1939.  His childhood home is located just up the street from the new park at 222 Jones St.  He was a student at West Street/J.T. Barber High School and became a standout basketball player at a young age.

He attended college at Indiana University and was the starting center on the 1960 Gold Medal U.S. Olympic Team. Later, he was first overall pick in the NBA draft in 1961.  Bellamy had a 14-year career in the NBA, playing first with the Chicago Packers, who later became the Baltimore Bullets.  He also played for the New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks, and the New Orleans Jazz.  and was later inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame.

He died on November 2, 2013 at the age of 74.

Land for the new park was donated to the City in 2014 by Margaret Fulcher.  The year before, Pollock Street and the surrounding area became the footprint for the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI), a program funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  CNI is designed to help local leaders transform struggling neighborhoods into sustainable, mixed-income communities of choice.  The process included planning for the revitalization of the Five Points Area, including improvements to the social, economic and physical fabric of the neighborhood.  Creation and development of a park fit in with the CNI plan.

WaltBellamyJr.jpgThe park is a great example of public-private partnership.  The City provided $2,250 for the project, which was used to purchase the park sign, concrete for visitor and pedestrian pads, and landscaping.  The installation of these elements by city staff was provided in-kind.  The Walt Bellamy Jr. Park Committee successfully raised approximately $25,000 in cash donations and in-kind contributions for the project, including a $5,000 grant from the Harold H. Bate Foundation.  Carolina East Health System contributed $2,000 and Mrs. Helen Bellamy and family donated $2,100.

Visitors to the park will notice a 22-foot sculpture placed atop a mound that anchors the park.  Artist Glen Spencer was inspired to create “Reach for the Stars,” a metal sculpture that features a crown of spinning stars.  Interpretive, historic panels flank the bottom of the sculpture detailing Walt Bellamy, Jr.’s life and legacy.  The park and sculpture are designed to be an inspiration to all ages, especially the young who are often encouraged to reach for the stars in achieving their dreams and goals.

– Source: City of New Bern


Posted in New Bern Tagged with:

October 20th, 2017 by newbernpostadmin

Photo by Rosemary Osterhus /




Randy’s notes: This article appears on the City of New Bern website. The railroad depot, disused since 1987, was falling into disrepair until money was raised to put a new roof on it to prevent further interior deterioration. New Bern, founded as a seaport city, was losing its way due to declining shipping until the railroad was built here just before the Civil War. The railroad put New Bern back on the map. During its heyday, the train station was the transportation hub for the city and even connected to the city’s trolly service.


North Carolina Railroad has verbally committed to a contract extension to the license agreement for restoration of the Union Station Train Depot located at the intersection of Queen and Pasteur streets.  Norfolk Southern Railroad will also have to approve the agreement.

The contract extension will allow for the New Bern Preservation Foundation and the City of New Bern to move forward with an additional phase of the restoration project totaling $205,938.  The partnership between the City and the Preservation Foundation now has until July 2021 to raise necessary funds and complete restoration on the historic building.

The train depot was built in 1910 and remained in use until 1987.  Over the years, it fell into disrepair.  In 2009, a public-private partnership was formed to initiate restoration efforts.  North Carolina Railroad remains the owner of the building and, under this partnership, the City of New Bern will initially serve as the licensee.  Upon successful Certificate of Occupancy, the license agreement will convert to a long-term lease agreement between North Carolina Railroad and the City of New Bern.

The New Bern Preservation Foundation continues its fundraising to cover the costs of the restoration project.  In 2009, a joint working group was formed and an initial $500,000 grant was secured from the NC Department of Transportation.  The Harold H. Bate Foundation also contributed a $50,000 Challenge Grant to the project.  New Bern architectural firm Maune Belangia Faulkenberry Architects prepared plans for the interior of the depot, to include possible retail space, dining and entertainment space, and a railroad museum.  Depending on the final plan, construction is expected to cost approximately $2 million.

To date, the depot has a new roof, lead paint has been removed, doors and windows have been restored and are functional, and the north wing is nearly complete.  The north wing was the former depot baggage room.  HVAC and electrical components still need to be addressed and will be dependent upon the future needs of the depot’s tenants.

– City of New Bern,

Posted in New Bern, New Bern business and commerce Tagged with:

October 17th, 2017 by newbernpostadmin

Each year, the New Bern Appearance Commission recognizes residents and business owners for their beautification efforts throughout the City’ s neighborhoods and communities. During the evaluation period, members of the Appearance Commission received nomination from the community, staff and other committee members and eventually selected one residential and one commercial winner from each of the six wards.

Ward 1 Genevieve Moeckel, Residential … Keith and Dina Tholen, Commercial

Ward 2 Rexie Allen and Dianne Hawkins, Residential … Kevin and Tracie House, Residential … Woodland Crossing Apartments, Commercial

Ward 3 William and Laura Sherratt, Residential … Waterscape Way Carolina Colours Pool, Commercial

Ward 4 Debra and Phil Malhiet, Residential … Wendy’ s Restaurant( Neuse Blvd.), Commercial

Ward 5 Donald and Archabella Monk, Residential … Riverside Hardware (Randy Quidley), Commercial

Ward 6 Michael and Nancey Weatherly, Residential … Hearnes Jewlers, Commercial

Posted in Board of Aldermen Tagged with:

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