Edgecombe Health Department to host November 22nd Forum for Pastors

In order to address challenges involving the health of local residents, the Edgecombe County Health Department is reaching out to area Pastors, hosting a special Health Forum for this influential part of the community on Friday, November 22nd, 10 a.m., at

Health Department officials will provide local Pastors and church leaders with information they can use to address health disparities with their congregations and work to improve their quality of life.

The most recent information from the North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics shows that Edgecombe County performs below state averages in several key quality of health indicators, including low birth weight, premature births, infant mortality, cancer cases, heart disease and diabetes.

Encouraging healthier personal habits is also critical to the Health Department’s efforts. Recent data shows that Edgecombe County has among the lowest scores for “healthy behavior” in the State, including its performance with respect to alcoholism, tobacco use and infection of sexually transmitted diseases.

Pastor and church leaders who want to attend should call Meredith Capps at (252) 641-6288.

Jones new Princeville Mayor, Page wins in Tarboro – Complete Edgecombe, Nash, Wilson Election Results

election-2013-buttonPrinceville’s Bobbie D. Jones and Tarboro’s Rick Page are the new Mayors of their respective communities, winning Tuesday’s elections against multiple opponents.

Jones received about 67% of the total votes in Princeville against a field that included incumbent Mayor Priscilla Everette-Oates (16%) and Milton R. Bullock (13%).

JoeRoam Myrick was elected to Princeville Commission for Ward 3, while Pamela L. Ransome leads with 48% for the Ward 4 seat against Calvin Sherrod (37%) and Tyrone Hopkins (15%).

In Tarboro, Page received 51% of the votes cast for Mayor in a race that included fellow challengers John Wooten (27%) and Donnie Hale (22%).

Tarboro’s Ward 1 Council Seat featured a 3-way race with Othar Woodward (40%) leading Gerrelene Walker (33%) and Carl Benson (27%). Steve Burnette won the Ward 3 seat, while John L. Jenkins was elected in Ward 5. Taro Knight, Ward 7 Councilmember, ran unopposed.

Tarboro and Princeville were the closest-followed of Tuesday’s local races in Edgecombe, Nash and Wilson Counties. More than a dozen municipalities held Mayor, Commissioner and Council elections, with turnout generally light in all locations.

Here is a complete rundown of results for municipal elections in Edgecombe, Nash and Wilson County. Percentages are not shown for uncontested races.

Edgecombe County

Conetoe – Mayor
Linda Ingram

Conetoe – Commissioner (4 Seats)
Milton Goff, Jr. – 25.5%
Johnny Respass – 21.9%
Wilson Jones – 20.9%
Jesse Petteway – 16.2%
Leon E. Wynn – 15.5%

Macclesfield – Mayor
Mike Keel

Macclesfield – Commissioner (2 Seats)
Kathryn Cobb Ford – 45.4%
Dannis L. Sanderson – 29.2%
Write-Ins – 25.4%

Pinetops – Commissioner (2 Seats)
Joyce E. Tolson
Suzanne Coker Craig

Princeville – Mayor
Bobbie D. Jones – 67%
Prisciilla Everette-Oates – 16%
Milton R. Bullock – 13%

Princeville – Commissioner, Ward 3
JoeRoam Myrick – 82%
Isabelle Purvis-Andrews – 18%

Princeville – Commissioner, Ward 4
Pamela L. Ransome – 48%
Calvin Sherrod – 37%
Tyrone D. Hopkins – 15%

Tarboro – Mayor
Rick Page – 51%
John Wooten – 27%
Donnie Hale – 22%

Tarboro – Town Council, Ward 1
Othar Woodard – 39.6%
Gerrelene M. Walker – 33.2%
Carl Benson – 27.1%

Tarboro – Town Council, Ward 3
Steve Burnette – 68%
Leshaun Jenkins – 27%
Stephen Ribustello – 5%

Tarboro – Town Council, Ward 5
John L. Jenkins, II – 59%
Candie Bailey Owens – 41%

Tarboro – Town Council, Ward 7
Taro Knight

Nash County

Bailey – Mayor
Timothy Johnson

Bailey – Commissioner (2 Seats)
Shelley Carroll – 50%
Phillip (Rocky) Winstead – 31%
Allen Daniels – 19%
(Harold Flora won for a third seat, unexpired term ending 2015)

Castalia – Mayor
Ellene Leonard

Castalia – Commissioner (2 Seats)
Brian Hinkle – 33.7%
Write Ins – 31.3% (TBD)
Debbie Moore Rodriguez – 21.7%
Debra Sjoberg – 13.3%

Middlesex – Mayor
Luther (LuHarvey) Lewis, Jr. – 44.7%
Dale Bachmann – 28.4%
Vennie Brock – 26.3%

Middlesex – Commissioner (2 Seats)
Ann Mitchell Lewis – 31.7%
Harold Meacombs – 26.4%
Robert Johnson – 21.1%
Brandie Holt – 14.9%
Stacey E. Meek – 5.9%

Momeyer – Commissioner (2 Seats)
Martha Lucas
Ronald Pace

Nashville – Town Council (2 Seats)
Larry Taylor – 41.8%
Patricia Rogers – 31.2%
Jerry Harris – 26.8%

Red Oak – Mayor
Alfred Wester

Red Oak – Commissioner (2 Seats)
Levell Langley
Barbara High Tyre

Spring Hope – Mayor
James F. (Buddy) Gawltney III

Spring Hope – Commissioner (3 Seats)
Drew Griffin – 31.4%
Daryl Emig – 29.2%
Ted Lee Bissett II – 20.3%
David Rose – 18.9%

Whittakers – Commissioner (3 Seats):

Doris E. Lindsey – 21.8%
Fran Lynch – 19.9%
Al Wright – 17.3%
Jessica Vinson – 16.8%
Nancy Jones Taylor – 13.7%
Betty H. Bullock – 10.2%

Wilson County

City of Wilson – Council, District 3
William Thomas (Tom) Fyle – 80%
Ricardo Dew – 20%

City of Wilson – Council, District 5
Donald I. Evans

City of Wilson – Council, District 6
Logan T. Liles

City of Wilson – Council, District 7
Derrick D. Creech – 77%
William (Bill) Darden – 19%
Write-Ins – 2%
Reginald E. Pope – 2%

Black Creek – Mayor
Ralph M. Smith, Jr.

Black Creek – Commissioner (5 Seats)
Roland W. Lucas – 21.8%
Ellen E. Dawson – 20.0%
Elton R. Franks, Jr. – 20.0%
Lisa Godwin Skinner – 18.2%
Write-Ins – 11.8%
Damian Seltzer – 7.7%

Elm City – Mayor
Grady N. Smith

Elm City – Commissioner (5 Seats)
Dave Childress
Melvin Cooke
Lewis Crockett, Jr.
Marsha Wells
Gil Wheeler

Lucama – Commissioner (3 Seats)
David A. Johnson – 32.1%
Jed Simpson – 29.4%
Tim C. Wiggs – 28.4%
Thaddeus Washington – 9.2%

Saratoga – Mayor
Charles (Tommy) Hawkins

Saratoga – Commissioners (3 Seats)
Ronald McCormick
Anthony Newcomb
Elaine Saunders

Sims – Mayor
Dana K. Hewett

Sims – Commissioner (5 Seats)
Robert (Bobby) Ruffin – 21.5%
Eddie Ray Watts – 17.5%
Rhonda Ruffin Payne – 17.5%
Courtney Waren – 13.4%
Michael Hall – 12.8%
Louis Sparks, Jr. – 9.4%
Danny Howell – 8.1%

Stantonsburg – Council (3 Seats)
Donnie Bass
Jackie Grice
Robert Watson

Shooting & Hunting Sports Management added to Edgecombe CC Curriculum

(NEWS RELEASE) Thursday, August 22, fall classes will begin at Edgecombe Community College.

A new and improved ID system is in place, staff have been busy conducting placement tests and student orientations, and faculty are making final preparations to return to the classroom to help a new cohort of students meet their educational goals.

Michael Horner modifies a 1930s-era rifle during the popular evening gunsmithing class offered through ECC’s Division of Corporate and Community Development. The college’s new Shooting and Hunting Sports Management program is offered as a concentration in the Business Administration program and combines business and shooting sports principles.

Among the college’s 100+ programs is a new offering this fall: Shooting and Hunting Sports Management.

Hunting is big business in North Carolina, accounting for thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in retail sales and wages in the state.

ECC is the first community college east of Greensboro to offer a shooting and hunting program. Only two other community colleges in North Carolina – Montgomery and Tri-County – have similar programs.

Offered as a concentration in Business Administration, Shooting and Hunting Sports Management teaches students how to manage a sports shooting business, such as a gun shop, hunt club, or shooting range.

Graduates are prepared to work in large retail sporting centers, private shooting sports businesses, and shooting sports equipment manufacturers.

For those who may not have the time to commit to completing a two-year degree program but want to learn more about the industry, ECC offers a one-year diploma and an 18-hour certificate in Shooting and Hunting Sports Management. About half of the classes are business-related.

New and returning Collision Repair and Refinishing students will be excited to see a gleaming new building when they begin classes on the Tarboro campus.

Cramped space and outdated equipment have been replaced by a 7,000-square-foot facility that features a larger frame rack, a computerized measuring system, more vehicle lifts, a dustless sanding system, and a compartmentalized sandblaster.

Among other improvements, the expansion will enable classes to have three cars on lifts instead of one.

Collision Repair and Refinishing is a long-standing popular program at ECC. The outlook for job seekers remains strong; experts predict that the number of jobs in autobody repair will increase by 19 percent this decade.

At Edgecombe, programs are developed with an eye toward industry needs. In manufacturing, for example, the local need for highly skilled workers is immediate.

According to the college’s faculty in manufacturing programs, about 60 openings can’t be filled in Edgecombe County due to a lack of training. It is not uncommon for ECC students to receive job offers before they complete the Manufacturing Technology program.

Final registration is August 20-21, and fall classes begin August 22. Contact the college at 823-5166,admissions@edgecombe.edu, or go to www.edgecombe.edu.

(Last) Sales Tax Holiday Arrives in North Carolina


North Carolina’s final sales tax holiday weekend is this Friday, August 2nd, and Saturday, August 3rd

For more than a decade now, North Carolina has joined several other states in offering a sales tax holiday weekend for residents to purchase back-to-school supplies, everything from clothing and backpacks, to computers and, of course, notebooks and pencils.

The 2013 edition coming this weekend will be the last for the forseeable future, as the new 2013-15 biennium budget does not include the practice as part of their broader tax reform plan.

According to the North Carolina Department of Revenue, the lack of applying sales tax to qualifying purchases during the holiday weekend, which will take place this year on Friday, August 2nd, and Saturday, August 3rd, reduces potential tax receipts by $13 million.

The General Assembly’s tax reform efforts sought to remove exemptions in order to reduce personal and corporate income tax rates, as well as streamline other sources of state revenue.

Click here for more information on this weekend’s sales tax holiday from the Department of Revenue, including these helpful reminders for consumers and businesses:

  • Items are not necessarily exempt from sales tax just because they are required by a child’s school or sports team.  Visit NCDOR’s website for a complete list of items that qualify.
  • The holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday and lasts until 11:59 p.m. Sunday. Participation in the sales tax holiday is required; retailers cannot opt out.
  • Retailers may not charge sales tax on exempt items sold during the holiday and tell shoppers to request a refund from the Department of Revenue. In cases where the sales tax is charged on purchases that should be exempt, a customer’s only option to obtain a refund is from the retailer.
  • Discounts from retailers’ coupons are deducted from the price of an item before determining if the item is eligible for the sales tax exemption.
  • Rebates do not affect the sales price of an item for the sales tax holiday. Example: a computer priced at $4,000 with a $600 rebate is not exempt from sales taxes. The amount of the rebate is not deducted from the sales price of the computer before determining if the computer is eligible for the sales tax exemption.

November 13th Town Hall offers Update on Twin County Visioning

(News Release) The public is invited to join other community leaders for a Town Hall Forum next Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. in the Theatre at the Imperial Centre.

Last November, leaders in Nash and Edgecombe counties began the Twin Counties Visioning and Strategic Planning process. With a primary goal of helping the region to succeed in a globally competitive economy, study circle groups consisting of residents of the two county area were formed to determine the priority work areas for the region. The study circle group sessions ended Sept., 2012, and the next phase of the Twin Counties Visioning and Strategic Planning process will begin with a Town Hall Forum. Doors open at 5 p.m.

The Town Hall Forum, hosted by the Edgecombe County Board of Commissioners, the Nash County Board of Commissioners and the mayor and City Council of the City of Rocky Mount, will reveal the results of the study circle discussions. Sue Perry Cole of Rocky Mount, one of three co-chairs for the Community Partners Coalition, which oversees the visioning process, says the forum will release the action topics gleaned from the study circles.

“The Community Partners Coalition convened on Fri., Oct. 5, 2012 to review and examine the results of the study circle dialogues,” states Cole. “A compilation of study circle results was also separated into seven action group topics. These topics, the introduction of action group leaders who will focus on these various topics, and the release of a visioning statement derived from the study circle sessions and refined by the coalition will also take place during the forum.”

Community Partners Coalition Co-Chairs, Robert Beaman (Nash County) and Donald Boswell (Edgecombe County), are excited about the possibilities of the Twin Counties Visioning and Strategic Planning Process.

“I am enthusiastic about the community involvement that took place during the study circle phase of the Twin Counties Visioning and Strategic Planning Process,” says Beaman. “The results of this initiative will mean that many had a stake in establishing a positive and livable future for both Nash and Edgecombe counties.” After information is shared during the Town Hall Forum, action groups will begin to develop strategies to shape our communities’ future. With an expected completion of spring 2013, the action groups will then begin to set the most significant objectives and actions. After these priorities are selected, implementation plans to address phasing, mfunding, partners and next steps will be chosen by the Community Partners Coalition. “I would like to thank everyone who was involved in this process,” says Boswell. “You are a part of progressive change, and I, along with action group leaders and the Community Partners Coalition, assure you that your ideas will be considered in creating the ideal future for our twin counties.”

The Imperial Centre is located at 270 Gay St. in downtown Rocky Mount. For more information on the Twin Counties Visioning and Town Hall Forum, call 972-1325 or visitwww.rockymountnc.gov.

Monday Lows near Freezing, Wind picks up

Residents in Rocky Mount, Tarboro, Nashville and Wilson can expect the coldest night of the season so far tonight, as remnants of Hurricane Sandy’s trek along the North Carolina merge with the southern tip of a crisp “Nor’easter.”

Lows will reach the upper-30’s tonight, with sustained winds of 25mph and gusts up to 40mph. Less than a half-inch of additional rainfall is expected thru tonight and tomorrow morning.

A Wind Advisory from the National Weather Service for Central North Carolina until Tuesday morning.

The combined storm is creating havoc across the Tar Heel State. Along with rain and wind inland and powerful storm surges along the Outer Banks, Western North Carolina is experiencing early snowfall. While only an inch or so is predicted for Asheville, up to 9 inches are forecasts for the Mountains along the Virginia-West Virginia order.

Rain is likely to remain in our area thru Tuesday, then clearing out Tuesday night. Daytime forecasts for Halloween Wednesday and the rest of the week thereafter are for mostly clear skies. Highs will stay in the high-50s to near 60, with nighttime lows in the mid-to-upper 30s.

Hurricane Sandy arrives Late Saturday, Rain & Wind through Monday

The National Weather Service in Raleigh projects Hurricane Sandy to bring 2″ of rain and sustained winds of 25 mph to Rocky Mount, Tarboro and Wilson, starting early Sunday and continuing through Monday.

The North Carolina coast remains under a Tropical Storm Warning, as the Category 1 Hurricane continues northward, we’ll off the Atlantic coast. Storm track predictions show the storm making landfall late Monday near Philadelphia, PA.

The National Weather Service in Raleigh issued an update Saturday afternoon including the following storm expectations:

  • Inland Eastern NC should see sustained winds of 25-35 mph, with rainfall of approximately 2 inches.
  • The Upper Outer Banks is most prone for high tides and flooding, while chances of inland flooding are low.
  • No more than half-inch of rain is expected in the Raleigh/Central NC.

Follow WHIG-TV for more updates as necessary.

Voter Education Training Available October 18th & 25th

(Press Release) Rocky Mount, NC – The League of Women Voters is hosting a series of voter education training events throughout the Twin Counties region. Starting Oct. 18, 2012, participants may attend and become educated about their voter rights. With speaker Jake Gellar-Goad, the Eastern organizer for Democracy North Carolina (NC), the public will learn more about their power to vote.

League of Women Voters member-at-large, Pat Adams, says these events, beneficial for all constituents, are nonpartisan and will provide attendees information to ensure that they are educated about voting.

“The League of Women Voters and Democracy NC are nonpartisan, nonprofit
organizations that do not endorse or oppose any candidate or party,” says Adams. “Our role is to work to safeguard democracy for civic improvement. One of the best ways to do that is to provide unbiased educational information that will empower voters to exercise their right to vote and to have that vote count. We hope to do that by offering these four training events.”

You are encouraged to attend any of these trainings offered by The League of Women Voters and Democracy NC at one of the following locations:

  • Tarboro Library, 909 Main Street, Tarboro, Thurs. Oct. 18, 2012, 10 a.m.
  • Nash Community College, 522 N. Old Carriage Road, Science & Technology Building, Room 7115, Nashville, Thurs. Oct. 18, 2012, 3 p.m.
  • Imperial Centre, 344 Falls Road, Black Box Theater, Rocky Mount, Thurs., Oct. 18, 2012, 6 p.m.
  • Edgecombe Community College, 2009 W. Wilson Street, 152 Fleming Building, Tarboro, Thurs., Oct. 25, 2012, 1 p.m.

For more information, call Pat Adams at 252-937-6487.

Editor’s Note: League of Women Voters and Democracy North Carolina are both technically non-partisan organizations. Democracy North Carolina, however, is widely considered to be a left-leaning organization.

Independence Festivities kick-off tonight in Rocky Mount, continue tomorrow across Twin Counties

The 41st Annual Independence Celebration will kick-off local holiday festivities tonight with gates opening at 6pm at Rocky Mount Athletic Stadium on Independence Drive, across the street from the Rocky Mount sports Complex.

The annual festival, sponsored by PNC Bank, will feature family activities, food, music by The Voltage Brothers, and an amazing fireworks display.

Opening ceremonies commence at 7pm, with music starting 7:15pm and fireworks set to start at 9:15pm.

Tomorrow, July 4th will be celebrated in style with events in three Twin Counties localities.

Castalia’s annual all-day celebration will start with a car show at 9am, followed by a parade at 12 noon, live entertainment throughout the day, and fireworks at 9pm.

Macclesfield will host an evening celebration starting 6pm tomorrow, with fireworks around 9pm and music continuing until around 11pm.

Another fireworks display will also be held at Tarboro High School tomorrow night from 9pm to 9:30pm.

In Wilson, WHIG-TV will be on hand with the Tobs in action against the Edenton Steamers, starting 7pm Wednesday at Fleming Stadium. Fireworks will be held immediately following the game.

Fireworks are scheduled for Wednesday evening in the vicinity of the Gateway Convention Center in Rocky Mount.

WHIG-TV will be on the scene at tonight’s fireworks in Rocky Mount, as well as tomorrow for the parade in Castalia. Look out for rebroadcast of these events later this week.

Heat a definite, Severe Storms likely for Sunday Afternoon

Temperatures will once again reach beyond 100 degrees later today (Sunday), and the National Weather Service (NWS) has already issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Central and Eastern North Carolina until 8pm ET.

An Excessive Heat Warning remains in effect as well until 11pm ET this evening, and the NWS predicts that another warning will be issued tomorrow (Monday) with a forecast high of 100 in Rocky Mount.

Here is a by-the-hour forecast for Rocky Mount for the remainder of today and Monday (click the graphic for more info):

 Today’s Air Quality Forecast for Rocky Mount by NC DENR is “Moderate,” an improvement over yesterday’s “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” rating.