Edgecombe CC Collecting Bikes for Students

(PIctured) Ralph Willis rides to classes at Edgecombe Community College on a bicycle that was donated to the college. (Photo Courtesy Edgecombe CC)

(NEWS RELEASE) When Kim Hampton asked her coworkers at Edgecombe Community College for a little help, she said she expected few responses.

Instead, what she got made her realize there’s no shortage of kindness on her campus.

“Transportation for students is our No. 1 problem,” says Hampton, the college’s counselor/student support specialist. “Nine out of 10 students who come to me ask for help with transportation.

“We have a lot of students who walk to school.”

In August, Hampton sent out an email to employees asking for bicycle donations to make it easier for some students to get to classes.

“I expected maybe one; I received three,” she says.

The bikes needed minor repairs, but Hampton didn’t have to worry about that either. Al Carroll, chair/instructor of Automotive Systems Technology, and his students jumped at the chance to help, she says.

One bike was missing a seat, so a student donated one. “Out of the goodness of their hearts, they said they’d take care of the bikes,” Hampton explains. “They really didn’t have time for it, but it was wonderful for those students to do something for other students. They were proud to fix the bikes.”

Jaime Raya, a 23-year-old student who attends classes on Edgecombe Community College’s Rocky Mount campus, received one of the donated bikes.

“Sometimes, I didn’t have the funds to ride the bus, and I’ve had to ask for a ride or for someone to loan me money to get to school,” Raya says. “I’ve even had to walk about 45 minutes to get to class. But, I had to do it, so I am very thankful for the bike.”

Hampton said Raya and Ralph Willis both received bikes this year, and the third bike soon will be ready for another student to ride.

“The students who received the bikes were overjoyed and really, really excited,” Hampton says.

The college offers Tar River Transit bus tokens to students who need transportation to classes, but offering them a bike instead gives them more flexibility and freedom. “It makes it easier for them to get to school,” Hampton says. “And I would rather give them the means than bus tokens.”

She hopes to get more donated bicycles in order to provide additional students with a dependable ride.

Anyone who would like to donate bikes to the college can contact Hampton at 823-5166, ext. 259, or hamptonk@edgecombe.edu.

Saturday’s “Shark Tank” features Great Entrepreneurs, Judges

springboard

Click on the Image to Obtain a Free Ticket for Saturday’s Shark Tank Event

SpringBoardNC’s inaugural “Shark Tank,” to be held this Saturday, November 16th, at 6 p.m. at the Dunn Center for the Performing Arts at North Carolina Wesleyan College, will feature local entrepreneurs competing for the chance to advance their business ideas with funding and technical support.

The public is invited to attend this free event, as well as help select winners in each category. Tickets are required, and can be obtained online by clicking here or visiting the SpringBoardNC website, www.sprinboardnc.com.

“Shark Tank by SpringBoard is a way for entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs to broadcast their ideas and businesses to the people that matter: customers, mentors and investors,” said SpringBoardNC Vice President, Jeff Tobias. “That’s aside from the opportunity to win significant cash prizes.”

Each finalist will present their idea to the audience and four special judges:

Mayo Boddie, Chairman, Boddie-Noell Enterprises

Brian Wordsworth, Executive Vice-President, MBM Corporation

Frances Gravely, Founder, Vietri, Inc.

David Walker, Eastern North Carolina Center for Business and Entrepreneurship, North Carolina Wesleyan College

More than 50 entries were submitted for the competition in 3 categories: business, college, and young entrepreneur academy. Business category applicants provided abbreviated business plans for new business and business expansion ideas. College students competed against each other, developing general business ideas and assessments. Participants in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) organized by The Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce shared business ideas they’ve developed while participating in the program.

Business category finalists are:

Syntervention, a Rocky Mount-based company developing innovative products for use in the medical and surgical fields. They will be represented by Fuz Furbush.

Prsonas, a Durham-based company developing virtual-based customer interaction and presentation services, represented by David Rose.

Tail Gate Buddy, a Roanoke Rapids-based company started by Brian Hux, providing a product that attaches to vehicles to provide seating and cargo space for special events.

The college category finalists are Tyler Freedman, Sabina Paudel, Kristopher Hutchins, and Shadawn Clanton. The YEA finalists are Brianna Barnes, Joshua McKnight, Thane Wooten, Shawndrea Gunter and Gabrielle Taylor

Three business category finalists will present their plans to the judges for the chance to win $10,000 to cover startup or expansion costs. They will also be given access to a committee of advisors who will help them start and grow their business for over their initial 12 months.

The winner in the college category will win $2,500 to use toward college tuition of paying off student debt. The YEA category winner will receive reimbursement of their program tuition, equivalent to $295.

“Shark Tank” is the first business competition of its kind in the local area. It is the product of a broad collaboration that includes North Carolina Wesleyan College’s Eastern North Carolina Center for Business & Entrepreneurship, the Kenan Institute for Private Enterprise in Chapel Hill, and the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce, and is supported by Carolinas Gateway Partnership and the North Eastern Entrepreneur Roundtable (NEER).

Arts Center to host “Peanuts” Thanksgiving Party

The Maria V. Howard Arts Center will host, “It’s a Thanksgiving Party, Charlie Brown!” on Saturday, November 23rd, from 10 a.m. to 12 Noon, in recognition of its current “Peanuts… Naturally” exhibition.

The event will feature tours of the “Peanuts… Naturally” exhibit, along with other Arts Center exhibits, hands-on activities, live Jazz music featured in “Peanuts” specials, and more.

“Peanuts… Naturally” is a national touring exhibit organized by the Charles M. Schulz Museum. The exhibit features more than 50 items from the Museum, including classic strips, Peanuts-inspired art and collectibles. Most of the pieces represent natural and environmental themes Schulz often incorporated into his famous strip throughout its 50-year run.

The exhibit also includes several “hands on” stations where visitors of all ages can learn more about biology, plants, astronomy, weather and the environment.

“Peanuts… Naturally” is on display at the Maria V. Howard Arts Center at The Imperial Centre, 270 Gay Street, Downtown Rocky Mount from now until January 5th. The exhibit is free to the public and open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

 

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.

Sharpsburg Mayoral Race Draws Attention

The ongoing battle over the results of October’s election for Sharpsburg Mayor, a race decided by only 4 votes, is starting to draw interest with respect to the appeal efforts of the losing candidate.

Current Mayor Robert Williams, Jr., who currently trails challenger Randy Weaver by a count of 202-198, protested the results on the basis that one of the voters was not living at the address where they were registered.

Angela Hight provided an overview of Williams’ protest, along with a summary of its recent review and denial by the Nash County Board of Elections, in a story for Raleigh’s Civitas Institute:

Williams was appointed mayor of the town in July 2013 and had already requested a recount of the election because the race was so close. The election was held on Oct. 8 and Randy Weaver, the challenger, won with a vote of 202-198. The recount yielded the same results.

Friday morning all involved parties met at the Nash County Agricultural Center Auditorium which houses the Nash County Board of Elections. Williams presented his case in which he said that one individual was not eligible to vote in the election because he did not live at the address where he was registered to vote.  The voter had lived in a trailer at the address but it had been repossessed right before the election.  The voter admitted that he had fallen on hard times but that he still had valuables on the property, he was up to date on lot rent, his driver’s license showed that this was his residence, he slept in a tent on the property some nights and has every intention to put a trailer on the property when he saves up enough money.

The voter in question presented several pieces of evidence to prove that he still lived at the residence in question.  After the Board heard the testimony from the voter in question and others who were called to support him, they dismissed Williams’ protest unanimously and said the written order would be available in the days to follow.  The board referred to several similar cases in coming to their decision to dismiss this case.  A domicile is considered a person’s residence.  One important thing to note is  to legally change a domicile, there must be an actual abandonment of the first domicile with the intent not to return to it, and the acquisition of a new domicile by actual residence at another place with the intent to make that new place a permanent home. Owens v. Chaplin 228 NC 705, 47 SE2d 12 (1948).

Williams did say, after the Board gave their decision, that he would be filing for an appeal at the State Board of Elections (SBOE).  The Election cannot be officially declared until that appeal has been decided on by the SBOE.  There will follow up to this blog when they have given their ruling on the matter.

Public Schools prepare Parents for Test Score drop

Officials with both Edgecombe County Public Schools and Nash Rocky Mount Public Schools are making parents of their students aware of likely drops in upcoming test score reports as a result of significant changes in statewide curriculum.

Earlier this week, both school systems released statements explaining the changes and how they will be implemented in the coming weeks. Based on their information, these changes are part of the State’s adoption of controversial “Common Core” standards.

From Nash Rocky Mount Public Schools:

During October, the State Board of Education adopted new academic achievement standards (also referred to as cut scores) to align the new assessments students with the new Common Core and Essential Standards curriculum. As a result of the higher standards, student scores across the state are expected to be significantly lower than in previous years.

Dr. Anthony Jackson, Superintendent, said the drop in scores is consistent with trends in other states, and with past re-norming of standards and corresponding assessments. 

“As with any major change in assessments, there is an anticipated drop in performance — as teachers adjust instruction to meet the new standards — and students adjust to the higher levels of rigor,” said Jackson. “We want parents to understand that this is a reflection of both the major shift in the rigor of the curriculum and the new testing process.”

The State Board of Education will approve the new accountability data for students and schools across the state on November 7. Schools will begin issuing individual score reports shortly after the State Board gives approval. On November 14, schools will host parent nights, during which school administrators and educators will speak with parents about the test scores.

In a letter sent home to parents on October 30, Jackson asked parents to carefully review the individual score reports. 

“Unfortunately, because these are new assessments, it is virtually impossible to compare this year’s performance to your child’s previous scores,” said Jackson in the letter. “Please see these scores as the baseline for your child’s performance moving forward.”

While proficiency scores are expected to be lower this year, the school district will also be highlighting school and district level growth data, which will give an indication of how students progressed, based on their performance from the previous year. Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools will utilize the growth and proficiency data to adjust instructional strategies to support the needs of students as they develop the skills to meet the higher demands moving forward.

For more information about the release of test scores, parents and community members are invited to visit the NRMPS website, www.nrms.k12.nc.us. Several resources are available, including sample score reports, frequently asked questions, and descriptors of each achievement level. A detailed schedule of upcoming parent nights will also be available on the website.

From Edgecombe County Public Schools:

As a result of changes in the assessment process and the implementation of a new curriculum, North Carolina student results are expected to drop significantly.

So that the assessment data can be properly aligned to the new assessment and the new curriculum, the North Carolina State Board of Education implemented new academic achievement standards in October.  These standards, referred to as cut scores, are a reflection of increased standards across the state and are an indication of the significant drop in student scores that the state is expected to see.

On November 7, 2013, the State Board is scheduled to approve the student data at its meeting.  Within two weeks by way of U. S. Mail, Edgecombe County Public Schools (ECPS) students will receive detailed individual student reports and a letter from Superintendent John Farrelly.

“Looking at historical trends for North Carolina, whenever there has been a change in the assessment tool, scores across the state have declined,” said Farrelly.  “With both a change in the assessment tool and the curriculum we are teaching in North Carolina, there is an expectation for scores to fall significantly.”
  
The ECPS system is being proactive by alerting the community that the scores will not be an accurate reflection of student potential.  The new Common Core curriculum that was adopted by North Carolina is indicative of increased rigor.  As teachers modify instruction relative to the new standards, students across the state are likewise adapting to the new testing model.

It is imperative that parents not compare their students’ data with those of previous years, as the comparison is inaccurate.  As is typical moving forward after changing assessments, student scores generally incline. 

“We, as a district in Edgecombe County, will continue to focus on growing students and are committed to staying the course instructionally for student success and growth,” stated Farrelly.  “Our current emphasis on infusing technology into our content areas will prove to be highly effective.  We recognize that we have significant challenges in front of us to meet the new rigorous curricula standards. The new curriculum and assessments demand that we adjust instructional practices to provide more problem solving learning experiences for students. Despite the anticipated drop in overall scores, I am confident that we will continue to raise the bar for both teacher and student performance.”

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

Rocky Mount Animal Shelter hosts Pet Vaccination Clinic Saturday Morning

The Rocky Mount Animal Shelter on South Church Street near US 64 will host a Rabies Vaccination Clinic this Saturday, October 26th, from 9am to 12noon.

The clinic is open to dogs and cats only, four months and older. Rabies vaccines will be available for $5/pet, cash only.

 

Rocky Mount Fire Department to hold Demo Saturday at Sam’s Club

(NEWS RELEASE) The Rocky Mount Fire Department (RMFD) is spreading a message of safety during Fire Prevention Month. RMFD will host a Fire Safety Showcase on Saturday, October 26, 2013 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Sam’s Club parking lot.  The event will feature safety demonstrations, kid’s activities, equipment displays and free food and drinks.  Two live fire demonstrations are also planned, which will highlight the effectiveness of home fire sprinklers and StoveTop FireStop rangehood automatic fire suppressors.  These demonstrations are planned to take place at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

SparkyTheDogThe newest addition to the RMFD fleet of apparatus, Rescue 1, will also be on display, and you’ll have a chance to meet the Swiftwater Emergency Rescue Team and Technical Emergency Rescue Team.  Kids will enjoy a puppet show scheduled for 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., the Fire Safety House, Fire Safety Cornhole and  RMFD’s new inflatable Fire Safety House.

For more information about the event, contact Kim Wittig at 972-1379.

Saturday Event offers Job Info for Disabled

disabilitycelebration(NEWS RELEASE) The City of Rocky Mount’s Mayor’s Commission on Persons with Disabilities, along with Vocational Rehabilitation, Eastpointe and Mental Health America of the Tar River Region, will host the first annual Disability Awareness and Employment Celebration. A FREE event, the celebration will be held Saturday, October 26, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences. It will feature over 23 vendors with information on jobs, community resources, services and support.

The National Disability Awareness and Employment Celebration is FREE and open to the public. You are encouraged to come out to the Imperial Centre, located at 270 Gay Street, for food and entertainment from Chozen, a local band. A proclamation signed by the Mayor, proclaiming October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month, will also be on display.

For more information on the Disability Awareness and Employment Celebration, click here, or call 972-1182.