Rocky Mount Parks offering Teen-Focused Programs

(NEWS RELEASE) The City of Rocky Mount continues to grasp the attention of teens with programs taking place throughout the year. According to Francheskia Fenderson, Teen Coordinator for the City of Rocky Mount’s Parks and Recreation Department, teens are encouraged to get involved in a trip to Kings Dominion in celebration of Halloween.

Attendees will depart from the Booker T. Washington Community Center, located at 726 Pennsylvania Avenue in Rocky Mount, N.C., on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 2 p.m. Teens will arrive in Kings Dominion at 5:30 p.m. and can enjoy rides, entertainment and food until 11:30 p.m.

A strict focus on teens began with events in March 2013. Dances, bowling nights and SAT/ACT prep courses were offered. This time, teens can get involved in similar For example, continued music lessons are being offered by John Battle Arts and Music. Twelve week sessions can be scheduled for a nominal fee.

According to Fenderson, teens can learn how to swim. Lessons will take place Mondays through Fridays from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Rocky Mount Senior Center. Registration is now being accepted.

For more information on teen programming, call 252-822-2785.

United Way Corn Hole Tournament scheduled for October 19th


(NEWS RELEASE) The City of Rocky Mount will hold a Corn Hole tournament on Saturday, October 19, 2013 in the BTW Gymnasium to benefit the United Way. The tournament will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature cash prizes for pro-teams, like $300 for first place; $150 for second place and $50 for third place. The prize for amateur teams include a trophy for first and second place.

The entry fee for pro-teams is $40 per team or $20 per person. Amateur teams must pay $20 per team or $10 per person. All proceeds will benefit the United Way.

For more information, call 885-6127 or 883-3817. The BTW Gymnasium is located at 727 Pennsylvania Avenue, Rocky Mount.

Punt, Pass & Kick at Stith-Talbert Park, Tuesday, Sept. 10th

(NEWS RELEASE) The City of Rocky Mount’s Parks and Recreation Department will host its annual Down East Punt, Pass and Kick Competition for area youth. The competition, which will highlight boys and girls ages 6-15, will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013 in Stith-Talbert Park. Stith-Talbert Park is located at 729 Pennsylvania Avenue in Rocky Mount.

John Battle, program coordinator the City of Rocky Mount and one of the coordinators for the Down East Punt, Pass and Kick Competition, is excited about the return of an event that has become an area favorite.

“We have received so many accolades from parents and the young participants on the implementation of the Down East Punt, Pass and Kick Competition,” says Battle. “The event gets bigger and better over the years and provides an opportunity for boys and girls to showcase their talents and to be recognized during a weekend that is steep in tradition.”

Winners of the various age categories for boys and girls will be invited to receive their awards during a half-time presentation at the Down East Viking Football Classic. The Classic will be held on Sat., Sept. 28, 2013 at the Rocky Mount Sports Complex, with a game day battle between Elizabeth City State University and Fayetteville State University.

For more information on the Down East Punt, Pass and Kick Competition, call the City of Rocky Mount’s Parks and Recreation Department at 252-972-1151.

Imperial Centre introduces Art Garden this Saturday

(NEWS RELEASE) The Maria V. Howard Arts Center is hosting the City’s inaugural Art Garden Visual Art and Flower Fair at the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences. Scheduled to take place on Sat., April 27, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, Art Garden will consist of four different activities occurring simultaneously.

First, attendees may visit booths where artists will showcase and sell their wares, as well as demonstrate their techniques to artist enthusiasts. Works of all types and themes will be showcased at the booths.

For individuals interested in gardening, the Master Gardener’s Association of Nash and Edgecombe counties will advise the public on gardening and horticulture. Visitors will be educated during 45-minute presentations on topics such as growing the best tomatoes, making concrete planters and more.

Art Garden will also include a standard flower exhibition and competition presented by the Garden Clubs and Master Gardener Programs from Nash and Edgecombe counties. Individuals may peruse the various arrangements, horticultural pieces and the best bloom.

While Art Garden has a Nash County and Edgecombe County focus, artists from the entire region will participate and share their talents with the community, a tradition of educating and learning advocated by Maria V. Howard.

“The entire concept of Art Garden resulted from Maria V. Howard’s involvement in the arts and gardens,” says Catherine Lloyd, visual arts specialist. “She melded the two by completing arrangements with her garden club.”

Finally, Art Garden will consist of a presentation from author Marty Essen at 2 p.m. in the Theater at the Imperial Centre. The presentation, entitled “Around the World in 90 Minutes,” is sponsored by the Imperial Centre’s Children’s Museum and Science Center.

Lloyd invites the public to enjoy all three aspects of Art Garden. For more information or to participate as an artist, call 252-972-1175, or forward your e-mail to

Rocky Mount Water Achieves “Top 10” Ranking

(NEWS RELEASE) The City of Rocky Mount’s Department of Water Resources placed 9th in the 23rd annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Competition held in Berkeley Springs, WV. A total of 30 bottled waters were tested and more than 100 people attended the competition as 11 media judges spent hours tasting and selecting from among 82 waters sourced in 21 states and 10 foreign countries. There were 32 municipal waters from a dozen states, Canada, South Korea and Thailand.

“It was another wonderful year for the longest running and largest water tasting in the world,” said Arthur von Wiesenberger, water master. “That speaks to the impressively high caliber of the waters entered. This is the best year ever.”

According to a press release issued by Travel Berkeley Springs, “the 11 media judges who chose the winners included representatives from various regional and national media, including television and online magazines. They were instructed by von Wiesenberger to look, sniff and taste each water under guidelines similar to those in a wine tasting. The waters were rated for attributes like appearance (it should be clear-or slightly opaque for glacial waters); aroma (there should be none); taste (it should taste clean); feeling (it should feel light) and aftertaste (it should leave you thirsty for more).”

Wayne Hollowell, director for the City of Rocky Mount’s Water Resources Department, says placement in the top 10 with such steep competition is noteworthy. “In Water Resources, we’re always seeking solid evidence that we have a balanced scorecard. Being evaluated in the top 10 for a product nationwide/worldwide is that input we need to assure we’re on the right track,” stated Hollowell. “In Water Resources, it’s our people and talent, not our equipment, which drives and directs our quest for being the best.

For more information on the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Competition, visit

Sunset Easter Returns March 23rd, 10am-2pm

Easter2013(PRESS RELEASE) The City of Rocky Mount will host its annual Sunset Easter EGGstravaganza on Saturday, March 23, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Sunset Park. Sponsored by the City of Rocky Mount’s Parks and Recreation Department, the Sunset Easter EGGstravaganza will include an Easter Egg Hunt, rides and tons of additional fun games for kids and families, including inflatables.

This year’s Easter Egg Hunt begins at 11:30 a.m. and is open to youth up to age 12. Baskets will not be provided by the City of Rocky Mount, so all participants should remember to bring their baskets for the Easter Egg Hunt. An added incentive for the Sunset Easter EGGstravaganza is that all activities and rides are FREE.

For more information on the Sunset Easter EGGstravaganza, contact Debbie Julio, Special Events Coordinator, at 252-972-1151, or send your e-mail to Julio is also seeking community groups and businesses that would like to participate in the event.

Rocky Mount Police offer Medication Disposal This Wednesday

medicinedrop(PRESS RELEASE) The Rocky Mount Police Department will host a Medicine Drop on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.  The Medicine Drop will take place at the Rocky Mount Police Department, located at 330 South Church Street.

The Medicine Drop is an opportunity for you to dispose of unwanted or outdated medicines safely. Bring unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

For more information on Medicine Drop, call 972-1477.

City of Rocky Mount to Dedicate CNG Fueling Station on March 11th

(NEWS RELEASE) The City of Rocky Mount’s Public Works Department and the NC Solar Center Transportation Group will host a ribbon cutting ceremony on Mon., March 11, 2013 from 10:30am to 11:30am at the Environmental Services Building, 1221 Thorpe Road, to introduce the City’s new natural gas vehicles and refueling station. Compressed natural gas (CNG), an alternative to gasoline and diesel, will reduce smog in the environment and result in cost efficiency for the City.

The Public Works Department, led by Public Works Director, Jonathan Boone, was charged with investing in alternative fuel technologies after receiving a sub-award grant from the NC Solar Center through the US Department of Energy sponsored Carolina Blue Skies Initiative. The grant covered over 90 percent of the costs for the new station, which has been in operation since late July 2012, and the cost differential between CNG powered refuse trucks and diesel powered trucks.

“CNG is a cleaner burning fuel as opposed to diesel which emits nitrous oxide and contributes to smog,” says Boone. Currently, rear loaders, used to pick up yard waste, are the first type of CNG vehicles used in the Public Works Department.

Aside from reducing emissions and improving air quality, having the CNG station will reduce costs for the City’s vehicles, savings which could be passed on to taxpayers.

“With our two rear loaders, we have saved approximately 330 galloons of diesel per month,” says Boone. “CNG is less expensive, about half the cost of diesel.”

There are few CNG fueling stations in the U.S., and the City of Rocky Mount is leading the effort to increase the number of fueling stations and possible expansion of CNG vehicles.

Boone, Mayor David Combs, City Manager Charles Penny and others will be in attendance to recognize the impact of this new, enterprising initiative. The public is invited to attend.

For more information on the CNG Fueling Station’s ribbon cutting ceremony, contact Tameka Kenan-Norman, Public Affairs Manager, at 252-972-1333, or forward your e-mail to

Rocky Mount Mayor delivers State of City next Monday

David Combs
Mayor, City of Rocky Mount

Rocky Mount Mayor David Combs will deliver a “State of the City” Address during the next meeting of the Rocky Mount City Council, Monday, February 11th, 7 p.m. at the Frederick E. Turnage Municipal Building.

A City press release indicates that the Mayor’s speech “will focus on the accomplishments of 2012 and the implementation of new programs and initiatives that had a positive and lasting impact on the residents of the City and the Twin Counties region. The address, scheduled to take place before a City Council meeting, will also include some plans for 2013.”

Citizens are invited and encouraged to attend.

Rocky Mount establishes New Tennis Program

(NEWS RELEASE) The City of Rocky Mount began a partnership with Belmont Farms Racquet and Fitness Club owner, Albie Brice, on Jan. 2, 2013 for a public tennis program. The program, which provides adult clinics, leagues, private lessons and junior tennis clinics for youth with a low student to teacher ratio, is being offered to individuals as young as 4-years-old who are interested in tennis.

Lynn Driver, athletics supervisor for the City of Rocky Mount’s Parks and Recreation Department, says the program is in response to a recent grant acquired by the City. In Oct., 2012, the Rocky Mount City Council approved acceptance of $35,000 granted from the United States Tennis Association (USTA) for the reimbursement of funds applied to the new construction completed at the Slick Family Foundation Tennis Center on the campus of NC Wesleyan College.

“While the grant supports the facility at the college for the Rocky Mount community and may act as an incentive to bring additional tournaments to the area, to receive the grant, we also have an obligation to provide initiatives that will promote tennis and incite growth for healthy activities in our area,” says Driver. The tennis program was a direct result.

“We don’t have the staff and resources to run a public tennis program, and Albie is the local tennis expert,” says Driver. “He’s going to offer a schedule of different programs for different ages, and we are going to assist with the marketing of the program and with some supplies.

According to Brice, a professional tennis instructor will be provided for every seven students. “There are particular age groups for junior tennis clinics: 4 to 6, 7 to 10 and 11 to 14,” says Brice. “There will also be sessions for advanced players included.”

There will be a fee associated with the tennis program, depending on your interest. If you would like additional information on the tennis programs, call 972-2255. Belmont Farms Racquet and Fitness Club is located at 3000 Fords Colony Drive in Rocky Mount.