The Governor’s Office announced that Pactiv LLC would expand manufacturing facilities in Lenoir and Iredell Counties. A press release said the expansions would add 77 new jobs and result in an investment of over $9 million at the plants in Kinston and Mooresville though there was no indication of the breakdown of jobs and investment at each facility. The press release did not state an average salary for the new positions, saying salaries would vary, and that the average annual payroll for the new positions would be over $2.5 million.
The ironclad CSS Neuse laid under the waters of the Neuse River in Kinston for around 100 years before it was raised in the 1960s. It most recently had been housed in an outdoor shelter at the Governor Caswell Memorial Site before being very slowly moved a year ago June to its first climate-controlled indoor facility. This Thursday the remains of the ironclad will receive its first visitors since that move. Prior to the opening a highway marker will be unveiled at 130 S. Queen Street at 10:30 am followed by the first interpretive tours of the ship at the CSS Neuse Museum at 100 N.
Over the next month interviewers will call hundreds of coastal residents asking them about their past actions and future plans when evacuation orders are issued. The state did a similar study in 2003. But with the state’s population expanding more than 15 percent since that time… and many of those new residents having not experienced a hurricane… the state wants to get new information. Public Safety Secretary Kieran Shanahan says knowing how residents receive evacuation information… and then what they do with it… will help the department better coordinate and allocate resources.
The moves are in response to a $37 billion dollar cut in the Department of Defense budget for this fiscal year as a result of federal sequestration. A press release from the base says civilian employees… with a few exceptions… will have to take one day of unpaid leave each week between next Monday and September 21. First responders such as police and fire personnel are exempt from the furloughs. The reduction in personnel will prompt changes in operations, including closing the commissary and the pharmacy at the exchange on Mondays.
AAA Carolinas expects about a 2% decline in travel for the July 4th holiday. They’re estimating 988,500 state residents traveling during the five-day holiday period. Most of the decline is attributed to the shorter holiday period… last year the 4th fell on a Wednesday, this year on a Thursday. Some of the blame is also attributed to gas prices which, while mostly flat for the past two months, are 8% higher than a year ago.
Two of the turtles were rescued off Cape Lookout back in April suffering from symptoms of cold-stunning that occurs when turtles get suddenly caught in waters where the temperature drops suddenly, leaving them lethargic and unable to feed or swim. The other came to the Aquarium as a hatchling in August 2011, unable to get out of a nest on Bogue Banks on his own. All are green sea turtles. Rescued turtles are released as soon as they’ve recovered.
The 2013 Kids Count Data Book ranks North Carolina 35th in the nation in overall child well-being. The survey looks at four categories… economic well-being, family and community, education and health. North Carolina’s highest ranking was in education where it placed 27th though the report noted the percentage of students graduating high school on time had declined 18 percent in a five-year period. The report noted gains in fourth grade reading and eighth-grade math proficiency. The state’s lowest ranking was in economic well-being with 26% of children living in poverty in 2011.
With the economy improving and lower gas prices, the Crystal Coast should have a strong summer season. Tourism at the beach has been on the upswing for a while, despite the recession, a trend indicated by a 12% increase over last year in advanced reservations for cottages and condos.
The NAACP’s Forward Together Movement made a stop in eastern North Carolina on June 4th. Jared Brumbaugh was there and says nearly 150 people attended the informational forum at the Jasper P Haynes Omega Center in New Bern to hear about current legislation in the General Assembly. North Carolina NAACP President William J. Barber was the guest speaker at the event. “I know y’all are church folks so don’t cuss yet. But this stuff will make you cuss…”
After more than a decade of service in Craven County, the Wild Animal Rehabilitation Center, WildARC, is closing its doors. A dwindling staff and a mountainous workload have prompted WildARC’s founder and manager, Ellen Westermann, to close the facility. While WildARC remains open to treat and raise its remaining patients, it will no longer accept injured animals. Still, there are other clinics in the region, such as the Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter in Newport, that will provide rehabilitation services for wounded or orphaned animals.
The Greenville Airport is nearing the completion of a new hangar designed primarily for private planes. In response to high demand for hangar space, the Greenville Airport has begun building a $400,000 hangar to house private planes. Airport Director Jerry Vickers says that demand came almost entirely from private owners, attributing the demand in part to a lack of facilities for private planes. Vickers also cited that the increased hangar capacity would lead to increased demand.
The North Carolina Utilities Commission has renewed a certificate to construct a 20,000-acre wind turbine farm in Pasquotank and Perquimans counties. The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va., reported that the project remains on hold. The commission order Tuesday says the state requires the certificate be renewed within two years of the first time the project received approval. Pasquotank County Planning Director Shelley Cox say Atlantic Wind hasn't signed a contract with a power company to purchase electricity generated by the proposed 150 turbines.
Carteret County Animal Shelter has failed their state inspection and now they’re calling on volunteers to help make repairs. Rusted fencing, corroded kennel runs, and deteriorated floors are just a few of the problems the shelter must fix by June 30th to get their license reinstated. Shelter Lead Rachel Jackson hopes that the community will help make repairs during a volunteer effort on Saturday, May 18th.
The July 4 fireworks show at Camp Lejeune is the latest victim of the federal budget cuts. The Marine Corps said Tuesday that the fireworks celebration has been canceled because of the cuts known as sequestration. Brig. Gen. Thomas Gorry said supporting the Marines, those who have been wounded and families are the top priorities. Gorry says canceling the event will allow the base to use resources for other financial challenges. Director of Public Affairs at Camp Lejeune Nat Fahy.