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Second historic home burns

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Tar River paddle

Heather Jacobs, Riverkeeper of the Tar River, has canoed the river’s 140 miles through several eastern North Carolina counties, the Daily Reflector of Greenville reported April 22.

“Paddle for Clean Water” began April 9 near Oxford and was set to conclude April 24 in Washington. The excursion is sponsored by Greenville Utilities Commission and the Tar River Land Conservancy. In addition, she used supplies and equipment from her employer, the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation.

Jacobs hopes the trip will increase awareness of the river’s fragility and help people learn more about its beauty.

Second historic home burns

Two historic homes which were to be moved burned within a week in Elizabeth City apparently of suspicious causes, the Daily Advance of Elizabeth City reported April 22.

On April 18, the historic Aycock-Spellman house, which nonprofit groups hoped to save, burned in a blaze officials believe was intentionally set.

City Councilwoman Jean Baker has lead the Elizabeth City Neighborhood Association’s efforts to restore and move the 19th-century home. ECHNA has spent approximately $25,000 moving and cleaning the house and researching and documenting its history, she says.

On April 22, a second home, the historic C.D. Bell House, also burned.

Pasquotank County commissioners gave the association until May 12 to remove items of historic significance from the Bell House as well as the George Bright House and the A.B. Houtz House.

The homes were ach nearly 100 years old and were on the site of the new county library and public safety complex. The homes are set to be demolished if buyers are not found before demolition bids are received on May 26.

Built in the 1870s, the Aycock-Spellman House is owned by Preservation North Carolina and was sitting on blocks on a vacant lot when it burned. Baker said she was meeting with others to decide if the house Aycock-Spellman House could be saved.

Kids relay

Kindergartners in Rocky Mount peddled bicycles and tricycles to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, the Evening Telegram of Rocky Mount reported April 22.

Students at G.W. Bulluck Elementary participated in a mini-relay on red, blue and pink cycles, many with bells and bows for about an hour in the school parking lot.

Third-graders sold bracelets, while other students asked for donations. The event raised about $1,000.

Clock dedicated

A 16-foot tall clock with four faces was dedicated in Goldsboro to the late Hal Plonk and his wife, Madeline, at Wayne Community College, the Goldsboro News-Argus reported April 22.

Plonk was mayor of Goldsboro for 22 years, serving until his death in December 2001. Mrs. Plonk died in 2003. Both were long-time educators.

Plonk served as director of the Goldsboro Industrial Education Center before it became Wayne Community College. His father and grandfather were clock-makers. The clock is located in the center of campus.

Donated homes benefit community

A new owner has moved into the first of six houses donated by the Weyerhaeuser Company through a partnership with New Bern and the Neuse River Community Development Corporation, the New Bern Sun Journal reported April 18.

An open house on Main Street celebrated the moving in before the homeowner was expected to close on the house April 19.

The company’s donation will allow the partnership to move, renovate and sell the homes to deserving members of the community with qualifying income.

Litter pick-up

Volunteers with Adopt-A-Highway and others took part in the spring 2005 Litter Sweep, the Jacksonville Daily News reported April 18. The event was set to continue through April 30 on Onslow County roads.

Created in 1988, the Adopt-a-Highway program began in 1988 as a volunteer effort to reduce letter. Groups clean a 2-mile stretch of highway four times a year. Last year the groups collected more than 1.1 million pounds of litter, the N.C. Department of Transportation reports.

Red Cross needs help

The Greater Albemarle Area Chapter of the American Red Cross is looking for help with equipment, funding and volunteers, the Daily Advance of Elizabeth City reported April 22.

The group badly needs a new van to replace an 11-year-old model with a inoperative transmission. The chapter’s two emergency trailers have equipment such as cots, blankets and generators that need replacing from time to time.

Last year, the Red Cross recorded about $41,000 in expenses related to fires alone. The group is also seeking volunteers before the start of the June 1 hurricane season.

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