Eastern North Carolina news roundup

FSU Foundation faces rent losses

A campus apartment complex owned by the Fayetteville State University Foundation faces debts of more than $500,000 from students who failed to pay rent over the past three years, the Fayetteville Observer reported July 25.

The university cannot take action such as withholding grades because the University Place Apartments, owned by a foundation subsidiary and managed by Campus Advantage in Austin, Texas, are privately owned.

Cape Fear rejects UNC merger

Cumberland County commissioners say they’re uninterested in a merger between the Cape Fear Valley Health System and the UNC Health Care System, the Fayetteville Observer reported July 26.

State Sen. Tony Rand, a Fayetteville Democrat, suggested that UNC Health Care, based in Chapel Hill and linked to the UNC chool of Medicine, consider acquiring the Cape Fear Valley Health System.

The hospital is talking with Cumberland County commissioners about changing from a publicly owned to a private, nonprofit organization. Rand says the acquisition would improve the quality of health care and increase jobs and wages.

Greenville United Way to reorganize giving

A new approach may change the United Way’s approach to funding allocations in the Greenville area, the Daily Reflector reported July 22.

The new approach, called a “community impact” model, would create partnerships to address underlying problems.

The agency’s board of directors designated $5,000 to study the proposal, with a total cost of $25,192 expected. The board is seeking ways to deal with deeper issues in the community such as substance abuse, hunger and violence.

United Way has traditionally funded agencies with money raised during campaigns.

Robeson Humane Society wins clinic

The Robeson County Humane Society has a new home, the Fayetteville Observer reported July 26. The Lumberton City Council gave the organization a veterinary clinic that was flooded when city sewer lines backed up.

The city bought the clinic from the owner, who sued over damages. The Humane Society has sought a home for several years. Renovations could cost about $100,000.

Applicants wanted

Lenoir County families who need better housing should come forward, say Kinston Habitat for Humanity officials, the Kinston Free Press reported July 25.

The organization has plenty of volunteers but few applicants for homes. The organization scheduled a public meeting July 25 to help raise awareness of the organization and reach out to prospective homeowners. The organization has helped house 10 families in its 12 years.

Unpaid care forces service cut

The costs of unpaid hospital services led Lenoir Memorial Hospital to reduce patient services, the Kinston Free Press reported July 20.

The hospital’s outpatient diabetes education service and patient admitting unit would end under the proposed cutback. The services will be available in the hospital but not without admission.

This year unpaid services total about $16 million, expected to top $18 million by the end of the fiscal year in September, hospital officials say.

Property donated to arts council

A gift of property will help fund the Pasquotank Arts Council as it aims to renovate the historic Lowry-Chesson building, making it a regional arts center, the Elizabeth City Daily Advance reported July 21. The arts council hopes to raise $2.5 million

Russell and Rosabelle Twiford of Elizabeth City gave commercial property valued at $110,000 to the arts council, which will sell it and use the proceeds.

To honor the gift, the “Red Men’s Room” used by the Improved Order of the Red Men, a national fraternal organization, will be named for the Twifords.

Donor gives bicycles for AIDS relief

About 2,000 new and used bicycles were donated by Jackie Phillips of Gates County for relief workers to give away in Zambia, the Daily Advance reported July 20.

The bicycles will be given to children affected by AIDS. World Vision, a Washington State humanitarian organization, is shipping the bicycles for distribution by its relief volunteers for children left orphaned or otherwise affected by AIDS.

Mount Olive honors supporter

A planned agribusiness center at Mount Olive College will be named in memory of a long-time supporter, the Goldsboro News-Argus reported July 24.

Duplin County native Lois G. Britt, who died June 4, was a longtime advocate for agriculture in Eastern North Carolina who helped bring support for the college, in part through her work as co-chair of the College’s New Century Capital Campaign. She also served on the college’s Board of Directors.

The Agribusiness Center, created in 2002, serves as an educational resource for agricultural businesses, providing academic and leadership programs for the agricultural community.

Backpacks distributed

Students in the Power of One mentoring program in Greenville received new backpacks for the new school year, the Daily Reflector reported July 25.

About 20 students got backpacks as part of a partnership between Communities in Schools and Office Depot, which has donated more than 4,000 backpacks in the state, including 100 in the Pitt County area. It is a new program.

Princeville plans new health clinic

Carolina Family Health Centers in Princeville has purchased 12 acres of land to become the town’s new Freedom Hill Health Center, the Rocky Mount Telegram reported July 21.

The group’s board of directors approved the $80,000 purchase near N.C. 33 to expand the center’s medical departments and add dental services.

Freedom Hill Health Center currently operates in temporary locations, after receiving a $775,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Construction should begin this fall and be completed by July 2006.

Hope offers health care

Working but uninsured people in Pamlico County have an option for health care through the Hope Clinic in Bayboro. The center, open since 1999, has seen about 659 residents during its free, once-weekly clinic at the Pamlico County Health Department, where patients receive medical help and medication.

An estimated 25 volunteers staff the Thursday-night clinics, providing about 7,400 hours of labor last year valued at $150,000, the organization estimates. Combined with no-cost pharmaceuticals, the clinic provides about a half-million in free medical care each year.

— Compiled by Marion P. Blackburn

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