Eastern NC roundup

Eastern Region halts grants

Facing economic hard times, the Eastern Region economic development partnership has temporarily stopped awarding incentive grants, the Kinston Free Press reported March 15.

The grants are funded by interest on revenue collected from an automobile tag surcharge, along with interest on accounts.

County residents paid the tag tax from 1995 to 2000.

The partnership has awarded $185,906 in grants during the fiscal year beginning in July 2005.

African-Americans face health challenges

African-Americans in Cumberland County face high numbers of AIDS and HIV infections, said speakers at the county’s Minority Health Summit, the Fayetteville Observer reported March 15.

About 100 health professionals, clergy and members of the community attended the summit, sponsored by Operation Sickle Cell.

Diabetes, heart disease, mental illness and breast cancer are other challenges for African-Americans, who account for almost three in four new HIV and AIDS cases, the Cumberland County Public Health Department reports.

Women’s shelter receives peace award

My Sister’s House, a women’s shelter in Rocky Mount, received the ninth N.C. Peace Prize from the state’s Peace Corps Association, the Rocky Mount Telegram reported Feb. 26.

The home serves women who have experienced violence or sexual assault by a domestic partner, and provides crisis intervention, outreach and awareness and offers temporary residence for families.

The prize honors community nonprofit agencies fulfilling goals that reflect the mission of the Peace Corps, including helping people gain independence.

City assumes project duties

Another nonprofit has withdrawn from the Hugh Cale neighborhood revitalization project, but the city has agreed to complete it, the Daily Advance of Elizabeth City reported March 15.

Elizabeth City will build a job training center and homeless shelter as part of a five-year, $1.75 million state grant.

When the Northeastern Community Development Corp. of Camden withdrew, the project risked losing $425,000 in state funding.

Hospital to seek bond funding

Wayne Memorial Hospital will seek $35 million through tax-exempt bonds to complete an energy plant, the Goldsboro News-Argus reported March 16.

The 30-year bonds will help pay for a heat and water reclamation system, a new pump for the sprinkler system, equipment and renovations.

Greenville volunteer honored

Charity Holland, 87, of Greenville, received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award for her volunteer work, the Daily Reflector reported March 10.

She has also been recognized by the United Methodist Association of Health & Welfare Ministries and is the national recipient of the Individual Volunteer of the Year award presented in March in St. Louis, Mo.

Imperial Center opens

The Imperial Center for the Arts and Sciences in Rocky Mount has officially opened, the Rocky Mount Telegram reported March 17.

The $30 million, 130,000-square-foot center created from a reclaimed tobacco warehouse, contains a theater, planetarium, children’s museum and arts center.

Soccer group struggles

The Swansboro Soccer Association has appealed new tax evaluations by Onslow County that are making it difficult to afford a donated field, which was to be the league’s new home, the Tideland News reported March 15.

The property was valued at $1.3 million dollars, with a $9,000 annual tax bill.

Onslow Museum turns 30

The Onslow Ciounty Museum celebrated its 30th birthday, the Jacksonville Daily News reported March 12.

Located in Richlands since 1994, it was formerly located downtown and now resides beside the Richlands Town Hall.

Mercury found in fish

High mercury levels have been found at four testing sites in eastern North Carolina, the Pamlico News reported March 1.

Fish tested by North Carolina riverkeepers and coastkeepers found levels above the Environmental Protection Agency’s limits in the Neuse River. Most of the contamination is thought to come from cola-fired power plants, according to the EPA.

The sampling was coordinated in part by Larry Baldwin, Riverkeeper for the Lower Neuse.

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