Category Archives: – FRONT PAGE

Massive, wind-fanned fire destroys home in Oriental

Homeowners escape without injury

ORIENTAL – Horrific fire, with mind-numbing blazes, Saturday morning about 11:30 completely destroyed the two-story residence of George and Judy Smith at 402 Whittaker Point Drive – and may have severely damaged two vehicles parked in the home’s driveway.

The homeowners escaped, and reported no injuries.

By noon, massive flames had totally engulfed the structure. At one point — before an overwhelming response by up to four Volunteer Fire Departments – the blaze, fanned by a brisk breeze, threatened a nearby residence.
However, a vacant lot – though wooded and strewn with dry leaves – served as a buffer until firefighters arrived.

The homeowner, George Smith – interviewed roadside while his newly remodeled home burned – said the cause of the fire “was a charger for my golf cart battery.” Smith, on the mend from recent knee surgery, had the presence of mind to call 911 while hobbling from the structure. His wife, Judy, is also safe.

More details on this tragedy will follow in subsequent posts.

Amaré Jarvis headed to regional of Scripps National Spelling Bee

‘Not nervous’ says fourth grader at Fred A. Anderson Elementary

BAYBORO — Every year, students from all walks of life have the opportunity to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Youngsters progress from classroom to cafeteria, from auditorium to civic center, delighting friends, family, and sponsors along the way!

THE BEE’S PURPOSE: To help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts, and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.

This Saturday at 1 p.m. in downtown Washington, Amaré Jarvis, age 10, competes with students from throughout eastern North Carolina – all hoping to advance in this most iconic of scholastic competitions.

Last week, during a brief interview in a fast food restaurant, Amaré — along with his parents Tamaro Jarvis and Monique Sawyer — experienced one of the benefits from being in the local limelight. Hardee’s general manager, Diane Lambert; and supervisor, Tilena Snider; presented the youngster with a valuable gift certificate – enough to feed all three at some future date!

Recalling the elementary school’s recent spelling bee, Amaré said: “I prayed before it started,” which helped him stay calm during a usually frenetic experience.

“It’s a lot of hard work,” said his father, clearly proud of his son’s achievement. “It really takes sacrifice.”

Charter School to herald $8.9 million expansion

Click to enlarge

By Maureen Donald

ARAPAHOE — A fun-filled afternoon is planned at Arapahoe Charter School Friday, April 7, from 1:30 until 3 to celebrate 20 years as the area’s only public regional school of choice and mark construction of an $8.9 million expansion.

Since 1997, Arapahoe Charter School has provided a learning environment that offers the kind of individualized instruction and family atmosphere that is unique among both Pamlico County and surrounding counties schools. Enrollment has doubled in the 20 years since its creation, in part because its academic excellence and supportive learning environment have attracted students beyond Pamlico County.

Of the 520 students now served, over one-half come from outside county school systems. Five years ago, in response to the overwhelming demand from our parents, a high school program was added offering the Arapahoe Charter School experience to students from kindergarten through high school.

With a projected graduation rate of 96 percent, parents and staff take pride in preparing students with what they need to succeed in education and in life. As our programs have grown and developed, our physical facilities have not. For that reason, the Board of Directors has committed to providing permanent state-of-the-art buildings for our students.

Thanks to a generous combination of investments from Arapahoe Charter School and Tideland EMC, in addition to a USDA Rural Development loan, we have embarked on an exciting building initiative to create 18 K- 8 classrooms, three exceptional children’s rooms, a media center and a new cafeteria and kitchen. It is with pride and a great deal of excitement that the entire Arapahoe Charter School family invites the community to celebrate this wonderful event.

Editor’s note: For more information, contact Maureen Donald at (252) 675-3128, or e-mail her at:

Carteret drug enforcement efforts lead to more convictions


Beaufort, North Carolina – District Attorney Scott Thomas announced the following defendants charged in ongoing Carteret County drug enforcement efforts entered guilty pleas prior to their cases being called for trial this week. The convictions were obtained during a special session of court, requested by District Attorney Thomas to address the caseload created by vigorous law enforcement efforts to counter illegal drug transactions. Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Ben Alford presided over this special session of court, and the cases were prosecuted in court by Assistant District Attorney David Spence.

MARIO JONES, 36, of Newport, pled guilty to Attempted Trafficking in Opiates, and admitted his status as an Habitual Felon. Judge Alford sentenced Jones to a prison sentence of 105 to 138 months. Jones had three prior convictions for Felony Breaking and Entering, and prior drug convictions. Jones assisted co-defendant Dwayne McCoo in supplying oxycodone tablets to an undercover informant working with an investigator with the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office in October, 2015.

KANDICE KAHLEY, 33, of Beaufort, pled guilty to Trafficking in Opiates and received an active prison sentence of 70 to 93 months. Kahley sold oxycodone tablets to an undercover informant working with a detective with the Morehead City Police Department in October, 2015. The transaction took place in the parking lot of the Wal- Mart in Morehead City. Kahley and co-defendant Phillip Thackston fled to Indiana and had to be extradited back to North Carolina to face these charges. Thackston pled guilty last month and received a prison sentence of 70 to 146 months.

MIKAEL DEWAIN DIXON, 44, of Newport, pled guilty to Trafficking in Opiates and twelve other lesser felony drug offenses, and received an active prison term of 70 to 93 months. Dixon sold oxycodone tablets to an undercover informant working with investigators with the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office in June and July, 2015.

MICHAEL JOHNSON, 45, of Beaufort, pled guilty to Sale and Delivery of Oxycodone, and received an active prison sentence of 13 to 25 months. Johnson sold five tablets to an undercover informant working with the Morehead City Police Department. Johnson was already on a probationary sentence when he committed this offense, and the probationary sentence of 14 to 26 months was activated, and the sentences were ordered to run consecutively to each other.

PATRICK JONES, 26, of Beaufort, pled guilty to Sale of Heroin and was sentenced to a prison term of 15 to 29 months. The sale took place in March, 2016, at the Dutch Treat Mobile Home Park in Newport, where Jones sold 10 bindles of heroin to an undercover informant working with the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office.

JAMES KING, 31, of Havelock, pled guilty to Sale of Heroin and was sentenced to a term of 11 to 23 months in prison. King sold heroin to an informant working with the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office, and the transaction took place in the parking lot of Gil’s Market in Newport, in December, 2015.

ANDRE MELVIN, 33, of New Bern, pled guilty to Possession with Intent to Sell or Deliver Cocaine, and received an active prison sentence of 6 to 17 months. Melvin was arrested after being found passed out behind the wheel of his car at the Speedway Mart in Newport. An officer with the Newport Police Department responded, and arrested Melvin for Resisting a Public Officer after Melvin gave the officer false identifying information. The officer located two bags of cocaine on Melvin during a search incident to arrest for the resisting charge. Melvin also faces drug charges in Craven County, where he is scheduled for trial next week.

MADELINE DARE JOHNSON, 27, of Morehead City, pled guilty to Sale of Heroin and six other felony offenses related to the sale of heroin in March 2015 and March 2016 to informants working with the Morehead City Police Department. Judge Alford sentenced Johnson to an active prison sentence of 8 to 19 months, followed by another sentence of 70 to 140 months which he suspended, and placed Johnson on supervised probation for five years, once she is released from prison.

Seven other defendants also pled guilty to felony drug charges during this special term of court, and received suspended sentences, based upon the circumstances of each case and the defendants’ lack of prior criminal record.

Statue dedication ceremony set for March 22

Welding students, instructor create one-of-a-kind tribute to community college

On one side, a great blue heron takes flight.

By Attila Nemecz
Public Relations Coordinator
Beaufort County Community College

WASHINGTON — Beaufort County Community College plans to dedicate a sculpture created by its welding students and instructor as part of the school’s 50th anniversary. Although everyone is welcome, officials have issued a special invitation to all those who attended BCCC during the 1967 – 1969 period, the college’s first three years of operation!

The dedication ceremony has been scheduled for Wednesday, March 22, at noon.

Welding instructor Ted Clayton has been working on the statue for seven years, getting materials donated from PotashCorp, Flanders Filters and Carver Machine Works. He went to the “boneyard” at PotashCorp looking for scrap metal, and when he told them what he wanted to do, they laughed and told him to grab anything he needed.

Welding students have had a chance to express their artistic side while learning the proper welds. The 5,000-pound metal sculpture features a school of fish swimming around pilings. On top of the pilings is an osprey circling its next with chicks inside. On the back is a great blue heron.

“I love to fish. I’m huge about the Pamlico River. If you ride from here to Ocracoke, you will pass all of these pilings, and they all have nests on them,” said Clayton. “It hit me one morning when I was riding out with my dog. It’s pretty right here. You cannot take from the Pamlico. It holds its own against anywhere in the world.”

The 5,000 pound metal sculpture depicts a school of fish circling pilings, while an osprey lands in its nest.

The work on the statue has taken place entirely outside of class. Students have enthusiastically volunteered to contribute to it. When he first told students about his idea, they laughed at him. Once they started working on the sculpture, “sparkles started coming in their eyes,” according to Clayton. “They realize, ‘what can’t you do with a piece of metal?’”

The statue will sit on Campus Drive East leading to Building 10 and Building 5. NC Community College System President Dr. Jimmie Williamson, former BCCC President Dr. David McLawhorn, current BCCC President Dr. Barbara Tansey and instructor Ted Clayton will speak at the event.

BCCC was chartered as a technical institute nearly 50 years ago, but its roots in the community run even deeper. Industrial and technical education was offered in Beaufort County in 1962 through an Industrial Education Center. The center was first affiliated with Lenoir County Technical Institute and later with Pitt Technical Institute.

Local businessman A. Graham Elliott was an early supporter of industrial education in Beaufort County. In 1967, Elliott, then chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Industrial Education Center, said, “There is a real need for spreading trade and technical educational benefits to greater numbers in Beaufort County. It is necessary that we take a serious look at this type of institution called the technical institute.”

Two events that same year made a stand-alone technical institute for Beaufort County possible ― local voters on approved a $500,000 bond issue by a vote of nearly three to one, and State Sen. Ashley B. Futrell and State Rep. William R. Roberson Jr. introduced legislation in their respective chambers of the N.C. General Assembly establishing Beaufort County Technical Institute.

On Aug. 23, 1968, 39 graduates received their diplomas at BCTI’s first graduation. Almost 50 years later, BCCC conferred 190 degrees, diplomas and certificates on the Class of 2016, including 45 Associate’s Degrees in Nursing.

In 1969 a permanent site for BCTI was purchased, and construction of the school’s campus on U.S. 264 began. After being housed in temporary locations throughout the county, including a former prison farm and in space above what was then the local fire department, BCTI moved to its current location in the spring of 1971.

The campus sits on the former Woodrow Sheppard farm, which was sold to the BCTI Board of Trustees by Fred and Mary Sheppard. Another tract was sold to the college by Vandalia Sykes. The last land purchase was from Linda Byrd and Roger Woolard in 2015.

With more than 400 employees, 2,100 students enrolled in its Curriculum programs, and 4,400 in Continuing Education, BCCC is a driving force in the economic development of the region. Under the leadership today of Dr. Barbara Tansey, the school’s fifth president, Beaufort County Community College initiates collaborative efforts among community and government agencies, provides innovative technology, and builds strong relationships with business and industry.

Alumni and employees from 1967-1969 should contact Serena Sullivan at 252-940-6326 if they would like to take part in the dedication ceremony.

Virginia Elizabeth Humphrey charged with Felony Child Abuse after child ingests opiate based narcotic

Virginia Elizabeth Humphrey

Sheriff Chris Davis | Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office

On Friday, March 17, 2017, at approximately 5:00pm, Pamlico County 911 Communication Center received a 911 call requesting medical assistance at 242 Longleaf Drive in Reelsboro NC in reference to a 3-year-old child that had possibly taken adult medication.

Upon arrival, Deputies made contact with Virginia Elizabeth Humphrey, the mother of the child. Humphrey stated to deputies that the child had possibly taken non-narcotic medication that belonged to Humphrey. The child was transported to Carolina East Medical Center. Upon evaluation of the child by medical staff at the hospital, it was determined that the child had taken some type of opiate based narcotic. Deputies secured the scene, began collecting evidence and conducting interviews.

Based on the evidence collected at the scene and interviews that were conducted during the investigation, Deputies arrested and charged Virginia Elizabeth Humphrey with Felony Child Abuse. Humphrey was issued a $30,000 secured bond and placed in the Pamlico County Detention Facility. Pamlico County Department of Social Services assisted in the Investigation. The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call the Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office at (252)745-3101.

Requiem for a small town: Belhaven

By Joe Salotti | Guest Commentary

The town of Belhaven has two primary assets. Without them, Belhaven cannot survive. These are: 1) The good, honest, caring, and taxpaying citizens; 2) The view and relationship with the waters around the town, which have given the community its purpose for existence.

These very elements of survival, as a town, have been challenged by their loss for many years. Unfortunately, the loss of industry and resources has had a big impact on the economy of the area. It is not this loss that is paramount to the heart of Belhaven. It is the loss of the spirit of purpose that our forefathers, and foremothers, had in building this town — born of need and caring for humanity. The spirit of Belhaven has been replaced by the inbreeding of the old money and good-ole-boy syndrome. The economy of the Belhaven area has been feeding off itself for too long, fueled for the most part by some distant jobs, Social Security, Welfare, and Small Businesses.

An economy is not perpetual; it goes up, down, or simply grinds to a halt. Belhaven’s economy is dying, and the town is in decay. You just have to look around to see it. It does not have to be this way.

We are not going to have to wait for the economy to die because the factions that created and prolonged the issues of the old hospital in Belhaven are killing it – and the spirit of the town with it. The one main element that is missing from the efforts of these folks is the interest and consideration for the health and welfare of the populace of the Region.

The Mayor — with his chest pounding, political posturing, and adolescent behavior — has demoralized the town. He has embarrassed the town among the populace, throughout the region and state. With his questionable tactics, such as the ‘Good-ole-boy Utilities Give Away,’ he has stretched the moral fiber of the Townspeople. He has done nothing for the betterment of the town or its citizens and needs to turn in his resignation, post haste.

The Pantego Creek LLC and its managers formed a special interest group. Though well intended, this group compromised a key element of Belhaven’s future: The town’s view and relationship with the waters that surround it. The LLC has bolstered the old hospital for nostalgia, not for the health interest of this region.

Those of you who comprise the LLC have had your 15 minutes in the spotlight; now it is time to help save the Town of Belhaven. All the property of the old hospital should be signed over to the Town for the use of its citizens — never to be sold. If not, the Town of Belhaven should take the property under eminent domain and pay each member of the LLC, one dollar, for its consideration.

The LLC should build a pencil factory (or something using local products) that would put revenue back into the town and put some citizens to work. The waterfront should be developed for the use of its people. If a Developer should get this property and builds a structure like the Day Beacon, it will seal the fate of Belhaven to a few well to do people and provide little overall value to the town.

On this site could be built the Belhaven Regional Civic Mall. It would be built 12 feet off the ground to preserve the view of the harbor from Pamlico Street and the surrounding area. The people could see and enjoy Haven’s Walk. The boardwalk would go from the Wildlife Access to the Charlie Smith Community House and beyond — but that is another story.

You know that in its heyday of 1923, Belhaven had a boardwalk with a Pavilion. There was music, dancing, movies, fishing, and people. The Civic Mall would include a 200 stadium-seat Cultural Arts Theatre — to be used for events, all types of shows, and the likes of the Tuesday night jam sessions. There would be a true regional history museum that would be established and run by the NC Department of History. There would be a small gift shop, public space for meetings and events and maybe a coffee shop of sorts, operated by locals for all the Townspeople and a tourist or two, if they come, and they will. There would be a covered deck all around so that the people could sit and watch the sunsets. The building would be atop concrete pillars; the building would be of materials and designed to withstand the worst of hurricanes. You see, this Mall would also be a refuge, equipped for the people, if need be.

On Sept. 2, 1913, there was a great hurricane that pretty well wiped out the Town of Belhaven. At that time, the 100-year flood elevation was set at 7.4 feet above mean sea level. There was five feet or more of water and debris that stood in the downtown businesses. What does that tell you, folks?

In 1948, the Belhaven Hospital was built flat on the ground. Later, new additions were built on slightly raised areas. It was built like a sponge, of cinder block and brick veneer; with a lot of gapes and hidden air pockets. Then came high water events: Hurricane Hazel, Diane, Bertha, and Fran. Hurricane Fran was especially bad with eight feet of water filling the streets of downtown Belhaven. The torrents of rain and damaging winds tore at the old sentinel of health.

There was tropical storm Josephine; and then came Hurricane Bonnie and others that soaked the base of the hospital even with the levee walls. Along with the leaky roofs the structure became a culture tray for germs, bacteria, mold, and mildew; with the potential for unhealthy levels of airborne contamination and respiratory illnesses. You know the adage, “that a boat is a hole in the water where you throw money!” Well, the old hospital could no longer float.  There has to be a whole lot of credit given to the good people who built the hospital, the doctors, the nurses, and the staff, that endured the hardships of a hospital under siege and provide a good level of care. They had to care about the people, and it is sad that today’s healthcare can’t be the same. It is the almighty buck that is the plague of our time.

Now; what of Vidant and a new hospital? It is well established, at this time, that Vidant is dedicated to the many clauses of your insurance policy and if you don’t have one they are not dedicated at all. The new facility in Belhaven is hardly more than a half-staffed doctor’s office. Some of the doctors may have a heart but the business does not. If Vidant is not going to provide the services that the people — all the people — need and want,  then their charter in the Town of Belhaven and the county of Beaufort must be revoked and they should get out.

If we are forced to drive 30 to 50 miles for decent healthcare, we don’t need them to tell us which direction to go. The terms of healthcare are humanity, not a corporate bottom line. Our Town, County, State, and Federal leaders will have to see that it is built and it will have a fully functional Emergency Room; if the people come together and demand it so.

The people of the region of Pantego, Pungo, and the Pamlico, the County of Beaufort, the State of North Carolina, and the government of the USA should build a proper hospital in Belhaven to serve up to 20,000 people. It would be central to the town. The building will be high and dry and of the materials and design to withstand a tidal surge, winds of 300 mph, and maintain function in any kind of weather. A hospital in this region is not just healthcare — it is a refuge for the people; when Mother Nature gets angry with how we treat her land and resources; but that, is another story.

Since its beginning, Belhaven has had many tragedies: natural, commercial, and industrial. Many times the Townspeople reinvented or rebuilt the town. Today there are a few young entrepreneurs who are trying to swim against the tide of adversity but it does not bring the people and the industry that is needed. The old guard and old money is diluted and dying; their children’s children have left or are leaving. The grand old houses are too expensive to fix or even to tear down and few taxes are paid. They go to rot with the shame that the town will not see that justice is done and leave them to memory. The houses that are renovated are done so beyond their value. These houses can be sold to the unsuspecting buyer; who soon finds that Belhaven is not what it seems.

It sounds pretty bad, does it not? It is true that this is not Mayberry and there is no joke here. Have you noticed that there has been a lot of turnover in personnel in the Town Hall over these last few months? Of course, it is not just the fault of the Mayor and his handy clan. It is the cartel of good-ole-boys who run the town from the local diners instead of the Town Hall meetings. They don’t want the town to change as long as they have the influence. The problem is that we, THE  PEOPLE, do not make the effort to elect good leaders and go to the meetings to ensure that the town is being served now and for the future. Do you realize that for every family that accepted the Good-Ole-Boy Utilities Give Away, there is a person who has stolen from his neighbor; trying to get something for nothing; and sell their vote without care for the Town and its people? There are, or should be, programs to help the less fortunate.

Belhaven’s issues at hand need to be resolved. Our citizens need to be united under a competent leadership with some common sense to redefine a purpose such as our forebears had in building the town.

If there is to be a serious change to save the Town of Belhaven, then it will take the voices and support of every citizen of the Town and those in the Region. The book “Town of Belhaven Centennial” gives witness to the fact that, it can be done. In 1914, the 7th grade of the Belhaven graded school was given the challenge to organize their class for a special event. They accepted the challenge and penned the motto “Find a Way or Make a Way.”

What could be more fitting for our challenge of today?

The Town of Belhaven is dying of neglect and decay. Of course, if this is what the people of Belhaven wants of its heritage; then Amen is the only thing left to say. It does not have to be this way.

Hometown hoopster budding star for March Madness-bound UNC-W

Known as ‘J-5’ on the court, Jaylen Fornes impressive as Seahawk freshman guard


In a nod to Jaylen’s jersey number, teammates call the freshman guard ‘J-5’

ORLANDO – Early Thursday afternoon, UNC-Wilmington takes on the University of Virginia Cavaliers in a first round game of the NCAA basketball tournament. Expect plenty of cheers throughout Pamlico County as local fans hope Jaylen Fornes can work his magic as a freshman guard for the Seahawks.

Fornes, 19, played varsity basketball for one year at Pamlico County High School, before transferring to Word of God High School in Raleigh. He started for the Hurricanes as a freshman, which was a good indicator of his talent, according to Garry Cooper, a former Seahawk star in the early 1980s.

“You could see the gift he was blessed with, even when he was playing in the seventh and eighth grades,” recalled Cooper, who is now the Director of the Pamlico County Recreation Department. Cooper should know – he is a member of the UNC-W Basketball Hall of Fame, and predicts good things for the young athlete.

“I didn’t get a chance to coach him, but he was well-loved here, and a very good ballplayer,” said Cooper, during a brief telephone interview Wednesday morning. “If he keeps working hard, and sticks with it, Jaylen could possibly make the Hall of Fame himself – that’s how good I think he can be.”

Jaylen retains strong Pamlico County roots. His mother Rebecca Fornes, older brothers Jake and Lucas, and grandparents Dennis and Lola Fornes live in the area. All will undoubtedly be tuned in – either courtside (like Mom) — or glued to the TV set Thursday afternoon.

“Jaylen came home for Thanksgiving,” said Rebecca, “but the team had to practice Christmas Day.”

The move to Raleigh, early in his high school career, was a plus for Jaylen, said his mother, but his biggest exposure to college recruiters came during summer months, while playing AAU basketball. She said 22 colleges expressed an interest in Jaylen, before he decided on UNC-W, adding that the big decision was predicated in part upon the great reputation of UNC-W Head Coach, Kevin Keatts.

“We learned that college scouts don’t care too much about high school performance,” said Rebecca. “In Jaylen’s case, it seemed to be all about what he did during the AAU games. He’s on a full scholarship, and he’s got a 3.2 Grade Point Average, so we are mighty proud of him.”

#5 Jaylen Fornes

2016-17 (FRESHMAN GUARD – UNC-W Seahawks: 6’4” 210 lbs.)

-Played final minute in CAA championship game vs. College of Charleston
-Played 10 minutes and grabbed four rebounds vs. W&M in CAA semifinals
-Scored two points with two rebounds in CAA quarterfinals vs. Delaware
-Played nine minutes vs. Towson and scored eight points
-Scored three points and had career-high four rebounds at Elon
-Started for second straight game vs. JMU and had eight points and two assists
-Made first career start and responded with career-high 17 points vs. Delaware
-Scored eight points at William & Mary
-Contributed seven points vs. Drexel
-Collected five points and three rebounds vs. W&M
-Had season-high seven points vs. Pfeiffer
-Scored four points in six minutes vs. Toledo
-Had season-high five points vs. Middle Tennessee State on Nov. 25, 2016
-Came off the bench to play nine minutes at Eastern Kentucky
-Scored three points and grabbed two rebounds in collegiate debut vs. Claflin

-Athletic scoring guard who should contribute right away for Seahawks
-Four-year scholarship to UNC-W
-Current Grade Point Average of 3.2

-Played as freshman at Pamlico County High School in Bayboro, N.C.
-Transferred to Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, N.C.
-Played for Coach Brian Clifton at Word of God
-Member of varsity team for four seasons
-Also played football at Word of God
-Indications of interest from 22 colleges, before choosing UNC-W

-Full Name: Jaylen Aaron Fornes
-Born in Grantsboro, N.C.
-Son of Corey Green and Rebecca Fornes
-Played for ‘Team Loaded’ of AAU

Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office Planning Summer Camp

Sheriff Chris Davis
Pamlico County

This summer, The Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office is planning to begin a new program geared at helping our youth in Pamlico County. We understand that our youth are this community’s greatest asset and want to ensure that we do all we can in making sure these young folks succeed in life. This summer we are planning to start a summer camp for our youth. This camp will last a week and we plan to run as many week-long sessions as we have kids sign up for. Each session we would like to have between 10-15 kids and will be chaperoned by our (2) school resource officers as they tour Eastern North Carolina. During the week, these kids will spend time learning about the sheriff’s office, our court system, meeting local government officials, touring the nature center in Kinston, the state park in Atlantic Beach and many other places of interest in Eastern North Carolina. Our goal is to reach 60-100 8-12-year-old Pamlico County children this summer.

Not only do we believe this program will keep kids out of trouble during the summer, we also want to build strong relationships between law enforcement and our youth. We believe that we can continue to build off the relationships we have started over the last several years. My staff and I spend countless hours in our schools each year, teaching our youth about making good decisions. We believe that if we start with our youth, we will progress in making our communities and schools a safer place.

As you may know, this program is not funded by local government tax dollars. We are reaching out to you today and asking for donations to help us, help our youth. We project the cost to run this program each summer at around $10,000.00, per summer. Each day we will have to provide these kids with transportation and meals, purchase needed tickets to enter the events the group will attend and purchase each kid a t-shirt at the completion of the camp.

Over the next month, we will be reaching out to local businesses and community leaders to ask for sponsors for the “Sheriff’s Summer Camp.” Each sponsor will have their company name/logo and/or donors name on the t-shirt that each kid will receive. The cost to become a sponsor of the summer camp is $500.00; however, we would gladly except any donation possible.

I would like to thank you for your support of this great program and would like to thank you for helping us, help our youth. If you have any questions, I ask that you contact me at (252)745-3101, or by email,

Huge python moves to new home Friday morning

NEW BERN – The creature is big. It’s heavy. And, the crazy thing has a tendency to writhe and coil.
We’re talking about ‘Butterscotch,’ which has been an important part of Bill’s Pet Shop for a long, long time.

Now, the time has come for the store to move into much, much larger quarters. Unfortunately, Butterscotch’s home, which is a massive wooden cabinet with glass windows, is too big to go through the doors of the existing store location, nor those of the new store – about 100 yards away in a different section of Berne Square Shopping Center

Make no mistake! This 17-foot python must be removed from the cabinet, and transported – in one way or another! The event happens at 10 am on Friday, March 10. The plan, at this moment, is to hand-carry the gargantuan viper! But, maybe there is a wheelbarrow out there big enough to contain the serpent! Who knows?

It is, of course, a media spectacle, and the public is invited. The address is 2636 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in New Bern.
Everyone is welcome. However, please steer clear when storeowner Bill Gent, Sr., his son Billy Gent, and assorted staffers get the snake underway. Needless to say, we hope it goes quickly – just long enough to capture this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence on video.