Living Here 2019
N A S H
E D G E C O M B E
ROCKY nort h
c a ro l i n a
Explore the Twin Counties AREA ATTRACTIONS CULTURAL EVENTS DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT ECONOMIC EXPANSION JUKEBOX HEROES FESTIVALS & FUN GOLDEN MILE MAKEOVER HOMEGROWN RESTAURANTS
“They went ABOVE and BEYOND”.
“They cared for my mother as if she were their mother.” LESTER, patient’s son Nash UNC Health Care
Now more than ever, care and compassion are a vital part of every patient experience at Nash UNC Health Care. Our patients and their families are noticing the improvements we’ve made, and are recommending us more frequently. Should you or your family visit us, expect to see how care has been reimagined at Nash UNC.
RAISING EXPECTATIONS. Learn more at NashUNCHealthCare.org/RaisingExpectations 2
NHCS 29987 Living Here 2019 Full Pg_8x10.125.indd 1
6/11/19 12:12 PM
THANKS FOR CHOOSING THE Y FOR BEST WEIGHT LOSS CENTER!
THANKS FOR CHOOSING THE Y FOR BEST WEIGHT Join today or check out all options for a LOSS CENTER! healthy lifestyle!
Join today or check out all options for a HARRISON FAMILY YMCA healthy lifestyle! 252-972-9622
HARRISON FAMILY YMCA 252-972-9622 harrisonfamilyY.org
1000 Independence Drive Rocky Mount
BRING THIS AD IN TO USE AS A FREE GUEST PASS!
1000known Independence The Harrison Family YMCA, better as “The Y”Drive has a Rocky missionMount “to put Christian principals into practice to improve the quality of life in our communities with programs and services that strengthen the spirit, mind, and body for all.” Our mission is our reason for being, and our cause is our mission in action: a promise to do everything in our power to inspire the common good and make life better for individuals, families and the community.
THANKS FORBRING THIS AD IN The Harrison Family YMCA is TO located USE on 1000 Independence Drive in Rocky Mount, NC. We are dedicated to building healthy, confident, AS A FREE CHOOSING secure and connected children, families and communities within our three focus areas of youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. We’ve made a difference in people’s lives from 1911 when the Rocky Mount, Atlantic Coast Line Railroad YMCA was opened GUEST PASS! THE FOR and beganY offering an overnight dormitory for hot meals and showers to Railroad employees. That difference grew throughout the years *Expires 12/31/2018 that ultimately lead to the opening of*Expires our current12/31/2018 facility in 2005. BEST WEIGHT Today we continue to support our members and community by providing needed programs and services. A YMCA membership offers a full wellnessCENTER! area, racquetball courts, basketball courts, two pools, a rock climbing wall, water and group exercise classes, a coach approach LOSS program, child watch care, a member referral program, locker rooms with steam rooms, and more. Programming is also offered including
Care, Summer Day Camp, Youth and Adult Sports, Tots Play Program, Swim Lessons, Racers Competitive Swim Team, JoinBefore/After today orSchool check out Gymnastics, HYPE Competitive Gymnastics Team, Post-Rehab Program, Personal Training, Teens in Training, Couch 2 5K Running Program, all options for a Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring, Diabetes Awareness, Enhance Fitness, Kidney Smart Classes, Nutrition Classes, Special Needs programs, Women on Weights, as well as a variety of family events and activities. healthy lifestyle! Financial Assistance is available to all who apply and qualify thanks to funds raised by the YMCA’s Annual Campaign. We also offer a variety HARRISON FAMILY YMCA of volunteer opportunities. Please follow this link to sign up and check out our options: 252-972-9622 https://harrisonfamilyy.volunteermatters.org/project-catalog harrisonfamilyY.org
1000 Independence Rockytransformative Mount Our Y strives Drive to deliver responses to community needs in our service area of Nash and Edgecombe Counties. We are joined
with other Ys in making a difference across America. We will continue doing what matters most for years to come. As our communities’,
members’ and families’ BRING THIS ADneeds IN and expectations change, we are also making meaningful positive changes. TO USE AS A FREE GUEST PASS!
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Living Contents Here ROCKY MOUNT Publisher Kyle Stephens Editor Gene Metrick Staff & Contributors Spencer Carney Amelia Harper Patrick Mason Jessie H. Nunery John H. Walker William F. West Jenny White Photography Alan Campbell Sarah Louya Advertising Kelly Ayscue Natasha Daniel Lewis Smith Chris Taylor Bryan Wilson Design & Layout Becky Wetherington On The Cover Toni Hyde from Toni Hyde Photography
Enjoy a day trip to one of these unique local facilities 10
Longtime companies mark major milestones 14
Variety of new businesses set to open up shop across area 18
CHAMPIONSHIP SPORTS TRADITION
Area spawns more than its share of stand-out athletes 20
Concerts, plays, artistic events and more enrich local life 22
Revitalization of city's central business district continues 26
Big-time projects plan major business investments in area 28
Local business refurbishes old-time juke boxes 34
FESTIVALS & FUN
Family-friendly events held throughout the year across area 38
GOLDEN MILE MAKEOVER
Commercial thoroughfare undergoes 21st century makeover 40
Along with the usual national chains, try out the area's own eateries 44
Nash UNC Health Care positions itself for the future 46
HOMES AWAY FROM HOME
Area has a wide variety of hotels with more in development 48
MORE THAN MUSIC
Local music teacher provides more than instruction 50
NASH IN BLOOM
Volunteers tend to a vibrant, multi-faceted public arboretum 52
SHOP TIL YOU DROP
Besides the big-box national chain stores, check out these local gems 56
New housing development reflects real estate rebound in area 58
RECREATION & FITNESS
No shortage of opportunities to get outdoors and have healthy fun 60 Living Here is a publication of the Rocky Mount Telegram and Adams Publishing Group. Contents may not be reproduced without the consent of the publisher.
WESLEYAN GOING STRONG
Enrollment, campus growth booms at local college 62
RIVER & TWINE
Innovative Tiny House Hotel the latest edition to Rocky Mount Mills
AREA attractions By John H. Walker
Within a short drive from wherever you are in eastern North Carolina, there are three attractions that could serve as answers to questions on the television game show, “Jeopardy.” Think about it: A collection of domestic and exotic animals that grew into a petting zoo and then a television show … The oldest museum in the United States dedicated to the history of America’s rural health … 6
The largest collection of exotic and rare waterfowl in the world. The answers are “What is It’s a Zoo Life in Macclesfield,” “What is The Country Doctor Museum in Bailey” and “What is Sylvan Heights Bird Park in Scotland Neck”? That’s right. Right here in our own backyard, there are three attractions well worth one’s time, energy and the price of admission to go visit.
It’s a Zoo Life camel and more. In addition, there’s a coati, also known as a coatimundi, porcupines, a wolf, cockatoo, Patagonian cavy and tortoises as well as many farm animals. It’s a Zoo Life gives visitors the opportunity to see selected animals in their habitats while accompanied by a trained, knowledgeable staff member. Tours are by appointment only and last about 90 minutes. Admission is $20 for ages 6 and It’s a Zoo Life is the newest of the three and sprang up in the back yard of Bobbie Jo Abrams
up and $10 for children ages 5 and younger.
& Seafood and Abrams Amusements, both
Children 2 and under are admitted free.
based out of Tarboro.
For more information or to schedule a
and her family along NC 42 in Macclesfield. If
It’s a Zoo Life is a USDA-licensed facility
the Abrams name sounds familiar to you, it’s
that houses more than 85 animals including
tour, call 252-266-7974 or send an email to
the same family associated with Abrams BBQ
a zebra, lemur, alpacas, lama, kangaroo, sloth,
The senior citizen of the attractions is
Country Doctor Museum
nursing, drugs and home remedies.
the Country Doctor Museum, created in
The museum includes a pair of buildings
1967 by a group of women who wanted
that were once the offices of Dr. Howard
to build a memorial to and recognize the
Franklin Freeman (1878-1915) and Dr.
contributions of the rural physician.
Cornelius Henry Bradley (1887-1940) and
Tours are available through the three
are now set up as an apothecary (a person
buildings that comprise the museum and
who prepared and sold medicines and
exhibits contain medical artifacts from between the late 18th century to the first half of the 20th century. Over
than 50 years since its creation, the museum collection has grown to more than 5,000 medical
drugs) and as a doctor’s office, which also includes a Civil War era display. Also displayed is furniture, instruments and equipment commonly used by doctors from the period. The museum is now under the auspices of the Division of Health Sciences at East Carolina University and is managed as part of the History Collections of Laupus Library. The Country Doctor museum is located
historic textbooks that
at 7089 Peele Road in Bailey. It is open
Tuesday-Saturday and tours last 45-60
from across the United
minutes. Admission is $8 for ages 18-55, $6
for 55 and older and $4 for ages 3-17 and
museum has grown to include
college students with ID. For more information, call 252-2354165
Sylvan Heights Bird Park While the history of Sylvan Heights dates to its establishment by Mike and Ali Lubbock in 1981 in the western North Carolina community of Sylva, the facility was relocated to Scotland Neck in 1989 and, in 2006, Sylvan Heights Bird Park was opened and draws more than 55,000 visitors annually. With the arrival of the Lubbocks from England, they began breeding rare waterfowl from around the world. The importance of the Sylvan Heights Avian Breeding Center cannot be overstated as there are several species that have been
In addition to the rare birds, there is an
brought back from the brink of extinction
enclosed area called “The Landing Zone”
through the work of Sylvan Heights.
where visitors can get up close and personal
The more than 3,000 birds represent
with parakeets and flamingos.
140 species, and zoos and nature centers
Sylvan Heights also has an elevated
around the world have gotten birds
nature walk that gives students on field trips
because of the work of the Breeding Center,
access to a swampy area around a former
which plays a major role in maintaining
beaver dam where they can learn more
captive populations of several endangered
about the area and its wildlife. Students ages 6 and up have the
waterfowl species. The Bird Park allows visitors to see the
opportunity to put on rubber boots and
waterfowl in a natural setting, allowing
explore the area — under guidance, of
them to enjoy and learn about the birds and
waterfowl from around the world without
During exploration of the swampy area,
disturbing the important nesting birds at
two Cardinal flowers were found, as were
the Breeding Center.
orange jewelweed plants. The Cardinal
A couple of the success stories from
attracts butterflies and hummingbirds,
Sylvan Park include the Hawaiian Goose,
while the jewelweed attracts migrating
which was down to 30 birds in 1952.
Through the work of the Breeding Center,
Sylvan Heights is located at 500 Sylvan
there are now a few thousand of Hawaii’s
Heights Park Way, off US 258 just north of
state bird and the possibility exists it could
Scotland Neck and is open Tuesday-Sunday
be removed from the endangered list.
Admission is $11 for ages 13-61, $10 for
winged duck, which is down to about 200
62 and up, $8 for ages 3-12 and 2 and under
worldwide as its habitat is being converted
is free. Visitors are advised to allow two
to agricultural use.
hours for a tour and golf carts are available
Among the rarest of the world’s ducks, Sylvan Heights owns all of the whitewinged ducks in the United States and loans them out to other facilities for breeding.
for an additional fee. Group tour rates are also available. For more information, call 252-8263186.
Meeting Your Whole Family’s Needs
Founded in 1983 by Dr. Richard Michal, Rocky Mount Family Medical Center is currently owned by Dr. Michal and his partner, Dr. Mark Abel. The practice is not your ordinary family practice. Founded with a desire to serve, Family Medical Center has always looked for ways to improve service. It was the first family practice in Rocky Mount to have an electronic medical records system, and today, patients have access to a full service laboratory as well an accredited radiology department including ultrasounds - all under one roof. Dr. Michal and Dr. Abel have a strong desire to give back to the community that has helped grow the practice. They do that by supporting and establishing events to include, Relay for Life, the American Heart Walk, Tackle the Tar, Twin Counties Sugar Run, Hero’s Lunch and the Go Red Banquet. The staff and providers pay to “dress down” on Fridays with all money raised being donated to non-profits. “Our patients are more than a chart number. They are part of the FMC family and part of our community. We take our responsibility to the community very seriously,” said Dr. Richard Michal. The practice also supports the community through organizations such as the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce and Rotary, and it has received numerous People’s Choice Awards from the Rocky Mount Telegram. Rocky Mount Family Medical Center, which began with one provider and four patients, has grown to a twelve provider practice with plans to continue growing and improving services. The next step in this process will be to offer the MDVIP Wellness Program. Physicians who participate in this program are able to provide their paWINNER tients with a full wellness plan and a closer doctor-patient relationship. Appointments are longer; less hurried, and have less wait time. The patients have 24 hour access Reader’s Choice Award 2015 to their physicians and receive a comprehensive annual wellness physical that is far beyond what most Medical insuranceCenter Family companies now provide. While this will be an additional service offered by the practice, patients may WINNER still use their insurance for routine care. For more information about RMFMC, visit their webWINNER site at www.rmfmc.com; call them at (252) 443-3133 or like them on Facebook @ www.Facebook/rmfmc.com. For more information regarding the MDVIP program, Reader’s Choice Award 2015 Reader’s Choice Award 2015 call Rocky Mount Family Medical Center and ask for Medical Service Center Manager Richard G. Michal, MD Amanda Family Bell, Customer or talk with Dr. Michal or Dr. Abel.
BEST OVERALL MEDICAL PRACTICE
BEST FAMILY DOCTOR BEST OVERALL MEDICAL PRACTICE BEST OVERALL DOCTOR WINNER
Christ is at the Heart of our Practice
BEST FAMILY DOCTOR BEST OVERALL DOCTOR Reader’s Choice Award 2015 BEST OVERALL DOCTOR Mark Richard G. Reader’s ChoiceMD Award 2015 Michal,
Mark Abel, MD Abel, MD
Richard G. Michal, MD
BEST OVERALL DOCTOR Reader’s Choice Award 2015
BEST NURSE Reader’s Choice Award 2015
CELEBRATING YEARS of SERVICE By Spencer Carney
It’s been a big year for anniversaries in Rocky Mount, with Bulluck Chevrolet celebrating its
hands of its third generation and is located on
and are looking forward to a strong and
U.S. 301 with three buildings.
continued partnership with the Rocky Mount
103rd year as a company, Cummins Rocky
“A lot of people don’t realize that dealerships
Mount Engine Plant celebrating its 100th and
do so much for the community they’re in,” co-
Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant
Davenport Autopark its 90th.
owner William Bulluck said. “We’re deep in the
makes products such as diesel and natural gas
Don Bulluck Chevrolet was started in 1917
community, and we’ve forever been involved
engines to hybrid and electric platforms, as
on a vacant lot on Tarboro Street in downtown
in community fundraisers and we sponsor a
well as engine systems components, controls
Rocky Mount. Over the years and through
lot of youth sports.”
and related technologies and continues to
a few locations, the dealership is now in the
Bulluck said that they have 49 employees
develop new products and services.
The company has been in Rocky Mount since 1983 and employs more than 1,800 people at its 1.2-million-square-foot plant. The plant produces engines for semi cabs, pick-up trucks, school and public buses, RVs, fire trucks as well as military vehicles and construction equipment. “Technological innovation is at the heart of what we do,” said Tom Linebarger, chairman and CEO. “Cummins is a global technology leader with a broad portfolio of power solutions. We will continue to innovate to ensure our customers’ success.” While
manufacturers no longer exist, Cummins’ leadership credits its longevity to its 100 years of commitment to its mission, vision and values, staying focused on long-term goals and standing up for what is right.
In the past year, Cummins actively maintained its community involvement through volunteering and partnering with educational communities such as community colleges, libraries and public school systems, and helped a United Way campaign raise $533,334.38 after a Cummins Foundation match for the United Way of the Tar River Region. Moving forward, the company aims to further advance engine technology and explore new technologies for future growth. Started in 1929, Davenport Autopark
is still going strong, representing Honda, GMC, and Buick brands. Davenport
community involvement as well. In the past five years, they have donated over $50,000 to Rocky Mount improvement, awarded a scholarship to a community college student every year, and provide a car for a year to the Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools Teacher of the Year.
opened just before the Great Depression
Customers of the dealership are freely
hit. They managed to hang on, as they say,
enrolled in the Dealership for Life program
because they were determined to serve their
upon purchase, which grants them a lifetime
customers in Rocky Mount.
powertrain guarantee, plus oil changes, car
Now, four generations later, the company
washes, towing, loaner cars and more.
A lot of people don’t realize that dealerships do so much for the community they’re in. We’re deep in the community, and we’ve forever been involved in community fundraisers and we sponsor a lot of youth sports. - William Bulluck, Co-owner Bulluck Chevrolet
YOUR LOCAL Kellie Roy
“Working with Buyers and Sellers with Commitment and Experience”
3120-B Zebulon Road Rocky Mount, NC 27804
2623 Sunset Avenue Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Chris Bulluck ABR, GREEN, SRES, Broker
252.883.1383 firstname.lastname@example.org www.moorefieldrealestate.com
Cell: (252)-904-2649 www.sandraruss.com email@example.com
Judy Mesko Broker/Realtor
Leeann U. MiLLer RealtoR Broker (937) 657-1188
(252) 813-3109 firstname.lastname@example.org
SUCCESS BUILT ON RELATIONSHIPS 2311 Sunset Ave., Rocky Mount www.boonehillallenricks.com 252-443-4148
Steve & Wendy Ricks Brokers
1.877.842.0539 fax email@example.com
SuccESS BuILT oN rELATIoNShIpS
2311 Sunset Avenue, Rocky Mount, NC
WENDY: 252-908-7198 STEVE: 252-220-6095 2623 Sunset Avenue Rocky Mount, NC 27804
3303 Sunset Avenue, Suite H Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Office: 252-937-6500 3801 Westridge Circle Drive Rocky Mount, NC 27804
EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org EMAIL: email@example.com
REALTORS There’s no place like YOUR home!
REALTOR®, CRS, GRI, SFR
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Broker REALTOR® 252.883.5834 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Office Number 252-210-3881 120 N Franklin St Ste C Rocky Mount NC 27804 KefferReamsTeam.com
COMING SOON By William F. West
Rocky Mount seems to be on a roll now with future retail and hotel development. One immediately visible work site is on the northwest side of the city, off Benvenue
Popeyes on Sept. 17, 2018, for Freddy’s on
progress off Wellspring Drive, just north of the
May 29 and for Panera Bread on June 6. The
U.S. 64 and Winstead Avenue interchange.
committee is comprised of officials from a variety of departments and offices.
On the southeast side of the interchange, crews have started work on a future Tru by
Road at the former Peoples National Bank
Meantime, Freddy’s franchise owner Dave
Hilton, while the InterContinental Hotels
office, which crews are transforming into a
Dreiling, in a recent statement through a
Group has confirmed intentions to build an
Dairy Queen. That will put the restaurant on
spokesperson, said, “We’re currently working
the northeast side of the Golden East Crossing
through the permitting phase in Rocky Mount
Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce
and hope to start construction in the coming
President and CEO David Farris said he and
weeks to open by the end of the year.
his team believe the development is part of
Additionally, plans on file at City Hall show Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers,
“It’s always fun when we get to announce
Panera Bread and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen
that we’re coming to a new area and reach new
intend to build on the northeast side of
guests who may not have tried our concept
Farris also said the greater Rocky Mount
the interchange of Wesleyan Boulevard
before,” Dreiling said. “We look forward to
area continues to rebound economically from
and Sunset Avenue. That will put the three
getting to know and serving the Rocky Mount
the nationwide downturn of 2007-08.
restaurants on what presently is the grassy
part of the interchange by Sam’s Club at the former Tarrytown Mall. City spokesman Jessie H. Nunery said
as people continue to discover Rocky Mount.
“And a lot of businesses like Panera Bread
Freddy’s serves hot dogs, sandwiches,
and Popeyes and Dairy Queen have looked
steakburgers and combo-meals, as well as
at it as well,” Farris said. “They’ve done their
custards, ice cream and sundaes.
research on our community and they, like so
the local developmental review committee
On the northwest side of the city,
approved the site development plans for
construction of a future Fairfield Inn is in
an ongoing trend for the last couple of years,
many others, believe in it.” Farris also noted Nash County is 15th
highest in visitor spending in North Carolina. He was referring to the 2017 report on the economic impact of travel in the state, as prepared for VisitNC by the U.S. Travel Association. “And other hotels are looking at us,” he said. “And with our athletic complex and the event center and all the other business that’s taken place here now, we need more hotels. And that’s surprising to a lot of people. But we need it and we’ve helped with recruiting it.” He was referring to the Rocky Mount Sports Complex, which is just north of the interchange of U.S. 64 and Church Street, and the Rocky Mount Event Center, which is the new massive indoor multipurpose facility downtown. Farris has credited Alan Matthews, the Chamber’s economic development director, with being instrumental in working with Freddy’s, Panera Bread and Popeyes. Carolinas Gateway President and CEO Norris Tolson said he and fellow officials and leaders have been saying there is a real hum of activity in Rocky Mount and said he believes this is going to change the landscape of the city. “And we believe that it is being driven by a lot of things. One, the Mill project itself is certainly driving a lot of that,” Tolson said in reference to the Rocky Mount Mills development northwest of downtown. “The Event Center is helping with that, helping drive that activity level,” Tolson said. Tolson also said he believes the industrial
water and get going with it.” He was referring to Triangle Tire’s plans to open a massive plant at the Kingsboro Megasite in rural Edgecombe County. Close by, but not in the megasite, Corning, a world-leading innovator in material science but mainly known for glass, plans to open a distribution center. Tolson said he absolutely believes there is going to be retail development around the Kingsboro area and Tarboro. “We are working really hard now to talk to as many people as we can about commercial activity on the Kingsboro site or adjacent to the Kingsboro site,” Tolson said Tolson said he believes the bottom line is with the subsequent coming of the beehive of activity from customers and people having business in the Kingsboro area, people are going to need food, gasoline, lodging and services.
development going on is adding to that image
“All of that says to me is that you had better
of, “Hey, there’s a lot of good stuff going on in
get ready to service those needs with amenities
Rocky Mount. Maybe it’s time to jump in the
that people like that are going to need,” he said.
It’s always fun when we get to announce that we’re coming to a new area and reach new guests who may not have tried our concept before. We look forward to getting to know and serving the Rocky Mount community. - Dave Dreiling, Freddy’s Franchise owner
YEARS IN 13Years
14 Years in Business
G MOR AN’S
90 Years in Business
TerMiTe & PesT ConTrol
19 years in business
“We’re All About Quality” Free Estimates
~ Granite ~ Quartz ~ ~ Marble ~
Custom Kitchen Countertops Bathroom Vanities • Fireplace Surrounds
320 South Glendale Drive Rocky Mount, NC 27801
FINE JEWELRY “Where Quality and Service Come Together”
email@example.com PO Box 961 Rocky Mount, NC 27804 918 Sutton Road Rocky Mount, NC 27801
Telephone (252) 446-2600 Fax (252) 446-5655
4129 London Church RD., Wilson NC Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.granitopsllc.com
Phone: (252) 407-8938 Cell: (252) 883-7378 Fax: (252) 407-8937 Toll free: 1-866-407-8938
Owned & Operator By: Charles & Carol Morgan
WHOLESALE PAINT CENTER
“For Paint & Putty, We’re Your Buddy”
• Paints • Ladders • Brushes Rentals • Wallcovering • Festools • Custom Tinting, Any Color
Over 32 Years in Business AUTO • MOTORCYCLE HOME • COMMERCIAL
BOTTOMS INSURANCE SERVICES
~ Affordable Coverage Options ~ Flexible Payments ~ Low Down Payments
228 Main St. Downtown Tarboro
Serving The Twin Counties For Over 57 Years!
1818 Sunset Avenue Rocky Mount, NC daughtridgeenergy.com
252-446-6137 91 years in business
WILLIAMS FOODS, INC.
Food Service & Restaurant Equipment 615 N. Church St. Rocky Mount, NC 27804
945 N. Church Street, Rocky Mount, NC
Open Mon.-Fri. 7:30-5:30
PROPANE DIESEL GASOLINE SERVICE
(252) 977-3939 Fax (252) 977-3518
1932 Stone Rose Drive • Rocky Mount, NC 27804 •
33 Years in Business
Serving our community for over 25 years
62 Years In Business WaTCh aNd jeWeLRy RepaiR Watches • DiamonDs • Fine jeWelry
Rex Browning Lynn Browning Taylor
Let us get you into your next home
401 Main Street Tarboro, NC 27886
749 Fenner Road, Suite A Rocky Mount, NC 27804
(252) 823-4700 16
CONSIGNMENTS • GIFTS •MONOGRAMMING JEWELRY• ACCESSORIES
Monday - Friday 10-5:30 Saturday 10-4:00
252-459-2083 A quality Consignment Boutique & Gift Shop 227 W. Washington Street, Nashville, NC 27856
BUSINESS Bottoms Tire and Automotive Center, Inc.
30 Years in Business
Celebrating Over 33 years in Business
Adult Day Health Services • Transportation & Meals Provided • Craft - Music - Exercise • Music Therapy • Personal Care & Health Monitoring by RN • State Certified & Monitored • Veterans Welcome
151 May Drive, Rocky Mount, NC
513 W. Raleigh Blvd. 252-442-8363
Open Monday - Friday 8am-5pm
21 Years in Business
Swimming Pool & Spa Company for 43 Years!
Towing Service Available 252-813-9004 Specializing in Foreign and Domestic Repairs • Drivetrain Installation and Replacement • Four Wheel Alignments • Oil Changes & More
# Rocky Mount’s
We would like to express our sincere appreciation to our customers and friends for allowing us to supply your swimming pool needs.
1610 Sunset Avenue Rocky Mount, NC 27804 (Across from City Lake)
For all your Real Estate needs think First!
3151 Zebulon Road Rocky Mount, NC 27804
13 Years In BusIness TRACKSIDE
Restaurant Equipment 603 N. Church St. Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Sales & Service of Quality Name Brand New And Used Restaurant Equipment Bus (252) 212-0237 Fax (252) 977-3518 Website www.tracksideequipment.com
1020 Liberty Lane Rocky Mount, NC 27804 (252) 442-8484
Store Hours Monday-Saturday 10-6 We do pick up’s on Wednesday & Saturday
We invite you to: Share By Donating Serve By Volunteering Save By Shopping
Serving The Community Since 1967
Lancaster Used Cars Family Owned & Operated
Passport services available call for details
We Do People Right!
909 North Main Street Tarboro, NC 27886 (252) 823-1141
3816 NC 43 N, Pinetops, NC 27864
B:252-827-5748 • F:252-827-5749 C:252-813-4302
Like us on Facebook!
Proudly serving the citizens of Edgcombe County Since 1953!
Serving the community since 1970
Serving our community for 53 years!
Tri County Industries
1250 Atlantic Ave. Rocky Mount NC 27801 252-977-3800
160 S. Winstead Avenue Rocky Mount, NC 27804 2 5 2 - 4 4 3 - 7 6 6 6
HEATING & COOLING, LLC doing business since 1981 1242 CONSTRUCTION DRIVE ROCKY MOUNT, NC 27804
(252)937-4707 EMAIL: ShearinHVAC@aol.com
STEVEN SHEARIN Commercial Refrigeration License #1234 Electrical License #16017 Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning License #9831 (PH-1, 2 & 3-I)
Since 1923 727 N. Grace St. Rocky Mount, NC
CHAMPIONSHIP sports tradition By Patrick Mason
In the summer of 2018, after a humid and
A billboard positioned a few miles west
of their back-to-back Class 1-AA state
sweaty football practice, Melik Ward stated a
of the town boasts about the success of the
championships with a convincing 50-10 win
long-term goal for his team.
Vikings football program. Underneath the
over East Surry.
purple-jersey wearing players is the numeral
With six championships, including a
championship,” said Ward, a lineman for
‘5’ which denoted the number of state titles
three-peat in the mid-2000s, the small-
the Tarboro Vikings. “This is a hungry group
the Vikings have accumulated when the sign
school football program has long been the
and we won’t settle for anything less than a
benchmark of success for fellow area teams.
It took the Vikings just one season to
A number of NFL players can claim
Plenty of teams and players dream of
outgrow the billboard and make Ward a
Tarboro as their alma mater, including running
making the postseason and going all the way,
successful future predictor. Now, the billboard
back Shaun Draughn, who had a six-year
yet few teams actually pull it off. Tarboro is
has a slash through the ‘5’ and a ‘6’ is written
career. Current NFL star and All-Pro L.A. Rams
one of those teams.
underneath. The Vikings won the second
running back Todd Gurley is another, who
guided the Vikings to a trio of state titles, while
state tennis championship in the fall of 2018.
Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman Tyquan
In the spring, Rocky Mount Prep athlete
Lewis also won state championships with the
Terence Booth Jr. brought home the Jaguars’ first
track title by winning the 110-meter hurdles.
In the NBA, Tarboro native Montrezl Harrell
If swimming is more your speed, then stop
plays for the Clippers and is entering his fifth
by the Rocky Mount YMCA, the home pool of a
season in the league. Harrell, whose Clippers
number of state champions. University of Utah
made the playoffs and tested the defending-
swimming recruit and Rocky Mount Academy
champion Golden State Warriors, has a chance
grad Kayla Miller won her third consecutive
to compete for a title of his own this upcoming season with the addition of superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. And while Tarboro gets plenty of attention and adoration as a top-notch, the area sports scene is strong elsewhere as athletics in Rocky Mount have flourished. Los Angeles Angels outfielder Brian Goodwin graduated from Rocky Mount High, and took his high school teams to deep postseason runs. And recently, the Gryphons got over the hump with to back-to-back state football championship appearances with one win in 2015. Elsewhere, this past high school baseball season
championship series between Rocky Mount
100-yard freestyle title this season, while Nash Central freshman Lance Norris won the 200yard freestyle. Two years ago, SouthWest Edgecombe swimmer Jack Coltrane won the 100-yard freestyle. It’s impossible to talk about the local sports scene without mentioning the Rocky Mount High-Northern Nash basketball rivalry where at least twice every year the admissions line snakes out of the home team’s gymnasium and into the parking lot. Seasoned veterans of these rivalry games know to arrive plenty early to get a seat, making the JV games well-attended as well.
Academy and Faith Christian in the NCISAA
“There’s so many options for good athletics
2-A division. Faith Christian was going for its
around here,” Northern Nash golfer Chance
third consecutive title, which wasn’t realized as
Puckett said. “Our basketball team was so fun
Rocky Mount Academy won the best-of-three
to watch and our football is bouncing back.
series for its first championship.
Baseball has a little ways to go, but there’s
RMA, meanwhile, secured its first-ever girls
nothing easy out here.”
CULTURAL events By Spencer Carney As the summer works its way to the end and the heat increases, the fun and interesting activities don’t have to be over.
Quick and Coastline, The Legacy Motown Revue and The Embers.
Trapp and “Elf the Musical Jr.” From Goldsboro, comes The Malpass
Pulling from the threads of Soul, Blues,
Brothers, a country music duet who actually
Both the Imperial Centre and the Dunn
R&B and Americana, Jim Quick and Coastline
are brothers. They primarily cover classic
Center at N.C. Wesleyan College have several
weave together their own genre of music
country artists such as the Louvin Brothers,
upcoming musical events that will be worth
known as “Swamp Soul.” The band works to
Johnny Cash and Marty Robbins but also
checking into throughout the rest of the
show the spirit of traditions created in small
perform some traditional gospels and their
summer and into the fall.
southern town and bring it to life as genuinely
own music. They will perform at the Dunn
Currently at the Imperial Centre is its
as possible. Singer Jim Quick and his band
Center at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 27.
featured Downtown Live! concert series,
Coastline will be in Rocky Mount on August 1.
Elisabeth Von Trapp is the granddaughter
featuring a variety of bands on the back lawn.
The Legacy Motown Revue, a tribute
of Maria and Baron Von Trapp, whose story
The concerts are free to the public and begin
band, pays homage to generations of classic
inspired “The Sound of Music.” She has
at 6 p.m. Some of the performers include Jim
bands such as The Drifters, The Coasters, The
worked to carry on the legacy of the Trapp
Jacksons, Earth Wind & Fire, The Temptations
Family Singers, learning piano and guitar and
and more. The group includes dancers and
singing. Her repertoire ranges from Bach to
singers, as well as a six-piece horn band and
Broadway to Schubert to Sting, and reviews
will appear on Aug. 15.
promise an unforgettable performance. She
Carrying the moniker of North Carolina’s
The 60-minute version of the musical, “Elf
laid the groundwork for what has become
the Musical Jr.” is based on the holiday film “Elf.”
known as “Beach Music.” Boasting an
The show follows Buddy the human elf as he
expansive collection of albums and single
leaves the North Pole to find his birth father
releases, the band will be playing on the
to discover that his dad’s on the naughty list
Imperial Centre lawn on September 12.
and his half-brother doesn’t believe in Santa.
At the Dunn Center, some of the events include The Malpass Brothers, Elisabeth Von
will be on stage at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25.
Official Ambassadors of Music, The Embers
A heartwarming classic, the show will play at the Dunn Center at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 21.
DOWNTOWN development By Jessie H. Nunery The term “downtown development” isn’t
area that is expected to bring 195 direct jobs
defined by a single word within the Twin
through the pre- and post-construction
Counties in 2019.
at downtownrockymount.com Station Square continues to be a hub of downtown activity. The building, located at
There’s expansion, revitalization, planning,
Rocky Mount also is looking to make
301 S. Church St., was named small business
renovating and more that guides downtowns
its downtown area more vibrant with the
of the month by the Rocky Mount Area
into the current puzzle pieces that will shape
implementation of the Accelerated Façade
Chamber of Commerce in November 2018
Grant Program. The program promotes
and has since added businesses including
In Rocky Mount, the opening of a 165,000-square-foot
October 2018 has helped put the city on the regional and national map of amateur athletic
Count Your Blessings Furniture and Home
downtown buildings in the form of grants up
Décor, Dynamic Learning, Carryoutcabby.
com, Affordable2Insurance and more.
For people interested in starting their own
Station Square also provides low-cost,
business downtown, the city of Rocky Mount
monthly rental and meeting spaces for small
The Rocky Mount Event Center also has
also offers a Downtown Business Program as
businesses and other organizations.
spurred private-public development of a
well as a Downtown Incentive Grant Program.
Growth and expansion are not limited to
hotel, parking garage, retail and residential
A list of available properties can be found
downtown Rocky Mount. Downtown Tarboro
tournaments in volleyball and basketball.
Downtowns are the heartbeat of rural North Carolina. - Anthony M. Copeland,
State Commerce Secretary
has seen the opening/construction
in Downtown Strong, an initiative
of a local diner, a pizzeria, coffee
of the N.C. Main Street & Rural
house and more in recent months.
Planning Center. The program will
provide downtown revitalization
favorite, On the Square, added
expertise to selected incorporated
Tarboro Brewing Company in the
rural communities and set up
past few years and have been at
networking opportunities as they
the forefront of helping revitalize
develop downtown plans.
“Downtowns are the heartbeat
downtown Tarboro. While major industries focus
of rural North Carolina,” said state
on the outskirts of Edgecombe
County, it is downtown Tarboro
where local, small business seem
“Downtown Strong will help small
to be making a home.
communities regain their economic
Both Nashville and Bailey were
vibrancy and position them to
selected in early 2019 as two of 24
retain and recruit new businesses,
North Carolina towns to participate
create jobs and spur investment.”
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New Life Christian Academy in Rocky Mount, NC is a private Chris- special calling to work in a private Christian institution where they can tian School that opened in 2012 and offers classes from Pre-School talk freely about faith issues with their students. through High School. New Life Christian Academy uses the A Beka CurricThe purpose of New Life Christian Academy is to ulum for grades Pre-K-12. The God given ministry of “Train up a partner with the parents and the Church by providing Christian schools is to lead young people to Christ and child in the way a quality education for students that is fully integrated train them in the Bible, Christian character, language, and with God’s Word and Christian principles. traditional subject matter. he should go: Today’s students need to be taught the accumulated Why choose New Life Christian Academy? Because your child deserves not only a good eduwisdom of the past from God’s point of view and trained and when he is cation, but a loving and nurturing environment where in the way they should go (Prov. 22:6). This lays a firm old, he will not their faith can grow alongside their academics. Give foundation from which to evaluate the present and make your child a good foundation through New Life Chrisproper decisions for the future. depart from it.” tian Academy. For New Life's teachers, this is not just A Beka Book materials are developed with well estaba job – it’s a ministry! Their teachers are committed lished philosophical and research foundations, providing – Proverbs 22:6 to loving your child and bonding with them through an excellent educational program that is unashamedly the teaching process. The staff does what they do because they feel a Christian and traditional. You can go to ABeka.com to learn more about this curriculum. New Life Christian Academy is Founded on Christian Principles New Life Christian Academy “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.” — Mark 10:14 812 Instrument Drive New Life Christian Academy is not just a school – it’s a mission! Rocky Mount The staff imitates Christ by welcoming the children in the community and introducing them to Christ through their quality education program. (252)443-6560 Everything New Life does is in response to their understanding of the Bible and upholding Christian principles. www.newlifeacademyrm.com
ECONOMIC expansion By John H. Walker After years and years of battling economic
as CSX went through a leadership change,
July 19, 2016, “the day we got on the map.” as
difficulties, Edgecombe County got back-
switched its operating mindset, went through
he phrases it, in regard to the Twin Counties
to-back-to-back shots in the arm in late
another leadership change because of a death
being known to site consultants.
2017 and into mid-2018 with new industry
and modified its operating mindset.
announcements involving more than 1,000 jobs at a minimum.
“It was the day after we announced
The end result is that a much-anticipated
the CSX intermodal terminal,” Tolson told
CSX intermodal facility is under construction
Welcome to Tarboro magazine. “Our calls
In December 2017, Gov. Roy Cooper
in Edgecombe County across from N.C.
went up 100 percent after we made that
joined with officials of the Carolina Gateways
Wesleyan College, and even though its
announcement. We were on the economic
Patnership to announce a pair of new industries
footprint is smaller than once expected, state
— Chinese tire manufacturer Triangle Tire and
transportation officials believe it will have an
New York-based manufacturer Corning.
indirect impact of up to 1,300 jobs.
The third was more on-again, off-again
Carolina Gateways CEO Norris Tolson calls
At the time of the magazine story, the CSX project was still in limbo, although Tolson said he was convinced CSX would develop the site
sooner rather than later, which they are now doing.
although comments made in the public session
Edgecombe County Manager Eric Evans said he
of a recent Edgecombe County commissioners
thinks the three announcements bode well for his
meeting indicated that might be, at least at the
county and the region.
time, a fluid target.
“They certainly position us to where we can
Triangle will produce both passenger tires as well as commercial tires at the facility, which will
begin to turn the corner,” he said. The Triangle facility, according to Cooper,
be built in two phases.
Construction on the first plant which will make
investment in rural North Carolina in history. It is
tires for passenger vehicles, is scheduled to get
the first venture outside China for Triangle, and
underway soon and be fully operational next year.
suppliers are expected to follow and locate in the
The facility is anticipated to create 800 jobs and
area, much as with auto plants.
pay at Triangle is expected to be $56,450 — almost
The numbers are mind-boggling.
$24,000 more than the Edgecombe County
Triangle represents an investment of more
average. An additional 400 jobs are projected at
than $800 million, while Corning’s comes in at
yet-to-be-named associated industries.
$86 million. The CSX project, which is expected to
CSX is another 2020 — or later — project and
impact the entire region, represents an investment
even though its footprint is about half — 330 acres
of nearly $160 million.
versus 715 — of what was originally announced, it
Corning is expected to be operational by the end
of the year and projects 111 jobs. The huge facility
Just prior to the site groundbreaking, Rocky
sits on a 150-acre site alongside U.S. 64 Alternate
Mount Area Chamber of Commerce President
near its intersection with New Hope Church Road
David Farris told the Telegram he is excited about
across from what once was Midway Trailer Park.
the CSX facility because “it’s going to bring in a lot
Corning is also building a manufacturing facility in
more industry because of the shipping availability
from not only Nash and Edgecombe, but probably
Pay at Corning is expected to be in the $35,000 per year range, which is about $3,000 above the Edgecombe County average.
a 50- or 60-mile radius, which lifts us all up economically. “This is going to give us a different kind of boost
The Triangle Tire project is located between US
than a plant coming in with 500 or a thousand
64 Alternate and the CSX rail line and, because of
or 2,000 employees. This is going to provide
heavily forested areas, is more difficult to view.
opportunities for those plants where it makes
Triangle is expected to be operational in 2020,
The facility is anticipated to create 800 jobs and pay at Triangle is expected to be $56,450 — almost $24,000 more than the Edgecombe County average. An additional 400 jobs are projected at yetto-be-named associated industries.
sense to come here.”
JUKEBOX heroes By Spencer Carney
Walking through the door, it feels like
machines to slot machines to game machines,
and new veneer. The older boxes have
the universe has gone back in time: pinball
their biggest industry is servicing ATMs, with
entire panels of wood. Most are beautifully
machines line one wall, vintage, refurbished
revitalizing jukeboxes as a close second.
decorated, with neon lights, bright colors and some with mosaics.
jukeboxes line another and hanging up above
“The ATMs are convenient to service
are dozens of neon signs advertising Wurlitzer
because in a lot of places we also go to their
The jukeboxes play different sized records
Jukeboxes and Margaritaville.
locations to service the games, and we can
depending on the years they were produced:
just check the ATMs at the same time,” Thorpe
in the 30s and 40s, they played 78s, which
said. “I love working on the jukeboxes though
are the big classic vinyls. From 1952-1986,
rebuilding classic jukeboxes is a large part of
and have some in my office that I just couldn’t
jukeboxes were made to play smaller records,
what they do. Opened in 1936, the shop has
let go of.”
called 45s. In 1986, the cd jukebox came out
Thorpe Music Co. isn’t just about music, although
now passed hands onto the third generation.
There are a variety of jukeboxes available in
and stayed popular until about 2008, at
“My son technically owns it now,” said
the music shop, located in the same building
which time entirely electronic jukeboxes were
Jimmy Thorpe, the previous owner. “I just like
as the Mini Putt in Rocky Mount. Thorpe Music
made to download songs and can be accessed
to come back and work for the fun of it.”
Co. rebuilds the machines from the inside
through apps on customers’ phones.
While the primary purpose of the
out, fixing the wiring, replacing parts and then
“The demand for the electronic ones has
company is to service machines, from vending
cleaning up the outside with fresh chrome
really picked up,” said Glenn Cockrell, a service
representative with Thorpe Music Co. “We still do a lot of restoration on the old jukeboxes and want to keep doing that for as long as we can. We really are aware of how the business has really changed and how much we have to adapt.” Cockrell said that many of their electronic jukeboxes go to places such as restaurants, banks and game centers, while private collectors and other individuals enjoy the vintage boxes for their homes and collections. He added that with vinyl records making a comeback, they’ve seen slightly more interest from younger buyers and hope to
I think one day they will appreciate them though, how beautiful and unique these machines are, and they’ll understand why so many older people like me still love them. - Jimmy Thorpe, Thorpe Music Co.
see the trend continue. “For the most part, a lot of the people that we see come in for the classic pinball machines and jukeboxes are older people. A lot of the younger ones didn’t grow up playing on these machines and prefer the ticket games — they just don’t have that same appreciation for the classic games,” Thorpe said. “I think one day they will appreciate them though, how beautiful and unique these machines are, and they’ll understand why so many older people like me still love them.”
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FESTIVALS and FUN By Jessie H. Nunery
Twin Counties residents have a variety of festival options stretching across U.S. 64 throughout the year. For the past 23 years, downtown Nashville
rides and games, food and beverage vendors
longest-running festival in either county and
celebrated its 47th year in 2019. Sponsored
The event is sponsored by the Nashville Chamber of Commerce.
has kicked off the fun each May with its annual
Another county seat, Tarboro, continues
Blooming Festival. The event brings together
the fun later in May with its one-day
area residents for two days of fun that includes
Happening on the Common event.
live music performances, amusement park
Happening on the Common is the second-
by local entities including the Town of Tarboro, the event includes arts and crafts and inflatables for children, food and alcohol vendors and live music. Tarboroâ€™s Town Common was established in 1760 by the legislative act that created the
colonial town of Tarboro.
cash prizes and trophies throughout different
Downtown Rocky Mount is the place to
categories recognized by the Kansas City
be during the first weekend in June during the
city’s Juneteenth Community Empowerment Festival. The weekend has brought national recording acts including Avant, Dru Hill and Vivian Green to Rocky Mount in recent years. During the two-day event, students who achieve A/B honor roll status also are honored, local food trucks and vendors are available for purchases and keynote speakers highlight a festival designed around fun while
“More than $20,000 was awarded to event takes place on the lawn of the Helen P. Gay Rocky Mount Historic Train station and brings in some of the top grillmasters in the state and beyond. The two-day event, which will celebrate its 12th year in 2019, features live musical acts, food and item vendors, a game and play area for children and a ropes course and
teams in the 2018 Throw Down,” Rocky Mount Special Events Coordinator Kayla Hillman said. “Our main focus is that people of all ages can come out and have a good time. We hope that everyone will come check out what downtown Rocky Mount has to offer.” Nash County celebrates its harvest season the first weekend each October with the
celebrating “Juneteenth,” a holiday that was
information area sponsored by Rocky Mount
Spring Hope National Pumpkin Festival.
first celebrated in 1980 in Texas as recognition
The two-day event includes a parade, local
for the emancipation of slavery.
The highlight of the event is the barbecue,
Rocky Mount also is the home to the annual
chicken and pork tastings, where for a small
Eastern Carolina BBQ Throw Down Festival
fee, attendees can sample the food of the
during the second weekend of October. The
contest participants. The winners are awarded
vendors, a pumpkin recipe contest, pageants and more. The event takes place in downtown Spring Hope and will enter its 48th year in 2019.
Our main focus is that people of all ages can come out and have a good time. We hope that everyone will come check out what downtown Rocky Mount has to offer. - Kayla Hillman, Rocky Mount Special Events Coordinator 35
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GOLDEN MILE makeover By William F. West
Motorists having to maneuver through
be done next spring.”
the construction work zone on Wesleyan
Barksdale said there will be lane closures
Boulevard from May Drive to Benvenue Road
for a week here and a week there to complete
will get relief by the end of the year.
the last part of the project.
Crews have been working to widen about two miles of the heavily commercial stretch of
Wesleyan is quite a busy segment between May and Benvenue.
Wesleyan from four lanes to six lanes and to
State Transportation Department data
put in a “superstreet” type of thoroughfare, all
shows the average daily traffic count at
at a cost of about $28 million.
34,000 in the area of Stoney Creek and at
“We think we’ll have everything in the final
36,000 just north of the junction of U.S. 64.
a two-lane bypass of downtown but with an overpass and interchange for Sunset Avenue. The
improvement project began in July 2017, with the contract awarded to PLT Construction of Wilson. The project included replacing the Sunset Avenue overpass with a more modern structure. As a result of the superstreet design, major changes to Wesleyan are taking place.
traffic pattern by the end of 2019,” weather
The data shows the count at 23,000
Specifically, motorists at the intersection
permitting, state Transportation Department
just south of the Wesleyan interchange with
of Sutters Creek Boulevard and at the
spokesman Andrew Barksdale said of the
intersection of Ring Road and Independence
progress of the project. “But the final layer of
Wesleyan, which is signed as U.S. 301, was
asphalt and pavement markings will probably
opened to traffic in October 1955, originally as
Drive no longer will be able to cross Wesleyan or turn left onto Wesleyan.
Instead, motorists will have to turn right to
Patrol car north on Wesleyan when a woman
Overall, he said although he only comes to
drive to areas of Wesleyan built for U-turns if
driving a sedan exited the Golden Corral
the Wesleyan corridor once or twice a week,
they want to get to the opposite sides of the
parking lot and pulled out in front of the
“I’d hate if I had to drive it every day.”
intersections of Sutters Creek and Ring and
patrol car. The trooper tried evasive action by
moving to the left.
The U-turn for southbound traffic is open
The woman, Maurilia Solis Leon, died at the
in the immediate area of 2.75 Cleaners and
scene. The trooper, A.S. Samuel, subsequently
the Golden Corral restaurant. The U-turn for
was cleared of any wrongdoing.
northbound traffic will be just past the exit for Benvenue. Proponents of the superstreet design
Tulloss emphasized the safety factor is the main point in converting Wesleyan into a superstreet.
He said he will be glad when the project is complete, noting, “There’s traffic barrels and traffic jams all over the place.” Barbara Williams, a retiree who is a resident of Wilson County, was quick to express her dislike of the construction work. “It’s just too much. It’s too confusing,” she said.
have said the purpose of having such a type
“And plus we are looking ahead, not for
Williams said she believes drivers can
of thoroughfare is to keep traffic continually
next year or five years,” he said. “We’re looking
become quite befuddled in the construction
ahead for the next 15-20 years.”
zone if he or she is not familiar with the roads.
State Transportation Division 4 board
Trent Coleman, 48, lives in rural Nash
“And imagine what it’s doing to seniors like
member Gus Tulloss said the project will be
County and owns the Corner Coffee Cafe in
us,” she said. “I used to live over here, so I kind
well worth the wait and that Wesleyan will be
of knew what it was like before they started
much safer. Tulloss emphasized the past data for Wesleyan, which showed there were 233
Coleman said the traffic situation is not too bad after he turns off U.S. 64 onto southbound Wesleyan to go shop at Sam’s Club.
wrecks, 103 injuries and one fatality on the
Coleman said Wesleyan north of U.S. 64,
corridor. The data was for a five-year period
however, is inconvenient, namely when he
leading up to 2015.
exits the Cook Out restaurant or from the
“It was just a dangerous, dangerous highway,” Tulloss said. Tulloss remembered the March 2012 crash in the immediate area of the Golden Corral. A state trooper was driving a Highway
direction of Sutters Creek Plaza because he cannot hook the left onto Wesleyan. “That’s kind of a problem,” Coleman said. “There’s a lot of traffic. The wait times for the lights are really bad.”
working on it.” She said when she began seeing the barrels, the scene was quite a shock to her at first. “I’ve gotten kind of used to it, but I still don’t like it,” she said. Tulloss
grumbling from local residents about having to deal with the construction work zone. He was quick to note more than a few business people along Winstead Avenue felt they were inconvenienced earlier this decade.
Proponents of the superstreet design have said the purpose of having such a type of thoroughfare is to keep traffic continually flowing.
That was when crews widened Winstead to four lanes from just before the traffic signal at Hunter Hill Road to U.S. 64 and transformed Winstead into a divided six-lane thoroughfare from U.S. 64 to Sunset. Today, he said of the improved Winstead, “Everybody loves it.” To see a computer visualization of the
HOMEGROWN restaurants By Jenny White
The Twin Counties may be home to several
operated by Nash County native and
end one day,” Deloach said. “I want to put
small towns and communities — but our local
basketball great Moe Deloatch, Moe’s offers
myself in a position to come home and have
restaurant owners and operators think big
a menu full of some of the South’s staple
something to do, which is one of the things
when it comes to offering savory selections.
meals like country-fried steak, fried fish and
I thought about. My family loves to cook and
Whether you’re looking for a white
fried chicken. Locals love the chicken wings
this is what we decided to do. Being that
tablecloth experience or a basket full of wings,
and creative cocktails. Meals are moderately
downtown area is coming up, we want to help
the Twin Counties is home to some of the best
priced and typically ready in a short amount
in the development of it.”
dining experiences in the state.
Here’s a sampling of some of the area’s
The 2,200-square-foot restaurant can restaurant
seat 46 people and has a bar area in the rear.
eateries, that are sure to get your taste buds
management duties with his family, who
The restaurant is typically open for lunch and
he says loves to cook. When he opened the
dinner, Monday through Saturday.
Moe and D’s Restaurant Grill and Bar is located at 123 S. Church Street, connected to the Bel Air Artisan Center. Owned and
restaurant in 2017 he said he was confident in the future of a downtown restaurant. “I know basketball is going to come to an
Also located downtown is The Prime Smokehouse. Since its opening in 2013, it’s drawn patrons from across the state to
sample the Southern, upscale offerings from owners Ed Wiley and Yalem Kios and longtime business partner, Harold Worrell Jr. Wiley and Kios closed their north Raleigh restaurant to open up shop in the revitalized downtown area and have been a culinary gift to locals and visitors alike since they arrived. Wiley said he learned the best recipes from his father’s catering business while growing up and perfected them over the years with his own catering and restaurant businesses. “My father fried the best chicken, made the ooziest baked macaroni and cheese, and collard greens and ham hocks to die for,” Wiley said on the restaurant’s website. His father, who was from Texas, was known for his barbecue.
addition to the locally sourced menu items,
cooking restaurant in 1974. Today the family
On the Square is also a favorite local spot for
business has ballooned to a giant catering
sushi. Inez is world-renowned for her wine
and entertainment business, but the Abram’s
sommelier skills. Rest assured, you’ll find the
“The meat would slow-smoke and tease
restaurant has stayed true to its roots and
perfect wine pairing to go with your exquisite
us for half a day before, in my father’s eyes,
concentrates on offering excellent fried
and delicious food. We recommend the pan-
it had reached the perfect level of smokiness,
chicken, ribs and barbecue.
seared sea bass or the char-grilled ribeye.
tenderness and overall deliciousness,” Wiley said. While the barbecue is the star of the show at Prime Smokehouse, equally worthy of top
With locations in Tarboro and Pinetops, we highly suggest you make sure to put one of Abram’s locations on your list — and try the cheese biscuit. It’s worth a trip, just for one.
The restaurant is located at 115 E. James Street in Tarboro. With the burgeoning growth of the Rocky Mount Mills located on Fall Road, visitors and
billing is the sweet potato pie, the macaroni
Also located in Tarboro is On the Square, a
residents can find an ever-expanding array of
and cheese and the always fresh collard
small whitecloth table restaurant owned and
restaurants to choose from, as well as frequent
operated by Tarboro couple Stephen and Inez
food truck visitors in the evenings.
Prime Smokehouse is located at 207 E. Thomas St. If you’re over in Edgecombe county, looking for some culinary treats, make sure you stop
Ribustello. The restaurant offers American
Tap@1918 offers a pub-style eatery. Owner
cuisine and has an always changing seasonal
Lou Reda said Tap@1918 is meant to be a cool
menu that keeps up with the plentiful
place people can hang out, drink a few beers,
agricultural offerings from the area.
eat some burgers and watch sports on the big
at Abram’s. In North Carolina it’s the unofficial
Inez grew up in Tarboro and returned in
home of The Cheese Biscuit and Abrams has
2002 with her husband Stephen, after a
“We want you to come here for a drink or
made many friends over the years with their
stint living in New York city. They started a
cocktail — we have 20 beers on tap and then
down home southern cooking.
family and opened the restaurant in 2007. In
have some great food to eat.”
Whether you’re looking for a white tablecloth experience or a basket full of wings, the Twin
Counties is home to some of the best dining experiences in the state.
The 3,500-square-foot mill house where
a big deal to get my product out further, and
features live music and has an expansive
Tap@1918 is located features seating for 160
definitely the Mills is on the verge of blowing
menu. Offerings range from hamburgers,
people with 56 seats on the porch and 30 on
gourmet salads, chicken salad sandwiches and
the outside patio.
Another great spot to enjoy a brew and
homemade soups and desserts.
Also located at the Rocky Mount Mills
a hamburger is Westridge Grill, located in
Westridge Shopping Center is also home
is Tipsy Tomato and its gourmet, freshly
the Westridge Shopping Center on Sunset
to Mario’s Pizza, Pitstop Shoppe, which offers
made pizzas via a wood-burning oven, and
Avenue. This family friendly restaurant and
fast food and frozen yogurt, Subway, Gardner’s
TBC West where you can get tacos and
bar has a large outdoor patio, frequently
BBQ, Golden Wok and Honey Baked Ham.
southwestern fare to go with your craft brews. Angelo Carlone, owner and chef at Tipsy Tomato, said he loves the family-friendly atmosphere associated with the Rocky Mount Mills, as weekends are filled with people throughout the campus enjoying craft beer and engaging in other activities that the Mills hosts during the year. “I feel like the community support here at the Mills is through the roof, and it’s only going to grow,” he said. “Eventually, you’re going to see out-of-town consumers come here, so that will allow me to have my product reach people that aren’t from here. That’s going to be
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In the Community... For the Community www.cfhcnc.org
HEALTH care By Jenny White
Having two robust and growing health care
As many small community health care
facilities in the Twin Counties is a testament to
entities struggle to stay open, Nash UNC
health care needs,” Batts wrote. “We are
the small-town values and relationships in the
Health Care in Nash County not only thrives,
focused on solidifying and building upon our
but continues to grow.
improvements through this strategic plan and
Vidant Edgecombe Hospital is located in
Jeffrey Batts, chairman of the Board
Tarboro and Nash UNC Health Care is located
of Commissioners for Nash UNC Health
in Rocky Mount.
Care, recently wrote in a letter to the editor,
Some of the most recent accomplishments
Local governments, partnerships with
published in the Rocky Mount Telegram, that
and milestones at Nash UNC Health Care
Vidant Medical and UNC Hospitals and the
the community can count on their health
local residents that make up the impressive
care system to continue to offer top-notch
employment pool that staff the two health
remaining well-positioned as the health care environment continues to change.”
• Via a partnership with medical staff, Nash UNC Health Care has implemented new
care centers are the backbone that keep
“Our Board of Commissioners recently
protocols and improved processes have led
community health a top priority in the Twin
approved a strategic plan that defines
to significant improvement in quality of care
our organization’s short- and long-term
measures. Care measures for sepsis, heart
attack and strokes have improved impressively in recent years, and Nash UNC receives national recognitions for work in those areas. • The Nash UNC Emergency Department is one of the busiest in the state with almost 70,000 patient visits a year. Nash UNC has instituted a
Twin Counties residents have learned you don’t have
number of new processes to keep patients and their family members comfortable and better informed throughout their time in the Emergency Department. Statistics show a reduced door to provider wait time of an average of 22 minutes — well under the national benchmark of 30 minutes,
to travel out of town for cutting edge health care.
and much improved from the 60 minutes average just 18 months ago. Patient experience surveys show that Nash UNC’s hard work is making a difference and patients are noticing and commending the changes. • The Danny Tolbert Comprehensive Cancer Center offers high quality, industry leading cancer diagnosis and treatment plans at a local facility, cutting back on the stress and cost of travelling to the Triangle area for care. Medical staff at the cancer center work in tandem with the worldrenowned UNC Cancer Center, offering Twin Counties patients access to the experience and cutting-edge knowledge and technology other cancer patients travel hundreds of miles to get to. • Nash UNC Health Care has also added a pediatric emergency department, Women’s Health Center, Special Care Nursery and a cardiac care unit in the last few years as well. Vidant
compassionate care for residents of Tarboro and surrounding communities. The highly trained staff at the acute-care facility represents more than 20 medical specialties, according to hospital officials. The hospital specializes in comprehensive rehabilitation services, cancer care, birthing and outpatient clinics. The hospital has a long history of community involvement, including health fairs, screenings and annual events like Pink Power and Heart Truth. Twin Counties residents have learned you don’t have to travel out of town for cutting edge health care. Partnerships with medical schools, researchers and metropolitan facilities in the Triangle area bring the best health care available to our very own neighborhood.
HOMES away from HOME By Jessie H. Nunery Location
Travelers from the west might soon have
Complex, which holds baseball, softball
components of the Twin Counties — and in
an option in Nashville, where in the first
and soccer tournaments more than 30
2019, the area hotel industry is a hot spot for
quarter of 2019, interest in developing an 85-
weekends each year, or the new Rocky Mount
room hotel at Nash Crossing was reported.
Event Center, which has been booming
Whether it’s well-known hotel chains like
There is opportunity in Nashville as it sits
with weekend volleyball, basketball and
Hilton unique, tiny houses at the Rocky Mount
directly within a path of travelers from the
gymnastics tournaments since its opening in
Mills or a national brand coming to downtown
west and the I-95 corridor that runs north and
October 2018, out-of-towners need a place
Rocky Mount, people visiting the area will
to rest their heads in the Twin Counties.
have a wealth of options for years to come.
Whether it’s the Rocky Mount Sports
During the past year, a Homewood Suites
has opened near the U.S. 64 and Interstate 95 interchange, while plans for a Tru Hotel and avid hotel in the same area are in the process of being approved and reviewed. Five-story hotels aren’t the only types of overnight stays offered. The development of Rocky Mount Mills has lent to the 2019 opening of River & Twine, a collection of 20
We’re exceeding expectations. Now people can stay in Rocky Mount, hang out at the Mills and make a weekend out of it. - Ryan Holloman, General Manager, River and Twine
tiny-home style loft stays that are unique in size, look and location. “We’re exceeding expectations,” general manager Ryan Holloman said. “Now people can stay in Rocky Mount, hang out at the Mills and make a weekend out of it.” A tier-one SpringHill Suites is in the process of approval through the Local Government Commission as developer David Hunt of Hunt Services will help bring the hotel, residential and commercial areas and a parking garage to downtown Rocky Mount. A saying in a well-known baseball movie states, “If you build it, they will come.” Well, in the Twin Counties, both are ringing true.
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MORE than MUSIC By Spencer Carney
Before every lesson, music teacher Linda Ripke starts with a prayer. Once the lesson is over, she takes a few minutes to ask about events in the student’s
that a good strong character trait that was
asked me to teach them guitar, and so I said
impressed on me was whatever, but I want
ok, and then a lady wanted me to teach piano,
them to be able to say that they learned it
and the next thing you know I have people on
because of me.”
the waiting list and it really just grew.”
life, writes her notes and a bible verse in the
Ripke first began learning music as a child
She said that her favorite instruments to
student’s lesson journal, then the student
by teaching herself how to play by ear. She
teach are the mountain dulcimer, which she
gets a piece of candy and a hug from her,
later took lessons wanting to learn how to
finds very soothing and relaxing, and the
regardless of whether they’re young or old.
properly play the instruments, and eventually
banjo for its sense of spirit and fun. She also
found that her lessons were important for her
teaches and can play guitar, piano, ukulele,
to be able to teach other people to play music
psaltry, Native American flute, harmonica, the
properly. Before teaching, she worked with
hammered dulcimer, mandolin and is trying
to learn the cello.
For Ripke, her teaching is more than just learning music. “To me, it’s a ministry,” she said. “I want to be instrumental in people’s lives. I want to teach, but I want to make a difference for
“The teaching just came around by
“I just think that she’s a really great teacher,”
them. I want them to be able to say later
accident!” she laughed. “A couple of people
said Jeff Williams, 58, one of Ripke’s students.
She always talks about how her playing skills have kind of dropped cause she doesn’t have a lot of time to play, since she’s always spending time on her students, but when I’ve heard her play she’s been amazing.” Williams has been taking guitar lessons with Ripke for three years. He said that he had originally looked at a teacher in Wilson when Ripke was recommended to him; he stopped in to talk to her and asked if he could take lessons, and she said she had a spot open. “It really just went from there,” he said. “Just the interaction that we have, she’s so well rounded. She’s not only concerned about your progression, or your music and everything, but she’s also concerned about your soul. It’s really Christian based, you as a whole, your spiritual being, your well being and everything, and she focuses on all of that when she teaches.” Another student Gail Clayton, 71, said that her favorite thing about taking lessons with Ripke was how encouraging she was. “She would never say that anybody’s too old to learn,” said Clayton. “And if you feel like you’re not doing too well, not making progress, she’s the first one to tell you that it’s not true, that you are making progress.” Clayton lives in Raleigh, and said that while she enjoyed
She’s not only concerned about your progression, or your music and everything, but she’s also concerned about your soul. - Jeff Williams, Student
learning banjo and dulcimer with Ripke, it was hard to fit in the time to travel to Rocky Mount for lessons, and sadly had to find a teacher closer to home. “I miss her, she’s a good friend now as well as having been my music teacher, and I miss that I don’t see her every week like I did before,” she said. “If I’m passing through then I stop in and speak to her but I’ll always think of her as a good friend and a good prayer partner as well.” Ava Moore, 14, said she started taking piano lessons with Ripke six and a half years ago. “I always saw the sign in her driveway when we drove past, and I asked my mom how would you feel about me taking piano lessons?” Moore said. “I like taking lessons with Mrs. Ripke because she always pushes me to try my hardest, and she challenges me and I get to play a lot of the music that I like and hear on the radio.” While she came about teaching music by accident, Ripke said that her students have made it enjoyable for her. Ripke said, “My favorite part about teaching music is the people, and the relationship that I have with my students, watching them learn and watching them grow. I’ve had students quit playing music, but come back just to talk to me, and students grow up and come back to see me. I love my students, and want them to know that.”
NASH in BLOOM By Jenny White
One Nash County location perfect for
Garden, Pollinator Garden, Terraced Garden,
admiring the landscape is the Nash County
Patriot Garden, 4-H Garden, Screening
“I see our arboretum as a virtual outdoor
favorite places anywhere.
Garden, Tranquility Garden, Holly Garden and
museum and classroom featuring ‘mother
Located in front of and around the Nash
Homestead Garden that’s located behind the
nature’ at her best,” Moore said. “There is
County Agriculture Center on Eastern Avenue
Agriculture Center beside a historic log cabin
always something in motion in the gardens,
in Nashville, the arboretum is a living mural of
that has been moved to the property.
whether it be the flitting of busy pollinators,
the plants and trees found in eastern North Carolina.
While the gardens are beautiful to walk
the wafting of floral aromas, something
through and enjoy, Stevens said they’re also
budding or blooming, the forming of new
Nash County Extension Agent Matt
educational. “People in the community can
leaves and twigs — and yes, even weeds
Stevens is the official superintendent of
come and see options for their gardens at
the arboretum, but Nash County Extension
their homes. If you’ve got a shady spot where
Master Gardener Linda Tippette said
Master Gardeners conceptualized it in 2000
you can’t get anything to grow, our Woodland
her favorite garden to visit is the Tranquility
and have provided the ideas and manpower
Garden can offer up some ideas. We try to
Garden but she spends most of her time
to nurture and grow it since then.
show the community the diversity of plants
planning and working in the Homestead
you can plant in our area that are proven to
Project and Garden area.
“Today there are 11 demonstration gardens in the arboretum and what you can see in each garden changes through the seasons and over the years,” Stevens said. The
Self-guided tours are offered every day, sunrise to sunset.
Master Gardener Sue Battle Moore of
the Rose Garden, Woodland Garden, Rain
Rocky Mount says the arboretum is one of her
work well with our climate,” Stevens said.
“I’ve learned a lot from seeing the gardens here at the Arboretum and have applied what I’ve learned to my gardens at home,” she said. “That’s the beauty of the arboretum — you can learn and enjoy at the same time.”
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SHOP til you DROP By Spencer Carney
At first glance, Rocky Mount might seem like everything is obvious: there’s a Walmart, and a mall, a Target, the library and the museum. It’s not hard to get around, and for residents who’ve lived here for a while it may seem like there are no surprises left in Rocky Mount, at least in terms of shopping.
The following list presented is 10 local gems, places that may be new in town or have been here for years, places that new residents might not know about yet or maybe long-time residents have forgotten. This list is not exhaustive of all of the unique shopping places in Rocky Mount, and readers are encouraged to see what other noteworthy shops they can find.
Station Square Records Next to the Bin & Barrel wine bar is Station Square Records, a music store offering a wide variety of vinyl records. Arranged in categories
The Bath Place What started as a project to help a family member suffering from eczema quickly
such as Psychedelic Rock, Chicago Blues and
turned into a passion for The Bath Place
Smooth Jazz, around 100 records are available
owner Kimberly Thigpen. She learned that
for purchase. The shop also has dozens of
shea butter worked well for it and began
books for sale, ranging from children’s books to adult fiction and nonfiction.
researching ways to incorporate shea butter
Located off the courtyard at Station Square, the wine bar offers a couple hundred different labels that rotate constantly
preferences and the time of year. They host a tasting night every other Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m., serving anywhere from four to five wines by the glass available
into soap. Thigpen now produces a variety
for purchase at a discount price, as well as
of natural products, including lotions, bath
offering small share plates such as cheese,
bombs and lip balm, in addition to her soaps.
Smith’s Red & White
Bin & Barrel
flatbreads and charcuterie. Bin & Barrel also hosts wine dinners four
All items are made fresh onsite in the Main
to five times per year. Labels in the store
Street shop and contain no animal products in
cover many of the major wine regions,
their ingredients, with the exception of the lip balm which uses beeswax. In addition to her
including France, Italy, Spain, Argentina and many places in the U.S., in addition to several local North Carolina wines.
In 1954, Smith’s grocery began in the corner
store, Thigpen’s products are available online
For people who would like to try more
of a feed and fertilizer store located in the
and in a few other locations, such as the
wines but don’t have the time to attend
old Dortches School House. Ten years later, the business moved to a new building and expanded to include general merchandise, gas and pork processing. In 1992, a brand
Imperial Center, as well as a few Whole Food grocery stores.
a tasting or event, Bin & Barrel offers a customizable Wine Club where members can receive their choice assortment on a quarterly basis.
new store allowed for 20,000 square feet of space for the business that had become a fullfledged grocery by then. Finally, Smith’s Red & White Restaurant opened in the spring of 2010, serving the same food sold by the store. Walking through the front door feels like a trip back in time. A hanging message board holds posters advertising quail eggs and motorcycles and housekeeping. Lining the wall just inside the door are buckets of candy, everything from old fashioned lemon drops and horehound to bubble gum and saltwater taffy. An electric toy train runs over aisles stocked with traditional grocery store items, in addition to products made for Smith’s Red & White, such as pickles, chow chow and a variety of jams. The biggest specialty of the grocery store, however, is their meats. Whole country hams, barbecue, ribs, hamburger and sausage are cut and made fresh daily; they make over 10,000 pounds of sausage per week and 25,000 pounds per week during the holidays.
Muttley Crew Big-name pet stores have nothing on this pet place-to-be. Presenting a diverse selection of dog treats, bow ties, bandanas, collars, dog and cat toys, dog food, scoop-your-own treats and dog-friendly birthday cakes, this store has everything a pet could ever want. Four pet-focused bakeries provide the treats; one does
Patios In Bloom
The Gift Shop at the Imperial Centre While not an independent store, the gift shop at the Imperial Centre should not be overlooked. Stocked with locally made pottery, jewelry, small oil paintings, children’s science activities and Rocky Mount-themed gifts such as cards, coasters and magnets, in addition to Imperial Centre T-shirts. If all of that doesn’t sound interesting enough, the shop also features a 300-year-old weaving loom for visitors to see.
This store is perfect for anyone looking for a unique gift. The store is outdoor oriented, selling patio furniture, oversized flower pots, grills and accessories, garden decorations, birdhouses and flags, and offers a stunning selection of wind chimes.
the cakes, one does dog-friendly donuts and two make dog-friendly cookies, decorated according to the season. All four bakeries are registered and able to provide nutrition information, including ingredients used and a breakdown of calories, carbohydrates, etc.
A clothing store for women of all ages,
The pet store has a self-dog-wash, for people to come in and bathe their dogs, a pet playroom and a toy repair station with squeakers and fluff to repair that favorite toy. Muttley Crew hosts several events throughout the year, including K-9 trick or treating along Westridge Shopping Center and adoption events in partnership with local rescues.
The Yellow Tulip
Coming up on the celebration of their first year in their new location, Southern Fireflies hosts over 20 local vendors. Some are clothing boutiques, some make goats milk soaps and lotions, chalk painted furniture, jewelry, hemp products, soy candles and antiques, the store makes itself accessible as a one stop shop for gift finding or personal investment.
The Yellow Tulip sells everything from dresses and skirts to jumpsuits and rompers to purses and shoes and jewelry, at an affordable price. The store works to provide unique, attractive pieces that are different than styles typically seen in many department stores, and looks to supply each customer with a pride in their individuality.
Alayna’s Boutique Attached to Kendall’s Hallmark, Alayna’s Boutique sells gifts such as Pandora beads, Brighton jewelry, Vera Bradley bags and has a section for women’s clothing and shoes. A great option for birthday gifts or Mother’s Day presents, employees can expertly wrap any presents while customers get a card from the other side of the store, Kendall’s Hallmark.
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(Moving Soon To Sunset Avenue)
STONEWALL villas By William F. West
Work has started on a future upscale residential
Ingram Construction of Rocky Mount is
the developer for the project, which Allen
downtown — and a real estate broker for the
estimates is going to take approximately four
project cites a need for such housing in a tight
to five years to complete.
market in Rocky Mount.
Allen said another key feature of the future Stonewall Villas is the location. The development is going to be on the northwest side of the Tar River from the
“It’s all in the Lord’s hands,” Allen said with
Rocky Mount Mills development, close to
Crews are constructing a street at what is
a smile and a laugh of the finishing time. “He
many restaurants and stores, just off an
going to be Stonewall Villas. The housing is
has control of the weather and what happens.”
expressway-like U.S. 64 and less than 10
going to be built to the west and northwest of
Allen said an important feature of the
the upscale River Falls at Stonewall residential
development is each home at Stonewall
“It’s kind of an anchor,” Allen said. “The
area and to the west and southwest of the
Villas is going to have built-in fire suppression
location is the center of Rocky Mount on the
historic Stonewall Manor.
systems, which is going to be a first for a
Real estate broker Michael Allen said
neighborhood in Rocky Mount.
minutes southeast of Interstate 95.
As for the clientele who would be
Stonewall Villas is going to be a four-phase
Allen also said a homeowners association
interested in a home in Stonewall Villas, he
project with a total of 71 homes, with a
is going to be in place to take care of mowing
said, “We’re hoping it appeals to people that
minimum of 1,700 square feet and with prices
the lawns and maintaining the landscaping, so
want to come be in the middle of the activity
starting at approximately $275,000.
there is not going to be any worries about the
that’s going on in Rocky Mount that don’t want
grass and shrubbery.
“There’s nothing like this one,” Allen said.
He said Phase I is going to be the scene
Allen said by approximately 2015, the number
of 11 lots, with Lot 1 to be the site of a model
was at approximately 900 and started rapidly
home to showcase some of the finishes and
some of the products to be featured in the homes. The homes can be built in bungalow or craftsman styles and a prospect can choose between having a one- or two-story residence constructed. Allen said a prospect is going to be asked
He said the reason is demand has
industries. Allen said his check of data showed 321 houses on the market in Edgecombe and Nash counties.
increased since the 2007-08 burst of the
Allen said if one removes the extremes
housing bubble nationwide and the financial
in prices, one is left with approximately 220
collapse on Wall Street.
houses in the affordability range of those
“So without the new construction to
securing those future jobs. And he said such a
absorb the demand, the inventory just went
situation is occurring while the rental market is
away,” he said.
already quite tight.
to put down a refundable deposit and, if he
Overall, Allen said the demand in the real
or she wants to move forward, he or she can
estate market in the Rocky Mount area now is
meet with Ingram Construction on a plan and
the best since his father and business partner,
He is particularly concerned because
a price. Allen said CresCom Bank can offer
Bob Allen, entered the real estate business in
another large business or industrial prospect
the early 1970s.
interested in locating in the Rocky Mount area
“We need all the new construction we can get,” he said.
Allen said a limited number of the
“Do we see anything that’s going to slow
residences are going to built as “specs,” that is,
it down? No, not in the near future. With
He made clear he is proud of everything
speculative homes, with no particular buyer in
the demand and the growth of our area and
happening and moving forward in terms of
the industry looking at our area, housing will
economic development in Edgecombe and
remain strong, whether it’s sales or rentals,”
Asked why Stonewall Villas is being built, he gave the answer in one word: “Demand.” Allen, 49, has been in the real estate business since 1996.
Michael Allen said. At the same time, the son is concerned
is going to see a housing shortage.
“But our industry and the building industry could be a holdup,” he said.
about the lack of future housing, given civic
Bob Allen was one of the key investors who
Allen said through the years there would
and economic development officials having
developed River Falls at Stonewall. The father
be anywhere from 1,100-1,200 houses on
said approximately 3,500 people need to be
sold the site of the future Stonewall Villas to
the market in Edgecombe and Nash counties.
ready to go to work at expanding or future
Stephen Ingram of Ingram Construction.
It’s kind of an anchor. The location is the center of Rocky Mount on the map. - Michael Allen, Real Estate Broker 57
RECREATION and FITNESS By Jenny White
One of the best things about living in the Twin Counties is the year-round opportunities
those staying a while. The food options range from popcorn to ice cream and snow cones.
Another great Rocky Mount park is Battle Park. While there are no playgrounds or
to be outdoors. Whether you play sports,
One of the landmarks in Rocky Mount
moving rides for the kids, there are winding
fish, hike or just like to be outside, our area is
can be found at Sunset park — a gas powered
trails along the Tar River. The park offers a
teeming with ways for you to get physical and
miniature train. The train offers rides to 36
boat landing, three picnic shelters, fishing
enjoy the great outdoors.
passengers at a time. There’s also a vintage
piers and a gazebo with a view of the Rocky
carousel that’s been at the park since the
Mount Mills dam. Battle Park is a great place to
fish and you’ll see fishermen along the banks
With almost 100 parks in Nash County, there’s a family-friendly area near you — no matter where you are. One of the city’s most
On one recent summer day, mom Vivian
of the river throughout the park as well as at
popular is Sunset Park, which sits along the Tar
Roster had her two children and a few
the docks spread throughout the meandering
River. You’ll find a sand volleyball pit, tennis
neighborhood friends at the Sunset Park spray
courts, basketball courts, a skate park and a
kid-friendly spray park. The spray park operates from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. each day, and even has concessions for
Battle Park is part of the 7.2 mile greenway
“It’s a great way to break up a long day and
trail through Rocky Mount. Starting at Sunset
they all have fun. It keeps my toddler happy
Park, the trail goes through Battle Park,
and my 6-year old,” Roster said.
crossing the river into Stith-Talbert Park and
travels into Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park.
throughout the year, but boat docks are open
Near South Church Street, a connector trail
to the public throughout the park systems in
travels north to the Rocky Mount Sports
Complex and Athletic Stadium.
Don’t have a canoe? No worries —
Ennis Park in Red Oak is another favorite
recreation departments in Edgecombe and
recreation site. There are soccer fields,
Nash County both offer canoes for rent during
playgrounds, picnic shelters, tennis courts
their organized paddles.
and a great walking path around the park. The
Organized recreation leagues also offer an
walking trail measures .6 miles and is a great
opportunity for residents to get moving. The
place to enjoy a walk outdoors.
Twin Counties is home to many locations for
If you like a little history with your
games and tournaments. The Rocky Mount
recreation, Tarboro in Edgecombe County may
Sports Complex is a major recreation league
be the place to start your hike. Designated by
baseball and soccer site, east of Raleigh.
the U.S. Department of the Interior, Tarboro’s
The complex hosts local, state and national
National Recreation Trail begins at the Blount-
tournaments. In the summer, the Rocky
Bridgers House and provides a leisurely stroll
Mount Sports Complex is the site of the Top
or drive through one of North Carolina's
Gun World Series and brings in about $1.5
largest and most diverse historic districts.
million in tourist money to Rocky Mount.
Numerous public and private restorations are
The newest recreation site to the Twin
found along the two-mile trail with structures
Counties is the Rocky Mount Event Center.
The 165,000-square-foot space boasts eight
Victorian architectural periods.
basketball courts, 16 volleyball courts, four
Significant historic sites are the Pender
locker rooms, concessions and a large area
Museum, the Town Common, the Cotton Press
for banquet events. The Rocky Mount Event
Complex, Calvary Church and churchyard,
Center has hosted numerous basketball
and the National Main Street Program facade
tournaments and gymnastic meets so far.
improvements in historic Downtown Tarboro.
Looking for a team to play on? The Harrison
Paddling the Tar River is fun for locals
Family YMCA and city recreation leagues have
and visitors of all ages. The City of Rocky
numerous opportunities for athletes to play
Mount and Tarboro plan organized paddles
throughout the year.
Whether you play sports, fish, hike or just like to be outside, our area is teeming with ways for you to get physical and enjoy the great outdoors.
WESLEYAN going STRONG By Amelia Harper
Over the past five years, N.C. Wesleyan College has shown amazing growth.
even more in the future. “We plan to reallocate resources to
first masters level program and has already graduated students from that Master of
When former president Dewey Clark
programs and services that directly impact
assumed the helm of the college in 2014, the
and improve the experiences of our students
In anticipation of the coming of the new
traditional day student enrollment was 575.
in both our traditional and ASPIRE adult
CSX facility and other new industries like
Now, college administrators expect to see
program,” Duff said.
Corning and Triangle Tire, which will be making
almost 1,200 students attending school on campus in the fall.
Criminal Justice degree.
Over the past five year, as the school has
their homes in the Twin Counties within the
grown, new buildings have been added or
next two years, a new bachelor’s degree in
Five years ago, the college was the second-
upgraded. A new dorm has been added to the
logistics will be offered at Wesleyan in the fall.
smallest college in the state. Since then, the
campus and the cafeteria and bookstore have
The growth of local business and industry
college has advanced ten places on that list. It
been completely renovated. Two additional
also will mean the need for more highly-
has been the fastest-growing private college
buildings off campus have been donated to
trained individuals in the business field.
in the state for much of that time period.
the college as well. And plans are in place to
Wesleyan college has applied with the SACS
make additional improvements to the school’s
accreditation board to offer a second master’s
degree. Once approved, college leaders expect
Clark resigned his position in June, but interim President Evan Duff said he expects that recent changes made to the school’s
Academic changes have been made as
to launch a Master of Business Administration
organizational structure will benefit the school
well. Two years ago, the college launched its
degree on Jan. 6, 2020. According to a recent
press release from the college, this online
entertainment arts at the college will soon
program will be the only MBA program
have more job shadowing opportunities and
offered locally to the Twin Counties.
potential internships. Part of this expansion of
Based on a recent letter from Duff to
that program will involve a partnership with
alumni of the school, Wesleyan also has other
Sony Music that will provide aspiring music
plans for program expansion in mind. The
producers and songwriters a chance to gain
college is considering offering an RN-to-BSN
real world experiences in New York City, the
program that will allow registered nurses to
obtain their bachelorâ€™s degree. Students who are pursuing a degree in music production and
For more information about N.C. Wesleyan
Five years ago, the college was the secondsmallest college in the state. Since then, the college has advanced ten places on that list. It has been the fastestgrowing private college in the state for much of that time period.
College, go to https://ncwc.edu.
RIVER and TWINE By Spencer Carney With the renovation of the Rocky Mount Mills came a new installation on the campus: tiny homes.
overwhelming. “We have local people, DIY people who want to build their own and are looking at
Developed by Capital Broadcasting, River
ideas, groups, sporting events, wedding
& Twine’s 20 tiny houses provide an option
parties, it works well with the powerhouse,”
for people to be able to stay overnight near
he said. “People are constantly driving
the new restaurants and breweries and still
through just to see them.”
be able to easily access the rest of Rocky Mount and the nearby highway.
There are 20 houses available for rent, all named after bodies of water in North
“We were thinking of ways to have
Carolina, such as Pamlico, Tar, Scuppernong
overnight accommodations and came up
and Neuse. Pictures of the houses are
with the concept and really just went with
available at the River & Twine website.
it,” said Bryan Holloman, River & Twine manager. “The tiny houses thing has been
River & Twine also has three guest suites available in a renovated Mill house.
really popular and no one’s really done it as a
“It’s really just been a great response to
hotel, so we thought we’d just give it a shot.”
the houses,” Holloman said. “We have the
Holloman said that in the month
ability to expand, but for now we’ll see how
they’ve been open, the response has been
the 20 work and go from there.”
Exploring Nash and Edgecombe Counties