Living 2019 ANNUAL PROGRESS & REVIEW EDITION
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Construction up even as jobless rate rises Regionâ€™s health lags; new care facilities planned A PUBLICATION OF THE DAILY ADVANCE, CHOWAN HERALD & THE PERQUIMANS WEEKLY
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Living 2019 ANNUAL PROGRESS & REVIEW EDITION
Here May 2019
» p.10 Construction up even as jobless rate rises Region’s health lags; new care facilities planned A PUBLICATION OF THE DAILY ADVANCE, CHOWAN HERALD & THE PERQUIMANS WEEKLY
ON THE COVER: Ercmy Tillmon/The Daily Advance Rodolfo Aparicio, a framer foreman, saws through a piece of wood as he and his crew continue the renovation work on the Weatherly Lofts project on Water Street in Elizabeth City, Friday, May 3.
6 Pasquotank Economic Development 9 Camden Economic Development 11 Perquimans Economic Development 12 Chowan Economic Development 14 Currituck Economic Development 16 Regional Health Medical Update 19 K-12 Schools Update 22 Colleges Update 25 Civic Groups 26 Charitable Groups 28 Regional Arts Groups The Daily Advance
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PASQUOTANK ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
BIZ-HOME EVEN AS JOBLESS RATE RISES
BY JOHN HAWLEY / STAFF WRITER
igns of growth are abound in Pasquotank County, despite an unemployment rate stubbornly hovering above the state and national rates. Residential and commercial construction are up, highly anticipated new businesses
industrial development. They’ve also teased some major job announcements coming later this year, though details on progress on various fronts can drive down an unemployment rate that edged past 5 percent in February, the rate most recently reported by the N.C. Department of Commerce. That’s far better than years past — national recession a decade ago brought the number close to 10 percent — but it’s still worse than Pasquotank’s overall unemployment rate for 2018, which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics put at 4.8 percent.The number is also worse than the current state and national jobless rates that were about 4 percent in March, even after seasonal adjustments, based on data from the N.C. Department of Commerce. Pasquotank’s median household income also remains much lower than the state and national medians — at least based on 2017 Census data, the most recent available. The census reports Pasquotank’s median household income at about $47,000, versus about $50,000 for the state and almost $58,000 for the nation. have reported progress on multiple fronts. For one, new of maintaining if not growing population. The Pasquotank Building Inspections office reports issuing 89 permits for new residential construction, all for single-family dwellings, in 2018, versus 66 in 2017.Sixteen new homes have been built so far in 2019, and building inspection
approved 43 permits for new houses in 2018. That’s slightly down from the 48 reported in 2017 — but
2019, and the value of the permitted properties
is estimated to be almost $2 million. Most of the new home construction in Elizabeth City is at the Stockbridge subdivision, which continues growing
built throughout the county, not concentrated in
established, and with good infrastructure, which
retailers, restaurants and other small businesses,
Ercmy Tillmon/The Daily Advance Construction continues on the new Discount Tire store on Halstead Boulevard Extended near the Aldiâ€™s grocery store which opened earlier this year. Pasquotank County officials say signs of growth abound despite the countyâ€™s 5 percent unemployment rate in February.
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Ercmy Tillmon/The Daily Advance Tommy Mason stands on a platform as he looks at new heating and air-conditioning duct work in the E-City Plaza commercial center in Elizabeth City, Wednesday, Feb. 20. E-City Plaza owner-developer Wadeea Alzawquari hopes to have the new center on West Ehringhaus Street open this spring.
High-profile Projects Include: Albemarle Theaters:
Seven Sounds Brewery:
Halstead Boulevard Extended Businesses:
CAMDEN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
BY CHRIS DAY /
ndications of Camden Countyâ€™s growing economic and business sectors can be found in many places from U.S. Highway 17 to U.S.
meeting of the Camden Board of Commissioners
about recent projects and are looking
located in the northern end of the county north of
other related projects. Adding a boost to the southern end of Camden is a new
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Ercmy Tillmon/The Daily Advance Jim Laflare (left) and Rahiem Spencer lift a generator as construction continues on Camden County’s new $4.2 million wastewater treatment facility on U.S. Highway 158 near Shortcut Road, Wednesday, May 1. The plant, which will be able to treat 50,000 gallons of wastewater a day, is expected to be finished in July.
under construction on U.S. 158. When operational, the county will have two such facilities capable of for both ends of the county,” County Manager Ken being built on U.S. 158 near Shortcut Road and across
county received a grant from the federal Economic Development Administration for $1.3 million and a grant for $200,000 from the Golden LEAF Foundation to help pay for the facility. Camden is providing $2.9 to treat 50,000 gallons of wastewater a day. It also will relieve pressure on the South Mills facility by processing the sewage from the much closer Camden Historic Courthouse area. Currently that sewage gets line also will spur business and residential growth
8,000-square-foot plant that will include machinery, specializes in automobile restoration, particularly for
been a big thing for the community,” he said, of residents’ response to the publication. He said the county plans to make it a semi-annual publication. growth when last year it approved a sweeping rewrite
the future,” Bauman said Bowman said revising the regulations. Camden also achieved another milestone
going to be huge for the future,” he said.County Economic Developer Charlie Bauman said that tract of land already is zoned for residential and commercial uses. Bowman estimated Camden residents should see development along the corridor within 12-24
provider to the county. In February the county
businesses that opened in the last year as examples of the county’s growth potential. For example, a new Dollar General recently opened in Shiloh, and Inner Banks Interiors celebrated its grand opening in
Regional Medical Group Primary Care-Camden, which will operate the clinic scheduled to open by
Banks Interiors specializes in flooring design and Success Academy preschool program, which opened last year in the former Northeastern Community Development Corp. building at 151 Gumberry Road. Alliance for Children and Families that serves children
to help Chesapeake Regional Healthcare to open a $13,460 Small Business Economic Development Grant
hearing in February, said the county had been hoping to attract a health care provider for quite some time. Bauman also pointed out that partnerships, local and regional, benefit not just Camden County but northeastern North Carolina. Camden considers
Alliance, an economic development organization that represents all of eastern North Carolina, as vital to its
PERQUIMANS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
ASSISTED LIVING CENTER GOING UP BY PETER WILLIAMS /
fter years of planning and permitting, construction is underway on a 100-bed assisted living and independent care facility in Hertford. Hertford House should be complete by of between $11 million and $13 million. Hunter Trefzger, the interim
location. Hertford House is located across the street from a doctor’s office and a pharmacy less than
a moratorium on licensing new dementia care or “memory care” beds could be occupied by people who may be at risk of wandering off. There are different levels of elder care. Residents in a nursing
Living Group, said the facility would
care and monitoring. They typically live with more complex health
also will employ part-time workers.
assistance of a skilled nurse or a
manages more than 90 facilities in the southeast. Most are in North Carolina, including operations in Edenton, Ahoskie and Moyock. The facility will include a secured living space that would prevent people
custodial care that might include an adult with mobility problems who needs a little help transferring from their bed. The general contractor Carolina Commercial Contractors. As of late April, concrete pads have been poured and some walls are going up. The Hertford House project isn’t the only one on the February, the county received a the first phase a marine industrial project. The maximum any county on top of the almost $3 million the N.C. Department of Commerce has phase of a large inland boat basin has been expected to cost about $7 million and the original price tag of the complete project was over
Road. When fully developed the
from leaving. Depending on the location, Affinity operations can include assisted living, memory care and short-term stay options. Currituck House offers all three. Edenton House offers assisted living and short-term stays while Ahoskie House offers only memory care services, according to the company’s web site. The facility will feature 100 beds. About to residents who need assisted assigned to residents considered for independent living. Twentyfour beds will be in the secure
Peter Williams/The Perquimans Weekly Hertford House assisted living facility is on schedule to be complete in 2020 at a cost of between $11 million and $13 million. The facility will employ a full-time staff of 45-50, plus part-time workers.
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CHOWAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
howan County’s business outlook is bright as businesses expand and invest in the local economy. Regional companies like Regulator Marine, Colony Tire, Daedalus Yachts and Jimbo’s Jumbos are hiring and have expanded operations. McDonald’s recently underwent more than $1 million in renovations and a Taco Bell is planned for Edenton. “I think that rural America is
Growth, EVIDENT BY MILES LAYTON / CHOWAN HERALD
and Chowan County is ideal for growth, because it has companies with history here that believe in job retention and expansion,” said Mallory Denham, director of the Edenton-Chowan Partnership. The county’s unemployment rates hovered around 5 percent in March, according the NC Department of Commerce. North Carolina’s seasonally adjusted jobs are available than trained workers. “I do feel that the workforce is coming back slower than our growth, however, we have several counties around us which can and will enhance our workforce numbers,” Denham said. “Also we have put together a Workforce Taskforce that is motivated to improve the job skills of to success. Great things are just beginning for this great community.” In March, Edenton Mayor Roland Vaughan presented Regulator Marine with a building reuse grant program check for $320,000 from the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority. Regulator invested more than $4 million and pledged to use the grant money to create at least 32 new jobs. Instead, as was celebrated at the check presentation, Regulator created twice as many jobs — 64— at the company. The company now employees around 234 craftsmen building boats sold and used around the country and abroad. The grant came through the Town of Edenton, and the Edenton Chowan Partnership provided the
SIMONSEN LAW FIRM, PC Solar leases? Selling or buying a business? NCDOT taking land? Underground storage tanks?
Miles Layton/Chowan Herald Governor Roy Cooper (center) visits with Regulator Marine officials to see the progress the boat manufacturer has been making. Regulator has invested more than $4 million in its facility and pledged to use state grant money to create at least 32 new jobs. The company employs more than 234 craftsmen to build boats sold and used around the country and abroad.
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Owners / Operators Gina Albertson John Winslow , Jr.
required matching funds. The Regulator facility being reused, which originally contained 12,000 square feet, has been expanded by 23,000 square feet. The overall project adds another 12,000 square feet for a mold-storage facility, 8,000 square feet to the laminating area, 4,000 square feet for equipment storage for a grand total facility of 121,414 square feet, of which 47,000 square feet is completely new. The state has awarded the town of Edenton a $500,000 grant to help a local yacht maker renovate its 38,000-square-foot plant and create 50 new jobs. The North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority announced Feb. 21 that Edenton will receive the grant through the Building Reuse program to assist Daedalus Composites, a yacht design, engineering and manufacturing company that is also known as Daedalus Yachts, in renovating its existing plant at the town’s airport park at 109 Anchors Way Drive. Daedalus, which specializes in thermoformed carbon renovation project, according to a press release from N.C. Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland. The grant will be awarded to Daedalus Yachts if the company is able to create and maintain 50 jobs for six months before the grant funds will be released by
grants will help create a total of 153 new jobs and rural communities like Edenton. “With the projects approved today, rural areas of North Carolina have new resources to help attract jobs, support business expansion and prepare sites for future development,” Assistant Commerce Secretary Kenny Flowers said. “The Rural Economic Development Division at Commerce and the Rural Infrastructure Authority work closely with leaders in rural communities to facilitate opportunities for economic growth.” In February, Colony Tire held the grand opening of the new warehouse for Colony Tire and Atlantic Tire Distributors. The 104,000 square foot building and Street were celebrated during the event. Jimbo’s Jumbos is building a 75,000 square foot facility in the Peanut Drive economic zone. The state-of-theart operation facility produces peanut products for sale between Nags Head and San Francisco. In early April, Edenton’s McDonald’s completed more than $1 million worth renovations and the famous fast positions for the restaurant. And we’re actually hiring more,” said George Taylor, restaurant owner. “Even with the kiosk, a lot people think we are taking continued on page 21
The Daily Advance
CURRITUCK ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
VA. CONNECTIONS BOOST CURRITUCK’S FUTURE
BY CHRIS DAY /
growing population that’s showing no signs of slowing down is fueling economic prosperity in Currituck
which typically follow the residential growth going on
sit adjacent to the border between North Carolina
County is the only county growing in northeastern North Carolina with projections showing growth for another 20-plus years
companies who are located outside of our county are
was responding to series of questions posed via email. Currituck County’s economic development website thinkcurrituck.com provides a wealth of statistics and demographics for prospective new industries.
acres of the megasite are available for development. own most of it and are ready and willing to sell to
revenue on dollars earned in North Carolina that are
million the foundation awarded to area counties for various economic development projects. At the time meetings and conversations with a wide variety of
of the investments the county is willing to make to
comment on was the Moyock megasite known as
types of large businesses that the county is trying
a statistical region known as the Hampton Roads
will involve creating and building an employment our county residents and businesses will have options in spending their hard-earned money in Currituck
shares boundaries with the Currituck County Regional
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Aviation and Technical Training Center. The park is zoned for heavy manufacturing and features many lots ready for development. A key development for the commerce park came in February when it was announced a Virginia-based company plans to build That month the Currituck Board of Commissioners
development, as Currituck prepares for its growing population, came in early March. At that time the Federal Highway Administration signed off on construction of the long-anticipated Mid-Currituck this project, that the local communities requested,â€?
veteran-owned business located in Chesapeake, Lombardi said. He discussed the project during a public comment session prior to commissioners a 1.4-million-gallon pool and 110-foot-long cargo ship, plus equipment to simulate high winds, waves, fog and rain, to provide safety training to workers in the wind and offshore oil industries.
North Carolina Turnpike Authority in a news release. needed transportation improvements for hurricane evacuation clearance times and connectivity to the two-lane toll bridge spanning the Currituck Sound
enforcement and other first-response workers, planned for development near the training center is
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REGIONAL HEALTH MEDICAL UPDATE The Daily Advance
in partnership with the region’s hospitals, the assessments compile years’ worth of health statistics, coupled with community surveys and focus groups, to diagnose local counties’ top health problems. The
Sentara Albemarle Medical Center President Coleen Santa Ana discusses the hospital’s goals for the new year.
ways, sicker than the rest of North Carolina and the United States, a continuing reality often reinforced by poverty and unhealthy habits and lifestyles, such as poor nutrition and lack of exercise. The assessments can be viewed online at www.arhs-nc.org.
The top health problems for each county, according to the assessments, are: Pasquotank:
problems, cancer, respiratory diseases, mental health, and heart disease and strokes. Almost 35 percent of Pasquotank’s Medicare-age adults have diabetes, versus about one in four for North Carolina and the nation, and the county’s mortality rate for diabetes equates to about 24 per 100,000, a rate slightly above the state and national rates of 23 and 21 per 100,000, respectively. Pasquotank’s mortality rates for heart disease and cancer are also much higher than the norm, at 251 per 100,000 for heart disease, compared to 161 per 100,000 for the state, and 200 per 100,000 for cancer (all types), compared to state and national rates of about 170 per 100,000.
NEW CARE FACILITIES PLANNED
BY JOHN HAWLEY / STAFF WRITER
n Pasquotank and Camden counties, heart disease kills far more people than the state norm, and more than one-in-three elderly adults have diabetes. And in Chowan, Currituck and Perquimans, those problems are not only shared, but compounded by struggles with transportation and a lack of nearby health care providers. Those are among the many findings of Albemarle Regional Health Services’ community health assessments. Performed
access to health services, support for older adults, diabetes, and mental health. Camden’s mortality rate for heart disease is 204 per 100,000. ARHS also warned that Camden’s workers disproportionately drive alone and have long commutes, though it reported survey respondents generally didn’t consider that a top problem. Ninety percent of Camden’s workers drive to work alone, and their average travel time to work is 34 minutes, compared to the national average of 26 minutes.
and infant health; prevention and safety, poverty, and transportation. About 31 percent of Chowan’s Medicare-age adults have diabetes, and the diabetes death rate is 27 per 100,000, above the state and national rates. Regarding maternity and pregnancy, ARHS found more than 12 percent of babies born in Chowan had either low or “very low” birth weights, versus 10.7 and 9.5 percent statewide and nationally, and the teen pregnancy rate was 21 per 1,000 females, compared to almost 16 per 1,000 statewide.
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Notably, ARHS also found that less than half of Chowanâ€™s female population over 16 is working.
providers more available.
mental health providers, while its elderly residents
than the state norm.
Edenton earlier this year. Chesapeake Regional
state rate but slightly lower than the national rate.
for heart disease is notably lower than some of higher than the state rate. ARHS and hospital
renovated and opened late this year, Hardy has reported. The Daily Advance Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, which recently opened the wound treatment and sleep centers shown here in Elizabeth City in January, is working to open a convenient care clinic in the facility off Halstead Boulevard Extended, at 1805 W. City Drive, as part of an expansion of its Internal Medicine practice.
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K-12 SCHOOL UPDATES
BY REGGIE PONDER / STAFF WRITER
rea school districts have a number of projects that are either underway or about to start that will offer students more opportunities to learn through hands-on activities in preparation for the careers of today and tomorrow.
production and cut flower production. It also will highlight how farm products are marketed. Sawyer
also has been awarded two Golden LEAF grants
Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools is launching the Harris Demonstration Farm â€œ as a collaborative effort to provide ECPPS students ECPPS spokeswoman Tammy Sawyer. According to
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subjects, Sawyer said. As part of the effort, ECPPS will also be expanding partnerships with local
Currituck County Schools
two initiatives this year, one an expansion of the
that started shortly after Superintendent Joe Ferrell
would be a high school but that decision will not be
career discovery and exploration beginning in the sixth
he said. This year also saw the launch of a high school agreed to fund an internship coordinator position
Ercmy Tillmon/The Daily Advance Phil Faison, a volunteer with the Watch D.O.G.S. program, gives a fist bump to Levi Parr, 5, a student at Grandy Primary School in Camden, Wednesday, May 1. D.O.G.S., which stands for “Dads Of Great Students,” has twin goals of improving school safety and providing positive male role models for students in the Camden County Schools.
County Schools, said that while attention has been paid to all subject areas there has been a special focus in the
continued from page 13
people think we are taking away jobs, when we to involve volunteers in helping to keep schools safe.
Grandy Primary School
screens and trains volunteers, who walk through the hallways and also have interactions with students such
good since we opened back up as well.” Speaking
Ercmy Tillmon / The Daily Advance Workers repair the roof on Butler Residence Hall at Elizabeth City State University. The work is among the many renovation and beautification projects currently underway on the ECSU campus.
Universities, grow enrollment, programs facilities BY REGGIE PONDER /
lizabeth Cityâ€™s three institutions of higher education are making strides in enrollment, facilities and programs.
a program in the operation of unmanned aircraft systems, also known as drones, and plans to develop a drone training enclosure. Over 200 more students spring than last spring, continuing an upward trend in
Elizabeth City State University, the aviation science program continues to grow as students
of 10 airplanes and will move this summer into the
for 2019 is 1,509 students, according to the university. That compares to 1,278 students in spring 2018, representing an 18 percent increase. That follows a 19 percent increase from the fall, when enrollment
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reached 1,636 — an increase of 225 students from fall 2017. Enrollment is growing not only on the strength of the aviation science program but also because of only $500 a semester to in-state students at ECSU, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and Western Carolina University. The university also is adding new degree programs in homeland security, sustainability studies, digital media arts, and an online format for the master’s degree in elementary education. In addition, “uniform articulation” agreements with Lenoir Community College, Sandhills Community College and Guilford Technical Community College allow their students earning an associate degree in either applied science in aviation management or career pilot technology to transfer more seamlessly to ECSU to complete a four-year degree. ECSU also recently signed agreements with both Pitt Community College and Edgecombe Community College that ease the transfer of their students to study criminal justice, business administration, birth-to-kindergarten education at ECSU. The community colleges also their students to be admitted to ECSU simultaneously. recent months, with landscaping projects around campus and painting and remodeling in a number of are excited that some state legislators are getting on board with a plan to provide $28 million for a new library building on campus.
College of The Albemarle has also seen its
enrollment grow. The college reported a 2.5-percent increase in curriculum course enrollment from fall semester 2017 to fall semester 2018. The increase put COA on track for its full-time equivalency, or FTE, enrollment to exceed 2,500. The COA Foundation is in the process of spearheading the formation of an The college also recently opened the newly renovated Charles H. Ward Library & Knowledge Commons. The $2.89 million library renovation was funded through $1.8 million in NC Connect bond proceeds, state monies and private donations, including $600,000 from the estate of the late Charles H. Ward, a former Perquimans County commissioner and COA trustee for whom the library has been renamed. The project represents a complete overhaul of 21,000 square feet of space in the two-story building. The library building was constructed in 1979 and still is in good general condition. But college officials recognized that the
function of libraries — especially the increasing role of digital technology in learning. The top priority for new facilities at COA is a simulation lab for nursing and other health sciences programs as well as additional space to accommodate growth in health sciences. Owens Health Sciences Building or constructing a new facility for use as a health sciences simulation lab. Either option would add about 10,000 square feet of new space and cost an estimated $3.5 million. At COA’s campus in Dare County, plans are in place to build a state-of-the-art consolidated campus that will provide additional opportunities for Dare residents to receive education and technical training. The price tag on that project is $7.5 million, of which $1.5 million is state bond funds. The college is also working with county officials in Currituck to add public safety classroom space at the new pubic safety center being built in Currituck. The college is also studying the possibility of adding a commercial trucking licensing also are beginning the search for a new president as President Robert Wynegar departs after two years in the position.
Mid-Atlantic Christian University, the private
university set a record for enrollment in the fall 2018 semester. Its 214 students last fall was up from the previous record of 209 students in 2002. MACU’s enrollment for the spring semester is 189. President John Maurice has noted that 6 percent growth in the number of new students and 4 percent total enrollment growth would put MACU’s student count at 232 in two and a half years. Science education is a new curriculum program slated to start in the fall. Other new programs planned at MACU include biopsychology and human resource management, and a minor and concentration in preaching. A capital campaign is expected to start in 2020 to raise money for a new biology building to accommodate continued growth in the college’s biology program. Plans also call for a new student life center on the MACU campus.W. City Drive, in an expansion of its Internal Medicine practice. The clinic, representing more than $700,000 in investment, including a Golden LEAF Foundation draw center, imaging, and other services. The clinic is going in empty space in a building with other CRH services. It should be renovated and opened late this year, Hardy has reported.
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Nicole Bowman-Layton/Chowan Herald
civic groups still reach out to community
Members of American Legion Post 40 in Edenton serve up chilli-cheese fries at their concession stand at the Boogie on Broad event, Saturday, April 13.
BY NICOLE BOWMANLAYTON /
ivic groups may be declining in membership, but they continue to offer a variety of activities and services for the community.
nursing homes, hospitals, makes sleeping mats for the homeless, and raises money and supports the
American Legion Post 40 in Edenton has 277 post
consists of scholarships for JROTC, Nursing Students,
members, 77 members of the Sons of the American Legion and 237 Auxiliary members. These are all paid members, according to Maureen Sobulesky, organization made up of veterans, men, women, combat and peace time who continue every day to support their communities and fellow veterans. She noted that in the past, the legion had been shrinking. However, a new proposal being put forth in Congress will change eligibility dates from 1919 to present, instead of membership based on having served in to attract more veterans and active duty personnel. This would increase the number of younger
gain Afghanistan, Iraq, etc., members who are under 65 years old.” In terms of support, the Legion Post and community come out to its functions and support the Legion’s efforts to raise money to support its
honors our Emergency responders, and our Flag are open to the public, yet we never seem to get as much support from the local community as some other organizations do.” The Auxiliary volunteers at
wreath is laid upon every veteran grave in Chowan County. The Sons of the American Legion supports
Scouts, Kids and Cops Program, all to benefit our
Lions Club for 50 years and has served in several district and stateEdenton Lions Club in 1992 after transferring from the Concord Lions Club, the Edenton group had 52 members. Today it has 28. There are a total of 1.6 million members of Lions Clubs in the United States and 485 other countries. The International Lions Club requires that a district be made of 1,500 members.
which includes northeastern North Carolina, has less Chicago headquarters made the requirement that if a Club’s membership fell below 10, it would have to disband. There’s no money to help organization,” are smaller than 10 members, but refuse to quit. They have sold their building and other assets and use that to stay afloat. They don’t make an effort to recruit or do community outreach. They are the groups that are dying.” Chowan County has two are growing, and are doing so by expanding their programs and by recruiting people soon after they continued on page 27
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Charities FINDING GROWING
BY PETER WILLIAMS /
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Submitted photo Albemarle Area United Way Director Bill Blake (left) and board member Julie Stamper-Phelps (second from left) donate $2,000 to Food Bank of the Albemarle Director Liz Reasoner (second from right) and Food Bank board member Jennifer Purcell in February.
money is spent properly. Another crucial charity that
continued from page 25 move into
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REGIONAL ARTS GROUPS
Art Scene ATTRACTIVE PICTURE FOR REGION
BY KESHA WILLIAMS / CORRESPONDENT ommunities along the Albemarle Sound each year draw thousands of tourists who cherish the waterside lifestyle, outdoor recreation options and the variety of offerings from the local arts scene. Three executive
Nicole Bowman-Layton/Chowan Herald A sculpture by artist Alexis Joyner is displayed on a table as visitors mingle during the Chowan Arts Council’s opening night reception for an exhibit of Joyner’s work in February.
of arts — performing arts, visual arts and literature — lures visitors to the Albemarle. Executive directors at the Perquimans Arts League, the Chowan Arts Council and Arts of the Albemarle reported steady participation in the events hosted by those groups over the last year. They agree the variety of events scheduled has led to increases in their memberships.
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Peter Williams/The Perquimans Weekly Kalie White draws a picture of a goose at a Perquimans Arts League event on Church Street in Hertford last year.
Perquimans Arts League
Edward Sanford, president of the Perquimas Arts League, said they’ve witnessed a lot of enthusiasm among artists there and the people who arrive to see their work. Since 1995, the Perquimas Arts League has
County from other states — are delighted to make new friends and colleagues at the arts council. Their talent combined with that of North Carolina natives creates an impressive collection of art that tourists driving membership is lot of art classes. More people are asking for more classes: water color, oil painting, teachers (in the area) who have the teaching skills so we are getting a lot of people to participate in our classes. You can take a class and not be a member of the arts league. Discounts apply to those with budgets for the arts, so we are drawing more youths to the arts league. This summer we have one we
so elementary school kids could see a play at College of the Albemarle. Locals want to see children do well in school and to appreciate the arts.” That kind of attention to the needs of area residents is a crucial role arts councils play in rural communities where employment options are few and residents limit trips to metropolitan areas where art galleries and members, support from the community and some grants to cover the costs of workshops and classes, good about the direction we are going in,” he said.
seen an increase in local business sponsorships to they are listed in our publications where people see
building that must be renovated so we are currently
initiating fundraising activities. Because our artists are excited about the goal to have a new and nicer gallery, they are engaged,” Sanford said. Sanford is give Perquimans artists the same incentive to show have shown in hanging work at a permanent site. He and other art league members look forward to a twostory building where classrooms will house rotating from other downtown sites. Contact: The Perquimans Arts League is located at 109 N.
Chowan Arts Council
A new site for the Chowan Arts Council has been a dream come true for art council members. Regan Coxe, president of the Chowan Arts Council, is still
has operated since 1976 to support and encourage artists and create new opportunities for them. Visual, performing arts and literary arts are promoted there.
experimenting with abstract painting than before. Since we moved to the new space we have had more
were in a smaller space and did not give a good
and see inside the front window.” Coxe, a volunteer president, served on the Chowan Arts Council’s board of directors about six years before accepting her current post. The arts council, Coxe notes, is not only for adult artists and tourists but for area children who are not often exposed to the arts. Coxe recalled her disappointment during a recent tour by school youths
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at Chowan Arts Council’s gallery. “When I asked how many of the students had visited a gallery in Greenville or beyond, only a few kids raised their hands,” she
work done by regional artists. Some Virginia artists from the nearby border towns also show
Arts of the Albemarle
of music and dance have made
the front half of the gallery every month in order to showcase fresh work by area artists, according to
art in their home towns often visit galleries when they are arts council lures them in when
while strolling downtown or the visitors a cycling event.” Coxe said foot
gallery during any of the last 12 months, adding, the variety and the beauty of the new gallery site
gifts for colleagues, family and friends or decorating their homes, Arts of the Albemarle is the first
the art work we are showing. We just hosted College of the Albemarle University artists for an exhibit that brought families down to the gallery who don’t regularly visit the gallery. We are seeing younger families from the U. S. Coast Guard visit the gallery, and we are trying to find
events that are designed to lure visitors to Arts of the Albemarle.
come from Raleigh, Richmond and Virginia Beach, Virginia to see the gallery. We’ve also have brought back more artists who have not
at one time.” Contact: Chowan Arts Council, 112 West
different forms of art work and
limited to marching high school
“We might not be creating jobs, stay in a hotel or tour the town when they can find reasons like good art to hold their attention
notes arts councils are needed to
relocate to small towns from
children to work they have never seen.” Coxe said the council is bringing more diverse art to have
of dance that will show young
music will headline the night and a night where ballroom dancing
can demonstrate the moves that distinguish that form of dancing form others. We are looking at a
is looking forward to welcoming a variety of bands to showcase their
the Albemarle is the family friendly musical “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”
forms of art are trending here
artists over the years. We will try
because they will sometimes have events we don’t have scheduled
here at Arts of the Albemarle with acting, dance and voice training for children, but those arts councils offer a lot of classes that aren’t
and to receive discounted tickets to events or rental of our facilities. Who doesn’t like discounts on
Contact: Arts of the Albemarle is located at
dancing and Salsa dancing will be
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