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 In the News, June 26, 2017 

Solar phone charging station added to Downtown Newton

Downtown Newton has a new, high-tech feature: a solar-powered charging station for phones, laptops, and any electronic devices that can be charged through a USB port. Newton is one of the first communities in North Carolina to partner with Soofa, a technology company, to provide a sustainable charging station for visitors and residents. Positioned at the corner of Main Avenue and 1st Street, Newton’s charging station is conveniently located next to a street bench and has USB ports to charge up to two devices simultaneously. The charging station is free to use, and users need to bring their own USB charging cords.

Matthew grant to address flooding concerns in Winterville

The Town of Winterville received two N.C. Department of Commerce grants for Hurricane Matthew recovery projects. The town received $270,000 to elevate and rebuild the control system at its Church Street sewer lift station and $1.09 million to replace an inadequate stormwater culvert on Chapman Street, which caused flooding during Hurricane Matthew.

Kinston to study impact of removing some traffic lights

The city currently only controls 15 stop lights in Kinston while the rest are owned and maintained by the N.C. Department of Transportation. Following the city and NCDOT agreeing to end a contract over maintenance of the city-owned lights, city officials are hoping to determine if life would be better without some of the lights it owns. The discussion is mainly focused on six intersections. If removed, the stop lights would be replaced with two-way and four-way stop signs.

Fletcher Community Park reflects town’s values

Frequent visitors to Fletcher Community Park rarely search for words when asked what they like about the 60-acre tract east of Howard Gap Road near U.S. Highway 25. Many will say they like the 19-year-old park’s canopied hiking trails, or its outdoor fitness area. Others say they like playing disc golf on the park’s nine-hole course, or fishing for rainbow trout in Cane Creek. All that has gone into the park, which opened to the public 10 years after Fletcher incorporated in 1989, is a reflection of the value town residents place on recreation, according to Town Councilman Bob Davy, who served on the town’s initial Parks and Recreation Commission. “Right away, the town council decided they wanted recreation to be an important aspect of the town,” Davy said. “They hired a recreation director before they hired their first cop. That tells you how serious they were.” Since the completion of the park’s first phase, a $750,000 endeavor that included a set of baseball fields, a concession stand and a 0.6-mile asphalt track, town council members have continued adding new features.