Jan 142013
 
Contributed photoEast Carolina University faculty member and conservation director Susanne Grieve proudly displays an ECU flag at New Zealand's Scott Base in Antarctica. She spent eight months in 2012 leading a team preserving artifacts left behind on the frozen continent by explorers.

Contributed photoEast Carolina University faculty member and conservation director Susanne Grieve proudly displays an ECU flag at New Zealand’s Scott Base in Antarctica. She spent eight months in 2012 leading a team preserving artifacts left behind on the frozen continent by explorers.

 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

An East Carolina University faculty member has had a once-in-a-lifetime experience — again.

Susanne Grieve, director of conservation at ECU, lived and worked in Antarctica for eight months in 2012 through the Antarctic Heritage Trust, a nonprofit organization based in New Zealand. The trust is responsible for the preservation of four expedition bases on Antarctica that were funded by the British Antarctic Society.

Grieve first went to Antarctica in 2008 after seeing a posting on a discussion list for conservators.

“It changed my life in every way,” she said. That experience, working as a conservator, led to her coming to ECU to teach.

She had to reapply for the 2012 trip.

“I think because I had wintered there previously and I knew a little bit about the living conditions and psychologically what it’s like, they brought me back as a lead conservator.”

Grieve, who specializes in object conservation, led a team of three other conservators, including a book and paper specialist.

From January to late August, Grieve and her team worked through Antarctica’s winter to preserve the contents of Cape Evans, the hut built and occupied from 1910-13 by the crew of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, who is most famous for his race to the South Pole.

On Jan. 17, 1912, Scott and four of his men reached the South Pole only to find that Roald Amundsen of Norway had beaten them there by four weeks. Scott and his crew began the journey back to their camp; none of them survived. A search party found Scott’s diary and three men’s bodies eight months after they had died from starvation and exposure in their tent.

Scott’s wooden hut, which is at risk from damage due to snow build-up and other environmental factors, contains more than 8,000 artifacts, according to Antarctic Heritage Trust. The trust works to preserve structures and artifacts left by explorers during the early 20th century.

Grieve and her conservation team focused on treating “iconic artifacts” of the Scott expedition structures, including harnesses that the men wore to pull equipment and a pillow that famous Scott exploration team member Apsley Cherry-Garrard used.

They treated 1,300 artifacts during their seven-month season.

“In the United States, that’s unheard of. You might treat an artifact every two weeks. But it has to be done because of the finite resources,” she said.

“While I was down there, it was dark for four months, 24 hours of darkness. No hint of a sunrise or sunset and your body notices that. No flights in or out. No fresh fruits or vegetables. No mail. We did have contact through satellite connections, but you are isolated,” Grieve said.

The base has a no interference policy — everything that is brought to the continent is later carried off. Everything is carefully protected, even food and human waste so it doesn’t adversely affect the environment, she said.

The temperature was another hurdle.

The average temperature while Grieve was at Antarctica was -35 degrees Celsius or -31 degrees Fahrenheit, ambient. With the wind, it can feel like -100 C or -148 F.

With the proper equipment, Grieve could work outside for about two hours at -35 C. She could only stay out about 10 minutes at -100 C.

Grieve said she plans to use her experiences in Antarctica to encourage her students to dream big.

“I never imagined in my life that I’d go to Antarctica to do conservation,” she said. “I think it demonstrates that if you’re passionate about something then there are no boundaries.”

Med students start mentoring program

What started as a class project has turned into a mentoring program involving ECU medical students and local high school and college students.

Participants of the Brody Ambassadors program help aspiring medical students hone their academics, choose the best classes and prepare to apply for medical school.

“Looking at (medical school) from the outside is a lot different from the inside,” said Miller Johnstone, a second-year medical student and one of the organizers of the Brody Ambassadors.

At the Brody School of Medicine, 60 medical students are involved in the mentoring program. Fifteen second-year students have put together talks that can be delivered to local schools. They hosted a health career fair on Saturday.

Each medical class at ECU takes on a class project. Johnstone, vice president of the class of 2015, envisioned a project that would have some lasting impact. The Ambassadors group was the result.

The group partners with the Pitt County Schools Health Sciences Academy to promote personal health and hygiene, increase health career awareness and interact with younger students who might want to pursue a health career.

Last spring, the Brody Ambassadors held its first program, pairing 30 juniors and seniors from area high schools interested in medicine with 30 first-year medical students. The high school students listened to a medical student panel discussion on medical school admissions and heard Dr. John Leonard, a neurosurgeon and clinical sciences professor, talk about what it means to be a physician. The students toured the school, spent time in the medical simulation lab and identified human bones.

Tara Parker, Pitt County Health Sciences Academy coordinator, said the Brody Ambassadors program has been “invaluable” for mentoring high school students who are interested in a health career as well as helping convince them they can achieve their goals without leaving home.

Adelina Cortez, 17, a senior at South Central High School, said the program helped her. She plans to attend ECU in the fall, major in public health and go on to medical school at the Brody School of Medicine.

“I really appreciate them taking the time,” Cortez said, adding that they encouraged her and other health sciences academy students to study hard, make good grades and volunteer in their communities.

The Brody Ambassadors program is funded by class dues and fundraising events.

Dr. James Peden, associate dean for admissions at the medical school, said the initiative to create an organization that goes into the community to mentor high school students reflects ECU’s motto of service and the medical school’s goal of educating physicians who want to help locally.

“I’m impressed by our students’ willingness to be a positive force in their community,” he said.

Upcoming Events

  • Thursday: Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival concert, 7-9 p.m. A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall; featuring music by Strauss, Mozart, Tchaikovsky. Tickets $25 for the public and $10 for students. Call 1-800-ECU-ARTS.

via The Daily Reflector.

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Jan 142013
 

Eva Valerie Jalajas Price

Obituary

Eva Valerie Jalajas Price died of a rare form of lymphoma on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013 at Vidant In-patient Hospice in Greenville. She was born on June 14, 1978 in Somerville, N.J. to Arvo and Helga Jalajas

Eva graduated from Western Carolina University with a Master of Arts in Physical Education. As a former accomplished gymnast she enjoyed and excelled at the sport of pole vaulting while at WCU. She became a full-time instructor at East Carolina University’s Department of Kinesiology in the College of Health and Human Performance. She loved teaching and mentoring her students during her time at ECU. She designed and implemented the home-school physical education program operated by that department. In addition, Eva enjoyed teaching and volunteering at Rose’s School of Gymnastics for many years. It was clear to everyone that Eva loved what she did but by far her most meaningful and cherished work was raising her three young children.

Eva is survived by her husband David T. Price Jr.; and her three children, daughters Lily and Willow; and son, Rivers. Also surviving are her grandmother, Oma Willy Fransz of Hopewell, Va.; brother, Hans Jalajas and wife, Jenny James, of Cary; sister, Suzanne Haraputczyk of Hellertown, Pa.; brothers, Pete Jalajas and wife, Robin Jalajas, of Newburyport, Mass., David Jalajas and wife, Claudine Jalajas, of Rocky Point, N.Y., and Erik Jalajas and wife, Janet Jalajas, of Lawrenceville, N.J. Also surviving are her parents in law, Dr. David T. Price Sr. and Ginger Price of Greenville. She is also survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and many wonderful friends.

She was inspirational to all who knew her and faced adversity with courage, strength and grace. Her children will miss her affectionate hugs and kisses and, like all of us, will miss her sense of humor, her smile and laughter, her kindness and creativity.

Special appreciation is given to the staff of Duke Cancer Center, the staff of 9100 Duke Cancer floor, and the staff of Vidant In-patient Hospice.

For additional information regarding donations please refer to http://www.giveforward.com/theevavengers or http://www.facebook.com/theEvavengersACommunitySupportingItsSuperhero.

Online condolences www.wilkersonfuneralhome.com.

via Eva Valerie Jalajas Price Obituary: View Eva Price’s Obituary by The Daily Reflector.

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Jan 142013
 

Francis M. Eddings

Obituary

Francis M. Eddings died on Jan. 12, 2013, at the age of 90.

The funeral service will be conducted Monday at 11 a.m. in the First Christian Church, Greenville. Entombment will follow at Pinewood Memorial Park with military honors.

He was born in Wheatcroft, Ky., on Sept. 15, 1922, to Francis and Annis Eddings. He graduated from Wheatcroft High School in 1940. After graduation, he moved to Detroit, Mich., where he worked for two years before joining the U.S. Marine Corps. During World War II, he served with the First Marine Air Wing in the South Pacific in Bougainville, Green Island, and the Philippine Islands, returning to the United States in 1945. Upon discharge from the Marine Corps, he married Grace Sutton of Washington, N.C. They lived in Washington from January 1946 until October of 1950, where he was employed in law enforcement. On Oct. 23, 1950, he was recalled to active duty in the Marine Corps at Cherry Point, N.C. He served in Korea, Barstow, Calif., Okinawa, Beaufort, S.C., and Camp Lejeune, N.C., where he retired on July 31, 1967. The last 17 years of service were in the Military Police as a criminal investigator.

Upon retirement, he worked at Campbell College, Buies Creek, N.C., for seven years as director of Security and Traffic. On Oct. 1, 1974, he moved to Greenville, N.C., and was employed as chief of police at East Carolina University until his retirement on Dec., 31, 1985. After retirement he and his wife enjoyed traveling and going to reunions with his World War II Marine Corps buddies.

He was a member of First Christian Church of Greenville, N.C., where he served as an elder and president of the Fellowship Sunday School Class. He was a member of the Greenville Masonic Lodge 284, past president of the N.C. Chapter of the FBI National Academy Associates, Pitt County Law Enforcement Officers Association, Greenville (Golden K) Kiwanis Club and the Pitt County Chapter of Mended Hearts.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Eleanor Boncek.

He is survived by his wife, Grace; sons Dana W. Eddings and wife, Bonnie, of Washington, N.C., Francis M. Eddings III and wife, Lisa, of East North Port, N.Y., and Steven F. Eddings and wife, Eileen, of Charlotte, N.C.; brother, Dana P. Eddings and wife, Sylvia; grandchildren Kevin Rawls and wife, Jenny, Emily Woolard and husband, Bryan, Josh Eddings and wife, Stuart, Justin Eddings and wife, Lauren, Charlie Eddings, Brian Eddings and Elizabeth Eddings; and two great-grandchildren, Trevor Rawls and Avery Grace Woolard.

The family will receive friends at Wilkerson Funeral Home Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m.

Memorials to First Christian Church, Building Fund, P.O. Box 2366, Greenville, NC 27836-0366.

Online condolences at www.wilkersonfuneralhome.com.

via Francis M. Eddings Obituary: View Francis Eddings’s Obituary by The Daily Reflector.

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Jan 142013
 

A pedestrian stands in the center turning lane as she waits to cross Stantonsburg Road infront of Vidant Medical Center on Friday morning. (Rhett Butler/The Daily Reflector)
A pedestrian stands in the center turning lane as she waits to cross Stantonsburg Road infront of Vidant Medical Center on Friday morning. (Rhett Butler/The Daily Reflector)

 

“Almost every day 
in Pitt County and 
Greenville, we have 
lots of people crossing 
and no crashes.”

Herb Garrison

medical director
Eastern Carolina Injury
Prevention Program

By Kristin Zachary

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Safety experts and the mother of a woman killed crossing Stantonsburg Road on Monday are urging pedestrians to utilize crosswalks when traversing Greenville’s busy roadways, even if it means walking a little out of their way.

A traffic-controlled crosswalk at Stantonsburg’s intersection with Moye Boulevard was 150 feet east of where Lotasha Bond was struck on Monday. It offers greater protection than the center turn lane where she stood waiting for traffic to clear, experts said.

The 40-year-old certified nursing assistant was crossing the five-lane roadway after dark, about 6:30 p.m., to begin her shift at Vidant Medical Center when she was struck twice and killed.

It is imperative pedestrians use designated crossing areas when available, Rosaline Bond, Lotasha’s mother said on Thursday.

Bond said she wants other hospital employees and pedestrians to use crosswalks at Moye and W.H. Smith Boulevard if they are parking across Stantonsburg instead of designated hospital lots.

“That is a dangerous road,” Bond said.

She does not want other families to experience the same heartbreak she feels now, she said.

As Greenville and Pitt County grow, traffic is increasing, officials with the Eastern Carolina Injury Prevention Program said. More protected crossings are needed, but many city roads where foot traffic has increased do have designated walk zones and signals at intersections, Herb Garrison, the program’s medical director, said.

The safe zones are much less dangerous than crossing streets in unprotected area, so pedestrians should take the extra steps to use them, Garrison said.

The injury prevention program is a joint effort established in 1995 between Vidant HealthTrauma Center and the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University’s Department of Emergency Medicine.

Garrison, a professor of emergency medicine at ECU and vice president of medical affairs for quality and patient safety at Vidant, said the first intersection in the city to see a “ped head” was Fifth and Evans streets.

Since then, 45 additional intersections have gained the crossing signals, according to the city’s Public Works Engineering Division.

At least half are located near the university and downtown, where heavy foot traffic is expected.

“Are there enough? I think the pedestrian experts would argue you can’t have too many,” Garrison said.

He said the increase in ped heads and focus on walking safety are steps in the right direction, and the county has seen fewer pedestrian deaths than in years past.

“Even though traffic is increasing, injuries are staying the same,” Garrison said. “The fact is there’s the potential to have many pedestrian crashes and injuries every day.

“Almost every day in Pitt County and Greenville, we have lots of people crossing and no crashes,” he said. “I think that tells us most of the time that the system works.”

Crashes involving pedestrians average between one and two a month in the city and county, Garrison said. Pitt County saw three pedestrian deaths last year, one in 2011 and none in 2010.

In the past 10 years, there has been an average of three pedestrian deaths a year in the city and county, with 2005 seeing the greatest at six, the state Department of Transportation’s Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation reports.

“I think the numbers say we’re making progress,” Garrison said. “Is there more to be done? Absolutely. The work never stops.”

Pedestrians and motorists have a large role to play in safety, he said.

“We think walking is one of the best things you can do for your health,” Garrison said. But walking increases vulnerability, especially with the average car weighing thousands of pounds, and it is essential pedestrians take steps toward their own safety.

Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash on each trip, according to the CDC.

“The pedestrian loses every time,” Garrison said. “When you’re walking, you need to make sure you’re maximally alert and minimally distracted.”

Jennifer Smith, manager of the injury prevention program, said education is a large component of increasing safety and decreasing crashes.

“I think in this community, as we have grown, there is a learning curve for people to understand how to walk and drive safely,” she said.

A video created locally by the Safe Communities Coalition of Pitt County and available on the group’s YouTube channel is an important tool for local pedestrians and drivers, Smith said.

“There is a strong need for education on the part of the motorist and their responsibility to yield to pedestrians,” she said.

Garrison said motorists should be defensive and always on the lookout, especially since not all pedestrians follow the rules of the road and many are distracted while walking.

“As a driver, you are not the only person you have to worry about,” he said. “You must be aware of and take into consideration every other person on the roadway and adjust your own actions,” Garrison said.

Pedestrians often have a false sense of security, assume drivers automatically see them and fail to take steps to protect themselves.

The Safe Communities video shows the largest number of police-reported crashes involving pedestrians in eastern North Carolina from 1999-2009 were determined to be the fault of the pedestrian.

Garrison advises pedestrians to be cautious, especially at intersections, and to wear clothing that provides the greatest visibility, particularly at night. Utilizing designated crosswalks is a must, he said.

Smith said that she always catches the eye of an oncoming driver to make sure the motorist is aware she intends to cross, even at marked and signal crossings.

North Carolina General Statutes indicate pedestrians crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield right-of-way to all vehicles on the roadway.

In the video, Greenville Police Department Traffic Safety Unit Officer Jodie Cobb details a 2007 incident near the Greenville Convention Center on Greenville Boulevard.

A group of three people attending a Marine Corps Ball at the center walked to the Hooters across the boulevard, he said.

During their return trip about 2 a.m., the group walked across the road instead of using a traffic-controlled pedestrian crosswalk that was within sight at the boulevard’s intersection with Hooker Road.

A woman in the group was struck and later died from her injuries, Cobb said.

Bond crossed within site of the crosswalk at Moye Boulevard on Monday. She was going to work a few hours early Monday night because the hospital was short-handed, her mother said.

Her scheduled shift was 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., but she was beginning work at 7 that night to help a co-worker.

She parked at the corner of Stantonsburg and Moye in the Rite Aid parking lot, where Bond said night-shift hospital employees have permission to leave their vehicles.

She was standing in the center lane when an eastbound Chevrolet SUV merged to turn left and hit her, a crash report shows.

The impact pushed her into the inside westbound lane of Stantonsburg and she was stuck again by a Ford truck, the report said. She was taken to the hospital, where she died later Monday night.

On Tuesday, several hospital employees and others were seen crossing Stantonsburg between Moye and W.H. Smith boulevards in spite of the Monday incident and state statutes that say pedestrians can cross only in marked crosswalks when traffic-control signals are in operation at adjacent intersections.

Bond said this happens “all the time.” Her daughter was one of many who have crossed Stantonsburg in non-designated areas.

All hospital employees have access to free, designated parking spaces on Vidant’s campus, according to Reggie Pearson, vice president for clinical and ancillary support services.

Although day-shift employees are limited to specific areas, workers beginning after 4 p.m. see more “relaxed parking” and are able to park in additional areas, he said.

A bus service also is provided from 5 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday for employees and visitors.

“It is there to ensure employees don’t have to walk unless they choose to, and it ensures they can cross streets safely by riding the bus as opposed to walking,” Pearson said.

Vidant’s website encourages employees to use pedestrian sidewalks and crosswalks, noting safety is a main concern.

“We encourage employees to park on campus and use the hospital transportation system that we provide,” Pearson said. “That’s the safest way for anyone to travel on campus.”

Bond’s mother and family hopes others make safe choices.

“She was a very loving, caring person,” her mother said. “She would do anything she could for you. Just like on Monday, they were short. She jumped in and said, ‘I’m on my way.’

“She was such a high-spirited, happy person,” Bond said. “To me, it’s like an angel has gone away.”

Contact Kristin Zachary at kzachary@reflector.com and 252-329-9566 and follow her on Twitter @kzacharygdr.

By the numbers
The state Department of Transportation’s Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation provides the following statistics for crashes involving pedestrians in Pitt County:
40 in 2010 — 19 injured
26 in 2009 — 1 killed, 14 injured
24 in 2008 — 4 killed, 9 injured
19 in 2007 — 4 killed, 10 injured
21 in 2006 — 2 killed, 10 injured
24 in 2005 — 6 killed, 9 injured
42 in 2004 — 5 killed, 18 injured
42 in 2003 — 4 killed, 14 injured
26 in 2002 — 12 injured
22 in 2001 — 1 killed, 13 injured
Crosswalks in Greenville
Hooker Road and Dickinson Avenue
Greene Street and Dickinson Avenue
10th and Evans streets
10th Street and Charles Boulevard
10th and Charles streets
10th Street and Founders Drive
10th Street and College Hill Drive
10th and Elm streets
14th and Elm streets
Third Street and Memorial Drive
Hooker Road and Greenville Boulevard
Fifth Street and Memorial Drive
Stantonsburg Road and Moye Boulevard
Fifth Street and Moye Boulevard
Fire Tower Road and Evans Street
Stantonsburg Road and W.H. Smith Boulevard
Stantonsburg Road and Arlington Boulevard
Fire Tower and Corey roads
Fire Tower Road and Ashcroft and Evans drives
Fire Tower and Bayswater roads
Stantonsburg Road and Wellness Drive
Arlington Road and Beasley Drive
Fifth Street and Reade Circle
Fifth and Cotanche streets
Fifth and Evans streets
Fifth and Washington streets
Fifth and Greene streets
Fifth and Pitt streets
Third and Pitt streets
First and Pitt streets
First and Greene streets
Third and Greene streets
Third and Washington streets
Fourth and Washington streets
Third and Cotanche streets
Fourth and Cotanche streets
Fourth and Reade streets
Third and Reade streets
Reade Circle and Evans Street
Reade Circle and Cotanche Street
Fifth Street and Founders Drive
Fifth and Elm streets
Hooker Road and Arlington Boulevard
Hooker Road and Pendleton Street
14th Street and Farmville Boulevard
14th Avenue and Fleming and Tyson streets

via The Daily Reflector.

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Jan 142013
 
The following sketch provided by Greenville city administration shows the lay out of the Convention and Visitor Bureau and the downtown parking deck.

The following sketch provided by Greenville city administration shows the lay out of the Convention and Visitor Bureau and the downtown parking deck.

 

By Wesley Brown

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Greenville Redevelopment Commission next week will begin a nationwide search for a “creative and qualified” design team that will partner with the city to build — and own a portion of — a new visitor center and parking deck downtown.

The commission at its annual meeting on Tuesday outlined a four-month recruitment process that will begin Monday, when the city will officially bid the project to developers across the region, state and country.

The selected team — which must have a “proven track record of developing urban infill projects” — will work with the commission to design and manage the construction of a multi-story building downtown, said Carl Rees, who as Greenville’s economic development officer will lead the effort for the city.

As a bonus and cost-saving measure for the city, the team will serve as a construction manager at-risk for the four-level, 250-space parking deck to be located directly behind Greenville’s new Convention and Visitor Bureau, which beginning in September will return to downtown after eight years.

“We feel very good about combining the two projects,” Rees said. “It will be a first for us.”

Construction manager at-risk is a less common practice used in North Carolina, but one becoming more popular in Greenville, with East Carolina University using the method and the Recreation and Parks Department relying on it last year to build the new Drew Steele Center.

Normally, the Redevelopment Commission would go through an extensive search to procure a civil engineer and landscape architect to design and provide cost estimates for a project through a structured bidding process.

“With construction manager at-risk,” Rees said, “you are collapsing much of that to save time and money by selecting a fairly large general contractor who has qualifications in the type of project you are pursuing to price and deliver a product.”

After the city has selected a development team to complete the office building, its staff will work with the company in the contract phase to design the parking deck and then turn over construction to the at-risk manager to complete that phase of the project, Rees said.

The project will accommodate the relocation of the Greenville Convention and Visitors Bureau to downtown, provide additional commercial office space and parking close to the main campus of East Carolina University.

Office tenants are expected to create demand for as many as 40 parking spaces during daytime hours. The parking deck, which will cost the city $1.3 million, will be the first in the city.

Rees said linking the two projects together, which involves some site constraints, is expected to generate considerable savings. Portions of the parking deck site — the city-owned Moseley Lot — can be used as a staging and construction equipment access area.

The plan is for the visitor center to be constructed first, with the hope to start site work for the parking deck, estimated to take three to four months, when the official building “super-structure” is up.

Rees said the parking deck, to be pre-cast and transported downtown, will take four to six weeks to actually build.

“It is really quite amazing how fast the parking deck will go up,” Rees said.

The commission approved the proposal, saying it felt that by putting these two projects together, the city might get some “consistency in architecture and aesthetics.”

Contact Wesley Brown at 252-329-9579 or wbrown@reflector.com. Follow him on Twitter @CityWatchdog.

via The Daily Reflector.

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Jan 142013
 

Arlie Honeycutt, 20, an East Carolina University student, is representing North Carolina at the Miss America Competition in Las Vegas, Nev. The pageant airs live tonight on ABC.
Arlie Honeycutt, 20, an East Carolina University student, is representing North Carolina at the Miss America Competition in Las Vegas, Nev. The pageant airs live tonight on ABC.

“It’s been a lot of fun getting to go and see Vegas. I’ve never been west of the Appalachian mountains.”

Arlie Honeycutt

Miss North Carolina

By Kim Grizzard

Arlie Honeycutt had hoped to make her debut in East Carolina University’s Opera Theater last fall, but a different stage was awaiting her.

Honeycutt, who became Miss North Carolina in June, will compete in tonight’s 2013 Miss America Competition at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. If she is named a finalist, the 20-year-old ECU vocal performance student will have a chance to sing “Someone Like You” live on ABC.

The song, from the musical “Jekyll and Hyde,” is one Honeycutt has been perfecting with coaching from Jami Rhodes, an assistant professor of voice in ECU’s School of Music. Though her Miss North Carolina title required her to take a year off from her studies at ECU, Honeycutt has continued to work with Rhodes on her talent.

“She really is talented,” Rhodes said. “Her voice is quite lovely … she’s fantastic on stage. I think that’s one of her greatest strengths.

“It really just comes natural to her. She’s just incredibly poised; she’s really comfortable on stage,” Rhodes said. “I have no doubt whatsoever that she’s going to do a great job and represent us well.”

As a student, Honeycutt was selected as a representative in the ECU Ambassadors and was a member of Magnolia Belles, an a capella group. She had just auditioned for and received a role in the November production of “Lizzie Borden” when she won the Miss North Carolina crown.

Honeycutt, who was 14 when she competed in her first pageant, was following in the footsteps of her mother, a former Miss Wilson.

“Oddly enough, she competed on the same day, exactly 30 years to the day that I was crowned Miss North Carolina,” Honeycutt said in an interview from Las Vegas.

Since June, she has toured the state, promoting her platform “The Domino Effect: Inspiring Volunteerism One Person at a Time.”

Honeycutt’s own “Domino Effect” began in her native Garner when she was a teenager. A member of The Towne Players theater group, she worked to establish a theater camp scholarship for children in memory of a local Marine and theater member who was in Iraq.

“I kind of had to let it go when I went to college,” Honeycutt said. “But back home where I had started the scholarship fund, kids who had started as camp participants were now volunteering themselves.”

Meanwhile, Honeycutt had begun volunteering her time at ECU in projects like the local special needs prom. She will continue to promote volunteerism if she is chosen as Miss America.

“There are so many different ways to make a difference,” Honeycutt said. “It’s pretty much encouraging people to have a platform whether they’re a pageant girl or not.”

Honeycutt has spent the last 10 days with other pageant participants in Las Vegas preparing for tonight’s competition.

“It’s been a lot of fun getting to go and see Vegas,” she said. “I’ve never been west of the Appalachian mountains. I am 100 percent a North Carolina girl.”

Honeycutt misses ECU. She returned to campus to film her Miss America promotional video, which contestants used for online voting.

“Greenville has been so supportive,” she said. “I’m very fortunate to come from the Pirate Nation.”

She even took time from her travels to come back to town in November to catch the production of “Lizzie Borden.”

“The cast did a wonderful job,” Honeycutt said. “I was a little jealous not being able to be up there with them, but I was very proud of them.”

The 2013 Miss America Competition will air at 9 tonight on ABC.

Contact Kim Grizzard at kgrizzard@reflector.com or 252-329-9578.

via The Daily Reflector.

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Jan 142013
 

A city drawing shows what a roundabout may look like on West Fifth Street at the intersection of West 14th Avenue and Tyson Street.

A city drawing shows what a roundabout may look like on West Fifth Street at the intersection of West 14th Avenue and Tyson Street.

 

“There is going to be minimal displacement … and the business could get a better piece of property if it makes the swap.”

Chris Mansfield, Redevelopment Commission chairman

By Wesley Brown

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Plans to replace a set of stop lights on West Fifth Street with a safer and more environmentally friendly traffic circle may force a neighborhood car wash in west Greenville to relocate.

Greenville city officials have begun discussions with the property owner of Wash It — a cash-only car cleaning service at the corner of West 14th Avenue — to negotiate a land swap.

Talks have been ongoing for about six months as part of an effort by the Greenville Redevelopment Commission to improve the appearance and design of a four-block section of West Fifth Street with new sidewalks, bus shelters, bike paths, decorative trees and wall art.

The two-phase redesign is called the West Fifth Street Gateway Project. The commission this week added $13,500 to its existing $120,000 contract with Rivers and Associates for the local engineering firm to study and map out a roundabout at the intersection of Tyson Street and West 14th Avenue.

“I drive through that intersection probably twice a day, sometimes four times a day, and this really does seem to be a pretty good plan,” Chris Mansfield, chairman of the Redevelopment Commission, said. “There is going to be minimal displacement … and the business could get a better piece of property if it makes the swap.”

Under the preliminary terms of the land swap, the city would give up land it owns on West Fifth Street at the intersection of Sheppard Street — a block east of the car wash — to gain ownership of the property.

“It’s the same size,” Niki Jones, the lead city planner of the project, said of the property Greenville is offering. “If we did a land swap, they would still get a corner lot.”

Jones said if a swap could not be negotiated, another option is for the city to outright purchase the land, which tax records show has a current market value of $20,000. Neither the property owner, Jimmie A. Brown, or management of the car wash was available for comment on whether they would accept the offer or sell the land.

Jones said Rivers and Associates plans to study and draw two designs for a roundabout at the intersection, which the city, the state Department of Transportation and the Greenville Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission have approved to be bid once construction documents are finalized.

Early diagrams of the designs show the only difference between the two is the center of one will be positioned slightly further to the north. Each will include sidewalks, marked crossings and bike lanes to help protect an area of high-volume foot traffic with the Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Center and Munchy’s Grill being nearby.

A growing trend

Roundabouts are deemed safer, cheaper to maintain and friendlier to the environment than traditional intersections, officials said.

Their designs have reduced harmful emissions by up to 30 percent — as there is less starting and stopping of traffic — and cut right-angle and head-on collisions in North Carolina in half, according to a report published by the state last year.

Hollie Allen, communications officer for the DOT, said on Friday that there are 200 roundabouts in North Carolina, most of them built in the last decade after the concept was imported from Europe in the early 1990s.

The traffic circle on West Fifth Street would become Greenville’s second, in addition to the one on Portertown Road.

Roundabouts are ring-shaped intersections through which traffic flows in a counterclockwise pattern. Cars entering a roundabout must yield to those already inside. Although it appears simple, some initially worry the measure may be confusing to navigate.

Jones said like all new traffic patterns, there may be a learning curve.

“It will be new and take some education,” Jones said. “But it is perfectly safe for pedestrians.”

Contact Wesley Brown at 252-329-9579 or wbrown@reflector.com. Follow him on Twitter @CityWatchdog.

via The Daily Reflector.

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Jan 112013
 

 

 

By NATALIE SAYEWICHT

It will be a quick turnaround for artistic director Ara Gregorian and the five other musicians coming together in Greenville to perform chamber music that is expected to be of world-class caliber. That, however, isn’t anything new for Gregorian, and he doesn’t believe that a lack of preparation time might result in a lower-quality performance.

On the contrary, watching the musicians improvise on stage and play off one another is what makes each concert of the East Carolina School of Music’s Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival truly unique and special.

Gregorian has chosen five world-class musicians from around the globe to join him in a string sextet for the “Souvenirs” concerts on Jan. 17 and 18 as part of the festival, which is now in its 13th year.

The program features Elina Vähälä of Finland, and Xiao-Dong Wang, born in China and now living in New York, both playing violin. Kyzysztof Chorzelski, born in Poland and now living in London, will join Gregorian playing the viola. Colin Carr of Oxford, England, and Michael Kannen of the United States will play the cello.

To find musicians for the event, Gregorian asked artists that he has played with both internationally and in the United States. Additionally, all of the musicians performing in “Souvenirs” have been a part of Four Seasons in the past, separately. They will perform Richard Strauss’ Sextet from “Capriccio,” Op. 85; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Grande Sestetto Concertante” and Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s String Sextet in D Minor, Op. 70, “Souvenir de Florence.”

“The music that we’re playing is going to be able to highlight each of these players’ strengths in a really special way that I think is going to be able to show each of these people at their best,” he said. “Also, the combination of these people, I think, will yield a really fantastic energy. From my past working with them, I’m sure that that’s going to be the case.”

In addition to rehearsing and performing, each artist will work with East Carolina students during their short stint in Greenville, doing a master class in which students will perform for the professionals and receive feedback.

“It is an invaluable thing for them to get to play for people of this caliber,” Gregorian said. “It’s something that’s a really special opportunity for the students.”

Because musicians are expected to arrive Tuesday, rehearsal time will be limited to Tuesday evening, all day Wednesday and early Thursday. But limited practice time hasn’t been a problem that Gregorian has noticed over the course of the festival.

“It’s kind of a quick turnaround preparing everything, but if you’re hiring people that are on their level, then you can do it in that amount of time,” he said. “There’s not a lot of time to rehearse. Maybe for each piece, two or three rehearsals. Then each concert that happens is also a learning experience. We’re presenting something to the public, but every time you sit down and play you’re learning and collaborating and that’s one of the most fun things as musicians to be a part of.”

Despite the international lineup, all of the musicians speak English, which makes Gregorian’s task a bit easier. He has found, however, that nonverbal communication with this type of program is just as important.

“I think there’s also a certain unsaid communication,” he said. “When we’re playing together, we’re all communicating with each other as this happens. That’s one of the really neat things about chamber music. When you’re rehearsing together and playing a concert together on stage, there’s so much communication going on that isn’t verbal. That’s certainly a huge part of what we do and I think that the audiences can really pick up on that and enjoy it, and that’s what makes it truly thrilling.”

 

Contact Natalie Sayewich at 252-325-9596 or nsayewich@reflector.com.

via The Daily Reflector.

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