Senator prepares for budget sessions, recaps local events


By Brent Jackson - Contributing columnist



I hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day. Last week, we received the first round of the revenue numbers from a consensus report released to us by fiscal research and North Carolina’s Office of State and Budget Management (OSBM). Now that we have these numbers, we hope to begin budget meetings soon. Also, committee meetings have started up, so soon we will be fully back in session.

I will be hosting a fourth town hall event in Johnston County at 7 p.m. next Tuesday, Feb. 21. The event will be in the conference room of the Kenly Tobacco Farm Life Museum. All of the three town halls we have held so far have gone well and have been very beneficial. I have enjoyed hearing everyone’s thoughts and I encourage everyone to try and attend this fourth Town Hall to discuss your views and concerns for our district and state. I hope to see you at this upcoming event and would like to thank everyone who came out to our last one in Duplin County.

Question of the Week

Last week, I asked you where you thought North Carolina ranked in GDP across the nation. Last year, North Carolina had a GDP growth percentage of 2.6 percent, which raised our rank to 10th in total GDP in the nation, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce Labor and Economic Analysis after their last quarterly review. Thank you for everyone who responded to last week’s question.

This week, in honor of yesterday being Valentine’s Day, I would like to hear about a tradition your significant other and you may do to celebrate. Is there something special you try and do every year? Maybe you go to the same restaurant or visit a specific location?

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can assist you in any way possible.

Annual Albertson fundraiser

The annual Albertson Ruritan Club Fox Hunt was Feb. 18. The event is a fundraiser for the Albertson Ruritan Club, Fire Department, and Recreational Center; with all money raised being split equally among the three organizations. The day began with breakfast at 5 a.m. at the Albertson Ruritan Club Building. There was a memorial service at 7 a.m., which began the dog hunting field trial that lasted until noon. During the trials, dog owners had a chance to show case their dog’s talent in tracking deer, which were judged both on stamina and drive. Over the last couple of years, trials have turned from hunts to contests.

JCS Digital Learning Team attends FETC

Johnston County Schools Digital Learning Team recently attended the 37th annual Future of Educational Technology Conference (FETC) in Orlando, Florida. FETC is the largest technology conference in the nation, and attracts thousands of education and technology leaders from all around the world. The purpose of the conference is to share integrated technology from Pre-K to 12th grade, to provide strategies and practices that can be implemented for student success and overall school advancement. Amy Stanley and Pam Batchelor were the two who represented Johnston County Schools Digital Learning Team in Florida. They shared their Digital Learning Coach program and Lunch, Laugh, and Learn strategy. The Digital Learning Coach program is a way for teachers to learn and receive training professionally online. The Lunch, Laugh, and Learn strategy reinforces that learning can happen anywhere, anytime, and be fun. Both of the presentations were well received at the Future of Educational Technology Conference.

Golf tourney to raise awareness

Miss Lakewood High School Madelyn James is hosting a golf tournament on Feb. 25 at 9:30 a.m. at Lakewood Country Club in Salemburg. The goal of the fundraiser is to raise awareness and funds for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation to help treat speech, language, and hearing disorders. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation strives to research opportunities to develop therapies and help people who struggle to connect and communicate with others. Player entry fees for the tournament will be $60 a person, with lunch provided. All funds raised will be donated to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation. Local businesses are encouraged to participate through hole-sponsorships. For more information on the event, contact the golf director at Lakewood Country Club Curt Pritchard at 910-525-4424 or Robby James at 910-590-1929.

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By Brent Jackson

Contributing columnist

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