Newton Grove leaders eyes Weeks Park upgrades

By: By Chase Jordan -

NEWTON GROVE — Town officials and community members are working to make the town’s park a better place for visitors and residents who call Newton Grove home.

During a Monday meeting for the town’s Board of Commissioners, it was reported that several plans are in the works for Weeks Park. For playground improvements, Commissioner Teresa Wilson reached out to a business in the Morrisville area, after they completed work at Grove Park Baptist Church. She said it’s possible to get equipment on sale after meetings are held next week.

Wilson and Town Clerk Amanda Turner mentioned another opportunity to receive help from Sampson County officials for mulch.

“We need the ground repaired so maybe they’ll help us with that,” Turner said.

With the improvements, commissioners hope that more people will visit the park in the future.

“When we upgrade it, we’ll really have a lot out there,” she said.

Assistance for the park may also come from a local youth. Mayor Gerald Darden reported that Lucas Williams, a local Boy Scout would like to revamp the tennis court for an Eagle Scout project. Becoming an Eagle Scout is the highest honor in the organization. Darden said he wanted to get the blessing of the Newton Grove board and officials in the Boy Scouts organization.

Commissioners showed gratitude for the potential project, which is an ambitious undertaking which could take thousands of dollars to complete.

“He’s going to have to raise a lot of money and that’s a big undertaking,” Darden said.

Wilson said there was time when the town was thinking about keeping the tennis court. The work involved pulling up the court and putting down a fresh foundation.

Completion dates for the discussed improvements were not set by the board.

During the year, many activities take place in Weeks Park, such a the annual Fourth of July celebration featuring a firework display, activities for families and the town’s Miss 4th of July pageant. At the meeting Commissioner Gary Mac Herring announced that movie night is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 22. More details will be released soon.

Board reflects on 9/11

Newton Grove commissioners reflected on the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, which took the lives of many victims when planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon near Washington. D.C. A fourth plane crashed in rural Pennsylvania.

“Sixteen years ago today, something very bad happened to our country,” Commissioner Cody Smith said.

During that time, Smith was working with irrigation in La Grange and got the news.

“I got a lump in my throat big as the state of Texas,” Smith said.

He said the following day was eerie, while speaking about the matter of planes in the sky. He recalled a moment when others around him were scared of sonic boom sounds coming from planes.

The board observed a moment of silence for everyone who died during the attacks and for the soldiers killed in combat while fighting terrorists.

“We need to remember the people who died and the guys who died fighting the terrorists since then,” Smith said.

Children enjoy shade at Weeks Park during a Fourth of July celebration. enjoy shade at Weeks Park during a Fourth of July celebration.

By Chase Jordan

Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.