YOUR SEYMOUR SALUTE: Powered by Classic of Goldsboro

YOUR SEYMOUR SALUTE: Powered by Classic of Goldsboro

Every week, Your Seymour Salute highlights an airman serving at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro.

Senior Airman Matthew Bundy-Chandler, is the 333rd Fighter Generation Squadron weapons load crew chief.

Senior Airman Bundy-Chandler, consistently guides his team to excellence, ultimately improving the F-15E crew’s ability to train more effectively.

Senior Airman Bundy-Chandler’s leadership and dedication extend beyond the work center too. He rallied co-workers to provide much-needed Christmas and school supplies for Goldsboro’s elementary schools.

As a result of Senior Airman Bundy-Chandler’s dedication to the local community, he was named the local Air Force Sergeants Association’s Airman of the Quarter.

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UScellular, Boys & Girls Clubs to Announce Winners of Black History Art Contest

UScellular, Boys & Girls Clubs to Announce Winners of Black History Art Contest

On Monday Goldsboro Mayor Charles Gaylor will join local UScellular associates and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County at 4:30 p.m. to recognize the winners of the annual Black History Month Art Contest.

The event will be held at the Club located at 1401 Royall Avenue.

The contest invited members of the Boys & Girls Club to create their original pieces of artwork in recognition of influential Black STEM icons. Public voting for the finalists was available online during the first two weeks of February.

Prizes to be announced at the celebration are as follows:

1st Prize:  $250 VISA gift card;

2nd Prize: $150 VISA gift card; and

3rd Prize:  $100 VISA gift card.

Black History Month art contest winners will be announced at the event to excited students, attendees and parents.

WCC, Smithfield Foods Finalists for National Award

WCC, Smithfield Foods Finalists for National Award

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) has named Wayne Community College a finalist in its Awards of Excellence category for Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership with Smithfield Foods.

WCC and Smithfield Foods are being recognized for the apprenticeship model developed and implemented by the two in 2019. The model has since been replicated by Smithfield Foods nationwide.

“It is an honor for WCC to be selected as a finalist for an Award of Excellence with Smithfield Foods,” said WCC Executive Director of Apprenticeships and Career Development Kristie Sauls. “WCC’s relationship with Smithfield Foods continues to grow as we work to bring awareness to good-paying jobs here in eastern NC.”

Currently, there are 29 Smithfield Foods apprentices in four different cohorts studying at WCC. The first cohort of seven maintenance technicians graduated in the spring of 2023, and the sixth cohort will begin in the fall of 2024.

“Apprenticeships provide an opportunity for students to learn while they earn by combining classroom learning with on-the-job training. They help accomplish the long-range goal of having highly skilled workers,” Sauls explained. “It is not about filling a worker shortage today but rather a means to increase highly skilled employees for tomorrow.”

The success of the partnership led Smithfield Foods to donate toward the Southeastern Education and Economic Development (SEED) initiative, a youth apprenticeship program providing career pathways and college education for high school students. WCC will serve as a pilot community college for the program.

“The apprenticeship works so well because, at the end of the day, we have the same goals. We are both working to fill an industry need for training and retaining skilled staff, and more importantly, we want to offer people an opportunity to excel in their careers and improve their lives,” said Smithfield Foods Talent Development Training Specialist Clarence Scott.

“This is a life-changing program for everyone involved. Both Wayne Community College and Smithfield Foods understand the program’s importance and are fully invested in its success. That is what makes it such a wonderful partnership,” said Scott.

The AACC Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership Award honors local, regional, and national collaboration between a college and corporate partner that has achieved demonstrable, multi-year success in advancing the mission of the institution(s), the economic prosperity of a community, region, or the nation, and the learning excellence of students.

“Being recognized as a finalist for this award exemplifies the benefit of partnerships between business and industry and colleges,” said WCC President Patty Pfeiffer. “We are proud to work hand in hand with Smithfield Foods to develop a highly skilled workforce to meet their needs while providing high-quality education and training.”

Scott agreed: “This validates the collaborative work we have been doing together, and it’s gratifying to be recognized.”

WCC is the only community college in NC to be a finalist in the AACC’s 11 awards categories. The other finalists for the Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership Award are Montgomery College in Maryland, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana, and San Jacinto College District in Texas.

This is the sixth time that WCC has been a finalist for an AACC Award of Excellence.

The winner will be announced at the Awards of Excellence Gala during the AACC Annual Conference on Apr. 8 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Annual Black History Parade Being Held on Saturday in Mount Olive

Annual Black History Parade Being Held on Saturday in Mount Olive

MOUNT OLIVE — The 16th annual Black History Month Parade is being held at 1 p.m. on Saturday in Mount Olive.

The parade is sponsored by the Unity Organization. Mar. 2 is the rain date.

Parade entrants will begin lining up on Talton Avenue at 11 a.m. The parade route will start on Breazeale Avenue before continuing to the Carver Cultural Center.

Vendors will be selling food along the parade route, and Miranda Cox Haskins, the owner of Legacy Cakes & Courtesies, is the grand marshall. Legacy Cakes & Courtesies is located at 2116-B Wayne Memorial Drive in Goldsboro.

Education a Future Focal Point for Gaylor, City Council

Education a Future Focal Point for Gaylor, City Council

As Goldsboro Mayor Charles Gaylor and the Goldsboro City Council continue to implement new policies and focus on the betterment of the city, partnering with leaders and organizations tasked with improving education in the area remains a priority. 

Although the City of Goldsboro does not provide funding or make personnel decisions for local schools, Gaylor is eager to find the most effective ways to impact local education. Wayne County Public Schools currently rank 88th out of 100 counties in North Carolina. 

“It’s so hard because (the City of Goldsboro) doesn’t administer schools,” Gaylor said. “We’re not in the funding stream for schools. We do not hire or fire principals, or teachers or anything else. But, if you want to talk about the impact to the city, I would wager that no organization has a stronger weight to play in the outcomes of our community, of our students, of our children, and our families. So, how do we fit in that together? The city’s not exactly flush with cash. So, I don’t know that we’re going to be a funding partner. We do have a wonderful Parks & Recreation Department. Could we offer some additional programming? Could we offer some programming that happens to correlate with (the) end of school and break sessions? Those are things I want to press on, and what partnership can we provide that is an amenity to our citizens that also helps the schools be more successful?”

During the Feb. 5 Wayne County Board of Education meeting, the board approved changes that will affect where students from multiple schools attend school beginning in the 2024-25 school year.

Wayne County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Marc Whichard recommended moving Wayne School of Engineering Students to the building that currently houses Wayne Academy. Whichard also recommended moving Goldsboro High School Students into the portion of the school currently used by Wayne Engineering students.

Under Whichard’s proposed plan, staff from School Street Early Learning Center, school nutrition staff, and exceptional children staff would move to the current Goldsboro High School Building. NC Pre-K would move to Eastern Wayne Elementary School.

Whichard also proposed moving Wayne Middle/High Academy to the former Freshman Academy Modular Suite at Eastern Wayne High School. Edgewood Community Development School would also move to the campus of Eastern Wayne High School.

The plan also includes the campus closures of the Wayne County Public Schools Exceptional Children Department which is currently at Dixie Trail and is a leased facility from AP Exhaust. The school nutrition mobile site, School Street, and Edgewood Community Development School.

Whichard estimated the proposed moves would have a positive annual financial impact of $750,000 on the Wayne County Public Schools budget.

On Monday of this week, Wichard held a district information session for parents of students from Northwest Elementary, Northeast Elementary, and Fremont Elementary to discuss and learn more about the redistricting process for the newly constructed Fremont Elementary. 

On Tuesday evening, a meeting was held with parents of students who currently attend Edgewood School that grew more contentious as the meeting went on. 

Wichard is hosting a special community event at 6 p.m. on Feb. 29 at the Maxwell Center to present the school district’s 2024-2025 local budget.

Stevens Mill Road Getting Drainage Improvements

Stevens Mill Road Getting Drainage Improvements

Several drainage pipes will be replaced on Stevens Mill Road ahead of a resurfacing project.

Maintenance workers for the state Transportation Department will replace the aging pipes between Blackjack Church Road and N.C. 581. The work is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. on Mar. 4, and will take up to three weeks to complete, if the weather cooperates.

This stretch of Stevens Mill Road will be closed to through traffic while crews dig up and replace one pipe at a time. The road is scheduled to be resurfaced later this year.

The detour will consist of U.S. 117 and Old Grantham Road. Motorists should be alert near the barricades and mindful of the longer route when traveling.For real-time travel information, visit or follow NCDOT on social media.

No. 12 Embry-Riddle Downs No. 24 UMO

No. 12 Embry-Riddle Downs No. 24 UMO

MOUNT OLIVE — Facing its first nationally ranked opponent of the year, the University of Mount Olive’s women’s lacrosse team fell to No. 12 Embry-Riddle by a 16-7 margin On Tuesday afternoon at Ray McDonald Sr. Sports Complex.
With the loss, UMO falls 1-1 on the season while playing its opening two games at home. Meanwhile, the Eagles improve to 3-0 after being picked third in the Sunshine State Conference (SSC) and returned a pair of All-American team selections.
Embry-Riddle established an early lead as the Eagles scored five unanswered goals in the initial seven minutes of the opening quarter, 5-0. In response, sophomore Maddy Fratus found fifth year Bria Hamilton on a man-up opportunity to put one past the keeper with three seconds left in the first quarter, 5-1. At the start of the second quarter, the Eagles took advantage of their man-up opportunity and were able to score at the 14:04 mark, 6-1.

At 12:59, the Trojans capitalized on their man-up chance with a goal by senior Logan Hibbard, 6-2. Following a groundball pickup,  junior Rileigh White stuffed the ball in the back of the cage at the 10:58 mark, 6-3. Less than a minute later, sophomore Hannah Legge scored off a pass by Hibbard to bring the game within two, 6-4.

Staying quiet since the beginning of the quarter, the Eagles were able to score to extend the lead by three, 7-4. In response, Hibbard found junior Teagan Dunnett from behind the cage to cut the deficit, 7-5. Closing the first half, Embry-Riddle scored at the 3:53 mark of the second quarter, 8-5. 
The second half of the game started off strong for the Trojans as the defense forced multiple turnovers for the Eagles. Four minutes into the third quarter, Embry-Riddle was able to score back-to-back goals, 10-5.

Awarded a free position opportunity, Hibbard put one in the back of the cage at the 9:10 mark, 10-6. Soon after, the Eagles scored to extend the lead by five going into the fourth quarter, 11-6. In the last frame of the game, Embry-Riddle was first to score at the 12:48 mark, 12-6.

Shortly after, Mount Olive was awarded with a free position shot. Ripping a shot from the top of the eight, Dunnett scored her second goal of the game, 12-7. Ending the game, the Eagles scored four straight goals to seal the 16-7 victory over the Trojans. 
Junior goalkeeper Anna James collected a career-high of nine saves and three groundballs in 46:32 minutes of play. 
Dunnet collected two goals while teammate Hibbard collected two goals and two assists. Hamilton snagged six draw controls along with a goal.
The Trojans return to conference play as they head to Georgia to play Emmanuel on Saturday at noon.

United Way Seeking Volunteers for Multiple Events

United Way Seeking Volunteers for Multiple Events

The United Way of Wayne County is seeking volunteers to help with multiple events in March.

Volunteers are needed for various roles and shifts for the NC Main Street Conference Mar. 12-14 in downtown Goldsboro. Anyone interested can sign up here.

Volunteers are also needed for the Fill the Theatre food drive being held at the Paramount Theatre on Mar. 27-28 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Interested volunteers can sign up here.

Individuals, businesses, and civic groups can bring in their donations to Paramount Theatre during the two-day event.

Anyone interested in bringing in their donations prior to the event dates can drop them off at these locations: Crawford Henderson Insurance, Goldsboro Builders Supply,  McLamb Wellness and Aesthetics, NC Community Credit Union, Southern Bank-Ash Street branch, TA Loving and Wayne County Courthouse atrium.

United Way of Wayne County hopes to fill all 500 seats of the Paramount Theatre with donations. Donors pledge their support by reserving seats to fill and can request to reserve one or several seats in the name of the entity they represent.

This year, an option to donate monetarily is available. Items requested are non-perishable canned food items, paper products, toiletries, and baby items like diapers and formulas.

A complete list of needs and the drop-off locations with days and times can be found at the agency’s website:

PET OF THE WEEK: Baba Powered by Jackson & Sons

PET OF THE WEEK: Baba Powered by Jackson & Sons

WGBR Pet of the Week Powered by Jackson and Sons features Baba. Baba is an 8-year-old white tabby cat with brown stripes.  She has been spayed, vetted, and is ready for her FUR-EVER home. 

To meet Baba or any of the other adorable pets at the Wayne County Animal Shelter, visit them at 1600 Clingman Street Monday through Friday from 1 PM to 4 PM and Saturdays from 10 AM to 12 PM.

Listen in on WGBR Radio

Jeff and Graham with Baba - Jackson & Sons Pet of the Week
Pet of the Week Banner 2024 Powered by Jackson & Sons
Gaylor Reflects on First Two Months, Looks Forward

Gaylor Reflects on First Two Months, Looks Forward

Goldsboro Mayor Charles Gaylor recently sat down with to reflect on his first two-and-a-half months in office.

Gaylor also took time to look ahead to the future and the goals he hopes to accomplish while working together with the Goldsboro City Council. 

During Gaylor’s time in office, the Goldsboro City Council has approved pay raises for the Goldsboro Police Department, adopted a policy to address adjustments to water bills, begun to foster conversations towards addressing Goldsboro’s sewer infrastructure, and the council has taken initial steps to alleviate parking issues downtown. 

“First off the response to the big elephant in the room, of course, the Office of State Auditor’s performance audit identifying policies and things that are weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement, and right off the bat, (Feb. 12) at our City Council meeting, like seven different policies and procedures that had been updated, and approved by council last night. So, the response from staff and the response from the council to really be energized to make the city a better place, a more transparent, a more efficient government unit, that is obviously always the goal.”

As Mayor Gaylor and the City Council look ahead issues including education, economic development, Goldsboro Parks & Recreation, continuing to find solutions to the downtown parking issues, and other topics remain priorities. 

“The downside of the last 71 days is that we’ve had to focus on these necessity issues, we haven’t been able to focus on some of the longer-term economic development things that I want to do. We haven’t really been able to talk about trying to do any sort of partnership with the schools or do any growth with our Parks & Recreation programming. There’s just a lot. There’s a lot of things that we want to do, and we will get there. We’re currently trying to readdress and hone some of the previous council’s decisions, and some challenges, like (downtown) parking for example. We’re trying to make sure to figure out the right way to do that. There’s plenty of challenges, but I am excited because the council is intimately engaged, and if you have a council that is focused and is genuinely paying attention I always think you get a better outcome.”