04/16/04 — Duplin digest

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Duplin digest

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on April 16, 2004 1:56 PM

Duplin hires tourism director

KENANSVILLE -- Robb Wells has been hired as Duplin County's tourism director.

The county manager created the position in November and transferred Rosemary Blizzard from the Elections Board into that post. But shortly after that, she left the county for a job with the state Elections Board.

"There are great opportunities out there for us to show the people of North Carolina what Duplin County has to offer," says Wells, a native of Duplin County.

Statistics from a recent study by the N.C. Department of Commerce show that revenues produced through travel and tourism to Duplin County have saved each taxpayer $49, Wells said.

The tourism office will focus on increasing awareness of the travel and tourism opportunities that exist and on establishing new trends that could benefit the county. These efforts could produce increased revenues and jobs, an accomplishment that Wells says will make all Duplin County citizens proud.

Wells can be reached at the Duplin County Tourism Office at 160 Mallard St. in Kenansville by calling 910-296-2181.

Bowden residents organize

BOWDEN CROSSROADS -- The Bowden Concerned Citizens will hold an organizational meeting at 7 p.m. on April 27 in the Bowden Presbyterian Church. The residents are trying to prevent the former Georgia-Pacific saw mill from becoming a hog rendering plant.

About 50 people attended the first meeting of the group held earlier this week. Jack Sauls, who lives near the abandoned plant, said the group plans to elect officers at the next meeting.

Georgia Pacific has confirmed its Bowden Crossroad property is up for sale, and an auction of equipment set for May 22 is still scheduled.

Melody Ruth in the company's public relations office in Atlanta said she doesn't know who is interested in the property. And if she did know, she said, she couldn't say who it is.

She checked into reports that trucks were hauling contaminated soil away from the site. She said the standard environmental cleanup is being done at the abandoned plant, as is required by various regulatory agencies.

"There are people looking at it," she said. "But there's no buyer yet."

Murphy Brown Co. has denied rumors that it plans to put a hog rendering plant there.

Faison gets voting place

FAISON -- Faison voters will have a new permanent polling place for the upcoming election. They will cast their votes at the Faison fire and rescue building on Main Street.

Elections Board member Jimmy Sauls told the town board earlier this month that of the county's 19 precincts, 11 of them are fire departments.

"That basically has been the best place," said Sauls. "All of our towns are very small. It's very unlikely there's another suitable place."

Mayor Bill Igoe has said the fire department has agreed to let the voters use the building when Election Day comes.

In the past, the Elections Board has used the administrative building for the former Cates Pickle Co., which is undergoing renovation for a day-care center.