Pender County tax office extends hours, offers Fast Pay Window

BURGAW – As the deadline for tax payments come due in January, the Pender County Tax Office has created a Fast Pay Window as well as extended office hours.

Office hours on Tuesdays will be extended until 7 p.m. at the tax office beginning Dec. 1, through Jan. 5, 2021.

“We will remain open until 7 p.m. to better serve our residents,” said Justian Pound, Pender County Tax Administrator.

In addition to extended Tuesday hours, the tax office will offer a Fast Pay Window for taxpayers who come prepared with a check or credit card with a single-pay statement. This express window is available for anyone who wants to pay the full amount and doesn’t have questions regarding the tax bill.

“We urge residents who want to use the Fast Pay Window to skip the line and pay without delays,” said Pound. “For citizens who wish to pay in person, we want to make this easy and safe during the pandemic.”

For safety’s sake during the pandemic and upcoming colder weather, the tax office personnel urges residents to conduct tax business soon to avoid long lines.

The Pender County tax office is located at 300 E. Freemont St. in Burgaw.

Information is also available online at


With cases rising rapidly, North Carolina tightens existing mask requirements and enforcement

Ten More Counties Designated as Red for Critical Community Spread

RALEIGH: Governor Roy Cooper today issued additional COVID-19 safety measures to tighten mask requirements and enforcement as cases continue to rise rapidly in North Carolina and across the country. Executive Order No. 180 goes into effect on Wednesday, Nov. 25 and runs through Friday, Dec. 11.

“I have a stark warning for North Carolinians today: We are in danger,” Governor Cooper said. “This is a pivotal moment in our fight against the coronavirus. Our actions now will determine the fate of many.”

In addition to extending Phase 3 capacity limits and safety requirements, the Order tightens the existing statewide mask requirement – making it clear that everyone needs to wear a mask whenever they are with someone who is not from the same household. The Order also adds the mask requirement to several additional settings including any public indoor space even when maintaining 6 feet of distance; gyms even when exercising; all schools public and private; and all public or private transportation when travelling with people outside of the household.

The Order also requires large retail businesses with more than 15,000 square feet to have an employee stationed near entrances ensuring mask wearing and implementing occupancy limits for patrons who enter.

Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, updated North Carolina’s COVID-19 County Alert System map due to the rapid rise in cases and hospitalization over the past week. Since introducing the system last week, ten more counties have moved into the red category indicating critical community spread. There are now 20 red counties and 42 orange counties. Read the update to see where each county stands and how the system was designed.

“The coming weeks will be a true test of our resolve to do what it takes to keep people from getting sick, to save lives, and to make sure that if you need hospital care whether it’s for a heart attack or a car accident or COVID-19, you can get it,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D.

Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan spoke at today’s press conference to discuss what the city of Greensboro is doing to step up enforcement of existing, strong statewide safety rules. State officials have encouraged local governments to take action to require compliance and help lower COVID-19 numbers.

Dr. Cohen also provided an update on North Carolina’s data and trends.

Trajectory in COVID-Like Illness (CLI) Surveillance Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s syndromic surveillance trend for COVID-like illness is increasing.

Trajectory of Confirmed Cases Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory of cases is increasing.

Trajectory in Percent of Tests Returning Positive Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory in percent of tests returning positive is increasing slightly.

Trajectory in Hospitalizations Over 14 Days
• North Carolina’s trajectory of hospitalizations is increasing.
In addition to these metrics, the state continues building capacity to adequately respond to an increase in virus spread in testing, tracing and prevention.

• Testing capacity is high.

Tracing Capability
• The state is continuing to hire contact tracers to bolster the efforts of local health departments.
• There have been more than 430,000 downloads of the exposure notification app, SlowCOVIDNC.

Personal Protective Equipment
• North Carolina’s personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies are stable.

Read Executive Order 180.

Read a Frequently Asked Questions document about the Order.

Read the slides from today’s briefing.


Holly Shelter Shooting Range re-opens today

BURGAW – The Holly Shelter Shooting Range will reopen on Wednesday, Nov. 18. The hours of operation are Wednesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and, Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Holly Shelter Shooting Range can be reached at 910-259-8351.

“We are excited to be reopening the range today,” said Dee Turner, Parks and Recreation Supervisor.

The Holly Shelter Shooting Range is located at 8718 Shaw Hwy Rocky Point, NC 28457.

Statewide recount in Supreme Court Race begins later this week

RALEIGH, N.C. – A statewide recount of more than five million ballots cast in North Carolina’s Supreme Court chief justice contest will begin later this week.

The recount likely will take several days in some counties, and county boards of elections must complete their recounts by Wednesday, November 25. It is North Carolina’s first statewide recount since the 2016 state auditor’s race, which confirmed the results in that contest.

Democrat Cheri Beasley requested the recount in a letter to the State Board of Elections on Tuesday. Beasley trails Republican Paul Newby by fewer than 400 votes out of nearly 5.4 million cast in the race for the state’s highest court. That puts the race within the 10,000-vote threshold for the trailing candidate to demand a recount.

“We cannot express enough gratitude for the hard work of our county boards of elections, who continue to ensure accurate and fair results in this election,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “Recounts are an important part of the elections process that help guarantee voters’ wishes are realized in the closest of contests.”

On Monday night, the State Board of Elections issued guidance to the county boards of elections on the recount process. See Numbered Memo 2020-31 for details on recount procedures.
County boards of elections may begin recounting ballots on Thursday or sooner if they meet the 48-hour public notice requirement.

All 100 county boards of elections will conduct recounts of their ballots by running them through tabulators. The counties are responsible for recount costs. Counties with recounts for local contests may conduct them at the same time.

Candidates, the media and the general public may attend the recount meetings, subject to space limitations and social distancing requirements. However, use of video or still cameras by
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 27255, Raleigh, NC 27611
(919) 814-0700 or (866) 522-4723
Fax: (919) 715-0135

Executive Director

the public inside the recount room while the recount is in progress is not permitted because of the statutory prohibition on photographing or videotaping individual ballots.
Media representatives will be permitted to take videos and still photographs before or after the recount, if they do not record images of ballots.

County boards of elections may broadcast live video feeds of the recounts. For a recount schedule by county, go here: This
webpage will be updated as counties finalize their recount schedules.

To view 2020 general election results, go here:

North Carolina introduces COVID-19 County Alert System

State to work with key counties to bring numbers down

To read more and see Frequently Asked Questions, visit the alert page.

RALEIGH: Governor Roy Cooper and Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) announced a new COVID-19 County Alert System to pinpoint counties with the highest levels of viral spread and offer specific recommendations to bring numbers down. This system will help give local leaders another tool to understand how their county is faring and to make decisions about actions to slow viral spread. The map will be updated every four weeks.

“By pinpointing counties with high virus transmission and asking everyone in those counties to work with us and do more right now to slow the spread of the virus, we can succeed,” Governor Cooper said. “It can help bring down their case rates, keep their communities safer, save lives and keep their hospital systems working.”

“It’s going to take all of us working together to avoid tightening restrictions like so many states are now doing,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen. “The COVID-19 County Alert System gives North Carolinians an easy way to see how their county is doing and know what they can do protect their family and neighbors and slow the spread of this virus.”

The system uses metrics informed by the White House Coronavirus Task Force and North Carolina’s key metrics to categorize counties into three tiers:
Yellow: Significant Community Spread
Orange: Substantial Community Spread
Red: Critical Community Spread

Because no one metric provides a complete picture, the COVID-19 County Alert System uses a combination of three metrics: case rate, the percent of tests that are positive, and hospital impact within the county.

To be assigned to the red or orange tier, a county must meet the threshold for case rate for that tier AND the threshold for either percent positive OR hospital impact.
• Case Rate: The number of new cases in 14 days per 100,000 people
• Percent Positive: The percent of tests that are positive over 14 days
• Hospital Impact: A composite score based on the impact that COVID-19 has had on hospitals including percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations, COVID-19 related visits to the Emergency Department, staffed open hospital beds, and critical staffing shortages over 14 days

Counties that do not meet criteria for red or orange are categorized as being in the yellow tier (significant community spread) and should continue to be vigilant to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

Recommended Actions
The Alert System includes recommendations for individuals, businesses, community organizations and public officials in every county, as well as specific stepped-up recommendations for orange and red counties. COVID-19-County-Alert-System-Report

Scenic Pender County calendars now available

PENDER COUNTY – Pender County Tourism and Pender County Parks and Recreation created a 2021 wall calendar featuring favorite photos from the Nature Photo Contest conducted last March.

“We highlighted some of the winning photographs as well as photos that were judges’ favorites,” said Tammy Proctor, Pender County Tourism Director. “We also included important community events, such as the Anniversary of the Battle of Moores Creek, Autumn with Topsail, and other local favorites.”

“The calendars will make great holiday gifts,” said Zach White, Pender County Parks and Recreation Supervisor.

The calendars are available for a $10 donation on the Pender County Parks and Recreation website. The link to the website is  Calendars will also be available at the Pender County Tourism office, 106 E. Wilmington St., or at the tourism and parks and recreation offices at the Hampstead Annex, 15060 US Hwy 17, and the Greater Topsail Area Chamber of Commerce, 13775 NC Hwy 50 in Surf City.

“We are taking orders now,” said Proctor. “We will ship the calendars for gift giving as well. The cost of shipping and handling is $2 per calendar.”

For questions or to place an order, call 910-259-1536.

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