Pender County Residents Urged to Sign-up to Receive Local Alerts

PENDER COUNTY – Pender County residents can now receive real-time public safety messages.

Pender County has contracted with Nixle to implement a Community Notification System to alert residents of localized emergency situations and relevant community advisories. This will replace CodeRed which has been used by Pender County Emergency Management for several years.

“Our priority is the health and safety of our residents,” said Tommy Batson, Pender County Emergency Management Director. “We urge all of residents, businesses, and visitors of Pender County to register for this free community alert system.”

There are three ways to register:

Go to and sign up via the Nixle Widget

Text your Zip Code to 888777 from your mobile phone

Download the Everbridge (Nixle Alert) App on your mobile phone.

Once registered, residents will receive a confirmation text on their mobile devices. Residents may also customize their alert settings by going to to create a User Profile.

Landline telephone numbers are automatically updated every month and will receive voice alerts, so no action is necessary if a resident only uses a landline.

“This service is secure, reliable, and easy to use,” said Batson. “The service will alert residents to weather conditions, wildfires, and more by geographic location.”

All Alerts will be targeted geographically, allowing residents to receive localized, relevant alerts from Pender County. Alerts can be sent via Text messaging, Email, Voice, Web, Social Media, and the Nixle Mobile App in an instant.

Nixle, founded in 2009, is known for its data security. The company serves more than 7,200 agencies within the United States for emergency alerts.

For questions or concerns call Pender County Emergency Management at 910-259-1210.

ReBuild NC Homeowner Recovery Program application period closing April 21

More than 1,100 completed projects to date

RALEIGH, N.C.— North Carolinians whose homes were impacted by hurricanes Matthew or Florence have until 5 p.m. Friday, April 21 to apply for the ReBuild NC Homeowner Recovery Program. Supported by the state’s HUD Community Development Block Grant‒Disaster Recovery funding, the program rebuilds or restores homes for eligible homeowners in counties identified as most impacted and distressed by the two storms. The program has completed 1,103 construction projects to date, making it possible for those families to return to safer, more resilient homes. 

The application period closeout will not impact existing Homeowner Recovery Program awards, ongoing projects, case management or customer service. Current program participants with questions should contact their assigned case manager or call 833-ASK-RBNC (833-275-7262) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The fastest way to apply to the Homeowner Recovery Program is through the online application. Interested homeowners may also call 833-ASK-RBNC (833-275-7262) to schedule an appointment at the nearest regional ReBuild NC Center. Visit the ReBuild NC website for more information about center locations and hours of operation.  

The Homeowner Recovery Program is administered by the N.C. Department of Public Safety’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR). In addition to homeowner recovery, NCORR administers programs that include strategic buyout, mitigation, resiliency, community development and affordable housing. Learn more about NCORR programs at:

Pender County Library to Host Author Curtis Hardison with Special Guest Claudia Stack

BURGAW- Pender County Library will host Pender County author Curtis Hardison for two events discussing his new book, “Griot,” about the history of the Edgecombe community in eastern Pender County. The events will be held at the Hampstead Branch Library on Thursday, May 4, at 6 p.m. and at the Main Library in Burgaw on Friday, May 5, at 5 p.m.

Hardison writes of his journey of four decades of research into his family tree going back to the early 1800s. Emancipated from slavery after the Civil War, his ancestors worked to create the farming community that evolved into the thriving independent community of Edgecombe in eastern Pender County. The book also includes stories of notable members of the Edgecombe community, including Mattie Sharpless, who served as US Ambassador to the Central African Republic from 2001 through 2003.

In “Griot,” Hardison also writes about two Rosenwald schools in Pender County that he attended: Sloop Point Elementary School, which was built using funds raised by the Edgecombe community plus matching Rosenwald funds, and the Pender County Training School in Rocky Point.

Hardison will be joined at both library events by Claudia Stack, a local author and documentary filmmaker whose new children’s book “School Belongs to Me” celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Canetuck Rosenwald School in Pender County.

For more information, contact Shannon Kidney (910-259-1234) or email us at:

Water Treatment Chemical – Granular Activated Carbon, Invitation to Bid # 23-248


Pender County Utilities is seeking bids for two exchanges of Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) for FY24.  The two exchanges shall be scheduled for November 2023 and April 2024 and will be 40,000 lbs. each.  In addition to freight, all materials, equipment and supervision for the transport, supply and installation of the virgin GAC into the filters must be included.  Bids will only be accepted from manufacturers with 10 years of experience manufacturing virgin activated carbon.  Bidder’s virgin and reactivation manufacturing processes shall produce NSF/ANSI 61 certified products. The GAC product designated by the Bidder as the material to be supplied for this bid shall have five years of history of use in municipal drinking water facilities in North America with a minimum of three installations.  Visit to view full specifications and Invitation to Bid # 23-248 in its entirety.  Questions must be emailed to no later than April 27, 2023 at 1pm.  Sealed bids shall be submitted in person or by FedEx/UPS/courier to 605 E. Fremont St., Burgaw, NC  28425.  Bids sent by US Mail should be submitted to PO Box 995, Burgaw, NC  28425.  Bids must be marked “ITB # 23-248” on the outside and are due no later than May 11, 2023 at 1pm, at which time a formal opening will be conducted at 605 E. Fremont St., Burgaw, NC 28425 in the conference room.   Pender County reserves the right to waive formalities in any response and to reject any or all responses.


Click here to view Water Treatment Chemical – Granular Activated Carbon, Invitation to Bid # 23-248.


Pender County Utilities prepares for 2023 water shortage

BURGAW- Pender County Utilities issued a water shortage plan for Southeastern Pender County effective May 1. PCU customers located east of Interstate-40 in Rocky Point along and adjacent to NC 210 as well as all of Hampstead and Scotts Hill will be impacted.

“Pender County Utilities is taking a proactive stance to provide water to our growing county,” said Kenny Keel, Pender County Utilities director. “Recent drought conditions, the lack of available materials, and water tower capacity make it necessary to issue some restraints in Southeastern Pender County.”

Restraints include suspending installation and permitting all new irrigation services, due to material availability and water supply limitations. Temporary irrigation meters and service arrangements can be made with PCU for new sod needs on a limited basis.

PCU strongly encourages private wells or well systems for irrigation purposes rather than using PCU service. If irrigation water is sourced from PCU, the use of sod is strongly discouraged to reduce irrigation water demand.

PCU will enforce irrigation restrictions. Irrigation will only be allowed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Enforcement may include the revocation of irrigation meters until restrictions are lifted.

Lastly, PCU reminds all developers that new commercial or residential developments must be able to provide acceptable fire suppression systems, either from PCU or independent of the county water system to meet NC fire code and water extension requirements. Proposed developments require a third-party Professional Engineer certification verifying adequate water flow and pressure for fire conditions.

“As of March 30, Pender County is in Moderate Drought conditions,” said Keel. “We may be forced to make further adjustments to these restrictions based on drought conditions.

“Our key concern is fire safety and providing clean, safe drinking water to PCU customers,” Keel stated.

PCU is currently constructing three new water supply wells and a new 500,000-gallon elevated tank in Scotts Hill. This project will assist the county’s water capacity until a reverse osmosis water plant is constructed in the impacted area. Completion of one well is expected to go online in December, with the additional two wells to go online in early 2024. The elevated water tank, which is under construction on US Hwy 17 in Scotts Hill, will not be completed until May 2024.

“Pender County Utilities has been impacted by tremendous growth, current supply chain supply issues, and inflation pressures,” said Keel. “We need to take these measures seriously to ensure we have water available for fire suppression and general consumption.”

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Four County Electric Membership Corporation Play Pivotal Role in Helping Deliver High-Speed Internet

Four County Electric Membership Corporation Plays Pivotal Role in Helping Bring High-Speed Internet to Pender County

Pender County, NC – FOCUS Broadband and Four County Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) are cooperatively working to bring high-speed internet service to unserved communities in Pender County. Through this partnership, Four County EMC is allowing FOCUS Broadband to utilize a portion of their fiber-optic network to make high-speed internet service available in western portions of the county more quickly.

To make high-speed internet service available in Pender County, FOCUS Broadband must connect the Pender County network they are constructing to their existing fiber optic network in Columbus County. When the company encountered delays boring under the Cape Fear River and Black River, Four County EMC stepped in and made a portion of their fiber optic network available on a temporary basis to complete the connection. As a result, residents in the Canetuck, Atkinson, and Grady communities will have access to gigabit broadband speeds much sooner. “Cooperation among cooperatives is a principle we believe in,” commented Jeremy Dewberry, Marketing and Energy Services Supervisor at Four County EMC. “By helping FOCUS Broadband we’re helping our members gain access to this critical service, and that is great for our community.”

This is not the first time that Four County EMC and FOCUS Broadband have partnered together.  In 2020, at the onset of the pandemic, the cooperatives worked together to provide Wi-Fi hotspots at several Pender County Schools, and last spring FOCUS Broadband was able to use a connection provided through Four County’s network to make high-speed internet available to Four County EMC members in Duplin County.

“I can’t say enough about how great Four County has been to work with,” commented Keith Holden, FOCUS Broadband CEO. “We have seen firsthand how much they care about their members because they have gone above and beyond to help us connect Duplin and Pender counties to the the incredible opportunities this project will provide.”

FOCUS Broadband’s Pender County project is being made possible using a $21.6 million dollar grant from the USDA ReConnect Grant Program and the company will provide up to $7.2 million in matching funds for the project. FOCUS Broadband has already begun serving customers in Pender County and once complete, more than 7,000 unserved addresses will have access to high-speed internet. Last August, FOCUS Broadband was also awarded a $4 million dollar grant through the NC Department of Information Technology’s GREAT Grant program to bring high-speed internet to an additional 1,331 addresses located in rural areas which were not included in the 2020 ReConnect Grant award. FOCUS Broadband will contribute $547 thousand dollars and Pender County will provide an additional $547 thousand dollars using American Rescue Plan Act funds.

FOCUS Broadband is now offering high-speed internet service in areas of Duplin and Pender counties and additional areas will continue to come online as construction is completed. For more information on FOCUS Broadband’s progress in Pender County, or to see where service is available, visit

About FOCUS Broadband

FOCUS Broadband is a member-owned cooperative providing a multitude of communications services, including telephone, business services, wireless, broadband internet, cable television, and home security, in Brunswick County, North Carolina. FOCUS Broadband provides services in additional areas through its wholly owned subsidiary, ATMC, LLC. FOCUS Broadband is the largest communications cooperative in North Carolina and one of the largest in the country. For more information on products and services from FOCUS Broadband, visit

About Four County Electric Membership Corporation

Four County EMC serves members throughout Bladen, Duplin, Pender, Sampson, Columbus and Onslow Counties by delivering electricity to approximately 34,000 meters. For more information about the electric cooperative, visit

 NCDHHS Urges North Carolinians to “Fight the Bite” with Insect Repellant and Other Prevention Tools to Avoid Tick- and Mosquito-Borne Disease



RALEIGH — With warmer weather on the way, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services urges North Carolinians to “Fight the Bite” by taking measures to reduce their risk of tick- and mosquito-borne diseases. In 2022, almost 700 cases of tick- and mosquito-borne illnesses were reported in the state.

As part of this April’s Tick and Mosquito Awareness Month, NCDHHS is announcing the return of the Fight the Bite campaign to increase awareness about the dangers of tick- and mosquito-borne diseases and to educate North Carolinians about measures they can take to protect themselves.

“Ticks and mosquitoes are everywhere in North Carolina and their bites can cause serious diseases,” said Alexis M. Barbarin, Ph.D., State Public Health Entomologist. “We encourage all North Carolinians to explore the outdoors but do so safely and take protective measures like using DEET or other EPA approved repellants.”

Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease and other tickborne diseases can cause fever, headache, rashes, flu-like illness and other symptoms that can be severe.  Alpha-gal syndrome and southern tick-associated rash illness, or STARI, have been seen in the state as well. Most diagnoses of tick-borne diseases are reported between June and September, and cases of Lyme disease accounted for more than half of tick-borne diseases reported last year.

Ticks live in wooded, grassy and brushy areas; frequenting these areas can put you in contact with ticks and increase the potential exposure to vector-borne diseases. To reduce exposure to ticks:

The mosquito-borne diseases most often acquired in North Carolina are West Nile virus (WNV), eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and La Crosse encephalitis (LAC). North Carolina reported the second-highest number of LAC cases in the United States between 2012 and 2021.

Most mosquito-borne diseases reported in the state are acquired while traveling outside the continental United States, including cases of malaria, dengue, chikungunya and Zika.

To reduce exposure to mosquitoes:

  • Use mosquito repellent that contains DEET (or equivalent) when outside. Use caution when applying to children.
  • Consider treating clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks and tents) with 0.5% permethrin.
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors and use air conditioning if possible.
  • “Tip and Toss” — Reduce mosquito breeding by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires and birdbaths at least once a week.

Talk with your primary care provider or local health department if you plan to travel to an area where exotic mosquito-borne diseases occur.

​Always check your destination to identify appropriate prevention methods. Travel associated health risk information is available at

The Fight the Bite Campaign is a collaboration between the NCDHHS, local health departments and schools to promote a K-12 poster artwork contest that uses illustration to increase tick- and mosquito-borne disease awareness in North Carolina. Entries are due April 10, and information regarding contest submission and deadlines can be found here. Winners of this statewide awareness poster contest will be announced at the end of April.

​For more information on vector-borne diseases in North Carolina, please visit the NCDHHS Vector-Borne Diseases webpage here.

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