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November 12, 2009

Posted by allthingshavelock in Local Events.
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Election results – Sanders wins by 12

November 06, 2009 8:35 AM

By Drew C. Wilson
Havelock News

Havelock Mayor Jimmy Sanders was narrowly re-elected Tuesday, with just more than eight percent of registered voters going to the polls in the city election.

In unofficial returns, Sanders led challenger Charles “Chuck” Barnard by just 12 votes. Totals will not become official until next week’s canvass.

Sanders totaled 305 votes to Barnard’s 293, while Matthew L. “Sugarbear” Jones garnered 81 votes and Samuel A. Colley Jr. 36 votes in the four-way race to become Havelock mayor.

“I guess I’m a little bit in shock today,” Sanders said after the numbers were announced at the Havelock Performing Arts Center. “It’s the closest election I’ve ever been in. I think Chuck ran a good campaign and he got his voters out.”

The race for two Havelock commissioner seats was not as close. Incumbent Jim Stuart and Will Lewis Jr. held off challenger Bernd G. Doss. Stuart totaled 524 votes, while Lewis had 512 and Doss brought in 235 votes.

“It was really quiet,” Stuart said of this year’s election. “There weren’t any smoking guns this time.

“Being chosen by the citizens of Havelock to represent them is a great honor, and I do not take the responsibility lightly.”

Lewis said he was pleased to have another opportunity to represent the people of Havelock.

“I’m glad to serve four more years,” he said.

Turnout for the election was light, with 723 votes being cast Tuesday out of a possible 8,559 registered voters for a percentage of 8.4 percent.

Candidates gathered at the Havelock Performing Arts Center after the polls closed at 7:30 p.m. to hear unofficial results, which for a time showed Sanders with only a five-vote lead over Barnard.

The lead stretched when early voting ballots were counted. Of those, Sanders had 18, Barnard 11, Jones 2, and Colley with 2.

Five uncounted write-in votes for mayor would not be enough for Barnard to overtake Sanders.

Unofficially, Sanders has enough of a margin to ultimately win the race. In the city, the race for mayor demands only a plurality, not a majority, so a runoff election is not required.

“It’s a dozen votes,” Sanders said. “I feel fairly confident. I’m thankful.”

October 19, 2009

Posted by allthingshavelock in Local Events.
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By Drew C. Wilson
Havelock News

By about 1 p.m., there was hardly any chili to be given out at the 28th annual Havelock Chili Festival Saturday.

The Havelock-Cherry Point Rotary Club was almost to the bottom of the pot of its 70 gallons, and 2008 red chili champion Smokey Colwell’s 40 gallons were history. He had placed a sign over his booth that said “sold out.”

Then there was a call from Amy Piccianno, manager at Ham’s Restaurant in Havelock.

“We got hot chili. No Line. We got hot chili. No Wait,” she shouted.

In half a minute, there was a line 30-people deep waiting to put down a dollar for a small bowl.

The crew had gone back to the restaurant to get 10 more gallons after having already gone through 30 gallons earlier in the day. And it didn’t last long.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever been here,” said Chris McCabe, of Newport. “We’ve been here about an hour to find out what we’ve got to do to get some chili.”

His daughter, Kailee McCabe, 10, said it was worth the wait.

“I think it’s really good,” she said. “It tastes like my dad’s chili, except it’s a little spicier, but I like spicy now because I’m a little older.”

Patty Pruitt and her husband, Don, drove 260 miles from Mayodan to attend the festival with their son, Sgt. Matt Pruitt of Cherry Point, his wife, Kenna, and granddaughter Abby, age 2.

“It’s hot, but it’s good,” Patty Pruitt said of the chili. “A little sour cream and cheese does wonders.”

“It must be worth it. They come back every year,” Kenna Pruitt said of the festival.

The reason for the shortage of chili was an estimated record crowd for the event.

“I’ve never seen this many people,” said Diane Miller, Havelock city spokeswoman. “This is perfect weather for it. The chili sold out, and that’s a good indicator.”

Jim Beasley, a longtime organizer of the event with the Havelock Chamber of Commerce, estimated about 25,000 people attended the two-day event that included a chicken wings competition on Friday night.

“If anybody knows it was a good crowd, I know it was a good crowd,” he said. “I was here for the first one.”

“It was beyond what I expected,” said Stephanie Duncan, executive director of the Havelock Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the annual fundraiser for Havelock-area community needs.

“We’ve had so many people we ran out of chili faster than we ever have before,” said organizer Kim Zaccardelli.

“This is a stimulus package for Havelock,” Duncan said. “We’ve had cooks coming from Charlotte and Raleigh. They’ve been filling our hotel rooms, and all our vendors, too.”

One of the beneficiaries of the event is the Craven-Cherry Point Child Development Center.

“It’s nice to see Havelock come out,” said Barb Krcmar, administrative director of the center. “We’re just having a good time. It’s a crosscut of this town, which is nice.”

Havelock Commissioner Danny Walsh commended the volunteers for the event.

“For every dollar that gets donated, there’s probably $10 worth of hard work that goes into it,” he said. “It’s a great cause.”

With temperatures struggling to reach the lower 60s, chili proved the perfect dish on Saturday.

“It’s hot,” said Sheryl Mason, of Newport. “My lips are so burned now. I don’t know what I’m tasting. It’s great chili. I’m figuring heartburn tonight.”

Havelock’s Jessica Tessier spooned chili to her daughter, Shelby.

“We’ve been here for three years and we’ve been to the chili festival three years,” Tessier said.

Nebrid’ga Harkley, of Harlowe, came with her 6-month-old pet dog Spike, who licked a spoonful of Havelock-Cherry Point Rotary Club chili with the satisfaction of a bono fide chili dog.

Of 18 competitors, Raleigh’ Domino Ireland won the red chili and salsa competitions.

“I can’t freakin’ believe it,” said Ireland, who won the chili contest in 2006. “There’s no way I just won this. I didn’t expect to hear my name at all.”

David Lorenz, of New Jersey, won first place in the chili verde category.

First place in the People’s Choice Award for red chili went to the Havelock-Cherry Point Rotary Club.

Local favorite Gery Boucher, of Craven Community College’s Havelock campus, won the People’s Choice Award in the chicken wings category.