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Political Notebook: Voter registration deadline set for Friday

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The final day to register to vote in Wilson County's Nov. 5 municipal elections is this Friday. 

Applications are due for residents who: have not previously registered in Wilson County, have had a name change, want to change party affiliation, have been placed in an inactive voter registration file or have moved within Wilson County since previous registration. 

Forty-two candidates are vying for 42 seats in Wilson County cities and towns including Wilson, Black Creek, Elm City, Lucama, Saratoga, Sharpsburg, Sims and Stantonsburg.

Registration forms are available at the county Board of Elections office at 112 Douglas St. E., the public library at 249 Nash St. W. as well as most town halls, public assistance agencies and agencies serving people with disabilities. 

Residents who miss the Friday deadline can register at one-stop early voting sites by filling out an application and showing proof of residency. Registered votes also can update an address or change vital information at one-stop voting sites.

Visit tinyurl.com/y7gow4ko for more information.

Walston appointed to state arts council 

Gov. Roy Cooper has appointed Wilson resident Henry H. Walston to the North Carolina Arts Council as a member at large.

Walston is a longtime Wilsonian who serves as the president of Barnes Motor and Parts Co. and spearheaded the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park project. 

Also appointed to the state arts council was David Robinson. The Spring Hope resident is a native of England and served as the director of the North Carolina Executive Mansion since 2013. 

Joining Walston and Robinson as new members at large are Eric J. Lindstrom of Fayetteville, Gina V. Esquivel of Lincolnton, Margaret Emory Haynes of Wilmington,  Edward P. Norvell of Salisbury, DeWayne Barton of Asheville and Patrick Torres of Raleigh. 

Cooper announced 40 new appointments to 21 boards and commissions on Thursday. 

"State boards and commissions make critical decisions about the lives of North Carolinians every day," Cooper said in a news release. "I appreciate these appointees for their service and helping our state move forward."

Federal aid available for Hurricane Dorian victims

President Donald Trump on Friday ordered federal aid to supplement state and local assistance in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.

Gov. Roy Cooper made a disaster declaration for victims in Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Hyde, Jones, New Hanover, Pamlico, Pender, Sampson, Tyrrell and Washington counties. The federal funding will be distributed to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and repairs of facilities damaged in Hurricane Dorian.

"North Carolina's coastal communities - particularly Ocracoke and those on the Outer Banks - were hit hard by Hurricane Dorian and it's critical that they have access to FEMA Public Assistance and the federal resources necessary to recover," Cooper said in a press release. "This is a positive step and we continue to urge our federal partners and North Carolina's congressional delegation to work to expedite approval of our request for individual assistance for families whose homes were destroyed as well."

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., thanked Trump for the federal aid. 

"I want to thank President Trump for granting Governor Cooper's disaster declaration request to assist North Carolinians who were affected by Hurricane Dorian. I spoke with the president last night and he understood we needed to get relief to North Carolinians in these 14 counties as soon as possible and worked to cut the red tape," Tillis said in a Friday statement.

The delegation is working to push the individual assistance request through the regulatory process as it remains under federal review. If approved, those displaced by Dorian would be eligible for temporary housing and other FEMA recovery programs.

Murphy endorses Bengel for lieutenant governor

U.S. Rep. Greg Murphy has endorsed Buddy Bengel of New Bern in his bid to become North Carolina's next lieutenant governor.

The newly elected 3rd Congressional District representative from Greenville threw his support behind the fellow Republican on Monday. 

"I have known Buddy Bengel for some time now," Murphy said in a news release. "I can say with confidence that he is ready to lead this state as lieutenant governor and will honor the office when elected. We need a lieutenant governor with a strong business background, just like President Trump brought to the White House. It is time to usher in the next generation of conservative leadership, and Buddy Bengel is the man to do that. I am fully endorsing his campaign and will do whatever I can to help."

Bengel is owner and general manager of the Morehead City Marlins, a Coastal Plains League summer collegiate baseball team. He has started several businesses and his mother, Sabrina Bengel, is an elected New Bern alderman. 

"We are so blessed here in the 3rd District to have such a great man like Congressman Dr. Greg Murphy now representing us in Washington," Bengel said. "I have long admired Greg's leadership and his willingness to serve others in Raleigh as a state House representative and now much of eastern North Carolina in Congress. I am thankful for his endorsement."

POLITICAL NOTEBOOK is a weekly roundup of local and state political news from The Wilson Times' reporting staff. Send tips and comments to editor@wilsontimes.com.

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