Upcoming events and news about the sounding area of Rocky Mount North Carolina Eastern North Carolina, promoting the New Belmont Lake Community and Golf Club.

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Rocky Mount Business One of Just 13 in U.S. Selected for EPA Grant

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Showing the strength of the growing and bustling local business community in Rocky Mount Business, Babington Technology, was one of just 13 small businesses from across the United States recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to receive a grant from the allotted $1.3 million dollars to be part of a project to aid in the reduction of electrical power consumption, reduce the emission of carbon, and lower the price for consumers associated with cookstove combustion technology.

On the EPA’s official website, it was noted that “The 13 businesses we are funding today are producing innovative and creative solutions for our country’s environmental problems,” said Thomas Burke, EPA science advisor and deputy assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “Small businesses play an integral role in creating technologies that will help ensure a sustainable future for our country.”

The article continued in explaining the grants, saying, “Each of the 13 companies will receive a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract for up to $100,000 to develop their green technology. If Phase I is successful, companies will be eligible to apply for a Phase II contract of up to $300,000 to develop and commercialize their technology for the marketplace.”

For more information on these grants including more on Rocky mount Business, Babington Technology, visit the official site of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, epa.org.

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The 5 Most Beautiful Lighthouses in the US 

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CSX brings jobs and more to the Rocky Mount area

Only the second terminal of its kind in the CSX network, the Carolina Connector is expected to bring high-paying jobs to the area. The project will initially create 250-300 short-term construction jobs during the development phase and another 300 long-term positions once the terminal becomes operational. About 150 of those terminal positions will be directly employed by CSX and pay an average annual salary of $60,000, company officials said.

Rocky Mount Economic Development Informational Video

The goals of Economic Development are to create a higher profile for the region by raising awareness of its many benefits, generate interest among businesses planning to relocate or expand, and focus on the retention of existing businesses by creating a climate that encourages growth and expansion.

The results of such development will help improve the quality of life for the citizens who live here, providing them with opportunities to improve job skills and increase their income.

INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION

Join us at the Rocky Mount Sports Complex stadium on July 3rd for a family fun evening of food, music, kids activities and topping it all off with a fireworks show! We have plenty to do for the whole family!

 

This year we look forward to celebrating the city’s 150th year!

5:30 pm Gates Open

6:00 Swivel Hip live on stage

7:30 Opening Ceremonies and National Anthem by local talent, Dina Davis

7:45 The band Charlie

9:15 FIREWORKS

Vendor Applications

COMMERCIAL VENDOR APPLICATION
FOOD VENDOR APPLICATION

8 Tips for Transforming Your Bed into a Sleep Oasis

Getting enough sleep every night is essential for your physical and mental health. Having a bed that’s both comfortable and visually appealing can make you look forward to slipping into dreamland every night. Try these helpful tips to create the perfect sleep oasis for your nightly slumber.

 

Make it easy on the eyes

With so many colorful bedding choices, you may be tempted to create a bold palette for your bed. However, mixing too many patterns and colors can feel too energetic and make it difficult for you to relax. To create a sleep oasis, stick to a neutral or solid-colored bedspread or quilt and add touches of color with a throw, accent pillows, shams or a bed scarf. Avoid mixing colors; instead, experiment with patterns and textures in the same color theme to create a unique bed that you’re eager to climb into.

Select the right sheets

Deciding between thread count choices can seem overwhelming, but higher thread counts aren’t always best. Instead, pay attention to whether sheets are single-ply or double-ply. A single-ply sheet with a thread count of 250 is softer and more durable than a 400-count double-ply sheet. Sheets made with single-ply threads last longer than those made with double-ply threads, and therefore are a better investment in bedding.

Choose pillows wisely

When shopping for pillows, look for styles that work best for your favorite sleep position. If you find that your chosen pillow is inhibiting your ability to fall asleep and sleep comfortably, keep looking until you find one that feels right. In some cases, you may need to combine different types of pillows, such as layering a memory foam pillow on top of a wedge pillow to provide proper head and neck support.

Soften the headboard

While a bed doesn’t necessarily require a headboard, having a padded one provides a great place to prop your pillows as you read in bed. An upholstered headboard also eliminates the risk of adults or children banging their head painfully if they lean back too quickly. To ensure the durability of the padded headboard, choose or create one made from outdoor or commercial-grade fabrics. Apply a stain guard to keep the headboard looking its best.

Use seasonal bedding

Have more than one style of bedding in your closet so you can change your bed to match the seasons or your mood. The heavier bedspreads and quilts that keep you warm in winter can be smothering in the warmer weather. For warmer weather, choose bedding of lighter materials such as cotton or linen. By keeping your main bedding neutral, you can add seasonal accents with pillows, shams, or throws. Adjust the color theme to please your mood. Beach-themed bedding can combat the dreariness of cold, snowy days. Patchwork quilt-style bedding can complement the beautiful scenes outside your window during warm weather.

Skip the layers

While layers of duvets and decorative pillows may have visual appeal, they’re not practical for sleeping. Skip the heavy layers that end up draped over the bed frame or piled on the floor and opt instead for a cotton quilt or lightweight bedspread. The lighter bedding makes the bed feel roomier and more breathable. If you’re someone who gets cold at night, consider adding a thin fleece blanket or electric blanket that provide warmth without thick layers of bedding.

Choose comfortable materials

Egyptian cotton is one of the best materials for bedding, but it can be delicate. For comfortable, durable bedding, choose upland or Pima cotton. When considering the type of weave for your bedding, sateen is warm and silky while percale is cool and smooth. Linen fabric is cooler on warm nights than other materials and softens with washing. Linen materials can give an inviting, lived-in look and feel to your bedding.

Ban the gadgets

Even the most comfortable bed can’t help you sleep better if you litter it with smartphones, tablets, laptops, or other gadgets that you use until the wee hours. To promote better sleep in your bedroom oasis, keep technology out of reach at a separate table or desk.

Transforming an ordinary bed into a sleep oasis can take some time as you experiment with fabrics and colors that suit your comfort and aesthetic desires. Nevertheless, a great night’s sleep and waking up feeling refreshed are well worth the effort.

Seven Morning Stress Reducing Strategies for a Successful Start to the Day

Starting your day off on the right foot can make the difference between a tough day and an awesome day. Getting your day started with what makes you happy can allow you to cope better when struggling through a stressful workday. Below are seven stress reducing strategies to help everyday be successful.

  1. Wake up early

Nothing ruins a relaxing morning and creates high stress levels more than running late. Although it may be difficult to immediately start waking up two hours earlier to make time for yourself, consider starting with small increments. For example, for one week set your alarm 30 minutes earlier than usual and start experiencing how much you enjoy the extra time. The trick, of course, is that in order to not feel exhausted you may need to go to sleep a bit earlier than you currently are. This will differ from one person to the next depending on how much sleep they need to function well.

 

  1. Fresh air

When life consists of going from the house to the car to the office, or wherever it is that you may go, getting a dose of revitalizing fresh air can be challenging. Use a portion of your morning to make sure you get outside, no matter the weather. Walk your dog, water a garden, go for a jog, or even just sit outside and breathe. Stale, office air can feel draining, so start the day off right with Mother Nature.

 

  1. Meditate

No one will argue that life is busy. However, slowing the mind down to meditate can help to concentrate, re-focus, re-energize, and de-stress. By meditating for even a few minutes in the morning, you can clear your mind to start the day off fresh. If you are new to meditating, consider using an online app or video to help walk you through the process using guided imagery, music, visuals, or silence.

 

  1. Exercise

Before rushing off for the day to take care of work and responsibilities, first take care of number one – yourself. Exercise is a priority to make for yourself. This provides both physical health benefits and prevention of chronic health conditions like obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. Additionally, it provides mental health benefits to manage stress, anxiety, and depression. Finding fitness videos online provides an affordable and convenient way to exercise that can be done independent of schedules or of the weather conditions.

 

If you prefer a group setting, set time aside in your morning schedule to attend a morning fitness class, running group, or biking group. Many people find exercising with a group to be an effective motivating technique to show up regularly.

 

  1. Read

Allow some quiet time to yourself before the rest of your household starts waking. Reading for 20 minutes allows you to have that extra bit of time to yourself and reduce stress. Whether you are reading your favorite novel, catching up on news headlines, or learning about something new from recipes or taking an online course, reading lets you to pick an interest of your own and focus on it. This is both relaxing and prevents you from feeling resentment towards the other demands in your life for taking up your time.

 

  1. Tidy up

Ideally, household chores are split up among household members. However, you can take five to 10 minutes in the morning to do a bit of organizing, cleaning up a bathroom, or keeping your bedroom tidy. Coming home to a clean home is a refreshing way to start the evening.

 

  1. Team huddle

Whether it’s with your family, your roommates or even just you and your personal day timer, take a few minutes in the morning to review the plan of the day. This can save time and reduce stress later in the day, as it helps everyone to be organized. It can help as a reminder to take the frozen dinner meat out of the freezer before it is too late, to have the kid’s permission form signed and packed, and to know who’s picking up who and when. With a few minutes of planning in the morning, stress can be reduced all throughout the day.

 

Starting your morning off filled with activities that you enjoy and ones that can benefit your mental and physical health can pave the way for a successful and fulfilling day. With a little organization and giving yourself more time before the workday starts, stress can be reduced while making work part of your day, but not your entire day.

You’re Never Too Far From… Being Active, at Belmont Lake Preserve. One of North Carolina’s top Active Lifestyle, master-planned communities.

 

Music Sessions @ Rocky Mount Mills!

Saturday, April 29th

Schoolkids Records & WUNC are extremely proud to announce the Mill Music Sessions at Rocky Mount Mills featuring very special guest HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER!

Check out one their music videos, Mahogany Dread.

Join us on the lawn at Rocky Mount Mills for an evening of music and fun. Just bring your lawn chair, blanket, family and friends. Pick up a picnic dinner from TBC West, food trucks and grab a drink from one of the local breweries or the bottle shop.

Learn More at Mill Music Sessions @ Rocky Mount Mills!

Schedule of Events:

  • 4:00pm – Food and Concert Beer Garden Open
  • 4:30-6:30pm – Martin County Ramblers playing in the Beer Garden
  • 7:00-9:00pm – Hiss Golden Messenger playing on the front Lawn

Food and Beer Vendors in the Beer Garden Space.

Non alcoholic beverages be available.

Other Restaurants and Breweries open on campus:

Concerts are free, open to the public and fun for all ages! Rocky Mount Mills is a pet friendly campus and please, no coolers.  See you on the lawn!

 

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Which Home Upgrades Will Improve Your Resale Value?

Whether you’re thinking of putting your home on the market this year or you have plans for making a major move in the next few years, you are probably looking around and wondering just what upgrades you can make that will increase the value of your investment. Some upgrades are definitely worth the effort. Others may simply be eye candy; they make you feel better, but a potential buyer is looking beyond the sparkle for more substance. Before you sink too much time and money into major upgrades, consider which ones have the potential to put money back in your pocket.

Which Home Upgrades Will Improve Your Resale Value

  • A fresh coat of paint throughout the house will make you feel better while you’re still living in your home and will inspire your prospective buyer to consider making your home their next purchase. Choose a neutral hue that reflects light and gives each room a fresh, inviting look. Unless you feel your painting skills are top-notch, consider hiring a professional painter for the best results. Painting is a relatively inexpensive improvement that is sure to be appreciated.
  • Adding a new deck or improving an existing one will increase both your potential selling price and the general appeal for any buyer that may want to see what your house has to offer. Modern lifestyles have extended beyond the appeal of the indoor environment to include relaxing and entertaining out of doors as well. A great deck or patio is the ultimate in outdoor living.
  • Outdated kitchens and bathrooms can be the kiss of death for any potential real estate transaction. Upgrades in these areas can be costly. You’ll want to choose wisely, but not cheaply, to get the most for your money. Rest assured you will be rewarded with a speedier sale and a better selling price.
  • Replacing worn out, drafty windows is a must if you want to get top dollar for your property. Energy costs rank high on the checklist of home buyers and you don’t want to have to explain why your utility costs are out of sight because of obsolete windows.
  • Similarly, an up-to-date heating and air conditioning system will be a worthwhile upgrade. Fixtures and appliances that are more than twenty years old speak of a lack of concern about the environment and a poor understanding of energy efficiency.
  • Many people think an in-ground swimming pool will cause the value of their property to soar. Be careful with that one; it can backfire on you. Depending on the part of the country where your home is located, you could be planting a giant albatross in your backyard. In climates where heat and humidity are the norm, pools are great and generally desirable. If you live where summer comes late and winter comes early, you are installing something that is much more work and upkeep than pleasure and enjoyment. Buyers will shy away.
  • Take a look around your outdoor landscape when deciding what upgrades make sense. Curb appeal is vital to a successful real estate campaign. Plant shrubs, install floral beds and, above all else, keep the lawn mowed and the leaves raked. A clean home front will make a potential buyer think property maintenance is a piece of cake. A sloppy environment gives the impression that it takes too much work to keep the place looking good.

Basic maintenance should never be viewed as an upgrade. Replacing a leaky roof or broken gutters, exterior painting or siding and maintaining sealed driveway surfaces should be part of your everyday home ownership. When it comes time to put your home on the market, focus on upgrades that make dollars and cents for your ultimate quick and successful home sale.

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6 Smart Steps to Prepare for Your Upcoming Retirement

Even workers who love their jobs have dreams of a happy retirement, but giving up the daily grind is easier said than done. The transition from employee to retiree is a daunting one in the best of circumstances, but a lack of preparation can make things much worse.

Whether you are planning your exit from the workforce next year or a decade from now, it is important to be as prepared as possible. Hopefully, you have been diligently saving for your post-work life, socking away money in your 401(k), fully funding your IRA each year and building a balanced portfolio you can rely on once those paychecks stop.

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Even so, it never hurts to be overly prepared, and few retirees fret that they saved too much or spent too much time getting ready for life after work. As your chosen retirement date approaches, it is time to ramp up your preparation, not slack off. Here are six essential steps you should be taking before you sign that resignation letter and pick up your gold watch.

  • Track your spending. Knowing how much you are spending now is an essential first step to determining how much you might spend once you retire. As your retirement date approaches, take the time to carefully track your spending for at least six months. You may be surprised at what you find.
  • Categorize your expenses. Tracking your current spending will give you a baseline to work from, but you need to delve deeper to create a realistic post-retirement budget. Categorizing your current spending is important, since some expenses will go away once you retire, while others will increase. Once you are done working, you will likely spend less on clothes and commuting but more on hobbies and leisure activities. Quantifying these changes will help you develop the spending discipline you will need to make your money last.
  • Review your health insurance options. The cost of health insurance looms large for most retirees, and you need to be prepared for these new expenses. If you are retiring early, you will need to review your health insurance options and assess the cost of an individual policy. Even if you are 65 and eligible for Medicare, you will still need to budget for a Medicare supplement plan. The government health insurance  program for the elderly pays just 80 percent of eligible expenses, so you will need a supplement to cover the rest.
  • Assess your portfolio. The transition from worker and saver to retiree and spender can be a difficult one, and it will almost certainly involve a rebalancing of your portfolio. Now is the time to review your investment choices, including how much you have in the stock market and how much is in income-producing vehicles like bonds and certificates of deposit. Since you will be relying largely on the income your portfolio produces, getting this right will be critical to your retirement success.
  • Seek out new forms of income. When you are working, you rely mainly on a single source of income, namely your regular paycheck. When you retire, you will need to replace that income, but you do not have to put all your eggs in one basket. Developing multiple streams of income will give you extra flexibility in retirement, so that should be one of your biggest priorities. If you are eligible for a company pension or plan to sign up for Medicare when you retire, that can be one stream of income. You can develop other income streams through investments in dividend-paying stocks, holdings in bond funds, bank CDs and so on. You may also choose to work part time, start a home-based business or do some freelancing. Taken together, these additional streams of income can help you stretch your portfolio further and give you more flexibility throughout your retirement years.
  • Build flexibility into your post-retirement spending plan. Flexibility is the watchword when planning for retirement, but you will need to remain flexible as you enter your retirement years. Developing multiple streams of income can enhance your flexibility, as can changing your withdrawal rate in response to market conditions. If your goal is to withdraw 4 percent of your portfolio per year, you could adjust that to 5 percent when your portfolio has a good year but cut it back to 3 percent or even less when the economy, and the market, hits a rough patch. Building flexibility into your portfolio and your post-retirement spending is one way to make your money last and give you additional peace of mind.

Whether you love your job or hate it, retirement is likely one of your biggest goals. How you prepare for your post-work life can make all the difference in the world, and the sooner you get started, the better off you and your finances will be.