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Governor Cooper Proclaims April 2020 Alcohol Awareness Month in North Carolina

Talk It Out NC Honors Alcohol Awareness Month by Encouraging Families to Start the Conversation about Underage Drinking

RALEIGH, N.C. – (April 6, 2020) Governor Roy Cooper issued a proclamation declaring April Alcohol Awareness Month in North Carolina. The proclamation coincides with a nationwide effort to educate Americans about the dangers of alcoholism and issues related to alcohol… all while families are staying home together.

Talk It Out NC, a state-sponsored initiative to reduce underage drinking, is taking the opportunity to encourage families in North Carolina to start the conversation about underage drinking. The program is launching several new initiatives to reduce the underage drinking problem in our state.

NC Alcohol Awareness Month Initiatives:

Engage Families During Pandemic Lockdown

Right now, when families are home together, is an opportune time in the fight against underage drinking. Talk It Out ambassadors are making virtual appearances across the stateto help families tackle what can sometimes seem like a daunting discussion.

“Students are home from school right now, and many of their parents are home from work — it’s the perfect time for families to talk about the consequences of underage drinking,” says Deputy Director of Education and Outreach for the ABC Commission Jim Van Hecke. “At the same time, Talk It Out is honoring Alcohol Awareness Month by encouraging students to Take the Pledge against underage drinking through several new initiatives.”

Social Media Blitz

Talk It Out is acknowledging Alcohol Awareness Month with engaging posts on all its social media platforms. These posts encourage families to talk about alcohol and keep the lines of communication open.

Alcohol Education Project

Talk It Out is also working with the North Carolina Association of ABC Boards to share information about an alcohol education project with the public. It is part of the Boards’ mission to ensure members of the public are well informed about the societal issues related to the consumption of alcohol.

School- and Faith-Based Initiatives

Although attendance at schools and churches is on hold right now, Talk It Out is planning for the future. The program is in the process of organizing school-based and faith-based initiatives for future engagement opportunities. Talk It Out’s ambassadors will connect with schools and churches in their communities to talk about underage drinking.

New Partnerships

April is also Alcohol Responsibility Month, and Talk It Out is partnering with the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility ( to eliminate underage drinking. The Foundation released encouraging statistics that result from positive conversations between parents and their kids about alcohol:

Alcohol Awareness in North Carolina:

Source: Alcohol Awareness Month Proclamation

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control, the level of excessive drinking in North Carolina is trending upward.
  • Neuroscience tells us that the developing adolescent brain is far more sensitive to alcohol than the mature adult brain and underage alcohol use can negatively impact student success and athletic performance.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption in North Carolina costs over $7 billion a year in health care costs
  • Prevention efforts throughout North Carolina have helped raise the average age at which young people begin to use alcohol, yet 27% of high school students still report drinking in the last 30 days.

Talk It Out encourages families to keep the lines of communication about underage drinking open with helpful tips.

Starting the Conversation:

  • Ask open-ended questions and really listen to their answers without interrupting or jumping to conclusions.
  • Take advantage of all kinds of situations, like a celebrity appearing in the news for drunk driving or a plotline in a TV show that involves alcohol.
  • Start a conversation in the car. Some teens feel more comfortable when they don’t have to make eye contact.
  • Make kids part of the conversation. Don’t make it a lecture.

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Pender County Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Department is still here to serve you

The Pender County WIC Department is currently experiencing a very high call volume. The team is working hard to return all phone calls as quickly as possible. We ask that you PLEASE LEAVE A MESSAGE with your name and phone number and we will return your call as soon as possible.

No in-person appointments at this time please call the Pender County WIC Office at 910-259-1290

COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide

COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide

USDA and its Federal partners have programs that can be used to provide immediate and long-term assistance to rural communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. These programs can support recovery efforts for rural residents, businesses and communities through:

• technical, training, and management assistance;

• financial assistance; and • state and local assistance.

This resource matrix organizes funding opportunities identified in the CARES Act and other federal resources that can help support rural America. Opportunities are categorized by customer and assistance type.

For more information on the immediate actions USDA is taking to respond to COVID-19, visit

Click Here to View Full Document

Online Recovery Support During COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has put severe stress on millions of people in recovery for substance use issues, as well as on friends and family who are trying to stand by them. Connection is considered an antidote to addiction, but the bans on gatherings have abruptly shut down support groups, leaving many people floundering for safety nets.

In response, many organizations are quickly making virtual meetings and counseling available on numerous platforms. Apps help people track their habits, meditate and find a community of peers. Here are some options below.


Information Regarding the Operation of County Offices during COVID-19

Update on County Office Operations

Pender County remains ready to serve the public. Before visiting any county offices, please contact the department you wish to visit. Many services can be completed online or over the telephone. The Following County Offices are currently operating in the following capacity due to COVID-19:

The Pender County Library can be reached at (910) 259-1234.
Pender County Public Library staff are busy broadcasting online story times on Facebook on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:00am. All due dates are being extended and automatic renewal is being implemented.
• They are also revamping the website,, adding new resources, such as Ancestry and TumbleBooks, that
customers can access online.
• E-books, E-audiobooks and videos are also available online through the library website.
• A library card number is necessary for most online services and you can apply online at
• If you have questions, please call the libraries from 9am to 6pm Monday through Friday if you have a question or send them an email from the links provided at from “contact us.”

Tax Office
• Pender County Tax is fully operational.
• The listing forms can be submitted via mail submission back to the print vendor who will record and digitize them without the citizen having to enter the building.
• If a taxpayer would like to drop the listing form off at the tax office, they can use the outside drop box to submit those forms.
• Tax payments can still be made online and over the phone as well as at the secured lockbox in front of the Howard Holly building.
• As always, staff is available over the phone, via email and by appointment.
• Website to pay Pender County Tax bill:
• It can also be found under the “I WANT TO” header on our website and click on view/pay my tax bill
• Email:
• Tax Collections Phone Number: (910) 259-1222
• Tax Assessment Phone Number: (910) 259-1221

Parks and Recreation
Pender County Parks and Recreation can be reached at (910) 259-1330.
• Per the Governors Executive Order 121 Pender County Owned Playgrounds are closed until April 30th. At which time things will be reassessed.
• The Holly Shelter Shooting Range is closed until further notice.
• All organized league play and County Sponsored activities are suspended until further notice.
• Restroom Facilities remain open and are being cleaned and disinfected daily.
• Trails, Greenways, Athletic fields, and open space in parks remain open for normal operating hours. Social distance guidelines must be followed – park visitors should always keep at least 6 feet of distance between themselves and others, and no gatherings of more than 10 people may occur.
• Staff is not taking any new facility reservation request until further notice. This includes athletic fields, picnic shelters, the Hampstead Annex rooms, and the Pender County Courthouse Square.

Planning, Permitting, and Inspections
For more information, please call (910) 259-1202.
• In response to COVID-19, Pender County Planning and Community Development has remained committed to serving the public in anything they might need.
• Staff encourages anyone interested in applying for a building permit to do so using the PORT, which is our online permitting portal and can be found at
• A directory of all employees including direct phone lines and emails within the Permitting and Inspections Divisions can be found at, while the Planning Division directory can be found at
• If an in-person meeting is necessary, appointments are strongly encouraged, and staff from each of the three divisions are available at either the main County Complex in Burgaw or at the Hampstead Annex.

Register of Deeds Office
The Register of Deeds Office can be reached by calling (910) 259-1225.
• Staff is limiting public entry at this time.
• All vital records request should be done online or by mail.
• Recorders are encouraged to use our E-recording services.
• In-person recordings are handled by appointment.
• Marriage license are issued by appointment and the application should be completed online before the appointment.
• Notary Oaths are administered by appointment.

PCU can be reached at (910) 259-1570.
Payment for water/sewer bills are accepted online at: In addition, drive up window and drop box payments will be accepted in Burgaw for utility customers. A drop box is also available for utility payments at the Hampstead Annex.

Pender County Government Holiday Hours

BURGAW – All Pender County Government offices will close Good Friday, April 10 and Monday, April 13 in observance of the Easter holiday. Offices will resume normal office hours on Tuesday, April 14.

Pender County Trash and Recycling Sites will remain open for regular service hours on the county’s Easter holidays of April 10 and April 13. The Hampstead Transfer Station house will also remain open for regular service hours during the county’s Easter holidays. Please display your recycle or full-service trash decals or provide proof of residency with a bill using your Pender County address.

“Let us take this opportunity to remind Pender County residents that many government services are available 24/7 online,” Chad McEwen, Pender County manager, said. “We urge residents to stay home and follow Gov. Cooper’s Stay at Home Executive Order 121. Please practice social distancing when shopping for essentials. Residents are urged to practice good hygiene, wear a face-covering mask, and use hand sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol. If we follow these simple guidelines, the quicker we can return to our normal lives.”

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