October 18th, 2016



Vivian Howard's new book is hotter than a new biscuit drenched in molasses.

The Lenoir County region was not only soaked by Hurricane Matthew's rain waters, but accolades for "Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South" flowed like a river mid-October when the New York Times reported that the book had reached the top five on its best seller list.

Ascendance to the mountain top of book heaven occurred as the popular chef at Kinston's Chef and the Farmer embarked on a 20-city cooking and book tour with stops in New York, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, South Carolina and numerous stops in North Carolina.

The book is vintage Vivian: full of mouthwatering recipes, produced with regional pride in her vegetables and meats, and harvested with revealing sides trips to embellish her seasoned observations.



Youthful entrepreneur Miguel Baltazar has purchased 104 South Queen in Kinston's downtown and in early September realized his dream of owning his own barber shop.

Known by family and friends as Mickey, he gave his name to the shop, Mickey's Barber Shop with six chairs to serve customers looking for a hair cut.

Mr. Baltazar refreshed the space once occupied by a certified public accountant, and installed a pool table allowing customers to enjoy their wait. And he has room to add other services: he's in the market for a cosmetologist.

Mr. Baltazar, 25, was born in Sinaloa, Mexico just south of Southern California eventually coming to North Carolina to pursue his vocation as a barber.


An early customer was Tre Romball of Pink Hill with a direct tie to Kinston: his grandfather was Alton Stapleford, the shipwright who built the CSS Neuse II, the exact replica of the CSS Neuse of Civil War fame. The imposing replica and tourist attraction is located at the intersection of Herritage and Gordon Streets in downtown Kinston.

Hours for the barber shop are 9:00 am thru 8:00 pm Monday thru Saturday.


After an aggressive search for a downtown Kinston residence, Wade and Heather Howell (he was recently installed as general manager of Kinston's new baseball team) have purchased 419 N. Herritage Street.

Once it was determined that Mr. Howell was to become the local ball team's head man, Ms. Howell was adamant that she wanted to live in Kinston's downtown and was a central force in the real estate search. She plans to install her dog training business on the second floor.

Tax records show that Marissa R. Lanier was previous owner of 419 N. Herritage listed as a warehouse.

The Howells petitioned the City of Kinston for a zoning variance to enable the couple to transform the building into a single family residence. The variance was approved by the Kinston City Council at its Oct. 17 meeting.

Under zoning regulations, the property within the B-2 (Central Business District), can be converted into a single family residence only with a conditional use permit.

Temporary living space has been secured in the 1903 building at 201 N. Queen Street in an apartment once occupied by Charles Baggett who recently retired from Spirit AeroSystems as its general manager.

Pride of Kinston welcomes Wade and Heather to Kinston and as new downtown residents! Downtown residential living has been a longtime goal for Pride.


Kinston City Manager Tony Sears and Mayor B.J. Murphy are passing the word, without specifics, that a wave of property acquisitions are on the horizon for downtown Kinston.

Carlos Cannon, former owner of Johnson Music Company and the adjacent building once occupied by the Jewel Box jewelry store (317 & 321 N. Queen)-both properties now in the hands of Chris Cannon, son of Carlos Cannon - says that there is interest by an unidentified holding company for the two properties which share a unified attic space. The two properties have been on the market for at least five years.

The properties are listed on Pride of Kinston's commercial real estate websites: www.downtownkinston.com.

Good news on the way? Pride of Kinston seriously hopes so. It is believed that the new design for Queen Street, first launched by Pride in 2005 and praised in local media, might help pave the way for new development.


Developer Stephen Hill, owner of 212 and 208 N. Queen, has undertaken a plan to enhance the attractiveness and viability of Queen Street as a retail center.

212 N. Queen:


A new façade is being created for 212 N. Queen acquired by Mr. Hill in 2011 and which now houses three popular dining spots: Ginger 108, a Sushi Bar and the Boiler Room. Mr. Hill has installed panels behind the glass windows overlooking Queen Street to create attractive spaces viewed by passersby.

A new awning is also being constructed on the front of the building under the workmanship of builder Scott Combs.

208 N. Queen:


The building immediately adjacent to 212 N. Queen is being renovated to create a "boutique," according to contractor Jonathan Hughes and his crew. Construction workers have been working in the space for several weeks.


The ancient saying that 'behind every dark cloud there is a silver lining' proved to be true before and since Hurricane Matthew blew through the community leaving a legacy of downed power lines, flooded homes, homeless families, closed schools.

Through out the period beginning with the strong winds and rains October 14-15, 2016 and continuing, private individuals, businesses, churches, groups such as Kinston Teens, representatives of local, state and federal agencies, the National Guard, local police and sheriff departments, political office holders and leaders in a multi-county region came together spontaneously to help those whose homes and properties were endangered or damaged.to offer, shelter, food, clothing and other necessities.

Well known spots such as King's Restaurant, Neuse Sport Shop, the Villager, La Petit Boutique, Piggly Wiggly on US 70, and numerous others were shut down and remain closed as of Oct. 18.

The level of human concern and willingness to help was a palpable reminder throughout the community that human kindness and concern were not washed away with the storm, in fact they grew stronger.

January 26th, 2016


Downtown Kinston Small Business Incubator offers spaces for lease with shared receptionist and lobby.

Call 252-525-6144.

Enticing new investors

Pride of Kinston is ramping up its efforts to attract new investors to the downtown business district.317 - 321 N. Queen Street

A growing campaign to highlight properties available for lease or purchase details information about each under the Invest in Downtown site on Pride’s website.

A project of Pride’s Economic and Property Development committee headed by Stuart Lindley, buildings deemed to be in good condition and available for immediate use are candidates for the enlarged promotional effort.

The current listing includes:
109 S. Queen Street
317 N. Queen Street
311 N. Queen Street


"The vision of Pride of Kinston, Inc. is a downtown on the banks of the Neuse River that serves as the gateway to Eastern North Carolina. Our appreciation of history guides our future and promotes the magic to grow business, recreation, and the arts."

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Order your Kinston license tag to display on the front of your automobiles. Click a plate to download a printable order form for the plate you want...

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What Is Pride of Kinston?

The mission of Pride of Kinston, Inc., established in 1984, is to lead downtown revitalization in Kinston using the Main Street approach developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which promotes economic development within the context of historic preservation.

Pride of Kinston is one of 57 Main Street communities in North Carolina in a program coordinated by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Division of Community Assistance. (www.nccommerce.com). For more information about Pride of Kinston, see About Pride.

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Sand in the Streets

Sand in the Streets

Sand in the Streets, Kinston's legendary Thursday night music-in-the-park series runs June through August! We have a great lineup for 2016.

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WE NEED YOUR HELP! Maplewood-Cedar Grove-Hebrew Cemeteries Project

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Maplewood Entry Sketch

Pride of Kinston's participation in the project is aimed at improving the appearance of a major entrance into the city's downtown while acknowledging the historical significance of the cemeteries. Read more...


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2015 Pride of Kinston 8000 Run for the River

Mar. 28, 2015

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From the Executive Director...

Adrian King's comments on community investment...

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Pride of Kinston • 327 North Queen Street • Kinston, NC 28501• (252) 522-4676
Located in the Kinston Enterprise Center

Artist Bruce D. Ziegler has generously made available to Pride his portrait of
downtown Kinston as signature for Pride's website.