WRAListens Nash County will air this Saturday, April 22nd at 7:30pm on WRAL-TV.
|Charlie Gaddy with the Nash County panel
The WRAL-TV “LISTENS” crew traveled to the All-American city of Rocky Mount, the largest city in Nash County. The program was shot at the Imperial Centre for Arts and Sciences, a world-class cultural center in the downtown district. This complex now has a combination of new and old historic buildings. They are home to the Rocky Mount Art Center, the Rocky Mount Children’s Museum, and the Playhouse Community Theatre. These institutions lost their facilities in the flood following Hurricane Floyd in September of 1999.
|WRAListens Program Host Charlie Gaddy
Rather than rebuild the facilities in the flood plains, the Rocky Mount citycouncil designated the old Imperial Tobacco Factory site in downtown as the new site. The center makes use of a portion of the old tobacco factory and the entire old Braswell library and a newly constructed theater. This was modeled after the tremendously successful American Tobacco Project in Durham. The Imperial Centre is a important historical, educational and recreational resource for eastern North Carolina.
Host Charlie Gaddy discussed issues of concern in Nash county with a wonderful panel that included:
- Rip Woodin, Publisher of the Rocky Mount Telegram, a daily newspaper serving the twin county areas;
- Pat Daniels, Dean of Institutional Advancement at Nash Community College in Rocky Mount;
- John R. Gessaman, President & CEO, Carolina Gateway Partnership, a non-profit group in Nash and Edgecombe counties for economic development;
- John Mebane, former president of Rocky Mount Mills who is dedicated to historic preservation and downtown revitalization;
- Theresa Shaw, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Nash/Edgecombe counties;
- Trudi Waters, Director of Williford Family Resource Center at Williford Elementary school and also a former teacher;
- And, Charles Penny, Assistant City Manager of Rocky Mount.
This WRAListens touched on a number of issues, such as Economic development/need for new industry/skilled labor, quality of education, and utility rates, to name a few.
Loretta Harper-Arnold, WRAL-TV Community Affairs Manager, WRAL-TV Reporter Mike Charbonneau, who covers this area, and Joanne Stanley, Program Director of WRAZ/Fox-50 hosted the luncheon for the panelists.
The scheduled air date is Saturday, April 22 at 7:30pm.
To see the beautiful Imperial Center, visit their website.
WRAL-TV’s Lessa Moore-Craigie, Director of News Operations & Special Projects served as Executive Producer and was responsible for the information in this article.
Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Clarence Williams for this capcom story.