Local business, TV actor donate to repair Newport basketball court

The Newport Town Council receives Thursday at the regular council meeting a $5,000 donation from Shortway Brewing Co. and Bread & Barley Church to resurface the basketball court at the Newport Community Park. (Mike Shutak photo)

NEWPORT — Town officials have received $6,000 in donations to repair the basketball court at Newport Community Park.

The Newport Town Council held its regular meeting Oct. 14 at the town hall boardroom on Howard Boulevard, with Councilman Bob Benedict absent. During the meeting, the council unanimously accepted a $5,000 donation from Shortway Brewing Co. and Bread & Barley Church, as well as $1,000 from TV actor Pearce Joza to pay to resurface the park’s basketball court.

Mr. Joza’s mother, Nancy Heleno, is moving to Newport. He joined the meeting online via Zoom. 

“I love playing basketball,” Mr. Joza said. “I look forward to taking part in resurfacing the court.”

Meanwhile, Shortway and the church put together their donation via a fundraiser. Brewery owner and operator Matt Shortway, who was at Thursday’s meeting, also sits on the town’s recreational advisory committee.

“(The committee) took a walk around the park and saw the basketball court was in need of repair,” he said. “There’s kids hanging out down there. We really wanted to spruce it up to give kids positive reinforcement to play.”

Before the resurfacing can begin, the court needs some additional repairs, according to Councilman Danny Fornes. He said joints in the concrete need to be fixed, among other repairs not included in the resurfacing contract with by Calico Racquet Courts.

“I don’t want to hold anything up, but I don’t agree with the contract as written,” Mr. Fornes said.

The council directed town manager Bryan Chadwick to discuss the additional repairs with the contractor.  

The council as a whole voiced its appreciation for the donations. Councilman Mark Eadie seemed particularly eager to see the basketball court repaired promptly.

“I’d love to do it right,” he said, “but I want it done now. Young men and older boys need this facility.”

In other news at Thursday’s meeting, Mr. Chadwick informed the council several residents have voiced concerns about drivers speeding along certain streets in subdivisions in town. Mr. Chadwick said he’s spoken with Police Chief Keith Lewis, who intends to perform a traffic analysis along these roads on a date to be determined.

The following also occurred at Thursday’s meeting:

  • The council presented 4H Newport leader Kim Nead and 4H member Zoe Kelly with a proclamation designating Oct. 4-8 National 4H week in Newport.
  • Chief Lewis presented Officer Tim Padgett with his intermediate law enforcement certificate.
  • The council unanimously approved the meeting’s consent agenda, including scheduling a special council meeting for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28 which will include a closed session to discuss matters of economic development.
  • Mr. Chadwick informed the council he’d spoken with Management and Personnel Services Group President Becky Veazey about the ongoing pay study for town staff. He said Ms. Veazey told them they can look at career paths for staff as the council requested, but typically they don’t look beyond five years.


Contact Mike Shutak at 252-723-7353, email mike@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.

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