Turner Street bridge

Editor's note: This article was updated at 6:18 p.m. April 3, 2020, to add additional information from the town regarding implementation of the checkpoint and second homeowners.

BEAUFORT — Beginning Sunday, residents and those doing essential business will only be able to enter the town via Turner Street at Highway 70, where police will implement a checkpoint later in the week.

According to a Friday afternoon release from the town, the Beaufort Police Department will operate an identification checkpoint on Turner Street, which will be the only entrance to the town beginning Sunday. The town clarified later Friday the checkpoint would be implemented later in the week of April 5-11.

All adult passengers in a vehicle will need to provide a driver’s license or military ID with a Carteret County address to enter the town.

“A pass system is in place and Beaufort residents and essential employees are being issued entry passes. We ask that these passes are held to the window on whichever side of the vehicle an officer approaches from,” the town said in the release.

Vehicle occupants are asked to leave their windows rolled up unless asked to do otherwise by officers.

The pass must be presented alongside a valid driver’s license or military ID.

“Entry into Beaufort will not be permitted without these forms of identification,” the town said in its release.

According to town officials, businesses are being contacted about delivery drivers, essential employees will receive passes from their employer and full-time residents will receive their passes at the address listed on their utility bill.

“In the event an employee has not received their pass in time and does not have a valid NC Drivers License or Military ID with a Carteret County address, they can show their driver’s license and an identification badge and/or paycheck stub from their employer,” the town said in the release.

Passes for residents are only being distributed to property owners with a Beaufort mailing address.

“You must physically be in Beaufort to receive this pass. At this time, entry to non-county residents is not permitted if you are not already here,” the town said.

Those who reside at rental complexes where water bills are handled by the property will get passes from property management, according to the release.

Questioned about passengers who might not have a driver’s license or military ID, officials said officers will have some discretion.

“We understand there will be instances where someone does not have an ID. An example is our elderly residents. These will be handled on a case-by-case basis,” Public Information Officer Rachel Johnson said. “Some will be turned away.”

In the release, the town specified second homeowners will not be allowed to enter unless they were already in Beaufort prior to 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Those in Beaufort to care for a resident or have another circumstance not discussed can email entrypass@beaufortnc.org for additional information. The email is being monitored.
(Previous report)
BEAUFORT — Beginning Sunday, residents and those doing essential business will only be able to enter the town via Turner Street at Highway 70, where police will establish a checkpoint.
According to a Friday afternoon release from the town, the Beaufort Police Department will operate an identification checkpoint on Turner Street.
All adult passengers in a vehicle will need to provide a driver’s license or military ID with a Carteret County address to enter the town.
This is a developing report.

(35) comments


"Your papers, please" is now what Beaufort is putting in place. No matter the importance or the reasons, as of this week, Beaufort will become a police state. Why are we so willing to allow our constitutional rights and personal freedoms to be destroyed? How does instituting a police state eliminate or even suppress a public health crisis? The Beaufort politicians and the mayor specifically are taking our liberties away to keep us safe – really? Is anyone else questioning the lawfulness and validity of these actions? Or, have we become so fearful that we are willing to give up our freedom with little more than a whimper?


This media driven hysteria, and group think has resulted in things like this roadblock. State and national statistics don't support this action. For example: 0.023% of N.C. population has been tested positive; 0.9991% of reported cases resulted in death. Comparatively, on a national level, 0.4265% of the population has attempted suicide, far more than exposed viral cases. Yet no hysteria over this. Nationally, 0.00257% of the population has to date died from this virus. The public is reacting emotionally, not rationally, as are the local leaders who parrot what they see. Yes, they are fearful, and no, they won't protect their freedoms.


Beaufort, the mini dictatorship by the sea! Hope they vote Netwon out of office as a result of his antics.


Newton ran unopposed as a republican. Most see the mayor as a mere figurehead, not someone to make critical decisions. Elections matter, something the population needs to take into account. The mayor is just parroting what he sees.

the secret life of man

Our liberties have the potential to destroy us in this fast moving germ warfare.Yesterday and today I saw our neighborhood start filling up with out of town 2nd homeowners bring in lots of food.Five house that I know of are from Charlotte,Mecklinburg,Raleigh,wake and Greensboro NC Also Hampton Roads Va.Sound side Carteret county may be the place to ride this out.With this knowledge I hope we can do what Beaufort has done to protect us from possible carriers of this dreaded virus.To our powers that be,please close Carteret county to unnecessary visitors.


"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Also to note that this thing is not Ebola, it's something that the mainstream media has been fear mongering in effort to hurt Trump's re-election chances.


Look at the statistical data and tell me how you justify this intrusion on our freedoms? Cite with some precision what data used to support this event. Remember reported cases do not reflect severity of symptoms, and the recovery rates are sketchy at best. Compare the case number against the population, and compare same against death rates. Then compare against, for example, the suicide rates. By comparison, we far more of a suicide crisis than a viral one.


This has the potential to get ugly. I urge anyone who may feel they have a legitimate reason to enter Beaufort to comply with all law enforcement directions and if you feel you have a valid reason to enter and are denied entry by a officer denying entry to pull over to the side of the road or other area away from the check point and request a supervisor or superior command official to respond to your location and request a dialogue to settle said dispute or denial. A number to call to request same is the non emergency number to the Carteret County communications center 252-726-1911. This center is in direct contact with the Beaufort PD. DO NOT CALL 911! Be polite, be compliant, be rational, and explain your concerns in a calm manner to whomever you may speak to that may arbitrate the decision of entry or no entry.


Or, ask for an attorney. Law enforcement is so militarized that whatever we say will fall on already deaf ears. I fear this crisis will completely negate our constitutional rights.


Your right to move freely. and to assemble have been removed to 'keep you safe' , lol. Now , your right to property, and goods is next. (simply wait for the communications to be cut), <=== Thats when you know YOU ARE F^^^^^! Welcome to the great 'socialism/ basically communism , or dictatorship! So, all you bernie lovers, and democrats, lol, we are going to see how you like it, ok? You are in 'utopiaville', until Trump comes in and liberates you , which may take a bit? 2 weeks, hmmmmmm easy sheep here. (especially with no look of disaster, or possibly 1 person passed away you know? ) Target rich . [ohmy]


Why Socialism Doesn't Work [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7z1nkxPj6Q ]


The only thing I have found that's even close to allowing our exmayor to do this is if his town is overrun with infection he may be able to quarantine the town. But if enough people stand up we can do a referendum and remove him from office. Everyone sees this for exactly what it is. It's just a way to make everyone on our side of the county drive to morehead city bc its will somehow be easier. I have zero plans of rolling my windows up and showing my government I'd so I can freely travel on my own roads freely. I suspect the town of Beaufort and its mayor are going to be named in a pile of constitutional law suits. I personally am going to do anything in my power to make sure this guy isnt elected again. IS HE REALLY TELLING US TO CALM DOWN WHILE HE TELLS US ABOUT HE FUTURE PLANS TO VIOLATE EVERYONE RIGHTS?!? And how is standing along highway 70 wearing sunglasses and making youtube videos essential in any way? Clown shoes.


I don't have any business over in Beaufort, so this doesn't impact me. But is seems like the wrong approach to keep people out. What they should do is make it so the people of Beaufort are locked inside and can never leave their homes. That way, they can prevent coming on contact with carriers and avoid the virus.


Maybe the problem can be solved by the ballot.


Due to the increasing cases of COVID-19, the mayor made the right decisions to protect his residents as much as possible. He is not keeping Carteret County residents out. He is restricting visitors from out of town from entrance to the town. There is nothing legally wrong with requiring an ID.


It was legal to own slaves in Beaufort too (late 1700's to mid-1800s)


Yep, you have to have I.D. to enter Beaufort; but not to vote. Makes sense to me.


I have posted a detailed analysis of the statistics of coronavirus vs other death forms in the Editorial letters. If published, decide for yourself if this sort of thing is justified.


Roughly , think it was 2017, the CDC posted the rate of death per day, or 24 hr period in the entire country was about 7500 folks. (rather morbid, but, it was never celebrated like this , or embraced by force)


The News Times has chosen not to print here my analysis of the coronavirus compared to other deadly causes. Why is this?

Obviously you are not a subscriber. Your letter is in the print edition on page 6. We only publish one letter in the free online edition.-Web Editor

(Edited by staff.)

David Collins

Nothing legally wrong with requiring an ID unless it comes to voting .


Keep in mind the president says he believes the governors & local authorities should call the shots in their states & localitles so these are not his decisions. He, the VP & team are too busy finding, buying, coordinating, directing, & generally providing all the needs of the virus victims to keep the virus from spreading & death rate down along with plenty more to keep them busy 24/7 with no rest.


Carteret County population is 70,000 (give or take). As of today, there are 17 cases of the COVID 19 virus. Morehead City population is around 10,000. Newport has 3,600. Beaufort has around 4,000.

Why is Beaufort becoming a militarized state and not MHC?

As many here have said...makes no logical sense.


Based on these numbers, 0.024% of the population in the county has the virus. This hysteria is not warranted. There have been a goodly percentage of deaths on Highway 101 alone; that extrapolated using the current Covid19 math, will exceed viral cases alone.

Core Sounder

No picture ID required for voting nor for cashing in a snap card. A picture ID would cut down on illegal voting plus stop a lot of folks using their snap cards to get hard cash for 50 cents on the dollar. Now we know why our schools have to provide free lunches since the snap cards are cashed in to buy drugs and wigs.


Parents should be held accountable for feeding their own children. Schools are not a nanny.


Let us not forget this insanity in the next mayoral election.

Buddy Boatbuilder

Mayor Everette Newton is going to get people killed with these draconian measures. Not from the virus but from traffic accidents resulting from these stupid road blocks and police checkpoints. This mayor does not merely need to be removed from office, he needs to be held accountable for putting the public at risk and for violating the rights of North Carolinians and undermining the profile a reputation of this great state and the town of Beaufort. Frankly, this man needs to be put behind bars for this betrayal of the public's trust.


Buddy Boatbuilder is correct.




A couple of questions for the mayor:

-Do you think Morehead City should follow your example and close the bridge to non-MHC residents?

-Since you are telling non-resident property owners to keep out, do you plan to prorate their property taxes?


Just because we’re fighting an unseen enemy (COVID 19) doesn’t mean we have to give up every shred of our freedoms to a police state that thinks it can do a better job of keeping us safe. Whatever we give up willingly now…basic human decency, the ability to manage our own affairs, the right to have a say in how the government navigates this crisis (has anyone reading this been a part of authorities’ decision making concerning the virus?), or the few rights still left to us that haven’t been gutted in recent years by a power-hungry police state—we won’t get back once this crisis is past. The government never cedes power willingly. Neither should we. If this is not the defining moment at which we cross over into all-out totalitarianism, then it is at a minimum a test to see how easily we will surrender.

On a side note, Beaufort officials are violating our rights, I wonder if they have a clue that they are setting themselves up for legal battles further down the road?


Let us not talk about it, let us begin to draft the lawsuits and complaints; other than here.


Federal Lawsuit [ https://www.carolinacoastonline.com/news_times/coronavirus/article_1412eef4-79bd-11ea-92c7-431aa1bfb204.html ] <======= Now, by HIDING THE MOVEMENT OF THE COVID FEW, WE ARE ALL IN DANGER. Gentlemen , Start Your Lawyers!


It will be interesting in the suits to use the data comparison of other mechanisms of death; and why similar actions aren't taken, or any action at all. In reality, this closure or checkpoint is not warranted. This goes deeper than the mayors office. I am sure that he consulted with the town attorney and was given the go ahead. Maybe even the town council. There is a problem there as well. All those second home folks and tourists should appreciate the statistics of this, and compare against their property rights suspension; and decide what is proper to do. I think large damages would be proper. Then, a future local tyrant will think twice before doing something so baseless (being polite).

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