Gov. Cooper in Kinston to celebrate anniversary, talk business

Gov. Roy Cooper (Greg Payne, NewsChannel 12 photo)

KINSTON, Lenoir County - It was a packed house at Mother Earth Brewery in Kinston on Wednesday.

Gov. Roy Cooper was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the N.C. Art Council. First, he took time to discuss the state's recovery from Hurricane Matthew. Last month, he announced $810,000 in grants to help rebuild areas struck hard by the hurricane. "We will help make sure that more funding ... not only to Kinston but across the state that was hit hard this storm and caused four billion dollars in storm damage," Cooper said. One of the areas hit hard by Matthew was Kinston. In attendance were many of the people and business owners impacted by the storm. Cooper said $1 billion has been provided from state and federal funding. He's now working on a bipartisan effort with Congress and the state legislature to get more. "We know help can't come soon enough," Cooper said. The governor said the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Arts Council ties in with the storm relief. "Making the arts an integral part of the community can help the economy," Cooper said. Wayne Martin, the executive director of the N.C. Arts Council, said Kinston is a perfect example of arts whether it be music, dance, theater and traditional arts, rebuilding the community after such a tragic event. "You hear great music, you see how artful the city is looking and the food and cuisine and the combination of the arts is making Kinston a very dynamic place," Martin said. The governor will be in our area on Thursday as he'll make a stop at Fort Macon to make an announcement on offshore drilling.

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