State labor secretary celebrates Wilson employee safety

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N.C. Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry speaks to area employees at the annual safety awards luncheon Tuesday at the historic train depot in Elm City. Brie Handgraaf | Times
N.C. Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry speaks to area employees at the annual safety awards luncheon Tuesday at the historic train depot in Elm City. Brie Handgraaf | Times

ELM CITY — Area employers took some time away from work Tuesday to celebrate employee health and safety at the annual Safety Awards luncheon.

“It’s really an honor for me to travel throughout the state and recognize these employers who are making a commitment to their employees’ safety and health,” N.C. Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said in a press release. “Over the past 17 years, North Carolina has experienced a declining injury and illness rate, which now rests at an all-time low 2.5 per 100 full-time workers for private industry. These employers continue to make North Carolina workplaces some of the safest in the country.”

More than 60 awards were doled out by Berry to area employers, including 17 awards to Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, 16 awards to the city of Wilson, 11 awards to S.T. Wooten Corp. and 8 awards to Wilson County.

“Safety and health is about constant improvement. It is a constant job that you have to think about every minute of every day,” Berry said. “You can’t let your guard down for even a minute.”

Duplin Winery jumps on Rose train

A new blend of red and white muscadine grapes has been dubbed Sweet Rose and will debut May 2 through Duplin Winery.

“We love creating new wines to share with our loyal supporters and our growing Duplin family,” Duplin Winery co-owner Jonathan Fussell said in a press release. “This new wine fits right in with our signature style and compliments the rest of our wine selections. Simply put, its ‘good stuff.’

“Sweet Rose is meant to be savored and enjoyed with good company.”

The new wine will be available starting May 2 and launched with a party from May 7 to 9 for Duplin’s Heritage Wine Club members. Existing members will get a bottle of the Sweet Rose in the May shipment and new members can join the club for $49 a quarter with shipments of wine, discounted tickets and rewards.

Extra! Extra!

After more than a month of renovations, the Wilson Chick-Fil-A will reopen at 6 a.m. Thursday. Owner Christy Proctor said the closure was necessary to improve the kitchen and the parking lot and adding a multi-lane drive thru.

“We are so ready to serve Wilson,” Proctor said. “We have really missed the smiling faces and conversations.”

Thursday also will serve as a grand reopening celebration for nearby restaurant Denny’s. The Raleigh Road Parkway eatery was closed for a few days while crews renovated the entire front of the restaurant with a fresh color palette, hardwood tiles and updated furnishings.

“Being able to celebrate the reopening of our completely remodeled restaurant is exciting for our team at Denny’s, and we look forward to sharing that excitement with the residents and visitors of Wilson,” franchisee Pravesh Chopra said in a press release. “For years we have welcomed guests into our booths, and we are overjoyed to thank and invite the community back into our diner with this grand celebration.”

Starting at 8 a.m., customers will enjoy discounted rates for a few classic menu items and receive giveaways. The restaurant is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Got an idea for news to include in next week’s Main Street Minute? Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 252-265-7821 or bhandgraaf@wilsontimes.com.