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Frame The Importance of

Commercial Truck Insurance in Kinston, NC

  • Let's face it - truckers in America have always been the backbone of our great country. They still are in modern times. On any given day, thousands of trucks traverse our highways and local roads, delivering goods and products on time so that businesses and consumers have what they need to live life. And while commercial trucking can be an incredibly lucrative way to make a living and put food on the table, it can also be risky and expensive.
  • Whether you're the owner of a fleet, an independent trucker, or have a business that uses big rigs to transport goods, you need commercial trucking insurance to protect you and your client's investments, shield you from liability, and more.
  • That's where working with a reliable truck insurance agency comes into play. Unfortunately, for many commercial truck insurance providers, serving the needs of truckers is low on the proverbial totem pole. At Independence Insurance Agency, nothing could be further from the truth.

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percent The Commercial Truck

Insurance Agency in Kinston, NC You Can Trust

Much like you pride yourself on running a successful trucking business, Independence Insurance Agency prides itself on its years of experience providing truck insurance for hardworking men and women across the country. And in our experience, insurance rates for truckers are just too high - so high, in fact, that they eat away at their bottom line, making it more difficult to run a business and make a profit. Fortunately, at Independence Insurance Agency, we provide truckers the freedom they need from astronomically high insurance rates so they can stay on the road and keep driving America forward.

As one of the most trusted commercial trucking insurance agencies in the U.S., we understand the challenges that you face daily as a trucker. We also know how important it is to protect your business. That's why we go above and beyond to find you the best-priced coverage available, whether you're an operator, own a small fleet, a large fleet, or something in between.

Commercial Truck Insurance Kinston, NC

We Put Truckers First Because Others Don't

 Truck Insurance Kinston, NC

Truckers across the country choose to work with Independence Insurance Agency because we put their needs first before anything else. As experts in transportation insurance, we proudly offer a range of quality insurance products that are both practical and affordable for them. Our industry-leading carriers provide coverage that caters to the unique challenges faced by the trucking industry, ensuring that your business is protected at all times.

At our core, we are committed to finding the best possible price for your coverage without compromising the quality of service you deserve. The truth is, we understand how essential truckers are to the United States and take pride in making their insurance experience more streamlined and affordable.

One way we do so is by simplifying the insurance process. Our transportation specialists take the time to understand your specific needs and budget to tailor a comprehensive plan that works for you. You won't ever have to worry about cookie-cutter plans or uninterested agents when you work with our commercial trucking insurance agency. We take an educational approach to ensure that the entire big rig insurance process is quick, painless, and easy to understand. If there's something you don't understand, we're happy to take the time to explain. After all, the success and safety of your business are on the line.

Looking to the future, we are committed to providing innovative new products that cater to the ever-changing needs of truck drivers. As your one-stop shop for commercial trucking insurance, we are dedicated to your success, one policy at a time.

If you're a commercial trucker looking to ensure your rig, you can rest easy knowing that Independence Insurance Agency provides:

  • Affordable Trucking Insurance Plans for Any Budget
  • Exemplary Customer Service
  • Seasoned Transportation Specialists Who Customize Plans to Your Needs
  • A+ Carriers Across the Country
  • Simple, Easy Quote and Bind Process
  • Multiple Insurance Carriers Quoted to Find You the Best Rates
  • Truck Insurance for New Ventures

Call us or send us a message today to learn more about the best 18-wheeler insurance options for your trucking business.

chart The Commercial Truck

Common Types of Big Rig Truck Insurance in Kinston, NC

At Independence Insurance Agency, we offer several types of insurance coverage for local, intermediate, and long-haul trucking needs. Here are just a few categories of trucking insurance coverage that our agency offers.

As the foundation of your insurance policy, liability coverage is required by law in most states in the U.S. It provides coverage for damage or injuries caused to properties or other people if your 18-wheeler is responsible for the crash. Without liability coverage, it's almost impossible to drive a truck or run a trucking business without major legal consequences.

Having physical damage coverage is an essential component that shouldn't be overlooked. This insurance is responsible for covering the expenses related to repairing or replacing your truck in situations such as accidents, theft, vandalism, and other damaging events. By having this coverage, you can rest assured that your business won't be affected significantly by unexpected incidents, and you can continue running your operations smoothly even in challenging times.

For trucking companies, the goods they transport are crucial to their operations. To protect these goods from damage, loss, or theft while in transit, cargo insurance is essential. This coverage provides much-needed peace of mind for both you and your clients, allowing you to reimburse clients for any losses sustained while protecting your reputation and brand identity.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is designed to cover property damage or bodily injury that may occur during personal time when the driver/truck is not under dispatch. This coverage can be applied with or without a trailer and is added to a commercial policy as an endorsement.

While Independence Insurance Agency has built a reputation of excellence in serving the needs of truckers, we also offer general liability. Also known as Truckers General Liability, this coverage insures for bodily injuries or property damage that happen due to business activities that are NOT the cause of operating a truck. It covers accidents that occur in parking lots, rest stops, also while loading or unloading. General liability can also cover losses related to theft and vandalism. Most brokers and shippers will require this coverage to work with you.

Bobtail insurance is a type of coverage that is comparable to non-trucking liability, which is designed to offer protection when driving a truck without a trailer attached. This is commonly referred to as "bobtailing." With bobtail insurance, the tractor is covered at all times, even when it is not attached to a trailer, regardless of whether or not the truck is under dispatch.

Trailer interchange insurance is a must-have if you're involved in a trailer interchange agreement. This essential coverage offers protection for trailers owned by other parties that you're using under a contractual agreement. It covers damages caused by collisions, fire, theft, and vandalism, providing assurance to all parties involved.

Curious whether our commercial truck insurance agency in cityname, state offers additional coverage? The following options can be bound in your insurance policy:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Reefer Breakdown Insurance
  • Occupational Accident with Contract Liability Insurance
  • Rental Reimbursement Insurance
  • Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Insurance
  • Towing Insurance
  • Electronics Insurance
  • Much More

Three plus 3 Safe Driving Tips to

Lower the Cost of Truck Insurance in Kinston, NC

Keeping your drivers safe on the road is crucial not only for their own well-being but also for the safety of other motorists and the financial stability of your business. The Department of Labor has identified the trucking industry as one of the most hazardous sectors in the U.S. In fact, trucking and logistics fleets are known for their high injury and fatality rates. By improving how safely your truckers drive, you can help reduce expenses related to claim payouts, accidents, and insurance premium hikes.

Whether you own a large fleet or you're the owner and operator of a single rig, keep these safe driving tips in mind to help lower your insurance costs.

Implement Preventative Maintenance Plans

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

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 Trucking Insurance Kinston, NC

Practice Defensive Driving

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
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 Commercial Liability Insurance For Truckers Kinston, NC

Find Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

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 Commercial Truck Insurance Quote Kinston, NC

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

 Low Priced Commercial Truck Insurance Kinston, NC phone Call Now

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
Commercial Truck Insurance Kinston, NC phone Call Now

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

 Truck Insurance Kinston, NC phone Call Now

check light FAQs About

Independence Insurance Agency

If you're looking for a commercial trucking insurance agency for your business, chances are you have some questions - and we've got answers. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from truckers like you.

Why go with a "jack of all trades" when you can work with specialists who focus exclusively on transportation insurance? We have excellent relationships with major trucking insurance carriers and, as such, can provide the best assistance and reasonable rates.

Typically, companies will look at claims that date back three years or less.

We proudly work with more than 20 carriers to provide our clients with the most advantageous options at competitive prices, catering to the needs of owner-operators and big fleets alike.

Permit filings are typically done by insurance companies on the next business day. Federal (FMCSA) filings are completed online and updated immediately, while some states may take up to three weeks to process.

Independence Insurance Agency: Committed to the Trucking Industry

There's no question about it - you've got to protect your staff, your rig, and your trucking business with insurance. But choosing the right insurance partner isn't always easy. Thankfully, with Independence Insurance Agency by your side, you can rest easy knowing you're covered no matter where the road takes you. If you're in need of a commercial truck insurance agency in Kinston, NC that caters to truckers like you, pick up the phone and contact one of our transportation specialists today. That way, you can get back on the road with confidence tomorrow.

 Trucking Insurance Kinston, NC

Latest News in Kinston, NC

Planet Fitness celebrates grand opening of gym in Kinston

New location offers non-intimidating Judgement Free Zone®, extremely low prices, free fitness  training included in all monthly memberships, and more Join now for just $1 down and $10 per month for a limited time only! Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest-growing global franchisors and operators of fitness centers with more members than any other fitness brand, today announced the grand opening of its new Kinston club located 4050 W Vernon Ave, Kinston, NC 28504. The club’s pre-opening offers ...

New location offers non-intimidating Judgement Free Zone®, extremely low prices, free fitness  training included in all monthly memberships, and more 

Join now for just $1 down and $10 per month for a limited time only! 

Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest-growing global franchisors and operators of fitness centers with more members than any other fitness brand, today announced the grand opening of its new Kinston club located 4050 W Vernon Ave, Kinston, NC 28504. The club’s pre-opening offers have been extended in celebration of the Grand Opening. New members can join now for just $1 down, then $10 per month.

Planet Fitness Kinston, NC offers 20,000 sq. feet of state-of-the-art cardio machines and strength equipment, a 30-Minute Express Circuit, 60” HDTVs spanning the length of the gym, and fully equipped locker rooms with day lockers and showers, and more. The new facility is open 24 hours on Weekdays and 7am-7pm on weekends.

Planet Fitness prides itself on providing a high-quality experience at an exceptional value and being home of the Judgement Free Zone®, where members experience a hassle-free, non-intimidating environment. The Classic Card membership offers unlimited access to the Kinston, NC club at only $10 a month. And the most popular membership, the PF Black Card, which is $24.99 a month, includes additional amenities such as the ability to bring a guest every day at no additional charge, and access to all 2,400+ Planet Fitness locations among other benefits. Other amenities at the club include:

o Multi-level, premium tanning beds featuring hybrid light technology. 

o HydroMassage Loungers and massage chairs 

o Total Body Enhancement to energize you pre-workout and relax you post workout. o All New Wellness Pod for relaxation and meditation. 

"We are excited to bring our Judgement Free fitness experience to the Kinston community,” said CJ  Bouchard, CEO at Excel Fitness. “At Planet Fitness, we offer an affordable membership for a high-quality  fitness center and welcome anyone, at any fitness level into our friendly, comfortable, and non-intimidating environment. We encourage you to come check out our new Williamsburg location and see what our  unique, Judgement Free Zone® is all about.”  

Studies show that just ten minutes of any physical activity can significantly improve your odds of feeling happy, improves your sleep and memory, and raises your heartrate to maintain fitness levels.* Planet Fitness makes it easy for anyone to start working out by offering free fitness training for all fitness levels under the PE@PF program. This includes a certified fitness trainer available to create a personalized work out plan with the Design Your Own Program option to help members reach their specific goals. There are

also other popular classes, including the circuit style PF360 Burn and PF360 Strength that utilize kettlebells,  battle ropes, and more. 

i Jenna B. Gillen, B.J. (2016). Twelve Weeks of Sprint Interval Training Improves Indices of Cardiometabolic Health Similar to  Traditional Endurance Training despite a Five-Fold Lower Exercise Volume and Time Commitment

Additionally, Planet Fitness has extended its judgement free philosophy outside of its gyms and into  communities that need it most with its national philanthropic initiative, “The Judgement Free Generation™”. Together with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), the nation’s leading youth development organization,  supporting millions of kids and teens, Planet Fitness aims to empower a generation of teens to grow up  contributing to a more judgement free planet – a place where everyone feels accepted and like they belong. 

For more information or to join online, please visit https://www.planetfitness.com/gyms/kinston-nc or follow  us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/PlanetFitness) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/PlanetFitness). 

Neuse News is a locally-owned small business startup in downtown Kinston. Our goal is to provide free, hyper-local news to Lenoir, Greene and Jones counties. The kind of news our grandparents read in a format fit for today's times.

We provide this by having supportive advertisers and we encourage you to click on their ads, shop with them, and eat with them. Every bit of financial support is important to help us sustain free, hyper-local news.

Please consider supporting Neuse News with as little as $5 one-time or via a monthly option. Every little bit helps us, help you.

Planet Fitness to open new "judgement Free" gym in Kinston

Join for just $1 down on any membership, now through August. New club will offer a non-intimidating Judgement Free Zone®, extremely low prices, free fitness training included in all monthly memberships, and more Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest-growing global franchisors and operators of fitness centers with more members than any other fitness brand, today announced its new state-of-the-art fitness facility in Kinston, NC, and is expected to open in December. The location will also be offering pre-op...

Join for just $1 down on any membership, now through August. 

New club will offer a non-intimidating Judgement Free Zone®, extremely low prices, free fitness training included in all monthly memberships, and more 

Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest-growing global franchisors and operators of fitness centers with more members than any other fitness brand, today announced its new state-of-the-art fitness facility in Kinston, NC, and is expected to open in December. The location will also be offering pre-opening discounts to join early and save at the new club located at 4050 W Vernon Ave Kinston, NC 28504.

Through the end of August, you can join online for only $1 down and pay nothing until the club officially opens its doors. This special offer is only available online and locks in your rate on all memberships. This includes the Classic Card which offers unlimited usage of the new facility, and the most popular, the PF Black Card®, which offers immediate access to work out at any nearby Planet Fitness. The PF Black Card® also gives you the ability to bring a guest every day to the club at no additional charge, access to all 2,400+ Planet Fitness locations, as well as access to the Black Card®Spa which houses salon-grade tanning booths, HydroMassage loungers, massage chairs, and an all-new wellness pod. Join the Kinston, NC Planet Fitness by visiting https://www.planetfitness.com/gyms/kinston-nc. 

All joins instantly get exclusive access to the free Planet Fitness App, unlocking pre-opening features including fun family workouts you can do at home to get gym ready, plus other PF trainer and celebrity-led  workouts. Track all your progress through the in-app activity tracker and log weekly accomplishments to stay motivated. 

Members can also sign up and attend free group training through PE@PF, included with every membership. The program features classes for first-time gym users to design their own workout routine; a great way to navigate the club and focus on individual fitness goals.

Once open, the new club will be open and staffed 24 hours, Monday through Thursday, 12 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Friday, and 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The new Planet Fitness in Kinston will be clean and spacious, offering 20,000 sq. feet, and:

• Tons of state-of-the-art cardio and strength equipment 

• Expansive free weights section, plus dedicated abs and stretching area 

• 30-minute guided workout that takes the guesswork out of your routine 

• Cross training area with kettlebells, TRX suspension bands, and battle ropes • Free highspeed Wi-Fi included with all memberships 

• 60” HDTVs spanning the length of the gym, with wireless connections to all cardio equipment • Private locker rooms with resort style amenities, including granite countertops, tile, day lockers individual changing areas, and showers 

• Black Card® Spa area for PF Black Card® members, featuring private lounge and access to upgraded amenities, including: 

o Multi-level, premium tanning beds featuring hybrid light technology 

o HydroMassage Loungers and massage chairs 

o Total Body Enhancement to energize you pre-workout and relax you post workout

o All New Wellness Pod for Relaxation. 

“This club will have the best of the best when it comes to fitness, with plenty of cardio to make sure you can get in and out for a workout on any schedule,” said Excel Fitness CEO and President CJ Bouchard, “We have members already joining and they’re pumped to take this step towards improving their health.”

Stay tuned for details on the planned opening in December. For more information, including a virtual tour of the new club or to join online, please visit https://www.planetfitness.com/gyms/kinston-nc or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/PlanetFitness) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/PlanetFitness).

Neuse News is a locally-owned small business startup in downtown Kinston. Our goal is to provide free, hyper-local news to Lenoir, Greene and Jones counties. The kind of news our grandparents read in a format fit for today's times.

We provide this by having supportive advertisers and we encourage you to click on their ads, shop with them, and eat with them. Every bit of financial support is important to help us sustain free, hyper-local news.

Please consider supporting Neuse News with as little as $5 one-time or via a monthly option. Every little bit helps us, help you.

Firefighter prevents tragedy at group home in Kinston

KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) - A first responder says he was doing his job, but he’s being called a hero for preventing a tragedy at a group home in Lenoir County.Kinston Fire & Rescue went to perform a routine inspection of Barnes Group Homes on December 11th in Kinston.Inspector Randy Jones says he noticed that the facility had gas furnaces and appliances, but no carbon monoxide detectors.He says the owner immediately installed them per his instructions and four days later they returned on a call for service.&...

KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) - A first responder says he was doing his job, but he’s being called a hero for preventing a tragedy at a group home in Lenoir County.

Kinston Fire & Rescue went to perform a routine inspection of Barnes Group Homes on December 11th in Kinston.

Inspector Randy Jones says he noticed that the facility had gas furnaces and appliances, but no carbon monoxide detectors.

He says the owner immediately installed them per his instructions and four days later they returned on a call for service.

“They responded and found out that it was indeed not the fire alarm but one of the carbon monoxide alarms that was going off, and at that time they took verification readings with our gas monitors that we have on our apparatus, and they verified that there were elevated readings of carbon monoxide inside the structure,” says Jones.

Jones says all the residents were safely evacuated and the alarm was set off by a leak in the line going to the gas stove.

Anthony Foster says his grandmother lives across the street and he’s thankful the worst didn’t happen.

“I’m a people person and I care about people you know so I been knowing these people for a while so that was a good idea helping people out I’m glad they’re okay and everything,” says Foster.

Jones says people need to know that carbon monoxide is a silent killer.

“Odorless, you can’t smell it, you don’t know it’s there. If it’s starting to build up you could easily go to sleep at night not realizing that the gas is building up and it will get to the point where you may not be able to wake up the next morning,” says Jones.

Although Jones is being called a hero by many, he says he doesn’t consider himself one and that he just did what he was sworn to do.

Jones says any home that has a fuel-burning source should have a smoke detector as well as a carbon monoxide detector installed.

Copyright 2023 WITN. All rights reserved.

Drive-in theater opens in Kinston

A recent movie showing of “The Grinch” unveiled the opening of a new drive-in movie theater for area residents in Kinston at the Lenoir County Fairgrounds.All 12 members of the Lenoir County Rotaract, a local service organization dedicated to community outreach founded in 2016, hosted their fourth annual drive-in theater fundraiser by opening the drive-in on Dec. 9 with a showing of “The Grinch.”The theater is set up at the county fairgrounds, located at 401 Fairgrounds Road in Kinston.Caitlin Wil...

A recent movie showing of “The Grinch” unveiled the opening of a new drive-in movie theater for area residents in Kinston at the Lenoir County Fairgrounds.

All 12 members of the Lenoir County Rotaract, a local service organization dedicated to community outreach founded in 2016, hosted their fourth annual drive-in theater fundraiser by opening the drive-in on Dec. 9 with a showing of “The Grinch.”

The theater is set up at the county fairgrounds, located at 401 Fairgrounds Road in Kinston.

Caitlin Wilson, secretary of Lenoir County Rotaract, said 100 tickets were made available days before the event and the show was sold out hours before the gates opened at 5:30 p.m.

Regular admission was $20, with $35 tickets sold for people wanting to park in the VIP section, in the first two rows of the theater, Wilson said.

“We had 100 tickets made available and all were sold out,” Wilson said. “We had 80 cars out there at the fairgrounds. We had about 20 cars in the VIP section.”

Before the movie showing at 7 p.m., families got the chance to play games that included a high striker to test out the kids’ strength and they were able to grab some food from a food truck. Children also had the chance to interact and take pictures with the Grinch himself.

Rotaract set up at least two speakers so people close to the screen could hear the movie. Audio was also set up for the movie through the 89.1 FM radio station and movie-goers were able to hear the movie in their cars, Wilson said.

Wilson said the idea to create a drive-in theater, the first permanent one in Kinston in about four decades, came about when Rotaract was looking for a way to make their annual drive-in theater fundraiser happen much more often.

“We started the first one in 2020 around COVID time and it was there to give the community something to do at that time,” Wilson said. “We wanted to make it where we can have this happen more often for the community, instead of doing it just once or twice a year.

“We love to go to the movies and it’s a completely different feeling sitting outside to watch a movie.”

Wilson also said through community feedback, it allowed Rotaract members the chance to think about purchasing a new drive-in theater screen that is more secure than their previous blow-up screen.

“We had people saying they wanted to have a better screen because before, we had to tape up our blow-up screen in case of tears or preventing it from flying away because of wind,” Wilson said.

With support from the Lenoir County fair office and other local nonprofits, Rotaract began constructing their new permanent drive-in theater at the fairgrounds at the beginning of December.

Hightower Communications, a wireless communications contractor on West Cashwell Drive, helped Rotaract dig up holes in the ground to set up light poles before constructing the new screen, Wilson said.

Blizzard Building Supply, a building materials supplier in Kinston on Walston Avenue, supplied plywood and other materials to help construct a new and durable drive-in movie screen.

Hope Restorations, a nonprofit that provides housing and support services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness, helped Rotaract members with construction.

Wilson said Hope Restorations started construction on Dec. 4 and finished the very next day.

As for the plywood screen, it was durable enough to withstand windy conditions and there were no technical issues during the movie, Wilson said.

The event raised about $2,250 in ticket sales and team members plan to use part of the money to not only get a new projector with higher quality, but also donate to local nonprofits like Hope Restorations who were a big part of the drive-in theater’s construction, Wilson said.

“We donate part of this money to them not just for helping us, but to help them accomplish their goals and missions,” she said.

“This is an epic statement from all the clubs that helped set this up and make this possible.”

Wilson said the location could be used for more fundraising events in the future, and be given to other local groups who wish to host their own drive-in movie events.

“We have ideas to have another drive-in movie event in the spring next year, but we cannot confirm anything yet,” she said. “Still, the more people that know about this, the better.”

With loss of Wood Ducks, Kinston’s baseball future cloudy

It is never a great day when a market like Kinston, N.C., loses pro baseball. Grainger Stadium opened in 1949 as a replacement for Grainger Park, the former home to pro baseball in Kinston. The Kinston Eagles/Blue Jays/Indians began play in 1978 before departing in 2011, while the Down East Wood Ducks began play in 2017.Kinston is not a large community–just 19,000 or so–and for years the team was kept alive by owner Cam McRae, a major Bojangles franchisee. ...

It is never a great day when a market like Kinston, N.C., loses pro baseball. Grainger Stadium opened in 1949 as a replacement for Grainger Park, the former home to pro baseball in Kinston. The Kinston Eagles/Blue Jays/Indians began play in 1978 before departing in 2011, while the Down East Wood Ducks began play in 2017.

Kinston is not a large community–just 19,000 or so–and for years the team was kept alive by owner Cam McRae, a major Bojangles franchisee. When the Texas Rangers placed a new franchise at Grainger Stadium as part of the dissolution of two Cal League teams (Bakersfield and High Desert) and addition of two Carolina League teams (the other was the Buies Creek Astros, which later became the Fayetteville Woodpeckers), the move was seen as a temporary one while the Rangers sought a new ballpark for the team.

That search was impacted by COVID-19, but what forced pro ballpark out of Kinston to a new ballpark in Spartanburg in the end was MiLB’s new facilities rules, set to totally kick in for the 2025 season. The Texas Rangers sold the Wood Ducks and transferred the team’s lease to Diamond Baseball Holdings (DBH), which announced the move to a new Spartanburg, S.C. ballpark. To meet the new standards would require a boatload of money for a ballpark with some serious physical challenges, such as a location in a a flood plain, we’re told, while doing business in a community of 19,000.

Publicly, the city is projecting optimism about pro baseball being played at Grainger Stadium, per the Free Press:

Asked if that means Kinston will actively recruit a new baseball team, Barwick said, “We know that DBH owns many teams and franchises but we have not yet met with their management to discuss their long term plans in Kinston. We look forward to working with the new ownership to continue Kinston’s baseball legacy.”

This is a message the Texas Rangers also championed.

“We will be working with Diamond Baseball Holdings to explore options to keep baseball being played at Grainger Stadium in the future,” said Neil Leibman, Rangers’ President of Business Operations in the news release.

In the new MLB-run baseball world, however, keeping baseball alive doesn’t necessarily mean the involvement of Minor League Baseball. A few insiders have suggested the more likely course here is the acquisition of a summer-collegiate Appalachian League team to replace the Wood Ducks after the move to Spartanburg. Whether DBH operates the team or basically leases the team out to one of the groups running most Appy League operations won’t really matter. (Also part of any deal: the Grainger Stadium lease, running through 2031.) The important thing will be the survival of baseball at a lovely old ballpark that, while perhaps being economically obsolete and physically challenged, is still a wonderful place to take in a game.

RELATED STORIES: DBH buys Down East, Hickory; will move Wood Ducks to new downtown Spartanburg ballpark; Down East Wood Ducks Unveil Logos; 2017 Best Logo/Branding: Down East Wood Ducks; Down East Wood Ducks / Grainger Stadium

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