Down East Seniors welcome division commander

Published 3:17 pm Friday, April 7, 2017

The Down East Seniors Club held its April 5 meeting at the Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington. President Stewart Rumley led the meeting. Mark Eakes led the singing of “God Bless America,” and Chip Ide gave the invocation. Dick Paul provided humor.

Ed Bolen introduced Lt. Katherine Bryant, division commander of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center, as the guest speaker. Bryant said the jail (as the Detention Center is commonly called) is a collection of holding cells, housing inmates until they are brought to trial. The Beaufort County jail employs 20 staff members to operate the facility that contains approximately 80 inmates. About 20 more inmates are housed in nearby county jails at a cost of $40 per day each because the Beaufort County jail is not large enough to house them. Inmates awaiting trial and unable to make bail have been held anywhere from one hour to four years. The jail was built in 1969 and expanded in 1985. The building is not routinely maintained, so many systems in it are obsolete or worn out. Because there is no kitchen in the building, meals are prepared by a contractor in Plymouth and brought here. Following Hurricane Matthew, flooding prevented the delivery of the meals, so the inmates had to be moved to other jails until the flooding subsided. More problems were also listed.

Len Huber won the 50/50 drawing.