Good News Friday: Meet NC’s first barbecue hall-of-famers

Eastern North Carolina pulled pork is the jewel in our state's culinary crown. (Photo via Christian Geischeder on Wikimedia)

By Leah Sherrell

March 8, 2024

Accolades for the masters of the pitmasters, honors for a groundbreaking NC State program, and more good news from around the state. 

Welcome back to Good New Friday, our weekly installment of good news from around North Carolina. This week we’ll get into a special birthday, major props for the NC State Wolfpack,  and more. 

Charlotte Woman Celebrates 105 

Charlotte’s Mary Elizabeth Thompson celebrated her 105th birthday this week!

Surrounded by family and friends she joked with ABC11 that while she’s well into centenarian status, she feels like she’s only 25.

According to the 2020 Census Bureau data, for every 100,000 people in NC, there are only about five who are 105 years or older. 

NC State Achieves Enduring Science Award

An NC State STEM hub for K-12 students has been recognized with the Enduring Achievement Award. The award from the Center for Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS) is given to individuals and organizations that have an impact on society and research engagement.

The Science House at NC State has creative innovative science programs that engage underserved communities like the NC Science Olympiad, an agriculture discovery camp, and the Homework Haven, which helps K-6 students complete their homework after school. 

Franklin Square Park is Getting an Upgrade

The town of Southport is reopening its Franklin Square Park after voting to spend $50,000 to restore it. 

The park was closed in December because several trees had become a hazard. The funds will remove some trees and prevent others from falling.

First NC BBQ Hall of Fame 

The first class of NC barbecue pitmasters was inducted into the NC BBQ Hall of Fame last Friday. 

The pitmasters are those who helped create and continue North Carolina’s original barbeque tradition—which is “pork cooked over live wood coals.”

The inductees come from all over the state. They include Wayne Monk, owner of Lexington BBQ, Charles Stamey of Stamey’s Barbecue in Greensboro, and Pete Jones, the founder of Skylight Inn BBQ in Ayden. 


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A post shared by Skylight Inn BBQ (@skylightinnbbq)


For our guide to the best eastern NC barbecue in the state, go here


  • Leah Sherrell

    Leah Sherrell is a multimedia reporter for Cardinal & Pine. A graduate of UNC-Wilmington, she's a resident of Kernersville with a background in video production and communication. Leah uses many forms of media to explore the multifaceted lifestyles and cultures present in North Carolina.



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