Onslow Co. students learn about local government in Close Up event


ONSLOW COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT)–Students in one eastern county received an up close look at how local government works during an annual Close Up event.

Onslow County students spent the day with local government from county commissioners to the sheriff. Part of the day included reenacting a commissioner’s meeting where students were the ones in charge.

“We hear a lot from our state but it’s interesting to hear from our county instead,” Maggie Baile, a senior at Jacksonville High School, said. “Coming to conferences and hearing from people who are in on the action will help us have more well-rounded opinions instead of just making things up that matter to us personally.”

Of course, actual commissioners were on hand during the mock meeting to help students with the process.

“It’s good to see the kids getting involved and getting a chance to talk directly to the people that impact their lives,” Commissioner Mark Price said. “They get a chance to ask the questions.”

Also during the event was a Q&A with District Attorney Ernie Lee. Students asked him tough questions about trying capital cases.

“This day and age government plays a big factor in everyday lives,” Erik Hrudka, a student at Southwest High School, said. “Learning any bit you can and how you can grow up and prepare to help influence your community or even on a bigger scale definitely gives you that much more of an advantage.”

Students ended the day with a trip to the airport, where they worked closely with the sheriff’s office K9 unit and received a behind the scenes tour of the inner workings of OAJ.

This is the 29th year of the annual event.

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