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November 23, 2012

Beach Klub in Avon is expanding for 2013 season

If you visit Koru Village in Avon, you are no stranger to its continuous expansion. What started off as a day spa, expanded to a wellness center and has now grown into a one-of-a-kind resort on Hatteras Island.

In November of 2011, Koru Village purchased the Beach Klub and by May of 2012, the Beach Klub was home to North Carolina’s first oceanfront theater, The PapaWack Theatre. From May to August, the Beach Klub hosted a range of events from beach music concerts to weddings.

Throughout 2012 a lot of notes were taken on what was needed to improve the new venue for the 2013 season.

“In 2012 we worked seven days a week to have the Beach Klub and PapaWack Theatre open for the season. This winter we are going back in and adding several additional layers to the project that will enhance the guests’ experience,” said owner of Koru Village Joe Thompson.

The Beach Klub is back under construction with four new projects -- an outdoor lounge area, an enclosed recreation center, a private catering kitchen, and a tiki bar.

Owner of Endurance Marine Construction, Dave Swanner, is spearheading most of the venues’ renovations.

“I’ve been working with Joe since 1985. Most of the work I am doing at the Beach Klub is structural. I will be building new foundations and framing them. I will also be working with Joe to improve the theater’s acoustics,” said Swanner.

Weddings are a driving factor behind some of the renovations. Thompson cited recommendations from Chef Tracy Morris of The Catering Company of Hatteras Island and Frisco Sandwich Company as invaluable to making the venue more accommodating to wedding parties.

"The new additions to the Beach Klub are an incredible asset to my businesses and the wedding industry here on Hatteras Island. We are fortunate to have a facility with a state of the art kitchen and full bar setting where we can create a unique experience full of wonderful memories,” said Chef Morris.

The Beach Klub renovations will be complete by April, 2013. The venue will host its first wedding in April and its first event for the 2013 summer season in May.
For updates about the Beach Klub’s renovations, visit

Deep Blue Detailing now serving the islands

Jeff Morey has opened Deep Blue Detailing Services on Ocracoke.

The business offers services on Hatteras and Ocracoke. The services include pressure washing of decks (including cleaning and sealing), houses (including windows), driveways and concrete, and heavy equipment. Deep Blue also offers mobile auto and marine detailing services that includes cars, trucks, RVs, boats, and golf carts.

Morey, 31, grew up in Camden and previously lived on the Outer Banks in both Nags Head and Corolla.

“It has been my dream to move to Ocracoke and start this business,” he says. “I saw this as a need for the community and a good business opportunity.”

He studied business administration at College of the Albemarle for a year and a half and was previously employed with R.A. Jeffrey's Distributing Company of North Carolina, the state’s largest Anheuser-Busch distributor and the sixth largest in the country, as a key accounts manager.

 Deep Blue’s services are insured, and the company offers gift certificates and fleet discounts, as well as free estimates on pressure washing services.

For more information, check the website at or call Morey at 252-588-2306.

October 4, 2012

Free business counseling offered every Tuesday

The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth, and success of small businesses nationwide.

The group is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration with 389 chapters and 11,500 volunteers nationwide.

Local chapter provide free counseling and low-cost workshops in their communities.

The Outer Banks SCORE chapter has counselors at the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce office in Kill Devil Hills every Tuesday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.  You can just drop in.

More information is available on the chapter’s website,

October 3, 2012

Ocracoke group gets money for historic preservation

The Ocracoke Preservation Society has recently been awarded a grant of nearly $4,000 from the Outer Banks Community Foundation for the purchase of specialized computer equipment.
The equipment, which will be used to catalog and digitize OPS’s extensive collection of photographs, slides, wills, deeds, and other documents, includes a digital slide converter, hand held scanner, photo scanner, dedicated laptop, and appropriate software.
The goal is to preserve island history and to continue to educate the public about Ocracoke’s heritage, an on-going project in which OPS has been engaged through its museum, seasonal porch talks, conservation of culturally significant property, and through stewardship of 200-plus structures that are listed on the National Register.
The equipment will also be available to the Ocracoke School and Community Library, island residents, business owners and other organizations for conversion of their photos, slides, negatives, diaries, and other documents pertaining to Ocracoke history, culture, and families.
Once photographs and documents are cataloged and digitized, selected items will be added to the OPS web site,  The entire collection will be made available to local organizations and businesses to promote cultural and heritage tourism on Ocracoke.
“This is a project that will benefit the entire island community,” said Bill Jones, OPS president. “One of Ocracoke’s greatest assets is its culture. The preservation of vintage photographs and historic documents will help strengthen our sense of heritage and attract visitors who also value our culture and traditions.”

October 2, 2012

Anglers Club supports Hatteras Island Food Pantry
Cape Hatteras Anglers Club Vice President  Bill Vancura presents a donation check for $1,200 to the United Methodist Men for their Hatteras Island Food Pantry. 

 Pictured from left to right are  Rev.Ken Davenport, Ray Schaaf, Bill Vancura, Walt Fulcher, and Dennis Carroll.

Surf or Sound is a drop-off point for island food pantries

More than a year after Hurricane Irene ripped through the villages of Hatteras Island, two local food pantries are still managing to successfully meet the demand of the island and surrounding areas. 

Both local food pantries are in continual need of supplies and donations in order to maintain this level of support throughout the winter months.  Surf or Sound Realty offices in Avon and Salvo continue to serve as year-round drop-off locations for both the Lifeboat Community Food Pantry in Salvo and the Hatteras Island Food Pantry in Buxton.  Vacationing guests are asked to donate any unopened, nonperishable food items or unused supplies upon checking out of their rental homes.

Steven M. Simmons, Pastor of Lifeboat Community Church, mentions that families come from all over to stock up on needed supplies. 

“We currently serve over 400 families,” he says. 

LCCFP is in need of nonperishable food items such as canned goods, cereal, and peanut butter.  There is also a need for supplies such as toiletries, toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning supplies.  “This is as empty as our cupboards have been,” states Pastor Simmons. 

Vacation specialist for Surf or Sound Realty, Peggy Gray, commented that donations are continuing to be made at a steady rate. 

“About one third of the guests donate items when checking-out each week,” she said.  Donations range from a few canned goods to two or three bags full of items and supplies per family group.  A.J. Baker, maintenance technician for Surf or Sound Realty, estimates that around 30to 40 pounds of items are donated each week by guests checking out of Surf or Sound’s Salvo office.

Hatteras Island Food Pantry in Buxton, run by the Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men, also serves the residents of all seven villages and accepts donations on a continual basis.

Residents in the community and visitors are encouraged to drop-off donated items for the current annual food drive at either the Salvo or Avon office locations.

Monetary donations for the Hatteras Island Food Pantry can be made payable by check to United Methodist Men and mailed to Hatteras Island Food Pantry, P.O. Box 1591, Buxton, NC 27920.  Monetary donations for Lifeboat Community Church can be dropped off at 27563 Highway 12 in Salvo, or by mailing checks to Lifeboat Community Church, P.O. Box 84, Salvo, NC 27972.

Surf or Sound Realty, a premier vacation rental and property sales company since 1978, manages vacation homes in all seven villages of Hatteras Island. For vacation information, please visit or call 1-800-237-1138.

Dresses made by Buxton women find their way to Haitian children
The Buxton United Methodist Women recently sent 68 dresses they had made, plus shorts, T-shirts, and handmade sun hats, to orphanages in Haiti.  They were carried by Joseph Williams, a missionary with Feed the Hungry, a division of New Directions. 
On Sunday, Sept. 30, Williams shared with the Buxton congregation details about the two children's homes where he distributed the gifts, as well as pictures of the children who received the clothing.  His team visited several homes and decided that Life Saver Orphanage and CHOAIDS Home, both in Port-au-Prince, were the most in need.
Life Saver Orphanage was founded after the devastating earthquake of Jan. 12, 2010.  All of these children lost their parents in this natural disaster.  The home is run by "Papa" Paul Williams and his wife, who teach the childen to play instruments and sing.   CHOAIDS Home was founded in December of 2003.  Each of the children were born with AIDS, and almost all also lost their parents to the disease.  The children are visited twice a week by a government health worker,and attend school as their health allows. 
The team from Feed the Hungry also distributed shoes, Bibles, toys ,and candy to the delighted youngsters.

September 5, 2012

Buxton women make dresses for Haitian youngsters

In the spring, the Buxton United Methodist Women’s group was looking for a missions project.  Several of the members had heard about sewing dresses to send to the children orphaned by the earthquake in Haiti in January, 2010.  At one of the meetings, the group watched some short films about the devastation brought about by the earthquake.  About 1.3 million people were displaced with most now living in tent camps.  Many children were orphaned, and many others were taken to orphanages because their parents were no longer able to care for them.

 The women have been meeting monthly since May to cut out fabric and sew dresses to send with Sue Morris’ missionary son-in-law, who is going to Haiti this month.  There were 68 dresses ready to be sent.  The group also collected boys’ shorts and had T-shirts for boys and girls donated, as well as crocheted sun hats.  Many people helped with the project. Several people who heard about the project donated fabric, thread, lace, and even sewing machines.

On Sunday, Aug. 19, the dresses and other clothes were displayed in Buxton United Methodist Church and were blessed by Pastor Ken Davenport during the service.  They have now begun their journey to Haiti

July 30, 2012

Water Spout Near Coquina Beach and Bodie Island Lighthouse

The unsettled weather on the Outer Banks on Monday morning, July 30, spawned a waterspout off the Coquina Beach area of Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  The waterspout  then swept across the barrier island and danced around the Bodie Island  Lighthouse before dissipating over land. (National Park Service photos)
Click on images to enlarge

June 5, 2012

Cancer foundation has new 2013 calendar

The Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation’s 2013 calendar, featuring local artists, will be on sale soon at various shops on the island at a cost of $10 each.

The calendars will also be for sale on the foundation’s website,
Artists and photographers who donated work to the foundation for the calendar are Jennifer Johnson, Karen Denson Miller, Trish Dempsey, Peter Lewando, Daniel Pullen, Victoria Lowe, Linda Browning, Stephanie Kiker, Buddy Swain, Don Bowers, Michael Halminski, Carole Nunnally, and Sheila Charrette.

If you want to carry the calendars in your business, contact Donna Barnett at [email protected].
The Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation raises funds to help island cancer survivors and their families with medical expenses and other support.

May 15, 2012

New sound-class ferry joins the fleet

The North Carolina Department of Transportation today christened a new sound-class ferry, the Motor Vessel Sea Level, on Friday, May 11, at Cedar Island. State Transportation Secretary Gene Conti was joined by other state and local officials at the special ceremony. Betsy Conti christened the vessel.
“This new ferry will help us further carry out our mission of connecting people and places,” Conti said. “It will be an impressive addition to the Ferry Division’s fleet and will be an ambassador for the great state of North Carolina.”
The 220-foot long vessel will carry 50 vehicles and 300 passengers on the Pamlico Sound routes from Cedar Island to Ocracoke and Swan Quarter to Ocracoke.
The $14.9 million contract was awarded in October 2010 to Orange Shipbuilding of Orange, Texas. The ferry was delivered to the shipyard in Manns Harbor in late April 2012.
The new vessel meets the Americans With Disabilities Act by featuring an ADA-compliant elevator, which has a 13 person capacity, moves 25 percent faster than existing sound-class boats, meets Environmental Protection Agency standards for diesel emissions, and is the second of two sister ships that joins the division’s existing five sound-class ferries. It will continue the tradition of ferries being affiliated with state universities, showing the Western Carolina University colors and logo.
During the 2010-2011 fiscal year, the Cedar Island and Swan Quarter routes carried more than 91,000 vehicles and 217,000 passengers to and from Ocracoke. The new vessel will go into service as soon as the crew receives the proper training.

April 23, 2012

Girl Scout Troop 1485 thanks the community

The girls from Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo, in Girl Scout Troop 1485 would like to thank the community for their support in purchasing Girl Scout cookies.  The tri-village girls were the top selling troop on Hatteras Island with more than 1,300 boxes sold, and Gabrielle Pettit was the second highest seller with 375 boxes sold.  This year, the girls will be making their donation to the North Carolina Aquarium and their Gift In Kind cookies will be donated to the fire stations on Hatteras Island.

In the photo with the “thank-you” banner are, left to right,  Gabrielle Pettit, Sydney Brown, Emmiline Baker, Mia Phillips and Jobell Porter. (Not shown:  Alina Rickert, Jorah Midgette, and Madison Midgett)

In the photo of making the banner are, left to right, Mia Phillips, Jobell Porter, Emmiline Baker, Gabrielle Pettit and Sydney Brown.

April 11, 2012

Liza Lutz is new Island Free Press ad sales manager

Liza Hutter Lutz is the new advertising sales manager for The Island Free Press. 

She is best known to many on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands for her position selling advertising for The Island Breeze for five years, beginning in 2000.

“We are really pleased that Liza has returned to The Outer Banks and will be using her skills in sales and marketing with The Island Free Press,” said Irene Nolan, IFP editor. “She will be an asset to the newspaper and to the businesses on the Outer Banks.”

 Lutz moved to the Outer Banks in 1994 from Maryland, where she was the manager of Papa’s Garden, a clothing and specialty shop.  After managing the Duck and Kill Devil Hills stores for Papa’s Garden, she moved to Hatteras in 1997 to manage a store here. In 2000, she began working in advertising sales for The Island Breeze, a job she held for five years. 

She and her husband, Matt Lutz, were married in 2004.  The couple left Hatteras in 2007 and relocated to Chesapeake, Va., and eventually to Baltimore, Md. Liza and Matt, however, missed the Outer Banks too much and moved back earlier this year. They live in Kitty Hawk with their daughters Isabel, 7, and Chloe, 3.

“We missed island living too much,” says Lutz.  “We are happy now.”

You can reach Lutz at 252-573-1759 or [email protected].

Garden sites available at Hatteras Island Community Garden

Need a spot to grow your own fresh, organic vegetables year-round?  Coastal Harvesters, Inc. (CHI) now has garden sites available for rent at the Hatteras Island Community Garden in Buxton.   Each site, comprised of a 4- by 4-foot raised-bed box filled with soil, can be leased for a small yearly fee. 

 The garden is located behind Fox Watersport’s parking lot on Highway 12.  It is situated on high ground, providing ample protection from flood and wind. Both novice and experienced gardeners are welcome to join. 

“This is an opportunity for community members to gather, garden and learn about sustainable garden practices” said Bernie Tetreault, vice president of CHI.

For more information contact garden co-manager, Carol Bauer at 252-995-0115.

CHI is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing fresh, healthy foods to Outer Banks communities.  The group also organized the Hatteras Island Farmers’ Market held during the past two summer seasons. Development of the garden is supported, in part, by a grant from the Outer Banks Community Foundation.

Administrative officer chosen for Outer Banks Group

The National Park Service has announced that Dean Mark was recently selected as the new administrative officer for the Outer Banks Group, which includes Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Wright Brothers National Memorial, and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.

Mark is currently the administrative officer at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office in Honolulu, Hawaii, and has more than 28 years of administrative experience.  He served in the U.S Air Force for 21 years at various locations in the U.S. and around the world.  He then began a civil service career, working in Hawaii as an education program coordinator with the Walanse Coast Comprehensive Health Center and later as the Office of Board Services director with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, before transferring to his present location.

“Dean Mark comes to us with a diversity of experience and will be a great addition to the NPS family at the Outer Banks,” said Deputy Superintendent Darrell Echols.  “He has extensive experience in administration, a unique ability to analyze and develop operational efficiencies, and has outstanding project and personnel management skills.  We are very excited to have him as our Administrative Officer.”

Dean and one of his daughters will be arriving in the Outer Banks in early June, but the rest of his family will arrive mid- to late-summer. 

“My family and I are truly excited about moving to the Outer Banks and experiencing life on the East Coast,” Mark said.  “Born and raised in Hawaii with its limited resources, I understand the importance of the conservation of our natural resources and our nation’s historical heritage.  I am honored to become a part of the Outer Banks Group to effectively engage in the direct support of its mission to conserve the natural and historic objects and the wild life in our national parks.”

Community Garden grows produce for food pantries

Coastal Harvesters Inc. (CHI) and Dare County Master Gardeners grew an abundance of fresh produce for Hatteras Island food pantries this season.  Approximately 370 pounds of locally grown vegetables were donated to the Salvo and Buxton pantries between November and March.   The harvest included lettuce, collards, cabbage, broccoli, mustard greens, kale, radishes and various herbs. 

The food was grown at CHI’s Hatteras Island Community Garden located in Buxton, as well as Oscar Gray’s garden in Avon.  Home Depot of Kitty Hawk donated the bulk of the bedding plants for the two sites this past fall.  The resulting crop was grown to benefit Hatteras Island communities impacted by Hurricane Irene.

“Everyone appreciates it.  It is a real blessing to get the freshest possible vegetables ever and you can’t get fresher than this. The quality is amazing,” stated Melinda Baker, whose family operates the Salvo Food Pantry.  

Volunteers for CHI and the Master Gardener program tended the gardens and delivered the vegetables to the food pantries.  The local Girl Scout troop also contributed to the effort by planting vegetable seeds at the Buxton site.

In preparation for the warmer season, volunteers are now preparing soils and sowing a new crop of seeds at the Hatteras Island Community Garden.  Anyone interested in volunteering with the project can contact Carol Bauer at 252-489-8980.

Carolina Cords is new business on Hatteras

Carolina Cords, owned by Brian Van Druten of Buxton, makes handmade items out of 550 parachute cord (paracord).  The business was started in 2011 out of a hobby with the primary focus of making hunting related items out of paracord, such as wrist straps for archers and duck-call lanyards. 

The product line has grown as people have requested new things.  Current production includes survival bracelets, duck call lanyards, bow wrist straps, sunglasses straps, dog leashes, leads, and couplers, necklaces, key chains, barrettes, snap and loop lanyards (to hold keys, whistles, USB/thumb drives, ID badges, etc.), game carriers, and turkey totes.  Plans are in place for a few new items in 2012. 

Most recently, the company added a survivor survival bracelet, which has the breast cancer ribbon incorporated into the weave.  A portion of the sales of this item will be donated to the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation. 

You can check out Carolina Cords on Facebook – -- or e-mail the company at [email protected].   Items can be purchased through Facebook and e-mail or you can visit Frisco Rod & Gun (call lanyards and bow wrist straps) and Blue Pelican Gallery (many items).

March 28, 2012

Outer Banks Chamber president retires

The Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce today announced that John Bone, its president and CEO, is retiring. Bone has represented the needs and interest of the Outer Banks business community for nearly 30 years.

“You reach a time when you need a change in your life, now is that time for me,” Bone said.  “I am looking forward to a new chapter in my life.”

 The Chamber plans to fill the position with an interim position during the process of searching for a new president.  Bone, who will assist with the transition, began working for the Chamber in 1983 as executive officer.

“I want to thank John for his terrific contribution, dedication and participation in building a thriving Chamber of Commerce," said Robin Mann, board chairman of the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce. "John has done an amazing job building the Chamber of Commerce into an organization that is recognized as the voice of local businesses.”

The Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit business organization representing more than 1,000 members in Dare, Currituck, and Hyde counties.  For more information about the Chamber and its programs, call 252-441-8144 or visit

March 26, 2012

Jennette's Pier wins award

Mike Remige, general manger of Jennette's Pier, right, traveled to Raleigh to accept a sustainability award from Chief Deputy Secretary Manly Wilder of the state's Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DNER) last week.  The second place in the large group category was awarded for the pier’s ‘innovative and sustainable design,’ Wilder said. The ceremony was held in the Archdale Building in Raleigh. Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head is the fourth facility in the N.C. Aquariums Division of DENR. (Courtesy Jennette’s Pier / Brandon Whitesell, DENR)

Principal’s List students get a special party

The Cape Hatteras Secondary School of Coastal Studies faculty members handed each student his or her second quarter report cards on Feb. 10.  As the youths took the piece of paper and looked at it, there were many happy faces and smiles. 

The response that warmed the heart of Locomotion’s director, Kathy Kiddy, was that of a student who made the Principal’s List with all A’s and who asked, “Will Locomotion be throwing us a party”? 

“Yes” was Kiddy’s reply, and the students got their party on March 23, 2012 in the library at CHSS.

Jean Taylor, high school principal, welcomed each student as he or she took a seat at a table topped with many free coupons from Sonic. 

Taylor opened with, “We are honored to have many very talented people with us today” as she swept her hands around the room.  “You are CHSS’s finest”! 

Taylor then introduced David Oaksmith, Dare County Board of Education member.  Oaksmith contacted Taylor and Kiddy after reading about the first A-List Party.  “What a wonderful way to reward these students for their hard work and dedication to their studie,” said Oaksmith.

Kiddy then introduced Dixie Burrus Browning, accomplished writer and watercolor artist, as the guest speaker.  Ms. Dixie, a very humble woman, told the group she was born on Hatteras, grew up here, and graduated with a class of three from Hatteras Island.

“You can be anything you want-you just have to do it,” she said.

Browning is a well-known writer with 103 books published around the globe.  As everyone present watched and listened, they saw the beautiful watercolor pictures she had painted. 

“What I really wanted to be was an opera singer but I didn’t have the voice for it,” Browning told the students.

She spoke straight from her heart, which made students feel as if they had known her all their lives. 

“I’d like to be like her!” stated one student, “She’s done everything!” 

After a loud round of applause for Ms. Dixie, the students lined up for food and punch.  The party was a huge success!

Another A- List Party will be held in May.  Locomotion’s contact information is P. O. Box 1152 Buxton, NC  27920, 252- 995-6010, and to contact CHSS call (252) 995-5730 ext. 0 or stop by the school and see Debbie Etheridge in the main office. 

CHES spelling bee champs

Fifth-grade student Betty Chen, left, is Cape Hatteras Elementary School's 2012 spelling bee champ. Betty and classmate Nyah Machie went 18 rounds together after they eliminated all other participants with Betty coming out on top. Media Specialist Shauna Leggat coordinated the event, with the help of media assistant Charlotte Johnson and technology coordinator Annette O'Neal. What's especially remarkable about 10-year-old Betty's win is that she only began to learn English at the age of 7.

March 20, 2012

CHEC board authorizes special retirement of $1,575,042

Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors has authorized a special capital credit retirement to return 30 percent of the franchise tax refunded to the cooperative by the North Carolina Department of Revenue.  Checks or bill credits to CHEC members with service during 2001-2009 will be issued in late April.

The franchise tax, which was paid by the cooperative from 2001-2009, was refunded to the Cooperative and recognized as income in 2011.  The refund, including 8 percent interest, was allocated to CHEC members who had electric accounts during the years 2001-2009.  As with other margins, the balance of the franchise tax refund will be distributed with future capital credit retirements.  Capital Credits are a part of the unique, non-profit, cooperative way of doing business. 

February 29, 2012

Dare County launches redesigned website

The Dare County website,, has undergone a redesign to improve its functionality and update its look. The redesigned site includes many new features, such as expanded information on county departments and services as well as tools to provide easier navigation.

New features on the website’s home page now include an “Events and Activities” section, a Public Meetings Calendar, and featured articles highlighting important information about county services.  An expanded news section is a handy way to see the most recent news regarding Dare County. 

The updated website provides “How Do I?” and “Tax Info” tabs to better assist citizens when searching for information.  Answers to frequently asked questions about county services are given in the “How Do I?” tab.  “Tax Info” is where a wide variety of tax inquiries can quickly be made. 

Additional features on the redesigned website are the quick link tabs at the top right of the Home Page to provide fast access to news, road conditions, GIS, and more.  There are also short message boards on department pages where fast updates can be posted, such as a last minute cancellation or a newly added event.  The site features breadcrumb navigation, which allows users to see how they have progressed to a page and allows easy back up to previously viewed material. 

While the web address remains the same, many other URLs within the site are now different.  Frequent viewers who have created shortcuts or bookmarks to specific locations on the former website are asked to check them and make changes as necessary.    

Visit the new Dare County website at  Comments and questions can be directed to the Information Technology Department at 252- 475-5830.

Ocracoke after Hurricane Irene

Rosemary Smith of Derwood, Md., sent us these photos that she took on Ocracoke in September during a trip with her mother that almost didn’t happen because of Hurricane Irene on Aug. 27.

This is what she wrote to us:

“I found your site so helpful last September when my mother and I were planning our trip to Ocracoke.  Right up until the last minute I was not sure we would be able to make it onto the island.  Your timely and very helpful information allowed us to make an informed decision about whether to attempt the trip or not.  I'm so happy to say we made it -- despite crowded ferries, torrential rains, and juggling our return date.”

Rosemary says they were treated with phenomenal sunsets and cloud formations that she had never seen before.

“We're booked again for this September,” she writes, “and I can't wait to go.  Thanks for doing such a wonderful job. “Your work and effort allowed us - and so many others - to have a safe and enjoyable vacation!”

The photos include a Sept. 18 sunset on the west end of Ocracoke, clouds on Sept. 22 from the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry, and the dredge Merritt keeping the ferry channel open.


The view from Jennette’s Pier

Visitors to Jennette’s Pier in Nag’s Head this month have seen some great sights.

All winter long, pods of dolphins have been swimming past the pier, chasing fish and jumping for the sheer joy of it. On a day when the waves were great, these two dolphins first surfed a wave and then jumped out of the water.

While a steady swell rolled through on Feb. 21, to the delight of a group of hardcore winter surfers who were braving the cold ocean water, a rainbow appeared off the end of the pier.

Photos are by Daryl Law, assistant manager of the pier.

February 28, 2012

The views on Hatteras Island. . .WITH SLIDE SHOW

Nancy Hall of Martinsville, Va., sent us these photos from some of her recent trips to Hatteras Island.

An insurance broker and agent, Nancy’s first trip to Hatteras was in November of 2007, shortly after her husband died of cancer. 

“It was a healing experience that has continued with every visit,” she says after 12 visits here.

She came down with a friend in December for the Hatteras Village Christmas Parade and plans to be back next month.

Her photos include Highway 12 on Pea Island, the old Coast Guard Station on northern Pea Island, a pelican at Oden’s Dock and a sunset on the Pamlico Sound. Click here to view slide show.

February 24, 2012

Cancer foundation seeks islanders to help with transportation

The Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation has a new Facebook page that is a call to action for Hatteras Island residents to do what they do best -- helping their neighbors in need.

“Unfortunately, most of us have had cancer touch our lives in one way or another,” the foundation says on the page. “It is an ugly disease and particularly trying when the grueling treatment for this disease takes, at best, 2-hours of round-trip travel time. Many of the treatment plans require traveling off Hatteras Island five days a week.”

HICF says that you can make a difference in the life of a cancer patient and his or her family by helping provide transportation.  You can help if you know you will be traveling off the island for a shopping trip or an appointment and can offer a ride to a neighbor who really needs it. Or you can volunteer to make a trip just to help a patient get to treatment.

If you would like to help or need help with transportation, please consider joining this group at

February 17, 2012

Groups donate to CHAPA to defend ORV plan lawsuit

In top photo, Jim Keene, NCBBA director, left, and Tom Burke, NCBBA vice-president, right, present a check to John Couch, CHAPA president in the amount of $30,000 to be used by the Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance (CHAPA) in the continuing fight for free and open beaches.  

With the National Park Services’ release of the final ORV rule, the combined organizations believe the NPS has far exceeded their requirements for resource protection and severely penalized the visitors to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area.  Funds will be used in the continuing efforts to have the rule replaced by a rule reflecting responsible resource management while meeting the mandated recreational aspects of America’s first national seashore.

In bottom photo, Larry Hardham, president of the Cape Hatteras Anglers Club, LEFT, presents a $5,000 check to Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance. Accepting the check is David Scarborough.  This check brings the club’s donations to CHAP to just under $16,000 over the last two years.

The Cape Hatteras Anglers Club supports the CHAPA lawsuit filed against the NPS regarding the final ORV rule.  The Anglers Club has always supported free and open beaches at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area.  The club is frustrated with the National Park Service’s lack of response to the public’s comments in the development of the final rule.  The club also believes that proposed resource closures are excessive and will have an adverse effect on the economy here on the Outer Banks without increasing bird or sea turtle reproductive rates.

February 3, 2012

Anglers Club makes donations to Hatteras food programs

Walt Fulcher  from the Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men Food Pantry in Buxton is presented two checks by Larry Hardham, president of the Cape Hatteras Anglers Club, at the club’s January monthly dinner meeting.  The first check, in the amount of $407, was from the club’s annual November surf fishing tournament.  Roving judges and judges had requested that instead of being reimbursed for their gas used in the tournament, the club donate their gas money to the Food pantry.  The second check was from the club.  These checks bring donations to the Food Pantry to just over $2,600, in the last 12 months.

Larry Hardham, president of Cape Hatteras Anglers Club, presented a donation check for Hatteras Island Meals. Warner Quast accepted the check on behalf of the group at the club’s monthly January dinner meeting. The Anglers Club has donated a total of over $500 in the past 12 months to Hatteras Island Meals.

February 2, 2012

We're enjoying our spectacular winter sunsets...WITH SLIDE SHOW
Lynne Murray took these photos of various January sunsets from her home in Brigand's Bay in Frisco. It seems to us that we've had many more dramatic winter sunsets than usual these past few months. And it's also been warmer to go outside and photograph them.

SLIDE SHOW (IPad, IPhone and other non-flash compatible device users)

January 24, 2012

Shore Details donates to Cancer Foundation
Pam and Rene Stoffel, owners of Shore Details, a Hatteras Island property and guest services company, have donated $450 to the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation.  The donation represents the proceeds from the sale of the Shore Details Discount card, which offers residents, homeowners, and visitors discounts at various island businesses.

At the end of the year, the company nominated three island non-profits to receive the donation and posted them on the Shore Details Facebook page.  All were asked to vote for the one non-profit they wanted to see get the money.

This week, Pam Stoffel, left, presented the check to cancer foundation officers, from left, Donna Barnett, vice-president; Sydnee Slaughter, president, and Rene Burrus, vice-president for finance.

Seaside Inn has new management

The Seaside Inn, a bed and breakfast in Hatteras village, has new managers.

Chris Latimer and Tracey Zimmerman became the inn’s managers in early December.

They are focused on upgrading the property and playing a more important role in the Hatteras community, Latimer said.

Both Latimer and Zimmerman have experience in the food service industry.

Latimer, a Maryland native, has been a chef for 30 years at hotels, resorts, and country clubs in the mid-Atlantic region.  His most recent job was managing special events and catering at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., in the Shenandoah Valley.

Zimmerman, who is from Florida, was most recently director of food and beverages at Shenvalee Golf Resort in New Market, Va.

The couple decided to spend last summer on the Outer Banks. He worked at Kelly’s and she worked at Pamlico Jack’s restaurant.

“We liked it so well, we decided to stay and become permanent residents,” Latimer says.

Their new job is managing the historic Seaside Inn, which was built in 1928 and was for decades The Atlantic View Hotel, Hatteras Island’s first hotel.

The inn, which has been renovated several times, most recently in 2006, has 10 rooms, six of which are suites.  It also has a pet-friendly room with an outside entrance. The centerpiece of the inn is its large common room, and it features porches and a picnic area.

It is open year round.

Latimer says the inn is ideally suited to host weddings, reunions, and business meetings.  For the time being, he said, Seaside offers a complimentary continental breakfast with homemade breads and muffins and an expanded hot breakfast menu at an additional cost.

Currently, the inn can host events by other caterers, but Latimer said he hopes that soon the management can handle the catering for events there.

He also says that the inn wants to be more community oriented and is offering its common area for meetings of clubs and civic groups.

“A lot of local people,” Latimer says, “have a special place in their heart for this place.”

For more information, go to the Facebook page at!/seasideinnhatteras?sk=info

Hatteras Island Boardsports building new facility

Hatteras Island Boardsports surf shop has announced that it has begun construction of a 5,400 square-foot facility in Avon located immediately adjacent to its current location and across Highway 12 from the Avon Fishing Pier that will open in the spring of 2012. 

The facility, designed in collaboration with and built by Rick Albaugh of Avon will include 3,700 square feet of retail space, office and warehousing, and an apartment.

"It was important to us to come up with a building concept that complements the natural beauty and history of Hatteras Island and we believe that Rick (Albaugh) has done just that.  We view it as something that is a part of the community and we live here so we want it to fit in and be something that locals and visitors can enjoy. We're anxious to see the finished product," said co-owner Kevin Scalia.

Hatteras Island Boardsports was established in 2002.

"We're excited to be opening our 10th anniversary in our new building!" said Kevin.

Hatteras Island Boardsports will continue to offer its customers the same service and product offerings that it has since 2002.

"Building the new shop is more about growing than it is about expanding if that makes any sense.  We're adding a couple of brands to the current lineup of fantastic companies that we work with and we'll have a little more overall, but the goal has always been to improve our presence and our ability to provide great service to our customers," said co-owner Drew Scalia  "It has never been about becoming a superstore for us.”

Hatteras Island Boardsports will be posting progress photos and updates to their Facebook page at and a Flickr photo page at .

Jed Dixon is new deputy director of Ferry Division

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has named John E. (Jed) Dixon as the new deputy director for the Ferry Division. He begins his new duties immediately and will oversee the day-to-day operations of all seven routes.
“Jed’s education, experience, and performance makes him far and away the best candidate for the job,” said NCDOT Deputy Secretary for Transit Paul Morris.
Dixon has worked for the Ferry Division for eight years, serving as a Ferry Master for seven years and District 1 Superintendent (Hatteras, Currituck, Ocracoke and Swan Quarter operations) since September, 2010. He holds both a 1600-ton Ocean Master and Second Mate Unlimited license and is also licensed as an N.C. General Contractor.
Ferry Director Harold Thomas said, “We are pleased that Jed is joining us in this capacity and have great confidence in his abilities to serve the coastal residents and visitors who use our ferry system.”
Jed is a 1999 graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation. After graduation, he served eight years as a commissioned officer in the Navy Reserve/Merchant Marine Reserve and achieved the rank of lieutenant while he was working for the NCDOT Ferry Division.
Recently Dixon was appointed to the Oregon Inlet Waterways Commission and serves as vice chair. He is married to Amy Dixon of Manteo and the couple has a son Cal, 6, and a daughter June, 3.

January 18,  2012

Anglers Club donates to fire departments and rescue squads

Every year Cape Hatteras Anglers Club makes a donation to the fire department and rescue squads on Hatteras Island.   The presentations were made at the monthly dinner meeting on Saturday, Jan. 14, at the club.  Accepting the checks on the front row, from left to right, are Mary Ellon Ballance from the Hatteras Volunteer Fire Department, Kay Knowles from the Salvo Fire Department, Dianne LaNasa from Hatteras Island Rescue Squad.  Back row. from left to right are  Dave Davidson from Frisco Fire Department, Chet Bailey from Chicamacomico Banks Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, Clyde Stowe from the Buxton Fire Department, and Joe Gallagher from Avon Fire Department.

January 18,  2012

Community Garden donates produce to Salvo food pantry

Coastal Harvesters Inc. (CHI) and Dare County Master Gardeners harvested and donated fresh, locally grown vegetables to the Salvo Food Pantry this past week.   Approximately 15 pounds of collard and cabbage greens, along with chives, were picked from CHI’s Hatteras Island Community Garden, located in Buxton.  Radishes and mustard greens also planted at the garden by Hatteras Island Girl Scouts were added to the donation. 

Home Depot of Kitty Hawk gave bedding plants this fall to the Master Gardeners “Seeds for Salvo” initiative.  The vegetable crop now growing at the Buxton site and an additional site in Avon is intended to benefit Hatteras Island communities impacted by Hurricane Irene.

The Salvo Food Pantry, working under Food Bank of the Albemarle, reaches many local people, with 196 families served in December.  Most recipients live on Hatteras Island, though some have come as far away as Ocracoke and Currituck.  The Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men Food Pantry in Buxton received donations of lettuce, collards, and herbs from the Community Garden earlier this winter.

January 17,  2012

Archaeological society and English university plan another dig on Hatteras

The Croatoan Archaeological Society (CAS) has announced that the University of Bristol, England will be returning to Hatteras Island to conduct another archaeological excavation under the direction of Professor Mark Horton.

This year the lead graduate student working under the direct supervision of Horton is Fred Neville-Jones. Another 10 undergraduate and graduate students of archaeology will assist in the excavation process.

Horton and the team will be on Hatteras from March 25 - April 5. The Croatoan Archaeological Society will again be serving as the local liaison for the university.

Also, the Croatoan Archaeological Society is planning a series of community dinners and events during the digs to provide ample opportunity for the community members to meet Horton, Neville-Jones, and the accompanying students. Horton will be speaking to the community about some of his findings and research, and the community will be given the opportunity to ask questions. In addition, the community members will have a chance to bring in their own personal artifacts for Horton to examine.

The CAS is hoping to arrange a dinner/event in each of the villages. Currently, the Kinnakeet Civic Association has confirmed that it will be hosting a potluck dinner for  CAS and the University of Brist6ol on Friday evening, March 30. 

The Croatoan Archaeological Project is an ongoing archaeological research project being conducted by Horton in conjunction with the Croatoan Archaeological Society (CAS). 

In November, 2009, Horton and graduate student Louisa Pittman conducted test pits on Hatteras Island with members of the CAS.

 In April, 2010, Horton and Pittman returned to Hatteras with nine undergraduate and graduate students to conduct a full-scale archaeological dig on the island with CAS serving as the local liaison. In April, 2011, the university and CAS joined forces again to conduct another full-scale archaeological dig on the island.

All artifacts found during the digs remain on Hatteras Island and are on display at the Hatteras Histories and Mysteries Museum, which is currently temporarily located in Shipwreck Grill in Buxton. There is also a temporary display with artifacts at the Hatteras Community Library in Hatteras village.

Dare County Transportation adds Greenville as destination

Dare County Transportation has added Greenville, N.C., to its service as an out-o- county destination. Service to Greenville will available on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month.  The trips are for medical purposes only and must be scheduled at least two days in advance by calling Dare County Transportation.  Appointments are preferred further in advance to ensure availability.  Passengers will be picked up at their home and can be taken to any medical facility in Greenville.  A fare in the amount of $14 will cover the cost of the round trip. For further information, call 252-475-5640.

Flatpick concert benefits Cape Hatteras Elementary

U.S. National Flatpicking guitar champions, Steve Kaufman and Robin Kessinger, played a benefit guitar concert on Saturday night, Jan. 7, at the Cape Hatteras Elementary School. The benefit guitar concert capped off the 16th annual Steve Kaufman flatpicking workshop. The workshop, held the first weekend in January at Hatteras Realty in Avon, provides guitarists an opportunity to learn from Steve Kaufman, the only three-time National Flatpick Champion. Guitarists came from as far away as Carteret County to participate in the workshop. Each year, concert proceeds benefit Cape Hatteras Elementary School, and the donation this year was $500. From left, local musician and event coordinator John Couch was honored to sit in on a few tunes with Kessinger and Kaufman. Clips from the concert are easily found on you tube. The annual concert is an exceptional opportunity to hear extraordinary talent at a local venue - a not-to-miss event in January 2013!

Ocracats gets grant from PetSmart charities for spay-neuter clinics

Ocracats, Inc., a non-profit devoted to the feral cats on Ocracoke Island, has received a $21,000 grant from PetSmart Charities and will hold the first of four spay-neuter clinics over two years on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 21and 22, to help control the feral cats on the island.

“With no full-time veterinarian on the island and no other animal control, Ocracats has been challenged to control and care for the ever-expanding feral cat population on Ocracoke,” noted Ruth Fordon, Ocracats president. “Thanks to the generosity and concern of PetSmart Charities, we aim to see a significant decrease in the numbers of feral cats.”
With about 20 known feral cat colonies in the village, containing 15 to 30 cats each, Ocracats aims to spay-neuter up to 300 cats in the four clinics. The group estimates that 800 to 1,000 live in the colonies and marshlands surrounding the village.

Ocracats, under the umbrella of the Ocracoke Foundation, received the grant in November. The Ocracoke Foundation, which applied for the gran,t will administer the monies.

“We are pleased that we can help Ocracats and the island with this project,” noted Robin Payne, Ocracoke Foundation executive director. “This kind of collaboration for community benefit is the mission of the foundation.”

In addition, the Hyde County Health Department is collaborating with the effort by covering the cost of rabies shot that each treated cat will receive.

The clinics will be for feral cats only and will be conducted on Ocracoke Island by veterinarians with Coastal Animal Clinic of Kitty Hawk. Each of the four clinics in 2012 will be held for one day with the goal of 50 to 60 surgeries per clinic. Volunteers will be responsible for trapping the cats, transporting them to surgery, monitoring them after surgery, and transporting them back to their colonies.

Dates for three more clinics in 2012 have not been set. The final two clinics sponsored by PetSmart Charities will be held in early 2013.

Volunteers are needed to help with the clinics in various capacities. Contact Ruth Fordon, if interested, at 252-475-0859.

“Ocracats is dedicated to improving the lives of homeless cat on Ocracoke,” said Susanna Della Maddalena, vice-president and executive director at PetSmart Charities, Inc. “By creating programs like this one, they are making strides toward ending homeless-pet over-population and improving life for people and animals alike.”

Established in 1994, PetSmart Charities, Inc. is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that creates and supports programs that save the lives of homeless pets, raise awareness of companion animal welfare issues, and promote healthy relationships between people and pets.

January 12,  2012

The last sunset of 2011
Kathy Freeborn of West Grove, Pa., took these photos of her huband, Jim, fishing at Cape Point at sunset on New Year's Eve, 2011.  Jim caught a shark that evening and poses for a photo with their border collie, Jesse.  The Freeborns have been regular visitors to Hatteras for 31 years and visit at least twice a year.
"Hatteras is the most wonderful place," says Kathy. "As soon as you drive onto the island your worries just melt away!"

2011 News and Business Briefs

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