September 5, 2017


Island Free Press Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary
with a Look Back at a Decade of News

By JOY CRIST


On Tuesday, September 5, the Island Free Press officially marked its 10-year anniversary as the “up to date and down to earth” news source for Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.

Started by founders Irene Nolan and Donna Barnett in 2007, the online paper originated as an effort to post essential news stories as soon as they occurred. Before the formation of the Island Free Press, Irene was the editor of the now defunct Island Breeze – a monthly publication that was considered a valuable paper for residents and visitors alike, but which couldn’t have the up-to-the-minute updates that an online format could provide.

The Island Free Press was a venture motivated by timeliness for all parties involved, but in the past 10 years, our local paper has continually grown in readership and has cemented a reputation as an invaluable news source. In 2016, the Island Free Press had 1.6 million visits, and this number looks like it will be even higher for 2017.

And this is due to Irene’s insight, dedication, and unparalleled professionalism.

Without Irene, the Island Free Press would not exist. It was Irene who created the paper, and it was Irene who almost instantly built the Island Free Press into a reputable media outlet.

We lost Irene in March of 2017, and it’s a loss that still reverberates with every story that we write, and every topic that we cover.

From our more light-hearted features stories to tougher topics that stir inevitable controversy, we are continually asking “Would Irene approve?” and only move forward if the answer is yes.

Her contribution to The Island Free Press and to our islands in general remain prevalent and constant. It’s because of her that we are able to reach our 10-year mark today, and it’s because of her that we will continually strive to maintain the high reputation that she created for decades to come.

Making Irene proud continues to be our sole motivation and the backbone of The Island Free Press. And though she is not here to celebrate this milestone with us, we wanted to honor what Irene created with a look back at our top stories of the past decade.

We also want to thank you – our readers and advertisers – for being our partner in the past 10 years. It was Irene who created and shaped the IFP, but it is you who keeps us going strong, and who helps keeps us motivated to do our very best.

The first two stories published for The Island Free Press on September 5, 2007, covered the Day at the Docks and the American Heroes Day at the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station.

Since these inaugural stories, the IFP has tackled hurricanes, movie productions, sharks, shipwrecks, wildfires, road closures, local sports, and a myriad of ongoing issues that are still discussed in depth today.

So with this in mind, we decided to take a look back at some of our most read stories over the past decade, which are listed below by year.

We hope that the following stories stir your nostalgia - and your memories of Irene - as much as it did for us when we compiled and reviewed this list.

What a decade it has been.


Top Stories of 2007
Beach Driving and Beach Access:
http://islandfreepress.org/Archives/2007.09.05-BeachDrivingCrisisAndHowWeGotHere.html
http://islandfreepress.org/Archives/2007.11.05-ShootingTheBreezePlanningFutureOfBeachDriving.html (This was Irene’s very first blog, and appropriately, it was focused on Beach Driving.)
Bonner Bridge Replacement:
http://islandfreepress.org/Archives/2007.09.05-ShouldThesePicturesMakeYouNervous.html
http://islandfreepress.org/Archives/2007.09.05-PlansForReplacingTheBonnerBridgeMovingForward.html
http://islandfreepress.org/Archives/2007.09.06-LetsGetOnWithTheBrideReplacement.html
Highway 12 Replacement in Ocracoke:
https://islandfreepress.org/Archives/2007.10.01-OcracokeGettilngReadyLifeWithoutRoad.html


Top Stories of 2008
Beach Driving and Beach Access:
http://islandfreepress.org/2008Archives/03.22.2008-AMessageInTheSandIsASignOfSupportForContinuedBeachAccess.html
Nights in Rodanthe:
http://islandfreepress.org/2008Archives/06.09.2008-NightsInRodantheWillBeInATheaterNearYouOnOct3.html
http://islandfreepress.org/2008Archives/09.26.2008-ShootingTheBreezeAStormyDebutForTheMuchAnticipatedFilm.html
Wildfire on the Mainland:
http://islandfreepress.org/2008Archives/06.09.2008-WildfireOnTheMainlandSendsThickSmokeOverHatterasIsland.html
Stranded Sailboat:
http://islandfreepress.org/2008Archives/11.16.2008-50-footSailboatIsStrandedInTheAvonSurf.html
Our Initial Anniversary:
http://islandfreepress.org/2008Archives/09.05.2008-TheIslandFreePressCelebratesItsFirstAnniversary.html
Lady Canes Basketball Team in the Payoffs:
02.27.2008-LadyCanes.html
http://islandfreepress.org/2008Archives/02.29.2008-LadyCanesAdvanceInPlayoffs.html
03.01.2008-LadyCanesBeatManteo.html
http://islandfreepress.org/2008Archives/03.06.2008-EaglesTopHurricanes.html



Top Stories of 2009
Fireworks Explosion on Ocracoke Island:
http://islandfreepress.org/2009Archives/07.04.2009-OcracokeJuly4thFire.html
Fessenden Center Fire:
http://islandfreepress.org/2009Archives/11.28.2009-FireDamagesFessendenCenterInBuxtonClosingItForUpToAWeek.html
Jimmy Buffet on the Beach:
http://islandfreepress.org/2009Archives/01.07.2009-ShootingTheBreezeJimmyBuffetLikesDrivingTheSeashoreBeaches.html


Top Stories of 2010
The Move of “Serendipity” – the Nights in Rodanthe House:
http://islandfreepress.org/2010Archives/01.15.2010-SerendipityMovedButNotAllTheWayToItsNewHome.html
http://islandfreepress.org/2010Archives/05.19.2010-SerendipityRelocatedRenovatedRedecoratedAndReadyForTheRestOfItsLife.html
The Closing of Hatteras Island Medical Center:
http://islandfreepress.org/2010Archives/04.13.2010-EastCarolinaHealthConsideringClosingOneOfItsHatterasMedicalCenters.html
http://islandfreepress.org/2010Archives/12.02.2010-HealthEastWillCloseHatterasClinicOnDec30.html
Bonner Bridge:
http://islandfreepress.org/2010Archives/10.25.2010-20YearsAgoARunawayDredgeToreAHoleInTheBonnerBridgeAndIslandersAndVisitorsReliedOnTemporaryFerriesForMonths.html
 
Top Stories of 2011
Hurricane Irene – this dominated our paper for much of 2011: http://islandfreepress.org/Archives2011.html
Mixed Drinks Legalized:
http://islandfreepress.org/2011Archives/02.25.2011-TwoSouthernHatterasRestaurantsServeFirstMixedDrinksWhileOthersGetReady.html

Ocracoke Teacher on Jeopardy:
http://islandfreepress.org/2011Archives/05.14.2011-OcracokesCharlesTempleTalksAbouHisBigWinOnJeopardyTeachersTournament.html
Ocracoke Shark Attack:
http://islandfreepress.org/2011Archives/07.20.2011-UPDATEInjuredChildInCriticalConditionAfterAnApparentSharkAttackOnOcracoke.html
http://islandfreepress.org/2011Archives/07.26.2011-UPDATEYoungVictimAndHerParentsShareTheStoryOfSharkAttackOnOcracoke.html


Top Stories of 2012
Murdered Woman Found in Frisco:
http://islandfreepress.org/2012Archives/07.14.2012-UPDATEBodyFoundInFriscoMayBeWomanMissingSinceJuly4.html
http://islandfreepress.org/2012Archives/07.17.2012-UPDATEOhioMotherOfTwoDiedOfStrangulationAndStabWounds.html
Hurricane Sandy:
http://islandfreepress.org/2012Archives/10.28.2012-HatterasAndOcracokeAreSlammedWithWaterEverywhere1.html
http://islandfreepress.org/2012Archives/10.28.2012-HurricaneSandyAssaultsHatterasAndOcracokeFromAallSides1.html
http://islandfreepress.org/2012Archives/10.28.2012-AStrangStormNamedSandy.html
Losing Hatteras Realty Owner Stewart Couch:
http://islandfreepress.org/2012Archives/02.21.2012-HatterasRealtyOwnerStewartCouchDiesInNicaragua.html
Lady Canes Advance to Playoffs Once Again:
http://islandfreepress.org/2010Archives/02.27.2010-LadyHurricanesTopTheTrojansToBecomeSectionalChampions.html
http://islandfreepress.org/2010Archives/03.06.2010-LadyCanesFallToWilliamstonInFourthRoundOfPlayoffs.html

 
Top Stories of 2013
Government Shutdowns:
http://islandfreepress.org/2013Archives/09.30.2013-GovernmentShutdownWillCloseDownTheSeashoreAndItsBeaches.html
http://islandfreepress.org/2013Archives/11.11.2013-ShipwreckedSailboatsOnPeaIslandAreDrawingTheCurious.html
Beach Access / ORV Plan:
http://islandfreepress.org/2013Archives/05.16.2013-BillToOverturnORVPlanBringsSpiritedDiscussionToTheSenate.html
http://islandfreepress.org/2013Archives/02.26.2013-CourtApprovesSchedulingOnCHAPALawsuitToStopParksORVPlan.html
Bonner Bridge Lawsuit
http://islandfreepress.org/2013Archives/09.16.2013-FederalJudgeRulesInFavorOfNCDOTInBonnerBridgeLawsuit.html
House Fire in Avon
http://islandfreepress.org/2014Archives/01.09.2014-TragicFireSpursTremendousShowOfCommunitySupport.html
 
Top Stories of 2014
Hurricane Arthur:
http://islandfreepress.org/2014Archives/07.07.2014-TriVillagesStruggleToGetArthursMessCleanedUpEvenAsVisitorsReturnWITHSLIDESHOW.html
Snow on Hatteras and Ocracoke:
http://islandfreepress.org/2014Archives/02.11.2014-ItsSnowingOnHatterasAndOcracoke.htm
December Storm:
http://islandfreepress.org/2014Archives/12.08.2014-UPDATECoastalStormSlamsHatterasTakingDownCommunication.html
Outer Beaches Fire:
http://islandfreepress.org/2014Archives/11.18.2014-OuterBeachesAvonOfficeExtensivelyDamagedByFire.html
Lee Robinson Fire:
http://islandfreepress.org/2014Archives/11.23.2014-FireDamagesLeeRobinsonGeneralStoreWITHSLIDESHOW.html
Slash Creek in Hatteras village Fire:
http://islandfreepress.org/2014Archives/05.21.2014-FireDestroysBuildingInHatterasVillageOnWednesday.html
Buxton House Fire:
http://islandfreepress.org/2014Archives/06.19.2014-FireDamagesHouseInBuxtonStartsBrush%20firesWITH%20VIDEO.html
Proposed North Rodanthe Bridge:
http://islandfreepress.org/2014Archives/09.16.2014-UPDATENewConceptIncludes7MileBridgeIntoPamlicoSound.html
 
Top Stories of 2015
Bonner Bridge Will Finally be Built
http://islandfreepress.org/2015Archives/06.15.2015-AtLongLastANewBonnerBridgeWillBeBuilt.html
Hatteras Inlet Shoaling:
http://islandfreepress.org/2015Archives/08.13.2015-OfficialsPonderSolutionsToLatestRoundOfHatterasInletShoaling.html
Avon Motel Fire
http://islandfreepress.org/2015Archives/06.24.2015-FireEngulfsAvonMotel.html
Shark Attack on Hatteras Island
http://islandfreepress.org/2015Archives/06.27.2015-SecondSharkAttackInTwoDaysReportedOnHatteras.html
Sailor Rescued:
http://islandfreepress.org/2015Archives/04.02.2015-SailorMissingFor66DaysRescuedOffCapeHatterasWITHAUDIO.html
 
Top Stories of 2016
Hurricane Matthew:
http://islandfreepress.org/2016Archives/10.09.2016-MatthewsStormSurgeMaySetRecordOnSouthernHatterasWITHSLIDESHOW.html
Hurricane Hermine:
http://islandfreepress.org/2016Archives/09.03.2016-HermineMovesOffshoreLeavesBehindHighWindsSoundsideFlooding.html
Abandoned Refugee Vessels:
http://islandfreepress.org/2016Archives/09.28.2016-AbandonedVesselWashesAshoreInAvonMayHaveHeldRefugees.html
http://islandfreepress.org/2016Archives/10.08.2016-TwoMoreAbandonedRefugeeBoatsWashSshoreOnHatterasaWITHSLIDESHOW.html
Missing Frisco Hunter:
http://islandfreepress.org/2016Archives/01.24.2016-CoastGuardLocalsSearchForMissingFriscoHunter.html
http://islandfreepress.org/2016Archives/12.18.2016-FriscoFishermanMissingOvernightFoundNearAvon.html
 
Top Stories (so far) of 2017
Power Outage:
http://islandfreepress.org/2017Archives/07.28.2017-MandatoryEvacuationOrderIssuedforHatterasIsland.html
New Sandbar off The Point (Shelly Island):
http://islandfreepress.org/2017Archives/07.06.2017-GoodMorningAmericaLandsOnTheNewIsland.html
Unidentified Military Device:
http://islandfreepress.org/2017Archives/07.14.2017-ShellyIslandEvacuatedDueToDiscoveryOfUnidentifiedMilitaryDevice.html
Buxton Drowning:
http://islandfreepress.org/2017Archives/01.21.2017-BuxtonManDiesWhileSurfingoffOldLighthouseBeach.html
Hatteras Inlet:
http://islandfreepress.org/2017Archives/04.17.2017-WonderingHowMuchHatterasInletHasChangedJustTakeALookAtGoogleEarth.html
Hatteras Power Outage
08.03.2017-Unrestricted Access To Hatteras Island Effective Friday August 4 At 12pm

            
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