Local News

Legislative Update: Work slows to a crawl as lawmakers travel

And they’re off! That phrase usually means running at breakneck speed but, in the North Carolina General Assembly, it appears to mean that members are taking off to attend meetings out of state instead of hammering out the State’s budget -- again.
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Dare County, town officials plan news conference on sales tax plan

As part of Dare County’s effort to fight the sales tax redistribution plan before the North Carolina General Assembly, representatives from the county met with state officials in Raleigh again this week.

Commissioner Margarette Umphlett described the trip as a productive step in the Board of Commissioners’ ongoing effort to educate state legislators about the harmful effects that the plan would have on Dare County.
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Tony Tata resigns as NCDOT Secretary

Tony Tata resigned today as Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

The announcement came from the office of Gov. Pat McCrory and said that Tata wanted to focus on personal and family issues and pursue his passion as the writer of fictional military action thrillers.
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Hatteras commissioner is guest on radio show...WITH AUDIO

Allen Burrus, Hatteras Island's representative on the Dare County Board of Commissioners, was the guest on the Radio Hatteras interview show, "To the Point," on Sunday, July 19.

In the interview, Burrus discusses an array of issues that are important to Hatteras Islanders.
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Commissioners lobby in Raleigh against sales tax redistribution plan

Three members of the Dare County Board of Commissioners traveled to Raleigh on Wednesday, July 15, to express concerns about the Senate’s budget proposal, which -- over the next five years in a sales tax redistribution plan-- would take tens of millions of dollars from Dare County and its six towns and send it to less prosperous areas of North Carolina.

While in Raleigh, Chairman Bob Woodard, Vice-Chairman Wally Overman and Commissioner Warren Judge met with six legislators and described the "devastating impact the proposed cuts would have on the county’s ability to provide services in the future," according to a Dare County news release issued today.
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Radio Hatteras' WHDX 99.9 FM is moving to Waves

Radio Hatteras has received Federal Communications Commission permission to move WHDX 99.9 FM to Waves while WHDZ 101.5 FM remains in Buxton.
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New immunizations now required for kindergartners, seventh graders

Dare County schools announced this week that new immunizations are now required both for children who are starting kindergarten and those who are entering seventh grade on or after July 1, 2015 to protect them from serious diseases.
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Ferry officials discuss passenger ferry, long route

Ferry officials on Monday said an update on the passenger ferry feasibility study for Ocracoke may be available at next month’s meeting on Aug. 10 at 1 p.m. in the Community Center. Ed Goodwin, chief of the Ferry Division, said that polling has been done and data results should be available in August. Community meetings about the findings will be in the fall.
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Commissioners approve $1 million for Oregon Inlet dredging

After learning that an unexpected $1 million was available in a state dredging fund, Dare County didn’t waste time getting first in line to claim it for Oregon Inlet.  At a special meeting on Thursday, the Dare County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved transferring $1 million in matching funds from the county general fund to the state Shallow Draft Inlet Maintenance Fund.
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Seashore's three shark-bite victims are recovering

Three visitors, ages 18 to 67, who were bitten by sharks -- all in a week's time -- while swimming off Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches are recovering. 
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DOT Secretary Tata is guest on Radio Hatteras interview show

North Carolina Department of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata will be the guest on the Radio Hatteras interview show, "To the Point," on two consecutive Sundays, July 5 and July 12.

In the interview, Tata discusses the negotiations to end the legal impasse with environmental groups over the replacement of the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge and answers questions about what comes next in the continuing efforts to assure a safe and reliable transportation corridor to and from Hatteras Island.
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Fireworks over the ocean...WITH SLIDE SHOW

Locals and visitors on Hatteras Island descended on Avon on Saturday night, July 4, to watch the annual fireworks display over the ocean from the beaches and from windows and decks of nearby homes and businesses.

Launched from Avon Pier, the pyrotechnics lit up the sky for miles and went off without a hitch despite the southwest winds that whipped the island with frequent gusts up to 30 mph.  Luckily, for the organizers of the fireworks, the winds were blowing offshore and didn't threaten nearby structures.
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Shark experts say warm water, plentiful food figure into spate of shark attacks

“They were at the wrong place at the right time,” said Frank Schwartz, a marine zoology professor at University of North Carolina’s Institute of Marine Sciences in Morehead City. “A lot of things came together at the same time. It was a kind of perfect storm for shark attacks.”

Two attacks last week on swimmers – a 47-year-old man in Avon, and an 18-year-old man in Waves – followed four attacks on swimmers earlier this month off the southern coast of North Carolina.
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State official endorses bond proposal that includes funds for Hatteras museum

Long-sought funds to finish the Graveyard of the Atlantic in Hatteras could be provided soon, but it might not be smart for supporters to hold their breath.  The money would be forthcoming only if the General Assembly this session backs Gov. McCrory’s “Connect NC” $2.85 billion bond proposal, agrees to put it to a public referendum in November, and the public votes to approve it.
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UPDATE:  Audio of bridge settlement news conference now available

A Hatteras islander who attended yesterday's press conference on the Bonner Bridge settlement has provided the  Island Free Press with a recording of the proceedings. It is about 17 minutes long. Click Here To Listen

At long last, a new Bonner Bridge will be built

After a quarter century of planning, studies, bickering, and finally legal challenges from environmental groups, the decrepit 2.7-mile Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet will be replaced with a new parallel span.

The announcement came in a news release about 1:30 this afternoon that the North Carolina Department of Transportation, along with the state Department of Environment and the Federal Highway Administration, had reached a settlement with Defenders of Wildlife and the National Wildlife Refuge Association, represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center.
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