Local News

Woodard would accept board chairmanship, says TowneBank not a factor

Dare County Commissioner Bob Woodard, a Republican midway through his first term, is widely predicted to be the next chairman of the board, which is now under GOP control for the first time since the mid-1980s.

However, Woodard's employment with TowneBank insurance has raised speculations about whether his employer would allow him to serve in light of controversies with other employees holding public office in Virginia.

“I've been very fortunate that both my former and current employers have been very into supporting [its workers] giving back to the community,” said Woodard. “I have discussed the possibility of serving as chairman with my superiors, and they are fine with it.
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Cape Hatteras Motel owners file tort claim against NCDOT

Dave and Carol Dawson, owners of the Cape Hatteras Motel in north Buxton, have filed a tort claim against the North Carolina Department of Transportation that asks for $1 million in damages.

The legal action was filed with the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which is charged under the state's Tort Claims Act with acting as a court to hear and determine claims filed against state agencies, such as NCDOT. The $1 million in damages that the Dawsons are asking for is the maximum amount available under the Tort Claims Act.  
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Rumors of Bonner Bridge closure shot down, as negotiations continue

The North Carolina Department of Transportation says it has no plans to shut down the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet after Thanksgiving, despite a rumor last week that a post-holiday closure was imminent.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va., has just granted its third 30-day extension of the time for parties in the ongoing legal battle over replacing the aging bridge to ask for a rehearing by the three-judge panel that issued an opinion on Aug. 6 or by the entire Appeals Court.

The deadline is now Friday, Dec. 19.  
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UPDATE: No cause for Outer Beaches fire has been identified yet

Dare County fire marshal Steve Kovacs said today that he and the Dare County Sheriff's Office are still investigating the fire that extensively damaged the main office of Outer Beaches Realty in Avon in the early morning hours of last Tuesday, Nov. 18. Meanwhile, Outer Beaches operations manager Bud Smock said the company has all essential services back and running.

"We're up and running as well as we can be," Smock said today. "It's business as usual."  
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Outer Beaches Avon office extensively damaged by fire

The Outer Beaches Realty main office on Highway 12 in Avon was extensively damaged today by an early morning, three-alarm fire. Kenny Brite, assistant chief of the Avon Volunteer Fire Department, said that the fire was reported at 12:12 a.m. The report was that the back of the building was on fire.

Fire departments from Avon, Buxton, Hatteras, and Frisco responded, along with the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad, Dare County Emergency Medical Services, the Sheriff's Office, Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative, Dare County Water Department, and the county fire marshal.  
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UPDATE:  Lee Robinson General Store is back in business

"We're going to pick up and move on," Belinda Willis said resolutely this morning, the day after a fire damaged the exterior of the business she and her husband, Virgil, own in Hatteras village, Lee Robinson General Store.

"Virgil and I are ready to open up," she said, adding that they could be back in business as early as Wednesday. 
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Fire damages Lee Robinson General Store....WITH SLIDE SHOW

A late afternoon fire today damaged Lee Robinson General Store in Hatteras village.

The fire was called in at 4:07 p.m. and appeared to be under control and mostly extinguished about 4:30.

The store is owned by Belinda and Virgil Willis and is closed on Sunday.  The Willises were at their home next door to the business when the fire broke out.  
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UPDATE: Recount confirms Boswell win in Commissioner race

The recount of election ballots conducted by the Dare County Board of Elections on Thursday, Nov. 20, has confirmed that Beverly Boswell will serve as the Dare County Commissioner for District 2.

The recount results revealed that Republican challenger Boswell received 6,286 votes, compared to 6,256 votes cast for incumbent Democrat Max Dutton.  Boswell picked up three votes in the recount, and Dutton lost two, changing the margin to 30 votes in her favor. 

The swearing in ceremony for the candidates elected or re-elected to office will be on Monday, Dec. 1, at 9 a.m. in the Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting room. 

UPDATE: Republicans take another commissioner seat in voting canvass

The four Republican candidates for seats on the Dare County Board of Commissioners made it a clean sweep this morning. The canvassing of the votes from the Nov. 4 general election by the county Board of Elections has reversed the results in a tightly contested race for Dare County Commissioner in District 3 . 

Dutton said in a telephone call early this afternoon that he intended to ask for a recount. The deadline for him to make the request in writing to the Board of Elections is Monday, Nov. 17, at 5 p.m. 
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  Dare and Hyde election results by precinct

Dare and Hyde county election results are now available broken down by precinct.

Click here for Dare County results for all races by precinct.
Click here for Hyde County results for all races by precinct.

Republicans sweep Dare County

Republican candidates for all races had a good night in Dare County.

With all of the precincts counted, Republicans swept the county -- with just two exceptions, both incumbents. N.C. Rep. Paul Tine, beat his opponent, Mattie Lawson, with 52 percent of the vote to her 48, and District 2 Commissioner Max Dutton squeaked by his challenger, Beverly Gwyn Boswell, with just 60 votes.

And, with all of the GOP victories, The Dare  County Board of Commissioners turned Republican.  
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Democrats buck the statewide trend in Hyde County

As opposed to Dare County and many other locations in the state, Democratic candidates in the 2014 mid-term general election did quite well in Hyde County.

The only Republican who won the voters' approval at the top of the ballot was incumbent U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, who was running for his 11th term from the Third Congressional District. Jones beat Democrat Marshall Adame by a margin of 70-30 percent.
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House-moving day on Ocracoke....WITH SLIDE SHOW

It’s moving day on Ocracoke.  House-moving day, that is.

Aaron and Becky Gallaher this year were given a historic home along Creek Road with the proviso that they’d move it to another island location.

After they prepared the house by dismantling an older section of it, the move began early on Wednesday morning after Bray’s House Moving of Camden rolled it onto the trailer bed, Aaron said.
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Going Public: Rodanthe beach access nears completion

With no public beach access and cars parked randomly along the side of the road, summer in the tri-villages of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo can be a traffic ordeal as visitors try to find their way to some of the best beaches on the Outer Banks.

With the planned completion of the Dare County’s beach access project in Rodanthe by the end of the year, parking on the north end of the area should improve, although the Rodanthe access remains the only public beach access among the three towns.  
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Ferry crew is honored for its heroism

A North Carolina ferry crew was honored on Monday with the Governor's Award for Excellence in Safety and Heroism for the September 2013 rescue of two people in rough seas off of Ocracoke Island. The crew received the award in an afternoon ceremony at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh.  
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NCDOT says privatizing some road work will improve service on Hatteras, Ocracoke

An effort to look at ways to privatize some state road maintenance and improvements was announced this month by the state Department of Transportation just a week after an invitation for bids was published seeking contractors to do maintenance work on Highway 12 on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.

But the two are not directly related, said Sterling Baker, NCDOT division maintenance engineer. Baker said that private contractors would be able to combine a number of tasks in one contract and help replace manpower on the islands lost from budget tightening.  
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UPDATE: Elevating Highway 12 at temporary Pea Island bridge is underway

The North Carolina Department of Transportation started a project this morning --  Monday, Nov. 11 -- designed to reduce the possibility of overwash and standing water on Highway 12  just north and south of the temporary bridge on Pea Island.

The project, which involves raising and leveling the elevation of the road, is scheduled to be complete by the end of the month, weather permitting.
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DOT plans to raise road at temporary bridge and build a berm

The North Carolina Department of Transportation plans to raise the roadbed on Highway 12 both north and south of the temporary bridge on Pea Island to help with continual ocean overwash in the area and continues to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to build a berm on the oceanside of the south approach.
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New Inlet sound access on Pea Island Refuge reopens to public

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recently reopened the public access to the Pamlico Sound at New Inlet in the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.

The access has been closed since last winter when the North Carolina Department of Transportation began construction of a permanent bridge at the inlet cut by Hurricane Irene in the area in 2011.  
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Cape Hatteras students honor island veterans...WITH SLIDE SHOW

Cape Hatteras Secondary School students honored Hatteras Island's veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces today with a special breakfast and assembly at the school. More than 40 island veterans, along with family members, attended the Veterans Day event.
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Hatteras-Ocracoke route switches to winter schedule

Off-season has come to the Outer Banks, and with it comes the switchover to the winter schedule on the North Carolina Ferry System's Hatteras-Ocracoke route. The schedule switch will take place Tuesday, Nov. 11, with hourly departures for most of the day between 4:30 a.m. and 12:30 a.m. every day.
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