Local News

Tropical system will bring rain, threat of rip currents

The National Hurricane Center has upgraded an area of disturbed weather southeast of Charleston, S.C., to a tropical depression, the second tropical cyclone of the 2016 season, and issued a tropical storm warning for the South Carolina coast.

However, even if the depression becomes Tropical Storm Bonnie later tonight or Saturday morning, the system is forecast to be a slow mover that will bring mostly a threat of rain and an increased risk of rip currents through the holiday weekend and into next week.
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Dr. Beach chooses Ocracoke as No. 4 on Top 10 list

Dr. Beach’s  annual list of the Top 10 U.S. beaches was released yesterday, just before the Memorial Day weekend, and a beach the Cape Hatteras National Seashore is again on the list.

This year the Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach is back on the list again -- ranking as fourth in the 10 best.
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Coast Guard, good Samaritan rescue four after Navy jet mishap off Oregon Inlet

The U.S. Coast Guard and a good Samaritan fishing vessel crew rescued four survivors following a mid-air mishap involving two U.S. Navy jets 25 miles east of Oregon Inlet this morning.
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North Rodanthe bridge gets federal approval to move forward

The North Carolina Department of Transportation received approval yesterday from the federal government to move forward with the planning of a bridge in north Rodanthe that would carry traffic over an area that is vulnerable to frequent damage and ocean overwash in storms. 
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Vehicle registration late fees are effective July 1

Beginning July 1, North Carolina vehicle owners must pay their annual vehicle registration renewals by the expiration date or face a late fee. The new fees were passed by the General Assembly last September and require one of three graduated late fees to be assessed on late registration renewals starting in July. 
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Expert warns that it’s water – not wind – to watch out for in hurricanes

Jamie Rhome, the man who oversees the National Hurricane Center’s Storm Surge Unit and is blazing a trail with new forecasting methods, told a Hatteras Island audience during a weekend presentation on hurricane preparedness that it’s not the category of a storm that the public needs to pay attention to during hurricane watches and warnings – it’s the storm surge probabilities and predictions.

Rhome is one of the country's leading experts on storm surge, and he gave a presentation to about 50 people at the Fessenden Center in Buxton on Saturday morning, May 21.
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Dare businesses urged to register for re-entry permits

Local businesses are encouraged to obtain and/or verify post-disaster entry permits to re-enter Dare County following a hurricane. Following an evacuation, businesses will be allowed to return to the county in tiers, based on the type of service provided.
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New skatepark under construction in Buxton

The new Hatteras Island skatepark is currently under construction next to the baseball field at the Fessenden Center in Buxton, with a potential completion date of Memorial Day weekend.

“That’s the goal,” says Tim White, the program director for the Dare County Parks and Recreation Department, although he notes that an upcoming forecast of several rainy days may slow down the progress of the construction. 
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Commissioners hear comments on Buxton tax district, take no action

Eight Buxton property owners spoke during a public hearing on a proposed special tax district to help pay for beach nourishment at the Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting on Monday evening, May 16. In addition, two Buxton property owners addressed the timing of the beach nourishment project during the general public comment portion of the meeting.

The board took no action at the meeting on the proposal that would require the owners of 147 parcels of land to help pay for the $25 million project to nourish about 2.9 miles of beach in north Buxton. 
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Coast Guard, good Samaritan rescue two near Oregon Inlet

The U.S. Coast Guard and a good Samaritan rescued two men Saturday after their boat capsized near Oregon Inlet.

Watchstanders at the Sector North Carolina Command Center in Wilmington received notification at approximately 12 p.m. stating a 23-foot boat with two men aboard capsized. A good Samaritan took the two men aboard and was awaiting assistance from the Coast Guard. 
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Hatteras Inlet users focus on problems with marking channel

Spring and summer fishing tournaments have only increased frustration for charter boat captains still struggling to get in and out of sand-clogged Hatteras Inlet.

And little comfort was offered at the most recent meeting of the Dare County Oregon Inlet and Waterways Commission, which has been unable to nail down a short-term solution to shoaling that is so hazardous the Coast Guard is unable to tend to its buoys.
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Whipping Creek Road fire is contained but not 'out'

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge officials say that the refuge has received numerous calls asking if the Whipping Creek Road fire, which burned for several weeks on the Dare and Hyde county mainland, has been declared "out."  

In a news release, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service explains that although the fire is contained, it is not considered "out."
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Coast Guard rescues four southeast of Hatteras Inlet

The Coast Guard rescued four people on Wednesday, May 11, after their boat became disabled 26 miles southeast of Hatteras Inlet.

Watchstanders at the Sector North Carolina Command Center in Wilmington received notification via VHF-marine radio at approximately 4:15 p.m. Wednesday stating the 23-foot boat Joe Dot Com was disabled with four people aboard. 
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First piling is driven for new Bonner Bridge

The first piling that will form part of the foundation of the new Herbert C. Bonner bridge  was installed on Monday, May 9, marking a major milestone in the long effort to replace the aging bridge that carries Highway 12 traffic across Oregon Inlet.
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NCDOT issues travel advisory for Bonner construction

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has recently issued an advisory for Dare County, its towns, and its residents and visitors to warn them of large precast construction materials for the Bonner Bridge replacement that will be traveling through the county to the work site at Oregon Inlet. 
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Congressional primary election set for June 7

Most -- but not all -- of North Carolina's primary election races were decided on March 15.  Court decisions have forced the state to have a second primary election on Tuesday, June 7.

The June 7 primary will feature races for the Democratic and Republican congressional districts and also a race for associate justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. 
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Monitor Marine Sanctuary seeks to fill eight seats on advisory council

NOAA’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary is seeking applicants for the primary community member seats of maritime archaeological research, conservation, recreational diving (two seats), heritage tourism, ocean sports, recreational/commercial fishing, and citizen-at-large on its advisory council.
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Dare's proposed budget leaves tax rate unchanged -- except for north Buxton

Dare County manager Bobby Outten presented his proposed 2017 to the Board of Commissioners at their meeting on Monday, May 2, noting that the overall property tax rate will remain unchanged.

However, in the proposal, property owners in a new service district in north Buxton would pay 25 cents per $100 of value to help pay for a 2.5-mile beach nourishment project that is planned for next year. 
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Tine introduces bill to change way new ferries are funded, eliminate tolls

Rep. Paul Tine, U-Kitty Hawk, has introduced a bill to fund new ferry vessels from the general transportation budget and eliminate all ferry tolls.

The bill asks for $13.85 million to be appropriated from the Highway Fund in 2016 to 2017 and that it be a recurring fund for  the ferry division to do both rehab on ferries and also purchase new ones. 
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