|Legislative Update: Bill aims at opportunities for Oregon Inlet Lifesaving Station
the North Carolina House of Representatives wrestled with its version
of the budget this week, the N.C. Senate continued moving other bills
forward, amending many along the way.
bill seemed designed to quasi-privatize some public properties had been
dormant until it came alive on May 20 when it was amended and moved
forward in the process. Read
|Dr. Beach chooses Cape Hatteras as No. 5 on Top 10 list
Beach’s 25th annual list of the Top 10 U.S. beaches was released
yesterday, just before the Memorial Day weekend, and Cape
Hatteras Beach in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore is again on
This year the seashore beach ranks No. 5 on the list – up one from last year’s No. 6 spot and up three from No. 8 in 2012. Read
|Notorious church, labeled ‘hate group,’ plans demonstration at FFHS
Westboro Baptist Church, an organization characterized by the Southern
Poverty Law Center as “arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group
in America,” is planning a protest at First Flight High School in Kill
Devil Hills, according to an article posted yesterday on the Outer
Banks Sentinel's website.
The protest is planned for the morning of Tuesday, June 1, between 7:40 and 8:10 a.m. Read
|School funding battle may loom in Dare County’s FY '16 budget
hopes of avoiding another school funding showdown this year, there were
signs of an impending school budget battle when County Manager Bobby
Outten presented his recommended Fiscal Year 2016 budget at the May 18
Dare Board of Commissioners meeting.
crux of the issue, raised by Dare Board of Education Chairman Ben
Sproul at the meeting, is about a half million dollars to fund pending
state-mandated teachers’ raises that is not currently included in
Outten’s recommended budget. Sproul said that, if the county does not
allocate that money, the schools would be left trying to cope with “a
Read the story in the Outer Banks Sentinel.
|UPDATE: Recordings available for two county inlet panel meetings
Two Hatteras islanders who
attended meetings of the Dare County Oregon Inlet Task Force and the
Dare County Inlet and Waterways Commission on Tuesday, May 19, have
provided recordings of the proceedings for anyone who is interested in
more details than are provided in the story below.
Click here to listen to a recording of The Oregon Inlet Task Force meeting.
Click here to listen to a recording of the Oregon Inlet and Waterways Commission meeting.
Dare's Inlet and Waterways Commission votes not to disband after all
Instead of being dissolved, the Dare County Oregon Inlet and Waterways
Commission is being reinvigorated with a more direct approach to
Hatteras Inlet’s issues.
At its meeting in Manteo on Tuesday night, the seven-member panel voted
unanimously to recommend to the county Board of Commissioners that it
continue to function. The panel also agreed to ask the board to seek
funds for an economic study of Hatteras Inlet, and in the future, to
consider renaming the group with a more inclusive moniker. Read
Two sides clash at meeting to discuss merger of inlet panels
proposed consolidation of the Dare County Oregon Inlet and Waterways
Commission and the Oregon Inlet Task Force has been met with strong
pushback from users of Hatteras Inlet, who fear their needs will be
swamped by Oregon Inlet’s continual woes.
At a contentious
meeting on Thursday of the ad-hoc committee appointed by the Dare
County Board of Commissioners to discuss details of a merger,
Commissioner Allen Burrus, a committee member, insisted that Hatteras
Inlet be specifically included in whatever committee, legislation and
funding is employed to address inlet dredging. Read
|Wildfire on Alligator River Refuge now under control
wildfire that may have been started yesterday by lightning is now
apparently under control on the Alligator River National Wildlife
Fish and Wildlife Service and N.C. Forest Service personnel responded
about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday to a report of smoke in the refuge along the
shore of Croatan Sound, north of Point Peter Road and south of
Callahan's Creek. Read
|Two fire departments in tri-villages are planning to consolidate
are moving forward to consolidate operations of the two volunteer fire
departments in Hatteras Island's tri-villages, according to board
members of the Salvo Volunteer Fire Department and the Chicamacomico
Banks Fire Department.
Both stations will remain open but will operate under one set of guidelines and be governed by a single board of directors. Read
|Joining hands on Ocracoke against offshore drilling
Allison Williams and Tony Chambers were happy to participate in the
Hands Across the Sand protest of offshore oil drilling on Saturday, May
16, because they’ve had experience swimming in oceans with oil spills.
two, of Raleigh, were among about 100 islanders and visitors who joined
hands at the Lifeguard Beach at noon, and the group was among many
others participating on Saturday in the United States and eight
countries worldwide to protest offshore drilling, according to Dede
Shelton of Boise, Idaho, one of the national organizers of Hands Across
the Sand. Read
|Coast Guard to discontinue navigational aids in Hatteras Inlet
Guard Sector North Carolina is scheduled to temporarily discontinue
numerous navigation aids in the vicinity of Hatteras Inlet due to
shoaling on Thursday, May 21.
hydrographic surveys indicate shoaling in Hatteras Inlet between Buoy 9
and Buoy 13. The current navigational aids in this section of the
waterway do not accurately mark navigable water because of limited
channel depth and reduced channel width. Read
|Westbound Wright Memorial Bridge reopens|
N.C. Department of Transportation reopened westbound U.S. 158 over the
Wright Memorial Bridge at the Currituck and Dare County line to traffic
on Wednesday, May 14. All work on the bridge deck project is now
|DOT offers hints to avoid long waits at Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry|
North Carolina Department of Transportation's Ferry System switched to
its full summer schedule of 36 daily round-trip departures between
Hatteras and Ocracoke this week, calling on summer day trippers to
strongly consider going as early in the day as possible to avoid wait
times in the peak season. Read
|Newest board idea for dredging not legal, Cook aide says|
its meeting on Monday, the Dare County Board of Commissioners requested
that the General Assembly approve using $5.5 million from the beach
nourishment fund for dredging Oregon Inlet.
The funds were
collected to use for beach nourishment under a 1-cent sales tax before
it was repealed through a ballot measure in 2006. What is left of the
money collected is part of the larger beach nourishment fund, currently
sustained by 2 cents in occupancy tax, and is used for such things as
sand fencing and planting dune grass.
But on Thursday, Jordan
Hennessy, Sen. Bill Cook’s legislative aide, responding to press
questions on behalf of the senator, said that won't fly because the
purpose of the money can’t be changed under the North Carolina
Constitution’s Article V Sec. 5 which states: “Every act of the General
Assembly levying a tax shall state the special object to which it is to
be applied and it shall be applied to no other purpose.” Read
County board tables inlet issue on agenda and takes up one that isn't
and how to pay for it dominated the Dare County Board of Commissioners
meeting on Monday, with members tabling one issue while unexpectedly
Within minutes of starting, the board
agreed to remove a controversial agenda item on consolidation of Oregon
Inlet and Waterways Commission and the Oregon Inlet Task Force.
shortly before ending, it took action on another controversial dredging
issue that was not on the agenda. The board split 4-3 on a motion
seeking authorization to tap county funds collected from a now-defunct
1-cent sales tax dedicated to beach nourishment to use for
|Passenger ferry makes stops at Hatteras and Ocracoke.....WITH SLIDE SHOW|
Many Ocracoke islanders who visited the passenger ferry, the Provincetown III, on Tuesday, May 5, were heartened.
“I’m greatly encouraged,” noted Leslie Lanier, owner of Books to Be Red, as she noted the bicycle racks on the bow.
an answer to our economic future,” said Mickey Baker, owner of
Mermaid’s Folly. However, so is going back to the short route, she
|Congressman talks about Hatteras issues and more on radio show...WITH AUDIO|
Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., was the guest on the most recent edition
of the Radio Hatteras interview show, "To the Point," which was
broadcast on May 3.
who describes himself as an "independent Republican," is serving his
11th term representing 22 coastal counties, including Dare, in the U.S.
House of Representatives. During his two decades in the House, he has
been active in supporting issues of importance to Hatteras Island,
including public access to the seashore, dredging inlets, and
commercial fishing -- just to name a few. Read
|266 runners of all ages compete in Ocracoke races....WITH SLIDE SHOW|
was sports day on Ocracoke Saturday as 266 runners of all ages competed
in the Foothills Brewing 5K/10K races in the morning and children
competed on the new ball field in the afternoon.
Gray, 50, of Buxton, won the 10K in the men’s division, with a time of
37:25. It was his first win, besting Alfonso “Chito” Guerrero of
Ocracoke, the defending champion who won the race last year with a time
take it,” Gray, 50, said as he cooled down in front of Gaffer’s Sports
Pub where the race ended. “The older you get, the better you are
at longer distances.” Read
|DOT wants public feedback on 10-year transportation plan|
N.C. Department of Transportation wants public feedback on its Draft
10-Year State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). This is the
first STIP developed under the new Strategic Transportation Investments
law, which established the Strategic Mobility Formula.
is asking the public to provide feedback on the process to develop the
STIP and ideas for improvement and the variety and geographic diversity
of the projects. Read
|County declares six houses on Buxton Beach unsafe...WITH SLIDE SHOW|
Dare County building inspector has put up "unsafe structure" notices on
six oceanfront houses on the beach in north Buxton. Planning Department
inspector I.G. Scarborough said that power has been disconnected to the
houses, which are not allowed to be occupied. Read
|Ocracoke occupancy tax board says 'no' to fireworks|
will be no fireworks on Ocracoke for the July 4 holiday this year.
Earlier this month, the Ocracoke Occupancy Tax Board declined to fund
the more than $31,000 it would take for the island to have these aerial
“It’s just too much money,” said Frank Brown, chairman of the board. “It’s a tough decision.” Read
|Community Foundation now accepting grant applications|
Outer Banks Community Foundation is now accepting grant applications
from qualified nonprofits for several different grant programs,
including the David Aycock Loy, Pauline Wright, Aviation Education, and
Community Enrichment grant programs.
Applications must be completed and submitted online by Friday, May 1, through the Community Foundation’s website: www.obcf.org. Read
|BOC chairman sends another letter on Dare County gas prices|
Woodard, chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, has sent a
second letter to state Attorney General Roy Cooper asking for him to
investigate gas prices in Dare County.
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman
for the state Department of Justice said this week that the
department's Consumer Affairs Division continues to investigate the
Gas pricing on Hatteras Island is topic of radio interview...WITH AUDIO
Perry, owner of Frisco Shopping Center and Frisco Rod & Gun, where
he sells, among other things, gasoline, was the guest on this week's
edition of "To the Point" on Radio Hatteras.
the interview, Perry, who has been selling gas at the store since 1975,
gives some straightforward answers to questions about how he determines
the price of gas at his pumps and how much profit he makes on it.
|UPDATE: Appeals Court grants request for mediation|
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit today granted a request by
all of the parties involved in the legal wrangling over replacing the
Herbert C. Bonner Bridge for the assistance of a mediator in their
effort to negotiate a settlement in the case. Read
|Bonner Bridge down to one lane for concrete repairs|
Wednesday, Jan. 28, weather permitting, the North Carolina Department
of Transportation will close a section of one lane of the Herbert C.
Bonner Bridge on Highway 12 over the Oregon Inlet.
lane closure will enable crews with Precon Marine Inc. of Chesapeake,
Va. to begin repairs to the concrete along the underside of the bridge
deck. The project is expected to be complete by mid-June. Read