Local News

UPDATE: Frightful forecast gets more frightful

The National Weather Service is ramping up its forecast for heavy weather for Hatteras and Ocracoke islands over the weekend, including northwest winds gusting upwards of 45 to 55 mph, likely soundside flooding, possible ocean overwash, high seas, and 1 to 2 inches of rain with locally heavier amounts.

According to the NWS forecast discussion, a "very impressive" upper system will have "significant" impacts on eastern North Carolina Saturday into Sunday.
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Testing identifies source of red plume near Oregon Inlet

The reddish-brown tide that first appeared Monday, Oct. 27, on Bodie and Pea islands was caused by Mesodinium rubrum and does not contain toxins, a water sample showed Thursday.

The single-celled organisms belong to a group of ciliated protozoans, and large colonies of the species have been known to change ocean water to a brick red color.

Dr. Richard Stump, a NOAA oceanographer with the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, confirmed that the algae bloom was essentially harmless.

“Mesodinium rubrum swims quite vigorously and the swimming can get the cells to accumulate at the surface and near fronts between fresh and salt water, which would occur in the area of Oregon Inlet due to the fresh water coming from the sound,” Stumpf said. “These blooms pop up occasionally in coastal areas and are usually quite localized.”

Read the story in The Outer Banks Voice.

Coast Guard needs help identifying suspected hoax caller...WITH AUDIO

Coast Guard Sector North Carolina personnel are requesting assistance from the public in identifying a suspected hoax caller who may have made seven false distress calls during the past two years in the vicinity of New Bern.

During the months of September through December of 2012-2013 and September through October of 2014, a similar male voice broadcast similar distress calls to Sector North Carolina personnel from the area surrounding the junction of the Neuse and Trent Rivers near New Bern on seven different occasions, with the most recent call on Oct. 16.
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New research about pirate myths to be presented at Ocracoke Jamboree

New research by author-historian Kevin Duffus has revealed that the positive identity of an African-American member of Blackbeard’s crew provides evidence about the infamous pirate’s identity and origin.

Contrary to popular myth, Caesar, who was one of six African-American slaves in Blackbeard’s crew, survived well beyond the rest of the crew, said Duffus, author of “The Last Days of Black Beard the Pirate,” which sifts through the myths and facts about this mariner who is arguably the most famous pirate ever.

Duffus will present two talks about his recent findings during the Second Annual Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree on Ocracoke on Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.
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Commissioners Are Briefed On Dare Ebola Preparedness

The Dare County Board of Commissioners was briefed at its meeting last evening on local preparedness for Ebola by Dr. Sheila Davies, the county's public health director.

Davies told the board that preparations at the state and local level for a possible case of Ebola began in July and are continuing to be honed and refined as new guidelines are issued by the Center for Disease Control.
The state, she said, has been "very active" in assessing community needs and preparedness.  
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Court of Appeals grants another 30-day extension for rehearing of bridge lawsuit

Negotiations continue out of public view between the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration and the Southern Environmental Law Center, on behalf of its clients, to settle a long legal battle over the state agency's plan to replace the aging Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet.

As promised, neither side in the debate about replacing the bridge has commented on the confidential maneuvering that's going on in Raleigh and Chapel Hill, nor has either given any hint of how long it might take to either reach an agreement or announce an impasse.

However, it's interesting to note that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va., has granted another 30-day extension of the time for parties in the lawsuit to ask for a rehearing by the three-judge panel that issued an opinion on Aug. 6 or by the entire Appeals Court.
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7-mile bridge could be costly to CHEC customers

A 7-mile bridge that is on the table as the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Southern Environmental Law Center  negotiate an agreement to end legal action over the replacement of the Bonner Bridge would be costly to Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative members on Hatteras Island.
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UPDATE: New concept includes 7-mile bridge into Pamlico Sound

A new concept being considered by the North Carolina Department of Transportation  would include a 7-mile bridge into the Pamlico Sound that would run from just north of Pea Island Inlet --at the dike at the southern pond on the refuge -- down to northern Rodanthe.

DOT announced yesterday that it is in discussions with the Southern Environmental Law Center and its clients in the legal impasse over the replacement of the Bonner Bridge and the solutions for the hotspots along Highway 12.

The new concept is outlined in a PowerPoint presentation that DOT gave last week when the department met with the Highway 12 merger team, comprised of state and federal resource and regulatory agencies, to brief members on the status of the project and solicit feedback.
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DOT and SELC in 'discussions' about Bonner Bridge replacement

The North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Southern Environmental Law Center, representing Defenders of Wildlife and the National Wildlife Refuge Association, are currently in active, confidential discussions regarding replacing the aging Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet with a new parallel bridge while continuing to develop a long-term solution to the transportation challenges along the stretch of Highway 12 south of the bridge to Rodanthe.  
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DOT temporarily suspends work on new Pea Island bridge

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is temporarily suspending work on the Pea Island bridge construction on Highway 12.  
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The voter's guide to the Nov. 4 general election

Despite overarching court battles and unceasing political advertising that may have created some cynicism this election season, Dare County voters have an unusually full slate of contests to inspire a trip to the voting booth.

Nearly all local offices on the ballot have opponents, from the county commission to the clerk of Superior Court to the county Sheriff to the District Attorney. Only three local judge seats and two partisan offices are unopposed. 

In Hyde County, however, the only contested local race is for Sheriff in which Democrat Carl (Guire) Cahoon is being challenged by Larry D. Weston, who is unaffiliated.
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Video of shark feeding frenzy at Cape Lookout gets national attention

A YouTube video of a shark feeding frenzy at Cape Lookout National Seashore, just south of Cape Hatteras, has gone viral on national and social media this week.

The video was shot by angler Donnie Griggs, while he was on retreat with some other leaders of One Harbor Church, which is located in nearby Morehead City, N.C.  The men wrote in the text with the video that they were out fishing for the evening's dinner when they came across more than 100 sharks attacking a school of bluefish.

The incident was filmed last Thursday, Oct. 9, and has been shared on local television stations all the way to Indiana, a USA Today blog, ABC Nightly News, and a whole myriad of other blogs and social media sites.
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Cancer Foundation Fun Run is a day of celebration....WITH SLIDE SHOW

The 11th Annual Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation Fun Run was held on Saturday, and the survivors won.
First across the finish line for the men was Keith Gray at a little more than 18 minutes. Evan O’Connell came in at a little over 20 minutes to pace the women. They were the runners who took home the first-place trophies, but the winners were the women resplendent in pink who had survived breast cancer and were celebrating life.
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Ocracoke travel trailer amendment on chopping block

The Ocracoke Advisory Planning Board voted at its September meeting to recommend removing the travel trailer section of the Ocracoke Development Ordinance (ODO) on the premise that it duplicates FEMA and other governmental rules. 

Travel trailers as housing on Ocracoke have been controversial for the last few years.  In 2011, the Planning Board while Darlene Styron was county commissioner began looking at regulating campers as their use increased by island employers needing summer housing for their employees.  
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Beth Midgett Talks About Replacing The Bonner Bridge On To The Point'...WITH AUDIO

Beth Midgett, who has been chairwoman of the Dare County Citizens' Committee to Replace the Bonner Bridge since it was established in 2006, was the guest on Sunday, Oct. 5, on the new Radio Hatteras interview show, "To the Point."

On the show, she discussed the 25-year effort of the North Carolina Department of Transportation to replace the aging bridge that is the only highway link between Hatteras and the mainland.
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Dare commissioner Burrus charged with simple assault

Dare County Commissioner Allen Burrus of Hatteras village has been charged with simple assault, a misdemeanor, and ordered to appear in Dare County District Court on Friday, Nov. 14.

The charges stem from an incident in which an employee, John Paul Pehrson, 20, says Burrus "grabbed him around the neck with both hands and pushed him into the wall" at the Red & White Supermarket -- which Burrus owns -- on Wednesday, Oct. 1, shortly before the store closed at 9 p.m.  
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