Local News

Solutions to Hatteras Inlet shoaling remain elusive

North winds and a moon tide have recently improved passage through Hatteras Inlet, allowing charter boats to continue to inch their way to and from the ocean. But it is still unclear what the best short-term solution will be to the worsening navigational problems in the waterway.

“We’re turning over every rock we can,” said Dare County Board of Commissioners Chairman Bob Woodard. 
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Coast Guard warns mariners away from Hatteras Inlet as officials seek solutions

Just hours after the Coast Guard urged mariners not to use the South Ferry Channel at Hatteras Inlet, a county waterways panel convened again in Hatteras village to seek solutions to stubborn shoaling in the channel that is being called "catastrophic."

"Recent hydrographic surveys indicate shoaling in South Ferry Channel has resulted in an average channel depth of less than 2 feet," Coast Guard officials said in a late afternoon news release.  "The current navigational aids in and around South Ferry Channel do not reflect accurate channel depth." 
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Hatteras community emergency team to offer training

The Hatteras Island Community Emergency Response Team will be offering the CERT basic training class to anyone in the community who may be interested in attending.

The course is designed to help everyone in the community to learn how to take care of themselves, their families, and their neighbors, before, during and after an emergency or significant event such as a hurricane. The course is free to the public. Classes begin on Wednesday, Sept. 23, and will be held at the Avon Fire Hall, beginning at 6 p.m. 
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Annual Day at the Docks celebration will be Sept. 17-19

The annual Day at the Docks, a celebration of Hatteras Island watermen, will start with a roundtable discussion on Thursday evening, Sept. 17, and conclude with events from early morning into the early evening on Saturday, Sept. 20, in Hatteras village.

Day at the Docks was started to celebrate the "Spirit of Hatteras" when the village recovered from Hurricane Isabel in 2003 as an intact community, anchored by the commercial and charter fishermen.  The celebration, which now features events over three days, is a confirmation of the strength of community, heritage and the living traditions of the island's watermen. 
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Ferry crew rescues two from overturned boat in Swan Quarter Bay

Nearing the end of his 9:30 a.m. run from Ocracoke on Saturday, North Carolina Ferry Captain Mark Piner noticed an unusual sight in Swan Quarter Bay -- an overturned boat with two people hanging onto it.
Immediately, Piner contacted the U.S. Coast Guard and ordered the M/V Silver Lake’s rescue boat launched. Crew members Daniel Smith and Simon Robinette piloted the rescue boat to the capsized vessel, pulling George and Justin Peele out of the water and into the rescue boat.
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Legislative Update:  Still no budget from Raleigh

They came, they talked, they went home.

And that pretty much sums up the past week's activities in the General Assembly. The few notable actions that occurred happened on Thursday, the last legislative day of the week, when both chambers passed yet another continuing resolution to keep government operating without an approved state budget in place. 
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Erika fizzles, Florida braces for heavy rain

The National Hurricane Center issued its last advisory on Tropical Storm Erika at 9:30 this morning, but left the door open to the possibility that the storm might regenerate over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.

Erika, a struggling storm for days now, was battered by wind shear, dry air, and finally the mountains of Hispaniola overnight.  At 9:30 this morning, the center of the storm was located just off the northeastern coast of Cuba, moving west-northwest at 22 mph with winds of 35 mph.    
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Final roadblocks to Bonner Bridge replacement are cleared

Gov. Pat McCrory announced today that the final roadblocks were cleared on Friday, Aug. 14, allowing the N.C. Department of Transportation to proceed with construction of a new Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet.
Completing the terms of a settlement agreement reached in June, the Defenders of Wildlife and the National Wildlife Refuge Association, represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center, have dropped all remaining lawsuits that prevented NCDOT from replacing the 52-year-old Bonner Bridge with a new bridge parallel to the existing one.
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Efforts to replace Bonner Bridge span 25 years

Keeping up with the bridge replacement schedule has not been easy since DOT
started planning 25 years ago to replace the aging span that opened in 1963. Here are brief chronologies of the efforts to replace the bridge and those to bridge the "hotspots." 
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UPDATE: Latest sales tax plan passes Senate

The North Carolina Senate today passed House Bill 117, the "N.C. Competes" economic development legislation that includes a scaled back plan to redistribute sales tax revenue.

The plan, even in its scaled back version, would take more than $4 million in revenue from Dare County and has motivated local officials to mount a fierce campaign to stop it.

The vote was 34-12.  Sen. Bill Cook, who represents Dare County, was not present for today's vote. He had an "excused absence." 
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Science panel says effects of seismic surveying still unclear

Petroleum industry officials have repeatedly dismissed claims that seismic surveying for offshore gas and oil can have ill effects on marine mammals, but coastal scientists say loud man-made noises change animal behavior and more work needs to be done to be sure sensitive species aren’t harmed by seismic survey activity. 
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Agency seeks comments on seismic permits

Federal regulators are taking the unusual step of providing a 30-day public review and comment period before acting on applications related to proposed seismic surveys for oil and natural gas off the Atlantic coast. A decision on whether to issue the permits could come by the end of the year.
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U.S. Postal Service celebrates Coast Guard's 225th birthday

The U.S. Postal Service commemorated the Coast Guard’s 225 years of service to the nation by creating a Forever Stamp to honor its role in protecting the security of the nation and advancing vital U.S. maritime interests.
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Hyde commissioners to research noise ordinance

At their meeting this week, the Hyde County commissioners agreed to take another look at the Ocracoke noise ordinance following a discussion among island residents about the difficulties of enforcing it.

According to the ordinance, no outdoor music is to be above 70 decibels and it has to stop at 10 p.m.  Music can still be indoors, but sound is not supposed to cross over boundaries to disturb others.  The ordinance does not say anything about what the decibel level should be from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. 
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Nick Tennyson is named Secretary of Transportation

Gov. Pat McCrory today announced the appointment of Nick Tennyson as the new Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Tennyson has served as Chief Deputy Secretary since March 2013, and succeeds Tony Tata, who resigned last week.
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Local leaders hammer away at sales tax plan

At a news conference on Monday, Dare County leaders continued their assault on the North Carolina Senate's plan to change the way sales tax is redistributed to the state's counties.

The plan, originally introduced as a bill last winter, lingered in a committee for months and then suddenly found its way into the Senate's budget for the next fiscal year. Local leaders say the plan would be "devastating" for 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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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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