Wallace L. Beckham

AVON — Wallace L. Beckham, 84,died February22, 2011 at his home.  He was born Aug. 13, 1926 in Winnsboro,S.C.  He was the son of Wallace D. Beckham and FlorenceHennesseeBeckham. He loved his country and served in the U.S. Navy in World WareII.  He was a Master Plumber, real estate broker, pilot andservedin the U.S. National […]

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Park Service releases pre-nesting closure information and maps…WITH MAPS

Park Service releases pre-nesting closure information and maps…WITH MAPS By IRENE NOLAN By IRENE NOLAN By IRENE NOLAN The National Park Service has released information and maps on pre-nesting closures for piping plovers, a shore bird listed as threatened by the federal government. The pre-nesting closures will be in place by March 15, as required […]

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Infrastructure improvements required under FEIS will need another environmental study

My blog last week on the National Park Service?s economic impacts of its Final Environmental Impact Statement has generated some interesting comments and a good discussion. I wrote last week that the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce is seeking businesses that participated in an economic survey on impacts.  The businesses contacted by RTI International were […]

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Sheriff’s office checks registered sex offenders, arrests one in Buxton

On Tuesday, Feb. 15, deputies and investigators with the Dare County Sheriff’s Office conducted Operation RAVEN, which is an acronym for Random Address Verification Enforcement.  This operation was intended to verify the addresses, appearance changes, and statutory compliance of the registered sex offenders in Dare County.  This operation, headed by Sheriff’s Office CID Sergeant Scott […]

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While walking the Ocracoke beach the other day, just north of the pony pens, I stopped to study a configuration of timbers and metal, partially buried in the sand. I had seen it before, and I knew that it was the remains of a ship that had wrecked nearby, but it never ceases to draw my attention. I have watched my share of movies about shipwrecks, and I’ve spent some pretty scary moments on storm-tossed boats myself. I know what awe, terror, and sometimes heroism they can inspire, and I always wonder what story these timbers would tell, if they could. The waters off of Ocracoke Island are part of what is called “the Graveyard of the Atlantic,” and the shores are no stranger to ships and boats that have run awry here. The Labrador and Gulf Stream currents converge nearby, causing frequent storms and unpredictable weather conditions. The shoals that lie just off the coastline change quickly and charts are often unreliable. Ocracoke’s beaches are littered with the remains of victims of the sea, and the Coast Guard logs abound with accounts of them. Forty shipwrecks have been officially recorded at Ocracoke, according to Carl Goerch, author of the book “Ocracoke,” and this does not include ships of fewer than 50 tons. A list compiled by the Hyde County Historical Society in 1976 for its book, “The Story of Ocracoke,” lists 39. The first of these was wrecked in 1819; the last three in 1942, the victims of German submarine attacks during World War II. Most were wooden sailing vessels, but the last three were tankers. The list does not include the wreck of the Tiger, which happened in 1585, when Simon Fernando, chief pilot for Sir Richard Grenville’s English expedition to the new world, ran aground in his flagship. Most of the gear was destroyed by the saltwater, but the Tiger was eventually repaired and re-launched. It went on, along with the rest of the expedition, to Roanoke Island and what later became known as the Lost Colony. Also not on the list was a shipwreck described by David Shears in his book “Ocracoke: Its History and People.” Shears relates how, in 1750, a Spanish mercantile vessel, the Nuestra Senora, was wrecked on the island (recorded as “Occacock”) during a fierce storm. Its rich cargo–a million pieces-of-eight — was plundered by islanders who, according to Shears, were angered by previous Spanish pirating. Alton Ballance includes in his book “Ocracokers” a copy of a letter written by the captain of the sloop Henry, traveling from New York to Charleston, S.C., in 1819. It says that the ship ran aground “on the south beach of Ocracoke Bar, four miles from land” in a strong gale. All hands but the captain were lost. This shipwreck was included on the above mentioned list, as are those that follow. Local legend has it that Ocracoke’s wild ponies landed on these shores after a shipwreck, perhaps during the 17th or 18th century. There is also a story about a ship called the Black Squall, which was carrying a circus troupe and animals from Havana to New York in 1861, being caught in a storm near Ocracoke. The ship wrecked on the beach, and all aboard were lost, except for two beautiful Arabian horses, who escaped and made the island their home.

By PAT GARBER By PAT GARBER While walking the Ocracoke beach the other day, just north of the pony pens, I stopped to study a configuration of timbers and metal, partially buried in the sand. I had seen it before, and I knew that it was the remains of a ship that had wrecked nearby, […]

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UPDATE: Lawmakers write letter opposing catch-share program

U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-N.C.) today led a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers in urging the Department of Commerce to consider alternatives to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Catch Share Program. In a letter to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, the members of Congress said that the policy endangers the fishing industry […]

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Catching up with the catch shares program, which is unpopular with local watermen

As a potential management strategy for the snapper-grouper fishery, catch shares has hit a nerve among North Carolina fishermen. Nearly four years after catch shares were first pitched by some as a way to save the fishing industry in North Carolina, a proposed plan has been presented by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, the […]

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Emilia Ann O’Buch

Ballance HATTERAS– Emilia Ann O’BuchBallance, 80, a loving wife, mother, and “Nanniegirl” passed awaypeacefully in her sleep on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011. She was bornSept. 15, 1930 to the late Paul and Ann O’Buch. She lived in NewYork City until she was married in 1957. Shewas predeceased by her brothers,Charles and John O’Buch. Sheis survived […]

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