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NCDOT

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory recently announced that the State is seeking federal approval to designate a section of U.S. 264 as a future interstate.  The 72-mile segment of highway will extend from the U.S. 264/Highway 64 near Zebulon near Wake County, and run through Nash, Wilson, Greene and Pitt counties all the way to Greenville.   The application for interstate designation has been sent to the Federal Highway Administration and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Office. A decision could be made as early as November.

Politics in Polite (or not-so-polite) Company

Sep 19, 2016
The Hill / Getty Images

As Election Day approaches - political rhetoric is getting tenser. Even relatively innocuous stories from the campaign trail seem to ignite heated arguments.

At times, those strong disagreements play out at public forums, social gatherings, or family get togethers.

Chris Thomas has this.  

So, you’re at the office or you’re around the dinner table – and then it happens: the conversation turns to politics.

“There has been many a family gathering where the subject was dropped…”

  As Election Day approaches, political rhetoric is getting louder. This can make for strained and tense conversations - especially in the workplace and family gatherings.  This week on the Down East Journal, how to cope with politically charged relationships.   And, we speak to State Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson about how Greenville will benefit if a section of U.S. 264 becomes an interstate.   

Free download of Killing Time from the CD American Fork by Tim Easton, currently featured on The Sound.  Find out more about the artist here.

North Carolina has moved up to second in the nation for installed solar power.  Jared Brumbaugh has more. 

The Charlotte Business Journal reports the state added about 115 megawatts worth of new solar capacity to its power grid in the second quarter, bringing the overall total for the state to more than 1.9 gigawatts of installed solar capacity. The primary driver for solar development in the state - Duke Energy - has 35 projects online and 2 under construction.  Spokesperson Randy Wheeless says the number of solar installations will continue to grow.

Wolf Haven International

The U.S. Fish Wildlife Service has decided to continue their nearly 30 year conservation effort of the endangered red wolf in northeastern North Carolina.  But conservation groups aren’t happy with the announcement.  

University of California - Riverside

Today on the Down East Journal, we explore how prepared local healthcare providers are when it comes to the uncertainty surrounding Zika infection and microcephaly in infants.

According to the North Carolina Division of Public Health, southeastern North Carolina has the highest birthrate in the state.  This fact may play in favor of early detection and early intervention should Zika become a real threat here in eastern North Carolina.

NC Sea Turtle Project

The sea turtle nesting season is winding down and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is reporting it's a record year.  So far, there have been 1,636 nests counted along 330 miles of ocean facing sandy beaches in our state.  That number is up from last year's count of 1,300 nests and it's a significant jump from 2014 where 565 nests were reported. 

ENC Workers Facing Small Wages, Little Organization

Sep 12, 2016
Rocky Mount Telegram

Last Monday – Labor Day – marked the unofficial end of the summer season and a final chance to partake in its pleasures.

But as reports of stagnant wages, underemployment, and rollbacks on workplace discrimination protections persist, reminders of Labor Day’s original purpose have begun resurfacing. 

Chris Thomas has this.

This is what organized labor sounds like in eastern North Carolina. It’s a Lodge Meeting for the AFL-CIO’s District 110, headquartered in Havelock.

North Carolina workers are among the least unionized in the country and many blame, or credit, the state's culture and "Right-to-Work" laws.  That's especially true in eastern North Carolina's primarily agricultural and service based economy. This week on the Down East Journal, we speak to local labor leaders and labor law experts on where workers stand in the region and the role they may play in a new labor movement. Plus, we explore how prepared local healthcare providers are when it comes to the uncertainty of Zika infection and microcephaly in infants.

This week on the Down East Journal, the Washington Development Tourism Authority calls for artists to submit paintings of waterfowl for the 2017-2018 North Carolina Duck Stamp Competition. Plus, the skies will be clear as Tropical Storm Hermine moves out of the region.  Hear how you can track planetary movement on “Carolina Skies.”  And, music and conversation with Asheville’s “The Broadcast.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Red Wolf Recovery Program is responsible for the reintroduction of the species declared biologically extinct in the 1980s.  Now, after decades of work, they may dismantle the program all together. This week on the Down East Journal, we speak with local conservation groups who recently held rallies to show their support and we hear from private landowners in the red wolf recovery area that want to see the program end.

As students return to East Carolina University in Greenville, many people are surprised to learn that there’s an increase in demand for counselors to address student anxiety.  Chris Thomas visits ECU to shed some light on the trend.  Plus, we stop by Safe Harbor Farm in Maysville, a non-profit whose mission has shifted over the past year.  And, as communities in our area strive to become more bicycle and pedestrian friendly, we talk about a statewide grant initiative helping local towns and cities build bike paths and sidewalks.

Google Maps

Hammocks Beach State Park wants the public to weigh in on how to develop 290 acres of mainland property.  Jared Brumbaugh has more.

Right now, the site is mostly wooded except for the dilapidated remains of a 4-H camp and Future Farmers of America camp.  It was purchased for $10 million last spring to make the park a year round destination.  Friends of the Hammocks and Bear Island David Pearson says an online survey asks people what amenities they want on the mainland property.

Free download of Most of that Left from the CD Empty Glasses by Reagan Boggs, currently featured on The Sound.  Find out more about the artist here.

Free download of On the Verge from the CD Poker All Night Long by The Royal Hounds, currently featured on The Sound.  Find out more about the artist here.

Well owners living near Duke Energy coal ash facilities have been notified that they’ll receive a permanent alternate drinking water supply.  A letter was sent to about 1,000 households this week.  Jared Brumbaugh has more. 

Gov. Pat McCrory was in Goldsboro yesterday to celebrate the opening of the new Cherry Hospital. George Olsen has more.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Red Wolf Recovery Program is responsible for the reintroduction of the species declared biologically extinct in the 1980s.  Now, after decades of work, they may dismantle the program all together. Local conservation groups recently held rallies to show their support, while some private landowners in the red wolf recovery area want to see the program end. 

Gov. Pat McCrory has declared the month of September North Carolina Preparedness Month. George Olsen has more.

Professional baseball returns to Kinston next year. George Olsen has more.

We love our furry companions, for better or worse.  But when it comes to changing your dog’s behavior, training tends to focus on making them respond to human commands in order to make them act more human.  But a local non-profit has made it their mission to move people to a new way of thinking about pet training and behavior. 

NCDOT

More and more communities in eastern North Carolina are striving to be more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.  Building sidewalks or bike paths connects people with commercial areas, promotes healthy lifestyles and increases aesthetic appeal. The North Carolina Department of Transportation is paving the way to help municipalities develop plans that encourage safe walking and biking.  Mac McKee speaks with Planning program manager with NCDOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Division John Vine-Hodge about the grant initiative.  

The Black Sheep Online

There was a spike in counseling service appointments last academic year and a major cause of concern is a lack of coping skills regarding the uncertainty of life like failure and adjusting to new environments. It mirrors a nationwide trend among college-aged students, and as Chris Thomas reports it’s only the tip of the iceberg facing millennials.

August 18th marks Marine Corp Air Station’s Cherry Point’s 75th anniversary and there will be a ceremony on the flight line marking the occasion.  Jared Brumbaugh has more.

N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

The State Underwater Archeology Team will be on the Neuse River in Kinston Friday (August 19) searching for remnants of the CSS Neuse. George Olsen has more.

North Carolina Coastal Federation

Living shorelines are effective at slowing erosion, providing habitat and improving water quality.  Now, the North Carolina Coastal Federation wants to install more than 2,000 liner feet of living shoreline in eastern North Carolina's sounds, bays, rivers, and waterways. 

NC State Ports Photo

With an expansion project now complete, the Port of Wilmington is able to handle larger container ships carrying more cargo.  Jared Brumbaugh has more. 

This week on the Down East Journal,the science of living shorelines and their ecological benefits.  Efforts are underway to construct more than 2,000 linear feet of living shoreline in eastern North Carolina’s sounds, bays, rivers, and waterways.  And, craft breweries are a burgeoning business in North Carolina. We meet a couple who make it a point to visit each one… and they’re having a hard time keeping up. This week, it’s a guide to North Carolina Craft Beer & Breweries.

This week on the Down East Journal, the City of Jacksonville with the help of coastal scientists are maintaining the health of Wilson Bay using green infrastructure.  Plus, North Carolina voters are once again in limbo after a federal court struck down the 2013 Voter ID law.  We talk to local officials about their precincts, how they've dealt with three tumultuous and erratic years and about what the future may hold.  And, snakes are out and about this summer. Tips on how to stay safe in the woods, on the trail or in your own backyard. 

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