Conversation with local restaurateur Vivian Howard about her favorite Thanksgiving dishes, tips for less stress in the kitchen, and her TV special “A CHEF’S LIFE."

November is awareness month for Lung Cancer, the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the United States. Doctors at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville are betting on new technologies to reverse that trend. Sarah Finch has more on a new lung biopsy device and how it’s changing healthcare options in eastern North Carolina.

Prestage AgEnergy

A big juicy turkey may be the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving table.  It’s likely the bird came from right here in our own state, since North Carolina ranks second in the nation for turkey production.  Now, a $25 million plant in Sampson County promising to transform turkey house waste into electricity is being built. The 165,000 square foot facility, east of Clinton, broke ground this summer.  Vice President of Prestage AgEnergy Michael Pope says the Moltonville based project has been in the works since 2011.

Turkeys: they’re the centerpiece for your Thanksgiving feast.  And a source of renewable energy.  This week on the Down East Journal, we talk to the Vice President of Prestage AgEnergy about their plant under construction in Sampson County that will convert turkey waste into steam for electricity. And, a local hospital is the first in the world to use new biopsy tool.  The Down East Journal airs Friday at noon on all of the PRE stations.  And Saturday at noon on News and Ideas.  

INTRO – A slight increase is Thanksgiving holiday traffic is expected (next/this) week. George Olsen has more.

Photo by Gretchen Baugh, ECU

Is 120 the new 140? According to initial results from a nationwide blood pressure study, conducted in part by East Carolina University, it may be for some. 

One third of all Americans are hypertensive, but that rate is higher here in eastern North Carolina.  Division Chief of General Internal Medicine at ECU Brody School of Medicine, Dr. James Powell,

“Despite a lot of effort to try help a lot of folks, and we’ve helped a lot of folks through the years, Eastern North Carolina still has a very high penetration of people with high blood pressure.”

High blood pressure affects nearly a third of the U.S. population and in eastern North Carolina that number is higher.  This week on the Down East Journal, how new research carried out in part at ECU in Greenville sheds new light on the ideal blood pressure for heart and kidney health.  And, New Bern High was selected as one of four schools in the state to participate in a solar panel pilot program.  The Down East Journal airs Friday at noon on all of the PRE stations.  And Saturday at noon on News and Ideas.  

NC GreenPower

A new statewide pilot program is giving students an opportunity to learn hands on about renewable energy.   New Bern High is one of four schools across North Carolina that received a grant to construct a 5kW solar panel system on site.  Earth and Environmental Science Teacher Sandy Parker applied for the grant in Spring of this year and found out three months later that they had received funding.

Major Roadwork Planned In Greenville

Nov 9, 2015

Greenville is one of the largest cities in Eastern North Carolina with a population of nearly 90,000 people.  Commuting in or around the area can be difficult at times.  Two major transportation projects are now underway in Pitt County that aim to alleviate congestion.  Sarah Finch has construction details on these roadworks and their potential impact on traffic patterns.

On Tuesday, people across eastern North Carolina headed to the polls to cast their ballot in the municipal elections... and results are in.  Chris Thomas reports on how cities and towns across the region may be getting ready to see new faces in old places.

Now, a quick word of warning – the 2015 municipal elections aren’t over in North Carolina. Until the end of the Nov. 10 County canvasses – a final tally of all submitted ballots – none of the results are official.

This week on the Down East Journal, it’s a roundup of notable races - who's in and who's out of local offices across Eastern North Carolina. Plus, November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.  We talk about services and resources available to patients and caregivers in our region.  And, major road construction is in the works that will help alleviate traffic congestion in and around Greenville.  The Down East Journal airs Friday at noon on all of the PRE stations.  And Saturday at noon on News and Ideas.  

Alzheimer's North Carolina

November is recognized as National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and National Caregivers Month.  But the patient and caregiver are at the mercy of this devastating disease and it’s inevitable progression.  Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the disease accounting for 60 to 80 percent of all dementia cases, typically striking those ages 65 and better.  Women are more likely to be diagnosed than men.  The neurodegenerative disease slowly attacks the brain’s nerve cells causing a loss of memory, cognitive and language skills, and a change

INTRO – The New Bern Police Department has announced an addition to their 9-1-1 service. George Olsen has more.


Middle and high school students across the state are gearing up for the North Carolina Department of Transportation's Model Bridge Building Competition.  Registration is open now through November 20th.  The competition isn't until next Spring, so that gives groups plenty of time to brainstorm ideas, design a diagram and construct a model bridge.  Mac McKee speaks with the Model Bridge Building Coordinator Gail Herring about the annual event which inspires students to explore the connect between the classroom and real world applications.

Thousands are expected to descend on Greenville this weekend for Halloween, an event local residents and law enforcement officers are embracing, and bracing themselves for.  Here’s Chris Thomas with this report.

N.C. Department of Agriculture

Agriculture is the number one industry in North Carolina, contributing $78 billion dollars to the State’s economy.  Much of the food produced in our state comes from our region, which was recently pounded with heavy rainfall, accumulating to more than 20 inches in some areas.  It’s an agricultural crisis here… Director of the State Farm Service Agency Bob Etheridge estimates millions of dollars worth of damages in eastern North Carolina.

INTRO – Gardens at state prisons are helping to fill food bank shelves. George Olsen has more.

Many expected North Carolina’s film industry to take a hit after the incentives program ended.  But the business is holding firm.  This week on the Down East Journal, how a new grant program is attracting filmmakers to the State. And, it’s music and conversation with Canadian Roots and Blues artist Susie Vinnick.  She’ll perform this Friday and Saturday in eastern North Carolina.  The Down East Journal, Friday at noon on all of the PRE stations.  And Saturday at noon on News and Ideas.  

©2012 MVLFFLLC. TM & ©2012 Marvel. All rights reserved.

The film industry in North Carolina represents a $300 million dollar business.  Earlier this year, a new grant program was announced to attract filmmakers to our area.  It is awarding $10 million dollars to a select number of in-state productions. Sarah Finch spoke with North Carolina Film Office Director Guy Gaster about the grant recipients. 

INTRO – Drivers are warned to exercise caution on the roads with increased deer activity. George Olsen has more.