News

The City of New Bern has begun resurfacing roads across town. Lee Jenkins has more.

The city plans to resurface 14 roads over the course of the next 120 days. Currently, construction crews are working on Trent Road, 2nd Avenue, 3rd Street, and 5th street. After that crews will begin working in the Pembroke subdivision and the Sunnyside neighborhood. Crews will finish by resurfacing the road to Derby Park and parts of Elizabeth Avenue. Director of Public Works Matt Montaigne says the city will try to make the process as painless for commuters as possible.

As summer continues, vector-borne diseases become more prevalent in Eastern NC. Lee Jenkins has more on Onslow County’s vector-borne disease season.

Long, hot days and summer showers provide the perfect breeding ground for ticks and mosquitoes, who in turn incubate diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and West Nile Virus. Several probable cases of these diseases and others, like Lyme Disease and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, were reported during the spring and summer in Onslow County.

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How safe is your beach?  We talk to the State Recreational Water Quality Program Manager about testing the water at more than 200 locations, from Corolla to Sunset Beach.

When it comes to a trip to the beach, there are hazards you are aware of.  Sunburn, getting caught in a rip current, stepping on a shell or piece of glass, or in very rare cases, being bitten by a shark.  But there’s also hazards you may not consider, such as water quality.  

How safe is your beach?  This week on the Down East Journal, we speak to the State Recreational Water Quality Program Manager about testing the water at more than 200 locations, from Corolla to Sunset Beach.  And why sometimes, they have to issue a swimming advisory.  Plus, we take an audio tour of a new exhibit in New Bern detailing the history of the Tuscarora Nation with 15 rare maps.  The Down East Journal, Friday at noon on all of the PRE stations.  And Saturday at noon on New and Ideas. 

http://www.beaufortbridgefacts.org/

We hear an update on the construction of the high rise bridge from Morehead City to Beaufort.  

Communing between the coastal communities of Beaufort and Morehead City will be a lot less stressful once a new high rise bridge is operational over Gallants Channel.   The project, which has been in the works for 20 years, is well on its way to completion.

There’s a public meeting on Wednesday (07/29/15) to discuss the temporary ban on target shooting in the Croatan National Forest, in portions of Jones, Craven, and Carteret counties.  Jared Brumbaugh has more. 

After receiving hundreds of complaints from locals, the U.S. Forest Service banned target shooting in the Croatan for 120 days.  The closure took effect July 13th.  District Ranger Jim Gumm says concerns about public safety prompted the ban.

Over 60 residents have a new place to call home. A 2.2 million dollar facility recently opened its doors in Greenville. The high-tech shelter is called Community Crossroads Place. Sarah Finch speaks with the Executive Director Bob Williams about how the new space will help them better serve the homeless in Pitt County. 

A new community shelter recently opened in Greenville, providing safe housing for more than 60 residents.  This week on the Down East Journal, we speak with Executive Director Bob Williams about the high-tech 2.2 million dollar facility and their mission to help the less fortunate in Pitt County.  Also, we hear an update on the construction of the high rise bridge from Morehead City to Beaufort.  And, a native of Lenoir County whose efforts in multiple American wars, including as a major figure in the state during the Civil War, have been lost to history has his story told by a fellow nativ

INTRO – Lenoir County is an area extremely cognizant of its Civil War history. If you visit Kinston’s website, tops on the list of things to do surround its Civil War past. So as conscious of its history as Lenoir County is, the fact that in this 21st century there was a prominent Civil War personality left to discover was a surprise to a local author. George Olsen has more

R. Evans, North Carolina State Parks

Parks and museums across the state have begun preparing for Governor McCrory’s Connect NC investment program and the funding it would provide them.  Lee Jenkins spoke with the directors for Hammocks Beach Park and the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum about what the program would mean for their facilities.

Byron Toothman, North Carolina Coastal Reserve

Large floating mats of red algae continue to wash up on some parts of the coast choking out native plants and animal species. This week on the Down East Journal, we speak with North Carolina Coastal Reserve Research Biologist Byron Toothman about the impacts of this quickly-growing, invasive seaweed and how it’s altering our coastal ecosystem.  

It’s a “growing” problem.  Large floating mats of red algae continue to wash up on some parts of the coast choking out native plants and animal species. This week on the Down East Journal, we speak with North Carolina Coastal Reserve Research Biologist Byron Toothman about the impacts of this quickly-growing, invasive seaweed and how it’s altering our coastal ecosystem.  The Down East Journal, Friday at noon on all of the PRE stations.  And Saturday at noon on New and Ideas. 

Following eight shark attacks this summer, another seaside town is enacting fishing restrictions. Jared Brumbaugh has more.

Effective today, Pine Knoll Shores is banning all fishing at ten heavily used beach access location. Town Manager Brian Kramer says the plan designates a 200 yard area at each site for swimming only. He says anglers will have to move to the right or left of these restricted areas in order to fish.

"Most fishermen we think do that already out of courtesy, but we don't want to have bait in the water while folks are swimming."

UNC Institute of Marine Sciences

It's summer-time, the flowers are in bloom and butterflies and bees are doing what they’ve always done.  But there’s been a decline in their numbers here in North Carolina and around the United States.  A new federal plan aims to reverse trend with an “all hands on deck” approach. Sarah Finch has more.

UNC Institute of Marine Sciences

Black sea bass are making a comeback in North Carolina after the species was overfished a decade ago.  We visit the Institute of Marine Sciences in Morehead City where they’re using ear bones from hundreds of black sea bass to learn which habitats along our coast best support the fishery. 

New school bus safety policies have been approved by the state Board of Education. George Olsen has more.

State officials advise residents to wear their life jackets when boating. Lee Jenkins has more.

Boating Safety Coordinator Major Chris Huebner says the most important safety measure any boater can take is to wear their life jacket. The primary cause of death in boating accidents is drowning, which life jackets go a long way towards preventing. Huebner says that even with a drunken operator or in bad weather, a life jacket would likely save lives.

School districts across the state have suspended their Driver’s Ed programs. Lee Jenkins has more.

Budget disagreements between the House and Senate have left financing for the programs up in the air. The Senate seeks to cut funding to high schools and have the community college system provide the classes, while the House seeks to maintain the program as it is.

INTRO – There is what we know. There is what we don’t know. Then there is the stuff we just can’t mentally erase. Prepare yourself… commentator Joan Carris runs down some science you just can’t forget.

U.S. Coast Guard

When the U.S. Coast Guard responds to an emergency off the North Carolina coast, they don’t expect the call for help to be a hoax.  Unfortunately, these events occur more than you think.  Responding to false distress calls is not only expensive, it can put rescue personnel in dangerous situations. A local man was recently sentenced to prison for making hoax calls to the U.S. Coast Guard in October 2013.  Sarah Finch has more.

It’s the familiar fable of the boy who cried wolf, but in this case, with very costly consequences.

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