Jared Brumbaugh

Jared Brumbaugh joined the PRE staff in May of 2006.  A New Bern native, he's currently a full time reporter and producer for Down East Journal.  His news spots and feature stories can also be heard during Morning Edition.  Jared is the recipient of five North Carolina Associated Press Awards for "Best Feature," "General News," "Best Health Report," "Best Weather Report," and "Best Consumer Report." When not at the station, he enjoys hiking, mountain biking, camping, fishing and paddle boarding. 

Ways to Connect

Thousands of residents and business owners impacted by flooding across eastern North Carolina have started the long process of recovery.  


Flooding, downed trees and wash outs were reported across eastern North Carolina during Hurricane Matthew prompting dozens of road closures in our region.  It’s been nearly three weeks since the storm, and crews with the North Carolina Department of Transportation have been out in full force making repairs to roads and bridges.  Some of the highways have reopened, others will remain closed for some time.   Jared Brumbaugh spoke with State DOT Secretary Nick Tennyson about repair efforts underway.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved a 31-day extension for applications. Residents now have until Jan. 9, 2017, to register with FEMA. The extension also applies to homeowners, renters and businesses submitting applications for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.  Registration is open in 45 counties.

Now that Hurricane Matthew has come and gone, some in eastern North Carolina are dealing with catastrophic flooding.  This week on the Down East Journal, we speak with Beaufort County residents saving personal items from rising floodwaters and visit an emergency shelter in Greenville.

Eighteen people lost their lives on North Carolina highways riding bicycles last year.  This week on the Down East Journal, we talk about new laws that took affect October 1st that aim to curb the number of crashes.  Plus, addiction to opioids like heroine is a nationwide epidemic hitting eastern North Carolina hard.  The latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control have four eastern counties with drug overdose rates above the state average.  A recent study from a major, healthcare provider put multiple eastern cities in the top 25 nationwide for the rate of opioid abusers.

Some residents living near a tributary of the Tar River in Beaufort County were told to evacuate their homes in the middle of the night because water levels were quickly rising. The next day, many went back with jon boats and kayaks to rescue personal items from their homes.

NCDOT

We’ve all seen the bright yellow signs along eastern North Carolina roadways … “share the road.” 

“You’re going straight, and they pass you, and they turn in front of you. So you have to slam on your brakes because otherwise you’ll hit the car.”

Avid cyclist and New Bern resident Joe Baes rides about 100 miles a week, sometimes 2 or 300.

“Instead of freaking out, just… hey, pay attention to what you’re doing, be careful.  Then you get flipped off and then you drive away.”

Multiple roadways are closed in eastern North Carolina due to damage and flooding. Motorists are advised to stay alert and adhere to special traveling conditions implemented by local authority in their area.  If a flooded roadway is encountered, turn around and seek an alternate route.

The following schools are closed  or  have delayed openings  this week: (as of 10/21 1645)

Lenoir County Public Schools -  operate on a 2-hour delay Monday. Tuesday thru Friday will be regular school days. Early-out day on Thursday and the teacher's workday Friday will be regular school days.

Lenoir Community College - classes resume Oct. 24

Wayne Community College -  reopen for students on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 20 and 21, but will be closed Saturday, Oct. 22.

Flooding is still a major concern for parts of eastern North Carolina.  Flood warnings continue for many local waterways including the Neuse River at Fort Barnwell, Trent River at Pollocksville, Chicod Creek near Simpson and Swift Creek near Streets Ferry.  A coastal flood advisory is in effect for coastal counties and areas adjacent to the Pamlico Sound.

We travel to hard-hit Bertie County where residents and business owners are sifting through their belongings ruined by floodwaters.  We speak with people who are now homeless, and relief workers on the ground assisting residents on the lengthy road to recovery.   

This week on the Down East Journal, we travel to hard-hit Bertie County where residents and business owners are sifting through their belongings ruined by floodwaters.  We speak with people who are now homeless, and relief workers on the ground assisting residents on the lengthy road to recovery.   Plus, we speak with an organizer of a business symposium in Greenville next week.  And, details on an upcoming performance by the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band aboard Cherry Point.

J. McCord / UNC-CSI

Fishermen and divers can access a new, online interactive guide to learn more about the 64 artificial reefs in North Carolina.  These underwater sites enhance fisheries that the coastal economy and culture rely on.  Now, local scientists are involved in ongoing research to determine the best way to maximize fish production at artificial reefs. 

You might be surprised to learn that North Carolina is home to 62 artificial reefs.

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.

  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.   

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. 

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.

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. 

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. 

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.  

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.

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