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

This week on the Down East Journal, we explore the impact of the nursing shortage here in eastern North Carolina.  We speak with local hospital and college officials about what they're doing to train and retain nurses.  Plus, major bridge construction is underway in New Bern.  We speak with NCDOT about the road project causing some delays for commuters.

NC Wildlife Resources Commission

North Carolina’s numbers are at an all-time high.  They’ve been steadily increasing across the state, but here in the eastern part of the state, turkeys have made a major comeback.  Now, the Wildlife Resources Commission is encouraging people to take up hunting.  Seminars are being held across the state to teach amateurs and experts alike the methods for hunting turkeys. 

“That might surprise some folks that if we’re interested in conserving a game animal that we want more hunters.

Jay Clark/ECU News and Communication

Nursing is a competitive market here in eastern North Carolina, so landing a job isn’t the hard part, it’s filling the positions that’s the greatest challenge.  There are occupational nurses who work at manufacturing facilities, private nursing care in homes, nurses who treat students in schools, and of course there are hospital nurses.  It can be a stressful job with long hours but registered nurses have an earning potential of about $60,000 a year in North Carolina.

NCDOT

If your commute goes into or passes through New Bern, it may require some extra time and consideration.  North Carolina Department of Transportation crews started work on two major bridges that’s expected to last through the spring. Chris Thomas spoke to NCDOT spokesperson Brad McMannen based in Craven County about the project and how it may affect area drivers.

Dominion

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a three state natural gas project connecting the Virginias and North Carolina, has a new route through the southeastern part of our state.  Now, an informational meeting is set for March 29th for landowners to hear about the changes and how it may impact them.  Jared Brumbaugh has more.  

The alternative route it is located farther from residential areas, as it parallels a Progress Energy Carolinas electric transmission line east of Fayetteville. Spokesperson for Duke Energy Tammie McGee.

National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City

On Wednesday, February 23rd, severe weather moved through the area spawning two tornados.  We speak with Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service John Cole about damages from the storm.

Lawmakers have redrawn the state's congressional district lines and as a result, certain primaries will be pushed back to the summer.  This week on the Down East Journal, we talk about how the changes may affect eastern North Carolina and the game of musical chairs local representatives face. Plus, it's been confirmed that two tornadoes touched down when severe weather moved through the region on Wednesday. We speak with the National Weather Service about damages from the storm.  And, it's music and conversation with Raleigh vocalist Jeanne Jolly.

It’s been a long few weeks for members of the General Assembly and Board of Election Employees in North Carolina.

Chris Thomas explores new changes may affect Eastern North Carolina and the game of musical chairs representatives face.

So, first thing’s first – this is not the end of the state’s congressional district squabble. More legal wrangling over this issue is virtually inevitable. 

But, last Friday, the General Assembly drew new state congressional maps, making significant changes to it and the primary voting schedule.

Homelessness among veterans is a problem, especially here in eastern North Carolina.   The numbers are trending downward, but more needs to be done.  This week on the Down East Journal, we speak with state and local organizations about their ambitious plan to finally end veteran homelessness.  Plus, an overview of the EF-1 tornado that touched down in Down East Carteret County.  And, Coast Guard helicopters in Elizabeth City are getting a retro makeover.

National Weather Service - Newport/Morehead City

They say if you don’t like the weather in eastern North Carolina, just wait five minutes and it’ll change. That was really the case this week as some localities had snow and ice.  But the next day it was windy and warm as a thunderstorm moved through eventually spawning a tornado in Carteret County.  The potential for severe weather didn’t come as a surprise to meteorologists who had been keeping tabs on the system days before its arrival. John Cole is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Newport.

NC General Assembly

The General Assembly has been called back to Raleigh to redraw North Carolina's congressional map before tomorrow’s deadline.  Jared Brumbaugh has more on how the proposed changes would impact eastern North Carolina.

Survey crews with the National Weather Service office evaluated damage from what was a strong EF-1 tornado that impacted eastern Carteret County on Tuesday.  At 8:45 a.m., a tornado warning was issued for the area.   That’s when reports of damage and sightings of a tornado touching down came into the National Weather Service office in Newport.  Lead forecaster Jim Merrill says numerous trees are down on power lines along highway 70 and power lines were knocked down in Beaufort on Front Street.

You've heard the old saying "the best time to eat oysters is in months that have an 'R,'" but does that theory hold water?  This week on the Down East Journal, we talk to a marine scientist who developed a test that can be done by anyone to tell if oysters are safe to eat.  Plus, congressional districts could be redrawn for the second time in less than a decade.  We speak to an expert in North Carolina politics about the ruling and the state's strange history regarding congressional districts. And the Annual Beekeepers Conference takes place in New Bern later this month. 

B.Fitzula/UNC

You may be thinking about oysters as a part of your romantic Valentine’s dinner.  They’re packed with trace minerals and vitamins A and D.  Something you hope they're not tainted by is bacteria.  The good news is now is one of the best times to consume this shellfish delicacy.

“The beginning of February is usually one of the coldest times and it’s usually when we see the lowest levels of bacteria.”

This week on the Down East Journal, the Iowa caucus is over.  What could the results mean for North Carolina. Plus, it’s been nearly a week since the last grocery store in Oriental shuttered its doors.  More on how residents are dealing with the inconvenience.   And, big changes are coming to the food stamp program in North Carolina. A select group of recipients will now have to meet work or classroom requirements in order to keep their grocery benefits. More on the SNAP program regulations and how local communities are preparing to combat potential hunger pains.

    

News from the waterfront town of Oriental made national headlines when a Walmart Express closed its doors last week.  Reports focused on how the closure of chain stores can impact the economy of small towns.  The store closing came months after the longtime local grocer “Town n’ Country” was shuttered.  That leaves the town of 900 without a local grocery store or pharmacy. 

Since 1998, more than 100,000 people around the world have joined the four day Great Backyard Bird Count.  The annual event, held each February,  creates a snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds.  Mac McKee spoke with Director of Land Bird Conservation at Audubon North Carolina Curtis Smalling about this year’s count. 

Camp Lejeune officials are urging fisherman to avoid crabbing and clamming in a section of the New River because of unexploded shells.  This week on the Down East Journal, how the military will address the safety risk and how commercial fishermen are impacted by the recommended limits. Plus, it’s conversation with a representative from a leading polling service to talk about where Presidential and Gubernatorial candidates stand in North Carolina.  The Down East Journal airs Friday at noon on all of the PRE stations, and Saturday at noon on News and Ideas. 

Winter is here, but that doesn't mean you have to stay cooped up indoors.  This week on the Down East Journal, we have some of the best places to explore nature in eastern North Carolina.  Plus, we profile a local artist who draws inspiration from the cold.  A look at the creative process of an ice sculptor. And a veteran and an award winning journalist is combining his experiences with an online news publication.

After a local grocery store and a Walmart Express closed in Oriental, free transportation service for residents without cars has been announced.  The ride service will begin February 3rd at 9:30 am and will take anyone in the Oriental area to grocery stores or pharmacies in the Bayboro/Grantsboro area.  Transportation is provided by Primetime Ministries Transportation Program at Oriental Methodist Church, volunteers and town Commissioner Allen Price.

Camp Lejeune

Local waters around a training range in Onslow County may pose a threat to people attempting to harvest oysters, clams, crabs and fish.  Earlier this month, Camp Lejeune officials advised the public to avoid areas along the New River because of the possibility of unexploded munitions underwater.  While the military hasn’t officially restricted these waters, some commercial fishermen around Sneads Ferry are concerned it’s only a matter of time before they do. 

“People are scared around here, if you let them take that, they’re not going to stop with that.”

People who believe hiking is an activity done only in the mountains may be surprised to learn that eastern North Carolina boasts miles of scenic hiking trails.  From salt marshes and cypress swamps to longleaf pine forests and pocosins, hiking trails at the coast feature diverse ecosystems and allow hikers an up-close and uncrowded adventure. 

Tons of construction waste destined for the landfill is being re-purposed in northeastern North Carolina.  This week on the Down East Journal, we detail the Dare County project using pieces of the Bonner Bridge to build four artificial reefs near Oregon Inlet.  And, gun control returns to the spotlight after President Obama announced several executive orders related to firearm sales. We talk to a local gun shop owner and policy experts about how this may affect the state.  

Pamela Malec Landrum, Roanoke Island Outfitters and Dive Center

The only way you’ll be able to cross the Bonner Bridge a couple years from now is if you’re underwater.  The span is planned to be demolished in Fall of 2018 and the construction debris will be used to enhance four artificial reefs near Oregon Inlet.  Today on the Down East Journal, how the Dare County project will benefit the environment and the economy.

Known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, our coastline is littered with hundreds of shipwrecks that serve as habitat for fish and invertebrates, like sponges and soft corals.  It’s what makes North Carolina a diving destination.

This week on the Down East Journal, we report on the proposed timeline for coal ash removal at the H.F. Lee plant in Goldsboro.  We speak with NC Division of Environmental Quality’s Assistant Secretary for the Environment Tom Reeder.   Plus, we explore how the strong El Nino has affected and may affect the region.  The Down East Journal airs Friday at noon on all of the PRE stations, and Saturday at noon on News and Ideas.  

NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

Eastern North Carolina has a rich military history spanning from colonial days to the present.  The Military Collection of the State Archives of North Carolina seeks to preserve the State's military heritage by collecting documents and records, and make them accessible to the public.  Mac McKee speaks with Department of Natural and Cultural Resources military collection archivist Matthew Peek about how citizens can be a part of this project.

NC Department of Environmental Quality

It’s been almost two years since 39,000 tons of Duke Energy’s coal ash waste product spilled into the Dan River, creating an environmental disaster.  Since that incident, North Carolina worked on a plan to close coal ash basins across the state.  The next step in the process determines which impoundments pose the greatest risk to public health and the environment.  On the last day of 2015, the Department of Environmental Quality released their Draft Proposed Impoundment Classification report, as required by the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014.  Assistant Secretary for the Environment Tom

NCDOT

It was a popular gift this holiday season.  Drones are now buzzing over eastern North Carolina skies after the holiday season.  Jared Brumbaugh speaks with Unmanned Aerial Systems Program Manager for the North Carolina Department of Transportation Chris Gibson about new FAA regulations in place and some tips to stay safe.

This week on the Down East Journal, we say farewell to the old year by updating some of the most popular features from our website.  From an art project taking shape in downtown Kinston, to colonial artifacts found in Bertie County linked to the Lost Colony.

It's the popular gift item this season.  This week on the Down East journal, we speak with NCDOT's Drone Project Manager Chris Gibson about new regulations regarding unmanned aerial vehicles and tips on how to stay safe.  And, it was a big change this month for the pirate nation.  We'll talk about the head football position at East Carolina University.

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