The Down East Journal

This week on the Down East Journal, ECU's School of Music celebrates the 20th anniversary of it's guitar festival, four days of concerts and workshops that attract students and experts from across the nation.  We speak to organizers and participants about the Greenville festival's growth and vision.  Plus, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is seeking input from local hunters on white-tailed deer management in a statewide survey.  And, a new art exhibit called "Summertime" opens at the Crystal Coast.

This week on the Down East Journal, we speak to an East Carolina University entomologist about a statewide study on mosquitoes and the Zika virus.  We detail the newly created Zika Task Force, its goals, and obstacles.  Plus, the annual sea turtle survey is underway at the coast this summer.  It’s the first time they’re using drones to count sea turtle populations at Cape Lookout Bight.  And, it's music and conversation with Jennifer Licko about her latest CD, "Sing."

This week on the Down East Journal, we speak to an archeologist with the First Colony Foundation about rare 16th century pottery pieces recently found on Roanoke Island, near the first settlement in the New World.  And, our "Beyond Binary" series continues.  We speak to a regional native who is part of a national trend opting for a life without organized religion. The Down East Journal, Friday at noon on all of the PRE stations, and Saturday at noon on News and Ideas. 

What's it like to hold something older than the Parthenon in the palm of your hand? You'll find out this week on the Down East Journal when we speak to an ECU anthropologist who did just that after millennia-old, stone points were discovered in the state.  And, we say farewell to a nearly 50 year old tradition.  The National Hollerin’ Contest in Sampson County is coming to an end.  Plus, it's your opportunity to go behind the scenes at Tryon Palace.

    

On this edition of the Down East Journal, Public Radio East contributes to a new permanent exhibit on display at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Southport detailing the history of the lower Cape Fear region. We'll look at the exhibit and as well as rice cultivation in southeastern North Carolina. Also, our Beyond Binary series on underrepresented people in eastern North Carolina who fall outside traditional socio-political distinctions continues. And, author Dawson Carr and his book "NC-12: Gateway to the Outer Banks."

Eastern North Carolina has its own flavor.  This week on the Down East Journal, we visit some popular – local – ‘cue destinations.   And, heading into June 7th, a primer on the primary.

This week on the Down East Journal, we begin our "Beyond Binary" series on underrepresented people segments in Eastern North Carolina who fall outside traditional socio-political distinctions.  Unaffiliated voters are a rapidly growing demographic in eastern North Carolina and, potentially, a key factor in this year's national and state races. And, as the first piling of the Bonner Bridge was installed, NCDOT got the green light to move forward with another bridge replacement .  We detail the NC12 bridge project just down the road at Rodanthe.

If 2015 was the "summer of the shark" in eastern North Carolina, what about 2016?  A series of rare shark attacks along the North Carolina coast last summer may make you reticent to take a dip.  This week on the Down East Journal, we dispel shark myths with local researchers who study them.  Plus, it's mosquito season and with it, new fears of Zika.  But a new study links pesticides to autism.  We speak to the pediatrician who lead the study.  And, we tell you what's on tap for the Beaufort Music Festival this weekend.

This week on the Down East journal, tugboats and firetrucks.  Last week, tugboats were intentionally sunk near Beaufort Inlet.  We talk about why.  And, we visit the recently renovated circa 1928 Firemen's Museum in New Bern. 

This week on the Down East Journal, tugboats and fire trucks.  Last week, two tugboats were intentionally sunk off Beaufort Inlet.  We talk about why.  And, we visit the recently renovated circa 1928 Firemen's Museum in New Bern.

This week on the Down East Journal, what North Carolina is doing to retain service members after they transition out of the military.  We speak with locals about the struggles, triumphs, and opportunities veterans face entering the private sector. Plus, we reveal the long history of an Oriental landmark turning 70 this year.  And, the North Carolina Symphony is performing their "April In Paris" concert in downtown New Bern on Sunday.

This week on the Down East Journal, a school house for African American children on the Outer Banks once facing demolition may now become a museum and store, paying tribute to the community's past. We talk to the new building owner about future plans to renovate a Rosenwald School in Currituck County.  Plus, it was a loud, fierce competition as high school student teams from across the country faced off in Morehead City for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl.

Millions of dollars in economic loss are being attributed to House Bill 2.  This week on the Down East Journal, we explore potential losses for eastern North Carolina.  Plus, the local five sided beach treasure Fort Macon hosts the North Carolina State Park Centennial Celebration at the Crystal Coast this weekend.  And, the New York Theatre Ballet gives a free performance in Edgecombe County next Thursday.  The innovative chamber ballet company performs classical and contemporary dance as well as a premiere of a new dance in celebration of Tarboro native Hobson Pittman's paintings.

Wind energy at our coast could be a renewable source of electricity for us, but it has some potential pitfalls, especially when it comes to tourism.  This week on the Down East Journal, we talk to a NC State University researcher about a new study that finds offshore wind farms could negatively impact coastal economies.  And, we speak to Duke Energy Progress CEO Lynn Good about energy projects currently underway in eastern North Carolina, including the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and solar facilities.

This week on the Down East Journal, an unlikely partnership between a scientist and a fisherman has developed to solve a critical environmental and economic issue along the North Carolina coast.  And, baseball's past, present  and future here in eastern North Carolina.

From a gas station to a "glass station," eastern North Carolina is in for some hot art.  The town of Farmville is the future location for a hand blown glass studio.  Plus, local reaction to House Bill 2.  And, what's in store for the Oriental In-Water Boat Show next weekend.

This week on the Down East Journal, the winner of the best national park beach goes to... Cape Lookout National Seashore.  We’ll tell you why it’s so special.  Plus, North Pitt High School Lady’s Basketball team won the 2016 State Championship despite a challenging season that included the suspension of their head coach and two players.  We talk to members of the team about their hard fought victory.  And, the Historic Preservation Group of Lenoir County is looking for volunteers to participate in a local Park Day event on April 2nd.

The Agnes E. Fry was a sleek, speedy watercraft as far as 1860’s technology goes.  The 225 foot, iron hulled steamer was discovered near Oak Island late last month.  This week on the Down East Journal, we speak with the director of the Underwater Archeology Branch of the Office of State Archeology about the wreck, its history and what they hope to learn.  Plus, elections from across the State and here in eastern North Carolina. 

NASA

We begin a new monthly astronomy segment on Down East Journal called Carolina Skies.  We'll be talking about what you can spot in the night sky, from constellations and planets to nebulas and galaxies.  Our host is Byron Mumaw, president of the Carolina Skies Astronomy Club.  His fascination with astronomy began at an early age reading "Sky and Telescope" magazine and has turned, over the years, into a lifelong passion.  Today, Byron tells us about one of the most recognizable constellations in the Carolina sky.

This week on the Down East Journal, what you need to know about the new Voter ID law before you head to the polls on Tuesday.  Plus, the spring outlook on the local real estate market.  And, the wild turkey population in eastern North Carolina and around the state is at an all-time high.  Now, the NC Wildlife Resources Commission is encouraging people to take up hunting.  

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.  

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.  

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.

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