The Down East Journal

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.

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.

Bogue Banks is the only place in the world where you’ll find a newly recognized butterfly species called the “crystal skipper.” This week on the Down East Journal, we take a trip to the Rachel Carson Reserve where scientists are conducting a habitat restoration project for the crystal skipper.  And, eastern North Carolina holds several world records- the newest one was unveiled in southeastern North Carolina last week.   We’ll talk about it on the Down East Journal, Friday at noon on all of the PRE stations.  And Saturday at noon on News and Ideas.  

  The first ever alligator hunting season in North Carolina could start next summer.  This week on the Down East Journal, we talk to the Wildlife Resource Commission about their proposed hunting rules and the public comment period underway.  Plus, we speak with Camp Lejeune’s Lieutenant Colonel Lauren Edwards, the first women to lead an Engineering Battalion in the United States Marine Corp.  And, we speak with Jennifer Licko and her band about their upcoming "A Celtic Christmas" concerts in eastern North Carolina. 

This week on the Down East Journal, results are in from the latest wild turkey observation survey.  We speak with wildlife biologist Chris Kreh about the annual report which documents North Carolina’s rebounding turkey population. And, the search for a new East Carolina University chancellor has begun.  More on the Down East Journal, Friday at noon on all of the PRE stations.  And Saturday at noon on News and Ideas.  

Saving abandoned historic buildings is a growing trend in eastern North Carolina.  The evidence can be seen in the downtown's of Kinston, Greenville and Goldsboro.   This week on the Down East Journal, we explore the recently retooled state tax credit for revitalizing historic structures and where these tax dollars could be put to use.  The Down East Journal airs Friday at noon on all of the PRE stations.  And Saturday at noon on News and Ideas.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

This week on the Down East Journal, we speak with local emergency services personnel about the impacts of the recent heavy rains and flooding.  And, we explore how an uptick in minority owned businesses is contributing to the state's rebounding economy. 

This week on the Down East Journal, a proposed limestone mine in Beaufort County wants to discharge millions of gallons of waste water into Blounts Creek.  Environmental groups are suing, saying the influx of water would drastically alter the ecosystem and push wildlife out of the area.  But North Carolina has signed off on the permit.  More, Friday at noon on all of the PRE stations and Saturday at noon on News and Ideas.  

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