ENC Features

Stories broadcast on PRE which are of interest to Eastern North Carolina

Conversation with local restaurateur Vivian Howard about her favorite Thanksgiving dishes, tips for less stress in the kitchen, and her TV special “A CHEF’S LIFE."

November is awareness month for Lung Cancer, the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the United States. Doctors at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville are betting on new technologies to reverse that trend. Sarah Finch has more on a new lung biopsy device and how it’s changing healthcare options in eastern North Carolina.

Prestage AgEnergy

A big juicy turkey may be the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving table.  It’s likely the bird came from right here in our own state, since North Carolina ranks second in the nation for turkey production.  Now, a $25 million plant in Sampson County promising to transform turkey house waste into electricity is being built. The 165,000 square foot facility, east of Clinton, broke ground this summer.  Vice President of Prestage AgEnergy Michael Pope says the Moltonville based project has been in the works since 2011.

Photo by Gretchen Baugh, ECU

Is 120 the new 140? According to initial results from a nationwide blood pressure study, conducted in part by East Carolina University, it may be for some. 

One third of all Americans are hypertensive, but that rate is higher here in eastern North Carolina.  Division Chief of General Internal Medicine at ECU Brody School of Medicine, Dr. James Powell,

“Despite a lot of effort to try help a lot of folks, and we’ve helped a lot of folks through the years, Eastern North Carolina still has a very high penetration of people with high blood pressure.”

NC GreenPower

A new statewide pilot program is giving students an opportunity to learn hands on about renewable energy.   New Bern High is one of four schools across North Carolina that received a grant to construct a 5kW solar panel system on site.  Earth and Environmental Science Teacher Sandy Parker applied for the grant in Spring of this year and found out three months later that they had received funding.

Major Roadwork Planned In Greenville

Nov 9, 2015

Greenville is one of the largest cities in Eastern North Carolina with a population of nearly 90,000 people.  Commuting in or around the area can be difficult at times.  Two major transportation projects are now underway in Pitt County that aim to alleviate congestion.  Sarah Finch has construction details on these roadworks and their potential impact on traffic patterns.

On Tuesday, people across eastern North Carolina headed to the polls to cast their ballot in the municipal elections... and results are in.  Chris Thomas reports on how cities and towns across the region may be getting ready to see new faces in old places.

Now, a quick word of warning – the 2015 municipal elections aren’t over in North Carolina. Until the end of the Nov. 10 County canvasses – a final tally of all submitted ballots – none of the results are official.

Alzheimer's North Carolina

November is recognized as National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and National Caregivers Month.  But the patient and caregiver are at the mercy of this devastating disease and it’s inevitable progression.  Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the disease accounting for 60 to 80 percent of all dementia cases, typically striking those ages 65 and better.  Women are more likely to be diagnosed than men.  The neurodegenerative disease slowly attacks the brain’s nerve cells causing a loss of memory, cognitive and language skills, and a change


Middle and high school students across the state are gearing up for the North Carolina Department of Transportation's Model Bridge Building Competition.  Registration is open now through November 20th.  The competition isn't until next Spring, so that gives groups plenty of time to brainstorm ideas, design a diagram and construct a model bridge.  Mac McKee speaks with the Model Bridge Building Coordinator Gail Herring about the annual event which inspires students to explore the connect between the classroom and real world applications.

Thousands are expected to descend on Greenville this weekend for Halloween, an event local residents and law enforcement officers are embracing, and bracing themselves for.  Here’s Chris Thomas with this report.

N.C. Department of Agriculture

Agriculture is the number one industry in North Carolina, contributing $78 billion dollars to the State’s economy.  Much of the food produced in our state comes from our region, which was recently pounded with heavy rainfall, accumulating to more than 20 inches in some areas.  It’s an agricultural crisis here… Director of the State Farm Service Agency Bob Etheridge estimates millions of dollars worth of damages in eastern North Carolina.

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The film industry in North Carolina represents a $300 million dollar business.  Earlier this year, a new grant program was announced to attract filmmakers to our area.  It is awarding $10 million dollars to a select number of in-state productions. Sarah Finch spoke with North Carolina Film Office Director Guy Gaster about the grant recipients. 

Institute of Marine Sciences

The Albermarle Sound, the Pamlico Sound, the South River; these estuarine waters are an important feeding and nesting habitat for fish, birds and other wildlife.   Most of the seafood that ends up on your plate spends part of its life in our estuaries so it makes sense to protect these habitats.   But as beneficial as estuaries are for recreation and the economy, they are also very fragile.

The dark cloud of economic recession has a silver lining for North Carolina employees. A recent study by The Institute in Raleigh, confirms that a diverse number of businesses are hiring. These career fields are vast, but they all have one thing in common; they are minority owned firms. Sarah Finch has more on this demographic shift and its impact on the economy.

We all know a recession is not a good thing, but sometimes good can come out of it. This rings true for Gudell Ward, a minority business owner and eastern North Carolina native.

Eastern North Carolina has been inundated with rain when a system stalled along the coast, dumping up to 22 inches of rain in some areas.  The slow moving nor’easter combined with tropical moisture from Hurricane Joaquin and caused widespread flooding across the region on Sunday and Monday. 

Wanchese Seafood Park near Manteo

  You’ve seen them.  Abandoned boats slowly deteriorating in area waterways.  In New Bern, the pair of tug boats half sunk under the Neuse River Bridge was a scene most people observed passing by on Highway 70.  To some, these derelict vessels may seem picturesque.

“If you go over to Pamlico County the boat in the boathouse, right outside the Bayboro area there that particular one people have probably been looking at that for many, many years.”

Southern Environmental Law Center

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.  

A rare museum exhibition was recently unveiled in Eastern North Carolina, featuring art by Louis C. Tiffany. Visitors will have the opportunity to view stunning glassworks created during the popular Art Nouveau movement. Sarah Finch spoke with the Curator at the Museum of the Albemarle, Wanda Lassiter. 

In January of 2014, the Wayne County Public Library established a Guys Read Library Club for grades 3-5. The web-based literacy program was initiated by well-known Children’s author Jon Sciezka who’s on a mission to get boys reading again. Guysread.com research shows that boys are having the most trouble reading, and performance is getting worse. Mikel Peterson has more. 

Camp Lejeune

From wind turbines, solar collectors and other renewable energy sources, North Carolina is greening up the way it generates power.  Legislation passed in 2007 states that 12.5% of North Carolina power sales must come from renewable sources by the year 2021.  We hear an update on renewable energy projects in North Carolina.