ENC Features

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

The Sampson Independant

Every third Saturday of June, the National Hollerin' Contest takes place in Spivey's Corner.  But this past Saturday's competition is probably the last time hoots and hollers are heard in this crossroads community.  Organizers say the event has been suspended because of increasing cost and decreasing participation.  But Jared Brumbaugh was there when the Hollerin' Contest was well attended and in this feature, we look back at the nearly 50 year old tradition.

ECU Archaeologist Weighs in on Finding Prehistoric Points

Jun 20, 2016
Lori Gross via the Charlotte Observer

Around the time the Pyramids at Giza were finished, Stonehenge was consecrated, and bronze was the next big thing in Europe and Asia, nomads living on the western hemisphere, about 300 miles west of the Atlantic Ocean, made stone points and buried them in the ground – probably for later use.

5,000 to 6,000 years, in what’s now known as New London, North Carolina near the Stanly and Montgomery County line – those points were rediscovered in Leonard and Karen Shelor’s backyard.

NC Maritime Museum Southport

A new exhibit opened last week at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Southport.  “Along the Colonial Cape Fear” documents the history of southeastern North Carolina from its vast supply of naval stores, shipping operations from the port in Wilmington and rice cultivation in the 1700s.

Zazzle (Trans Flag Gifts)

House Bill 2 has brought seldom discussed matters – especially rural parts of the nation like Eastern North Carolina – to the forefront. Namely, sexuality and gender identity.

For our “Beyond Binaries” series, Chris Thomas speaks to locals residents who find themselves outside of traditional, socio-economic demographics.

Sexuality and gender identity is getting confusing. New labels, definitions, and even pronouns seem to emerge daily.

Candidates, party leaders discuss June 7 Primary

Jun 9, 2016
North Carolina General Assembly

Most primaries for the 2016 election, took place nearly three months ago, but true to the election’s unorthodox form, primaries for U.S. House – among others – were delayed due to a change in congressional district maps.

It gave campaign staffers, and their candidates, extra time to get the word out and make their case for their respective offices.

Chris Thomas spoke to candidates and party leaders in the new, 3rd District – which includes Lenoir, Onslow, and Craven counties – about the June 7 primary.

When you think of things that define eastern North Carolina, you may say our Civil War history or uncrowded beaches.  But nothing is more distinctive than our own flavor of barbecue.  Really, it’s all about the sauce.  The western part of the state often touts their tomato based concoction.  But here in eastern North Carolina, it’s the tangy, spicy vinegar based sauce is instantly recognized as our spin on barbecue. 

NCDOT

Commuting on Highway 70 could be a bit quicker now that the Goldsboro Bypass is open.

Beyond Binary: Unaffiliated Voters Growing in Numbers

May 31, 2016

One of the fastest growing demographics in eastern North Carolina is also one of its least defined. Since the turn of the 21st Century, the state has witnessed a dramatic uptick in unaffiliated voters.

They’re threatening to break the 2 million mark by the November election, but just how independent are “independent voters?”

Chris Thomas has more.

Aerial Mosquito Spraying Linked To Autism

May 23, 2016
University of California - Riverside

Mosquitos and similar pests are a major source of concern around the world, especially marshy areas like eastern North Carolina. These organisms can leave painful bite marks and harmful diseases, including yellow fever and the Zika virus.

But a recent study discovered a possible link between certain pesticides, the way they’re administered, and developmental delays in children.

Chris Thomas has this report.

Wayne Hoggard, NOAA NMFS SEFSC / Image ID: fish2730, NOAA's Fisheries Collection

Last summer, a string of eight shark attacks along the North Carolina coast made headlines across the nation.  A Camp Lejeune Marine bitten in the arm and right hand, and another man in his 60’s airlifted to Greenville for multiple bites to his rib cage, hips, lower leg and both hands.  Back-to-back unprovoked attacks on Oak Island severely injured a 12 year old girl, and then 90 minutes later, a 16 year-old boy on the same stretch of beach.

Jay Mead, Discovery Diving

 On May 6th, two tug boats were sunk about 10 nautical miles off the North Carolina coast at the site of an existing artificial reef.  The vessels now rest in about 63 feet of water and are already attracting divers and marine life.  Mac McKee speaks with President of the Eastern Carolina Artificial Reef Association Debby Boyce about the project and how it benefits the environment and aquatic ecosystem.

As you stroll through the streets of downtown New Bern, you may have been drawn to an intriguing two-story brick building with the city’s mascot above the balcony.  Below, four huge white doors and a sign with bold red letters that say “New Bern Fire Department.”

The 88 year old building is now the home of the New Bern Firemen’s Museum which recently moved from around the corner on Hancock Street, a plan years in the making.

Veterans Today

One of the hardest jobs veterans have in Eastern North Carolina is – finding a job.  Hundreds of thousands of Veterans in the state still couldn’t find jobs in 2015, though the unemployment rate fell sharply from the previous year.Government and private sector initiatives have been established to solve the unemployment problem among the veteran population with some success. But as Chris Thomas reports, hiring men and women who served the nation in combat is still a hard sell.

Contributed Photo

 On the corner of Broad and Church Streets in Oriental stands a venue for the performing arts and entertainment.  In the days of Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby, it was known as the Mart.  Today, we call it the Old Theater.  On May 13-14th, there was a celebration of the landmark’s 70th anniversary with live music and old timers reminiscing about the theater’s varied history. 

In the ever constant tug of war between development and environmental concerns on North Carolina’s Outer Banks both sides could almost certainly agree that no matter the state of things now they’re certainly better than one vision for the area around 1950.

   (Reads from NC 12: Gateway to the Outer Banks)

Former Schoolhouse In Currituck County Gets Second Chance

Apr 29, 2016
My Outer Banks Home Magazine

Nearly 100 years ago, residents of Currituck County rallied to build a school for the underserved African-American population. Recently, residents of the same community chose to save the dilapidated structure from destruction.  Chris Thomas reports.

How do you make the best out of a bad situation?

In the old Coinjock Colored School’s case, the answer seems to be “move it about a mile down the road.”

“Man, let me tell ya, you want to talk about remarkable engineering and some really, really, fascinating things to see."

Scott Taylor Photography, Inc

  What is a typical rate of upwelling in eastern boundary current regions in meters per day?  

That’s just an example of the types of questions high school teams had to answer at this year’s National Ocean Sciences Bowl held at the Crystal Coast.  

Friends of Fort Macon

As the sentinel of Beaufort Inlet and protector of the Crystal Coast, Fort Macon has stood weathering storms on the southern Outer Banks for nearly 200 years.  Since then, the five sided fortress has been converted into a popular state park and now draws more than a million people from around the world each year. Superintendent at Fort Macon State Park Randy Newman.

ENC Split Over HB2 as Tourism Season Begins

Apr 22, 2016
Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina

It's been nearly a month since House Bill 2 became law, but economic, political and social fallout continues.  Demonstrations for and against the law- from prayer rallies to boycotts- have created a thick cloud of controversy and anxiety, but it also raises questions.  Among them - how has House Bill 2 affected lives in eastern North Carolina?  How have local communities responded to it?  Chris Thomas seeks answers to those questions in this report.

Duke Energy CEO Talks Past Spills, Future Projects

Apr 19, 2016
East Carolina University News Services

Duke Energy Progress is still under intense scrutiny over the 2014 coal ash spill in the Dan River and, now, for its part in the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which is scheduled to run along the I-95 corridor in North Carolina.

This week, Duke Energy Progress CEO Lynn Good came to Greenville and spoke to business students at East Carolina University.

Laura Taylor, Center of Environmental and Resources Economic Policy at NCSU

Imagine you’re at the beach.  The sun, the sand and wind turbines?   This could soon be the reality along the coast of North Carolina.  As the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management moves forward with leasing thousands of acres to utility scale wind energy developers, dozens of 500 foot tall turbines could soon be built offshore.  Even though the technology would produce clean, renewable power, there are some downsides to wind farms, most noticeably aesthetics. 

NASA

On the monthly "Carolina Skies" segment, we talk about what you can spot in eastern North Carolina's night sky, from constellations and planets to nebulas and galaxies.  Our host is Byron Mumaw, president of the Carolina Skies Astronomy Club.  This week, we focus on the fifth planet from our sun and one of the brightest objects right now in the night sky, Jupiter.

National Baseball Hall of Fame

The Major League Baseball began this week – joining the local season that started nearly two months ago in Eastern North Carolina. With the start of baseball season in Eastern North Carolina it comes traditions spanning more than a century.

The National Past-Time’s seemingly waning popularity is a popular topic of debate among sports fans and experts. But as Chris Thomas reports, baseball is still alive and strong in the region – even after losing one of its long-standing teams.>>>

UNC Research

There’s an environmental and economic crisis along our coast and around the world.  Oyster populations are drastically low, as compared to their numbers a century ago.  In North Carolina, oyster populations have dropped 90 percent.  But two men in Carteret County think they may have the answer to the shortage.  One is a scientist, the other is a fishermen.

ECU

As more people move to eastern North Carolina to retire or raise families, communities here are undergoing a transformation.  Take downtown areas of New Bern, Greenville and Kinston for example.  These cities have undergone major revitalization and now, boast a variety of independent shops, award winning restaurants, art galleries and craft breweries.  Now, the rural town of Farmville, home to about 5,000 people seeks to become the next creative center and cultural hub in eastern North Carolina.  Todd Edwards is a member of a volunteer association focused on economic development called The

Local politicians, residents weigh in on House Bill 2

Apr 1, 2016
National Public Radio

On March 23, Governor Pat McCrory signed House Bill 2 into law – restricting the power of local governments to pass certain laws: namely, the ability to let transgender people use restrooms based on their gender identity instead of their given sex in certain, government run buildings.  

This came after the City of Charlotte passed an ordinance in February allowing individuals to use restrooms based on their gender identity.

Cape Lookout National Seashore

We’ve known all along that beaches along the North Carolina coast are the best around.  Now, so does everyone else in the United States.  USA Today named Cape Lookout National Seashore the Best National Park Beach of 2016.  Superintendent Pat Kenney. 

“We actually received an email from USA Today advising us that we had won.”

WITN-TV

As March Madness rages for the national, collegiate championship, 8 high school teams along Tobacco Road were crowned state champions earlier this month.

Two of those in Pitt County.

In the men’s brackets, Farmville Central capped a perfect season by beating East Lincoln High School 81-71 for the 2A crown.  

On the women’s side, North Pitt High School of Bethel clinched a narrow victory against East Davidson High School in Thomasville, also in the 2A division.

A new book by a UNC-Wilmington Creative Writing professor weaves a mystery inside past and present conflicts as viewed by the state’s Outer Banks. George Olsen has more.

Call it the “spoonful of sugar” approach to writing… buy it for the mystery, love it for the history.

Stage Set for Most November Elections

Mar 21, 2016
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  This week, more than 2 million people across North Carolina made their voices heard through their ballots in the 2016 Primary election.

Both Presidential primary races were closer than expected. Trump beat Cruz by a little more than 3 points, a narrower margin than all major polls predicted. Cruz picked up 27 delegates from the Old North State. Trump received 29.

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