ENC Features

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

ECU News Services

 We detail a new pilot program started by two medical students in Greenville that seeks to help military veterans transition back to civilian life.

N.C. Department of Agriculture

Agriculture is the number one industry in North Carolina contributing $78 billion to the state's economy. Much of the food produced in our state comes from eastern North Carolina, which was recently pounded with heavy rainfall during Hurricane Matthew  leaving crops flooded and fields ravaged.  Jared Brumbaugh spoke with the Director of the Farm Service Agency Bob Etheridge after surveying in Edgecombe County.

National Institutes of Health - Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research

As the baby boomer generation ages and people live longer, a new trend has emerged from the growing population of older adults.  Elder abuse affects approximately 1 in 10 seniors, according to the National Council on Aging.  

ENC Helps Swing North Carolina toward Trump

Nov 14, 2016
WWAY-TV / ABC News

North Carolina solidified its place among the “swing states” this year as Donald J. Trump took its 15 electoral votes on his way to being the 45th President of the United States.

Though some communities are still recovering from Hurricane Matthew and major flooding, eastern North Carolinians made their voices heard and helped swing this swing state toward the Republican Party’s nominee.  

Chris Thomas has this.

Donald Trump made eastern North Carolina red again – for the most part.

Early Voting Totals Up Despite Recent Flooding

Nov 7, 2016
ABC 11 - WTVD

As eastern North Carolina continues its recovery from Hurricane Matthew, polls are open for early voting. North Carolina is among the most coveted states in the Presidential Race and has one of the tightest Senatorial and Gubernatorial races in the nation.

But is voting a high priority for areas hit hardest by major flooding less than a month ago?

Chris Thomas spoke to voters and has this.

Duplin County Takes Stock After Matthew

Oct 31, 2016
WITN-TV

Hurricane Matthew recovery continues throughout eastern North Carolina, including the largely rural county of Duplin on the banks of the Cape Fear River.

Though it didn’t have record breaking flooding like neighboring Lenoir and Wayne Counties along the Neuse River, the county has a long, and costly, recovery process ahead of them.

Chris Thomas has this.

Starting all over again isn’t easy. But that’s where some Duplin County residents stand after Hurricane Matthew.

Thousands of residents and business owners impacted by flooding across eastern North Carolina have started the long process of recovery.  


Flooding, downed trees and wash outs were reported across eastern North Carolina during Hurricane Matthew prompting dozens of road closures in our region.  It’s been nearly three weeks since the storm, and crews with the North Carolina Department of Transportation have been out in full force making repairs to roads and bridges.  Some of the highways have reopened, others will remain closed for some time.   Jared Brumbaugh spoke with State DOT Secretary Nick Tennyson about repair efforts underway.

National Weather Service

The Tar River in Greenville is under flood stage for the first time since Hurricane Matthew hit the region. Now residents directly and indirectly impacted by the storm and its subsequent have begun recovering.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved a 31-day extension for applications. Residents now have until Jan. 9, 2017, to register with FEMA. The extension also applies to homeowners, renters and businesses submitting applications for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.  Registration is open in 45 counties.

ENC Health Current: Heroin Epidemic Impacts Region

Oct 19, 2016
Castlelight Health/WNCN

Addiction to opioids is a nationwide epidemic hitting eastern North Carolina hard – very hard.

The latest figures from the CDC have four eastern counties with drug overdose rate above the state average and a recent study from a major, healthcare provider put multiple eastern cities in the top 25 nationwide for rate of opioid abusers.

Chris Thomas has more.

Hundreds of Greenville residents living in shelters

Oct 19, 2016
Nicole Craine / Reuters/RT

In Pitt County, residents are waiting for the Tar River to recede. Some are temporarily living in shelters with little to no idea of what awaits them after the all clear is given to go back home. Chris Thomas visited one of those shelters on October 11th and has this.

It’s Tuesday afternoon at E.B. Aycock Middle School. It’s situated in the middle of a residential neighborhood about a mile east of East Carolina University and about 3 miles south of the Tar River.

Some residents living near a tributary of the Tar River in Beaufort County were told to evacuate their homes in the middle of the night because water levels were quickly rising. The next day, many went back with jon boats and kayaks to rescue personal items from their homes.

NCDOT

We’ve all seen the bright yellow signs along eastern North Carolina roadways … “share the road.” 

“You’re going straight, and they pass you, and they turn in front of you. So you have to slam on your brakes because otherwise you’ll hit the car.”

Avid cyclist and New Bern resident Joe Baes rides about 100 miles a week, sometimes 2 or 300.

“Instead of freaking out, just… hey, pay attention to what you’re doing, be careful.  Then you get flipped off and then you drive away.”

INTRO – Among the cities facing the greatest difficulties from flooding in the wake of Hurricane Matthew is Kinston. George Olsen spoke with the city’s mayor B.J. Murphy who says the city is almost an island in eastern North Carolina.

OUTRO – George Olsen speaking with Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy. The mayor adds anyone looking for more information on the effects of flooding can visit either Lenoir County Emergency Services and BJMurphy360 on Facebook or on Twitter go to LenoirCountyES and BJMurphy360.

Flooding is still a major concern for parts of eastern North Carolina.  Flood warnings continue for many local waterways including the Neuse River at Fort Barnwell, Trent River at Pollocksville, Chicod Creek near Simpson and Swift Creek near Streets Ferry.  A coastal flood advisory is in effect for coastal counties and areas adjacent to the Pamlico Sound.

We travel to hard-hit Bertie County where residents and business owners are sifting through their belongings ruined by floodwaters.  We speak with people who are now homeless, and relief workers on the ground assisting residents on the lengthy road to recovery.   

Voice of the Pirates, Jeff Charles, talks ECU Football

Sep 26, 2016
ECU Athletics Communications

East Carolina University is an anomaly among most North Carolina universities. While much of the state looks forward to winter – to the start of basketball season – Pirates fans long for autumn and the start of football season. ECU Football is in its 85th season and 2016 may go down as one of the more notable campaigns in program history. It's Coach Scotty Montgomery first year and it follows the controversial sacking of his predecessor, Ruffin McNeill.

J. McCord / UNC-CSI

Fishermen and divers can access a new, online interactive guide to learn more about the 64 artificial reefs in North Carolina.  These underwater sites enhance fisheries that the coastal economy and culture rely on.  Now, local scientists are involved in ongoing research to determine the best way to maximize fish production at artificial reefs. 

NCDOT

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory recently announced that the State is seeking federal approval to designate a section of U.S. 264 as a future interstate.  The 72-mile segment of highway will extend from the U.S. 264/Highway 64 near Zebulon near Wake County, and run through Nash, Wilson, Greene and Pitt counties all the way to Greenville.   The application for interstate designation has been sent to the Federal Highway Administration and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Office. A decision could be made as early as November.

Politics in Polite (or not-so-polite) Company

Sep 19, 2016
The Hill / Getty Images

As Election Day approaches - political rhetoric is getting tenser. Even relatively innocuous stories from the campaign trail seem to ignite heated arguments.

At times, those strong disagreements play out at public forums, social gatherings, or family get togethers.

Chris Thomas has this.  

So, you’re at the office or you’re around the dinner table – and then it happens: the conversation turns to politics.

“There has been many a family gathering where the subject was dropped…”

Wolf Haven International

The U.S. Fish Wildlife Service has decided to continue their nearly 30 year conservation effort of the endangered red wolf in northeastern North Carolina.  But conservation groups aren’t happy with the announcement.  

University of California - Riverside

Today on the Down East Journal, we explore how prepared local healthcare providers are when it comes to the uncertainty surrounding Zika infection and microcephaly in infants.

According to the North Carolina Division of Public Health, southeastern North Carolina has the highest birthrate in the state.  This fact may play in favor of early detection and early intervention should Zika become a real threat here in eastern North Carolina.

NC Sea Turtle Project

The sea turtle nesting season is winding down and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is reporting it's a record year.  So far, there have been 1,636 nests counted along 330 miles of ocean facing sandy beaches in our state.  That number is up from last year's count of 1,300 nests and it's a significant jump from 2014 where 565 nests were reported. 

ENC Workers Facing Small Wages, Little Organization

Sep 12, 2016
Rocky Mount Telegram

Last Monday – Labor Day – marked the unofficial end of the summer season and a final chance to partake in its pleasures.

But as reports of stagnant wages, underemployment, and rollbacks on workplace discrimination protections persist, reminders of Labor Day’s original purpose have begun resurfacing. 

Chris Thomas has this.

This is what organized labor sounds like in eastern North Carolina. It’s a Lodge Meeting for the AFL-CIO’s District 110, headquartered in Havelock.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Red Wolf Recovery Program is responsible for the reintroduction of the species declared biologically extinct in the 1980s.  Now, after decades of work, they may dismantle the program all together. Local conservation groups recently held rallies to show their support, while some private landowners in the red wolf recovery area want to see the program end. 

We love our furry companions, for better or worse.  But when it comes to changing your dog’s behavior, training tends to focus on making them respond to human commands in order to make them act more human.  But a local non-profit has made it their mission to move people to a new way of thinking about pet training and behavior. 

NCDOT

More and more communities in eastern North Carolina are striving to be more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.  Building sidewalks or bike paths connects people with commercial areas, promotes healthy lifestyles and increases aesthetic appeal. The North Carolina Department of Transportation is paving the way to help municipalities develop plans that encourage safe walking and biking.  Mac McKee speaks with Planning program manager with NCDOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Division John Vine-Hodge about the grant initiative.  

The Black Sheep Online

There was a spike in counseling service appointments last academic year and a major cause of concern is a lack of coping skills regarding the uncertainty of life like failure and adjusting to new environments. It mirrors a nationwide trend among college-aged students, and as Chris Thomas reports it’s only the tip of the iceberg facing millennials.

North Carolina Coastal Federation

Living shorelines are effective at slowing erosion, providing habitat and improving water quality.  Now, the North Carolina Coastal Federation wants to install more than 2,000 liner feet of living shoreline in eastern North Carolina's sounds, bays, rivers, and waterways. 

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