Overcrowding in public schools is a growing issue across our state, as school districts accept more children than they can reasonably handle. This congestion puts a strain on resources and affects student behavior and learning. Here in eastern North Carolina, Pitt and Onslow counties are addressing this same issue in two different ways; through redistricting and open enrollment opportunities.
This week, Governor Pat McCrory expressed before Congress his support for environmentally safe and responsible offshore energy exploration. He testified on President Obama’s Offshore Energy Plan that would open areas off the North Carolina coast to oil and gas drilling by the year 2022. Before development can take place, seismic surveys will determine tracts of land that are conducive for offshore drilling. Deputy Director for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Walter Cruickshank says the surveys will update information that’s four decades old.
On April 2nd, emergency dredging began at the Oregon Inlet channel. An underwater survey on March 27th showed the channel with a depth of less than two feet seaward of the Bonner Bridge. Today, on the Down East Journal, I speak with Chief of Physical Support Branch with the Army Corp of Engineers Wilmington District Donnie Potter who says the dredging project is on track, despite a delayed start.
We know it’s important to get the recommended eight hours of sleep to maintain our health and wellbeing. We’re also familiar with how difficult it is. If sleep problems affect the general population, how much more do those same problems affect our military service men and women? Today, Mac McKee speaks with Wendy Troxel and Regina Shih of the RAND Corporation. They published a study that finds sleeping problems are prevalent among service members.
Hammocks Beach State Park in Swansboro recently announced it's acquiring 300 acres to help make it a year round attraction. We explore the history of Hammocks Beach, a popular recreation area for African Americans before desegregation.
The 2015 Wings Over Wayne Airshow will be held on May 16 thru 17 aboard Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro. The Airshow which is a free event to the public is being described as one of the biggest events in North Carolina this year. Mikel Peterson has more.
Duke University Marine Lab in Beaufort is involved in research using drones to document marine debris on beaches around the world. We discuss the RACE FOR WATER project, how plastics impact the environment and how similar drone technology eventually be used along the coast of North Carolina.
The North Atlantic right whale is one of the most endangered whales in our coastal waters, and, while we are making progress in recovering this species, it still faces numerous threats. Studies over the past 20 years have increased our understanding of right whale ecology and habitat needs. Based on this research, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is proposing to expand the existing critical habitat areas. Sarah Finch has more.
In 1961, the General Assembly established the North Carolina Awards, the highest civilian honor in the state. Since its inception, more than 250 notable men and women have been honored by the state of North Carolina. The Department of Cultural Resources is looking for nominations for this year’s awards. Today, Mac McKee speaks with web content manager Jeff Miles.
We detail the 550 mile tri-state Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Supporters say the natural gas project will bring jobs to the “Tar Heel State.” Opponents worry about decreased property values and the environment. We talk about the pipeline’s proposed path and hear how it may impact eastern North Carolina.
The Jacksonville/Onslow Council for the Arts is presenting their first ever arts and crafts festival. The event, Uptown Art Block, will feature demonstrations, interactive arts, and entertainment. Today, Mac McKee speaks with Executive Director Connie Wenner about the festival happening Saturday, April 18th.
A new method to rapidly test shellfish for harmful bacteria has been discovered in eastern North Carolina. We talk to lead researcher Dr. Rachel Noble about the kit they’re developing, which yields results in just a couple hours instead of days.
We detail the State Transportation Improvement Program which seeks to ease congestion at a local military base and complete the expansion of Highway 17 to a four lane between New Bern and Jacksonville.
Here in eastern North Carolina, we are all looking forward to long-promised road improvements. Now, the North Carolina Department of Transportation is asking for public feedback on their latest State Transportation Improvement Program released December 4th. Over 1,000 projects are planned affecting every county. Sarah Finch has more.
Do you sometimes hear music or ringing? Sounds when it's dead quiet? Well, you're not alone. We learn about the auditory phenomenon called “musical ear syndrome.” It’s thought that classical composer Robert Schumann may have had the condition. He heard entire symphonies in his head and used the melodies as inspiration for his works. While no one knows exactly why musical ear syndrome occurs, it is more likely to affect women and people with hearing problems. Today, Mac McKee speaks with Director for Hearing Loss Help in Stewartstown, Pennsylvania Dr.
The over 3,000 miles of rail in the Tarheel state continues to be critical in serving local industry and consumers. In December, the draft Comprehensive State Rail Plan was released for public review, part of a 25 year improvement plan. Sarah Finch reports on one facet of that plan that may bolster the economy, and how increasing passenger rail ridership may expand our options over the next 2 decades.
A memorial honoring the Montford Point Marines broke ground last week in Jacksonville. We honor the legacy of the Montford Point Marines and hear a firsthand account of 92 year old Montford Pointer Norman Preston.
During the construction of the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island in 1980, a mysterious cluster of headstones were stumbled upon. Instead of being placed vertically like most headstones, these were laid flat. Until recently no one knew why. Jared Brumbaugh speaks with the North Carolina Aquarium Exhibition Curator Kitty Dough about the strange cemetery plot which dates back to 1895, and is the final resting place of a former slave, a Civil War veteran and keeper of the nations first all black lifesaving station.
The Vessel Runs Aground, April 22, 1864 - In its first foray into action, the Neuse runs aground in the shallow waters of its namesake. Though the bow remained afloat, the Neuse was stuck fast until rising water freed the vessel in mid-May 1864.
This weekend, the CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center is holding a grand opening, ribbon cutting and a 150th commemorative program marking the anniversary of the Battle of Wyse Fork and the final days of the CSS Neuse. Events include lectures, living history demonstrations, and displays about military and civilian life, battlefield tour of Wyse Fork and live music. Mac McKee speaks with Site Interpreter Holly Brown about the history of the Civil War ironclad CSS Neuse and the free event this weekend.