Conservators with the Queen Anne’s Revenge project have utilized new x-ray technology to further efforts to preserve artifacts brought up from the Beaufort Harbor wreck site of the pirate Blackbeard’s flagship. George Olsen has more.
Literally thousands and thousands of artifacts have been brought up off the ocean floor since the 1996 discovery of the Queen Anne’s Revenge. Some of the items that come up are easily identifiable. Others… not so much.
Sea turtle nesting season along the North Carolina coast is usually three and a half months long, May to mid-August. Although sea turtle nests are still being counted, the number of nests along our coast this year is down. As of Wednesday Sept. 10th, there were 554 nests counted so far. The average is about 750 nests annually. Jared Brumbaugh speaks with State Sea Turtle Biologist with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Matthew Godfrey about why the numbers are so low and how they collect their information on sea turtle nests.
A site in Jacksonville that remembers the lives lost during the 1983 bombing of the barracks in Beirut, Lebanon is in the process of renovation. Kelly Batchelor has more on the Beirut Memorial tree replacement.
This weekend, the North Carolina Paddle Festival takes place at Hammocks Beach State Park in Swansboro. It’s a celebration of paddle sports in eastern North Carolina, including kayak and paddleboard races, fun paddles, kid’s activities and more. Mac McKee speaks with NC State Park Ranger Jacob Vitak about this year’s event.
In Jacksonville two former elementary school teachers have ambitious plans to open a new children museum. Co-Chair of the Zing Zumm Museum board Liz Owens discusses with Public Radio East’s Mikel Peterson how the museum went from being just an idea to reality.
Large bodies of water like the Pamlico Sound absorb carbon dioxide like a sponge. But when a tropical storm or hurricane hits, it agitates the water releasing extensive amounts of CO2 into the air. We speak to a coastal scientist about the harmful effects of “burping estuaries.”
Large bodies of water like the Pamlico Sound absorb carbon dioxide like a sponge. But when a tropical storm or hurricane hits, it agitates the water releasing extensive amounts of CO2 into the air. This week on the Down East Journal, we speak to a coastal scientist about the harmful effects of “burping estuaries.” And, we’ll talk about plans for a new children’s museum in Jacksonville. The Down East Journal airs Friday at noon on all of the PRE stations. And Saturday at noon on News and Ideas.
If you enjoy live classical music in an intimate setting, the 12th Annual Carolina Chamber Music Festival takes place September 9th through the 13th in downtown New Bern. Public Radio East's Mac McKee speaks with Director Jennifer Lucht about this year's events.
Officials in North Topsail Beach called a special meeting just last week to address the loss of 900 feet of dunes. It’s thought that winter storms and two hurricanes are the cause of erosion. But there may be another contributor. A team of researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Institute of Marine Sciences recently published results of a multi year study conducted in Onslow County that found sea level anomalies, or periods of higher-than-normal water levels, can cause extensive erosion. This week, I spoke with Ph.
Over the past 30 years, black bear populations in North Carolina have increased fivefold. We talk about new hunting policies in place to help stabilize their numbers.
According to NC’s Wildlife Resources Commission, Eastern North Carolina’s black bear population has made a comeback. Today, the population sits at just over 10,000, compared to the paltry 2,000 three decades ago.
“The increase in the bear population has been occurring since the early 1980’s.”
INTRO – A lighthouse that helped provide safe passage to river mariners for around 50 years now has safe harbor itself… the Roanoke River Lighthouse has been restored and is open to the public for tours this weekend. George Olsen has more.
We travel to New Bern High School where students are learning music and drill for their 2014 show "Framed In Black."
We can feel summer winding down… students are savoring the last few weeks of vacation before school starts again. But some have already returned to practice and rehearse at summer band camp. Today, we’re at New Bern High School to hear how the marching bears preparing for a busy season.
Cape Fear Regional Theater in Fayetteville and the Hidden Voices project are in the process of collecting stories from military spouses about finding courage in the challenges they face during and after deployment. The organizations hope to turn these stories into staged readings to help connect the military families with the greater community. Mikel Peterson has more.
Dora Bullock lives in New Bern and remembers the struggles vividly she faced during her husband’s deployment back in 2010.
Halifax County’s Caledonia Correctional Institution continues to produce thousands of pounds of crops as the years go by. Lee Jenkins has more on the self- sufficient prison farm and the impact it’s had on the community.
The Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge is seeking artists for their first ever Artist In Residence Program. The deadline for applications is August 8th. The winner will receive a nine month residency with free studio access and $2,000 instructor stipend. Mac McKee speaks with Executive Director Holly Garriott about the program and the responsibilities of an Artist in Residence.
We travel to Craven Correctional Institution and speak with inmates who are training dogs from local animal shelters, part of the statewide New Leash On Life program.
Dogs have long been called man’s best friend. Today, we highlight the statewide prison program “New Leash on Life” aimed at training dogs for adoption and giving minimum and medium custody state prisoners a chance to turn their life around. In June, I visited Craven Correctional Institution in Vanceboro where the program has been going strong for a decade.
Walking through a maze of hallways and locked doors, Program Director for the New Leash on Life program at Craven Correctional Institution Brenda Malanga leads me to a building located in the interior of the prison. A guard unlocks a door leading to an outside courtyard. Here, four inmates are standing with their leashed dogs practicing basic commands like sit, stay and lay down. Our presence seems to break the dog’s concentration.
“for eight weeks, that’s pretty much what we do. It’s just all obedience training, it’s just all repetition. One thing we do not do is we do not treat train here. It’s done by repetition and praise and affection, that’s pretty much it.”
Inmates who apply to participate in the New Leash on Life program teach their dog basic obedience, with an emphasis on house training, and socialization. Inmate Dwayne Futrell has been working with Luna for seven weeks.
“she’s a two year old border collie corgi cross, she’s very lovable energetic. We’ve done some certain stuff with her, just hiding stuff and she’s really good at that. She loves playing ball.”
He says training takes time, patience and persistence.
“our sit-stays and down-stays consist of, we started at like 30 seconds and we moved them up to 15 minutes of time now. So they’re sitting in 15 minute increments for a down-stay and a sit-stay. We do equal play like if we work for 40 minutes, we give them 40 minutes worth of play. It’s an equal thing. They need both the same amount of exercise as they do training.”
Local animal shelters are key in identify dogs to participate in the program. So far, more than 215 have been trained at Craven Correctional. Furtrell says it’s hard work caring for a dog but the companionship is more than worth the challenge.
“it’s not only a job where you’re taking care of yourself, you have to take care of them and their wellbeing. Therefore, being with them helps you be just an all-around better person. I couldn’t see doing it without the dogs. ”
Inmates in the program start the day at 7 o’clock and lead the dogs out of their crates. They do some indoor house training and then go outside to work with Drake Parker, a trainer from Top Dog Academy. He volunteers to teach the inmates how to train their dogs.
“Dogs can be a bridge back to everybody else, a bridge back to society is kind of how we look at it. In fact, our motto is ‘better men one dog at a time.’ You know, sometimes you got to do something not because you’re getting paid for it, not because you’re getting something out of it, but just because it’s the right thing to do.”
Program inmates spend the rest of the day with their dog by their side. Around 7 p.m. the dogs are crated until the next morning. Superintendent 4 at Craven Correctional Institution Larry Dail says the 12 hour training day is beneficial for inmates.
“they learn responsibility, then that branches off into the inmates being able to take community college classes in veterinarian assistant tech programs, or being certified dog trainers, so it’s just a win-win situation for inmates, staff and the general public.
Craven Community College offers a 120 credit hour vet tech course at the prison where inmates can learn the skills necessary to get a job at a veterinarian’s office or an animal shelter when they are released back into society. The North Carolina Department of Labor also offers inmates an apprentice certification which can help them land a job. Malanga says most inmates decide to stick with the program because they have to complete 4,000 hours of on the job training and a total of 288 hours of related instruction to get the certification.
“when the guys become primary trainers, they usually, unless they get shipped out, they make minimum custody or something like that, they’ll stay primary trainers for two or three years.”
Inmate Ruben Vargas has been involved with the New Leash on Life program for two years. He’s training Katy, a mix mutt.
“Man, she’s a very lovable dog. She’s a little stubborn, you know what I mean? But I’ve had worse than her. She plays with the other dogs, she loves people.”
Vargas completed his vet tech class and is currently working on his GED. He says training dogs has taught him responsibility and determination.
“The dogs, that’s the easy part, you know. Dealing with people is one of the challenging things you know what I’m saying? It’s something I love doing man, and I have plans. It’s really what I want to do when I get out. I might give it a shot man.”
The New Leash on Life program is about second chances; the dogs get a new home and the inmates have an opportunity to turn their lives around. Luna’s human, inmate Dwayne Futrell has been at the prison for three months. And so far, he’s already completed his vet tech class and is working to get his apprentice certification from the State Department of Labor. He also wants to pursue a career working with dogs when he gets out of prison.
“it just gives me something to show the community that I can better myself and I can give back to the community instead of messing up like I’ve done in my life. I can actually turn around and show what good I can do instead of what bad I can do.”
More than 215 dogs, trained at Craven Correctional, have been adopted since the New Leash on Life started in 2004. Program Director Brenda Malanga says they’ve had great success finding homes for the dogs.
“We’ve only had one dog so far that hasn’t been adopted and we’re in the process of back and forth with her of getting her adopted. The rest of the dogs, normally by the time graduation comes around, in all other cases they’ve all been adopted. So we’ve been really lucky.”
Since my visit last month, inmate Rueben Vargas has received his Apprenticeship Certificate from the NC State Labor Department in Dog Training. Additionally, two more trainers have completed requirements to receive their certifications. The eight week course that ended July 10th saw four dogs - Katie, Stella, Bud and Luna - complete the New Leash on Life training. Malanga says so far, three of the four dogs have found new homes, except for two year old Luna. New Leash On Life a program held across the state. It was announced this week that Eastern Correctional Institution in Greene County is closing as a men's prison and will be converted to a minimum security women's prison. There are four dogs there that have been in training for about 3 weeks. All of them are healthy, heart worm negative, spayed or neutered and current on vaccinations. The dogs need to be adopted by the end of August. See below for information on adopting A New Leash On Life dog.
This week, a statewide traveling exhibit called “Freedom For All” went on display at a plantation in Washington County. The exhibit includes illustrated panels which tell the story of slavery in North Carolina before, during and after the Civil War. Freedom For All will be on display at the Somerset Place State Historic Site in Creswell until August 23rd. Built in the 1780’s, the plantation was one of the largest in the South during the antebellum era. It started as a business venture for three Edenton men in 1785 to grow rice. This week, I spoke with Assistant Site Manager Amber Sat