ENC Regional News

INTRO – The state’s teacher turnover rate in the public schools rose slightly in the last school year. George Olsen has more.

INTRO – Carteret County has announced an addition to their 9-1-1 service. George Olsen has more.

Governor McCrory has announced the latest winners of the state’s Heritage Awards. George Olsen has more.

GREENVILLE – The city of Greenville has hired a new Chief of Police. Mark Holtzman is currently chief of police in Hagerstown, MD and has over 24 years of law enforcement experience. He holds two degrees from the University of Baltimore including a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. He is also a 2012 graduate of the FBI National Academy. He’ll start his new job September 21.

INTRO – The state Department of Public Safety says 43 long-term escapees from the North Carolina prison system have either been captured or confirmed dead. George Olsen has more.

The Governor’s Office has announced the expansion of a Greenville pharmaceutical plant that is expected to bring 110 jobs to the area. George Olsen has more.

INTRO – A new report puts some numbers on the impact of the military’s presence in North Carolina. George Olsen has more.

A public hearing on a proposed water quality permit for Duke Energy Progress' Sutton Energy Complex has been moved to August 6. Jared Brumbaugh has more.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is collecting public comments on the draft modified wastewater and stormwater discharge permit for the electrical generating plant, located west of Wilmington. Modifications to the permit were prompted by DENR's reclassification of Sutton Lake from "treatment unit" to the "waters of the state."

The City of New Bern has begun resurfacing roads across town. Lee Jenkins has more.

The city plans to resurface 14 roads over the course of the next 120 days. Currently, construction crews are working on Trent Road, 2nd Avenue, 3rd Street, and 5th street. After that crews will begin working in the Pembroke subdivision and the Sunnyside neighborhood. Crews will finish by resurfacing the road to Derby Park and parts of Elizabeth Avenue. Director of Public Works Matt Montaigne says the city will try to make the process as painless for commuters as possible.

As summer continues, vector-borne diseases become more prevalent in Eastern NC. Lee Jenkins has more on Onslow County’s vector-borne disease season.

Long, hot days and summer showers provide the perfect breeding ground for ticks and mosquitoes, who in turn incubate diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and West Nile Virus. Several probable cases of these diseases and others, like Lyme Disease and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, were reported during the spring and summer in Onslow County.

There’s a public meeting on Wednesday (07/29/15) to discuss the temporary ban on target shooting in the Croatan National Forest, in portions of Jones, Craven, and Carteret counties.  Jared Brumbaugh has more. 

After receiving hundreds of complaints from locals, the U.S. Forest Service banned target shooting in the Croatan for 120 days.  The closure took effect July 13th.  District Ranger Jim Gumm says concerns about public safety prompted the ban.

Following eight shark attacks this summer, another seaside town is enacting fishing restrictions. Jared Brumbaugh has more.

Effective today, Pine Knoll Shores is banning all fishing at ten heavily used beach access location. Town Manager Brian Kramer says the plan designates a 200 yard area at each site for swimming only. He says anglers will have to move to the right or left of these restricted areas in order to fish.

"Most fishermen we think do that already out of courtesy, but we don't want to have bait in the water while folks are swimming."

New school bus safety policies have been approved by the state Board of Education. George Olsen has more.

State officials advise residents to wear their life jackets when boating. Lee Jenkins has more.

Boating Safety Coordinator Major Chris Huebner says the most important safety measure any boater can take is to wear their life jacket. The primary cause of death in boating accidents is drowning, which life jackets go a long way towards preventing. Huebner says that even with a drunken operator or in bad weather, a life jacket would likely save lives.

School districts across the state have suspended their Driver’s Ed programs. Lee Jenkins has more.

Budget disagreements between the House and Senate have left financing for the programs up in the air. The Senate seeks to cut funding to high schools and have the community college system provide the classes, while the House seeks to maintain the program as it is.

The unmanned drone plummeted in the Neuse river yesterday afternoon during a routine training exercise. Cherry Point officials do not yet know what caused the drone to crash. First Lieutenant Maida Kalic says the Cherry Point Fire Department has been conducting searches alongside the Township Nine Fire Department.

After three swimmers were attacked by sharks along the southeastern coast of North Carolina, the Town of Oak Island is considering a ban on shark fishing at their pier. Town officials have discussed a temporary ban that would prevent fishermen from luring sharks close to the pier until at least after Independence Day. Other piers across the coast, like Emerald Isle’s Bogue Inlet Pier, already restrict shark fishing for a variety of reasons. Assistant Manager Rhonda Wagner says it disrupts other kinds of fishing.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation will begin demolishing the old bridges that run along Queen Street as early as July 8. The city of Kinston has long planned to renovate the bridges, and expects the project will be completed by April of 2016.

During the 10 intervening months, that section of Queen Street will be closed. Drivers will have to take a detour along King Street to reach Highway 70 from Skinner’s Bypass. The project has an estimated cost of $11 million.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has released their first-ever customer survey. Lee Jenkins has more.

The Department of Transportation began mailing a brand new customer survey to North Carolina residents just two weeks ago. The NCDOT designed the survey to measure customer satisfaction with state transportation services. Performance Metrics Director Ehren Meister says the survey takes a comprehensive look at North Carolina’s transportation system.

To mark the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, we speak with historian and Civil War re-enactor Phillip Brown who is retracing the steps of Confederate Navy Sailor Washington Duke.  Duke was a tobacco farmer when he was joined the Confederate army in 1863 or early 1864, due to a shortage of troops.  He was captured by Union Forces and imprisoned in Richmond, Virginia.  Eventually, he was shipped to New Bern.  When the war ended, Duke was released and he walked 135 miles back to his home in Durham, because he didn’t have money or transportation.