ENC Regional News

A section of U.S. 264 in Beaufort County will be closed for the next six months as a bridge replacement project gets underway.  Jared Brumbaugh has more. 

The new span will replace the current bridge over Pantego Creek constructed in 1950 that is functionally obsolete and structurally deficient.  The project started last week and workers are installing new water and sewer infrastructure at the site now.  In the coming weeks, Resident Engineer for the State Department of Transportation Cadmus Capehart says demolition of the existing bridge will begin.

The saltmarsh sparrow could soon become a lot harder to find along the eastern North Carolina shoreline.  Scientists say the species could be headed for extinction in the next 50 years. 

Researchers at several universities along the East Coast have been tracking saltmarsh sparrow populations and say they’ve dropped about nine percent annually since 1998.  Director of Bird Conservation for Audubon Maryland/DC was involved with the study and says habitat loss due to coastal development and sea-level rise are the main factors contributing to their rapid decline.

Coastal researchers in Beaufort are developing a tool that can alert officials when sharks get too close.  Jared Brumbaugh has more on how drones could be used to spot sharks swimming near popular beach spots. 

Assistant Professor of the Practice of Marine Conservation and Ecology at Duke University Dave Johnston is currently using fixed wing and quad copter drones to study bonnethead sharks to better understand their role in the ecosystem. 

“We fly over these coastal waters, the drones collect imagery, and we’re able to bring that back into the lab.”

You could soon pay a late fee if you’re tardy in renewing your vehicle registration. George Olsen has more.

Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

A coastal researcher from the Crystal Coast was recently honored for his work on developing and improving ways to count fish populations.        

State archaeologists now have more detailed sonar images to study of the Civil War blockade runner Agnes E. Fry. George Olsen has more.

NCDOT

The NC 11 bridge over Buckskin Swamp and Grove Creek in Kenansville will be shut down for more than a week as crews make the span safe again.  Both north and southbound lanes are closed to all traffic as North Carolina Department of Transportation crews repair the bridge’s substructure which was damaged by recent rain events.  Communications Officer for Divisions 2 and 3 Brian Rick says they noticed the problem during a biannual inspection.

Attorney General Roy Cooper filed a lawsuit Tuesday against leaders of a Kinston charter school over the mishandling of public funds.  The complaint filed in Wake County Superior Court alleges CEO Ozie Hall, and the Chair of its Board Demyra McDonald-Hall falsely inflated the number of students Kinston Charter Academy would enroll so they could get more tax dollars, even though they knew the school would not be able to stay open for the 2013-2014 term.

Wolf Haven International

Federal and state officials are asking for assistance in the investigation of a red wolf death last fall.  A federally-protected red wolf was found dead Nov. 12 in Hyde County. Based on the condition of the body and other evidence, the actual date of death is estimated to be Oct. 31. The necropsy results recently received indicate the cause of death was gunshot. Anyone with information is being asked to contact the U.S.

INTRO – The names of those involved in a Highway Patrol trooper involved shooting Sunday morning in Kinston have been released.

NCDNCR

A Civil War-era shipwreck has been discovered off the North Carolina coast. George Olsen has more.

Dominion

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a three state natural gas project connecting the Virginias and North Carolina, has a new route through the southeastern part of our state.  Now, an informational meeting is set for March 29th for landowners to hear about the changes and how it may impact them.  Jared Brumbaugh has more.  

The alternative route it is located farther from residential areas, as it parallels a Progress Energy Carolinas electric transmission line east of Fayetteville. Spokesperson for Duke Energy Tammie McGee.

The state’s public schools experienced the first increase in the dropout rate in nearly 10 years. George Olsen has more.

NC General Assembly

The General Assembly has been called back to Raleigh to redraw North Carolina's congressional map before tomorrow’s deadline.  Jared Brumbaugh has more on how the proposed changes would impact eastern North Carolina.

Survey crews with the National Weather Service office evaluated damage from what was a strong EF-1 tornado that impacted eastern Carteret County on Tuesday.  At 8:45 a.m., a tornado warning was issued for the area.   That’s when reports of damage and sightings of a tornado touching down came into the National Weather Service office in Newport.  Lead forecaster Jim Merrill says numerous trees are down on power lines along highway 70 and power lines were knocked down in Beaufort on Front Street.

Attendance at North Carolina’s state parks set a new record in 2015. George Olsen has more.

After a local grocery store and a Walmart Express closed in Oriental, free transportation service for residents without cars has been announced.  The ride service will begin February 3rd at 9:30 am and will take anyone in the Oriental area to grocery stores or pharmacies in the Bayboro/Grantsboro area.  Transportation is provided by Primetime Ministries Transportation Program at Oriental Methodist Church, volunteers and town Commissioner Allen Price.

INTRO – A Tarboro bakery operation has announced expansion plans, bringing 98 new jobs to the region. George Olsen has more.

Nine new members of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame have been announced. George Olsen has more.

The New Year means new school bus safety policies are in effect across the state. George Olsen has more.

The Onslow County Health Department is offering free testing kits so residents can check radon levels in their home. George Olsen has more.

Forty illegal gaming machines and nearly $300,000 in cash were discovered Tuesday when a search warrant was served on a Trenton residence. George Olsen has more.

Camp Lejeune has received the “all clear” after  bomb threats were called in this morning.  The base announced on their Facebook page that the Provost Marshall Office was working an incident in the area of the mainside Exchange/Commissary. Colonel Annita Best says a bomb threat was called in to the Starbucks inside the Exchange around 7:30.

While the largest solar generating facility east of the Mississippi River is still under construction, the majority of the renewable energy produced has already been claimed.  Jared Brumbaugh has more on the Edgecombe County project.

A fatal industrial accident at SPX Transformer Solutions, Inc in Wayne County left two men dead and one man hospitalized.  Jared Brumbaugh reports.

51 year old Dennis Martin of Goldsboro, and 33 year old Daniel Craig Anderson of Dudley were pronounced dead at the scene.  40 year old William Saviak of Dudley is currently in the ICU at Wayne Memorial Hospital. No update on his condition was available Tuesday afternoon. Major Tom Effler with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office says emergency responders were called to the scene Monday evening around 6 pm. 

INTRO – The New Bern Police Department has announced an addition to their 9-1-1 service. George Olsen has more.

INTRO – Gardens at state prisons are helping to fill food bank shelves. George Olsen has more.

INTRO – Drivers are warned to exercise caution on the roads with increased deer activity. George Olsen has more.

INTRO – Drivers statewide can now renew their license online. George Olsen has more.

A fighter jet that has become a historic symbol of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base is restored and ready to be placed in downtown Goldsboro, North Carolina again. Sarah Finch has more.

After 20 months of restoration, the 4th Fighter Wing will return an F-86 Sabre static display to the city of Goldsboro.

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