Recent media reports have indicated a lack of Highway Patrol in eastern North Carolina. Captain John Nyberg of Troop A says the shortage is real and they have sustained a minimum of troopers for years. Nyberg says Troop A currently employs 121 Highway Patrolmen, but the ideal number is 150.
"That number is one that's been around for quite a long time, and you don't have to look that far to see how much the population has increased over the years."
ECU introduced Jeff Compher as the university’s new athletics director. Compher has been athletic director at Northern Illinois University for the past five years. He has past ties to North Carolina having served as an assistant athletic director at N-C State from 1986 to 1992 and was athletic director at Western Carolina from 2000 to 2004. He succeeds Terry Holland who announced his retirement last December. Compher signed a 5-year contract and will start his job May 1.
A press release from the Department of Public Instruction says it received 70 applications by the March 1st deadline for proposed charter schools to open in August 2014. That is the largest number of applicants since the first charter school opened in 1997. The review process on those applications now begins. Any application that is not complete will not advance. The complete applications will go before the Public Charter School Advisory Council for review, a process that takes several months.
The proclamation signed by Gov. Pat McCrory advises North Carolinians to be on the lookout for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms as the spring season approaches. A tornado drill will take place this Wednesday at schools and government buildings so officials can rehearse emergency plans. Last year 60 tornado warnings were issued by the National Weather Service in North Carolina. Twenty-one tornadoes were recorded that injured 22 people and caused over $19 million in damages. There were over 1200 incidents of severe thunderstorms which killed six and injured 46 others.
Sen. Burr yesterday introduced a resolution to designate March 29th as Vietnam Veterans Day. California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer is co-sponsoring the legislation. It marks the third consecutive year that Sen. Burr has sought to get such a designation. He chose March 29th as it marks the anniversary of the day in 1973 that combat and combat support units withdrew completely from South Vietnam.
At some point before Friday at midnight, the President is expected to order across-the-board budget cuts to save $1.2 trillion dollars over the next ten years. Jared Brumbaugh spoke with Congressman G.K. Butterfield about how sequestration could impact eastern North Carolina.
“It appears it’s too late, that it’s definitely going to happen.”
If the sequestration goes forward, most of the effects could be felt in our area immediately. Butterfield says military readiness and middle class families would be hit the hardest.
5,000 gallons of wastewater has spilled into a creek in Jacksonville, following more than an inch and a half of rain on Tuesday. The City’s Maintenance and Utilities Superintendent Pete Deaver was at the site Thursday afternoon testing the water.
“There is nothing else we can do. The rain water helps it dilute the affluent that reaches the waters. We have made some repairs to the man hole where the overflow occurred.”
Changes are coming to the way the Division of Motor Vehicles collects vehicle property tax. The Tax and Tag program will allow the DMV to consolidate vehicle property taxes along with registration renewals into one single payment. The DMV will begin sending out registration renewal notices this summer that show both fees on the same invoice. By mid 2014, all NC vehicles will be incorporated into the system.
Several non-profits in Greene County are joining forces to save the local Animal Shelter.
Earlier this month, the Greene County Animal Shelter announced it would experience a significant funding reduction of 13,000 dollars. Several non-profits and volunteer groups such as Friends of Greene County Animal Shelter and Greene County Humane Society have offered to help collect supplies before the reduction takes effect on July 1st. Lynn Graves is the President of Greene County Humane Society.
The ferry has been suspended since mid-January since a winter storm caused rapid shoaling across Hatteras Inlet. The Army Corps of Engineers has been dredging the inlet but has not yet completed the work that would allow the ferry to resume its usual route. However, a new route was identified last week and final testing was conducted on the alternate route yesterday. The ferry trip will take longer … about 70 minutes compared to 40 minutes on the normal route.