News

President Trump is holding a press conference from the G-7 summit of world economic leaders in France. He has meetings with multiple heads of state over the weekend. The summit comes ahead of a looming recession and amid an ongoing trade war with China. You can view his press conference here Monday 9

NCDOT Division of Aviation

  The N.C. Department of Transportation recently received an award for using drones to manage and document flooding after Hurricane Florence. Fifteen NCDOT drone teams flew more than 200 missions in Eastern North Carolina to take photos and video of floodwaters, storm damage, and traffic incidents. More than 8,000 images were captured, helping agencies make decisions on how to safely address storm recovery and keep the public informed. 

RALEIGH – A plant expansion in Pasquotank County will bring 90 new jobs to the facility. The state Commerce Department reports Hockmeyer Equipment Corporation will expand its operations in Elizabeth City. The process equipment maker will invest $6 million in a 35,000 square feet expansion of their current Elizabeth City facility where they have been operating since 1984. The company will be eligible for a $300,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund dependent on meeting job creation and capital investment targets.

G. Taylor/National Montford Point Marine Association

A celebration to honor the first African-American in the Marine Corps takes place Thursday in Jacksonville.  Marine Corps Installations East – Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune will hold the ceremony at 8 am at the Montford Point Marine Memorial at Lejeune Memorial Gardens.  The event celebrates the history and accomplishments of nearly 20,000 African-Americans that served in the Marine Corps from 1942 to 1949.  The keynote speaker will be Rev. Dr. Roosevelt Baxter Jr., senior pastor at Mt.

Early in-person voting is underway in two U-S Congressional Districts. The elections will fill seats in the 3rd and 9th U-S Congressional Districts. The 3rd district seat became vacant with the death of Congressman Walter Jones Jr. in February. The 9th district seat has been vacant following the state Board of Elections calling for a re-do of the November 2018 election over possible absentee ballot fraud involving a contractor for Republican Mark Harris’ campaign.

Craven County

Changes are coming to Craven County’s recycling program.

NCDOT

The N.C. Department of Transportation wants to hear feedback on the proposed Kinston Bypass project.  The four-lane, median-divided freeway would extend 22-miles between La Grange and Dover. The new roadway will improve regional mobility and capacity, as well as reduce congestion that currently exists on Highway 70 through Lenoir, Jones, and Craven counties. NCDOT is seeking public comment on 12 different alternatives. 

UNC Institute of Marine Sciences

 


 

Climate change and warming ocean temperatures may explain why catastrophic flooding during hurricanes and tropical storms seems to be happening more frequently in Eastern North Carolina.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on Thursday more than $3 million for water system improvements for a town in Lenoir Coutny. The town of La Grange proposes to install 20,120 feet of distribution line and construct two new wells which will withdraw from aquifers outside the Central Coastal Plain Capacity Use Area. The project would connect up to 27 new customers. La Grange is located within a 15 county region that includes the Central Coastal Plain Capacity Use Area.

 WASHINGTON (AP) — Government meteorologists say this year's hurricane season may be busier than initially expected now that summer's weak El Nino has faded away.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center said Thursday the Atlantic season looks more active than normal as peak hurricane season begins. Forecasters now expect 10 to 17 named storms, with five to nine hurricanes and two to four major ones.

In May, they forecast a normal season, one or two fewer named storms and hurricanes.

Many North Carolina counties with higher-than-average opioid prescription rates also have higher-than-average rates of grandparents raising grandchildren. Carolina Demography looked at 2017 data for their study. Statewide, 1.6% of grandparents care for their grandchildren, above the national average of 1.3%.

UPDATE (8/7/19)  -- The SBI reports that agent Tim Luper was released from the Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill this past Saturday (August 3). He continues his recovery at home. Agent Brian Joy remains at the Burn Center in critical condition recovering from third-degree burns suffered in the July 26th incident.

UPDATE (7/31/19) -- The SBI reports both agents came through surgery "well" on Tuesday. Agent Joy remains in critical condition with third-degree burns while Agent Luper is in stable condition after his surgery to correct a shoulder injury suffered in the explosion.

Jacksonville Daily News

 

Gov. Roy Cooper, State Superintendent Mark Johnson, and other leaders attended a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday afternoon for a new K-12 school in Jones County students. The 123,000 square foot facility has 40 classrooms, as well as science labs, collaboration stations, and exploratory classrooms. Electricity for the school is generated through rooftop solar panels. 

RALEIGH – The Governor’s Office has announced a manufacturer will expand its operation in Pasquotank County, creating 75 jobs. Telephonics Corporation designs and manufactures radar and communications systems for the military and aviation industry. The company is currently operating at the Elizabeth City Regional Airport. It will expand into a new facility also in Elizabeth City, investing $5.5 million. Wages will vary by position, but the average wage will be nearly $65,000, well above Pasquotank’s average annual wage of nearly $35,000.

North Carolina last week became the 35th state to pass a law limiting female genital mutilation. The measure Gov. Roy Cooper signed into law becomes effective Oct. 1. The bill introduced in the Senate by Mecklenburg County state Senator Joyce Krawiec passed both chambers of the legislature with no members voting against it. Effective Oct. 1 the practice of female genital mutilation, or FGM, on those under the age of 18 will be a Class C felony punishable by a 44-to-182 month prison sentence.

A new report says the health of swimmers at many beaches in North Carolina was put at risk last year because of water contamination. A new report by Environment North Carolina says 127 beaches and waterways across the state had water pollution levels that put swimmers at risk of getting sick on at least one occasion. The report looked at fecal bacterial levels at 213 beaches across the state.  Fecal contamination can cause gastrointestinal illness as well as respiratory disease, ear and eye infections and skin rash.

Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order involving a controversial practice known as conversion therapy. The Governor on Friday signed Executive Order No. 97 that directs the state Department of Health and Human Services to take the appropriate steps needed to ensure no taxpayer dollars are used for conversion therapy for minors. Conversion therapy is the practice of attempting to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Major medical organizations including the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association have come out against the practice.

A bill governing ride-sharing services got final legislative approval today. The Passenger Protection Act cleared the House by a 100-to-0 vote. The bill introduced by Wayne County Rep. John Bell requires rideshare drivers to display easily viewed company logos and have a printed license plate on the front of their vehicles. It also creates a new criminal penalty for impersonating a rideshare driver and makes it a misdemeanor to assault a rideshare driver.

Duke Energy


Electric companies that provide power for residents in Eastern North Carolina are upgrading their systems to make them more resilient to future storms and hurricanes. 

North Carolina Department of Transportation

N.C. Department of Transportation's Division of Aviation has launched an online survey to gather public comment on unmanned aircraft systems.  According to a press release from NCDOT, the survey will ask peoples’ thoughts and concerns about the current and future applications of drones.

Greenville Utilites

Gov. Cooper on Tuesday announced $112 million dollars in loans for 26 drinking water and wastewater improvement projects across the state, nine of which are in Eastern North Carolina communities. The N.C. Water Infrastructure Authority approved 26 projects for funding at their July 10 meeting. The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund approved a $20 million loan to upgrade and expand Greenville’s water treatment plant.

The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores was unexpectedly closed today (Tuesday) due to cooling issues. The building’s chiller controls building and habitat temperatures. Mechanical issues with the chiller made normal operations unsafe to open to the public. The Aquariums’s staff is monitoring habitat water temperatures and is implementing safety protocols as needed. A re-open date and time has not yet been set.

UPDATE -- The Aquarium re-opened Friday, July 26.

USMC

Col. Amy Ebitz will assume command of Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations East at Camp LeJeune at Friday, July 19 at 10:00 am. Her husband will be there. Then at 2:00 pm Col. Curtis Ebitz will assume command of Marine Corps Air Station New River. His wife will be there. It will be a busy day for Colonels Curtis and Amy Ebitz who have been married since 2003. They have two children ages 12 and 8 who will also have busy days as they’ll attend both command ceremonies.  The Colonels Ebitz come to the region after recent assignments in Washington D.C.

NPS Photo

Record sea turtle nesting at Cape Lookout National Seashore is restricting vehicle access for the next two months. Superintendent Jeff West said in a press release Tuesday that the beach closures to off road vehicles will vary and change depending on the incubation periods of the nests. 

"We will put in temporary bypass routes when we can, but access to ocean side beaches will be more restricted than normal for the next two months," said West.

NC Sea Turtle Project

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Rare sea turtles are smashing nesting records this summer on beaches in the Southeast, with scientists crediting the egg-laying boom to conservation measures that began more than 30 years ago.

Giant loggerhead sea turtles weighing up to 300 pounds (136 kilograms) crawl ashore to dig nests in the sand every summer along the southern Atlantic coast. While nesting typically occurs from May through August, record nest counts set in 2016 have already fallen in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

A 25% cut in your daily caloric intake could cut your risk from some deadly ailments. A two-year Duke Health trial indicated cutting around 300 calories from your daily caloric intake reduced study participants risk for ailments such as diabetes and heart disease. A press release from Duke Health said that’s roughly the equivalent of eating six Oreo cookies. The study involved adults under age 50. While participants were asked to maintain the 25 percent daily calorie reduction, the average calorie reduction was actually about 12 percent.

Jared Brumbaugh

The U.S. Drought Monitor of North Carolina released their statewide assessment on Thursday classifying eleven counties in Eastern North Carolina, including Carteret, Craven, Duplin, Jones, Onslow, and Pamlico, in moderate drought. Farmers across the region are citing abnormally dry and hot conditions for failing summer crops. The drought comes at a time when many growers are still trying to recover from Hurricane Florence ten months ago. 

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A state legislator aided by hardline conservatives on Capitol Hill won the Republican nomination Tuesday for the North Carolina congressional district seat left vacant by the death of Rep. Walter Jones Jr.

N.C. Department of Agriculture

N.C. Department of Agriculture officials are monitoring populations of the highly invasive gypsy moth. In their larval stage, the insect is capable of defoliating entire forests. Each caterpillar can consume a square foot of leaf material in one day. Each year, 18,000 to 21,000 traps are set across North Carolina each spring to monitor their populations,

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