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Governor Roy Cooper and state emergency officials are making preparations for a winter storm that will begin tonight and last into Friday morning.  At a briefing in Raleigh this morning, Cooper said impacts will be felt across the state, with the most significant snowfall occurring in northeastern North Carolina.  The National Weather Service predicts three to six inches of snow across the area.  The governor said residents on the coast can expect whiteout conditions due to heavy snows and gusty winds.  The state emergency operations center will open at 1pm to assist local governments.  Nat

NWS Newport

UPDATED 1700 2/20/20 - A Winter Storm Warning is in effect until Friday morning. The National Weather Service office in Newport is expecting snowfall amounts topping off at 4-to-6 inches with locally higher amounts up to 8 inches for inland areas including Greenville, Farmville, Grifton, Plymouth Snow Hill, Washington, Kinston and Vanceboro. Closer to the coast, areas including New Bern, Havelock, Oriental and Bayboro could see 3-to-5 inches of snow with winds gusting as high as 35 miles per hour.

Democratic presidential candidates are debating once again, this time Wednesday night in Las Vegas ahead of Saturday's caucuses in Nevada. Follow NPR's analysis which goes live Wednesday night at 8:30 pm.

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A North Carolina appeals court has joined a federal judge in ruling against the state's newest voter photo identification law. Tuesday's unanimous decision means it's increasingly unlikely that North Carolina voters will have to show a photo ID in order to cast a ballot in this year's elections. The decision reverses last July's lower court ruling, which said a challenge of the law wasn't likely to win at trial.

Jared Brumbaugh

The North Carolina Board of Elections reports over 79,000 registered voters have cast ballots through the first weekend of early voting.

NC Department of Commerce

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s Office announced on Tuesday that three companies are bringing new jobs into Eastern North Carolina.  

Wikimedia Commons

East Carolina University in Greenville joins more than a dozen universities across the country making overdose medications readily available to students.  

Early voting for the March primary gets underway Thursday, Feb. 13. The 17-day early voting period runs through Saturday, February 29. During the early voting period, any registered voter can vote at any early voting site in their county. Residents can also register and vote at the same time using same-day registration. During the early voting period voters can update their name and address, but can not switch party affiliation. Thru Saturday, Feb. 15 over 79,000 residents had cast early ballots. About 44% of early ballots cast thru Feb.

NCDOT

Contractors will soon be placing sandbags along a stretch of N.C. 12 on North Carolina's Outer Banks to protect the road from getting washed out again. The Raleigh News & Observer reported Thursday that the North Carolina Department of Transportation is using the sandbags  to reinforce a ridge of sand between the Atlantic ocean and the road on Ocracoke Island. The new dune replaces one that was washed away by Hurricane Dorian. The September storm flooded the island and buckled about 1,000 feet of roadway. Highway 12 reopened in early December. 

ABC 11

North Carolina's primary elections are heating up with presidential candidates and their surrogates visiting as early in-person voting begins. Registered voters or people who want to register now can cast ballots at locations in all 100 counties starting on Thursday through Feb. 29. Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg scheduled early-vote campaign events Thursday in Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Raleigh. The sister of Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders supporter actress Susan Sarandon also planned Thursday events. Sanders has rallies scheduled for Friday in the state.

CDC

North Carolina state government has formed a new panel designed to monitor a new virus that has killed over 1,000 people in China. The new Novel Coronavirus Task Force unveiled this week by Gov.

An internet outage caused by a severed fiber line has taken down some Division of Motor Vehicles offices throughout central and eastern North Carolina. The N.C. Department of Transportation says many of the affected offices have closed for the day. News outlets quote the agency as saying a fiber line cut near Benson affected offices from areas surrounding Fayetteville, Wilmington and south of Raleigh. The DMV also experienced outages last Friday, when they said a power outage in the Raleigh area was impacting servers for the N.C.

Duke Energy

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality is seeking public comment on closure plans for the four coal ash impoundments at the H.F. Lee plant in Goldsboro. 

An eastern North Carolina congressman who died last year could soon be remembered with a local post office named in his memory. Members of the state's congressional delegation have filed legislation designating the “Walter B. Jones Jr. Post Office” in Farmville. That's where the longtime congressman lived until his February 2019 death at age 76. The House approved a resolution last week, while Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis introduced a measure this week. Jones is a former state legislator who had served in Congress since 1995 as a Republican.

Follow NPR's live coverage of the 2020 New Hampshire Primary, including results and analysis. Follow our live blog Tuesday beginning at 7:30 pm.

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Democratic presidential candidates are debating for the first time since the Iowa caucuses. There are seven candidates on the stage Friday night in New Hampshire, ahead of Tuesday's primary in the state. Get live updates and analysis starting Friday night at 8:00 pm

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Connie Leinbach/Ocracoke Observer

In the five months since Hurricane Dorian battered North Carolina's Outer Banks, workers have hauled away more than 9,000 dump truck loads of debris from a single island, and they're still not done. Hyde County emergency management director Justin Gibbs told The Virginian-Pilot that more than 6,650 tons so far have been put in trucks and ferried to the mainland for disposal in landfills. The waste includes thousands of damaged trees, parts of hundreds of ruined homes and big household appliances. The bill for removing the junk from Ocracoke Island was $26 million, and counting.

Cliff Hollis, ECU News Services

 

Eastern North Carolina is one of the most underserved areas of the state when it comes to access to dental professionals.  Bertie County, in particular, has one of the lowest ratios of dentists-to-population with only one or two licenced dentists for 21,000 residents. 

A deadline for state residents who want to vote in the March primary is coming up. The state Board of Elections says this Friday (Feb. 7) is the regular voter registration deadline for the primary election. However, it notes those who miss that deadline can still register and vote during the early voting period that runs from Feb. 13 thru the 29th. But while voters can register during the early voting period and update their address, they can’t change their party affiliation, which needs to be done by Friday. Photo ID will not be required to vote in the primary.

A study on enhancements to a current cocaine vaccine shows promise in blocking the drug’s “high.” A press release from Duke Health says a new ingredient added to a cocaine vaccine appears to enhance the vaccine’s ability to block the drug’s high. The vaccine is administered via nasal drops and helps the body’s immune system to create antibody responses against cocaine. Senior author of the study Herman Staats is a professor at Duke’s Department of Pathology.

Chelsea Beck/NPR

President Trump is delivering the 2020 State of the Union address, which comes under the shadow of his impeachment trial. Watch his remarks live and follow a live annotation of his remarks, including fact checks and analysis from NPR reporters.

Angela Hsieh/NPR

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is delivering the Democratic response to President Trump's 2020 State of the Union address. Watch her remarks live and follow a live annotation of her remarks, with fact checks and analysis from NPR reporters.

 

A malware problem has caused Duplin County to take its information technology infrastructure offline, impacting some public services.  The County’s alert system notified IT staff of an increase in suspicious activity Monday morning. The servers were taken offline to avoid any damage from the malware.  it’s not known when the county will be back online.

The Iowa caucuses are the first contest in the 2020 presidential race. Follow NPR's liveblog for news and scenes from the field as well as the night's final tally.

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Air pollution is not just a concern for urban areas.  A new report from Environment North Carolina released this week finds that rural areas like Eastern North Carolina experience ozone and particulate pollution as well.  According to the report titled “Trouble in the Air: Millions of Americans Breathed Pollution in 2018”, the main sources of pollution that contribute to ozone and particulate pollution in North Carolina include transportation, electricity generation, industrial processes, wildfires, and other h

Two East Carolina University trustees who tried to influence a student election said in a letter that they regret that their actions. The University of North Carolina system released the letter from the trustees on Thursday, along with a transcript and recording of their conversation. In the transcript, trustees Phil Lewis and Robbie Moore offer to assist the unidentified student financially but want their assistance kept confidential. Complaints have been filed about their actions. The UNC Board of Governors could consider the matter when it meets later this month. 

CDC

State health officials say they are working with local agencies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor the spread of coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Currently, there are no confirmed cases in North Carolina. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services said in a news release Wednesday that the risk to the general public in North Carolina, especially without history of travel to China, is low. No additional precautions are recommended at this time. 

North Carolina state government coffers are more flush than in recent memory as 2020 began. Analysts from both the legislative and executive branches agree state revenues are about $290 million ahead of expectations through the first half of this fiscal year. Growing individual income tax collections are the main reason. North Carolina has had revenue surpluses five years in a row. But the state's financial accounts also are higher now because a full two-year state budget has never been finalized, leading to money going unspent. As of Dec.

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries

 

 

Work has begun on a new artificial reef off the North Carolina coast. The 162-acre underwater site is located about 7 miles south of Oregon Inlet sea buoy off Dare County.  

 

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