News

Liam James Doyle/NPR

The U.S. House of Representatives is holding open hearings in its impeachment inquiry into President Trump. PRE News & Ideas will carry live coverage and analysis of the proceedings. You can also watch action from the U-S House here. Proceedings are expected to begin Wednesday at 10:00 am.

Croatan National Forest

Beginning Sunday, November 17th, seven recreation sites in the Croatan National Forest will implement standardized hours, closing at sunset and reopening at sunrise. These sites include Black Swamp OHV area, Cedar Point recreation area and Tideland Trail, Fisher’s Landing, Flanner’s Beach recreation area, Pine Cliff equestrian trails parking lot and recreation area, and Siddie Fields.

ECU News Services

A research team at East Carolina University will travel to Saipain in 2020 to study the preservation threats of sunken World War II aircraft in the Pacific Ocean.  ECU's Maritime Studies Program and Department of Biology received a $29,652 grant from the National Park Service to conduct the study. 

Town of Cedar Point

The town of Cedar Point recently opened a 56-acre park to the public. Boathouse Creek Walking Trails is located along the White Oak River and includes a kayak launch, and information station, and more than two miles of walking trails.  The site is surrounded by 18 acres of wetlands and bordered by oyster reefs along Boathouse Creek.

ECU News Services

 

 

East Carolina University is pilot testing a virtual simulation software aimed at helping faculty, staff, and students identify and address risk factors that are associated with suicide. The interactive online software called Kognito simulates a conversation with peers and allows the person using the program to choose how to respond based on issues presented. 

 

Jared Brumbaugh

Nearly six months after PFAS was found in Maysville’s well water supply, officials are still trying to determine the cause of the contamination and identify a long-term solution to provide safe water to residents.  Aqueous film forming foam, which was used in firefighting applications, is most likely the source of contamination.

Liam James Doyle/NPR

The U.S. House of Representatives is voting to formalize its ongoing impeachment inquiry. The resolution before lawmakers outlines the next steps in their investigation. Watch the debate and vote on the House floor live. Debate is expected to begin 9:00 am Thursday.

Duke Health

The numbers of state residents with severe lung injury associated with e-cigarette use continues to rise. A press release from the state Department of Health and Human Services says there are now 61 cases of people with severe lung injury. Ages of the cases range from 13 to 72. It’s part of a problem occurring across the nation, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting 1604 cases and 34 deaths in the United States and the U-S Virgin Islands as of October 22. Most of those with lung injury report vaping THC infused product.

ECU Center for Survey Research

Polling indicates support for banning the sale of e-cigarette and vaping products in North Carolina, though there is a generational divide. Polling conducted by the Center for Survey Research at East Carolina University says 50% of registered voters polled support a statewide ban on the sale of e-cigarettes and vaping products. Twenty-seven percent were opposed while 23% were undecided. However, support varied greatly by age group. While only 23% of those 25-years-of-age-and-older opposed a ban, that number went up to 56% for those 18-to-24.

ECU News Service - Rhett Butler

Research at East Carolina University indicates babies born to mothers who exercise during pregnancy are healthier. A press release from ECU says the research indicates children born to mothers who exercise during pregnancy have improved motor skills, heart function and body composition. Dr. Linda May, an associate professor at the ECU School of Dental Medicine’s Department of Foundational Sciences and Research, said there’s a “dose response” to exercise… babies whose mothers exercise a little get a little benefit, babies whose mothers exercise more get more benefit.

ECU photo by Cliff Hollis

East Carolina University will hold its fourth annual initiative focused on mental health and suicide prevention on Wednesday.  ECU is one of six universities in North Carolina participating in Fresh Check Day, which includes peer groups and interactive booths that provides information on mental health and suicide prevention to faculty, staff, and students. 

MCAS - Cpl. Andrew King

On Oct. 25, the All-Terrain Unit Competition took place at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Havelock.  The event, which is in its 20th consecutive year, tests the physical strength and problem solving abilities of Marines to build camaraderie among their units.  

There was good news and bad news for Gov. Roy Cooper as he heads into his re-election efforts. A Civitas poll indicates the Democratic incumbent has leads outside the margin of error against three declared and possible Republican candidates. He had a 19-point edge over New Hanover County state Rep. Holly Grange, 10-points over Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and eight over former Gov. Pat McCrory, who has not declared his candidacy. Cooper defeated McCrory by less than half-a-percentage point in the 2016 general election. There was a large undecided camp in each race, ranging from 18-to-27 percent.

An advocacy group reports the leading cause of deaths in jails across North Carolina is suicide. Disability Rights North Carolina is calling for immediate action to address mental health treatment in jails. A report from the group says statistics over four years ending in 2016 indicated that of 111 deaths in jails, at least 51 were suicides. That’s a rate of 45.9%, which their report says exceeds the 2014 national average of 35% reported by the U-S Department of Justice.

N.C. Film Office - Facebook

On Tuesday, Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 111, establishing the Advisory Council on Film, Television, and Digital Streaming. The 15-member Council will meet at least three times annually to advise the Governor on strategies to attract film productions to North Carolina. The Council will also recommend ways to grow and develop the state's film industry. A news release from the Governor's office states that film job opportunities are up in 2019.

The rate of infant deaths decreased for a third straight year to 6.8 deaths per 1,000 live births.  According to the 2018 North Carolina Infant Mortality Report, there were 806 infant deaths in 2018 compared to 852 the previous year.

Free download of Killer from the CD West by Jedd Hughes, currently featured on The Sound.  Find out more about the artist here.

RALEIGH – The Governor’s Office reports that the U-S Small Business Administration has granted Gov. Roy Cooper’s request for a disaster declaration for counties that suffered damage from Hurricane Dorian. The declaration will allow affected residents to apply for low interest SBA disaster loans. The Governor made the request after FEMA denied individual assistance for those affected by Dorian. The SBA request was described as the first step in in establishing a state relief program following FEMA’s denial.

On Friday, the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission Science Panel meets in New Bern to begin discussions on the 2020 Sea Level Rise Assessment.  The panel reviews scientific data and makes projections of how sea-level rise affects different locations along the North Carolina coast over a 30-year time frame. The 2020 report updates previous assessments from 2010 and 2015 said Tancred Miller, the Coastal and Ocean Policy Manager with the Division of Coastal Management.

A portion of Topsail Island listed for sale for nearly $8 million has limited development potential according to a local environmental group. A press release from the North Carolina Coastal Federation says their analysis of land use restrictions on the 110-acre parcel on the south end of Topsail Island shows very limited development potential.  Among limits to development is the town of Topsail Beach has zoned the parcel for conservation and local land use plans and ordinances prohibit almost all forms of development.

Connie Leinbach/Ocracoke Observer

In early September, Ocracoke Island was pummeled by category 1 Hurricane Dorian, displacing many of the long-time residents.  While recovery work started right after the storm, the cleanup and demolition of flooded homes continues to displace more people.  Additionally, some business owners are assessing their future on the 13-mile barrier island.  

ReBUILD NC

The state is seeking public input on how to spend $168 million dollars in communities affected by Hurricanes Matthew and Florence. Public meetings are being held this week in Eastern North Carolina to gather feedback on how to develop a state action plan with funds from the U.S. Department of Urban and Housing Development’s Community Development Block Grant-Mitigation program. Federal guidelines require the funds to be used for community projects that strengthen local infrastructure and reduce future losses. 

North Carolina’s status as a purple state politically appears to remain true according to a new ECU poll. After three straight close presidential races in the state, a fourth appears to be in the offing according to the poll conducted by faculty members of ECU’s Center for Survey Research.  In hypothetical November match-ups with five Democrats, President Donald Trump holds leads over three… Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg… though his lead in each case is within the plus-or-minus three percent margin of error. His biggest lead is 2.6% over Pete Buttigieg.

Twelve candidates take the stage for October's Democratic primary debate, which begins Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET. You can hear the debate on PRE News & Ideas at 89.3 across eastern North Carolina and in Greenville at 88.1 as well as here at publicradioeast.org on our News & Ideas webstream. Also, follow NPR reporters here as they post context and analysis in real time.

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APNEP

A recently published map gives scientists a better understanding of the density of submerged seagrass habitats along North Carolina's coast as well as a baseline for measuring changes in the ecosystem. 

The UNC System, East Carolina University, Pitt County Government, and Vidant Health announced on Wednesday an agreement has been reached in a pending lawsuit.  

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's governor says the federal government has denied individual assistance for residents in four counties hit by Hurricane Dorian.

Gov. Roy Cooper had sought the federal help for households in Carteret, Dare, Hyde, and New Hanover counties. He said the assistance would have included funds for temporary housing, repairs and storm damage.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is providing low-interest loans of up to $2 million to private nonprofit organizations in Brunswick, Carteret, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Hyde, Jones, New Hanover, Pamlico, Pender, Sampson, Tyrrell, and Washington counties. 

“Food kitchen, homeless shelters, museums, libraries, community centers, schools and colleges are the types of entities that can apply,” said Mark Ihenacho, lead public affairs specialist with the SBA. “The interest rate on the disaster loans is 2.75% with terms up to 30 years."

Over 1 million new voters could be casting ballots in North Carolina during the next Presidential election. A report from Carolina Demography says there have been 1.1 million voter registration forms filed since November 2016. That includes those turning 18 or gaining citizenship since 2016 and prior residents registering for the first time. And while 285,000 North Carolinians have left, 370,000 have moved in. The new voters are… officially, at least… largely non-partisan. Forty-three percent registered as unaffiliated voters, compared to 29% of prior registrants.

Coastal Land Trust

WILMINGTON – The Coastal Land Trust has announced the purchase of 247 acres of Jones County property. A press release from the land trust says their Island Creek purchase lies adjacent to a portion of the Croatan National Forest southwest of New Bern. It says flora found on the property includes many rare species as well as species typically only found in the state’s Piedmont and mountain regions.

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