Associated Press

Wolf Haven International

Wildlife advocates have returned to court to prod the federal government to jump-start its recovery efforts for the critically endangered red wolf. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has lent his voice to efforts to bring the animal back from the brink of extinction in the wild. Amid the pressure, federal biologists plan to promote wild breeding among several wolf pairs.

Facebook / NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island

Cold weather is causing a problem for some sea turtles off the North Carolina coast, and an aquarium has taken in dozens of them for treatment. TV station WVEC-TV reports 96 turtles were taken to the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island after a drop in temperatures on Thursday and Friday. More are expected in the coming days. Dropping water temperatures can cause cold-stunning, a condition that makes turtles unable to swim properly. The recovery process involves gradually warming them up over a few days.

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Federal regulators have vastly scaled back a plan to make more shrimp nets include sea turtle escape hatches. A conservation group calls it "a dangerous departure." The proposed rule would have required about 5,800 inshore shrimp boats to use turtle excluder devices. But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Thursday made a rule public that applies to fewer than 1,100 boats. The new rule takes effect in April 2021. Officials expect it will save as many as 1,160 sea turtles a year. But that's about 1,300 fewer than the estimate was for the 2016 proposal. 


Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says he won't run for his old job in 2020. But he says he will consider a U.S. Senate bid for 2022.  The Republican announced his decision Thursday on his radio program in Charlotte, where he used to be mayor. The 2020 candidate filing deadline is Friday. Republicans Dan Forest and Holly Grange are already seeking the GOP gubernatorial nomination to try to unseat Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. The Senate seat will be open in 2022 because Republican Sen. Richard Burr is retiring.


Many of North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's lasting achievements in 2019 stem from keeping Republican policies from ever getting implemented. None of his 14 vetoes against legislation by the GOP-controlled legislature were overridden. They included bills addressing immigration, abortion and the two-year budget.  Republicans hold majorities in the House and Senate but lack enough seats to override Cooper's veto on their own, like they could during Cooper's first two years as governor.

The power line that provides electricity to an Outer Banks island will be replaced with an underground cable next year. Officials with the Cape Hatteras National Seashore say in a news release Monday that they've issued a permit to replace an overhead power line on Hatteras Island that's the only source of electricity for the 1,385 electrical customers on Ocracoke Island. The cable will connect to the existing underwater power line between the two islands. The project is expected to begin in January and take about two months to complete.


Great white sharks are showing up off the Carolina coast as winter approaches. The Charlotte Observer reported Monday that 10 great whites have been recorded off the North Carolina and South Carolina coast in recent weeks. They include one that’s almost 15 feet long and weighs more than 1,300 pounds. The group Ocearch tags the sharks with GPS trackers that “ping” each time they surface. Researchers said the southeastern coast is a “a winter hot spot" for sharks. Ocearch founder Chris Fischer said the area off Cape Hatteras is “a staging area for migration” in the fall and spring.

Town of Swansboro - Facebook

SWANSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Historic cities and towns along the Southeastern U.S. coast have survived wars, hurricanes, disease outbreaks and other calamities, but now that sea levels are creeping up with no sign of stopping, they face a more existential crisis.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina judges ordered a new U.S. House district map that Republican state legislators drew last month be used in the 2020 elections, deciding on Monday there wasn’t time to scrutinize the boundaries further for any left-over extreme partisan bias.

The three-judge panel agreed it was too late in the election cycle to receive evidence and testimony that would be necessary to consider detailed redistricting arguments from the lawmakers and from Democratic and independent voters who challenged the latest congressional maps.

N.C. State Board of Elections

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina officially kicks off the 2020 campaign with the opening of candidate filing for hundreds of elected positions such as governor and U.S. senator, in the state legislature and on the courts.

The State Board of Elections and all county boards begin taking candidate paperwork and filing fees at midday Monday. The filing period ends at noon Dec. 20.

Primaries will be held March 3 between multiple candidates from the same party vying for the same job.

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.

Corolla Wild Horse Fund

  CEDAR ISLAND, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina wild horse manager says more than half of one herd is thought to be dead after Hurricane Dorian storm surge slammed their island home.

Manager Woody Hancock told McClatchy news that 28 of the 49 horses on Cedar Island, between the Outer Banks and the mainland, are suspected dead. He says the herd is lesser-known than the Corolla heard on the northernmost parts of the Outer Banks. That herd didn't suffer any losses.


NAGS HEAD, N.C. (AP) — Ferry access to hurricane-ravaged Ocracoke Island on the North Carolina Outer Banks was limited to authorities and supply crews Sunday, as residents there continued work on what's expected to be a lengthy recovery effort.

Damage surveys and work to clean up the mess left behind by Hurricane Dorian were underway, said Hyde County spokesman Donnie Shumate. There was still no power or any sense of when it might be restored, he said.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina legislature has approved final details needed to get a major shift in treating Medicaid patients up and running in the coming months.

The House voted 57-52 on Thursday for legislation already agreed to by the Senate. It provides funds to run the state Medicaid program for the next two years, including the transition to managed-care treatment that's been years in the making and is supposed to begin Nov. 1. The bill also lays out how health care entities providing services under managed care will pay assessments and taxes.

 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.

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.


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.

Coastal Land Trust

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Some 5,400 acres of land along Salters Creek in eastern North Carolina is now protected from development because conservationists and the military worked together.

The North Carolina Coastal Land Trust said in a news release Monday that it bought the Carteret County land from The Trustees of the Sailors' Snug Harbor in New York City, a nonprofit corporation.

ECU image by Ryan Schacht

It is a common understanding in scientific research that the male species, in general, are frailer and experience higher rates of mortality across their lifespans than females. Now, there is evidence that among humans the frail male also extends in utero.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The state House is reconstituting an oversight committee that will keep monitoring challenges state government has had in distributing federal long-term housing grants to hurricane victims in eastern North Carolina.

House Speaker Tim Moore announced Tuesday that the House Select Committee on Disaster Relief has been authorized to meet again.

The panel met in 2018 and scrutinized why the state was slow giving out $237 million in federal community development grant funds received after Hurricane Matthew in 2016 for housing repairs.

Creative Commons

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Some North Carolina farmers have voiced opposition to a proposed ban on smokable hemp, saying it would keep them from capitalizing on the fast-growing hemp industry.

The bill containing the ban passed the state Senate Agriculture Committee on Wednesday and seeks to expand the state's pilot hemp farming program.

The State Bureau of Investigation pushed for the proposed ban on smokable hemp in a committee hearing last week, saying that it's difficult for law enforcement to discern smokable hemp from marijuana.

Wolf Haven International

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Illegal killings and longstanding political resistance have undercut the return of two species of endangered wolves to the wild, frustrating government efforts that already cost more than $80 million but have failed to meet recovery targets.

The number of red wolves roaming the forests of North Carolina has plunged to fewer than three dozen in recent years — the most precarious position of any U.S. wolf species.


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina will try leasing a boat to take passengers between Hatteras and Ocracoke islands because the ferry that was supposed to do the job has been delayed -- again.

Spokesman Tim Hass of the state Ferry Division tells The News & Observer of Raleigh that the most recent delay is because inspectors found the aluminum welds in the hull were substandard. Work was halted and then resumed in March.

Creative Commons

  MANTEO, N.C. (AP) — Mayors from along the North Carolina coast are discussing the costs of offshore oil drilling if something goes wrong.

About a dozen mayors from Duck to Topsail Beach are meeting Wednesday in Manteo to discuss their worries about offshore oil and gas exploration. Opponents say that one future oil spill could destroy the state's $4 billion fishing business and badly dent the state's $20 billion tourism industry.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — In a roundtable discussion with rural hospital executives, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper increased pressure on Republican state senators to support legislation that would expand Medicaid coverage to uninsured adults who don't meet current requirements. A similar bill was proposed in 2017, but failed after GOP opposition.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The country's largest electric company was ordered Monday to excavate coal ash from all of its North Carolina power plant sites, slashing the risk of toxic chemicals leaking into water supplies but potentially adding billions of dollars to the costs consumers pay.

Walter Jones

FARMVILLE, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones has undergone surgery for a broken hip suffered at his home.

Rep. Walter Jones

North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones will miss the remainder of the current congressional term because of illness.

Waterkeeper Alliance

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina legislators have finalized tougher restrictions upon neighbors of hog farms seeking to sue for damages because of the stench and other nuisances coming from industrial-scale livestock operations.