Outer Banks Voice

 

News and Information

Robert “Bob” Powers Hockenberry of KDH, May 15

Submitted Story

Robert “Bob” Powers Hockenberry or as many knew him “Uncle Bob” of Kill Devil Hills passed away peacefully in Norfolk, VA May 15, 2019. Bob was 60. Born and raised in Annapolis, MD he was the son of the late Robert and the late Barbara Hockenberry.

Bob completed his high school studies and enlisted in the United States Navy, where he served honorably for several years. Following his years in the Navy Bob graduated from college in Denver, CO and quickly gained employment in electronics as a skilled technician. Although he was employed with Canon Corp., he most enjoyed his employment with At Mel Corporation of Colorado Springs, CO.

Eventually, Bob met and married his wife Olga while traveling in Moscow. The two recently moved to the Outer Banks to enjoy Bob’s retirement. Locally, Bob enjoyed eating sea food and taking long drives in the countryside.

Uncle Bob Hockenberry is survived by his loving wife Olga of the Kill Devil Hills residence; his brother, Tom Hockenberry; and numerous friends. Bob’s wishes for cremation and private memorial services will be honored.

Please express condolences to the family via the online register at www.gallopfuneralservices.com. Gallop Funeral Services Inc. was entrusted with arrangements.

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Southern Shores leads campaign for northern library branch

Victoria Bragunier

(Dare County Library)

Southern Shores is leading a drive for a library branch to serve communities in northern Dare County and southern Currituck.

Town Councilman Jim Conners started researching the concept after being approached last summer by Kitty Hawk resident Wayne Berry.

“It was an intriguing idea for me,” said Conners.

After informally consulting several local government officials, Conners held a public meeting in March to gauge community interest. Minutes of the meeting characterize it as lively and productive, with roughly 35 people in attendance.

Describing the meeting Conners remarked, “people were enthused and excited about this idea.”

The proposed library would serve residents of Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Duck, Martin’s Point and lower Currituck County. As the potential cost of building a freestanding library is a concern, rented space in the Marketplace or the commercial section of Juniper Trail has been suggested to house the facility.

To further develop the idea, Conners is leading the formation of a committee that will be comprised of town citizens, and individuals from Duck, Kitty Hawk and Martin’s Point.

“Appointing a member to serve on the committee will be brought up at the June 3 council meeting,” said Andy Stewart, Kitty Hawk town manager.

In a recent newsletter, the town of Duck requested that citizens interested in serving on the committee fill out the volunteer form located on its website, and forward the information via email or in person.

“We are happy to have a Duck resident participate on the committee,” said Christian Legner, director of public information for Duck.

Currently Dare County has three library locations — in Hatteras, Manteo and Kill Devil Hills. The county library structure is part of the larger East Albemarle regional system that includes Camden, Corolla, Currituck, Moyock, and Pasquotank.

No specific process exists to get a library branch. “There is no official procedure in either the administrative code or the North Carolina statues,” said Jonathan Wark, director for the East Albemarle Regional Library System.

Wark went on to explain that the issue is seen as a local matter which the county would ultimately decide.

“It would come before the board, and they would have to be convinced to fund it through the capital improvement plan,” said Dare County Manager, Bobby Outten.

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Commentary: Blowing a lot of hot air at wind turbines

Russ Lay

Three of the 104 Turbines at the Amazon Wind Farm in Pasquotank and Perquimans counties. (Paul Copleman, Avangrid Renewables)

Sometimes the actions of politicians are a little confusing.

Consider Senate Bill 377. It was introduced into the General Assembly by Sen. Harry Brown, the state senate majority leader, and its aim is to restrict the construction of wind turbines in substantial portions of eastern North Carolina and a few areas in the western part of the state.

Titled the Military Base Protection Act, it seeks to “prohibit construction, operation, or expansion of wind energy facilities in areas of the state where impacts of vertical obstructions have been determined to be significantly high, with a high risk for degrading safety and the military’s ability to perform aviation training.”

If you’ve been to Elizabeth City lately, especially the area around the Walmart complex, you’ve probably seen a farm of wind turbines nearby. These are part of the massive Amazon Wind Farm encompassing 22,000 acres in Pasquotank and Perquimans counties. It is made up of 104 wind turbines and can generate upt to 208 megawatts of power.

The land is leased from more than 60 private landowners, creating an added source of income for the region’s distressed farming communities.

Sen. Brown claims that further construction of wind turbines poses a threat to military operations, especially pilot training. He further warns that building more turbines will create an even more ominous threat — the future closure of the region’s military bases as a result of turbines encroaching on air space.

The military’s BRAC process (Base Realignment and Closure) is used to periodically to evaluate military bases and other facilities and determine if they should remain open, be consolidated with other bases or closed altogether.

While budget constraints are the primary driver in determining base closures, other factors, such as encroachment on land and air space around bases, can also lower a facility’s score and endanger its future.

Outer Banks residents who once lived in Hampton Roads are probably familiar with the encroachment issues that surrounded Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach and continue to plague the Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Fentress in Chesapeake

In those two instances, nearby residential and commercial development caused the BRAC committee to seriously consider closing Oceana until Virginia Beach took aggressive measures to halt and even remove some development around the base.

In the case of Fentress, the Navy wants to close the facility and sought to build a new landing field in rural North Carolina, an effort that was opposed in a bi-partisan show of force by community leaders and elected officials from Currituck and Camden and as far south as Plymouth and Washington, N.C.

For the time being, the Navy has abandoned its search to find a replacement for Fentress.

But wind turbines are another matter altogether, and the Department of Defense, sensing a shift in the political winds that encourages the development of alternative energy sources, decided to get in front of the wind turbine issue with the creation of the DoD’s “Siting Clearinghouse.”

The clearinghouse was authorized by Congress in 2011 to focus “DoD’s official engagement within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Obstruction Evaluation / Airport Airspace Analysis (OE/AAA) process and set clear guidelines for when and how DoD may object to energy project proposals. Under this statute, the DoD may only oppose the development of an energy project when impacts cannot be feasibly and affordably mitigated, and may significantly degrade or impair military operations.”

This was the process employed by the DoD to work with Amazon on the Pasquotank/Perquimans wind farm. The Clearinghouse looked at threats to low altitude pilot training as well as radar interference issues and did not oppose the construction of the facility.

Two years later there have been no reported issues from military sources with the wind farm.

In spite of the lack of apparent problems, state Sen. Bill Cook publicly called for the turbines to be removed, citing potential issues with radar, and co-sponsored a bill in 2017 to restrict future wind turbine construction. That bill died in committee, but the legislature was successful in passing an 18-month moratorium on land-based wind turbine projects.

Brown’s bill cites no evidence that the military is asking for these restrictions. Instead, he has trotted out a handful of retired military officers raising the specter of future base closings at the next BRAC round of assessment.

The state’s two U.S. senators, William Burr and Thom Tillis, both Republicans, have not expressed or relayed concerns from the Pentagon or the military regarding wind turbine projects.

Likewise, the late Rep. Walter Jones, another Republican whose district encompassed virtually every military air base and training area in eastern North Carolina, was silent on the Amazon Wind Farm and never once expressed alarm about wind turbines while he served the region until his death in February.

At an April hearing before the state Senate’s Commerce and Insurance committee, Sen. Brown trotted out one retired general and the mayor of Havelock, NC, a former Marine Corps Harrier pilot to speak in favor of his bill.

Another retired general and the former executive director of the Dod Siting Clearinghouse stated Brown’s bill was unnecessary.

According to the WRAL report, Brown “pushed back” and a legislative staff member said he had been told by local military personnel the Clearinghouse had let wind turbines “slip through” that were opposed by the local base commanders.

In spite of the differing opinions, lacking any public outcry by the military or DoD officials concerning the construction of future wind turbine projects in the state, S377 appears to be overkill and adds to the perception that many North Carolina legislators are simply opposed to anything remotely thought of as “environmentally friendly.”

One would expect the military, as it did for years in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, to issue warnings or openly call for a ban on such projects,

Even better, the military could provide a map of their own depicting areas they would prefer to remain wind turbine free without the help of a part-time state legislators banning such facilities using a map created by Brown and the bill’s supporters with no apparent collaboration with DoD.

S377 also appears to run contrary to many other Republican sacred cows, including the property rights of those leasing the land for these projects and the fact that the Amazon Wind Farm and other such projects are private-sector endeavors epitomizing free enterprise.

Finally, here are GOP legislators imposing regulations and in this case, an outright ban of a private-sector industry largely working with private landowners. Such regulation coming from conservatives is confusing, to say the least.

Many of these Republicans have campaigned to diversify the economy of the rural communities they represent. Wind turbines provide much-needed income to the region’s small farmers who experienced the loss of tobacco crops to regulation and changing consumer preferences, cotton to India and other low-cost growers, and the inability to compete with the corporate-owned mega-farms in the nations Grain Belt.

As Republican state Sen. Bob Steinburg told the Voice, “I have grave concerns about the constitutionality of Senator Harry Brown’s Bill, SB 377, which will if passed ban wind energy development in over 40 counties in eastern North Carolina, many of which are Tier 1 counties in desperate need of economic development and revenue.

“This is a clear violation of the personal property rights we have provided to us in the U.S. Constitution. In addition, the passage of this bill would be in direct violation of our nations Supremacy Clause which invalidates a state law that conflicts with federal law. Federal law is that the FAA and USDOT regulate airspace, not states.”

Sen. Brown’s desire to protect the military bases from being impacted negatively by the next round of Base Realignments that are not currently even scheduled might be understandable. But he should recognize that the United States Department of Defense Clearing House has a process to ensure that any project or development will receive the utmost scrutiny before it is considered for approval.

Few would question Sen. Steinburg’s conservative credentials nor his commitment to the nation’s military and its service members. So one is left to wonder why Sen. Brown and other Republicans are opposing the wishes of members of their own party and the constituents who put them in office.

If Sen. Brown and others are concerned about wind turbines threatening the region, it would seem the best way to allay those concerns would be to ask our federally elected senators and representatives to make sure the Siting Clearinghouse process works as Congress intended — taking into consideration the concerns of local base commanders as well as ensuring such projects would not count against these facilities in future BRAC assessments.

We’re pretty sure the military will not allow a few wind turbines to threaten bases and training areas around MCAS Cherry Point, Seymour Johnson AFB and the USN/USAF Dare bombing ranges. We see no reason to arbitrarily ban such projects when the rural North Carolina economy continues to lag behind the rest of the state in economic growth and tax revenue sources such as wind turbine farms.

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Barry Lynn Statler of Manteo, May 13

Submitted Story

Barry Lynn Statler, 64, died suddenly at his Manteo home May 13, 2019. He was born in Chambersburg, PA and lost his wife several years ago. Barry was a skilled contractor for many years despite a leg disability he had since childhood.

His survivors include his two sons, Erik of South Carolina and Jason of Pennsylvania, his brother, Ben, his grandchildren, great grandchildren and numerous other relatives and friends.

True to his wishes, Barry will be cremated, and his sons are planning a private social gathering to celebrate his life.

Please express condolences to the family via the online register at www.gallopfuneralservices.com. Gallop Funeral Services, Inc. was entrusted with arrangements.

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‘Songlines’ will tell audio story of historic school in Jarvisburg

Submitted Story

The Historic Jarvisburg Colored School in Currituck County recently received funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council and Pratt Institute in New York to collaborate with artist Lisa Bateman to begin phase one of the art and community engagement project Songlines this summer.

Songlines is an audio artwork using historic folksongs inspired by alumni of the school.

Throughout May and June, phase one of the project will record local songs sung by alumni descendants and local Currituck children.

Phase two of Songlines (2020-21) will place the audio recordings in hidden locations surrounding the exterior of the school, as an outdoor audio “soundscape” that will illuminate and enhance the interior exhibition displays.

The project is inspired by oral histories that Bateman collected from alumni from 2013-2019. Throughout these years, Bateman met with the community and the school’s Board of Directors to discuss a potential art installation, and the community art project was born.

The Historic Jarvisburg Colored School completed their renovation, exhibition displays, and guest reception house after many years of private fundraising and recent site support from Currituck County.

The restored schoolhouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (2009), and officially opened to the public as a museum in 2016.

In planning the project, Bateman observed that many alumni histories included play and work songs, which were sung during recess, while missing school to pick cotton, plant potatoes, and on long walks to school in the mornings.

The decision was made to utilize sound as the art component in the project.

Bateman completed her BFA at East Carolina University and her MFA at VCU in Richmond, Va. She is currently a professor in Fine Arts at Pratt Institute in New York. Bateman specializes in site-specific art, public art, and community engagement.

The Historic Jarvisburg Colored School (c.1868) moved to its current site in 1911, and is one of the oldest standing African American schoolhouses in North Carolina.

The museum is open Wednesdays – Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

All Invited
Hear more about the ‘Songlines’ project and help participate in its’ evolution on Monday, May 20th at 6:30 p.m., at the Historic Jarvisburg Colored School, 7300 Caratoke Hwy, Jarvisburg, NC 27947.

For more information, call 252-491-2409 or email SonglinesJarvisburg@gmail.com

Founded in 1972, the North Carolina Humanities Council is a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the United States’ National Endowment for the Humanities. Through its programs, partnerships, and scholarships, the Council preserves and shares the stories that bring North Carolina’s culture to life, and enrich the lives of residents across the state.

Founded in 1887, the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York, is an international university in higher education, dedicated to preparing its students to become global leaders with successful careers in art, design, architecture, liberal arts, and sciences.

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Ocracoke passenger ferry run to start Monday on rental boat

Ocracoke Observer
The Martha’s Vineyard Express leaves Ocracoke after a show-and-tell Wednesday with the Ocracoke Civic & Business Association. (Connie Leinbach

The Martha’s Vineyard Express leaves Ocracoke after a show-and-tell with the Ocracoke Civic & Business Association. (Connie Leinbach)

By Peter Vankevich and Connie Leinbach

When Harold Thomas and Jed Dixon, the top two officials of the N.C. Ferry Division, were invited to Wednesday’s Ocracoke Civic & Business Association meeting for a briefing on the status of the beleaguered passenger ferry service, there could not have been a better show-and-tell opportunity.

“How about we hold the meeting on the Martha’s Vineyard Express?” Dixon asked Helena Stevens, OCBA executive director on Tuesday.

He was talking about the passenger ferry that the NCDOT is renting from Seastreak, a company that operates ferry service in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island, for Ocracoke’s busy tourist season.

It will begin running between Ocracoke and Hatteras on Monday.

The rental happened after a new passenger ferry, under construction since 2017, would not be available this year after also missing its debut last year.

John A. Torbett (R-Gaston), who is chair of the House Transportation Appropriations Committee, during budget meetings in early April told the Observer that James Trogden, DOT Secretary, said he would pay for leasing a passenger ferry for Ocracoke out of his budget.

On Wednesday, Dixon told the dozen or so islanders inside the main cabin that the contract with Seastreak has been signed and service should begin in several days — after a “new-to-zone” Coast Guard inspection passes and a few other things that need to happen before it gets final approval.

Safety is the highest priority, he said, noting that a few channel markers were added to the route in Hatteras after some test runs.

Thomas said the Governor’s office, Secretary of Transportation, the General Assembly and the NC Department of Transportation all deserve a shout out for the work they did, especially in the past 60 days.

The Vineyard will have two crew from Seastreak and two or three Ferry Division workers.

“Seastreak has a great reputation,” Dixon said. “We have a lot to learn ourselves and having these guys on board will be a good thing.”

The initial plan is for three runs per day with each trip estimated to be about a one-hour trip: From Hatteras at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. , and from Ocracoke at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Tickets can be one way and round trips can be on different days, but Dixon cautioned that overnight parking at the Hatteras dock area will be limited to 10 out of the 100 spaces.

In addition to free WiFi, the Vineyard, which will be renamed for this season, has 149 seats, bike racks, luggage storage, will allow pets and will have some concessions but no alcohol service.

The free tram service provided by Hyde County to be used in conjunction with the ferry.

Brandon Adams, 25, one of the captains and who grew up around boats in Cape May, New Jersey, chimed in. He said this boat, built in 2005, has never had any major mechanical breakdowns or issues.

And weather conditions where the Vineyard typically runs up north can be just as bad as Ocracoke, he said.

“It reminds me of home,” Adams said about the Pamlico Sound, “though a bit shallower.”

Dixon said the Vineyard and the car ferries won’t run in the same water highway at Hatteras. The passenger ferry will go straight out from Hatteras into the Rollinson Channel and then into the Pamlico Sound for the run to Ocracoke.

The idea of adding a passenger-only boat to the busiest Hatteras-Ocracoke run came about in 2015 after the short route was closed due to shoaling and the long route across the Hatteras Inlet was officially sanctioned. This one-hour car ferry ride has resulted in fewer runs between islands and therefore fewer cars and day-trippers journeying to the island.

Engineers have noted that, under current circumstances, the short route will not be opening up any time soon.

It might be hard for some to visualize a ferry on a roller coaster track, but that is one way to describe the past couple of years.

In May 2017 the N.C. Department of Transportation awarded a $4.15 million contract to Armstrong Marine Inc., located Hubert near Swansboro, for construction of a 98-passenger catamaran-style ferry.

Much of the total $9 million project funding came from a Federal Lands Access Program grant, which also covered infrastructure improvements at Hatteras and Ocracoke needed to accommodate ferry passengers.

Under the terms of the contract, Armstrong Marine was expected to deliver the new ferry, named “Ocracoke Express,” by April 2018. But the Ferry Division announced around that time that the new boat was taking longer to build and would not be operational for the 2018 tourist season.

Tim Hass, spokesman for the Ferry Division, said in a Raleigh News & Observer story at that time that the ship builder had trouble finding enough skilled workers, especially certified marine welders.

More bad news struck this year.

In March, the Ferry Division announced that work on the vessel stopped Feb. 19 after a report from Elliott Bay Design Group, Seattle, Wash., who designed it, identified “several issues with the construction, among which were many of the aluminum welds. A follow-up Coast Guard inspection confirmed these issues,” Hass said.

At that time, it looked like another tourist season would come and go without it.

But then Torbett in April revealed that transportation officials were looking into alternatives for Ocracoke and a passenger ferry located in New Jersey was available. He said the rental will cost $867,000, including the crew but not fuel.

Dixon on Wednesday said that work is continuing on the Ocracoke Express, without providing details.

In addition, he said the Ferry Division is building three more river-class ferries for the Hatteras Ocracoke run. These boats will hold more cars. One, named The Rodanthe will come online in early June.

“The DOT is working hard to maintain your way of life,” Dixon said. “There’s a lot of activity.”

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Coast Guard rescues three from sinking sailboat off Hatteras

Submitted Story

A Coast Guard aircrew rescued three people from 41-foot sailboat that was sinking off Hatteras shortly after midnight Friday morning.

Watchstanders with Coast Guard Sector North Carolina in Wilmington received a distress call around 12 a.m from someone aboard a 41-foot sailboat taking on water 19 miles southeast of Hatteras Inlet.

The three people aboard were wearing life jackets and preparing to abandon ship. Watchstanders advised the mariners to grab the Emergency Position Indicator Radio Beacon and to only enter the water as a last resort.

The Coast Guard launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City and sent a 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew from Station Hatteras Inlet.

Once on scene, the Jayhawk crew discovered that the water in the boat was knee-deep. The crew hoisted the three mariners from the sinking vessel and took them back to the air station as the sailboat sank.

“When an emergency arises underway, it’s vital to have a life jacket on,” said Lt. Amanda Faulkner, command duty officer at the 5th District command center. “These mariners were minutes away from entering the water in the middle of the night. Not having a life jacket might have cost them their lives.”

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5 Awesomely Easy Landscaping Projects

OBAR

No need for fancy DIY skills, a lot of money, or a ton of time to pull off these yard upgrades.

It’s your yard — yours to do with as you wish. And while that’s great, that doesn’t mean you have to be one of those people who spends every spare moment in their yard, sprucing it up.

But, still, your landscaping could use a little something. But something easy.

Here are five totally doable projects that your budget will barely notice, but your neighbors definitely will.

Add some tough edging.

#1 Add Some (Tough) Edging

Tell your grass who’s boss with edging that can stand up to even the crabbiest of all crabgrasses.  But don’t make the mistake that many homeowners make of buying the flexible plastic stuff, thinking it will be easier to install. It’ll look cheap and amateurish from day one. Worse, it won’t last. And before you know it, you won’t be able to tell where your garden bed ends and your “lawn” begins. Instead buy the more rigid, tough stuff in either fiberglass, aluminum, or steel.

Tips on installing edging:

  • Lay out a hose in the pattern you want.
  • Sprinkle flour or powdered chalk to mark the hose pattern.
  • Use a lawn edger (or spade) to make an incision for the edging.
  • Tap the edging into the incision with a rubber mallet.

The cost? Mostly your time, and up to $2.50 a square foot for the edging.

 #2 Create a Focal Point with a Berm

A berm is a mound of gently sloping earth, often created to help with drainage. You can also build them to create “island beds,” a focal point of textures and colors that are so much more interesting than plain ol’ green grass.  Plus, they’ll give you privacy — and diffuse street noises. What’s not to like about that? Especially if you live in more urban areas.

For most yards, berms should max out at 2-feet high because of the space needed to properly build one. They need a ratio of 4-6 feet of width for every foot of height. That’s at least 8 feet for a typical 2-foot high berm. So be sure you have the room or decrease the height of your berm.

Popular berm plantings include:

  • Flowering bushes, such as azaleas
  • Evergreens, such as blue spruce
  • Perennials such as periwinkle
  • Tall, swaying prairie grasses
  • Lots of mulch to keep weeds away

The cost?  Usually less than $300, depending on how big you make it, how much soil you need to buy to get to your desired height, and what plants you choose. Soil costs a whole lot less in bulk — $20 / cubic yard vs. almost $70 for the same amount in bags from a big-box store. Even with a delivery fee, you’ll come out ahead.

Add a flagstone wall. Photo credit: Stranded in Cleveland

 #3 Make a Flagstone Wall

Aim to build a wall no more than 12 inches tall, and it becomes a super simple DIY project — no mortar needed at all!

How to build an easy flagstone wall:

  1. Dig a trench a couple of inches deep and wide enough to accommodate the flagstones.
  2. Fill with pea gravel and/or sand and tamp to make level.
  3. Lay out the flagstones to see their shapes and sizes.
  4. Stack the smaller stones first.
  5. Save the largest, prettiest flagstones for the top layer.
  6. Backfill with gravel.
  7. Choose a stone of consistent thickness. Flagstone might be limestone, sandstone, shale — any rock that splits into slabs.

The cost? About $300 for stones and sand (a ton of 2-inch-thick stone is enough for a wall 10 feet long and 12 inches high).

Install a Path with flagstone or gravel

 #4 Install a Path with Flagstone or Gravel

There’s something romantic, charming, and simply welcoming about a meandering pathway to your front door or back garden — which means it has super-huge impact when it comes to your home’s curb appeal.  You can use flagstone, pea gravel, decomposed or crushed granite, even poured concrete (although that’s not easy to DIY).

A few tips for building a pathway:

  • Allow 3 feet of width for clearance.
  • Create curves rather than straight lines for a pleasing effect.
  • Remove sod at least 3 to 4 inches deep to keep grass from coming back.
  • If you live in an area with heavy rains, opt for large, heavy stones.
  • The cost? Anywhere from a couple of hundred bucks to upwards of $500 depending on the material you use, with decomposed granite being the least expensive, and flagstone (also the easiest of the bunch to install) the costliest.

 #5 Build a Tree Surround

Installing a masonry surround for a tree is a two-fer project: It looks great, and it means you’ve got less to mow. Come to think of it, it’s a three-fer. It can work as extra seating when you have your lawn party, too!  All it takes is digging a circular trench, adding some sand, and installing brick, cement blocks, or stone. Just go for whatever look you like best.  The trickiest part is getting an even circle around the tree.

Here’s how:

  1. Tie a rope around the tree, making a loop big enough so that when you pull it taut against the tree, the outer edge of the loop is right where you want the surround to be.
  2. Set your spade inside the loop with the handle plumb — straight up and down. Now, as you move around the tree, the loop of rope keeps the spade exactly the same distance from the base of the tree, creating a nice circle.
  3. Then build the tree surround:
  4. Dig out a circular trench about 8 inches deep and 6 inches wide.
  5. Add a layer of sand.
  6. Set bricks at an angle for a saw-tooth effect or lay them end-to-end.
  7. Fill the surround with 2 to 3 inches of mulch.

The cost? Super cheap. You can do it for less than $25 with commonly-available pavers and stones.

This article provided by houselogic.com

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Hatteras to celebrate 20th anniversary of lighthouse move

Submitted Story

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, June 30, 1999. (NPS)

National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac invites the public to a special event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse move on July 1, 2019.

The free event will start at 9:30 a.m. near the lighthouse.

The 20th anniversary celebration will include speeches, a Q&A session with expert panelists, artifacts from the lighthouse move, expanded interpretive ranger talks, activities for children, and free lighthouse climbing.

The Outer Banks Lighthouse Society and Outer Banks Forever are collaborating with Cape Hatteras National Seashore to make this event memorable for visitors and the local community.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse started its epic “move of the century” journey on June 17, 1999. After the lighthouse was lifted, the tower was moved 2,900 feet over the course of 23 days to its current location.

On July 1st, 1999 the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was pushed 354.60’—the single day record for the move. (NPS photo)

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, sentinel of the perilous Diamond Shoals, where the Gulf Stream meets the Labrador Current, witness to the tragic sinking and triumphant rescues claimed by the “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” resumed its duties on Nov. 13, 1999 and continues to do so to this day.

In addition to the lighthouse move celebration, park rangers will present daily interpretive lighthouse move programs, beginning May 3 and continuing through Oct. 14.

From June 17 through July 9 (the anniversary of the 23 day lighthouse move), expanded interpretive programming will take place on the grounds of Cape Hatteras Light Station.

For information about programming, visit: https://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/calendar.htm.

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Ann Marie Todd of Frisco, May 11

Submitted Story

Ann Marie Todd, 57, of Frisco, North Carolina passed away on Saturday, May 11, 2019.

She spent most of her adult life in Georgia, where she was a respiratory therapist who worked primarily in Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care. In her youth, she was a professional firefighter and paramedic.

“Annie” (or “Rie” if you were family) loved the beach and all things saltwater. She was a surfer, beach walker, and a passionate Jimmy Buffet fan, a proud “Parrot Head” who knew every one of his songs by heart. She had an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the US Space program history and was fascinated with the night skies here on the Island.

Her greatest gift was her way with children. She could and would play hours at a time with them and no one could calm a hurt or sick child faster than she.

She is survived by her parents Dr. Thomas Todd and Mary Jane Todd, her sister Beth Midgett and brother-in-law Ted Midgett, her nephew Todd Midgett, and step-nephews Thad, Aaron, Timothy, and Thomas Midgett. She was preceded in death by her sister, Susan Lee Todd.

A celebration of life beach luau in Hatteras in her honor will be announced in the near future with a graveside service at her family graveyard at Todd’s Inheritance in Fort Howard, Maryland.

In lieu of flowers, the family would be honored by donations in her name to: NEST Network for Endangered Sea Turtles, PO Box 1073, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949 or Hatteras Island Rescue Squad, PO Box 639, Buxton, NC 27920.

Twiford Funeral Home, Manteo is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences and memories can be shared at www.TwifordFH.com.

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Nags Head beach construction to turn north within three days

Outer Banks Voice


Work to replenish the beach is expected to reach the Nags Head town line at the Cape Hatteras National seashore in two to three days, when pipes will be relocated to start heading north toward the Outer Banks Fishing Pier.

Crews will move the pipes running south from a submerged line near Limus Street and begin installing it up the shoreline from there. The submerged line runs from an offshore terminal where a dredge delivers the sand.

To finance the 10-mile project, Nags Head is borrowing $11.38 million, $9.57 million will come from the Dare County Beach Nourishment Fund and $5.4 million will be drawn from the town’s capital reserve fund.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay $16 million of the $42.7 million total cost to cover sand losses attributed to Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

About 4 million cubic yards of sand will be pumped by Grreat Lakes dredges from offshore borrow areas. Up to half the visible sand will slide into the nearshore to create a protective slope, according to coastal engineers. Work is being done at this time of the year to avoid risks and delays from unpredictable winter weather.

Here’s how the town sees things shaping up:

South Nags Head Construction Zone – Dredge Ellis Island
(From Forbes Street Near Mile Post 15.5 South to the Town Limits near Mile Post 21)

The Dredge Ellis Island is expected to finish nourishing the beach on the south end of her submerged line (this is the pipe through which sand is pumped from the offshore dredge onto the beach) near Limulus Street to Mile Post 21 in the next 2-3 days.

Once that area has been completed, the pipe running south from the Limulus subline will be removed and installed to run north from that subline, so that operations can progress towards Outer Banks Pier and then towards Jennette’s Pier. Construction in the area of Jennette’s Pier.

North Nags Head Construction Zone (not yet started) — Dredge Liberty Island
(From Bonnett Street Near Mile Post 11 South to Forbes Street Near Mile Post 15.5)

The second dredge on the project, the Liberty Island, is expected to begin work about May 25 from a submerged line just south of Curlew Street near Mile Post 11.5.

Construction will progress north to Mile Post 11 (2919 South Virginia Dare Trail, which is the Bonnett Street public beach access) first, before moving south from the submerged line near Curlew Street and then further south toward Jennette’s Pier.

Once construction north to the Bonnett Street access is complete, the pipe will be removed and installed south of the subline at Curlew Street so that operations can progress south to meet up with the Dredge Ellis Island’s construction site.

NOTE: Parking at the Juncos and Forrest Street beach accesses will be closed for the duration of the project, which is slated to last 90 to 120 days. However, pedestrian access will still be permitted. Lifeguard stands will still be in place, but may be moved a few feet to accommodate construction traffic.

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Manatee sightings in N.C. linked to recovery efforts in Florida

Coastal Review Online

Manatees are mainly found in Florida’s bays and rivers but can range as far north as Massachusetts during the summer. (Patrick M. Rose)

David W. Laist
Coastal Review Online

“Rare Manatee Seen in Outer Banks Marina” proclaimed a headline in a June 2018 edition of the Raleigh News & Observer. In recent years, reports of manatee sightings in North Carolina have become particularly notable not because of their rarity, but because of their increasing frequency.

The increase — particularly since 2010 — might be chalked up as yet another sign global warming enabling tropical species to expand their ranges farther north.

But a more important factor may be successful recovery efforts in Florida that have enabled the size of the Florida manatee population to increase.

Now estimated to number some 8,800 animals, up from perhaps 1,000 to 2,000 in the early 1980s, there are simply more Florida manatees available to roam north as Florida’s winter chill gives way to warmer temperatures in spring.

Because manatees can’t tolerate waters colder than about 68 degrees for long periods, virtually all manatees in the southeastern United States, including North Carolina, retreat to Florida to overwinter.

Water temperatures throughout most of Florida also regularly dip to the low-60s or colder for weeks or at least days at a time in most winters. In some years, these temperatures are reached even in southernmost Florida.

Unlike areas farther north, however, the waterways in central and southern Florida have small, localized areas called “warm-water refuges,” where water temperatures typically stay at or above 68 degrees during even the coldest winter days. These refuges rarely exceed a few acres in size, and are often no more than a few tens or hundreds of square feet.

Without warm-water refuges, even manatees in Florida would probably be unable to survive. All Florida manatees therefore learn to find and return into them whenever winter water temperatures dip into the mid-60s.

Manatees are so adept at detecting and following the most minute temperature gradients, Chip Deutch, a manatee biologist with the Florida Marine Research Institute, quipped that “manatees act like heat-seeking missiles” when cold weather sets in.

On the coldest days, up to 80 percent of all Florida manatees pack into about 15 major warm-water refuges to thermoregulate, or regulate their own temperature, and wait out passing cold fronts. Most refuges are natural springs or power plant outfalls that constantly discharge water 68 to 70 degrees or warmer.

In southernmost Florida, however, “passive thermal basins” also serve as refuges. These basins are generally smaller areas formed by local hydrological conditions that trap pockets of warm water for at least a few days, or areas with a surface lens of less dense freshwater that insulates a deeper layer of warmer, denser salt water.

Manatees also possess a truly remarkable talent for navigation. They act as if they have onboard GPS systems like those we use in cars to map routes and find the nearest gas station or restaurant. Once manatees find a good source of food, fresh water or warm water, their locations seem to be etched in their memory for future use whenever they happen to be in the neighborhood.

The manatees’ inborn system, however, stores and recalls locations of important habitat features, such as warm-water refuges, grass beds, travel corridors and freshwater sources for drinking. These systems are programmed during the first year of life as calves follow their mothers. They enable manatees to trek 1,000 miles or more through murky mazes of channels and shoals, retrace their path within a span of a few weeks, and then repeat it all over again a year or more later.

A manatee named Chessie, who was rescued in the Chesapeake Bay in fall 1994 and flown back to Florida, apparently made repeated visits to southern Virginia. Named after a legendary sea monster allegedly lurking in the famed Bay, Chessie was tracked moving back the Chesapeake Bay the following spring soon after being released into the wild with a satellite transmitter to monitor its movements. His tag unfortunately fell off before making his return trip to Florida, but his last confirmed sighting in August 2001 was made as he moved through the Great Bridge Lock in southern Virginia.

Lifelong ties to specific warm-water refuges, usually those first encountered with their mothers, effectively subdivide Florida manatees into four regional groups or “subpopulations.” Two subpopulations occur on Florida’s east coast – one along the Atlantic Coast south Cape Canaveral and one in the upper St. Johns River – and two on Florida’s west coast – one south of Tampa Bay and the other in northwest Florida around Crystal River.

Manatees on the East and West Coasts, which are about equal in number, almost never move from one coast to the other. When they disperse from winter refuges in spring, most animals stay in Florida on their respective coast. However, depending on which coast they overwinter, a small percentage move out of state either north along the Atlantic Coast or west along the Gulf Coast.

Thus, all manatees seen in North Carolina are part of one or both of the two East Coast subpopulations. And because the St. Johns River subpopulation includes less than 20% of all East Coast manatees and tends to stay in the St. Johns River year-round, most, if not all of the manatees in North Carolina are probably seasonal emigrants from the Atlantic Coast subpopulation whose warm-water refuges extend from a power plant outfall in Cape Canaveral, Fla., south to thermal basins around Biscayne Bay.

Thus, the manatees seen each year in North Carolina have likely traveled some 600 to 800 miles from their overwintering refuges. Travel rates gleaned from manatee tracing studies suggest they could make this trip within two to three weeks.

What you can do
Boaters and coastal residents can make important contributions to manatee conservation. Collisions with boats cause 10-15% of all manatee deaths every year and virtually every Florida manatee sustains one or more nonlethal injuries from boat propellers and hull impacts during its life.

Many collisions can be avoided by alert, responsible boat operators. In addition, any action that could encourage manatees to approach people, boats or boating facilities should be avoided.

Although seemingly benign, actions that habituate or reinforce manatee attraction to people or boats inevitably leads to situations that place animals at a higher risk of human-caused injury or death.

Precautions consistent with basic principles of safe boating and wildlife viewing can go a long way toward protecting manatees, including the following:

Immediately call or text reports of injured, entangled, distressed or dead manatees to the North Carolina marine mammal stranding hotline: 252-241-5119.
Before starting boat engines, check all around your boat to be sure no animals are present. If a manatee is seen, wait for it to pass and then follow a clear path at idle speed away from its location.
When underway, wear polarized sunglasses and add “manatee footprints” to the navigation hazards you watch out for. Manatee footprints are circular surface swirls a few feet in diameter created by fluke stokes of animals swimming just beneath the surface.
If you see a manatee or their “footprints,” slow to idle or slow speed and steer clear. Hitting a manatee at speed can cripple or kill the animal, disable your engine, damage the hull, and even injure passengers due to impact jolts.
Never offer food to manatees.
Never provide freshwater to manatees and turn off dock hoses not in use.
Never attempt to touch manatees or approach them closer than about 50 feet.
You can also help scientists learn about manatees by reporting sightings.

In areas such as North Carolina where manatee studies are limited, public sighting reports are especially important for tracking population trends and detecting changes in habitat-use patterns.

Sightings should be reported by email at vicky.thayer@ncdenr.gov, or by calling or texting the state stranding hotline 252-241-5119.

Most important in sighting reports is accurate information on the time, date, location, number of animals seen, and contact information for the person making the report.

Other useful information would include a description of the animal’s behavior such as feeding, resting, milling around a dock or swimming, the direction of travel, presence of distinctive marks, like healed propeller scars, and if possible, good photos.

Photos showing distinctive scars or fluke notches are particularly valuable for identifying and tracking individual animals. Dead, injured or entangled manatees should be reported immediately to the hotline phone number.

If the manatee population continues to grow and pregnant females return with their calves teaching them of the region’s ample summer food supplies, North Carolina could become a significant summer feeding area for Florida manatees in the not too distant future.

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Arts Council, Town of Duck to present Brothers Like These

Submitted Story

The Town of Duck, along with the Dare County Arts Council will present a staged reading of Brothers Like These, on Thursday, May 23, at 7:00 p.m.

The event will take place in the Paul F. Keller Meeting Hall at 1200 Duck Road.

Brothers Like These is comprised of stories and poems written by Vietnam combat veterans in Classroom B, an out -of-the-way room in the basement of the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville. They gathered to write every Wednesday for almost two years under the guidance of former NC poet laureate, Joseph Bathanti of Appalachian State University.

The veteran authors of Brothers Like These make their first appearance on the Outer Banks thanks to a Military and Veteran Healing Arts Grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, and a donation from presenting sponsor, Corolla Village Inn.

“We are pleased to host these veteran poets as some of our first guests at our inn, which opens this month,” said Hadley Twiddy, owner of Corolla Village Inn. “We hope many of our friends in the community come out to Duck Town Hall on May 23 to experience this moving performance.”

Brothers Like These – veteran authors reading their own work – weaves the remarkable voices of unimaginably brave soldiers who gave their all during the Vietnam War.

It’s an enduring testimony to their shared, sacred sense of community, love and brotherhood.

The evening begins at 6 p.m. with the Dare County Arts Council’s annual membership meeting, followed by a reception at 6:30 p.m. The performance begins at 7 p.m.

All three events are free and open to the public.

Brothers Like These is sponsored by Corolla Village Inn, Twiddy & Company, KEES Vacations Outer Banks, Hilton Garden Inn, and Jane Webster.

This project is supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.

For additional information on ‘Brothers Like These’, visit townofduck.com or call (252) 255-1234.

For more information about the Dare County Arts Council’s Veterans Arts Program, visit DareArts.org/veterans.

Dare County Arts Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization dedicated to encouraging the arts in Dare County through advocacy, enrichment, and opportunity

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Health officials say norovirus likely cause of 60 illnesses

Outer Banks Voice

About 60 people who fell ill after an event in Manteo earlier this month probably suffered from a gastrointestinal virus, health officials say.

An estimated 250 people were at the event May 3 and as many as 60 became sick. Only three reported seeking medical attention, a Dare County health department statement said.

“In this circumstance, it is possible that an asymptomatic, but still infectious individual attended the event and led to the outbreak due to the large number of people in close contact,” said Health & Human Services Director Sheila Davies.

The most common symptoms of gastrointestinal viruses, such as Norovirus, are diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain.

Considering the incubation period and length of illness, Public Health officials believe that the illness is no longer an ongoing public health concern. According to the CDC, a person usually develops symptoms 12 to 48 hours after being exposed to norovirus. Most people with norovirus illness get better within one to three days.

Gastrointestinal viruses, such as norovirus, are highly contagious, and can spread through casual contact such as handshakes, touching contaminated door knobs, or touching items at a self-serve beverage station.

Dare County Department of Health & Human Services’ Environmental Health Unit found the caterer to be in compliance with NC Food Code regulations with respect to food handling, preparation, cooking temperatures, transporting and hot/cold holding temperatures.

All food supplied by the caterer was from an approved source. All caterer staff members were in compliance with respect to service of food, utensil usage, clothing and gloves.

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Dance to the music of the Riff Tides at the Dare Center

Submitted Story

The Outer Banks community is invited to come and dance to the music of The Riff Tides on Monday, May 20 at the Dare County Center, Marshall Collins Drive in Manteo. The performance will take from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Join The Riff Tides a local Band dubbed “Band with a Heart”, as they perform music of the 50’s & 60’s.

This local Band features the talents of vocalists Dana Walker, Kent Zimmerman, and Angelo Sonnesso (also on keyboards), Andrew Darling on bass, and Rich Eller on drums.

The Riff Tides performed at The Arts Council First Friday, Peak Resources, and GEM’s ‘Have a Heart for Dementia’, and will be performing at Spring Arbor on June 21st.

For more info about the band, check their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/obxTheRiffTides/.

GEM’s Harmony Café provides a path to healthy aging with music, art projects, and friendship. GEMs meet at the Dare County center once a month, on the third Monday, from 12:30 to 3:00 p.m. We hope to see you there!

For more information, contact Gail Sonnesso at 252-480-3354, or visit www.gemdayservices.org.

More information also available at https://www.facebook.com/TheGemCenter and https://www.facebook.com/obxTheRiffTides/.

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Jewish Community of the OBX monthly Shabbat service

Submitted Story

The Jewish Community of the Outer Banks will hold its monthly Shabbat service on Saturday, May 18 at 10 a.m., at the UUCOB in Kitty Hawk.

This week’s portion is from Leviticus, and describes/defines most of the standard Jewish holidays.

This will be a Torah service, so please come and ask for an aliyah.

A youTube video on the portion can be found at www.bimbam.com (Parsha Vayikrah).

For more information, please call 255-1866 or visit us on www.jcobx.com.

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Lost Colony Wine and Culinary Festival Kickoff is May 15

Libbie Morris

Join the Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA) on Wednesday, May 15 at TRiO Restaurant & Market in Kitty Hawk, for the Kickoff Celebration for The Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival.

The festival’s Grand Tasting event on Saturday, September 28th, is still five months away, but the Kickoff Celebration will offer a sampling of the wine, cheese, and friendship the festival is famous for.

The Kickoff Celebration will take place at TRiO Restaurant & Market, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Cost is $20 per person.

Take a mid-week break and join the celebration for the upcoming Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival. Tickets to the Kickoff Celebration can be purchased at TRiO Restaurant & Market, or online at www.thelostcolony.org.

Not to be missed at the Kickoff Celebration, The Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA) will be offering attendees an exclusive pre-sale opportunity to purchase the coveted VIP tickets to the 3rd Annual Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival.

VIP Tickets are $85 and give attendees access to the festival one hour earlier than non-VIP attendees. Only 100 are being offered and they will surely sell out!

Officially, ticket sales to The Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival begin on July 1st.

The Wine & Culinary Festival is a fundraiser for The Lost Colony production, and is produced by the Roanoke Island Historical Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit.

The Lost Colony is the longest-running outdoor symphonic drama in the nation and the only outdoor drama to have received a Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre.

The Lost Colony opens for its 82nd season on Friday, May 31, 2019.

About The Lost Colony
First staged in 1937, The Lost Colony is the nation’s premier and longest-running outdoor symphonic drama. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Green and produced by the Roanoke Island Historical Association, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, The Lost Colony’s 2019 season runs May 31 through Aug. 23, 2019 at Roanoke Island’s Waterside Theatre, located within the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on the Outer Banks.

Curtain time is 7:45 p.m.

For tickets and information, visit www.thelostcolony.org, or call (252) 473-6000.

About PNC
PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC).

PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking, including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance, and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management.

For information about PNC, visit www.pnc.com.

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Craigslist real estate scams on the rise again in the OBX

OBAR

2019 OBAR President, Jean-Paul Peron of the Outer Banks Real estate Company at eXp Realty in Corova

Last year, the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS® (OBAR) began warning residents of the OBX to be on the look out for scams involving long and short-term rentals on Craigslist. Scammers have begun posting ads on Craigslist looking for potential renters and offer extremely low prices. Some of these ads list legitimate rental companies in the Outer Banks.

According to Fox News, rental home listing scams started to become widespread as of May 2016. It was also listed as one of the top 10 worst scams of 2017 by MIC.com. According to reportscam.com, it is in the top ten worst scams of 2019.

OBAR 2019 President, Jean-Paul Peron, of The Outer Banks Real estate Company at eXp Realty in Corova explains, “When the renter responds to the ad, the ‘landlord’ will send an email with a convoluted story about how they cannot meet the interested party but invites them to look around the property.” According to Peron, “The ‘landlord’ will also mention that there is a lot of interest and suggest that the person wire months of rent payments in advance to secure the rental before someone else can. And they can be pretty believable which is why this is such a popular scam.”

Outer Banks Association of REALTORS® MLS Director Dan Sutherland responds, “In addition to the many we learned about last year, we have received at least 3 reports of this type of scam in the last month alone and know there are many more that have not been reported because the victims do not know to contact us.” It is easy to fall victim to this type of scam. Says Sutherland, “What happens is that the scammer will download pictures of a house that has just sold and will post it in a Craigslist ad as a long or short-term rental.  The ad is eye-catching because the rent is very low, and the pictures are higher quality. Potential renters are lulled into a false sense of security especially if a local rental company and agent are listed.”

Sutherland says, “Basically if it looks too good to be true, it is.  Pay attention if warning bells go off and never wire funds without meeting the landlord first. It is always a good idea to search the Dare County tax records to see if the home was recently sold and if the current owner’s name matches the landlord’s.”

Says Peron, “The Association is now getting calls from all over the country about listings on craigslist that are scams. Some of them have already wired money and there is no way to get it back. It is also very tricky because the scammers will post the house once, and then once there is interest, they remove it and create a new one so that it’s hard to track them down. It is imperative that we get the word out, not just in the Outer Banks but nationally as well.”

If you find yourself the victim of this scam the Outer Banks Association of REALTORS® requests that you contact them immediately so they may assist you in reporting the crime.

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Duck Woods Country Club is celebrating its 50th anniversary

Submitted Story

From left,  Frank Stone and Mo Moore, founding club members, and Roger Harman, first greens superintendent, review a diagram of the proposed golf course.

Fifty-five years ago a group of businessmen had a vision to create the first golf course on the Outer Banks. Thanks to their dream and hard work, Duck Woods Country Club will celebrate its 50th anniversary in June.

How did their vision become a reality? In March 1964, as a result of a special meeting, these businessmen outlined and implemented the plan to develop the first golf course.

Two years later, two things gave life to the dream. First, a 250+ acre tract of maritime forest was donated by Kitty Hawk Land Co.

Second, an FHA loan was granted.

In May 1967, construction contracts were awarded to build the 18-hole championship golf course, designed by renowned golf architect Ellis Maples.

On Thanksgiving Day 1968, the first nine holes opened for limited play, with 324 members. The clubhouse opened its doors for the official dedication June 8, 1969.

It was much smaller, with two floors that encompassed a multipurpose banquet/meeting/dance/cards room, dining room, a bar area, and a grill room.

There was a golf course, small clubhouse, a combination pro shop, office and bag storage building, a pool, tennis courts, maintenance building, and cart storage shelter.

Old Southern Shores.

Reflecing on the opening of DWCC Shelby Hines, one of the founding members, commented that DWCC was “the greatest thing that ever happened to the Outer Banks, except for the 1933 storm!”

When it opened the membership fee was $150. The facility attracted members from Hatteras to Elizabeth City.

As for helping the economy, “The purpose of the association and its members is to supply and provide the number one need of the area, a golf course and related facilities, which will directly and indirectly affect children, youth, and adults both in Currituck and Dare Counties,” said David Stick, one of the founding club members and president, as well as the first Southern Shores mayor.

As for the members thoughts on the opening, “It was the happiest day of our lives when they put a golf course on the Outer Banks,” said Linda Turner, wife of Curtis Turner, a founding member. Once this happened, the Turners bought property on the Outer Banks.

During the first five years things were tight, but members were generous. “A lot of members put their heart and soul into Duck Woods,” said Joyce Stone, the first homeowner on the golf course.

Aerial view of the first clubhouse.

Originally, 21 members served on the board and managed the club, meeting weekly with the staff.

“It was a special time working with the conscientious and forward thinking group who brought DWCC into reality,” said Frank Stone, a founding member and DWCC president in 1981.

The swim team was also important and within the first decade, two associations were established.

In 1972, 28 women formed the Women’s Auxiliary of the Outer Banks Recreation Association of the Duck Woods Golf Course. This was the beginning of what is known today as the Women’s Association of Duck Woods Country Club.

Its purpose is to promote greater interest, fellowship, and sportsmanship in the social and recreational activities of the group.

A year later, the Ladies Golf Division of Duck Woods Golf Club (the forerunner of the Ladies Golf Association) began with 10 members. In 1980, this organization hosted the North Carolina State Women’s Amateur Golf Tournament.

In the 1980s, Henry and Linda Ezzell, the first concessionaires, offered meals and catering at the club.

The club’s tennis program began in the mid 1980s. Then in 1988, revised by-laws and a new name of Duck Woods Country Club was approved, better reflecting membership.

In the 1990s, two associations were started and the first general manger was named.

The Men’s Golf Association was established in 1992 with about 65 members and two years later the Ladies Tennis Association was launched. Both are designed to encourage members to enjoy the game.

In summer 2004,  major construction began on a new clubhouse, with its grand opening in fall 2005.

In 2007-8 and 2008-9, Golf Digest Magazine rated DWCC as one of the “Best Places to Play” in North Carolina.

The Men’s Tennis Association was founded in fall 2009, and aimed to encourage the game and to support the club’s tennis program. The initial group included about 20 players.

That same year, the PGA of America and U.S. Kids named the club an “official PGA Family Golf Course.”

In 2015, “Wedding Wire,” an international online wedding industry marketplace, DWCC was selected, among thousands, as one of the top 20 venues, by the 2015 Editors Picks awards for the Best Country Clubs.

That same year, Southern Weddings website, partner of Southern Living magazine, gave the coveted regional wedding honor as Blue Ribbon Vendor to the club.

An array of improvements have been made during the last few years in order to enhance the enjoyment for both members and guests alike. These include a putting green, pitching green, fire pit outside the golf pro shop, bocce court, and pickle ball court.

Additionally, Duck Woods gives back to the Outer Banks community. This includes hosting golf and tennis tournaments that benefit area nonprofits, loaning property to a learning center at an local elementary school, conducting blood drives, providing scholarships to area youth and adults, volunteering at and providing needed items to local charities, collecting toys and other gifts for children at Christmas, offering learning opportunities to youth, donating golf and tennis passes for worthy causes, plus more.

For more information about the club or membership, contact Patrick O’Keefe, general manager, at 261-2744 or by e-mail at dwgm@duckwoodscc.com.

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KDH has its first fully handicap accessible beach access

Submitted Story

The Town of Kill Devil Hills has opened  its first fully handicap accessible beach access at Ocean Bay Boulevard.

Improvements include: a wooden handicap ramp, which allows wheelchairs to get from the parking lot to the beach and several fixed position and rollout mats that are placed over sand so that wheelchairs can get onto the beach.

The mats will be set up so that an individual in a wheelchair can set up their belongings (off of the mat) and enjoy a day at the beach.

The Town has purchased three additional beach wheelchairs for anyone to borrow, making a total of four beach wheelchairs available.

The beach wheelchairs are made specifically to be pushed through the sand, and will take the individual right to the water line.

The access improvements are being dedicated in honor of former KDH Commissioner William “Bill” M. Pitt, recognizing his strong community involvement and devotion in Kill Devil Hills, as well as acknowledgement for Pitt’s many achievements as a former elected official and community leader, particularly his leadership role in beach nourishment.

Taking measures to preserve our beach and ensuring that everyone is granted an opportunity to enjoy it was essential to Pitt. He was extremely passionate about his community and making Kill Devil Hills a great place to live, work, and play.

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Aquarium’s STAR Center releases six rehabilitated sea turtles

Submitted Story

(Left) STAR Center Manager Amber White carries Beauxbaton, a green sea turtle, towards the ocean for release on Saturday. (Right) NEST volunteer Bonney Brown walks green sea turtle Mandrake down the beach for release.

It’s good to be home!

Onlookers cheered as six sea turtles, rehabilitated at the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center, were released back into the ocean, on Saturday, May 4.

Two green sea turtles and four loggerheads made their way back home during the release at the Frisco Bathhouse beach access, part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Staff from the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island worked alongside volunteers from the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (NEST) and the National Park Service (NPS) to ensure a successful release.

Five of the turtles released on Saturday were brought to the STAR Center this past winter due to cold-stunning, a hypothermia-like condition that occurs when water temperatures drop rapidly.

The sixth, a loggerhead, sustained injuries from an entanglement.

All recovered and were cleared for release by the NC Aquariums veterinary staff.

The NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and is dedicated to the mission of “Inspiring appreciation and conservation of North Carolina’s aquatic environments.”

The aquarium is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, except Thanksgiving and Christmas.

For more information, visit ncaquariums.com/roanoke-island.

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Alfred Charles Feickert Jr. of Colington, May 12

Submitted Story

Alfred Charles Feickert Jr. of Colington passed away in Nags Head of natural causes May 12, 2019 after a long chronic illness. Alfred was born in the Hudson County, New Jersey area.

He was predeceased by his first wife and mother of his two children, who survive him. Also surviving is his cherished wife, Maggie E. Feickert of the Colington residence and several grandchildren and other relatives.

Maggie will hold a memorial service Friday May 17, 2019 at 6 p.m. at the Church of Latter-Day Saints in Nags Head. Plans for Alfred’s funeral and burial back home in New Jersey are pending. Details will be available at Par-Troy Funeral Home of Parsippany, NJ.

Please express condolences to the family via the online register at www.gallopfuneralservices.com. Gallop Funeral Services, Inc. was entrusted with local arrangements.

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Joseph Carl Hayes of Skyco, May 9

Submitted Story

Joseph Carl Hayes, 80, of Skyco, NC died Thursday, May 9, 2019, at The Outer Banks Hospital.

A native of Dare County and lover of Skyco, he was born July 4, 1938, to the late Marie Daniels Hayes and Joseph Guy Hayes. Often doted on by his grandparents, Carl dearly loved and took great care of his mother.

After graduating as Valedictorian of his Manteo High School senior class of 1956, Carl served his country honorably in the United States Army and as a Merchant Marine Seaman. He later continued his education at East Carolina University earning his bachelor’s degree; while there he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.

After working in various sales capacities, he settled into a long career as a Dare County magistrate. In that capacity, his motto was always the same: “I will treat you just as good as you will let me.” Carl also served his community on the Dare County ABC Board.

Carl had a masterful command of the English language and an eloquent delivery. He was well read, and his communications skills and quick wit allowed him to make friends easily — he will be missed.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, at Twiford Colony Chapel with Rev. Ken Mann officiating. A reception for family and friends will follow at Sam & Omie’s Restaurant.

Twiford Funeral Home, Manteo is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences and memories can be shared at www.TwifordFH.com.

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Nancy Ramsey Mann of Southern Shores, May 10

Submitted Story

Nancy Ramsey Mann, 71, of Southern Shores, NC passed away at home on May 10, 2019. Nancy was born in Christiansburg VA and was the daughter of the late Harold E. and Julia Ramsey of Radford VA. She grew up in Radford, VA, where she learned simple values and high standards that she carried with her throughout her life.

Nancy is survived by her husband of 51 years, Bill, of Southern Shores, NC, a daughter Jessica Daly, husband Joseph, and grandsons Declan and Cormac all of Alameda CA; a son Stephen, wife Dona and grandsons Ramsey and Oliver of Albany CA.

Nancy was a positive, lively person, a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother, full of love and caring. She graduated from Old Dominion University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She retired from teaching after nearly thirty years. She was dedicated to improving the lives of children with developmental needs.

She was selected the Teacher of the Year for her committed work at Western Branch Primary school. She loved traveling, reading and playing with her grandsons. Whether it was snow sledding or hide-and-seek, she was always active and fun-loving with them even very late in her life. Her smiling face, delightful personality, and loving spirit will be missed by the many that she has touched in her full life.

In lieu of flowers it is requested that donations in her name be made to the Beach Food Pantry of the Outer Banks. https://beachfoodpantry.org/

A private celebration of her life is planned for a date to be determined. Condolences to the family may be expressed via the online register at www.gallopfuneralservices.com. Gallop Funeral Services, Inc. was entrusted with arrangements.

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Taller tower in Southern Shores aimed at Verizon service

Rob Morris
Verizon cell service

The original tower was finished in 2015. (Rob Morris)

American Towers wants to add 20 feet to its 130-foot-tall cell phone facility in Southern Shores in an effort to improve service for Verizon in an area plagued by dropped calls and weak signals.

The original tower, which was finished in February of 2015, was installed for AT&T and vastly improved service for that carrier.

Now American Towers, which built and maintains the facility, wants to reconstruct it to add antennas for Verizon. The facility includes equipment on the ground.

American Tower builds and operates cell structures. It is is leasing the parcel and subletting space to third-party wireless carriers.

The monopole, which is designed to look like a large flagpole, is on a piece of Southern Shores Civic Association property at the intersection of Ocean Boulevard and N.C. 12 in an area known as the triangle.

The triangle area also includes a parking lot with 18 spaces that residents use so that they can walk to the beach.

While there had been some controversy over the aesthetics of such a tower in the past, many residents live in dead areas that get virtually no reception.

In 2013, Velocitel Inc. approached the town about possibly erecting a similar tower in front of town hall or directly behind it in a nearby cul-de-sac on Skyline Drive. But the application was denied.

The tower can now support three locations for antennas, two of which are being used by AT&T and T-Mobile. Verizon would use the thrid, but will need an additional spot. American says the added height is to accommodate Verizon’s equipment and would not be directly related to improving service.

Plans call for replacing a 100- to 130-foot section and adding a new 20-foot section at the top, town Planning Director Wes Haskett said.

Extending the tower requires an amendment to a conditional use permit. The request goes before the Southern Shores Planning Board May 20.

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