Outer Banks Voice


News and Information

NCDOT Ferry Division awards contract for pair of new vessels

Outer Banks Voice

New vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2020. (NCDOT)

The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division has awarded a contract to Gulf Island Shipyards of Houma, Louisiana, for the construction of two new river-class vehicle ferries.

The two ferries will cost a total of $22.85 million, and will be paid for with money from the Ferry Division’s Vessel Replacement Fund.

The two new ferries, tentatively named the M/V Avon and the M/V Salvo, will carry 40 vehicles each and replace the smaller Hatteras-class ferries M/V Kinnakeet and the M/V Chicamacomico.

“These two new boats, along with the two others already under construction, will both increase our capacity and upgrade our technology,” said Ferry Division Director Harold Thomas. “The new ferries mark a major step in improving and modernizing the North Carolina Ferry System.”

The Dare County Board of Commissioners expressed hesitation in October when asked for a resolution to name the new vessels for the current names of the villages on Hatteras Island.

Ferry Division Deputy Director Jed Dixon informed commissioners on Nov. 5 the traditional names that honor Hatteras Island’s Native American history could be placed on future vessels once their current namesakes are retired.

Commissioners approved the resolution requesting the Avon and Salvo names be used on the new vessels scheduled to be delivered in 2020.

The North Carolina Ferry System is the second-largest state-run ferry system in the United States, operating 21 boats on seven regular routes across five bodies of water.

Full Story >>

Andy Dunton named Dare County Employee of November

Outer Banks Voice

Andy Dunton, Chief Water Plant Operator at the Skyco Ion Exchange Water Plant, is the November 2018 Dare County Employee of the Month. Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Jerry Lofland, presented Dunton with the award at the November 5, 2018 Board of Commissioners meeting.

“Andy has the ability to handle any and all tasks before him and completes all tasks with a smile on his face. He is extremely respected. His mild demeanor and his firm but fair leadership skills make him a valuable and exemplary employee. The care and respect Andy shows for his coworkers and peers is admirable. He is a good leader and leads by example,” said Lofland during the presentation.

Dunton was hired in October 2004 as a Water Treatment Plant Operator and was promoted to his current position in 2015. As Chief Water Treatment Plant Operator, Dunton is tasked with difficult technical work assisting in planning, directing and scheduling operations, maintenance and repair of the water treatment plant.

“Andy is on call 24 hours a day but never complains. He answers every call. No matter the time day or night, he is always professional and pleasant and handles what comes his way without hesitation,” remarked Lofland.

“Andy has attended and completed two different training curricula in the last six months and he is eager for more. His knowledge of his job is exceptional but he continues to try and improve his knowledge every day,” noted a coworker during the nomination process.

Full Story >>

Exhibit celebrating Elizabeth II, volunteers opens at Festival Park

Outer Banks Voice

Thousands lined the Manteo waterfront on Nov. 22, 1983, when the Elizabeth II was christened by N.C. First Lady Carolyn Hunt. (submitted)

Roanoke Island Festival Park has debuted its latest exhibit, All Hands on Deck: Celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the Elizabeth II, to commemorate the launch of the ship and highlight the efforts of the volunteers and staff who have maintained the ship over the last 35 years.

The Elizabeth II is a representation of one of the seven English merchant vessels from the Roanoke Voyages of 1585.

All Hands on Deck is dedicated to the volunteers who support Roanoke Island Festival Park in the maintenance of the Elizabeth II.

“The Elizabeth II is one of North Carolina’s treasures. I am thankful to the volunteers and staff who work to maintain this wooden vessel. Their efforts allow generations of school children the opportunity to learn about American history in a fun and interactive way,” said Kim Sawyer, Executive Director at Roanoke Island Festival Park.

The exhibit will showcase the various parts of the ship and give visitors an up-close view of how she is maintained throughout the year.

The ship was built to celebrate the rich history of North Carolina, and the 400th anniversary of the Roanoke Voyages.

The Elizabeth II resides at its homeport at Roanoke Island Festival Park, on the Manteo waterfront, and serves as a historic attraction celebrating the first English settlement in America.

The exhibit is sponsored by the Friends of Elizabeth II and will be on display in the Ticket Sales Gallery, Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., through December 31.

» Click here to read more about the history of the Elizabeth II

Full Story >>

Pair of foundations award more than $25,000 in local grants

Outer Banks Voice

Toni Joyner, Food for Thought; Jessica Taylor, Dolphin Research Center; Laura Alvarico, Meals on Wheels; Heidi Prentiss, Albemarle Hopeline; Bill Henkel, Lower Currituck Food Pantry; Jenniffer Albanese, Interfaith Community Outreach; Dean Mattix, YMCA; John Havel, Outer Banks History Center; Nancy Griffin, Room In The Inn; Mike Lewis, Hotline; Kay Minis, Sea Change; Loismary Hoehne, Currituck-Dare Community Foundation Vice-President. (submitted photo)

The boards of advisors of both the Currituck-Dare Community Foundation and Currituck-Dare Women’s Fund recently announced $25,405 in local grant awards, according to Sheila Davies, urrituck-Dare Community Foundation board president and Loismary Hoehne and Janet Colegrove, Currituck-Dare Women’s Fund co-chairs.

“We are proud to support these nonprofit programs that are so vital to the community,” Davies said.

The Currituck-Dare Community Foundation is a growing family of philanthropic funds, source of grants for local causes and partner for donors. CDCF was founded in 1999 and is led by a local volunteer advisory board that helps build community assets through the creation of permanent endowments, makes grants and leverages leadership – all for the benefit of Currituck and Dare counties.

“We are grateful to the many generous individuals and organizations that have supported our work,” Hoehne said.

The CDCF board advises the Currituck-Dare Community Fund, the unrestricted community grantmaking fund, to support local needs. This competitive grants program is held annually. Because advisory board members live and work in Currituck and Dare counties, they can leverage resources to help meet local needs and access opportunities.

“Our mission is to inspire philanthropy across our community,” Colegrove said.

This year the CDCF and CDWF granted:

  • $2,500 to the Albemarle Commission Senior Nutrition Program for Meals on Wheels
  • $1,500 to Albemarle Hopeline for general operating support
  • $1,000 to the Autism Society of North Carolina for Autism Resource Specialists in Currituck and Dare counties
  • $1,000 to the Children & Youth Partnership for Dare for the Sea Change Latino Education Outreach program
  • $3,000 to Food for Thought Inc. for general operating support
  • $1,000 to GEM Adult Day Services, Inc. for GEM’s Group
  • $2,550 to Interfaith Community Outreach, Inc. for direct services and cancer outreach for Dare and Currituck residents
  • $1,500 to Kids First, Inc. for the Child Abuse Treatment Project
  • $2,255 to Lower Currituck Food Pantry for general operating support
  • $1,000 to the North Carolina Coastal Federation for the Environmental Exploration Program
  • $2,000 to the OBX Room In The Inn for support for the Dare County homeless
  • $1,000 to the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research for monitoring dolphins to teach Dare County students about math and science
  • $1,500 to the Outer Banks Hotline for the Safe House Client Bedroom Rejuvination Project
  • $1,000 to Prevent Blindness North Carolina for Star Pupil Currituck-Dare County
  • $1,000 to the Beloved Haven for general operating support
  • $600 to the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center for the Southern Shores Flat Top Documentation Initiative
  • $1,000 to the YMCA of South Hampton Roads: Albemarle Y for Currituck After School StEM Curriculum

In addition to Davies, board members include: Loismary Hoehne (vice president), Linda Algood (treasurer), Margaret Di Small (secretary), Janet Colegrove, Nina Foster, Scott Foster, Cynthia Jarvis, Daniel La Rue, Vickie Smith Moore, Jane Oden, Hannah Robinson and Ginger Webster.

The Currituck-Dare Women’s Fund is a program of the North Carolina Community Foundation designed to maximize women’s leadership in philanthropy by engaging and educating its membership, increasing charitable contributions and strengthening communities through the impact of collective giving. The annual grant focus is on women and children in Currituck and Dare counties.

The CDCF and CDWF, through the North Carolina Community Foundation, makes it easy to become a philanthropist, whatever your means or charitable goals.

You can open an endowment for your favorite cause at any time – or contribute to an existing fund in any amount.

For further information, contact NCCF Regional Director Natalie Jenkins Peel at 252-562-9824 or npeel@nccommunityfoundation.org or visit the NCCF website at nccommunityfoundation.org.

Tax-deductible contributions, made payable to either the Currituck-Dare Community Foundation and Currituck-Dare Women’s Fund, can be mailed to the North Carolina Community Foundation, 3737 Glenwood Ave. Suite 460, Raleigh, NC 27612. Contributions can also be made online at nccommunityfoundation.org.

Full Story >>

Hidden gems: Ocracoke Island’s live oak trees you don’t see

Ocracoke Observer

Calling out to unseen specters, this live oak has secrets to divulge. (Rita Thiel)

By Rita Thiel

Secreted away in the hidden backyards, dirt lanes and dead-end paths of Ocracoke are the hidden gems, the “other oaks of Ocracoke.”

The southern live oak, Quercus virginiana, is the stalwart of the southern trees, with a specimen as old as 1,000 years growing in Texas. It has long been revered owing to its draping, twisted limbs, rugged, ridged bark and dense, ship-worthy wood.

Ocracoke is home to several well-known live oaks, chronicled in Phillip Howard’s Village Craftsman blog https://villagecraftsmen.blogspot.com.

Easily seen along Howard Street and frequently photographed, these famous oaks receive their accolades.

But the island has many live oaks—little known yet curious and grand in appearance.

They are the gentle giants, concealed behind private residences and on property that most will not have the privilege to see.

Live oaks are considered deciduous evergreens that lose their leaves in early spring as the new leaves are emerging.

Steadfastly spreading their limbs, they twist and turn to get the most fortuitous sunlight and find their place on this sometimes harsh and unpredictable island.

Stalwart witnesses to years gone by and times still to come, they, too, have stories to tell of ship-building days and pirate encampments.

To see some of the island’s ancient live oaks, take a stroll through Springer’s Point off Loop Road.

Full Story >>

Body of missing fisherman recovered from Edenton Bay

Sam Walker

The body of an 83-year-old man who disappeared while fishing in Edenton Bay has been recovered.

His wife said he had gone fishing aboard a 21-foot pontoon boat and failed to return Saturday evening.

The boat and his fishing gear were found shortly after the search began. His body was found around 4:30 p.m. Sunday. The man’s name has not been released.

N.C. Wildlife Law Enforcement, Chowan County EMS and the U.S. Coast Guard conducted the search.

Full Story >>

Coast Guard searching for missing boater in Edenton Bay

Kari Pugh

The Coast Guard is searching for an 83-year old man who went missing while fishing in Edenton Bay near Edenton on Saturday.

The Coast Guard was notified by the man’s wife that he had gone fishing aboard a 21-foot pontoon boat and failed to return at approximately 6:30 p.m., Saturday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Carolina dispatched a 29-foot search and rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Elizabeth City and an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter search and rescue crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City.

The Coast Guard response boat crew discovered the man’s boat and fishing gear shortly after their search began.

Coast Guard Station Elizabeth City boat crews remained on scene searching throughout the night and Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City helicopter crews resumed their aerial search and rescue patterns Sunday morning.

Also assisting in the search is North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and Chowan County Emergency Services.

Full Story >>

For sixth year, BK Shuckers offers free Thanksgiving dinner

Kari Pugh

BK Shuckers in Kitty Hawk

When Ronnie Merrell opened BK Shuckers Oyster and Sports Bar six years ago, he picked up a tradition begun by Randy Culp at the old Wharf restaurant in Nags Head years before – offering a free Thanksgiving meal for the community.

“No questions asked,” Merrell said. The dinner is a thank-you for “a great community that has been so supportive of our business.”

The meal begins at noon and includes turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, gravy, green beans and pumpkin pie. The restaurant is open until 11 p.m., and food’s never run out in the past, Merrell said.

BK Shuckers will be collecting donations for the Beach Food Pantry during the traditional meal, but donations aren’t required.

This year, Merrell would also like to deliver Thanksgiving plates to the elderly, homebound or anyone who can’t make it out to the restaurant. He’s looking not only for folks who may need a plate delivered, but volunteers to take it to them.

Call 252-261-7800 or email the restaurant here if you know of someone in need of a delivered meal, or you’re able to deliver.

BK Shuckers is at 4020 N. Croatan Highway in Kitty Hawk.

Full Story >>

November’s annual Leonids meteor shower peaks overnight

Kari Pugh

NASA satellite image Leonids meteor shower

The annual Leonids meteor shower peaks overnight, with as many as 15 meteors visible per hour.

According to NASA, the Leonids’ meteors are bright and can also be colorful. They’re fast, too. Leonids travel at speeds of 44 miles per second, and are considered to be some of the fastest meteors out there.

Leonids are also known for their fireballs and earthgrazer meteors, says NASA.

“Fireballs are larger explosions of light and color that can persist longer than an average meteor streak. This is due to the fact that fireballs originate from larger particles of cometary material,” NASA wrote on its website. “Earthgrazers are meteors that streak close to the horizon and are known for their long and colorful tails.”

NASA says the Leonids shower is best viewed starting at midnight, away from city and street lights.

“Orient yourself with your feet towards east, lie flat on your back, and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible,” NASA wrote. “In less than 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors.”

The show will last until dawn.

Full Story >>

Mary Lou Forrest of Kitty Hawk, Nov. 10

Outer Banks Voice

Mary Lou Forrest, 86, of Kitty Hawk died in Virginia Beach of natural causes on Nov. 10, 2018.

Mary Lou was born to Alfred and Marie Vanhorn in Tyrrell County on Oct. 5, 1932. She graduated from Deep Creek High School in Chesapeake, Virginia in 1950. She enjoyed an interesting and well-traveled life. She worked in office and hotel management and real estate for many years, most recently at Sun Realty in Kill Devil Hills. She was also a passionate N.C. certified master gardener. She worked for many years as a gardening and landscaping associate at Home Depot in Kitty Hawk and at the Kitty Hawk Garden Center well into her 80s.

She lived for a while in California, Washington, Oklahoma and Virginia before returning to her native North Carolina in 1979. She loved the Outer Banks more than any other place on Earth.

Mary Lou was preceded in death by her parents Alfred and Marie Vanhorn, brother Alfred (Buddy) Vanhorn Jr.; and her beloved son, Joseph Berry. She is survived by sons Linwood Berry of Toledo, Spain (and wife Nancy); Mac Berry of Lodi, California (and wife Stephanie); grandchildren: Sarah Berry, David Berry, Heather Berry-Stuth and Nicole Denton, Alton Berry; and 11 great grandchildren; and her sisters Shelby Poe (and husband Tom) and Glendora Wicker.

A viewing was held at Gallop Memorial Chapel, 6917 South Croatan Hwy. Nags Head on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 1 p.m., followed by a memorial service there at 2 p.m.

Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.gallopfuneralservices.com. Gallop Funeral Services, Inc. was entrusted with arrangements.

Full Story >>

Moyock woman faces drug charges; $12K in marijuana seized

Sam Walker


A 32-year-old Moyock woman faces felony drug counts after a drug bust Thursday where officers seized marijuana with a street value of $12,000.

Narcotics officers with the Currituck County and Pasquotank County sheriff’s departments, along with N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement officers, executed a search warrant at a home in the 200 block of Shingle Landing Road near Moyock Elementary School.

Investigators said they found approximately 8 pounds of marijuana, a rifle and assorted drug paraphernalia.

Sienna Marie Gilmore was charged with felony manufacture/sell/distribute/possession of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of school property, felony maintain a dwelling/place for controlled substance, felony possession of marijuana and misdemeanor possession of marijuana paraphernalia.

Gilmore was released after posting $11,000 secured bond.

Full Story >>

Ronald Gary “Pops” Schrump of Kill Devil Hills, Nov. 9

Outer Banks Voice

Ronald Gary “Pops” Schrump, 72, of Kill Devil Hills, passed away at his home Nov. 9, 2018 of natural causes.

Ron was born in Tomahawk, Wisconsin to the late Raymond and Ilene Schrump. He was also predeceased by his former wife and son’s mother Almeda Schrump, and by his wife Nancy Schrump, who died in 2013.

Ron was a proud U.S. Army paratrooper serving in Vietnam. For the past 40 years, Ron resided on the Outer Banks. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved hunting and fishing.

Surviving Ron Schrump is his son, Ray Schrump (Tracey); two grandchildren, Logan and Lily Schrump and one great-grandchild, Marcus Williams, all of Tennessee; his step granddaughter, Madison Cashion of North Carolina; one sister, Vivian; one brother Raymond, and his long-time companion, Margot of Kitty Hawk.

Friends and family viewed at the Gallop Memorial Chapel, MP 16 Nags Head, Thursday Nov. 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. In accordance with Ron’s wishes he will be cremated and interment will be private.

Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.gallopfuneralservices.com. Gallop Funeral Services, Inc. was entrusted with arrangements.

Full Story >>

Gladys M. Keegan of Southern Shores, Nov. 6

Outer Banks Voice

Mrs. Gladys M. Keegan of Southern Shores died Nov. 6, 2108 at home peacefully, at the age of 90.

Survivors include her daughter Mary Ewerling, also of Southern Shores, and her family, as well as her grandchildren, her sister and many other relatives mostly in the New York area.

Gladys was sent home to New York City for funeral services and burial.

Leahy-McDonald Funeral Home of Jamaica, N.Y. was in charge of arrangements. Gallop Funeral Services, Inc. was entrusted with local care.

Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.gallopfuneralservices.com.

Full Story >>

Paul Costabile of Southern Shores, Nov. 10

Outer Banks Voice

On Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 Paul Costabile was taken by angels to his Heavenly Father. He was 33 years old.

He leaves behind his parents, Frank and Renee, and his brothers Damien and Dominic. Paul was preceded in death by his brother Vinnie in 2014.

Paul’s son Ayden, age 10, and his fiancé Stephanie, who was with him when he passed, were also left behind. Ayden’s mother Tiana and his first child, Angel, and her mother, Kim, were also left as were many, many friends.

Paul’s urn will rest beside Vinnie’s in Southern Shores Cemetery. Plans for a graveside memorial service are pending.

Gallop Funeral Services, Inc. was entrusted to serve. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.gallopfuneralservices.com.

Full Story >>

Stephen Franklin Beatty of Kill Devil Hills, Nov. 13

Outer Banks Voice

Stephen Franklin Beatty, age 56, of Gunas Drive, Kill Devil Hills, died peacefully at his residence on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018.

Stephen was born Aug. 7, 1962 and was raised in Lumberton to Charlie Arnold and Rose Savage Beatty Via and was the husband of Linda Jones Beatty for 31 years. He graduated from Lumberton High School and then attended The University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His hobbies included hunting and fishing and was a past member of the National Wild Turkey Federation. He was a builder on the Outer Banks for 35 years.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Arnold and Rose, his brother, Allen Bass, and his sister, Mary Austin.

He is survived by his wife Linda, siblings, Leslie Avery (Glenn) and Jill Beatty; children Ashley Bishop (Mitch) and Charlie Beatty (Sonja), stepdaughter Emily McCallister (Michael); his grandchildren, Ken, Izzy and Maggie, and three step grandchildren Aven, Harley, and Jamie, as well as many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at a later time.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dare Home Health & Hospice, PO Box 669, Manteo, NC 27954, in memory of Stephen.

Gallop Funeral Services, Inc. was entrusted to serve. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.gallopfuneralservices.com.

Full Story >>

Vivian Lorene Davis Fletcher of Manns Harbor, Nov. 15

Outer Banks Voice

Vivian Lorene Davis Fletcher, 87, of Manns Harbor, NC passed Thursday, November 15, 2018. She was the daughter of the late William and Mary Mena Taylor Davis.

Along with her parents, she was preceded in death by her brothers, Arthur, Gene, Hubert, and Calvin Davis.

Vivian is survived by her husband, James Fletcher of Manns Harbor; two sons, David Carter (Bernadita) of Southport, NC and Philip Carter (Pam) of Midland, NC; four grandchildren, Joseph and Philip of Southport, NC and Shelley and Clint of Midland, NC; and two sisters, Hallie Hardy of Roanoke, VA and Delphine Abraham of Roanoke, VA.

This is one of Vivian’s favorite rhymes:

Who knows the hour love ones must part, who knows the pain that pierces the heart.
There is so much sorrow, be glad today, wait not tomorrow.
Today belongs to those who live.
So, laugh and sing, love and give.
Today is one for joy and mirth, so live this way for all we are worth.
None knows the tears that must be shed, so make a gladsome happy way.

Memorial donations may be made to Shepherd’s Chapel, 102 8th Ave, Gravette, AR 72736.

Twiford Funeral Home, Manteo is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences may be expressed at www.TwifordFH.com.

Full Story >>

Video: Holly Days 2018 at All Saints continues through Saturday

Kari Pugh

Sandy and Dave Briggman. The jewelry table in the above video is a popular spot, featuring donated items that have been cleaned and polished by church members. (Kari Pugh)

The Christmas season has officially begun on the Outer Banks with the return of Holly Days at All Saints Episcopal Church in Southern Shores.

This marks the 16th anniversary of the popular holiday event where one can discover unique, locally-made products for your home or your Christmas shopping list.

A total of 65 vendors applied to participate this year. 38 were accepted according to organizers Sandy and Dave Briggman.

The bazaar runs Friday through 6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Barbecue and more will also be available in the cafe from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

The vendor lists include handmade jewelry, pottery, original photography, painting, fabric, and yarn creations, wooden art, painted glassware, Christmas decorations, ‘Second Sail’ jewels, frozen casseroles from the North Pole Shop, the Gourmet Bake Shop, silent auction, raffle items, a sandwich/lunch shop and more.

Old favorites such as artist James Melvin and photographer and Yellow House Gallery owner Eve Turek will be back along with newcomers such as Brad Price (oil painting, oil cloths), Corissa Snyder (Surfer & The Sea), and Julia Bancroft (Opus Stone Concrete).

The bake sale room was wiped out Friday morning. More homemade treats will be available Saturday, so get there early. (Kari Pugh)

Full Story >>

Dare board approves framework of revived watermen panel

Island Free Press

By Joy Crist

The Dare County Board of Commissioners approved the proposed framework of the recently revived Commission for Working Watermen at their November 5 meeting, paving the way for commission member appointments to be made.

The Dare County Commission for Working Watermen was originally formed in 2008, but quietly ceased meeting in December of 2012 without formally disbanding.

After public comments made by journalist and researcher Susan West at the board’s August 20 meeting, interest in reviving the commission was renewed, with commissioner Steve House signing on to be the point person and county commissioner representative for the endeavor.

House orchestrated a reorganization meeting in early October, which solicited insight and input from local working watermen and stakeholders on how the “new” commission should be formed. Using this feedback, House presented the proposed commission composition to the board.

“After very lengthy discussions with several individuals, I would like to make a recommendation to set this commission up as a seven-member voting commission with a non-voting science seat,” said House at the Nov. 4 meeting.

“(There will also be) a seat for a Dare County Commissioner, a seat for a fish house dealer, a seat for a charter boat captain, and four seats for Dare County, N.C. fishermen with the goal of having representation from Hatteras Island, Roanoke Island, the mainland, and the northern beaches,” House said.

Steve House

The original 2008 commission was comprised of commercial fishermen of specific specialties – such as ocean drop netting, trawl boat industry, gill netter/crabber, and net fishermen – but House noted that after talking with members of the commercial fishing community, seats based on specific gear types were not necessarily the best way to proceed.

“I know in the past we’ve had different seats for different types of gear, but in the past few years, commercial fishing has become so regulated that you don’t have a commercial fisherman just doing one specific gear (type) – he has to do three or four other gears just to make a living,” said House.

He also noted that while there was previous discussion about adding a recreational fishermen seat to the seven-member commission, it was ultimately determined that a recreational seat was not directly aligned with the commission’s purpose.

“The objective of this commission is for our Dare County working watermen (to serve) as an advisory council for us as Dare County commissioners, and to voice their concerns – both praises and objections – to not only our North Carolina (Marine) Fisheries, but to our legislators in Raleigh,” said House. “With that being said, I would like to make a motion that the commission be set up in those capacities.”

The motion was unanimously approved by the Board of Commissioners, solidifying the new make-up of the Dare County Commission for Working Watermen.

The topic will be revisited again in an upcoming December meeting of the board, with recommended appointments potentially being approved by commissioners.

“Now that we have (finalized) how the board will be set up, I have received a few applications, and I will start vetting those,” said House. “In December, I plan on presenting a few recommendations.”

Full Story >>

Manteo Baptist Church collecting for Operation Christmas Child

Submitted Story

Manteo Baptist Church is a drop-off location for Operation Christmas Child’s shoebox collection drive through Nov. 19. (Submitted photo)

Operation Christmas Child kicks off this week, with Manteo Baptist Church as a drop-off for “shoebox” donations.

During the operation’s national collection week through Nov. 19, local residents who want to donate are asked to fill shoeboxes with fun toys, school supplies and hygiene items to send to children in need around the world.

The Samaritan’s Purse project, partnering with churches worldwide, will deliver these gifts to children affected by war, disease, disaster, poverty and famine.

This is a nationwide effort to help children around the world. More than 150,000 U.S. volunteers including families, churches and other groups are joining forces to contribute to the largest Christmas project of its kind. This year, Samaritan’s Purse hopes to collect enough Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts to reach 11 million children.

Donations may be dropped off at Manteo Baptist Church, 406 N. U.S. Highway 64 in Manteo on Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Fore more information on how to participate in Operation Christmas Child, visit

Full Story >>

How to choose the hospital that’s right for you

Submitted Story

Most of us spend a lot of time doing research when we’re going to make a big purchase like a car or a house.

We seek online reviews and often base our decision on consumer data, reviews, and the experience of family members and friends.

But do we do the same when we need a planned medical procedure? If not, we probably should.

Obviously in an emergency, you should go to the nearest hospital. But when you can plan ahead, there are things you can do to help make a well- informed decision.

The Outer Banks Hospital recently received the Premier HIIN Award for Excellence in Patient Safety, and was one of only 27 hospitals recognized nationally at the Premier HIIN meeting in Nashville, Tenn. this past summer. To learn about awards and recognition, visit TheOBH.com and follow us on social media.

The first step is to learn about the care you need and your hospital choices.

Speak with your doctor or healthcare provider about the hospitals they work with and which give the best care. Ask if you should consider a specialty, teaching, or community hospital.

Did you know there’s actually an online source that provides data about important topics? It’s Medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html and it offers tools that compare hospitals on items such as experience, quality, safety, provider communication, staff responsiveness, cleanliness of the facility, and whether those surveyed would recommend the hospital.

The site not only compares hospitals but also provides state and national scores. To give it a spin, go to the site and enter the zip code of your location or the name of the facility. Then select three hospitals from the list that you want to compare, and the site does the rest.

The data is pulled from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems.

That’s a mouthful, but you actually may have contributed to the data if you’ve answered questions on a survey after receiving treatment at a hospital.

The collective responses measure patients’ perspectives on the care they received. It provides those considering a planned procedure with more information and may offer more peace of mind with the decision-making process.

“HCAHPS survey results offer the consumer a way to evaluate a hospital’s commitment to safety, quality, and the patient experience,” said Kelly Divita, The Outer Banks Hospital patient experience manager.

“It’s also a great resource for hospitals to discover areas of opportunity,” Divita said. “On the flip side, we can also learn about something we’re doing really well and then share that best practice with other departments and hospitals.”

Medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html is user-friendly and updated regularly.

If you don’t have internet access, your local library, senior center, family member, or friend may be able to help you. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE, 1-800-633-4227. TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.

Full Story >>

Minor soundside flooding possible as storm moves out

Sam Walker

Soundside water levels are expected to rise after midnight. (Town of Manteo)

A strong low pressure system that brought heavy rain and strong onshore winds Thursday is moving off to the northeast, and a wind shift behind a cold front could cause some minor soundside flooding overnight and into Saturday.

A coastal flood advisory has been posted for the soundside of the Outer Banks from 10 p.m. Thursday until 10 a.m. Friday for water levels that could rise to 2 feet above ground level.

Winds are forecast to turn westerly this evening, increasing to 30 miles per hour through Friday morning.

The Town of Manteo is recommending everyone move vehicles from low-lying areas as a precaution and secure garbage cans.

A high surf advisory remains in effect until 7 a.m. Friday, due to large wind-driven waves that continue to pound the beaches, with minor erosion possible.

Full Story >>

Outer Banks Mom: Exploring our state through soccer

Audra Krieg

After a day on the pitch, getting a chance to checkout the host city is always a treat. (Audra Krieg)

A little over a year ago, my oldest son, Joey, was invited to try out for the Outer Banks Storm Soccer team.

We were all excited when he made the team, but we knew that we would have several weekends a year dedicated to traveling for tournaments.

With three kids and a dog, lots of effort goes into planning for our soccer weekends but our soccer family has become such a fun part of our lives that we look forward to tournament traveling so much.

This past weekend we headed to Greensboro for the Adidas Clash tournament.

This was their team’s first time competing in a higher bracket than they usually do, and we were all so proud of the boys for how hard they played and for how good they are to each other.

While soccer weekends are typically jam packed with games, we usually try to explore the area that we are in a little bit.

After a day full of activity, everyone is always hungry and tired so finding food is a top priority.

We were really excited to have a tried and true recommendation for Crafted, The Art of the Taco. Something magical happened at this particular dinner and the team grabbed a table with a few of the Dads and our fabulous group of soccer moms snagged a table by ourselves!

While we usually all stretch out at a table together, I loved getting to have some rare time to chat with the other moms.

Crafted was absolutely amazing and we all enjoyed every morsel of delicious food that was brought our way. I think the top favorites were the Stuffed Avocado appetizer and the Fedora tacos!

These weren’t every day tacos, they were perfectly crafted with ingredients like kimchi and seared rare tuna.

I also enjoyed a little shopping around downtown Greensboro and loved what Elm Street had to offer. My first stop was an eclectic artisan gift shop featuring artists from the Greensboro area.

Meraki Handmade was the perfect place to do a little Christmas shopping. We love supporting local artists and businesses here on our sandbar and try to do the same when we are traveling.

I thought the unique concept of this carefully curated store was brilliant. On top of the beautiful pieces that were for sale, they also serve beer, wine and coffee making it a warm and welcoming place to hang out, even for an out-of-towner like me!

Downtown Greensboro was decorated in holiday lights and the area felt safe and quaint. I took a little stroll across the street to a cute boutique and peeked into the windows in a few other shops before calling it a night.

The next morning was a delayed start to our games due to cold temperatures and frost.

Our team tied their morning game on Veteran’s Day and we all headed back to the beach hoping for warmer temperatures and grateful for a day of rest after the busy weekend!

We used the drive home to remind our own kids how lucky they are to be able to have opportunities like safely traveling for soccer games because of our veterans.

Greensboro is a great little getaway for families or a romantic getaway and since it’s just about 5 hours from Kitty Hawk, the trip is an easy one! Our State has so many amazing little cities!

Which North Carolina cities are you interested to explore?

Full Story >>

Saturday NASA rocket launch should be visible along Outer Banks

Kari Pugh

NASA’s Antares rocket launch visibility map.

A rocket launch now planned for Saturday at 4:01 a.m. should be visible from the Outer Banks, according to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

The launch has twice been delayed because of weather conditions.

NASA has a viewability map that shows when you can see the rocket following the launch. When accessed from a smartphone browser, the Wallops Mission Status Center website can provide specific viewing information based on your location.

Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket will be carrying a Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space Station, with 7,400 pounds of crew supplies and hardware, including science and research projects in support of dozens of research investigations, according to a NASA release.

Projects include:

  • A test of the first integrated 3D printer and recycler to turn waste plastic materials into high-quality 3D-printer filament to create tools and materials, a key capability for future long-duration space missions beyond low-Earth orbit;
  • A lab-on-a-chip investigation looking at skeletal muscle cells, which aims to better understand muscle growth and repair in microgravity;
  • A student experiment that focuses on the evaluation of self-healing materials in microgravity;
  • Research to develop a mathematical model for how an astronaut’s perception of motion, body position and distance to objects changes in space; and more.
Full Story >>

Volunteers needed to help find cold stunned sea turtles

Ocracoke Observer

The Network for Endangered Sea Turtles is seeking volunteers interested in helping patrol for and/or transport sea turtles that wash up on the shore during the fall and winter months.

NEST will be holding an informational meeting with training Saturday, Nov. 17, at 1 p.m. in the Ocracoke Community Center.

Established in 1995, NEST is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of sea turtles and other protected marine wildlife on the Outer Banks.

It is committed to contributing to the preservation of these species through research and rescue and rehabilitation efforts and to fostering greater understanding and appreciation of these species and their habitat through education and enhanced public awareness.

The network also rescues and transports sick and injured sea turtles to the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center at the Aquarium on Roanoke Island. It has rescued hundreds of turtles stunned by the cold water and stranded in Pamlico Sound.

For more information, contact NEST’s Hatteras Island Coordinator, Frank Welles at fgwelles@aol.com or 252-995-2417.

Full Story >>