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Hi, and welcome to my "Editor's Blog"! In this space I'll be attempting to keep our readers informed on fast-breaking news and issues affecting our islands. Visit often. There's a lot going on!

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Checking in on 2018 National Seashore Projects – What’s on the Horizon, and When

Saturday 27 January 2018 at 12:53 am

By JOY CRIST

Despite a brief three-day interlude due to the federal government shutdown over the past weekend, 2018 is already shaping up to be yet another busy year when it comes to projects within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

And considering that these projects are scattered throughout the islands, it can be justifiably hard to keep up with what’s coming, going, or being renovated.

So with that in mind, here’s a closer look at the ongoing projects within the National Seashore, and where they stand.

ADA Accessible Boardwalk near ORV Ramp 55 in Hatteras

The new ADA accessible boardwalk that’s adjacent to the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum and ORV Ramp 55 is in the final stages of completion, and should be open in the next several weeks.

The boardwalk is similar to the one at the bathhouse just south of Frisco, in that it has a gradual incline with no hills, brings visitors right to the beach, and also has a viewing platform that allows folks to check out the ocean without getting their toes in the sand.

“Right now, we are planting beach grass along the sides of [the boardwalk] to stabilize the sand,” says David Hallac, Cape Hatteras National Seashore Superintendent, “but the structure itself is almost complete.”

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What's Happening with the Proposed Insurance Increase?

Saturday 13 January 2018 at 12:51 am

By CATHERINE KOZAK

The prospect of significant increases in homeowners’ insurance was tossed on public plates three days before Thanksgiving, and with the holiday season in full tilt, it took a while for people to notice. But a reprieve this week will allow anyone who owns a year-round home in Dare County to learn important details about potential steep hikes in their insurance bills.

On Jan. 8, N.C. Commissioner of Insurance Mike Causey rejected a proposed rate increase by the NC Rate Bureau that would have spiked homeowners’ insurance costs about 25 percent for Dare County – an average of 18.7 percent statewide – and set a hearing for July 23.

“After hearing and reading the more than 9,000 comments from residents across the state and studying the figures in the filing,” Causey in a statement, “it is now necessary to hold a hearing to reach a resolution that will make the most financial sense for our residents and insurance companies.”

Remarkable grassroots response accounts for the last-minute flood of comments, said Willo Kelly, government affairs consultant for the Outer Banks Association of Realtors and the government affairs director for the Outer Banks Homebuilders Association.  Only four people – all opposed - spoke at a lightly-attended public comment session on the proposal held on Dec. 12 in Raleigh, she said. By then, a total of 94 comments had been received online by the department.

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