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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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Devildog (Protecting N.C. H…): Steve, Devildog, it is not a philosophy, but proven facts that Mr. Scott speaks of.. Negative. Dr…
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Steve (Protecting N.C. H…): Devildog, it is not a philosophy, but proven facts that Mr. Scott speaks of..
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2018 Election Preview, Part 1

Friday 19 October 2018 at 11:15 pm

BY JOY CRIST

You hear it every election cycle: “This is going to be one of the most important elections of our lifetime.”

But the reason why this phrase is uttered so often is because - for the present moment in time, at least - it generally happens to be true. How we vote today will obviously determine the shape of our state in the future, and 2018 is an especially powerful and important year, because we’re in one of the most divisive political climates in recent memory. In fact, several candidates we’ve chatted with over the past few months have voiced concerns that voters might not look past the “R” or the “D” on the ballot form, and will simply vote along party lines because of this extreme division.

However, our current group of candidates is certainly worth a closer look past party affiliation alone – a scenario that is common in smaller local elections when the party doesn’t always matter as much as the candidate’s priorities, knowledge of the area, and ambitions.

So below, you’ll find a little info on the current candidates for several of the most competitive races so you can start digging deeper. This election cycle has a long list of interesting races, in fact, so we’ll continue profiling the different candidates in the weeks and days leading up to November 6.

But before we get started, here are the basics when it comes to voting in Dare County this election season.

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Following Florence: How Hatteras Island was Spared the Brunt of the Storm

Friday 05 October 2018 at 9:09 pm

By JOY CRIST

A lot can change in a week, and this is certainly the case when it comes to hurricanes.

In the days leading up to Florence’s arrival, everyone was glued to the all-too-familiar National Hurricane Center’s Forecast Cone, to see if Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands were in the dreaded white projected center of the storm.

And for quite a while, we most definitely were.

This is why when a mandatory evacuation was called on Monday, September 10, a number of islanders who rarely leave for hurricanes packed up their vehicles and hit the road. Many of these residents hadn’t left for a storm since 2011’s Irene or even 2003’s Isabel, and most evacuees made sure to pack along their irreplaceable belongings in case they couldn’t come back.

In retrospect, this may seem like pessimism at its most paranoid, but you have to remember that for a number of days, it appeared very likely that Hatteras and Ocracoke islands were going to be hit by a Category 3 or 4 storm. The worst case scenario had us directly in the crosshairs, with Florence stalling and hovering for days, inundating the island with unprecedented rain and storm surge.

Indeed, this is exactly what happened, but it didn’t happen on Hatteras or Ocracoke islands.

In the days that followed the evacuation, Florence’s projected path – which had originally been aimed at the Outer Banks – continually shifted south, until the islands were subsequently outside the Forecast Cone altogether. And while every single village was impacted with ocean overwash during the storm, the islands were spared the brunt of the damage.

Florence eventually made landfall as a Category 1 on Wrightsville Beach – much weaker, and much further south, than originally forecasted.

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The Island Community Gives Back

Saturday 22 September 2018 at 5:59 pm

By JOY CRIST

Hatteras and Ocracoke islands were gratefully spared the bulk of Hurricane Florence – a fact that was lost on no one in the community. Even the Dare County Board of Commissioners focused on the sheer luck that moved Florence away from a direct hit to the Outer Banks at their Monday meeting, with Emergency Management Director Drew Pearson commenting that the line between minimal damage and devastation was “a matter of 50 miles to the right.”

But because this is a community that is all too familiar with the destruction and months of rebuilding that a storm can cause, islanders from Rodanthe to Ocracoke turned their attention inland. The Down East region was hit hard by Florence, and it did not take long for grassroots and more organized support efforts to start popping up in abundance.

On the Sunday following Florence, Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative sent four volunteer linemen to Carteret County to help with the roughly 30,000 folks who were still without power after the storm, while organizations like the North Carolina Fisheries Association asked for both information on damage and assistance in providing help and supplies to those affected. CHSS Foods and Nutrition Teacher Evan Ferguson and her class prepared comfort food to send along to East Carteret County High School, while the Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men – a longtime resource for islanders after a storm – started planning a large relief effort, asking for both volunteers and funds. Local businesses like the Cape Hatteras Motel started fundraising campaigns as well, asking visitors staying at the motel to bring along a non-perishable item or two for folks in need.

Hatteras and Ocracoke islands were gratefully spared the bulk of Hurricane Florence – a fact that was lost on no one in the community. Even the Dare County Board of Commissioners focused on the sheer luck that moved Florence away from a direct hit to the Outer Banks at their Monday meeting, with Emergency Management Director Drew Pearson commenting that the line between minimal damage and devastation was “a matter of 50 miles to the right.”

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