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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!

Enjoy the Island Free Press and, even more importantly, enjoy our wonderful barrier island!!!

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Getting off the Point – Our New Famous Island

Saturday 01 July 2017 at 11:38 pm

So I don’t know if you’ve heard, but there’s a new island off the Point.

And it’s attracted just a little bit of attention.

The island – (or sandbar depending on who you ask... and depending on the tide for that matter) – has been dominating national and even international headlines. If you do a Google News Search for “New Island,” you’ll see dozens of listings that features the now famous photo taken by Connecticut visitor Chad Koczera.

Here’s just a sample of the magazines, newspapers, and media outlets that have covered this less-than-a-mile long spot in Buxton: National Geographic, CBS News, ABC News, Good Morning America, CNN, Fox News, BBC, The Telegraph, News and Observer, Newsweek, Travel + Leisure, The Weather Channel, Huffington Post, USA Today, the

Smithsonian, and NPR – which interviewed our Cape Hatteras National Seashore Superintendent Dave Hallac in a recent segment for “All Things Considered.”

You could easily go on, but you get the Point – and so does everyone else.

In essence, our island was ridiculously famous this week.

So considering this newfound fame, the question that’s been circling in many local conversations is simple – Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

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What on Earth is Going on with the Frisco UFO?

Friday 23 June 2017 at 11:29 pm

Late last week Jim Bagwell, (owner of the property where the Frisco UFO has landed), and LeRoy Reynolds, (the UFO’s resident alien), approached a local building inspector to see if they could do some repairs and refurbishments to the iconic local structure.

Per Reynolds, they initially received the verbal OK to proceed, but were then contacted by the Dare County Planning Department and were told that the UFO could not be altered in any way, per an already established agreement from 2006.

And then social media got involved, the floodgates opened, and everyone started to wonder what on earth is happening with the Frisco UFO.

It’s not unusual for a somewhat controversial topic to garner a wave of interest, rumors, and story variations on Hatteras Island. One of my favorite lifelong locals once told me that “If you break wind in Rodanthe, by the time they hear about it in Hatteras, it’s a damn hurricane.”

But since this particular topic first landed on the Facebook social scene last weekend, it’s become a force of nature.

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Rip Currents, Misinformation, and the Proactive Heroes who are Addressing the Problem

Friday 16 June 2017 at 6:47 pm

There’s a photo from a story we did last summer on rip currents that shocked the heck out of me when it was happening, and which still lingers in my mind.

It was during a ride along with Chet Bailey, the captain of the Chicamacomico Banks Water Rescue team, who was pointing out rip currents along the local Rodanthe beaches, as well as the signs the team had set up near especially dangerous areas.

And just when he was saying something to the effect of “Unfortunately, people don’t always heed the signs,” someone walked right past the sign in question, and dived into the ocean for a swim.

I think I asked him at the time if that was staged, (and if so, it was pretty masterfully coordinated), but he said no, and that it was a common problem, simply because people who are new to the area are typically new to rip currents as well.

This is a common sentiment among the folks who patrol the beaches – the Chicamacomico Banks Water Rescue team, the Hatteras Rescue Squad, and the National Park Service – and rip current education is starting to become a prominent topic of conversation.

It’s why the Hatteras Rescue Squad is starting a fantastic new program that provides free info to visitors, (more on that in a moment), and why more and more news sources – including the Island Free Press – are utilizing the latest technology from the National Weather Service to get the word out. (More on that too.)

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