News

Currituck County to build boat museum

Currituck County plans to begin construction later this year on a boat museum that will house historic boats and tell the stories of locals who worked and played on waterways in the area. Construction is scheduled to begin after Labor Day and should be completed by the fall of 2020.

The boat museum will be located in Historic Corolla Park, near the Currituck Lighthouse, Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education, and Whalehead.

Currituck adds another online weather station

Citizens can view real-time weather information from locations throughout the county by using one of the online WeatherSTEM stations provided by Currituck County. With a new weather station recently placed at the Carova Beach fire station, there are currently four WeatherSTEM stations in the county controlled by Currituck County Emergency Management. A fifth weather station, located at Currituck Regional Airport, is also available to the public through the WeatherBug network.

Each WeatherSTEM station provides data in a variety of categories, such as temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity, lightning strikes, rainfall, barometer, dewpoint, heat index, and wind chill. Radar and satellite images are available, as well as a camera view of the sky to show cloud cover and current conditions.

To view a WeatherSTEM station, click on one of the links below:

The WeatherBug station at Currituck Regional Airport is available here.

 

DSS staff helps bring awareness to elder abuse

Members of the Currituck County Department of Social Services helped raise awareness of the mistreatment and neglect of adults by participating in the World Elder Abuse Awareness Walk. This special event was held in Elizabeth City on Friday, May 31 and hosted by the Albemarle Commission Area Agency on Aging. Currituck staff at the event included Carla Mebane, Lori Langley, Natalize Wisz, Toni Midgett, and Krista Hair.

The event aims to promote a better understanding of elder abuse and neglect, and is part of a global effort to prevent violence towards adults. The United Nations recognizes June 15, 2019 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. According to the U.N., around 1 in 6 older people experience some form of abuse, a figure higher than previously estimated and predicted to rise as populations age worldwide. Elder abuse can lead to serious physical injuries and long-term psychological consequences.

The Currituck County Department of Social Services has an Adult Protective Services staff that can help in situations where elder abuse may be occurring. This service is intended to provide protection to elderly and/or disabled adults who are unable to protect themselves from being abused, neglected, or exploited by a caretaker or themselves. To report this type of situation or to gather more information, contact Social Services at 252-232-3083.

Corolla Greenway extension now open

The newest section of the Corolla Greenway is open for recreational use by pedestrians.  This one mile addition provides much-needed connectivity from the north end of Monteray Shores to the Brindley Sports Center in Corolla Light.

The Corolla Greenway is a 6′-10′ wide concrete path that runs along NC 12.  It is a  popular site for pedestrians to walk, run, or ride bicycles while enjoying the scenery of the Outer Banks and provides a safe transportation option for citizens to utilize when visiting local destinations and the beach.  The path is ADA compliant.  This latest project was the fifth phase of the Greenway’s construction, which began in 2011.  This section had been identified as a priority by Currituck County as part of the Corolla Bike, Pedestrian, Access, and Wayfinding Plan.

Motorized vehicles such as golf carts, scooters, or mopeds are not allowed on the Greenway and bicyclists should use caution when passing walkers or runners.  Please remember to cross NC 12 at designated intersections and be cautious in areas where the Greenway is in close proximity to the road.

   

Prepare now for hurricane season

May is an excellent time to make preparations in case any severe tropical storms head towards Currituck County this year.  The National Weather Service recognizes June 1 as the beginning of hurricane season, so take time now to prepare!

Important steps to get ready for hurricane season include:

  1. Determine your risk.  Understand the hazards brought by hurricanes to Currituck County, such as storm surge and flooding.
  2. Develop an evacuation plan.  Know where you’ll go, what you’ll do with your pets, and coordinate with family and friends.
  3. Assemble an emergency safety kit.  This should include food, water, medicine, cash, insurance documents, and spare clothes.
  4. Check to make sure your home and vehicle insurance information is up to date.  Visit floodsmart.gov for more information.
  5. Create a checklist to prepare your home and property for approaching storms, such as covering windows and securing loose items.
  6. Help your neighbors.  Check in with their welfare before and after the storm.
  7. Write down important points to your plan and document possessions with photos or video.
  8. Know how to stay informed of weather forecasts and local alerts. Each time a storm is forecast to possibly affect Currituck County, local updates will be posted on the county’s website, Facebook, and Twitter resources. Citizens should also sign up for Currituck Alert.  This resource allows the county to send local alerts via text message, email, and voice-recorded messages.

There are many factors involved in hurricane season.  If you have any questions regarding hurricane preparedness, contact Currituck Emergency Management at 252-232-2115.

You should also contact Emergency Management if you:

  • Feel that you or a family member may need evacuation assistance.  Currituck County offers free evacuation assistance for citizens with specific medical or transportation needs.
  • Would like serve as a volunteer after a storm has impacted Currituck County.  There are many roles that volunteers can fill to help others in the community.
  • Have questions regarding the re-entry procedures following an evacuation for residents, businesses, and employees of Corolla.

 

Historic school working on folk songs project

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

Songlines is an audio artwork using historic folk songs inspired by alumni of the Historic Jarvisburg Colored School. Phase one of the project will record local songs ‘sung’ by alumni descendants and local children in May-June 2019. Phase two, in 2020-21, will place the audio recordings in hidden locations surrounding the exterior of the school, as an outdoor audio soundscape that will enhance the interior exhibition displays.

The project is Inspired by oral histories that Bateman collected from alumni in 2013-2019. During these years, Bateman met with the community and the school’s Board of Directors to discuss a potential art installation. In planning the project, Bateman observed that many alumni histories included play and work songs that were sung during recess, while missing school to pick cotton and plant potatoes and on long walks to school in the mornings.

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.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and features a museum with informative historical displays, classroom replica, artifacts, and guest reception area.  The museum is open Wednesdays – Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Nelson selected to lead airport

Currituck County welcomes William Nelson as the new director of Currituck Regional Airport.  As the Airport Manager, Nelson  will oversee the facility’s daily operations, including fuel management, budgeting, customer service, and compliance with federal aviation regulations.

Nelson graduated from Elizabeth City State University with a Bachelor of Science degree specializing in Aviation Science. He comes to Currituck County from a position at the Elizabeth City Regional Airport, where he was employed as a lineman overseeing aircraft maintenance and customer service.

“From growing up in Ahoskie, to graduating and training at Elizabeth City State, I have always called Eastern North Carolina home,” Nelson said.  “The chance to manage Currituck Regional Airport is an opportunity to promote economic growth and make my home community stronger. It’s a dream job and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

Nelson is a native of Ahoskie, N.C.  Along with his degree in Aviation Science, he is also a lifelong aviation enthusiast and holds a commercial pilot’s license.

New seasonal flights to Currituck Airport begin in May

Currituck Economic Development announced that a new service providing weekend seasonal flights from airports in the northeast to Currituck Regional Airport will begin on May 18 and continue through Sept. 14, 2019.

Ultimate Air Shuttle will utilize 30-passenger airplanes to provide this service.  At this time, flights are scheduled for Saturdays and Sundays only to and from Pittsburgh, PA; Washington, D.C. (via Manassas, VA,); and, New York City and Philadelphia (via Morristown, NJ).  Ultimate Air Shuttle is also partnering with Outer Banks Airlines to provide flights from the Currituck Regional Airport to local airports on the Outer Banks, including locations at Manteo, Corolla, Kill Devil Hills, Hatteras, and Ocracoke. Learn more

 

County continues to support Mid-Currituck Bridge proposal

The Currituck County Board of Commissioners remains steadfast in its support for the proposed Mid-Currituck Bridge despite a recent lawsuit aimed at blocking the project’s construction.  Once it’s built, the bridge will improve connectivity, increase public safety, and provide numerous benefits for the tourism and economic development industries.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is scheduled to begin construction of the Mid-Currituck Bridge in 2021.  Upon completion, the Mid-Currituck Bridge will:

  • Shorten the hurricane evacuation timeframe for residents and visitors in Corolla.  According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s N.C. Evacuation Study data, it may take up to 44 hours for the final evacuees to clear the region during a heavy evacuation by traveling current routes.
  • Provide a direct route for first responders to transport medical emergencies.
  • Shorten the daily commute for residents to reach jobs.
  • Create new economic development and employment opportunities.
  • Shorten travel times for tourists visiting Corolla.  This in turn will enhance the tourism industry by making Corolla a more attractive destination.
  • Improve traffic flow on the county’s main thoroughfare, Hwy. 158/168, to help year-round county residents with local travel.
  • Help manage future transportation needs due to population growth.
  • Improve connectivity between the mainland and Outer Banks, creating a heightened sense of community.

“This bridge has been in the works for more than three decades and is vital to the continued health of our economy and changing demands of our guests and residents,” said Bob White, Chairman of the Currituck County Board of Commissioners.

A lawsuit filed April 23, 2019 by the Southern Environmental Law Center claims the bridge would be damaging to the local environment and wildlife of the Currituck Sound. Currituck County, however, has a rich history of hunting and fishing and the Board of Commissioners is committed to preserving that legacy.

Currituck County has long been a champion for wildlife and the environment.  Known as “a Sportsman’s Paradise”, Currituck is the county in which Ducks Unlimited was first created.  The county’s sustained effort for responsible environmental stewardship has been formally recognized by numerous federal, state, and regional agencies.  Currituck has received awards from the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust, North Carolina Coastal Federation, and the Albemarle Resource Conservation and Development Council.  The county has also enjoyed long-standing partnerships with US Fish & Wildlife, NC Forest Service, Audubon Society, and other agencies as advocates for the environment.

Currently, the only crossing of the Currituck Sound is the Wright-Memorial Bridge on U.S. 158, which is located at the southern end of Currituck County and crosses into Dare County.  The proposed bridge will provide a second crossing of the Sound, from Corolla to Aydlett, and create a direct connection between two geographically-separated areas of Currituck County.  Citizens in Corolla will be able to attend county meetings in a timelier manner, without having to travel through Dare County to reach Currituck’s mainland.  This creates an additional benefit of improving citizen participation in governmental proceedings.

The Board of Commissioners also favors construction of the bridge over other proposed alternatives, such as widening Hwy. 158 and NC 12. The county feels that this approach would require the state to accomplish a lengthy and very expensive program to obtain the necessary properties required to allow for the widening of both roads.

Overall, the Mid-Currituck Bridge project will include a two-lane bridge over the Currituck Sound, approximately 4.7 miles in length, and a second two-lane bridge over Maple Swamp on the mainland, approximately 1.5 miles long, that connects to Hwy. 158 in Aydlett.  A toll plaza will be constructed near the connection to Hwy. 158.  More project information can be found at the NCDOT project website.

Primary Election results

The North Carolina State Board of Elections established a special election to select the replacement of Walter Jones as the U.S. House Representative for District 3. The Primary Election was held on April 30.  The General Election is scheduled for July 9, 2019.

Primary Election – April 30

  • Results provided by the N.C. State Board of Elections.

General Election – July 9

  • Absentee-by-mail voting begins May 24.
  • One-Stop voting period will be June 19 – July 6.
  • On July 9, all voting precincts will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

*(If a Second Primary Election is needed, that will be held on July 9 and the General Election would then be moved to September 10.)

Locally, the Currituck County Board of Elections was appointed in February.  The members are:
B. Gary McGee (D), Chair
Alex Gottschalk (D)
Karen Ish (R)
Susan Johnson (D)
Alice Malesky (R)

For more information, contact the Currituck County Board of Elections at 252-232-2525.