Outer Banks Voice


News and Information

Gerald Scott Wanner of Colington Harbour, Feb. 22

Submitted Story

Born March 31, 1951 in Pottstown, PA, he was the son of Nancy Pollock Nettles and the late William Curtis Wanner. Scott loved working on cars, transatlantic radio and steam engine trains. He also raised fresh and saltwater fish.

Scott is survived by his significant other, Anita D. Elmer; three children, Joanna Eblin, Katie Perkins, and Scott Wanner, Jr.; eight grandchildren; sister, Laurie Faust; two brothers, Lee and Bruce Wanner; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In keeping with Scott’s wishes, the family will hold a private memorial service at a later date.

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

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James “Jim” Hobbs, Feb. 22

Rob Morris

Jim Hobbs was born in Columbus, Ohio, but raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Jim was married to Janet until she passed in 1984. He and Janet raised black standard poodles, and showed them in the US as well as Europe, including the Westminster Dog Show. They had three children.

In 1989 he met Carol and they married in 1990, they decided to move to the Outer Banks in 1998, and have enjoyed 18 years of Living on the Edge. Jim acquired two step-sons and a cockapoo.

Jim attended Lehigh University, for industrial engineering, he also went to Northwestern U. He was a spring board diver in high school and College, and enjoyed golf and working on his beach house.

We will miss this gentle and kind man, a loving husband and father. He is very much loved by his wife, children and their spouses. We will remember fondly the famous words that Jim used when he was frustrated or pleased, which are: “GaazaaMaazaa” and “Golly Day.”

In accordance with Jim’s wishes there will be no memorial services. The family invites anyone wishing to honor Jim’s memory to plant a tree in his honor through the American Forest program at Americanforest.org.

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

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Marian J. Hager of Nags Head, Feb. 18

Rob Morris

Mrs. Marian J. Hager passed away peacefully February 18, 2017 at her home at 89 years of age. Mrs. Hager served her country honorably in the United States Navy.

Her survivors include her two daughters, Ms. Angie Hager of the Nags Head residence and Ms. Ann Terrell of Kitty Hawk, NC.

In accordance with Mrs. Hager’s wishes, no services are planned.

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

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Fish fry, gumbo and silent auction to benefit food pantry

Submitted Story

Lifeline Outreach is hosting a fish fry and gumbo fundraiser on Friday, Feb. 24 for the Food Pantry in Rodanthe.

The event starts at 5 p.m. and ends at 8 at the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Building in Rodanthe.

Small plates are $10 and large plates are $12. Door prizes will be offered along with a silent auction.

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State reduces recreational flounder bag limit from six to four

Rob Morris

The recreational flounder limit will decrease from six fish to four per person, per day in North Carolina waters starting next Wednesday.

The recreational size limit will remain at 15 inches.

The state Division of Marine Fisheries made the change after federal regulators voted in August to require a 30 percent drop in catch limits for flounder by recreational and commercial fishermen.

The commercial summer flounder quota for 2017 has also been decreased to 1.6 million pounds.

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COA’s Phi Theta Kappa hosts first African-American Read-In

Russ Lay

Altazera Goldberg.

College of The Albemarle’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society is helping to celebrate Black History Month by holding two African-American Read-In events during February.

The first event was held Feb. 13 at the Front Porch Cafe in Manteo, while the second reading will take place on Feb. 27 at Salaam’s International Cafe in Elizabeth City.

The African-American Read-In was established by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teacher’s of English in 1992 to promote diversity in children’s literature, encourage young people to read and spotlight African-American authors.

Originally held nationally on a single Sunday afternoon in February, Mondays were soon added to allow schools and other institutions to participate.

The COA event features Maya Angelou, whose poetry and autobiographical works, including “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” garnered numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded to her in 2011 by President Barack Obama, and Langston Hughes, another award-winning playwright, novelist and columnist.

Altazera Goldberg, vice president of COA’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter, read these poems by Maya Angelou:


“Caged Bird”

“Phenomenal Woman”


Lizeth Elizondo Vargas, vice-President of the PTK Scholarship Committee, read the following works from Langston Hughes:


“The Negro Speaks of Rivers”

“I, Too, Sing America”

“Mother to Son”

“I Dream of a World”

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Rep. Boswell introduces bill defining life at conception

Sam Walker

State Rep. Beverly Boswell of Dare County has introduced a bill in the General Assembly that would define life beginning at the moment of conception.

The first-term Republican from Kill Devil Hills is the lone primary sponsor of House Bill 163.

The measure would define “each member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization or cloning, or any other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.”

Also included in the bill entitled the “Right to life at conception Act” are specific provisions that would not allow prosecution of any woman for the death of her unborn child, would allow in-vitro fertilization and would allow the use of birth control or other means of preventing human fertilization.

Rep. Mike Clampitt (R-Swain), Rep. Jeff Collins (R-Nash), Rep. Cody Henson (R-Transylvania) and Rep. Bert Jones (R-Rockingham) have since signed on as co-sponsors.

Boswell had not responded to a request for comment on the bill.

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Effort to ease restrictions on hotel heights stalls in KDH

Rob Morris

The Ramada Plaza was built in 1985, before height limits.

An effort to put some flexibility into height limits on the Kill Devil Hills oceanfront stalled Tuesday after bumping up against objections from the Planning Board and several citizens during public comments.

Members of the board, however, acknowledged that the town needed to continue to examine ways to encourage more hotel construction as well as redevelopment of older buildings.

Architect Ben Cahoon, representing Jeff Fabrikant and Randy Sanders, offered the proposal, which called for measuring heights from the top of the dune line rather than from the ground.

In some cases, that would add little or no height to the existing 42-foot limit in areas where there is not much of a dune line.

But Planning Director Meredith Guns said measuring from the top of the dune could add as much as 25 to 30 feet at the south end of town, allowing hotels to reach up to 72 feet.

In any case, such a rule, she said, would be difficult to incorporate into the zoning code because dunes are constantly shifting.

Cahoon argued that erosion also creates inconsistencies.

The proposal included reducing side setbacks to compensate for added height. Planning Board member Skip Jones, while opposing the idea overall, noted the possibility of wider gaps between buildings at least offering better views of the ocean.

Guns also noted that the proposed rule would violate the town’s land-use plan, which calls for low-profile buildings along the oceanfront no taller than 42 feet.

A big motivation behind the proposal was to elevate the lowest floors above the dunes to allow oceanfront views, Cahoon said.

Much of the discussion also centered on the loss of hotel rooms and the proliferation of large rental houses, some with 18 bedrooms or more.

“In 1987, there were over 1,600 hotel rooms in Kill Devil Hills,” Cahoon said. “Today, there are about 923. The newest of those are in Best Western, which was built in 1985, 32 years ago.”

Cahoon withdrew the proposal when it became clear that the Planning Board was not interested in it. Seven people also objected during public comments.

Outer Banks towns have wrestled with how to accommodate shorter-term stays in the face of dwindling hotel rooms and cottage courts. Older buildings are torn down to make way for the large rental houses, which are considered a better return on investment.

Nags Head recently created new rules for cottage courts and one is being planned on the south end of town.

In Kill Devil Hills, an 85,054-square-foot TownePlace Suites hotel is planned for the west side of the Beach Road at the site of the old Ebb Tide Hotel. The area is in a commercial zoning district, which allows buildings to reach 50 feet.

While there was general agreement Tuesday that more should be done to encourage hotel construction, redevelopment on the oceanfront is restricted by Coastal Area Management Act rules mandating setbacks of 120 feet or more for larger structures, among other restrictions.

That would limit redevelopment or expansion of older structures that were built before the CAMA rules. They would be subject to newer state and federal regulations if renovations exceeded 50 percent of the value of the building.

Height limitations on the oceanfront — the Ocean Impact Residential zone — were reaffirmed in 2010 after a special committee met for more than a year but ran into intense opposition in several public meetings when the Board of Commissioners took it up.

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FFMS lacrosse pancake fundraiser Thursday

Sam Walker

 The First Flight Middle School Boys lacrosse team is having a pancake fundraiser supper at the Stack’em High in Kitty Hawk on Thursday, February 23, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $8 each and can be purchased from any player or at the door. Eat-in or carry-out available.

Menu includes pancakes, choice of potatoes or grits, bacon or sausage and a beverage.

All proceeds go to help cover league fees, officials, goals, paint for the fields and other expenses related to the sport.

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Lot sizes, merged fire districts and more fill Dare Board agenda

Russ Lay

Echoes of Heritage opened the  meeting as part of the celebration of Black History Month. (Russ Lay)

The Dare County Board of Commissioners worked through a full agenda at its Feb. 20 meeting.

Three major highlights of the evening meeting were the resignation of Commissioner Margarette Umphlett, a significant tweak to the county’s new salary plan and a resolution to name the new Pea Island bridge after the first African-American commander of a Life-Saving station.

The first order of business was a continuation of the board’s recognition of February’s as Black History Month with the Echoes of Heritage kicking off the meeting with a medley of spiritual songs.

After the performance, the members were met at the podium by board Chairman Bob Woodward, who presented the acapella gospel group with a certificate recognizing their 37 years of service to the community and the important role the group plays in performing and preserving traditional African-American Christian music traditions.

Two public hearings were then opened for public comment and voting.

The first concerned a proposed ordinance change to reduce the minimum lot size in residential zones in Wanchese to 15,000 square feet in areas served by the central water system.

Enactment of the ordinance would bring lots in Wanchese in line with the rest of unincorporated Dare County, where 15,000-square-foot lots can tap into a central water system.

Two Wanchese residents spoke during public comments and both were in favor of the change, which the board unanimously approved at the conclusion of the hearing.

The second public hearing was a housekeeping issue that allowed the county’s “S-9 Supplement to the Code of Ordinances” to be updated and re-paginated based on ordinances passed in 2016. There were no speakers and the board voted unanimously to adopt the update.

Public comments were the next agenda item.

Lorelei Dibernardo of the Dare County League of Women Voters introduced the 2017 Citizens Guide, an annual publication that lists contact information for all elected officials in Dare County as well as information on voting registration, voting locations and government administrative offices.

She was followed by another LWV member, Lin Logan, who asked the board to set aside time on their next meeting agenda to view a video concerning the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Logan informed the board that five Dare municipalities had passed resolutions urging the General Assembly to ratify the amendment, which fell three states short when the deadline passed in 1982.

Former Dare County Commissioner Virginia Tillett also spoke at public comments, thanking the board for the recent pay increases extended to county employees and relaying to the commissioners the positive feedback she has received since the increases were instituted.

Steve Kovacs, Dare County Fire Marshall, accompanied by Mike Daugherty (Chief of the Chicamacomico VFD) and Ervin Gaskins (Assistant Chief of the Salvo VFD) updated the board on the progress of merger talks between the two Hatteras Island volunteer fire departments.

The board was told the two departments were close to announcing their official intention to merge and the resulting union would benefit the Salvo community because of lower fire insurance rates for homeowners.

Daugherty explained that at present the Chicamacomico VFD’s service area carried a state fire insurance rating of “6”, while Salvo’s service area was rated a “9.” (A lower number is better.)

Daugherty said the new combined department would easily qualify for a “6” rating for its entire service area, resulting in significant insurance rate reductions for Salvo property owners.

Kovacs said that after a waiting period of one year, the newly formed department could apply for a re-evaluation from the state and he expressed confidence that an even lower rating of “5”, the best rating, would be well within reach of the new volunteer fire department.

No action was requested of the board, and the presenters said that once the final details were worked out, the board would need to tackle merging the two special tax districts that support each department.

Ann Daisey of the Dare County Soil and Water Conservation District provided her quarterly update on matters in her area of concern.

She announced awarded grants of $190,050 and $117,500 for the clearing of vegetative matter and repair of storm damage in drainage ditches on mainland Dare along U.S 64 and 264 and in the Town of Kitty Hawk.

Daisey also announced a second round of grants had been requested to clear drainage ditches in Stumpy Point, Manns Harbor/Mashoes, Avon/Rodanthe, Buxton/Frisco/Hatteras village and Southern Shores.

Ken Willson of Coastal Planning & Engineering presented the board with two proposals for engineering and consulting services relative to the dredging of Hatteras Inlet navigation channels.

The first for an amount not to exceed $27,060 will authorize CP&E to work with the county to create work plans and other data to allow Dare to comply with permits issued by the state to dredge the inlet within the existing channels.

Willson said most of the permit requirements would pose few problems and the one potential major issue, a concern expressed by some state environmental agencies regarding summer dredging, would be dealt with when and if the issue arose.

The second proposal, for a lump sum amount of $83,237, would pay CP&E to conduct underwater cultural resource surveys in areas outside of the currently approved channels.

These surveys would allow the county and state to consider dredging in areas that may crop up as the result of natural forces — areas where deeper water and shortcuts might save money and time — as long as no buried cultural resources such as shipwrecks or other artifacts are present.

The board voted unanimously to fund the first proposal and delay the second proposal while they await a decision on potential state matching funds.

County Manager Bobby Outten also said he was pursuing matching funds for the first proposal, so the total expenditures might be less than the $27,060 approved by the board.

The board then unanimously approved a request by the county’s chief financial officer, David Clawson, to enter into a $1,398,792 loan agreement with US Bancorp Government Leasing and Finance to purchase county vehicles approved in the 2016-17 operating budget.

The term of the loans will be 36  months at an interest rate of 1.593%.

During the Commissioners’ Business portion of the meeting, Commissioner Wally Overman read a strongly worded letter condemning the recent decision of the state’s Marine Fisheries Commission decision to accept a petition that would greatly reduce shrimping in North Carolina’s inland and nearshore waters.

Overman said the decision would destroy the state’s commercial shrimping industry and he called on the General Assembly to enact legislation to either re-configure the MFC in a more balanced arrangement or dissolve the body altogether.

The commissioner said in its current form the board had become a tool of special interests and no longer served its function as a body that could balance recreational and commercial fishing interests.

The board voted unanimously to send Overman’s letter to N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore, President Pro Tempore, Sen. Phil Berger, as well as Dare County’s delegation; Sen. Bill Cook and Rep. Beverly Boswell.

Chairman Bob Woodard read a letter to be sent to the chairman of the executive board of the Navy Federal Credit Union, urging the financial institution to open a branch office in Dare County to serve the county’s many retired and active duty military personnel.

The closest NFCU office to the Outer Banks is in Moyock.

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Fearing pushes to name new bridge for Richard Etheridge

Russ Lay

Capt. Richard Etheridge with the Pea Island life-saving crew in a painting by Outer Banks artist James Melvin.

Malcolm Fearing, the outgoing Division 1 representative on the North Carolina Board of Transportation, had one more act of official business, or at least, one official conversation he wanted to get started before his departure.

The Pea Island bridge crosses New Inlet, which was re-created by Hurricane Irene in 2011 and is currently served by a temporary metal span referred to by locals as the Lego bridge.

Construction on a half-mile, concrete replacement started in December 2015, and is scheduled to be completed later this spring.

Fearing noted that the new bridge to replace it would likely be the first of the three spans to open as part of the more comprehensive Herbert C. Bonner Bridge replacement project.

About four weeks ago, Fearing began to quietly float the idea of naming the bridge in honor of Capt. Richard Etheridge, the first African-American to command a life-saving station when the United States Life-Saving Service appointed him as keeper of the Pea Island Life-Saving Station in 1880.

The station, which closed in 1947, was located within sight of the breach.

Etheridge was also a Civil War veteran of the Union Army and was the first African-American to serve on the Manteo Board of Commissioners as well as the local school board.

NCDOT board member Malcolm Fearing addresses the Dare BOC and asks for support in naming the Pea Island bridge in honor of Capt. Richard Etheridge. (Russ Lay)

Born in Dare County as a slave in 1842, Etheridge learned to work the water, trained by his master, who also illegally taught Etheridge to read and write.

Dare County was one of the first Confederate areas invaded by the Union Army when the Civil War started, although the region held few slaves and even fewer plantations and did not resist the Union occupation to any great extent.

The county became home to thousands of refugee slaves during the Civil War, a group collectively known as the Freedmen’s Colony.

Etheridge left the area to join the Union Army, rising to the rank of sergeant and returned to Roanoke Island after the war, where he joined the Life-Saving Service. The service became a full-fledged government agency in 1878 and was eventually merged with the Revenue Cutter Service in 1915 to form the U.S. Coast Guard.

Bob Woodard, chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, recited much of Captain Etheridge’s history as noted above and also noted the appropriateness of the resolution in light of February being Black History Month.

Fearing told the board there were some hoops and procedures to jump through in the NCDOT’s bridge-naming procedures, but Woodard held up some forms and said the documents were on their way.

He then introduced a resolution, passed unanimously, asking the NCDOT to name the the Pea Island bridge in honor of Capt. Richard Etheridge.

With the resolution complete, the naming application will move to the NCDOT chief engineer’s office with required documentation before it is placed on the Board of Transportation’s agenda for final approval.

If approved, the NCDOT and Dare County will share the cost of signs to be placed at each end of the bridge.

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Jean Hardy Wood of Kill Devil Hills, Feb. 19

Submitted Story

Jean Hardy Wood, 53, of Kill Devil Hills, NC died suddenly Sunday, February 19, 2017. Jean was born May 22, 1963 in Atlanta, GA, daughter of the late Col. Morris S. Hardy and Sally Umstead Hardy. Jean was a loving wife to the late Mark R. “Josh” Wood. She was a loving mother, sister, aunt, and friend to many.

Jean is survived by her daughter, Lindsay Brianna-Wood Tweet and husband Kevin of Chesapeake, VA and son, Walker Hardy Wood of the home. Other survivors include sisters, Sarah Jane Williams and Barbara Hardy Conroy and husband Ed; and nieces and nephews, Brad Walls, Jennifer Robison, Ashley Williams and Laura Jean Conroy.

Jean’s biggest love aside from her children and family was her love for God. She always saw the best in people and held out her hand to those in need. Jean’s infectious smile and bubbly personality brightened the day of all she knew. She loved going to various art festivals and assisting in local art and craft shows with her sister. Jean was extremely talented in creating various pieces of art, from paintings to jewelry, and she put a piece of herself into each item.

She studied Theatre Arts at ECU and was a Theatre Arts teacher at First Flight Middle School for over 20 years. Everyone who met her was impacted by her. She lived by one of her favorite proverbs, “Shine a little brighter today because someone needs your light.”

Shine on brighter now, our “Brown Eyed Girl.” You are and always will be our light and inspiration, and you will be forever missed. Until we meet again.

A celebration of Jean’s life will be held at the Ark International Church in Nags Head, Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 11:00 am officiated by the Rev. James Lewis.

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

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Kitty Hawk Kites job open house set for this Saturday

Rob Morris

Kitty Hawk Kites, one of the largest employers on the Outer Banks, is hosting its inaugural Employment Open House on Saturday, Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. to noon at its Nags Head store, 3925 S. Croatan Highway.

Job seekers can explore many seasonal and full-time positions available. On-location interviews will be conducted for a variety of jobs, including:

• Retail Managers and Asst. Managers
• Seasonal Retail Keyholders & Crew
• Recreation and Reservations Crew
• Hang Gliding Instructors
• Kiteboarding Instructors
• Retail Buyers
• Summer Interns
• and more!

“Kitty Hawk Kites is a fun place to work, offering many opportunities to contribute to the current success and future growth of the company,” said Jessie Piacenza, Human Resources Manager. “We look forward to meeting prospective KHK Crew Members who are excited to teach the world to fly!”

For more information about the Employment Open House, e-mail hr@kittyhawk.com or call 252.441.1719 x231. For a look at current job openings, visit theapplicantmanager.com/careers?co=kh.

With OBX locations from Corolla to Ocracoke, Kitty Hawk Kites is the largest retail and recreation outfitter on the Outer Banks. Kitty Hawk Kites is also home to the largest hang gliding school in the world, while also offering more than 20 other outdoor recreation activities.

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Ephraim Norwood O’Neal of Hatteras, Feb. 17

Rob Morris

Ephraim Norwood O’Neal, 97, a native of Hatteras, died Friday, February 17, 2017 at his daughter’s home in Florida. He was the son of the late Norwood and Alethia Austin O’Neal and the widower of Daisy Stowe O’Neal.

He was a member and deacon of the Hatteras Assembly of God, a commercial fisherman, and a retired magistrate. Ephraim served on the Waterways commission and many other committees and was a veteran having served his country honorably during World War II in the U.S. Army.

Ephraim is survived by his three children: Wayne O’Neal and Judy, of Piedmont, AL; Peggy Braddock and Samuel, of Bonifay, FL; and Alethia Joy Willis and Durwood, of Hatteras, NC.

He is also survived by six grandchildren: Wayne O’Neal, Jr. and Kelly, Lori O’Neal, Kenny McArthur and Lisa, Brian McArthur and Olga, Woody Willis and Karla, and Natasha Farrow and Lester.

He was a very proud Granddaddy to seven and a half great-grandchildren: Cameron O’Neal, Cody McArthur, Aleah McArthur, Ezekiel Willis, Adalyn Willis, Lester Farrow V (Quin), Aleck Farrow, and Reagan Farrow (on the way).

A funeral service with military honors will be held at 2:00 pm on Thursday, February 23, 2017 at Hatteras United Methodist Church. Burial will be in the family cemetery. The family will receive friends and relatives at the church on Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 pm and following the funeral at the home, 57993 Highway 12, Hatteras, NC.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Hatteras Assembly of God for repairs from Hurricane Matthew, P. O. Box 245, Hatteras, NC 27943.

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

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Frank Stick Memorial Art Show Award winners announced

Dee Langston

Torin Francis’ painting, “Pounders Beach, Oahu,” was named Eure Best in Show. (Courtesy of Logan Marshall.)

More than 300 people poured into the Dare County Arts Council Gallery recently for the opening reception of the 39th Annual Frank Stick Memorial Art Show.

Ben Jordan, a ceramic artist and long-term resident artist at Pocosin Arts in Columbia, along with a panel of judges from The Beach Book, selected the following award winners:

  • Eure Best in Show: Torin Francis, “Pounders Beach, Oahu,” (graphite/  watercolor)
  • Excellence Awards: Marlene True, “A Good Day” (steel/enamel), Travis Fowler, “Untitled” (brass leaf on wood panel), and Brad Price, “Best in Show” (oil on canvas)
  • Honorable Mention: Carole Thompson, “It’s All About The Plaid” (acrylic)
  • Beach Book Cover Excellence Award: Mary Edwards, “Old Nags Head Pier” (watercolor)
  • Beach Book Restaurant Guide Cover Honorable Mention: Bobby Wiltshire, “Wanchese Westside” (watercolor)
  • Beach Book Explorer Cover Honorable Mention: Rick Cocke, “Snoopy” (acrylic)
  • People’s Choice Award: Laine Edwards, “Keep Fighting” (acrylic and spray paint on glass)

This year was the first time The Frank Stick Memorial Art Show was held at the Dare County Arts Council’s Gallery in downtown Manteo. To honor Glenn and Pat Eure for their many years of hosting the show at Glenn Eure’s Ghost Fleet Gallery, the Arts Council named the Eure Best In Show award after them.

“Receiving the Eure Best in Show award encourages me to continue to use the gift that I’ve been given. I am so happy to see my work appreciated by others,” said Torin Francis, recipient of the Eure Best In Show award.

“It didn’t take much thought before I decided I wanted to paint “Pounders Beach,” he added. “The mountains, the rocks, and the waves that break there are so beautiful to me.”

Artist Laine Edwards with her rendering of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, which received the People’s Choice Award. (Courtesy of Tatum Clements.)

For the third year in a row, artist Laine Edwards received the People’s Choice award, which was selected by public ballot during the opening reception.

“There’s really no one word that can describe the feeling generated when reflecting on a community coming out to support the arts and the Frank Stick Memorial Art Show,” Edwards said.

“I feel honored and humbled. I have entered paintings of public figures that I feel connected to each year. Bernie Sanders is such an inspiration to me,” she added. ” I strongly supported his campaign for president, and started painting him the day before the inauguration as a way to keep my mind off of what was happening. I feel better when I am creative.”

The annual show is held in memory of Outer Banks preservationist and artist Frank Stick, and is the longest running visual arts exhibit in Dare County. The Frank Stick Memorial Art Show will remain on display at the DCAC Gallery through Saturday, February 25.

Sam and Cindy McGann from The Blue Point in Duck provided hors d’oeuvres at the opening reception.

The project is supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

For more information about upcoming Dare County Arts Council events and exhibits, call (252) 473-5558 or visit Dare Arts. Dare County Arts Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization dedicated to supporting the arts in Dare County.


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Dare commissioners tweak some disparities in new salary plan

Russ Lay

A small group of county employees watched the discussion on the salary plan adjustments.

At a special meeting in January, the Dare Board of Commissioners approved a new salary plan that County Manager Bobby Outten saidcame to over $4 million in pay increases, including $3.6 million in wages with the remainder coming in the form of benefits.

But not every employee was happy as the plan was rolled out, and those issues quickly came to the attention of county officials at the Board’s meeting Monday night. So the Board tweaked the new plan.

It was the largest pay adjustment on record and came after a study commissioned by the board revealed county employees were paid, on average, less than their counterparts in comparable public and private sector jobs.

The study also revealed the county had not followed its own salary plans adopted by prior boards, leaving pay and pay ranges for specific job classes unchanged for too long.

According to board Chairman Bob Woodard, over 90 percent of Dare County employees would see a pay increase once the new plan was implemented.

On Monday, Outten told the board that he and his management team had been meeting with employees and had identified four major areas of concern.

He said more meetings are planned, so other issues may rise to the surface. But he said he wanted to use the Monday meeting to report and ask the board to rectify issues already verified.

Three of the four areas are typical when system-wide pay increases are implemented and fall under a broad category of what human resources experts call “compression” issues.

When pay increases and salary ranges for specific jobs are left unchanged for many years, employees become compressed into lower-paying job category ranges, ranges that typically define a base wage, a mid-point range and a maximum for each level.

A sudden shift that not only bumps salaries, but also raises the minimum and maximum in each category has the potential to create another compression issue — this time caused by moving too many employees into higher pay ranges and compressing them at the top of their pay scales.

As an example, Outten cited a scenario where a person with 21 years of service to the county, but with only one year as a manager/supervisor could receive a larger salary than a person with 10 years of service, but all of them as a supervisor/manager if  “years of service” were the primary determinant of pay adjustments.

Outten said that the experts at Springsted Public Sector Advisors informed the county that most human resource managers use the “time in position” method as the most fair.

He also said that using a “time in service” method would have resulted in over $7 million in salary and benefit increases, a number that could not be absorbed in the 2016-17 operating budget.

For about 78 employees who had been promoted over the past five years, that method actually resulted in a lower annual salary than if they had refused the promotion. The longer an employee had worked for the county in total, the greater the discrepancy if they had been promoted in the recent past.

Outten presented the board with five options that he said would fit within the 2016-17 budget plan.

The options ranged from a $55,000 fix for employees who were promoted in the past 12 months up to a $328,000 price tag to adjust salaries for those promoted as far back as five years ago.

Outten felt that the county’s longevity pay would offset disparities to a large extend for those employees promoted farther back than five years.

The board unanimously voted for the five-year adjustment option, which Outten stated would benefit 78 county employees.

Another situation arose with the upward adjustment of pay grade ranges. With the minimum salary for each pay grade increased, a few situations arose where new hires who were paid at the new base salary for their grade were making the same, or even more than current employees in grade who will have to wait for two years for their increases to phase in.

Effective immediately, new hires will be brought in at wages below the new minimum for each grade and brought to the minimum over the next two years, eliminating the awkward situation of new hires making more than those who hired them or had longer tenure in the same position and grade.

The final error of concern Outten revealed were simply clerical errors. For example, some employees stated their current pay grades were misidentified in the study, or there were errors in calculating time in service.

Outten said these errors would be corrected internally and required no board action.

A contingent of about 20 Dare employees attended the board meeting and there was scattered applause when the board voted to implement the five-year adjustment.

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Carolina Designs Realty recognized as Business of the Month

Outer Banks Voice

Carolina Designs Realty has represented Outer Banks vacation homes for sale and vacation rental since 1988.

Carolina Designs Realty has been named the Outer Banks Business of the Month for January 2017.

Since 1988, Carolina Designs Realty has represented Outer Banks vacation homes for sale and vacation rental in the towns of Corolla, Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head. The company is a family owned and operated business that has established a solid reputation.

Carolina Designs is supportive of area organizations, community events and projects. It is currently involved with The Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce, Currituck Chamber of Commerce, Outer Banks Association of Realtors and is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau.

In addition, Carolina Designs has sponsored various events and organizations, including Relay for Life, Outer Banks Babe Ruth Baseball, The Lost Colony, Duck Jazz Festival, Outer Banks Tennis Association, Children@Play Museum, Dare County Arts Council, First Flight High School and others.

“For over 25 years, Carolina Designs Realty has been active in the Outer Banks community,” said Outer Banks Chamber President Karen Brown, during the awards ceremony. “This award is a small thank you for all you do.”

Pictured are Carolina Designs staff members Stacey Baittinger, Jean Sherwood, David Pergerson, Lex Lowe, Barry Breit, Cyndi Downing, Gary Walworth, Evelyn McDonald, Pierce Holian, Maria Fargione, Marshall Holian, Ryan Thibodeau, and Kip McDonald, joined by Outer Banks Chamber President Karen Brown (far right) and Chamber board members Penny Bentley of Southern Bank, and Pat Broom of Phoenix Restoration.

Sponsored by the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce and College of the Albemarle’s Small Business Center, the award recognizes businesses for outstanding customer service, community involvement and company stability. Monthly winners are automatically entered into the annual Entrepreneur and Small Business (ESBY) Awards presented in June.

Submit nominations for the Chamber’s monthly winner at Outer Banks Chamber Business of the Month.

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Spotlight On Performing Arts award winners named

Dee Langston

Eddie Cooke from the Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts is shown with Best in Show winner David Huff.

Duck Town Hall filled with artists and art enthusiasts on Saturday, Feb. 11, for the opening reception of the Spotlight on Performing Arts exhibit, presented by the Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts and Dare County Arts Council.

A panel of three jurors — Fay Davis Edwards, Dare County Arts Council programs director; Jean Pratt, Outer Banks Forum board member, and Fred Vallade, head of the Rotating Art Exhibit Committee for the Town of Duck — selected the following winning entries:

  • Best in Show: David Huff, “Between Sets” (photography)
  • Merit Awards: Carol Willett, “Terpsichane: Premiere Danceur in Bird Lake” (sculpture); Eileen Tullner “Bone Boy” (watercolor), and Bruce Frazier, “Story & Clark” (acrylic)
  • People’s Choice Award: Eileen Tullner, “Bone Boy” (watercolor)
  • Honorary Student Entry: Manteo High School’s Emma Alter, “Armstrong To Be” (photography)

The Best in Show Award recipient David Huff received a cash award and his work will grace the cover of the 2017-18 Forum Playbill.

“The Dare County Arts Council and Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts have done so much to promote the arts within Dare County,” Huff said. “The annual Forum art contest provides an excellent opportunity to not only exhibit my work, but to provide an illustration of the lively arts.”

This is the fourth year Huff has participated in the exhibit. “I was honored the first two years to have my images voted People’s Choice and then honored again this year to have my image selected for the cover of the Forum’s Playbill,” he said.

Huff and People’s Choice Award recipient Eileen Tullner’s pieces will be on display at the Forum’s final performance of the Virginia Symphony on Saturday, April 29 at First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills.

Fay Davis Edwards, the arts council’s program director, said the arts council is always delighted to partner with the Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts on the annual exhibit.

“Duck Town Hall is a beautiful space to highlight these incredible works, and our artists never fail to creatively interpret the performing arts through their photography, painting, mixed media design, and sculpture,” Edwards added. “We are also very pleased to begin to include honorary student entries in the exhibit, giving high school art students the opportunity to show their works alongside professional artists.”

Sponsored by Outer Banks Chevy, the theme of the 4th annual exhibition is Spotlight On Performing Arts, which reflects many facets of the performing arts, including musicians, singers, musical instruments and scores. Coastal Provisions Oyster Bar & Wine Café in Southern Shores provided hors d’oeuvres at the opening reception.

The Spotlight on Performing Arts exhibit will remain on display at Duck Town Hall through Friday, April 28.

The Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts is a non-profit organization that brings an annual series of seven outstanding diverse concerts to the area and provides opportunities for youth to participate in the arts.  All of the performances are partially underwritten by community businesses.

Dare County Arts Council is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization dedicated to encouraging the arts in Dare County through advocacy, enrichment and opportunity.

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Watson named Outer Banks Hospital Employee of the Month

Outer Banks Voice

Todd Warlitner, (left) Outer Banks Hospital vice-president of Business Operations; Ronnie Sloan, OBH president, and Lynne Miles, (far right) administrator of Regional Operations with Melissa Watson .

Service Line Coordinator Melissa Watson is The Outer Banks Hospital’s February Employee of the Month.

Watson joined the hospital in November of 2015 as a Point of Service Specialist at Outer Banks Family Medicine in Southern Shores, and recently transitioned to her new role at Outer Banks Orthopedic & Sports Medicine.

She is caring and attentive to patients and is always willing to assist her co-workers, according to a statement from the hospital.

According to her co-workers, Watson is great to work with, gets along with everyone, and is always ready to help, the statement said.

“I am surprised and touched that they would think of me as such an asset. To me, it takes the office as a whole to succeed, not just one person,” Watson said about the honor. “I am so thankful for all of their help and support.”


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Daffodil design class teaches show-quality arranging

Dee Langston

Participants learn to create show-quality design arrangements during the 2015 NENCDS design class. (submitted photo)

For some of us, daffodil arranging involves a fistful of the stems of a fresh cut bunch of daffodils, along with a mason jar filled partway with water.

Want to be a little more artistic? Attend an Artistic Daffodil Design Class, which will be part of the Northeastern North Carolina Daffodil Society’s Spring Meeting, held from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Currituck County Extension Center.

The design class, led by James “Jim” Fincher, the daffodil society’s long-time artistic design chairman, will provide supplies and instruction for creating show-quality artistic daffodil arrangements to be used for display at home or at daffodil shows.

Speaking of daffodil shows — class participants will be able to show off their new design skills during the Daffodil Society’s ninth annual daffodil show, set for Saturday, March 25. The Daffodil Society’s Spring Meeting, held prior to the workshop, will include presentations on registering and volunteering for the show.

A supply fee of $5 will be required for class participation and registration is encouraged. The event will conclude with a cold finger foods lunch. Participants may bring their favorite finger foods to share.

All activities will be held in the auditorium of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Currituck County Center, 120 Community Way, in Barco.

For more information, email Clay Higgins of the Daffodil Society or call (252) 491-9268, or email Sarah Watts, Agriculture Extension technician or call (252) 233-2261.

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Mary Blanche Williams, born in Avon, Feb. 16

Rob Morris

Mary Blanche Williams, 96, of Beaufort, NC, passed away on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at Harbor View Nursing Home in Morehead City.

Funeral service were held Sunday, February 19, 2017 at Ann Street Methodist Church with the Reverend Taylor Mills and Reverend Charles “Chuck” C. Smith, Jr. officiating. Burial will follow at Carteret Memorial Gardens.

She was born on July 9, 1920 in Avon, NC to the late Columbus Casteven and Estie Taylor Meekins Gray. She worked as a dental assistant to Dr. Woodard for over 30 years in Beaufort. She was a member of Ann Street Methodist Church and sang in the choir for over 60 years. She was a member of the Eastern Star.

Left to cherish her memory is a daughter; Andrea Jill Smith; a son Mahlon P. Williams, Jr. and wife Brenda; grandsons, Charles Smith, Jr. and wife Michelle, Mahlon Williams, III and wife Maxine, Shawn Williams and wife Belinda; granddaughter, Kathy Jo McVey; 6 great grandchildren, 3 great great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband of over 60 years, Mahlon P. Williams; brother, George Gray, Oscar Gray, Sr., Norman Gray, Billy Gray; sisters, Rena Dawson, Eleanor May, and Thelma Williams.

Flowers are welcome or donations can be made to Ann Street Methodist Church, 417 Ann St., Beaufort, NC, 28516 or Saint John United Methodist Church, PO Box 129, Avon, NC 27915-0129.

Online condolences may be made at www.mundenfuneralhome.net Arrangements are by Munden Funeral Home & Crematory, Morehead City, NC.

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John Davis Griffith of Kitty Hawk, Feb. 14

Rob Morris

John Davis Griffith, age 57, of Kitty Hawk, NC passed away on Tuesday, February 14, 2017. He was born November 2, 1959 in Arlington, VA to Joseph “Tom” Griffith and the late Elaine Davis Griffith. In addition to his mother, he was predeceased by his brother Kenneth “Mike” Griffith and father-in-law, Willard “Ed” Glover.

Surviving in addition to his father is his beloved wife of 29 years, Kimberly Glover Griffith, and the son he adored, John Thomas Griffith. Along with his sisters, Sandie Staples and her husband John and Suzanne Kelly and her husband Brian; sisters-in-law, Claire Griffith, Leslie York, Sarah Glover, Erin Glover, and Nicole Glover; brothers-in-law, Bruce Glover, Rick Glover, Jim York and Mike Glover; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Dave and Janet Walter, Jody Kanuch; and our sweet Brooke Harris. As well as many nieces and nephews that he loved dearly.

John is known for is huge smile and heart, his love for his family, friends and for Chevy vehicles, and his passion for building. He touched many, many lives and will be sorely missed.

Family and friends will be celebrating his life at Waterside Villages Clubhouse, 700 Waterfront Dr., Grandy, NC 27939 on Saturday, March 4, 2017 at 2:00 pm.

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

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Ola Burrus Austin of Manteo, Feb. 18

Submitted Story

Ola Burrus Austin, 88, of Manteo, NC died Saturday, February 18, 2017 at Spring Arbor of The Outer Banks in Kill Devil Hills. A native of Dare County, she was born September 24, 1928 to the late Ralph and Violet Willis Burrus.

Mrs. Austin was the wife of David Austin who preceded her in death in June 2007.

She is survived by a son, Gregory Austin and wife Yvonne Austin; two grandchildren, David Wayne Austin and Lisa A. Brickhouse and husband Jimmie; two great-grandchildren, Gregory Baum and Austin Brickhouse; and one great-great-grandchild, Jonah Baum.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am on Thursday, February 23, 2017 at Twiford Colony Chapel. A private entombment at Roanoke Island Memorial Gardens mausoleum will be held at a later date. The family will receive friends at the residence of Gregory and Yvonne, 113 Poplar Street, Manteo, NC.

In addition to flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children, 2900 N. Rocky Drive, Tampa, FL 33607 online at www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org.

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

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Mary Lou Frizzell Haraway of Kill Devil Hills, Feb. 16

Submitted Story

Mary Lou Frizzell Haraway, 85, of Kill Devil Hills, NC died on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. Born January 1, 1932 in Baltimore, MD, she was the daughter of the late Mary Lou and Emmett G. Frizzell of Danville, VA.

Mary Lou relocated to the Outer Banks of North Carolina in 1984 where she was active in real estate sales.
Mrs. Haraway is survived by two sons, William David Haraway of Gulfport, MS and Douglas C. Haraway and wife Sharon of St. Cloud, FL; and granddaughter, Jessica of Eden, NC.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at Twiford Colony Chapel with the Rev. Jerry Cribb officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made the Disabled American Veterans Charity, PO Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301 online at www.dav.org.

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

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