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Archive for September, 2009

Groups to study NC’s wild horses at Corolla

Monday, September 21st, 2009

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COROLLA, N.C. — A study set to begin early next year could resolve debate over the effect of Corolla’s wild horses on North Carolina’s maritime forests, marshland and wet meadows.

The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk reported that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to work with North Carolina State University on the study.

Currituck National Wildlife Refuge manager Mike Hoff says the approximately 100 wild horses graze on grasses also used by waterfowl for food and shelter. Hoff says migratory bird habitat is the primary mission for the more than 4,500-acre refuge.

He says during the two-year study, horses, feral hogs or deer will be blocked from some areas to gauge the effect of each species on habitat. One fenced area of 143 acres, already in place, excludes all three species and appears more lush than the surrounding area, Hoff said.

The horses are a popular tourist attraction along the Outer Banks.

The study and others to follow are expected to show how many wild horses best keep the herd healthy and have a minimal effect on the refuge. “There’s probably a happy medium in there somewhere,” Hoff said. “We just have to find out what it is scientifically.”

A 1999 management plan limits the number of horses to 60, but that limit hasn’t been enforced over the years. The Corolla Wild Horse Fund petitioned Fish and Wildlife last year to increase the herd size to at least 120 to increase the gene pool and allow for a
healthier herd. The request was denied.

Wild horse experts have said a herd of 60 is too small, said Karen McCalpin, executive director of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund. A wild horse herd on Shackleford Banks remains about 120 on only 3,000 acres, she said.

“We don’t have the level of scientific information to make educated management decisions on the horses,” she said.

The fund has tried to reduce the herd, either through adoption or birth control serum.

The horses roam the 7,500-acre four-wheel-drive area of the Currituck northern Outer Banks, including the refuge and communities of beach rental homes and about 150 permanent
residents.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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A study set to begin early next year could resolve debate over the effect of Corolla’s wild horses on North Carolina’s maritime forests, marshland and wet meadows.

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Downtown bar looks to deter violence

Monday, September 21st, 2009

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It is a typical Friday night for Rhino Club owner and manager, Sean Tobin. He is getting ready for a fun loving crowd, but after hours, he says it is a different story.

“Arguments can ensue from anything like bumping in to each other to too many people in the same area, hanging out,” said Tobin. “People are just hanging out instead of going home. Sometimes tempers flair.”

In an effort to crack down on some of the late-night rowdiness, Tobin installed a halogen light, to illuminate the over-crowded, and sometimes dangerous bar-goers who congregate at the intersection of Market and Second Streets. It was a suggestion made by Wilmington Police.

“It’s safer for the pedestrians. It’s also safer for the police. That way they can actually see what’s going on because it can be dark in that corner because there’s not a lot of city lighting over there,” added Tobin.

It may seem like a simple fix, but still, Tobin says more needs to be done.

“I do believe it has helped, we have less people hanging out on the side walk after hours getting home hopefully safely and we see them the next night out and its great because we love our customers,” Tobin said.

The Rhino Club has been at the same location for three years. Tobin says as a small business owner, he will continue to work with the police and the city of Wilmington to come up with solutions to control the crowds.

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videoIf you have ever been out late downtown during the weekend, you have probably noticed the large crowds and increased police presence. The mix of people and alcohol can be dangerous. At least one bar owner has made some changes in hopes to deter violence and make things safer.

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Music lovers enjoy bluegrass at Fort Fisher

Monday, September 21st, 2009

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Music lovers from near and far flocked to the shores of the Cape Fear River to hear some good old fashioned bluegrass this weekend.

Fans filled the Fort Fisher Military Recreation Area in Kure Beach for the Seventh Annual Southern Coastal Bluegrass Festival. The event featured nine bands from across the state of North Carolina and beyond.

The Thalian Association started the festival in an effort to serve as the group’s primary fundraiser and has had great success bringing bluegrass to the coast.

“It’s an American tradition. And you think of the mountains when you think of bluegrass, but people on the coast are really enjoying it. The crowd here really gets into it, and its fun. Its fun for the children also,” said Vivian Parlier-Burnett from the Thalian Association.

Over the years the event has become a September tradition.

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Music lovers from near and far flocked to the shores of the Cape Fear River to hear some good old fashioned bluegrass this weekend.

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Atmosphere Academy: Putting the weather forecast together

Monday, September 21st, 2009

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There are some basic tools that all meteorologists use – thermometers for temperature, barometers for pressure, hygrometers for measuring humidity. Of course, the technology behind these instruments has changed through the years.

Since we cover counties all over southeastern North Carolina, we rely on computers to ingest all of this data into our weather lab. At NewsChannel 3, we have no less than 10 individual computers in use. Some of these computers work in the background, out of sight. They’re responsible for ingesting observations from weather sensing sites all across the country. They also scan for any announcements from agencies of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Alerts, such as hurricane advisories or local severe storm warnings are at the top of the list. Some of our computers are a little more visible to our viewers on a daily basis.

Have you ever wondered about those maps and graphics you see on-air everyday?

All of those animations are designed here by our meteorologists using special software licensed exclusively to our station. This enables us to represent complex computer model data in a way that is easy for the public to understand. Of course, when the weather is bad, it’s especially important to explain things in a clear, concise way. Our Doppler Radar Networks, known as ESP 3 (Enhanced Storm Prediction), is exactly that. It shows you where storms are located, yes, but our interface contains a special program – a modeling program that analyzes the structure of developing storms. We can scan for certain parameters indicative of severe weather, such as hail shafts and rotational patterns. And if you think all of that sounds complicated, just think about the maintenance on these computers.

After all, updates, upgrades, virus protection, data back-up- these are issues that all computer based industries have to maintain. But it’s worth all the work.

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videoEvery day, you tune-in to WWAY to see the weather forecast. But do you know how it is put together? Jerry Jackson has more in this week’s edition of Atmosphere Academy.

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Budget Bites – More cheap eats from local “dives”

Monday, September 21st, 2009

By Judy RoyalJudy.Royal@StarNewsOnline.com

Despite being located in small, aging buildings, these gems in part three of my series serve up some of the best and most affordable food in Southeastern North Carolina.

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