Beacon Bits: News Briefs for Friday, Oct. 11


Welcome to Beacon Bits, our bi-weekly news briefs delivery system. Twice a week we’ll dig around for morsels of local news that you can put away in one bite. Browse all Beacon Bits here.

Barbara Nicholson, right, presents Meg Piner Risser with an ink and watercolor painting done by Risser’s mother, Laura Davis Piner.

Coastal Art Comes Home

By the time artist and longtime East Carteret art teacher Laura Davis Piner passed away in 2002, her artwork had brightened up many a home, near and far.

Last week one of her pieces made it all the way to Nebraska when Barbara Nicholson, who taught at East Carteret with Piner, made a cross-country move. But just before Nicholson left, she wanted to make sure a second piece of Davis’ art found its way back home.

A close-up of the Laura Piner piece that found its way home to her daughter, Meg Piner Risser.

On Monday, Sept. 30, Nicholson met up with Meg Piner Risser, Piner’s daughter, at the Beaufort Historic Site. Standing just in front of the Mattie King Davis Art Gallery, which was founded in part by Piner and named for her mother, Nicholson presented Risser with a small painting featuring a working fishing vessel – one of Piner’s favorite subjects.

During the exchange Nicholson told Risser, “I have people all the time saying your mother made the biggest difference.”

Risser agreed. “She loved her students. She touched a lot of people.”

Did You Know? There’s a folktale about a woman called Porpoise Sal who washed up on the shores of Diamond City, then summoned a hurricane to punish the town for not heeding her repeated warnings that “the killing must stop.” Read more at the NC Ghosts archives

Christina Koch (NASA)

ISS Visible Tonight

The International Space Station will pass overhead this evening between 7:12 pm and 7:17 pm. Assuming no cloud cover, we should be able to get a good look at it. The even cooler thing is that NC State grad and Jacksonville native Christina Koch is up there! She is scheduled to complete the first all-woman space walk on Oct. 21.


Head outside around 7:10 pm and orient yourself to the west-northwest. The ISS will appear at 23 degrees over the horizon, about a quarter of the way between the horizon and directly overhead, and cross the sky toward the southeast. Its highest point will be 63 degrees over the horizon, about two-thirds of the way between the horizon and directly overhead. It will disappear at 10 degrees over the southeast horizon.

Remember, your phone should have a compass app already on it! Read more about how to spot the ISS here

Quick Bites

Beaufort BOC Meeting Monday: The Beaufort Board of Commissioners will meet at 6 pm Monday, Oct. 14 for its regular monthly meeting. Agenda

Donate Blood, Win Cool Stuff: The American Red Cross will host a blood drive at the NC Maritime Museum Tuesday, Oct. 15 from 2-7 pm. Enter to win one of five $500 gift cards and other prizes, including a guided kayak trip. Learn more here

Art at the Library: This month, the Carteret County Library in Beaufort is featuring the work of Crystal Coast photographer Dan Williams and the Christmas decorations and jewelry of Deb Baker.

Fall Festivals & Halloween: We’ve been adding fall events to our calendar and more are on the way! Click here to browse fall festivals, trunk-or-treats and more.

Upcoming Events

Take a loot at the calendar below, browse all events, or submit your own