Beacon Bits: News Briefs for Tuesday, Oct. 8

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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.

Rep. Greg Murphy stands with his wife, Wendy Murphy, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at his swearing-in ceremony Sept. 17. (US House photo)

Rep. Murphy Joins House Science, Education & Labor Committees

US House Rep. Greg Murphy, who was sworn in Sept. 17, will work on the House Science, Space & Technology Committee and the Education & Labor Committee.

The Science committee’s jurisdiction includes Federal agencies with significance to coastal issues, including the EPA, NOAA and the National Weather Service. Recently the committee has questioned the EPA’s “efforts to systematically weaken the role of science” and launched an investigation into the Alabama-Dorian Twitter debacle.

The Education & Labor Committee oversees Federal education programs, including Head Start and child nutrition, and labor issues like equal opportunity employment, compensation, and workplace safety. Recently the committee advanced a bill protecting workers’ rights to organize and pushed back on changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Wildfire Season Is Here

Mid-October to mid-December is wildfire season in North Carolina, and the NC Forest Service is reminding people to be careful when burning yard debris – the number one cause of wildfires in our state.

“We will not forget the 2016 fall wildfire season that burned more than 59,511 acres across North Carolina,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “As we head into this fall fire season facing similarly dry weather conditions, let’s remember that each of us can do our part to avoid to prevent wildfires. It is important to exercise extreme caution while burning debris of any kind.”

Anyone planning to burn debris is encouraged to contact the county ranger, Brent Toler, at 728-3793 or via email.

DMF Taking Comment on Commercial License Rules

The Division of Marine Fisheries is taking public comment on rule changes to commercial fishing license transfers through Dec. 2. Commenters can email Catherine Blum or attend a public hearing at 6 pm Wednesday, Oct. 23, at the DMF office in Morehead City.

The proposed changes would allow certain transfers between individuals and incorporated businesses and between two incorporated business. It also adds several family members to the list of eligible transferees. A statement from DMF said the Marine Fisheries Commission requested the changes due to concerns over the types of license transfers allowed by statute and rule.

Quick Bites

Down East Council Meeting Tonight: The Down East Council will meet tonight, Tuesday, at 7 pm at the Williston United Methodist Church. Agenda items include drafting bylaws and the upcoming elections. Read more

Free Breast Cancer Screening: The Carteret County Health Department, along with Carteret Health Care’s Cancer Center, will host a free breast cancer screening 8 am – noon on Saturday, Oct. 26, at the county health department, 3820 Bridges Street in Morehead City. To make a screening appointment, please call 252-499-6200.

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

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Upcoming Events

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Tue 15

Blood Drive at the Maritime Museum

October 15 at 2:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Thu 17

Kayak Fishing Class

October 17 at 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Thu 17

Brown Bag Gam Lecture Series at NC Maritime Museum

October 17 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Fri 18
Sat 19

Fall Bazaar at Ann Street UMC

October 19 at 8:00 am - 1:00 pm