Pender County Parks and Recreation survey released

Burgaw – Pender County Parks and Recreation releases a County-wide survey to gather public input regarding parks and recreation facilities and programs.

The Pender County Parks and Recreation Department invites residents to share their vision for Parks and Recreation activities and facilities throughout the county by completing the survey.

“We encourage Pender County residents to complete the survey and attend the public meetings,” states Zachary White, Pender County Parks and Recreation Supervisor. “The data collected will provide the department valuable feedback for future decision making.”

Individuals can take the survey online by visiting https://form.jotform.com/211042953364047. The survey is best viewed in Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Mozilla Firefox and NOT Internet Explorer. Paper copies are also available at the Pender Administration Building, the Hampstead Government Annex, the Pender County Library, the Hampstead Library Branch, at all public meetings, and by request. The survey will be available until midnight on June 30.

Public Meetings for the Master Plan will be conducted around the county over the next several weeks beginning on Tuesday, April 27. These meetings are designed to be floating meetings and staff encourages community members to stop by the meeting locations between 4:30-7:30 p.m. to share thoughts and ideas. The public meeting schedule and survey are available online at https://penderpr.recdesk.com/Community/Calendar.

For more information about the master plan process, survey or public meetings contact the Pender County Parks & Recreation Department 910-259-1330 or parksandrec@pendercountync.gov.
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Governor Cooper Outlines Timeline for Lifting State’s COVID-19 Restrictions

As vaccinations continue and trends stabilize, NC will lift mandatory social distancing, capacity, and mass gathering restrictions by June 1

RALEIGH: Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. laid out a timeline for lifting current pandemic restrictions today. With stable trends and continued vaccination success, the state expects to lift mandatory social distancing, capacity, and mass gathering restrictions by June 1. The Governor plans to issue an executive order next week outlining safety restrictions for the month of May.

“Each shot in an arm is a step closer to putting this pandemic in the rearview mirror,” said Governor Cooper. “North Carolinians have shown up for each other throughout this entire pandemic and we need to keep up that commitment by getting our vaccines.”

North Carolina continues to focus on distributing vaccines quickly and equitably. This fast and fair approach to getting shots in arms is the best way to beat this pandemic, protect one another, boost the economy and make it possible for restrictions to be lifted.

To date, the state has administered over 6.5 million vaccines. 46.9 percent of adults are at least partially vaccinated, and 35.1 percent are fully vaccinated. More than 76 percent of people 65 and older have had at least one shot.

With vaccine now widely available across the state – often with no wait for an appointment, all North Carolinians 16 and older can plan to take their shot. The state anticipates lifting the mask mandate and easing other public health recommendations, once two-thirds of adult North Carolinians have received at least one vaccine dose and if trends remain stable.

“We are at an exciting moment. We now have enough vaccine for everyone,” said Secretary Cohen. “If you are 16 and older, it is your turn to join the more than 3.6 million North Carolinians who have already taken their first shot. It’s up to you to get us to the two-thirds goal as quickly as possible so we can live with this virus and begin to put this pandemic behind us.”

Gov. Cooper and Sec. Cohen urged North Carolinians continue to get vaccinated and exercise good judgment even when restrictions are lifted. Businesses should continue to follow voluntary health recommendations and North Carolinians should continue to take safety measures in order to boost the economy, keep children in schools and protect each other.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released statistics indicating that North Carolina is among the states with the fewest deaths and fewest job losses per capita.

State health officials are continuing to monitor the presence of COVID-19 and its more contagious variants in North Carolina, which is why it is important to continue to follow the state’s mask mandate and continue to practice safety precautions, including the Three Ws—wear a mask, wait 6 feet apart, and wash hands often.

Water quality swimming advisory lifted for ocean-side site in Pender County

MOREHEAD CITY – State recreational water quality officials today lifted a water quality swimming advisory for an ocean-side swimming area in Pender County.
The advisory was lifted because water testing shows that bacteria levels have dropped below the state’s and Environmental Protection Agency’s standards set for swimming and water play.
The advisory was posted at public beach access #1A located across from Catherine Avenue in Topsail Beach on April 14. Test results of water samples taken April 12 and April 13 showed bacteria levels exceeding 104 enterococci per 100 milliliters of water, the standard for recreational use coastal waters. Test results of water samples from the site now shows bacteria levels below the state and federal recreational water quality standards.
The sign advising against swimming, skiing or otherwise coming into contact with the water has been removed.
Enterococci, the bacteria group used for testing, are found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. While it is not known to cause illness, scientific studies show that enterococci may indicate the presence of other disease-causing organisms. People swimming or playing in waters with bacteria levels higher than the standards have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness or skin infections.
Coastal recreational waters in North Carolina are generally clean. However, it is important to continue monitoring them and to informed of any localized problems. The N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program samples 213 sites in coastal waters of the state, most of them on a weekly basis from April through October.
For more information on the N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program, visit the program’s website, view a map of the testing sites, and follow the program’s Twitter feed. https://deq.nc.gov/

Division of Marine Fisheries urges fishermen to promptly complete license/permit renewals for FY 2022

MOREHEAD CITY – The Division of Marine Fisheries will begin mailing renewal packets for fiscal year 2022 commercial and for-hire fishing licenses and permits this week and is asking fishermen to complete and return the applications without delay.

Division offices have been closed to the public since March 2020 to help minimize the spread of COVID-19, and the division is facilitating license purchases and renewals using mail and a combination of mail and no-contact drop boxes.

The division does not anticipate that its offices will reopen to the public prior to June 30, 2021, when fiscal year 2021 commercial and for-hire licenses and permits expire. Due to the potential delays that mail processing may cause, it is important that fishermen not wait until the last minute to renew.

As an alternative to mail, fishermen may submit completed applications with payment (check, cashier’s check, or money order only) in drop boxes provided at the following division offices:

DMF Headquarters
3441 Arendell St.
Morehead City
Phone: 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

 

Manteo Field Office
1021 Driftwood Dr.
Manteo
Phone 252-473-5734 or 800-405-7774

 

Pamlico District Office
943 Washington Square Mall, Highway 17
Washington
Phone: 252-946-6481 or 800-338-7804
Southern District Office
127 Cardinal Drive Extension
Wilmington
Phone: 910-796-7215 or 800-248-4536
Northern District Office

100 Kitty Hawk Lane

Elizabeth City, NC 27909

252-381-6000 or 800-338-7805

 

Further information regarding individual commercial and for-hire license and permit renewals is included in the renewal packets. Fishermen who have questions should call their local license office at the number listed above or email License@ncdenr.gov.

Coastal Recreational Fishing Licenses can be purchased or renewed online at www.ncwildlife.org or by calling N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission at 1-888-248-6834 during office hours.

Pender County Parks and Recreation to host Master Plan public meetings

Burgaw – Pender County Parks and Recreation will conduct Master Plan Public Meetings to gather public input regarding parks.

The Pender County Parks and Recreation Department invites residents to share their vision for Parks and Recreation activities and facilities throughout the county.

The Pender County Parks and Recreation Department continues to update the Parks and Recreation Master Plan with the goal of better understanding the communities’ current recreation needs as the county prepares for additional parks, facilities, and programs. Since the adopted 2010 Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan, the county experienced significant growth. The county recognizes the important need for additional parks and recreation resources.

[“The Master Plan Public Meetings throughout the various communities will allow input and feedback on the parks and recreation offerings,” states Dee Turner, Pender County Parks and Recreation.We would like the members of the public to engage and assist in the planning process.”

 The Master Plan Public Meetings will be conducted around the county over the next several weeks beginning on Tuesday, April 27. These meetings are designed to be floating meetings and staff encourages community members to stop by the meeting locations between 4:30-7:30 p.m. to share thoughts and ideas. Additional public meetings will be scheduled for the communities of Burgaw, Currie, Surf City, and Maple Hill.

  • April 27 – Poplar Grove Barn, 10200 US-17, Wilmington, NC 28411
  • April 29 – Penderlea Gym, 231 W H Robbins Road, Willard, NC 28478
  • May 4 – Hampstead Annex, 15060 US Hwy 17, Hampstead, NC 28457
  • May 6 – Cape Fear Middle School Gym, 1886 NC- Hwy 133, Rocky Point, NC 28457

The meeting schedule will be available online at https://penderpr.recdesk.com/Community/Calendar and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Pender-County-Parks-and-Recreation.

For more information about the master plan or public meetings contact the Pender County Parks & Recreation Department 910-259-1330.

 

COVID-19 vaccination appointments available online or by phone

PENDER COUNTY – The Pender County Health Department currently has COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Appointments are available at two convenient locations – the Pender County Health Department, 803 S. Walker St., Burgaw, or the Hampstead Annex, 15060 US Hwy. 17.

Pender County Health Department administers the Moderna vaccine which is available to everyone 18 years and older.

You may schedule an appointment online on the county’s website, pendercountync.gov, and click on the red banner across the screen.

If registering online, the Pender County website is best viewed in Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, or Mozilla Firefox and NOT Internet Explorer.

Citizens without the ability to make an appointment online can call 910-663-4200 for assistance.

 

Water quality swimming advisory issued for ocean-side Catherine Avenue access

MOREHEAD CITY – An advisory against swimming was posted today at an ocean-side site in Pender County, where state officials found bacteria levels in the water that exceed the state’s and Environmental Protection Agency’s recreational water quality standards.

The advisory is for the public beach access #1A located across from Catherine Avenue in Topsail Beach. Test results of water samples taken on April 12 and April 13 indicate bacteria levels that exceed the state and federal action levels of 104 enterococci per 100 milliliters for Tier 1 daily use sites. Swimming areas are classified based on recreational use and are referred to as tiers.

NC Recreational Water Quality Program tests water quality at the ocean and sound beaches in accordance with federal and state laws. Enterococci, the bacteria group used for testing, is found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. While it does not cause illness, scientific studies show that enterococci may indicate the presence of other disease-causing organisms. People swimming or playing in waters with bacteria levels higher than the action level have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness or skin infections.

This advisory is not a beach closing, nor does the advisory affect the entire Topsail Beach area. Swimming advisories are for waters within 200 feet of the sign. The sign posted reads as follows:

ATTENTION
SWIMMING IN THIS AREA IS NOT RECOMMENDED. BACTERIA TESTING INDICATES
LEVELS OF CONTAMINATION THAT MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR
HEALTH. THIS ADVISORY AFFECTS WATERS WITHIN 200’ OF THIS SIGN.
OFFICE OF THE STATE HEALTH DIRECTOR

State officials will continue testing the site, and they will remove the sign and notify the public again when the bacteria levels decrease to levels below the standards.

State recreational water quality officials sample 213 sites throughout the coastal region, most of them on a weekly basis, from April to October. Testing continues on a reduced schedule during the rest of the year, when the waters are colder.

For more information on the N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program, visit the program’s website , view a map of the testing sites, and follow the program’s Twitter feed.

Joint CDC and FDA statement on Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

The following statement is attributed to Dr. Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of the CDC and Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research

As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine have been administered in the U.S. CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine. In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered. Usually, an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given.

CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases. Until that process is complete, we are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution. This is important, in part, to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan for proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.

Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare. COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government, and we take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination very seriously. People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. Health care providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html.

CDC and FDA will provide additional information and answer questions later today at a media briefing. A recording of that media call will be available on the FDA’s YouTube channel.

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COVID-19 vaccination appointments are NOW being accepted for everyone 12 years and older. Schedule your appointment in Burgaw or Hampstead. (Moderna vaccine is only approved for age 18 and up.)

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