Stories by Catherine Kozak

Mirlo rescue centennial culminates with a wreath at sea

Dark storm clouds started rolling in shortly before 4:30 p.m on Aug. 16, the same time 100 years ago that a distress call was issued after the British tanker Mirlo exploded off the beach behind what was then Chicamacomico Coast Guard Station.

Aug 19


The Mirlo rescue 100 years ago, Aug. 16: Into the flaming sea

Led by keeper John Allen Midgett, known fondly as “Captain Johnny,” the lifesavers steered a 25-foot motor surfboat miles from shore, through tunnels of smoke and flames, between undulating sheets of fire and around jagged debris.

Aug 13


Surfmen trained hard before heroic Mirlo rescue 100 years ago

Led by Keeper John Allen Midgett, the surfmen plunged repeatedly into huge breakers and flaming seas to rescue the surviving sailors on the British oil tanker Mirlo, which had been full when it was hit by explosives from a German U-boat.

Jul 23


Nags Head to take stock after first summer season of recycling

Now that Nags Head’s new trash and curbside recycling program has gone through its first summer, a town committee will be looking to iron out a few wrinkles in the schedule and service.

Nov 29


Retro Wright Visitor Center getting back to its old self

After plans to replace the building were unexpectedly scuttled in 2002, and subsequent restoration funds never materialized, the visitor center will now finally be restored to its original condition -- orange trim, concrete and all.

Nov 14


Long-overdue upgrades on tap for Nags Head Woods

It’s the first full-scale renovation of the functional-but-outdated wooden visitor center and conference room building tucked off a gravel parking lot at the end of Ocean Bay Boulevard.

Mar 21


Lunar cycles, water temps, bait fish signal return of sharks

Experts say the recent spate of shark bites off North Carolina all come down to warm water and plentiful bait -- and lots of people getting into the mix. An attack Wednesday on Ocracoke followed two last week on Hatteras Island.

Jul 1


Tine urges unity in quest for more inlet dredging dollars

State Rep. Paul Tine told a roomful of Dare County movers and shakers concerned about long-term solutions to Oregon Inlet Monday that they’d better rally the troops if they want to be heard in Raleigh.

Jun 23


As inlet is cleared, Corps OKs plan for regular maintenance

As good weather and dredging opens the federal channel in Oregon Inlet that had been clogged for weeks, a proposed maintenance dredging agreement has gotten the go-ahead from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Apr 26


School board, commissioners achieve rare unity on funding

A special meeting between Dare County’s Board of Education and Board of Commissioners on Wednesday found more comity than clashing, as members united over a new formula to fund schools.

Mar 12


Occupancy tax for dredging triggers furious debate

A Commissioners meeting that started out weighing the pros and cons of using occupancy taxes for dredging quickly devolved Monday into a fishing versus business debate pitting the value of Oregon Inlet against beach nourishment.

Mar 2


Bluefin quota up this year, but catching them is another story

Outer Banks fishermen will have a higher bluefin tuna quota than ever to work with this winter. That is, if the lucrative big fish show up here, and the fishermen can get out of the shoaled inlets to catch them.

Feb 12