Stories by Sandy Semans Ross

Money continues to pile up while fishermen wait on lawyers

It's been seven years since an agreement over a lawsuit doubled commercial fishing license fees to pay for observers to accompany fishermen, but the revenue is still tied up in legal limbo.

Sep 7


Marine Fisheries deflected input on turtle policies after lawsuit

After the settlement of a lawsuit over the lack of a federal permit for incidental takes of sea turtles while using large mesh net to fish for flounder in North Carolina waters, a group tasked with helping form new policies was ignored.

Aug 28


Turtles Permits Money A three-part series

A variety of maritime activities contribute to sea turtle deaths

Ask what water-based activity interacts the most with threatened and endangered sea turtles and many will reply without hesitation: commercial fishing. But state records show that to be incorrect.

Aug 21


Bag-ban repeal could still be considered later this month

Boat owners will no longer have to pay sales taxes on repairs, maintenance and installation services for boats, an aircraft or a qualified jet engine. Repeal of the bag ban survived conference committee cuts.

Aug 11


Mystery surrounds transfer of Festival Park oversight

Just as The Lost Colony ends shrouding the future in mystery, the next act of RIHA and Festival Park also leaves questions unanswered. Will RIHA Chairman Steve King, a Wisconsin resident and Manteo homeowner, be around for the next act?

Jun 26


The true toll of a treacherous bill on commercial fishing

Fishermen have become so used to something smelling rotten that they have learned to just keep working while trying to hold their nose.

Jun 15


Issues in courts, legislature leave election details hazy

While a conference committee made up of state senators and representatives try to reach agreement on a state budget set to go into effect July 1, other legislation continues to makes its way through the General Assembly. The only thing certain about state and local election processes for this year and next is that the […]

Jun 14


Local officials on alert as tax, tourism bills remain in play

Local officials are watching closely as bills continue to chug through the legislative process in Raleigh. Two of the bills, signed into law, could have substantial economic impact on local agencies, towns and the county government.

Jun 1


Budget proposal would abolish Roanoke Island Commission

This is the second time the odea of placing Festival Park under the Roanoke Island Historical Association has come up in the General Assembly. During the last session, a study bill was introduced but abandoned after public opposition.

May 25


Budget aims to stop possible $23 million loss of wildlife funds

The proposed legislation also strikes a provision that encourages the marine Fisheries Commission to consider using Resource Fund money for the Oyster Sanctuary Program managed by the Division of Marine Fisheries.

May 22


N.C. Senate budget would revamp fisheries commission

The appropriations bill reduces the size of the state Marine Fisheries Commission from nine to seven seats by eliminating the two at-large positions. It calls for three commercial, three recreational and one scientist, all appointed by the governor

May 16


Lawmakers, governor play ping pong with legislation

Legislation addressing the makeup of the state Board of Elections has hit every branch of state government. But it is still in limbo. A wrapup of other legislation in the General Assembly last week.

May 2