Stories by Catherine Kozak | Outer Banks Voice

‘He was the best Dare County had’ 

A tribute to the late Bobby Owens
By Catherine Kozak | Outer Banks Voice

All three hallways and the front entrance to the chapel at Twiford Funeral Home on the evening of Thursday Jan. 11 were packed wall-to-wall with people waiting to pay their respects to Bobby Owens, who spent much of his productive and long life immersed in politics, skillfully steering Dare County during its years of explosive growth. Full story

Jan 14


Turning public records into private assets

New law shields NC legislators from outside scrutiny
By Catherine Kozak | Outer Banks Voice

Good luck obtaining public records to see what state lawmakers are up to in Raleigh. An amendment slipped into the new state budget bill absent debate or notice will allow General Assembly members to decide what, if any, of their records — present or future — will be available to the public. The measure will also grant state lawmakers the right to destroy their once-public records, or if they’re so inspired, to sell them. Full story

Oct 6


‘The only way to heal is to share stories’

Kelley Shinn’s memoir reveals a life of trauma and accomplishment
By Catherine Kozak | Outer Banks Voice

Within moments after she sat herself down, crossed her legs with her tan-colored prosthetic bare feet poking out from under her long, flowered dress and started reading from her memoir, The Wounds that Bind Us, it made sense not just what brought Kelley Shinn to the Outer Banks — specifically, Ocracoke — but why she stayed.  Full story

Jul 27


Mother in decades-old infant death case pleads guilty in Dare courtroom

Robin Lynn Byrum sentenced to up to six years, charge against father dropped
By Catherine Kozak | Outer Banks Voice
A former Kitty Hawk resident arrested in 2021 for the suffocation death of her newborn son 30 years earlier has agreed to a plea deal that will send her to prison for up to six years. Full story

Jun 9


‘She made sure Hatteras was at the table’

Remembering fishing advocate and writer Susan West By Cate Kozak | Outer Banks Voice Susan West, a long-time advocate for the Hatteras Island fishing community and a writer who helped foster improved communications and respect between regulators and fishermen, died on Nov. 10 at age 73. Full story

Nov 14


Effort to change Manteo mascots moves forward

After petition, item on BOE agenda for next week This story is co-published with the Coastal Review Online. When the Clyde A. Erwin High School in Buncombe County was under national media… Full story

Sep 2


Dredging project to finally free Elizabeth II

The Outer Banks Voice is co-publishing this story with the Coastal Review Online The flashy Elizabethan-style sailing vessel Elizabeth II will be sitting pretty at its dock in Manteo for at least… Full story

Mar 19


Tugwell, Fry indicted in Manteo dredging case

Two former Town of Manteo officials have each been charged with a felony bribery offense related to an informal $50,000 agreement that was part of the 2017-2018 dredging project in Doughs Creek.… Full story

Feb 14


OBX Anglers Club sinks tug, builds reef

Calm and clear, the morning of Monday Jan. 27 was a lovely day to sink a boat — and build a reef. Four years after the Outer Banks Anglers Club set in… Full story

Jan 28


Auditor finds wrongdoing in Manteo dredge project

A long-awaited report from the Office of the State Auditor released Tuesday found that former Manteo Mayor Lee Tugwell, former Manteo Commissioner Hannon Fry and current Manteo Finance Officer Shannon Twiddy each… Full story

Dec 17


Manteo officials discuss response to Auditor’s report

Manteo town officials met on Tuesday evening in an hour-long closed session to discuss the town’s response to a state auditor’s report that concludes its 18-month investigation of a $50,000 verbal agreement… Full story

Dec 14


On OBX, the enduring rituals of the big storm

Another storm is behind us. When Hurricane Dorian’s winds swept to our north late Friday afternoon, those who had stayed here emerged from our homes to look around, to exchange notes with… Full story

Sep 7