"The new much-awaited Lexington Avenue Brewery will not be open for the holidays. But there is room at the inn upstairs," says the Citizen-Times.
"The Sweet Peas hostel, on the second on the floor of the brewery building, has already taken a number of reservations, owner Mike Healy said. The accommodations are basic, but clean and efficient, with 16 bunks, another 24 sleeping spaces on “pods” (something like the old railroad Pullman cars) and two private rooms.
"Sweet Peas will also offer a kitchen for guests to cook meals. Bed prices range $28-$60. The Sweet Peas entrance at 23 Rankin Ave. will be separate from the brewery. ..."
Christmas trees used to prevent beach erosion
"Coastal North Carolina communities are collecting old Christmas trees and sticking them in sand dunes to combat beach erosion.
"The Daily News of Jacksonville reported Monday that after stripping the ornaments and untangling the lights, coastal residents can recycle their trees at the Fort Macon State Park. Park officials will stake the trees along the sand dune line in areas where the beach is eroding. Officials expect to receive more than 1,000 trees this year.
"The retired Christmas trees serve the same purpose as fences without the expense. Park officials say the trees' needles collect blowing sand and can promote beach vegetation growth. ..."
N.C. Zoo plans polar bear exhibit expansion
"Officials at the N.C. Zoo are hoping a multimillion-dollar expansion of its polar bear exhibit will lead to expansion in the number of inhabitants in the exhibit.
"The News & Record of Greensboro reports that officials want to create a polar bear breeding program at the zoo, a move that could mean additional revenue.
"The $4.7 million expansion to the polar bear exhibit will accommodate some of the critical elements female bears crave in raising cubs: space and privacy. ..."
69 percent of North Carolinians value religion
"The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life just released their State by State Religious Commitment Analysis . Basically, that measures how the population from each state in the union values religion, how frequently they attend religious services, belief in God and the frequency of prayer," reports the Star-News' Amanda Greene. "(Did I mention I love these guys? Always great blog fodder!)
"North Carolina consistently ranked in the top 10 states with the highest numbers of believers in each category. Overall, 69 percent of North Carolinians value the importance of religion. ..."