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EMERALD ISLE — Purple flags flew on Emerald Isle beaches last week, warning oceangoers of the presence in the water of sea butterflies, an organism related to snails, but capable of inflicting painful though generally harmless “stings” from their sharp bodies.

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PINE KNOLL SHORES — In a time when the nation’s supply chain and circulation of coins has disrupted the way many people look at spending cash, the N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores has added 100 gallons of change back into the system and created a social media sensation.

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EMERALD ISLE — The planting of vegetation on new dunes created in the latest Bogue Banks beach nourishment project stalled over the long Fourth of July holiday weekend, but crews from Coastal Transplants in Bolivia hope to finish the hand-planting phase in Pine Knoll Shores relatively soon.