Good News Friday: You can see a 104-year-old NC shipwreck right now

Good News Friday: You can see a 104-year-old NC shipwreck right now

The remains of a 104-year-old shipwreck on NC's coast. (Photo via Surf City Fire Department)

By Leah Sherrell

January 19, 2024

A new biography tells the story of Dr. Altheria Patton, an Anson County educator who began teaching in the segregation-era South. Plus: You can see a 104-year-old shipwreck right now!

Good News Friday is back with NC transportation, education, and maritime history. Scroll below and get ready for the weekend!

Respect for an iconic NC educator

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A groundbreaking Black educator from rural Anson County, NC, is getting her dues in a new biography.  

Keep an eye out for “A Long Journey Home- The Dr. Altheria Patton Story.” Written by NC author Irene Harrington, the book tells the story of Patton, now 96, who began teaching in the segregation era. 

Patton began teaching in 1947 after receiving her Ph.D. from UNC Chapel Hill. Over 60 years of teaching, Patton saw and propelled change throughout the school system.

She was the first Black principal of Anson County Junior High, and the first Black woman to be the associate superintendent of Anson County Schools and Vice Chair of the Anson County School Board. 

Patton also received recognition from President Obama, an award from former NC Gov. Pat McCrory, and is the inspiration for Anson County’s “Dr. Altheria Patton Day” on Jan. 16. 

NC Ranks 6th Best State to Drive In

We may disagree on who drives well in North Carolina. In fact, according to our readers, North Carolinians are horrible drivers. 

Despite that sentiment, Wallethub recently ranked North Carolina as the 6th best state to drive in. The rankings were calculated on four statistics, including the cost of ownership, traffic, safety, and access to vehicles and maintenance.

The state’s best scores were the cost of ownership (6) and access to vehicles (10). Meanwhile, the scores for traffic (32) and safety (24) were lower in the ranking.

Record-Breaking Train Travel in 2023 

If you’re not one for driving, take the train!

North Carolinians broke records in 2022 and 2023 when they rode the train in never-before-seen numbers.

NC By Train is North Carolina’s intercity passenger rail that connects towns throughout the state. One of the most popular routes is the round-trip between the NC’s largest cities, Charlotte and Raleigh. 

Last year, NC By Train added a 5th round-trip route between the cities and offered special stops to statewide events like the Lexington BBQ Festival and the NC State Fair. These stops led to a 23% increase in train ridership– with more than 641,000 train passengers in 2023!

Based on the continued popularity of the intercity passenger rail, Transportation Secretary Joey Hopkins is hoping to “increase frequencies and expand service to communities across the state.”

104-Year-Old Shipwreck Uncovered

Earlier this week, the Surf City Fire Department sent out a Facebook message about a century-old shipwreck visible on Topsail Inlet.

The wreck, which is only visible a few times a year, is the William H. Sumner which ran aground in September 1919. The ship was carrying phosphate, mahogany, and ironwood from Puerto Rico to New York and is now a protected historical site.

In the original post, the Surf City Fire Department reminded those wanting to visit the wreck that “removing or damaging the remains is a violation of state law.”


  • Leah Sherrell

    Leah Sherrell is a multimedia reporter for Cardinal & Pine. A graduate of UNC-Wilmington, she's a resident of Kernersville with a background in video production and communication. Leah uses many forms of media to explore the multifaceted lifestyles and cultures present in North Carolina.

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