I'm also from NC, although I don't know exactly where Currituck County is, and I'm not too surprised. With 100 different counties in the state, it's hard to keep track of all of them.
If you are interested in getting started, I have two recommendations:
1. Find your local beekeeper's association. I'm not sure if there is a Currituck County Beekeepers Association, but you may be able to find one with a google search, or find one close by that you wouldn't mind traveling to. If you can't find one, contact the NC State Beekeepers Association, and they should be able to get you in touch with a local chapter. Tell your local association that you are new, and they will gladly set you up with a mentor, and usually inform you about a beginner's class that you can attend. Until you get there, read up all you can on this site and get a good book to spark your interest.
2. I wouldn't recommend starting in the winter. Its difficult to find someone to sell you bees in the winter, and for a beginner it's even harder to learn what they need and help them make it through the winter. Instead, talk to your local association and place an order for a package or a few nucs. You want at least two. This way it's easier to compare the two hives to make sure they are doing normal things. Learn in the spring, when the bees are gearing up, that way if you mess up (and you will) the bees will be able to take care of themselves. If you learn in the winter, when the bees are struggling to stay warm and alive, if you mess up (and you will) the bees most likely won't be able to take care of themselves and might die.
Good luck and let us know if you have any questions, beekeepers in general are very open and willing to help.