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Archive for September, 2009

Coast Guard trying to find answers

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

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It’s been almost a month since two women were killed in a parasailing accident in Ocean Isle Beach. The Coast Guard is now looking into exactly what caused the accident. They are conducting a hearing, in hopes of getting answers.

Day one of testimony is over, with two more days to go, but it may take long after that to figure out exactly what happened on August 28th.

There is no judge or jury in the courtroom, but rather Coast Guard investigators and those testifying about a deadly parasailing accident.

“My opinion is, call it a freak weather event, unforeseeable, caught the vessel off guard,” said Barrett McMullan of Ocean Isle Beach Watersports.

Barrett McMullan’s company ran the trip on August 28th, which ended with 56-year-old Lorrie Shoup of Colorado, and 60-year-old Cynthia Woodcock of Kernersville, dead.

According to autopsy reports, they died from blunt force trauma after a rope snapped when they were in the air.

McMullan says a sudden wind picked up, contributing to the accident. “Once that wind hit them, there was nothing that they could do to stop it, and it’s my belief that the crew made heroic efforts to limit the damage.”

Weather reports show there were rough conditions that day, with wind gusts up to 30 miles an hour.

Along with the Coast Guard, the victims’ relatives want answers.

“No feeling, just to hear what happened, just to gather information, just to hear from the witnesses and just to see what happened,” said Tom Collins.

Of the incident, lead investigator Lt. Chester Warren said, “In most cases there’s no one thing that ever causes an accident, there’s a list of things.”

For the Coast Guard, the goal of this hearing is to make safety recommendations.

“This part of the investigation isn’t necessarily determined or designed to hold someone accountable. It’s designed to figure out what happened and what we can do to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Warren stated.

Among those left to testify over the next two days, are people who were on board the boat when the accident happened.

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videoIt’s been almost a month since two women were killed in a parasailing accident in Ocean Isle Beach. The Coast Guard is now looking into exactly what caused the accident. They are conducting a hearing, in hopes of getting answers.

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Elementary school students charged with marijuana posession in Wilmington

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

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Two Snipes students have been charged with marijuana posession today.

Both students will be processed through the juvenile petition system. The age of the students will not be released, nor their identity.

The Snipes Academy of Arts & Design is kindergarten through 5th grade.

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Marijuana was found on the grounds of a Wilmington school on Wednesday.

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Officials concerned about impacts of Chadbourn fire

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

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Emergency officials have contained most of the fire that tore through a tire store in Columbus County Monday night. With most of the flames extinguished, emergency officials are starting to shift their attention to the surrounding environment.

The fire at Carolina Tire Sales in Chadbourn started Monday night around 11:30, but Wednesday emergency teams were still trying to put out all of the flames.

“Right now they’re trying to segregate debris, that would allow them access to some of those hot spots,” said Kenneth Rhame of the EPA.

With the fire basically under control, other concerns are rising from the smoke.

“Our other concern that we have right now is going to be air quality for the areas around here,” said Town Manager Stevie Cox.

The EPA took air quality samples to make sure it’s safe to breathe. Given the wind’s direction certain buildings are of particular concern.

“Right now, the way the air is pushing around here with the smoke is pushing it in that southwest direction, which is in the direction of Chadbourn Middle School,” Cox explained.

Now that most of the fire has been contained, the EPA is trying to limit the damage done to the natural environment. They’ve brought in 20,000 gallon tanks to prevent the fire water run off from getting into local swamps.

With a large amount of wildlife in the area, humans aren’t the only ones who could be harmed by the contaminants.

“We’re concerned about the impacts it may have to aquatic life, you know potential fish kills, things of that nature,” Rhame said.

Results from the air and water quality tests won’t be available until tomorrow.

In the mean time, town officials are urging any one with breathing problems to move away from the area. Columbus County emergency services will help residents find temporary shelter.

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videoWith most of the flames extinguished, emergency officials are starting to shift their attention to the surrounding environment.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

Forum aimed at informing locals about Titan Cement

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

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The effort to stop a cement plant from going up in Castle Hayne continues to mount.

Tuesday night, the League of Women Voters of the Lower Cape Fear hosted an informational forum about the proposed Titan Cement Plant.

Pediatrician Ed Hoger spoke to the crowd about the dangers of toxic emissions, like mercury.

Attendees said they came to learn more.

“I teach environmental science at Hoggard, and I just really wanted to make sure that a lot of the information I’m getting about Titan is really accurate so I can share that with my students,” said Sarah Aimone.

Moran Graham added, “I really think that this is dangerous for all of us, especially our children; I’m in the process of learning more about it myself, but I just believe that this is something we don’t need.”

Last week, the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources signed off on a draft air quality permit for Titan America to build a plant at the site of the Old Roanoke Cement Plant in Castle Hayne.

There are still several other environmental hurdles to clear.

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The effort to stop a cement plant from going up in Castle Hayne continues to mount.

Tuesday night, the League of Women Voters of the Lower Cape Fear hosted an informational forum about the proposed Titan Cement Plant.

Story summary image

titan150.jpg

Associated poll

More: continued here

Elementary school students charged with marijuana posession

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Video

Body

2 Snipes students have been charged with marijuana posession today.

Both students will be processed through the juvenile petition system. The age of the students will not be released, nor their identity.

The Snips Academy of Arts & Design is kindergarten through 5th grade.

Story image

snipes300.jpg

Story summary

Marijuana was found on the grounds of a Wilmington school on Wednesday.

Story summary image

snipes150.jpg

Associated poll

More: continued here

 

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