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Archive for September, 2009

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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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.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

Elementary school students charged with marijuana posession

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

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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.

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

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City breaks ground on Althea Gibson Tennis Center

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

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There is good news for Wilmington tennis players; new courts are on the way.

The city broke ground on a new tennis center at Empie Park on Wednesday. Named in honor of a Wilmington native who became the first African American to win Wimbledon, the French Open, and the US Open, the Althea Gibson Tennis Center will bring ten new lighted tennis courts, two basketball courts, a walking trail, and a fifteen hundred square foot clubhouse to the park.

“This is something that I’ve got to thank the citizens of the community, they went to the polls in May of 2006, and voted overwhelmingly for these parks bonds. And if it wasn’t for the citizens of the community who came forward, and said, we want more parks, this wouldn’t have happened,” said Mayor Saffo.

The $1.5 million project is being funded with proceeds from the parks bond initiative passed by voters.

The new facility will help accommodate the four thousand tennis players in Wilmington and enable the park to host tennis tournaments.

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There is good news for Wilmington tennis players; new courts are on the way.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

Coast Guard hearing about parasailing deaths begins

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

By Gareth McGrathGareth.McGrath@StarNewsOnline.com

A multi-day hearing that could lead to the first regulation of the country’s parasailing industry is under way in the New Hanover County Courthouse.The Coast Guard is looking into whether the death of two parasailers in Ocean Isle Beach last month should warrant the additional oversight.

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