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Archive for September, 2009

Nine turtles nurtured and now released

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

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Many sea turtles rehabilitating in Topsail Beach were set free on Wednesday.

Noah, a 161 pound loggerhead turtle, was found floating on his back by NOAA researchers; his stomach was severely severed by a boat propeller.

Squirt, a critically endangered type of sea turtle called a Kemp’s Ridley, swallowed a fishing hook.

Sennet, another loggerhead, was found last winter covered in barnacles and leeches. He’s going to carry a satellite tracking device on his back so volunteers can watch his behavior online.

This trio and six other turtles have spent the past several months recovering at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Topsail Beach.

“You’re down there, you get to pick them up, you need to give them baths, you get to care for them and you get attached to them,” said volunteer Carla Ennis.

Releasing the sea turtles takes a lot of manpower and preparation. Each is weighed, loaded into the back of a pick up truck and covered in wet towels before being transported to the beach.

In front of about two hundred bystanders, one by one, Noah, Squirt, Sennet, and the others are carried back to sea.

“It was definitely really cool. You could tell they were really ready to go ahead and get out there, flapping their flippers and going, but it was really cool to see everybody taking part of it and holding on to them and letting them go, and seeing them go under the waves, it makes you think twice about what’s really out there in our ocean,” said Lindsay Robertson who observed the turtles being released back into the ocean.

If you would like to learn more about the turtles released today or track Sennet’s journey across the Atlantic, you can visit sea turtle hospital dot org.

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videoReleasing the sea turtles takes a lot of manpower and preparation. Each is weighed, loaded into the back of a pick up truck and covered in wet towels before being transported to the beach.

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Associated poll

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Home-schooled kids now have a place for Phys. Ed.

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

By Chelsea KellnerChelsea.Kellner@StarNewsOnline.com

Physical Education for Homeschoolers class at the Martin Luther King center in downtown Wilmington is important as a way to help battle the nation’s rising obesity rate and give children a chance to socialize.

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Navassa officials feeling bypassed by road-building schedule

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

By Patrick GannonPatrick.Gannon@StarNewsOnline.com

As the N.C. Department of Transportation begins its search for companies to design and build the southernmost stretch of the U.S. 17 Wilmington Bypass in Brunswick County, officials in a small town are questioning why the other section isn’t being built first.

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Wilmington drivers should start seeing more green

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

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If you drive around Wilmington, you often find yourself waiting….and waiting….and waiting….at red lights. The city’s traffic lights are notoriously long, but that will soon change.

The city is upgrading the traffic signal system at more than 200 intersections. Wednesday, crews worked at Independence and Shipyard.

“We can’t build that many more roads in the city of Wilmington or even in the county of New Hanover. This will give us a very efficient way to move traffic through our community,” said Mayor Bill Saffo.

The old and new equipment looks fairly similar. City Traffic Engineer Don Bennett compares it to buying a new computer. “You go buy a PC today and then go buy a PC from 20 years ago and the boxes may look very similar, but the power and the capacity within those boxes is completely changed.”

Traffic engineers are going from having six different time cycles they can run to 64.

They’ll have improved video surveillance to keep a closer eye on congestion and change the lights accordingly.

It’s not uncommon to wait for two or even three cycles of traffic signals at some of Wilmington’s busiest intersections. After these improvements are done, you should be spending less time waiting at red lights.

“We’ll have coordination on say both independence and on shipyard, so it will facilitate traffic movement on both arteries as opposed to having to make a choice between this one or that one,” Bennett said.

Mayor Saffo says the project is on schedule and under budget.

The project costs ten million dollars, with the expense being split between the city of Wilmington and the state DOT. Three million comes from a transportation bond approved by voters in 2006.

The earliest drivers will see a difference with traffic signals, is in October.

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videoIf you drive around Wilmington, you often find yourself waiting….and waiting….and waiting….at red lights. The city’s traffic lights are notoriously long, but that will soon change.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

Keeping Southport clean

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

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The city of Southport is doing its part to stay beautiful. Wednesday was the first day of the annual fall clean-up.

Residents can drop off everything from old appliances to just general junk. Normally, these items would cost money to dump at the county landfill, but the fall clean up is free.

It helps people get rid of old stuff laying around the house and reduces code enforcement violations.

“We don’t want eyesores in town and we want to keep Southport clean and beautiful like it is, and just trying to get people to co-operate; it’s what we’re trying to do,” said Charles Shaw, a code enforcement officer.

“Oh, I think it’s a great idea. Because we’re doing this because its free this week. Otherwise it might sit there for another year,” said Gwen Tanner who was dumping some trash.

The dumpsters are located at Leonard Street and Willis Drive. They’ll only be there until Saturday at 1:00pm. Most items can be thrown out, but yard debris is not accepted.

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The city of Southport is doing its part to stay beautiful. Wednesday was the first day of the annual fall clean-up.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

 

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