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Archive for August, 2011

Bird habitats and most turtle nests come through Irene intact

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Hurricane Irene did not do as much damage to sea turtle nests as some coastal managers feared.

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Couple charged after chase in power company truck stolen from Irene clean-up

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The clean-up from Hurricane Irene in Pender County was slowed yesterday after a couple allegedly stole a Four County EMC truck and started a chase that ended two counties away.

Highway Patrol 1st Sgt. Will Thurston says it started when the truck was stolen in Maple Hill in Pender County. A short time later, a trooper in Beaulaville in Duplin County spotted the truck and tried to pull it over, but the driver would not stop. The chase continued north on Highway 241 into Lenoir County. Thurston says the female passenger, later identified as Amber Hansen, jumped out of the truck as it was moving. Then Thurston says the driver, Merritt Lamont Lee, jumped out and ran.

Thurston says the truck hit an apartment complex as Lee ran into a nearby home, sending the folks inside running scared. Thurston says eventually the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Special Response Team responded and fired tear gas into the house. Lee then surrendered.

Lee is charged with a host of crimes in all three counties, including stealing the truck, fleeing to evade, resisting arrest, aggressive driving, hit and run, driving while license revoked and cocaine possession. He’s in the Duplin County Jail under $40,000.

Thurston says Lenoir County took custody of Hansen and took her to the hospital in Kinston to be treated for her injuries. No word on her condition.

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Pocket crosses to be distributed throughout region

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

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Repaving to cause interstate detours

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

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Water Quality Swimming Alerts issued in Surf City, Caswell Beach

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -– State officials have issued Water Quality Swimming Alerts for sites in Surf City and Caswell Beach. The alerts are for oceanside where tests showed levels of bacteria exceeding the state and Environmental Protection Agency’s recreational water quality swimming standards.

State officials will test the sites again today, and the results of the sampling will dictate further action. If the new samples also show elevated bacteria counts, state officials will post a swimming advisory sign and issue a swimming advisory.

One alert affects waters at the public beach access at South Shore Drive and Kinston Avenue in Surf City. Samples collected yesterday show test results of 238 enterococci per 100 milliliters of water, which exceeds the state and federal single-sample standard of 104 enterococci per 100 milliliters for Tier 1 high usage sites. Swimming areas are classified based on recreational use and are referred to as tiers.

The other alert affects waters at the public beach access at Lighthouse Park off Caswell Beach Road in Caswell Beach. Samples collected yesterday show test results of 137 enterococci per 100 milliliters of water.

The NC Division of Marine Fisheries tests water quality at ocean and sound beaches in accordance with federal and state laws.

Enterococci, the bacteria group used for testing, are found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. While it does not cause illness, scientific studies indicate that enterococci may indicate the presence of other disease-causing organisms. People swimming or playing in waters with bacteria levels higher than the standards have an increased risk of developing gastrointestinal illness or skin infections.

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