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Archive for November, 2011

Agriculture, health officials identify source of State Fair E. coli outbreak

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

RALEIGH, NC (NEWS RELEASE) — A public health investigation into the recent E. coli outbreak in North Carolina has determined that these infections were likely transmitted in the Kelley Building at the North Carolina State Fair. The Kelley Building is one of the permanent structures on the fairgrounds where sheep, goats, and pigs were housed and competed in livestock shows during the fair. No other exhibits, foods or activities were linked to the E. coli infections.

Officials with the North Carolina Division of Public Health and the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced Thursday they are working to identify additional protective measures for fairgoers in the future.

“From the beginning of this investigation, we have been focused on finding answers about why these illnesses occurred,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Using the information gathered by our Public Health partners, we can begin to assess whether additional safeguards can be put in place. Our goal is to put on the safest fair we can.”

State Epidemiologist Megan Davies said the illness is likely related to animal contact, though the study did not implicate any specific animal or breed in the outbreak.

“We know that E. coli 0157 is often found in the intestines of ruminant animals, which include cows, goats and sheep,” Davies said. “These bacteria are shed in the animal’s feces, so if it is on the animal itself or surfaces around the animal that someone touches, the bacteria can be transmitted to that person.”

The results came after a carefully conducted case-control study involving 27 individuals identified as having contracted E. coli after attending the fair in October and another 87 individuals who attended the fair, but did not get sick. Investigators from the Division of Public Health did phone and in-person interviews using a survey tool developed for this purpose that asked a comprehensive series of questions about activities at the fair. Activities included animal exhibits, foods, rides and attractions.

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Man with painted face robs Market Street Bojangles

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

A man walked into the Bojangles at 7155 Market St. grabbed cash out of the register.

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Animal building at fair IDd as source of E. coli cases

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

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Bladen County town with no candidates counts write-in votes

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Voters in Tar Heel cast ballots this week in an election where all the votes were write-in votes.

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Paterno, Penn State president out immediately

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

STATE COLLEGE, PA (WWAY) — The historic career of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno is over. The school’s Board of Trustees announced at a news conference late Wednesday night that Paterno and school president Graham Spanier are out immediately.

Assistant coach Tom Bradley will coach the Nittany Lions Saturday when they host Nebraska in Penn State’s final home game of the season. Provost Rodney Erickson has been named interim president.

Board of Trustees Vice Chair John P. Surma said the board notified Paterno by phone of its unanimous decision earlier in the evening. Spanier submitted his resignation after reportedly being told by trustees to quit or be fired.

“I think in the long term we’ve done the right thing,” Surma said of the decision. “We thought that because of our difficulties that have engulfed our university, and they have been great, it was necessary to make a change in the leadership to set a course for a new direction.”

Paterno’s dismissal comes hours after the coach said he would retire at the end of the season and four days after former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested on 40 counts of sex abuse against children, including some alleged incidents on the Penn State campus. Paterno was made aware in 2002 of one of those incidents, when a graduate assistant told him he caught Sandusky in a football locker room shower with a boy about 10 years old. Paterno passed the information on to the school’s athletic director and a vice president, who have been indicted on perjury charges based on their testimony to a grand jury investigating the Sandusky case.

Paterno was in the middle of his 46th season as Penn State head coach. In his last game two weeks ago Paterno notched his 409th career win, which moved him past Eddie Robinson for first place in the history of Division I football.

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