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Archive for December, 2011

ONLY ON 3: New Hanover Co. Commissioner denies being part of Lejeune water cover-up

Monday, December 12th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The effects of the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune continue to ripple across the community. As one retired Marine continues to speak out about the controversy, he’s making some serious allegations against a New Hanover County Commissioner.

Fuel leaks and other pollution contaminated the wells at Camp Lejeune from the 1950s to the 1980s. Retired Master Sgt. Jerry Ensminger, believes the water is why his nine-year old daughter died of leukemia. He’s featured in the documentary, “Semper Fi: Always Faithful,” which claims the Marine Corps covered up the contamination.

During a recent interview on The Big Talker FM with Chad Adams, Ensminger also accused New Hanover County Commissioner Rick Catlin of helping the cover-up by creating a password protected file that contained secret information about the fuel contamination.

“This electronic file was constructed and created by a contractor of a person who is right there in your home area there, Chad, it was created by Catlin Environmental Engineering,” Ensminger said.

We e-mailed Catlin a copy of the interview. Catlin responded with this statement: “I share Master Sgt. Ensminger’s concerns and applaud his loyalty to his fellow marines and their families. He has, however, mistakenly misinterpreted the data website created by my firm. There are no hidden files. Many public and private environmental professionals have access to this collaboration website.”

Catlin’s company is part of the clean-up process on base and has been for about a dozen years.

As for creating this website, Ensminger admits Catlin didn’t break any laws.

“I would say Mr. Catlin and his company was covered legally, but morally, I question their initiatives,” Ensminger told Adams.

In response, Catlin said, “As professional engineers our primary duty is to ‘protect public health and welfare.’ All of our efforts have been toward solving and facilitating technical solutions. I am sorry that Master Sgt. Ensminger has chosen to question the integrity of our firm.”

The Aency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry is currently conducting a health survey on those who lived on base between 1972 and 1985. The agency is scheduled to release findings in 2014.

More: continued here

Possible Skyway project puts future of land up in air

Monday, December 12th, 2011

New Hanover County also considered selling the tract.

More: continued here

ONLY ON 3: Family hopes fire that damaged home can be a lesson to others

Monday, December 12th, 2011

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Brunswick County family is still picking up the pieces and cleaning up from a weekend house fire that damaged their home. Now they want to tell their story in hopes of possibly preventing a similar incident for others.

Besides the debris outside the Hewett family’s yard you might not know this home suffered a fire on friday, but it’s easy to see inside.

“I heard like a frying sound, like a sizzling sound, so I knew something was going on, but I didn’t know what,” Tina Hewett said.

Hewett says she quickly called the Sunset Harbor Fire Department to investigate. Firefighters found the plugs where the Hewetts had a space heater connected were hot; advising the family not to use them, even shutting off power to the house.

The fire department scanned the entire home with a thermal imaging camera just to make sure, but found nothing. About four hours later Tina’s husband Lee felt serious heat coming from the ceiling.

“I come to find out the whole time the fire had spread through my wall and my ceiling,” Tina said.

Fire Chief John Eeten says when firefighters showed up a second time it was obvious the fire was a result of several electrical shorts. They also noticed someone had turned the power back on.

As the clean-up process continues for the Hewett family, the debris left behind serves as a reminder that the fire could have been worse by taking the entire home or also injuring a loved one.

“It could have been a lot worse, because my wife and my daughter was in the room asleep,” Lee Hewett said. “I just thank God they’re OK. It wasn’t worse than what it really could be.”

The Hewetts hope their story will serve as a cautionary tale for others who may run into similar electrical issues, especially when using heaters during the winter.

“Take the extra initiative to have it checked out,” Lee said. “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

The Sunset Harbor Fire Department says this is not the first time a fire has started from an outlet in which a space heater was connected. They say families using space heaters should make sure the plug they are using is properly wired and safe.

As for the the Hewetts, the family is currently staying with family as they wait for their insurance company to help out.

More: continued here

FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: Fire at Belk’s intentionally set

Monday, December 12th, 2011

UPDATE: A Wilmington Fire Department spokesman says the fire was intentionally set and that the investigation will continue.

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A fire outside the Independence Mall caused customers to cut their shopping short Saturday afternoon.

A trash compactor caught fire outside of Belk around 4:30 PM Saturday, according to New Hanover County dispatch. Shoppers had to evacuate the store. Dispatch says there were no injuries, and crews put the fire out within a few hours. The cause is under investigation, and damage estimates will take a few days to determine. Fire and water damages were minimal, but damages to the contents have not been determined.

More: continued here

Woman dies in head-on collision with teen

Monday, December 12th, 2011

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