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Archive for December, 2011

NC symposium will address issue of fracking

Friday, December 16th, 2011

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The North Carolina League of Municipalities is hosting a symposium about a natural gas drilling method called fracking.

Environmental advocates, industry representatives and members of the academic community will speak at the meeting Friday in Raleigh. Municipal representatives attending the meeting will have a chance to ask questions after the presentations.

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources is studying the issue of fracking and whether it should be allowed under state law. Its report is scheduled to be ready when the Legislature resumes its work in May.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Pedestrian hit and killed by tractor-trailer on MLK Parkway

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Police are investigating a pedestrian fatality that occurred early Friday morning.

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Christmas Bird Count starts this weekend

Friday, December 16th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s going to be a big month for bird watchers across the Carolinas. Christmas time means it’s time for counting birds with the Audubon Society.

Beginning this weekend, area bird watchers are going to head outside to wetlands across the area to try and count as many birds as they can find. It’s called the Christmas Bird Count, and it’s put on by the Audubon Society every year.

You can almost think about it as a census for the birds. Bird watchers and scientists want to know all they can about the bird populations from year to year. The data they collect dates back to 1900.

“Show how populations are changing, or show where they might be wintering,” Wilmington Bird County coordinator Sam Cooper said. “They may come further south or stay further north, so it’s a nice bank of information to show how the birds are changing or how the habitat is changing.”

In our area, there are three bird counts taking place this month. The first will focus on the Hampstead area, anywhere from Holly Shelter to Lea Island.

In New Hanover County, the Wilmington Bird Count will cover an area from the Cape Fear River to Masonboro Island to Carolina Beach.

The last will be in Brunswick County, covering Oak Island, Southport and Bald Head Island.

With all the birds in our area, it’s no small task. In fact, our area has one of the richest populations of birds anywhere

“The three counts in coastal Southeastern North Carolina are often in the top five percent of all the Christmas Bird Counts in North America,” Cooper said.

The event is open to the public, and only an interest in birds is required to participate. As Cooper says, the more eyes the better.

“You never know what you’re going to get,” he said. “We are bound by a day, so we may have a balmy 70 degree December day like today, which we’d be fortunate. But we’re often combating fog, wind, rain, and we take whatever’s dealt for us that day, and that can actually affect the count results.>

If you’re interested in participating in this year’s count you need to contact one of the coordinators beforehand. The first event is Sunday in Hampstead. Click here to register.

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Agencies agree on bridges for NC 12 breaches

Friday, December 16th, 2011

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — State and federal officials agree that bridges are the best long-term solutions for breaches in N.C. 12 on Hatteras Island that were created by Hurricane Irene.

The state Transportation Department said in a news release Thursday that various agencies agreed a bridge should be built where N.C. 12 now stands at a breach at Pea Island. For a breach at Rodanthe, the agencies agreed that DOT should either build a bridge within the easement or build one that extends into the Pamlico Sound.

In both cases, the agencies rejected beach nourishment as a long-term solution.

DOT also will consider an option suggested by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that involves a bridge that starts north of the Pea Island breach and rises above the Pamlico Sound to Rodanthe.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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City of Burlington train christened for NC line

Friday, December 16th, 2011

BURLINGTON, NC (AP) — The newest locomotive for the North Carolina Transportation Department has been named for Burlington.

The “1893 City of Burlington” was christened during a ceremony at the city’s Amtrak station on Thursday.

The Times-News of Burlington the locomotive was built in 1990 and was refurbished by Amtrak in Indianapolis. North Carolina transportation department chief operating officer Jim Trogdon says the agency spent more than $1.2 million to buy and renovate the engine.

Trogdon says that’s about one-third the cost of a new locomotive.

The new engine replaces one that was damaged in a crash last May in Mebane.

The transportation department names its trains for the cities along its passenger rail corridor. The number reflects the incorporation date for the city.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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