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Archive for February, 2012

Changes to NC pollution control program considered

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A state environmental program designed to protect residents from exposure to dangerous chemicals could get scaled back if some business interests and Republican legislators have their way.

The Legislature’s Environmental Review Commission is scheduled to discuss Thursday a draft proposal pushed by GOP lawmakers who want to curb what they call redundancies in dual state and federal air toxics programs that lead to additional business costs without additional effectiveness.

Commission co-chairman Rep. Mitch Gillespie of Marion said state program rules wouldn’t apply to companies that are already required to follow federal rules and use equipment to reduce smokestack pollution.

Gillespie calls it a middle-of-the-road bill that was worked out by business lobbying groups and state regulators. Environmental groups didn’t participate in crafting the changes.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Naturalization ceremony highlight of Moore’s Creek commemoration

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

It is the 236th anniversary of the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge

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Alexander County jail guard accused of theft

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

TAYLORSVILLE, NC (AP) — A guard at the Alexander County juvenile jail has been accused of more than 60 counts of theft.

The Hickory Daily Record reported 47-year-old Robert Eldridge Parsons III of Lenoir was charged Wednesday with 64 counts of larceny by an employee.

Taylorsville Police Detective Lisa Johnson says Parsons used a credit card issued to the state to put gasoline in his own vehicle.

Parsons had worked at the jail for six years. Johnson says he was fired Feb. 16.

Police say Parsons was given the jail’s credit card to attend a state education training class last June. Johnson says the charges began in July and continued until the card was canceled Feb. 1.

It was not clear if Parsons has a lawyer.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Perdue: No-interest Irene loan for 2 NC counties

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Gov. Beverly Perdue is making a no-interest state loan available to repair two schools and other public buildings in Tyrrell and Pamlico counties damaged during Hurricane Irene last August.

Perdue authorized state money from a repair and renovation fund to make the 15-year loan Pamlico and Tyrrell counties.

County commissioners will be required to maintain flood insurance. Perdue says flood insurance carried by the school systems in the two counties lapsed, making them ineligible for full assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Hurricane Irene made landfall on the North Carolina coast as a Category 1 hurricane in late August. Low-lying areas along Pamlico Sound like Bayboro were flooded under a storm surge of eight to 10 feet. Bayboro’s middle school and high school were damaged.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Duke Energy, Progress Energy file new merger plan

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) — Duke Energy and Progress Energy are taking a third stab at a deal that would create the largest U.S. electric company, offering to spend up to $150 million to reduce competition concerns.

The utilities say they’ll build more transmission lines to bring more wholesale electricity into the Carolinas and sign contracts selling power to other electric utilities and cooperatives.

The companies plan to complete their deal by the end of last year was upset when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said the companies haven’t done enough to protect competition in their North Carolina and South Carolina home markets.

The costs of the new merger plan could require North Carolina regulators to reopen their review to decide whether electricity customers or company shareholders will pay.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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