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Archive for February, 2012

ONLY ON 3: Columbus Co. detention officer under investigation after fight over poker machine

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A fight over a video poker machine has turned into an internal affairs investigation at the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office.

Monica Stribling often stops by the Corner Store in Cerro Gordo to play video poker. She says detention officer Lt. Clementine Thompson is also a regular customer. On February 17 things got tense between the two women.

“Clementine was standing at the entrance to the door, and she asked me was I playing the machine, and I told her no, but I was going to play,” Stribling said. “And she said, ‘Well, it looks like you need to put your damn money in the machine,’ and I told her, ‘When I get damn ready, I will.'”

Stribling says she refused to move, so Lt. Thompson began reaching around her to play. That did not last long.

“She went from the bottom of the stool and tried to snatch me out the stool, and thank God, ’cause I caught myself on the machine to keep from falling,” Stribling said. “I fell on my back, and Clementine got on top of me and started beating me in my face.”

Two days later, Stribling went to the hospital for a concussion and bruises. She also filed a complaint with the Sheriff’s Office against Lt. Thompson.

We contacted Sheriff Chris Batten about these allegations made against one of his detention officers. He was not in the office, but told us an internal investigation is underway.

“We may have to do multiple interviews with the same people if conflicting statements arise,” Batten said during a phone interview. “We just have to go through the process and see what takes place.”

Meanwhile, Stribling faces charges for injury to personal property, because Lt. Thompson’s glasses got broken during the fight.

Stribling’s court appearance is Friday. She also plans to take a warrant out against Lt. Thompson for assault.

Thompson told us she was advised not to speak about the fight.

More: continued here

NRC says building uranium enrichment plant in Wilmington safe

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC (NEWS RELEASE) — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued its final technical Safety Evaluation Report (SER) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on a laser-based uranium enrichment facility proposed to be built in Wilmington.

The reports effectively complete the agency staff’s review of the license application filed by General Electric Hitachi Global Laser Enrichment LLC (GLE) to construct and operate the facility at the site of the General Electric-Hitachi Global Nuclear Fuel-America’s fuel fabrication plant. The NRC’s Atomic and Safety Licensing Board must complete its adjudicatory hearing on the staff’s review before a license could be issued. That hearing is expected to take place this summer.

The staff’s SER evaluated the potential adverse impacts of the facility’s operation on worker and public health and safety under normal and accident conditions. The review also considered GLE’s programs for the physical protection of special nuclear material (SNM) and classified matter; material control and accounting of SNM; and the management organization, administrative programs, and financial qualifications of the applicant to ensure safe design and operation of the facility. The SER contains the staff’s conclusion that GLE’s descriptions, specifications and analyses provide an adequate basis for safety and safeguards of facility operations and that operation of the facility would not pose an undue risk to worker and public health and safety.

The final EIS on the GLE facility analyzes potential impacts of preconstruction activities (such as land clearing and preparation), construction, operation and decommissioning of the proposed facility. Preconstruction activities are not considered construction activities as defined in NRC regulations. The EIS contains the staff’s conclusion that the project would have small to moderate impacts on the local environment, primarily during preconstruction activities.

The Safety Evaluation Report (NUREG-2120) is available through the NRC’s ADAMS online document database (ML12060A007), and the final EIS (NUREG-1938) is available on the NRC website.

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Police: Body found may be missing blind man

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A body found this afternoon along S. Kerr Ave. in Wilmington fits the description of a man who went missing in the area two weeks ago.

Police say the body is a 60-year-old, blind, black man. That describes Melvin Jerome Bennett, who was last seen around 11 p.m. on February 15 at the K&D Mini Mart at 251 S. Kerr Avenue. His family has not seen or heard from him since.

The body was found just a block and a half away today. Investigators say the body is in a culvert under the road between Cox Christian Bookstore and Kerr Station Village.

Police have not yet confirmed the identity of the body, but a WPD spokesman says he assumes it is Bennett.

More: continued here

Development foundation to seek recruiting aid

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Brunswick County Economic Development Corp. established a foundation to solicit contributions.

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Brunswick Nuclear Plant learning from Fukushima, dealing with own problems

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — After the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan last year, Progress Energy is trying to make sure nothing like that ever happens here. But with both the reactors at the Brunswick Nuclear Plant having been shut down recently, we wanted to know how Progress Energy is addressing its own issues.

“We are now, based on learnings from Fukushima, assessing whether our understanding of flooding, seismic events in today’s technology is accurate or needs to be changed,” Brunswick Nuclear Plant Vice President Michael Annacone said at a briefing wednesday to discuss the ongoing response to the Fukushima disaster. “Every time there’s a challenge in our industry, no matter where it happens, we’re accountable to understand what happened, learn from it and to continue to enhance the safety of our plant.”

Progress Energy was clear on the actions it’s taking in response to the Fukushima disaster, but there are still issues at the plant that need to be addressed.

In the past few months, both of its reactors have been shut down. The plant’s unit one reactor was shut down last November because of a mishap caused by nine unqualified workers.

“There was an assumption that these people are experienced,” Annacone said. “They’ve used the equipment before, but they weren’t officially and formally trained on it.”

Annacone says the employees were all re-trained.

Reactor two shut down last week.

“This current issue is purely an equipment failure on an electrical panel in the plant,” Annacone said.

Power to unit two has since been restored. Annacone says the company is looking into what caused the electrical equipment failure that led to last week’s reactor shut down.

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