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Archive for July, 2012

Ogden Park partially reopened after fire, as crews target hot spots

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The flames are out, but neighbors of New Hanover County’s Ogden Park are still feeling the effects of what a lightning-sparked blaze last night left behind.

Part of Ogden Park reopened today, as the North Carolina Forest Service spent the day clearing debris and checking for hot spots.

Firefighters say the fire that started around 4 p.m. Monday scorched about 10 acres, as flames reached 50 to 60 feet in height. No homes were damaged, but the fire had some neighbors worried.

“It was kind of scary, because I remember when we lived in california there were fires all the time, but they were pretty far away from us,” neighbor Mark Brau said. “Having one so close and burn so much was pretty interesting.”

Crews say there are still a few days’ work left before the area will be completely cleared.

“With the proximity to Ogden Park and houses and Market Street, we’re trying to put the fire all the way out by spraying some water,” Forest Service Ranger Bill Walker.

People who live near Ogden Park should expect smog and the smell of smoke for about four to five more days.

Walker urges commuters on busy market street to use caution.

The county says the ball fields in Ogden Park are still closed as crews make sure the fire is out. Other parts of the park, including the dog park.

Firefighters believe a lightning strike around 4 p.m. yesterday sparked the fire that led to the park being evacuated.

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Pender County looks to regulate exotic pets

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Changes also possible to volunteer program

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Columbus Co. woman says faith helped her hold on until rescued from pond

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

LUMBERTON, NC (WRAL-TV) –A Columbus County woman who mistakenly drove her SUV into a pond near Lumberton last week said Monday that she prayed and sang to pass the time until someone finally heard her cries for help.

Margaret Simmons, 84, traveled from her home in Evergreen last Wednesday to Lumberton to deliver a birthday cake to her brother-in-law. On her way home, she found herself on a dead-end road after checking out a rural paving project near Interstate 74, and when she tried to turn around, her Jeep Cherokee ended up in a pond.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE AT WRAL.COM…

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McCrory talks platform to NC charter school group

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

CONCORD, NC (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory told charter school boosters he wants more school-choice options for North Carolina parents and students and criticized Democratic rival Walter Dalton for his education record while in the state Senate.

McCrory spoke Tuesday to the North Carolina Public Charter Schools Association convention in Concord. He called it a good first step when the Legislature lifted the 100-school charter cap last year but is worried the process to create new charters could move too slowly.

The former Charlotte mayor discussed his education platform, which would expand virtual education classes and create two types of high school diplomas – one for college prep and another for career prep.

McCrory’s campaign argued Dalton hesitated to raise the charter school cap several years ago while in the Senate.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Lt. Gov. Dalton declines pay raise in NC budget

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Democratic gubernatorial nominee Walter Dalton has refused a roughly $1,500 pay increase that the lieutenant governor and other North Carolina Council of State members received in the new budget.

Dalton announced Tuesday he declined the 1.2 percent raise that took effect July 1. He said he felt obligated to do so since thousands of educator jobs have been eliminated and economic development funds have been cut.

Democrats have criticized Republican lawmakers for both.

His lieutenant governor salary will remain about $123,000. Dalton said he voluntary reduced his Senate salary in 2002 and pay for lieutenant governor in 2009.

He used Tuesday’s announcement to tweak Republican campaign rival Pat McCrory for refusing to release his tax returns and other financial information. The former Charlotte mayor said he’s complied with disclosure requirements.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

7/24/2012 12:48:01 PM (GMT -4:00)

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