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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Skvarla on coal ash spill: Don't blame DENR!

Posted By on Wed, Feb 19, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Update:  A spokesperson from the Southern Environmental Law Center sent the Indy this statement clarifying Skvarla's comments on DENR's cooperation with citizens groups on the consent agreement with Duke Energy: DENR has resisted citizen conservation group participation every step of the way. DENR is legally barred from objecting to our intervention, but it refused to consent. Even then, its attorney attempted to limit our participation in oral argument at the intervention hearing. The judge rejected those arguments and granted intervention. So, several conservation groups are now parties to the enforcement action. But even now, DENR is taking positions adverse to...

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Senator to Duke Energy: Thanks for "pro-active" response to coal ash spill

Posted By on Mon, Feb 17, 2014 at 2:33 PM

On Monday, Sen. Stan Bingham, a seven-term Republican lawmaker from Davidson County, thanked a Duke Energy executive for the energy giant's "pro-active" response to the ongoing controversy over its coal ash spill in the Rockingham County city of Eden. Not everyone at Monday's session of the N.C. General Assembly's Environmental Review Commission was so forgiving, just over two weeks after Duke apparently dumped more than 30,000 tons of toxic coal ash into the Dan River, which provides drinking water for neighboring towns in North Carolina and Virginia. "This legislature and the people of this state have no reason to rely...

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Jaeden Sharpe remembered at charity basketball game

Posted By on Sun, Feb 16, 2014 at 1:17 PM

The J.J. Sharpe IMPACT Foundation debuted Saturday during an annual charity basketball game at the Emily Krzyzewski Family Life Center in Durham. The event was sponsored by D3 Community Outreach, a local organization for underserved youth in the city. Through athletics, arts, education, counseling, scholarships and mentoring, the foundation hopes to uplift children who have been impacted by violence. The game was held in honor of 9-year-old Jaeden Sharpe, who was shot Jan. 4, 2014, at his home in Durham; he died Jan. 9. His murder was the first of the year in Durham. In the week before the event, the...

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Friday, February 14, 2014

D.R. Horton still up to its N.C. mineral rights tricks—this time in Florida

Posted By on Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Two years ago, the INDY broke the story of how Texas-based developer D.R. Horton and its energy company spinoff surreptitiously retained the mineral rights on land it sold to hundreds homeowners in the Triangle and the state. The N.C. Attorney General's office subsequently intervened and D.R. Horton returned those rights to 700 homeowners. It turns out D.R. Horton got busted for the same practice in Florida this week, according to The Palm Beach Post. Homeowners had no idea they had signed their mineral rights away; the language in the contract often vague and buried in the hundreds of pages of legal documents. Many homeowners,...

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Where's my car? Here's Chapel Hill's list of towed autos from the storm

Posted By on Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 12:24 PM

If you had to dump your car in the right-of-way during yesterday's snow-related goatf*ck, it may have been towed.  Here's a list of the cars that were towed in Chapel Hill, and where they were found: - 2000 silver Pontiac, VSM-5609, Raleigh Road (NC 54 West) at Friday Center Drive  - Green Pontiac, BCD-4990, Fordham Boulevard (US 15-501) near Elliott Road - 2004 red Jeep, WTW-1237, Estes Drive near Village Drive - 2002 red Ford, CEK-1620, Fordham Boulevard (US 15-501) near St Thomas More church and school - 1999 silver Mercedes, MVY-5380, MLK Boulevard near the town police department -...

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

"Choose Life" license plates ruled unconstitutional in 4th Circuit Court of Appeals

Posted By on Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 1:32 PM

North Carolina will not be allowed to produce “Choose Life” license plates without offering a pro-choice alternative according to a ruling Tuesday in the 4th circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. A panel of judges struck down a law which would have allowed North Carolina drivers to buy a pro-life license plate for $25, with no option for a pro-choice alternative as unconstitutional in a 3-0 decision. “Today’s ruling protects the right of North Carolinians of all political beliefs to have equal access to avenues for free speech,” said Chris Brook, the legal director for ACLU-NC who argued the case before...

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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Honoring the life of Jaeden Sharpe

Posted By on Sat, Feb 8, 2014 at 3:25 PM

On Friday Feb. 7, 2014, about 100 friends, family and supporters of Jaeden Sharpe walked from W.G. Pearson Magnet Elementary School on Fayetteville Street, to his former home on Lucas Drive, where they held a vigil in his honor. Nine-year-old Sharpe was shot there Jan. 4 and died Jan. 9. His murder was the first of the year in Durham. Donning the latest J.J. Sharpe IMPACT shirts and hoodies, the crowd shared prayers and songs, and released orange and blue balloons into the fading twilight. ...

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

DA: No charges against officer involved in Ocampo shooting

Posted By on Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Durham Police Officer Ronald Mbuthia will not be charged for the fatal shooting of Jose Adan Cruz Ocampo, Durham District Attorney Leon Stanback announced this morning. On July 27, 2013, Durham police responded to a stabbing at 806 Park Avenue. Ocampo, 33, who was near the crime scene, retrieved a knife from his back pocket while officers attempted to engage him in conversation. According to Stanback, certain witnesses reported that officers tried to instruct Ocampo to put the knife down. Mbuthia fired his service weapon four times. One of the bullets struck Ocampo in the head, killing him immediately. An...

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

An exclusive look inside the secret pump station disguised as a house on Wade Avenue

Posted By on Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 5:30 PM

There is a house at 3215 Wade Ave. It’s an ordinary, non-descript one-story brick affair, flanked by trees. Seen from the front, the house has two columns in front of a white door, and four windows flanked by eight black shutters.  Only, the doors can’t be unlocked. There’s no driveway out front. And if you to listen very carefully at night, you can hear strange, heavy noises emanating from the house, as if it were breathing. The “house” is actually a false front for one of the 20 pump stations scattered throughout Raleigh. Concerned that the station would disrupt the beauty of...

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Research Triangle Park plans for the biggest changes in 50 years

Posted By on Mon, Feb 3, 2014 at 12:29 PM

 Research Triangle Park is half the size of Manhattan, but you can't get a cup of coffee or a sandwich there. But that is going to change, RTP Foundation president Bob Geolas said today—in an announcement of the largest shakeup in the park's 50-year history as a suburban technology and bioscience hub. The RTP Foundation has purchased from General Electric 100 acres near Interstate 40 and N.C. 54, which, combined with a parcel it plans to buy at Cornwallis Road and Davis Drive, totals 409 acres for new development that would make RTP more like a city: stores, restaurants, condos and...

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