8:19 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Winter Weather Freezes The Triad

Ice has built up on trees and roads in North Carolina, and it's especially heavy in the Triad.
Credit David Park, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on 27 Dec 2009. / Wikipedia Creative Commons

A low-pressure system moving up from the south brought rain and sleet to Central North Carolina, and high pressure air from the North is keeping cold air in the area. The result has been freezing temperatures and icy roads.

A winter weather advisory is in effect for most of the state west of the Interstate 95 corridor until noon.

Ryan Ellis is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh. He says ice is especially bad in the Triad.

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6:21 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Dispute Over Latest 'Action' From DENR

The Riverbend steam station along the Catawba River was retired in 2013.
Credit coalashchronicles.tumblr.com

On Friday the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced it plans to modify Duke Energy water permit. Those water permits are administered by the state and adhere to federal guidelines for discharge. DENR says it plans to change permits so that Duke would be required to remove all coal ash from unlined pits at two plants - one along Lake Catawba near Charlotte, the other outside of Asheville. The changes would also call for Duke to dewater and close coal ash ponds at Lake Sutton (outside of Wilmington).

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10:50 am
Fri March 14, 2014

DENR Calls Duke's Coal Ash Clean-Up Plan Inadequate

Taking core samples of coal ash spill.
Credit Sara Ward / USFWS

The CEO of Duke Energy sent a letter this week to Governor Pat McCrory and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) outlining the company's plans for coal ash clean-up in the state.

Duke says the letter is a big deal.

DENR described it as inadequate.

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5:00 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Democrats Want Coal Ash Removed

Credit Appalachian Voices / via Creative Commons/Flickr

A group of elected Democrats will detail their plans for the clean-up of coal ash Thursday afternoon in Raleigh. Democrat Pricey Harrison of Guilford County has introduced legislation a half dozen times to require the clean up of the potentially toxic coal ash at 14 Duke Energy-owned sites around the state. Her efforts have never advanced through the legislature.

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Rails To Trails
7:01 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

What Does The Supreme Court Rails-To-Trails Decision Mean For NC?

The American Tobacco Trail in Durham.
Credit Laura Candler

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court decided, in an 8-1 decision, that just because the government had been granted a federal right of way for building railroads, doesn't mean the government gets to keep that right of way after the railroad is no longer in use.

At issue was whether or not the land the rail line sits on should go to the property owner adjacent the rails, or if the government can allow other groups to use it for such projects as rails-to-trails.

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2:55 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

What Is The Remotest Place In NC?

Ryan and Rebecca Means with daughter Skyla
Credit Robin Adams Photography / Project Remote

It takes one and a half days to hike there.  It's 5.5 miles from the nearest road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Ladies and gentlemen, the remotest place in North Carolina:

Ryan and Rebecca Means are the couple who identified this place. Their Project Remote is one of the coolest things we've come across recently.

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2:48 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

South By Southeast: 18 Environmental Journalists Travel North Carolina

Sara Peach, from the UNC School of Journalism, photographs a rental home in Mirlo Beach. The sand underneath the home is eroding at a rate of 14 feet per year. Any method of entering the home has been washed out.
Credit Eric Mennel / WUNC

I moved to North Carolina last July. I moved to Durham. Directly to Durham. Did not pass go. Did not collect $200. And for all intents and purposes, I’ve stayed in Durham.  What I’ve known of life outside the Triangle has been limited to Instagram photos from vacationing friends (#OBX #Sunrise) and the occasional press release on highway construction (#NC12FeetBelowSeaLevel).

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3:31 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Duke Energy Must Eliminate Source Of Pollution At Coal Ash Ponds

USFWS official takes core sample during February 8th reconnaissance of Dan River coal ash spill.
Credit Steve Alexander / USFWS

A state judge has ordered the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Duke Energy to take immediate action to stop groundwater contamination at Duke Energy plants.  

Today's decision stems from a lawsuit filed in 2012 by Environmentalists. Groups claimed that DENR was not doing an adequate job of enforcing state regulations regarding groundwater contamination. Superior Court judge Paul Ridgeway told DENR and Duke today they must take immediate action to stop the source of groundwater contamination at 14 sites with coal ash ponds.

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The State of Things
1:47 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

More Metal Pipes At NC Coal Ash Ponds

Coal fired power plant
Credit eutrophication&hypoxia via Flickr, Creative Commons

WUNC's Greensboro bureau chief Jeff Tiberii talks about new developments in the NC coal ash spill

In the immediate aftermath of last month’s Duke Energy coal ash spill, concerns were raised about the existence of similar pipes at other ponds around the state. Yesterday, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, DENR, confirmed the presence of eight additional corrugated metal pipes at Duke Energy coal ash ponds. 

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10:55 am
Thu March 6, 2014

VIDEO: Cougar Kittens Arrive At NC Zoo

Credit NC Zoo - Still from video

Too cute for words. Kind of hard to imagine them growing into cougars: