Jeremy Loeb

Reporter

Ways to Connect

43 soldiers at Fort Bragg suffered heat-related injuries this morning during a 12-mile march. That's according to spokeswoman Jackie Thomas. Thomas says 25 of them were treated on the spot. 18 of them were transported to Womack Medical Center, where 13 of them were admitted, and one of them was placed in Intensive Care Unit.

Jackie Thomas: "I wouldn't attribute that to them being pushed too far. You know, you have to understand, it's a pretty grueling series of things that they've been going through in this competition. "

Voters in several communities will begin casting ballots today ahead of local elections on October 11th. Durham voters will be selecting their choices for mayor and city council.

John Edwards
citizensforethics.org

A government watchdog group wants the charges against former North Carolina Senator John Edwards dropped. Edwards is accused of conspiring to pay the expenses of his mistress using campaign donations. Those payments were made by two of his close friends. Melanie Sloan is Executive Director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Experts on solar energy are converging in Raleigh today for a conference designed to help expand the development of new technology. Siemens Industry is partnering with the North Carolina Solar Center for "Solar Exchange East" at North Carolina State University. Stephen Kalland is Executive Director for the North Carolina Solar Center. He says the conference will cover a number of issues.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission will hear testimony Tuesday on the proposed merger of Duke Energy and Progress Energy. The Commission will hear from company officials in favor and from environmental groups opposed to the merger. Tom Williams is a spokesman for Duke Energy.

The Triangle's four major universities are collaborating on a multi-year study of "soft matter." The National Science Foundation awarded a 6-year grant worth nearly 14-million dollars to researchers at Duke, UNC, NC State, and NC Central Universities. Soft matter is usually material that is squishy like proteins, D-N-A solutions, polymers, and gels. They can be assembled into structures that researchers hope will one day prove useful.

Anti-Abortion License Plate
ncchoose-life.org

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina is filing a federal lawsuit alleging the state's adoption of "Choose Life" license plates is unconstitutional on the grounds that a pro-choice alternative isn't offered. Katherine Lewis Parker is a Legal Director at the ACLU.

An artist's rendering of Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral
holynamecathedralnc.org

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh plans to build a 2,000-seat cathedral in southwest Raleigh. Church officials say the Sacred Heart Church in downtown Raleigh has a seating capacity of 320 - making it the smallest Catholic cathedral in the continental U-S. Bishop Michael Burbidge says that's insufficient to serve the needs of a growing Catholic population.

Electric cars like the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf are coming onto the market. And charging stations for them are starting to pop up as well. The state Department of Commerce awarded Raleigh-based Praxis Technologies a 240-thousand dollar grant. Praxis has partnered with Silicon Valley-based Coulomb Technologies to install around 20 electric car charge stations across the state. Praxis CEO Skip Kurz says their goal is to raise awareness about the technology.

UNC Chapel Hill researchers have found that most Mexican immigrants to the United States adopt a more "American" diet despite the abundance of Hispanic food options. Carolina Batis is a P-h-D candidate in nutrition at UNC and author of the study. She says some of the changes include more healthy items like fruits and vegetables, low-fat milk, and fish.

Rural roads and bridges across the country are often unsafe and in need of repair. That's according to a new report by TRIP, a national non-profit research group out of Washington. The report finds traffic deaths are around three times likelier on rural roads than all other roads. 907 people died on rural roads in North Carolina in 2009. That's the third highest total in the country.

US Senator Kay Hagan, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and Governor Bev Perdue
hagan.senate.gov

Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands remain cut off from the mainland after Hurricane Irene dumped water and sand on several parts of Highway 12. There are several breaches in the highway just north of Rodanthe. Governor Bev Perdue says officials are doing all they can.

Hurricane Irene is gone but its effects linger on. The storm couldn't have come at a worse time for an area that relies on its tourism industry. Irene completely washed out a section of Highway 12 just north of Rodanthe. That means the only way to reach Hatteras Island as the important Labor Day Weekend approaches is by boat. Michael Gardener is manager of the Sea Side Inn in Hatteras Village.

Irene is blowing across the Outer Banks now as a Category 1 hurricane. Dare County spokeswoman Dorothy Toolan says there's a section of Highway 12 north of Rodanthe that's washed over with sand and water. D-O-T is saying the road is intact.

Dorothy Toolan:  "This storm is just moving past Hatteras and the winds are starting to shift so we've still got a ways to go and as some of the bands move through, we have some lulls. You know, we're trying to remind folks that it's going to be with us for a while and they need to stay indoors."

Hurricane Irene
nasa.gov

Evacuations are underway on Ocracoke Island ahead of Hurricane Irene. Lucy Wallace is spokeswoman for the Ocracoke Ferry Office.

Hurricane Irene
nasa.gov

The town of Ocracoke and Hyde County has issued a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Irene. There's a mandatory evacuation in place for visitors and a voluntary one for residents. But residents will have a mandatory evacuation starting at 5 am tomorrow. Hyde County spokeswoman Jamie Tunnell says people considering staying should heed the warnings.

Earthquakes might be rarer on the east coast than they are in the west. But Laura Wagner, assistant professor of seismology at UNC Chapel Hill, explains why tremors here can be felt over such long distances.

Federal officials are recognizing the work of state water quality and transportation officials in protecting wetlands. The Federal Highway Administration is presenting the state Division of Water Quality and Department of Transportation with two awards. Susan Massengale is a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. She says one award is for the development of an advanced modeling system that produces accurate maps of streams and wetlands.

Durham is one of seven counties in North Carolina chosen to participate in a national, long-term children's health study. The National Children's Study is the largest long-term study on children's health ever done in the U-S. It seeks to recruit pregnant women or women expecting to be pregnant and then follow their children all the way to their 21st birthdays. Researchers will collect data from the children's environment to see how that correlates to any number of health problems that may develop.

Cree's LED streetlights on Franklin St. in Chapel Hill
cree.com

Durham-based LED light maker Cree is acquiring one of its competitors. The company announced it's buying Wisconsin-based Ruud Lighting for around $525 million. Commercial industries have been moving towards L-E-D lighting because it uses less energy and is less costly to maintain. Cree spokeswoman Michelle Murray says Ruud's experience selling outdoor lighting will complement Cree's lineup of indoor lighting fixtures.

An architect's rendition of the entrance plaza to the renovated Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library.
duke.edu

A large gift will make possible a the renovation of Duke University's rare books library. Duke Trustee David Rubenstein, a 1970 graduate of the university and co-founder of the Carlyle Group, is giving Duke $13.6 million. That's the largest ever donation to the libraries. Deborah Jakubs is a University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs. She says rare books document the development of scholarship and human creativity.

Example of the image produced by the scanners
tsa.gov

Raleigh-Durham International Airport is beefing up its security with new imaging technology designed to protect passenger privacy. The Transportation Security Administration is installing five new scanners at RDU. They should be up and running in the next few days. RDU's TSA Federal Security Director Michael Zunk says previous scanners allowed security to see a detailed image of a person's body.

The City of Fayetteville wants the remaining damaged homes from the April 16th tornadoes cleaned up. The twisters that swept across the state left thousands of homes damaged or destroyed. Scott Shuford, Fayetteville's Development Services Director, says they've identified 85 homes in need of extensive cleanup or repair four months after the storms hit. He says they don't have any jurisdiction to do anything about homes that are just eye-sores.

An exemption for biomass facilities from carbon dioxide limits under the Clean Air Act is being challenged in court. The Environmental Protection Agency is exempting biomass facilities from the rules for the next three years because they're considered carbon-neutral or low-carbon emitters. Frank Rambo is the senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center working on that case.

A chemical plant proposed for the city of Wilson is drawing concerns from the people in its surrounding neighborhood. The Texas-based company Pencco wants to build the plant to manufacture iron sulfates to be used as water treatment chemicals. Brian Wodetzki of Pencco says the plant will be safe. He says the company is doing its best to explain the process to concerned citizens in the neighborhood by holding public meetings with them.

Legal Aid NC
legalaidnc.org

Legal Aid of North Carolina is closing three offices due to budget cuts totaling more than $2 million. Legal Aid serves poor people who can't afford legal help with issues like mortgage assistance and domestic violence. The non-profit is facing cuts from both the federal and state government. Legal Aid of North Carolina Executive Director George Hausen says they're closing the rural offices in Henderson, Boone, and Smithfield.

Annie L. Jones Park
townofcary.org

A public meeting in Cary will focus on expanding developer fees for parks. Parks land fees apply to single-family and townhomes but not to apartments and condominiums. Doug McRainey is the Parks Planning Manager for the town of Cary.

An artist rendering of the ATT bridge over I-40.
City of Durham

Efforts to extend a popular bike and pedestrian trail in Durham have hit a snag. City officials want to extend the American Tobacco Trail about 4 miles to the Chatham County line. That includes building a bridge across I-40. Bids for the project came in higher than expected. Ed Venable is a manager of engineering and stormwater for the City of Durham.

A defense trade show today and tomorrow in Fayetteville seeks to encourage collaboration between the defense industry and local businesses. Scott Dorney is Executive Director of the North Carolina Military Business Center, which is co-hosting the event.

Scott Dorney: "It is an opportunity for us to have both major defense contractors and also North Carolina companies who are in the defense marketplace and those who want to be. And it gives us a venue to connect."

UNC Chapel Hill is partnering with the state's community colleges in an effort to fight cancer. Public health researchers will work with all 58 of the state's community colleges to identify cancer prevention programs that work and implement them in the schools. Laura Linnan is a professor at UNC's Gillings School of Global Public Health and the project's principal investigator.

Pages