Jeremy Loeb

Reporter

Ways to Connect

A new study made available today sheds light on the phenomenon of neighborhood segregation. Kyle Crowder, a sociology professor at UNC Chapel Hill, conducted the research along with two others:

"Despite all of the talk about progress towards equal opportunity for everyone in gaining access to neighborhoods, there’s still a lot of evidence that native-born blacks and native-born white householders tend to move away from neighborhoods that have high concentrations of immigrants."


Crowder says people of different races typically leave for different reasons.

The North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program has awarded Johnston County a $20,000 grant to battle teen driving crashes. County spokesman Robin Gurgainus says there have been 39 teenagers killed in accidents in the past six years, giving Johnston the second-highest rate in the state.

"A lot of these accidents are single-car accidents due to speed and not wearing a seatbelt. You know, I was a paramedic for 5 years. If you don’t wear a seatbelt, a minor accident can kill you."

A candlelight vigil and prayer for the people of Egypt will be held this evening in Raleigh. The Muslim American Public Affairs Council and several others groups are organizing the vigil. Moe El-Gamal is the chairman of the council and one of the leading organizers. He also led a demonstration at the legislative building earlier today.

Roy Cooper
governor.state.nc.us

People arrested for violent felonies and some misdemeanors dealing with sexual predators will have their DNA entered into the state’s database as part of a new law taking effect February 1st. Attorney General Roy Cooper has been outspoken supporter of the measure.

lighthouse
National Park Service

The Bodie Island Lighthouse might not be lit anytime soon. The National Park Service received about 3 million dollars in 2009 to renovate the structure built in 1872. Mike Murray is Park Manager of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

"It makes sense to finish the work that’s been done. Repairs are 85% complete. But because we encountered unforeseen work in a very old structure that had never been renovated before, we don’t have the amount of funding needed to finish it."

www.biofuels.coop

Pittsboro-based Piedmont Biofuels is cutting the ribbon on a new tank location in Saxapahaw. The new tank at the Saxapahaw General Store will provide biodiesel to Piedmont’s members. Biodiesel is a renewable fuel made from cooking oils that’s cleaner than pure petroleum. It typically sells for around 3-fifty per gallon making it slightly more expensive than regular diesel.

Snow and ice this winter is proving costly for the state Department of Transportation. DOT spokesman Steve Abbott says the Department spent more than 31 million dollars through January 18th, already surpassing what was set aside for road clearing. He says that's because of the high number of storms we've seen this winter.

The North Carolina Department of Insurance will hold a public comment session in Raleigh this morning on possible insurance rate increases. The North Carolina Rate Bureau, which represents all the insurance companies doing business in the state, filed a request to raise rates an average of 20.9 percent for this year. Kerry Hall is a spokeswoman for the Insurance Department.

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources has released a new study showing growth in recycling-related jobs in the state. Private sector jobs in the recycling industry have increased by about 5 percent since 2008 according to the study. Sherry Yarkosky with the state Recycling Business Assistance Center says the study reinforces that recycling helps not just the environment.

The US Food and Drug Administration will require certain tobacco products introduced or changed after February of 2007 to be reviewed by the agency. Tobacco companies will have until March 22nd to apply for products to be approved as “substantially equivalent.” That means the products pose no added risk to smokers than products already available in early 2007.

David Howard is a spokesman for the Winston-Salem-based R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company:

Thousands of hockey fans will gather in Raleigh later this month for All-Star Weekend and local businesses are preparing by sharpening their customer service skills. A conference will be held this afternoon by Wake Tech Community College at the RBC center.

Wake Tech instructor Jane Broden says the presentation will focus on customer service for small business owners, retailers, hospitality staff, and managers.

211 Fort Bragg-based paratroopers return home from Afghanistan tonight. Two batteries from the 82nd Airborne Division’s 18th Fires Brigade are scheduled to arrive just after midnight. Colonel Al Shoffner, Commander of the Brigade, says their primary mission was to provide support fire for maneuvering forces in the eastern part of the country.

Drivers in North Carolina are paying more for gas than they have in the past two years. Average gasoline prices have topped 3 dollars per gallon according to Triple A. Tom Crosby is with Triple A Carolinas.

"Prices are going up, mostly because of the poor economy, the weak dollar. Our weak dollar is causing investments in Euros in crude oil. Crude oil is selling for over 90 dollars a barrel, which, that’s the first time it’s been that high in two years. When crude oil prices go up, the oil companies raise prices at the pump."

Total lunar eclipse captured January 20-21, 2000
Mr. Eclipse/Fred Espenak; nasa.gov

Night owls across North Carolina could witness an eerie occurrence tonight. There will be a total lunar eclipse from around 1:30 to 4 am. That’s when the Earth is directly between the moon and sun, temporarily blocking out the moon.

Blackbeard
NC Department of Cultural Resources

Archeologists are unveiling artifacts recovered from the wreck of the notorious pirate Blackbeard's flagship today in Greenville. Many of the 122 items from the Queen Anne's Revenge will be sent to the North Carolina Maritime Museum and the North Carolina Museum of History.

A coordinated effort among law enforcement, schools, and non-profits would help to combat the impact of gangs in Guilford County. That’s according to a study presented today by UNC Greensboro. Youth Focus, a non-profit for at-risk youth is one of the groups involved in that effort.

Executive Director Chuck Hodierne says he hopes the study will make the community more aware of the issue of gangs. He says gang activity is a very difficult problem to address directly:

Walker Golder
Audubon North Carolina

One of the last undeveloped barrier islands in North Carolina is one step closer to permanent protection. Audubon North Carolina has purchased a 35-acre tract of land on Lea Island in Pender County. The money was made available through a private donation.

Rep. Tim Moore
NC General Assembly

State Republicans plan to introduce a bill that would require voters in North Carolina to present identification… possibly photo identification… before casting votes. Republicans have tried to pass this sort of bill before. But they’ve been the minority party.  They will take over the House and Senate in January.

Chapel Hill town officials are considering permanently moving the public library to University Mall. They voted to put on hold an expansion project at the library’s current site on North Estes Drive. This after the owner of the mall offered to sell the space currently housing Dillard’s department store. Officials estimate the move would save taxpayers close to 4 million dollars.  They say the new location would be more accessible.

Assistant director Mark Bayles has been with the library for 27 years. He speaks fondly of the current location:

Drivers will be subject to new laws taking effect today. Most involve licensing and license plates. One law adds a potential $100 penalty for having a license plate frame that covers important information on the plate. And commercial driver licenses will now expire after five years because of hazardous materials regulations. And more laws go into effect January 1st.

Marge Howell with the DMV says licensing laws are being relaxed for older drivers:

weather map
NOAA

 

Today marks the start of the official “Winter Weather Preparedness Week.” State emergency officials will be educating the public on ways to be prepared in the event of nasty weather. Jeff Orrock is with the National Weather Service in Raleigh. He says this year’s forecast of an intensified La Nina system means there’s a good chance we’ll see a warmer, drier winter than last year’s:

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