Environment

Environment
5:00 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Study: Air Quality Restrictions Linked With Improved Respiratory Health

New research from Duke University shows a link between air quality restrictions and improved respiratory health in North Carolina.
Credit Doug Bradley / Flickr

Duke University researchers have found a connection between state and federal air pollution restrictions and improved public health in North Carolina.

Duke Surgery Professor H. Kim Lyerly and his team evaluated disparate data from air quality monitoring stations and health statistics between 1993 and 2010. Lyerly said air quality improved, and so did respiratory health.

Accounting for seasonal changes and an overall drop in smoking, Lyerley said annual emphysema-related deaths dropped from 12-per-100,000 people, to five. Asthma and pneumonia-related deaths decreased, too.

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The State of Things
11:54 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Three Decades Of North Carolina Wilderness

Pisgah National Forest
Credit Flickr

Thirty years ago today, President Ronald Reagan signed the North Carolina Wilderness Act which protected nearly 100,000 acres of wilderness in the state. Robert Cox, former president of the Sierra club, was instrumental in the law’s passage.

He toured the state showing the following slideshow on the importance of wilderness. It was digitized by the North Carolina Sierra Club as part of the project, Our Wild North Carolina.

Of course, the North Carolina Wilderness Act was controversial at the time, just as many environmental issues are today. Human industry has historically locked horns with the rest of nature.

Today, Cox is a professor of communication studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he studies the rhetoric of environmentalism and social change. 

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Environment
3:35 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

A Mystery Tree Grows In Chapel Hill

The coastal redwood in Chapel Hill.
Credit Parth Shah

For most people, taking care of the front yard means cutting the grass every few weeks.

But for Bill Massengale, lawn care involves looking after the lofty California coastal redwood growing in the front yard of his law office on Columbia Street.

“When we bought the place we were told that the only thing we had to do was to make sure nothing happens to the redwood,” Massengale says. “It’s one of my chief duties in life."

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Environment
11:50 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Bear Spotted In Raleigh, 'Looking For A Place To Live'

Credit Casey Brown / Flickr/Creative Commons

Early Monday, officials were tracking a bear in the Five Points area of Raleigh. WRAL reported that information about the bear began to come in after midnight.

A mailman working in the area told WRAL News that a couple reported seeing the bear near a home under construction at the corner of Carroll and Whitaker Mill Road.

 

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The State of Things
2:09 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Dreams Of Disaster and Redemption

Book cover for The 53rd Parallel
Credit lightmessages.com

  

"The 53rd Parallel" (Light Messages Publishing/2013) is the first novel in a series about the historic, yet little known, contamination of the English River. It was the largest mercury poisoning event in North American history, bringing devastation to the many Ojibway people native to the area. 

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Environment
9:00 am
Thu June 5, 2014

'SolarBees' Poised To Hit Jordan Lake Next Month

A SolarBee
Credit Medora Corporation

The Army Corps of Engineers is wrapping up the environmental impact review of a $1.4 million plan to put solar powered water mixers (also known as SolarBees) on Jordan Lake to break up algae.

Last year, the General Assembly decided to delay implementation of rules that would restrict development around the lake to reduce contaminated runoff. Instead, they had the Department of Environment and Natural Resources spend $400,000 on 36 SolarBees to churn the water and prevent chlorophyll a, which is linked to algae blooms, from building up.

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Health
8:39 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Here's What A Rip Current Looks Like From The Beach

It's National Rip Current Awareness Week.
Credit Pubdog / Wikipedia

It’s National Rip Current Awareness Week. 

Rip currents killed at least seven people along the North Carolina coast last year, according to the National Weather Service.

Spencer Rogers is a specialist on shore erosion for North Carolina Sea Grant.  He says rip currents are a natural phenomenon that happen when narrow currents of water flow away from the coast.

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Politics & Government
5:00 am
Fri May 30, 2014

North Carolina Is One Step Closer To Lifting Its De-Facto Moratorium On Fracking

A drill rig in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale.
Credit Ken Skipper, USGS

Members of the North Carolina General Assembly sent Gov. Pat McCrory a bill on Thursday night that would allow the state to issue permits for hydraulic fracturing as early as May 2015, effectively lifting the state’s de-facto moratorium on the controversial shale gas drilling method.

McCrory is a long-time supporter of hydraulic fracturing and is likely to sign the bill into law.

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Politics & Government
5:24 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

NC General Assembly Stories We’re Following: Week Of Tuesday, May 27

The NC Legislative Building
Credit Jorge Valencia

The biggest piece of legislation expected when North Carolina law makers return from the Memorial Day weekend is the Senate’s budget proposal for the fiscal year, which starts July 1. The office of Rules Committee Chairman Sen. Tom Apodaca (R-Hendersonville) said on Friday that a budget could be made public this week, and the office of Senate President Pro-Tem Phil Berger Jr. (R-Eden) similarly said a budget will be released “in the coming days.”

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Environment
7:52 am
Sat May 24, 2014

Cape Hatteras Recognized As Top 10 Beach, 2014

Cape Hatteras Fishing Pier, August 4, 2013
Credit Alistair Nicol / Flickr/Creative Commons

Cape Hatteras has been ranked as the sixth best beach in the nation by a leading beach expert, Dr. Stephen Leatherman ("Dr. Beach") of Florida International University.

Here's the list:

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