Archive - News Article
August 26th, 2010
It sounds like the latest script from a science fiction movie â men in bright green, full-body jumpsuits search an abandoned warehouse for a dangerous substance leaking into the atmosphere.
But for the Catawba County Emergency Servicesâ HAZMAT team, itâs just another day on the job.
The 35-person crew, comprised of volunteers from area emergency management teams, conducted a training session Thursday to prepare for an evaluation of their services in November.
Joyce Murphy and her husband Mike finished the 2009 Soldiers Reunion Bike Ride in last place.
âWe were last â dead last,â Mike said.
One year and thousands of miles of bike riding later, Joyce completed a 60-mile bike ride across Catawba County to celebrate her 60th birthday.
âI just thought it was something I could feasibly do,â Joyce said. âIâm really just doing it for myself. I thought, âWhy not?ââ
Joyce and Mike, who live in Newton, started riding bikes together two weeks before the 2009 reunion ride, and after their first ride, they were hooked.
Newton officials have just announced that water quality tests confirmed the city's water is safe to drink.
Newton City Manager Todd Clark said tests completed at various locations throughout the city's water system indicated that no contamination exists within the system. As a result, he said there is no need for citizens to continue boiling water before consuming or using it.
It may have been two hours late for some schools, but the first day of school ran smoothly Wednesday for area teachers, students and parents.
âWe started with a two-hour delay, but everything went wellâ said Newton-Conover City Schools Superintendent Dr. Barry Redmond. âTeachers did a great job with introducing students to the new school year.â
Newton-Conover City Schools and Startown and Balls Creek elementary schools opened at 10 a.m. Wednesday following a water line break Tuesday in Newton that threatened water pressure and sanitation for city water customers.
Newton restored to water service Wednesday after a broken water line affected citizens.
And while the tap has been turned on again, the impacts of the fracture in a 16-inch water main along U.S. 70 may continue into Thursday.
"Right now our system is pressurized, and we are not aware of any leaks or problems at this point," said Newton Assistant City Manager Glenn Pattishall. "Our crews, along with some crews from Hickory Sand worked on (the broken line) during the evening (Tuesday) and the early part of (Wednesday) and got it fixed."
Area school cafeterias made major adjustments Wednesday to provide students with lunch without using water during preparations.
âWhen we have an emergency, weâre prepared,â said Karen Duncan, Catawba County Schools child nutrition director.
Newton city officials asked water customers to boil water they use following a break Tuesday in a city water line. Low pressure that occurred from the break increased the potential for bacteria in the water.
As a result, school cafeterias were forced to change their plans for back-to-school lunch preparation.
Newton purchased 4,000 gallons of water Tuesday to distribute to residents who were without water because of a water main break.
The city purchased 1,000 cases, which each held four gallons of water, from Merchant Distributors Inc. Flowers Bakery donated a tractor-trailer to Newton to transport the water from MDI to Newton Public Works on Tuesday afternoon.
"The decision to purchase water was made about the time we made the decision to turn off the water in the area (Tuesday)," said Glenn Pattishall, Newton assistant city manager and planning director.
About 200 cats and dogs living in the Catawba County Animal Shelter will be euthanized following the outbreak of a mysterious illness.
The facility closed Wednesday for extensive sanitization in an attempt to control the deadly illness and stop it from spreading. Sanitation is expected to last until Sept. 7.
âWe donât know what the illness is,â said Jay Blatche, Catawba County Animal Services manager. âWe donât even know itâs a virus at this point.â
All shelter animals are believed to be exposed to the illness, and for safety precautions, must be euthanized.
Two Catawba roads are shut down after a tractor-trailer overturned.
At about 4:20 p.m. Wednesday, emergency responders went to the scene of an overturn tractor-trailer on U.S. 70 at Sharon School Road in Catawba. Responders reported the roadway is completely blocked to traffic. The NC Department of Transportation is working on a detour for travelers. Responders expect the roadway to be closed for two hours on U.S. 70 at Sharon School Road.
No injuries were reported at this time. No other vehicles appeared to be involved.
After a water leak disrupted Newton water service this week, the city's water customers should boil any water they use.
According to an advisory issued by the city of Newton, periods of low pressure or no pressure that occurred following a water line break Tuesday increases the potential for "back siphonage and introduction of bacteria into the water system."
As a result the state's department of environmental health advises Newton water customers "to boil all water used for human consumption, including drinking, cooking, brushing teeth, making ice and washing hands."