Latest: Harnett County calls for voluntary evacuation along Cape Fear River

CCS’ staff will continue to work closely with Cumberland County Emergency Management to monitor weather forecasts and road conditions.
It is not a pet-friendly shelter.
Waters of the Cape Fear are expected to rise to 62-feet by Tuesday morning.
Call the Hurricane Florence Information Line at 910-678-7657 if you need help with shelter assistance.
11:35 a.m. Harnett County officials are considering asking residents who live near the Cape Fear River to evacuate.
Officials are expecting the river to rise about 14 more feet in Harnett County, according to Zach Shean, the county’s assistant emergency management coordinator.
As of Saturday morning, 132 people were in Harnett County shelters.
Shean said 32 people were in a shelter at Western Harnett High School that was opened for residents evacuating from near the Little River.
10:28 a.m. Two Fayetteville fire stations evacuated Two Fayetteville fire stations were being evacuated Sunday morning because they are within a mile of the Cape Fear River.
“Rain and wind overnight has caused new outages and some customers who had power restored yesterday, may have lost service,” the release states.

Tax on California water revived to clean up drinking water – but it’s voluntary

Jerry Brown and state lawmakers are rebooting an effort to pass a new tax to attack unsafe drinking water in California.
After calling off a plan in June to apply a mandatory tax on water bills, the governor is backing a new pair of bills that would apply a voluntary levy on ratepayers to fund safe drinking water projects.
protected by reCAPTCHA Privacy – Terms Privacy – Terms “These bills are now the Legislature’s best opportunity to bring clean and safe drinking water to the nearly 1 million Californians who cannot drink the water that comes out of their faucets,” said Monning, a Carmel Democrat.
The state has reported that more than 1 million residents face potential exposure to unsafe water, largely in low-income communities without the funding to fix the problems.
SB 845 establishes the voluntary tax on water bills and would only require support from a majority of state lawmakers.
Related stories from Sacramento Bee California’s biggest environmental challenges?
Political hot air.
360,000 Californians have unsafe drinking water.
Every day, reporters at The Sacramento Bee are investigating and researching the business of politics in California, breaking down the stories, the constituencies and the impacts of these decisions so you don’t have to.

Volunteers hauling water to help wildlife survive drought

Bear, mountain lions, deer and elk are searching for water in residential areas, because there is none in the wild.
However, one group of volunteers is trying to help by delivering thousands of gallons of water to wildlife in need.
Filling and maintaining these water catchments are volunteers from the Arizona Elk Society.
Every day, they have been hauling water down these Forest Service roads to hundreds of catchments, one of which is located near Flagstaff.
"The U.S. Forest Service has about 1,500 little drinkers, little water catchments," said Clark.
"Elk drink about six to eight gallons a day," said Clark.
"This particular year is one of the worst," said Michael Anderson, team leader for Wildlife for Water.
Your elks are drinking all our water,’" said Clark.
"So we help the ranchers because they are our partners in wildlife conservation."
All of the money they use to deliver water and maintain catchments comes from donations or grants from the Forest Service and Arizona Game and Fish.

‘Mild’ drought prompts water improvement district to seek voluntary reduction in water use

But a “mild” drought has prompted the Brown County Water Improvement District to activate Stage 1 of its Drought Contingency Plan as of Thursday, which calls for a voluntary 5 percent reduction in water use among water customers.
Our water system is under Stage 1 water-use restrictions as of Thursday.
Voluntary restrictions ‒ Customers are encouraged to limit nonessential water use to prevent further restrictions.
‒ Customers are specifically encouraged to limit watering for landscape use, and to only water after 7 p.m. and before 10 a.m. ‒ Outdoor restrictions — none at this time.
Water conservation tips Customers are encouraged to reduce their water usage as much as possible.
Try following a few of the following tips: ‒ About 50 percent of water used outdoors is wasted due to improper installation, maintenance, and use of watering systems.
Faucet leaks can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water a year.
‒ Test your toilet for leaks; a leaking toilet can waste up to 73,000 gallons of water a year.
To test, add a few drops of food coloring or a dye tablet to the water in the tank, but do not flush the toilet.
‒ Look for water-efficient models when replacing plumbing fixtures or appliances.

Meet the community volunteers helping drought-stricken farmers

The leader of Slow Food Hunter Valley and regional councillor of Slow Food International shares this revelation as she paces the floor of her East Maitland business, Reader’s Cafe and Larder.
“The poor sheep had had nothing to eat for quite some time, having only inhaled dust during its last few days and it had starved like the others.” As far as agricultural horror stories go, the sheep story is up there – but Dempster is far from finished discussing some of the more distressing scenes she has witnessed or heard first-hand from local farmers in recent times.
Some of its key projects includes ‘Feeding the Community’, a project that converts excess produce and food from farms into nutritious meals for the disadvantaged and hungry, and ‘Fresh Food in Remote Communities’, which works with local Indigenous leaders and schools to grow fresh food.
But the group is perhaps best known for assisting the region’s farmers, who are doing it tough.
Dempster tells the story of one farmer who was devastated to find his entire harvest destroyed by bugs.
“So I told him to wait and that we were sending some of our team to help.” The Slow Food Hunter Valley volunteers helped the farmer wash the leaves and sort what they could salvage and they sold the produce at market.
How can you look after your family on $185?” “He would have made an average of $1800, but that day he made $185 from what we could salvage.” One farmer who has benefitted from the work of Slow Food Hunter Valley is Austin Breiner, who specialises in heirloom vegetables – most notably pumpkins, having grown 40 different varieties last year from seeds around the world.
With affection, he recounts how Dempster worked to ensure water was delivered to farmers within the region last year.
“And I spent most of last summer carting 1000-litre drums of water around and hand-watering what I could, just to keep things alive until that rain comes … The trouble is, it’s not coming and now the sub-soil is drying out, too, so we’re predicting an even tougher year next year.” Slow Food Hunter Valley is doing what it can, but what can the everyday Australian do to help?
“Seek out farmers’ markets in your area and support your local growers who have struggled to get that fresh produce to your table.” Secondly, you can back the Buy a Bale Campaign, which raises money to support our farmers.

Local well company owner volunteers in Haiti

For those living in the country of Haiti, the task of getting clean water isn’t so simple.
Matthew Brown, a third-generation co-owner of Yadkin Well Company in Hamptonville, has been volunteering for several years now to help drill wells in Haiti.
Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that devastated much of the country, Brown took their volunteer work international.
“There’s always been a need there but an increased need because after the earthquake so many people moved out of the cities and started from scratch,” Brown explained.
Brown volunteers with a group called Healing Hands International (HHI).
Each well can serve around 1,500 people, Brown said.
He and his friend, Yadkin Well Company employee David Cave, were able to help drill that milestone 1,000th well in the Haitian town of La Tremblay.
The people of Haiti often must use streams to collect drinking water.
Yadkin Well Company serves customers in around 40 counties across the state as well as Virginia and South Carolina.
“The excitement around water that they have, we just really take for granted what we have here,” Brown said.

Officials say state of the towns, cities is progressing

Although the impact of the state budget remains uncertain for six Central Connecticut communities, progress in economic development and infrastructure is certain.
Last Thursday, the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce held the State of the City and Towns Breakfast at Chippanee Country Club where local leaders gave an update on the current economy of Bristol, Plainville, Farmington, Burlington, Bloomfield, and Plymouth.
With ESPN as its largest taxpayer, Bristol continues to be a leader in manufacturing.
The first lot of the business park also is the home of Uniprop AM, LLC, which recently celebrated a grand opening of its 127,000 square foot storage/distribution center for Connecticut Portable Storage, the Connecticut/Western Massachusetts PODS franchise.
The Memorial Boulevard Building Committee and the Memorial Boulevard Cultural Center’s Board of Directors continue to working together with the architect and construction manager for the project, which has an estimated cost of $13 million, said Cockayne.
“The rating agency has said that Bristol has a strong, local economy,” said Cockayne, adding the city will continue to have a ‘watchful eye” on the state budget.
“Two new medical office buildings are under construction,” said Farmington Town Manager Kathy Eagen.
Meanwhile, Bloomfield and Burlington continue to see activity in business expansions and new restaurants within the past year, which also has marked a time of both challenges and successes for the town of Plainville.
Merchant noted the need for regionalization, especially for small towns like Plymouth.
“Little towns need to help each other out—we need to combine services,” said Merchant, adding how the town’s mill rate increased substantially.

Retired Wareham teacher earns kudos from Buzzards Bay Coalition

Retired Wareham teacher earns kudos from Buzzards Bay Coalition.
Held in the Chart Room restaurant at Cataumet on Cape Cod, the event featured a review of the coalition’s strides toward stemming nitrogen pollution across the South Coast.
After accepting the award, Whittle said that volunteers should, “believe with all of your heart in an organization’s mission.
And I believe [the Buzzards Bay Coalition] is doing good work.
Otherwise, why would you volunteer?” After Whittle’s presentation, David Pincumbe, recently retired from the Environmental Protection Agency, was given the Buzzards Bay Guardian Award.
He received it in part for helping spearhead an overhaul at the Wareham Water Pollution Control Facility.
Korrin Petersen, the coalition’s senior attorney, described the upgrade as hugely successful, noting it reduced the amount of nitrogen entering the bay by 90 percent, which is “close to the limit technologically of what New England wastewater treatment plants are capable of.” Pincumbe joined the federal agency in 1983 and retired last month.
In accepting the award, Pincumbe said he appreciated the recognition and urged the crowd to keep working towards its mission.
“We need to keep fighting for better water quality,” he said.
For more information on the Buzzards Bay Coalition, click here.

Water Research Foundation approves focus area projects

Water Research Foundation approves focus area projects.
Water Research Foundation subscribers are encouraged to participate by volunteering to serve as a test facility, provide water samples, respond to surveys, loan equipment, or share staff expertise on particular research projects.
Participating utilities gain firsthand information about the study and benefit from working with researchers and others in the water community.
Interested organizations must complete the online UPIR volunteer application form by March 10, 2017.
Additionally, subject matter experts are urged to volunteer to serve on Project Advisory Committees (PAC) that will oversee each funded project.
The 2017 application deadline to serve on a PAC is March 8.
Interested volunteers should complete the online PAC volunteer application form.
Requests for proposals for these projects will be available on March 15, 2017 at
Governed by utilities, WRF plans, manages, and delivers scientifically sound research solutions on the most critical challenges facing the water community in the areas of drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, and reuse.
For more information, go to

Volunteers for Changes to launch massive clean-up Campaign

Volunteers for Changes to launch massive clean-up Campaign.
By: Eldred Wlemongar Thomas The Volunteers for Change (VFC), a local non-governmental organization is expected to launch a massive cleanup campaign during the pending raining season in order to give Monrovia and its environ a beautiful facelift.
According to the Executive Director of VFC, Kelvin Bishop Fallah, this initiative is intended to help keep all communities clean and healthy.
“Like we have been doing, VFC will actively engage communities, with youth groups leading the exercise cleaning drainages in the city center and other parts of the country,” Mr. Fallah told our reporter.
He said his organization, the Volunteer for Change noted that to undertake such initiative is predicated upon the filthiness of more communities, a situation he said causes serious health hazard to many, especially during the rainy seasons.
Fallah further warned that too much filth in communities usually create water pollution, which he noted during the interview at always detrimental, if nothing is done at the community level to mitigate such unhealthy situation.
Mr. Fallah noted that communities must now see reason to help clean their vicinity and not only wait on central government or waste collection companies to come to their aide, stressing, “The government and partners in the sector must be supported giving the growing need to keep our streets clean, the VFC Executive Director emphasized”.
“If such opportunity can come our way, it will be a major boost for VFC operations as it will also help provide job creation for the youthful population who are a key component of our organization, VFC ED craved.” He then showered praises on the young people for the level of interest they continue to build in the program and willingness to volunteer for positive change.
Volunteers for change (VFC) was established in 2012 and officially registered in 2014.
It is a group of Liberians very passionate about social environmental change who have decided to venture into volunteerism as a means of effecting developmental transformation at the community and national level.