Missed deadlines, hazing woes, radio upgrades
Saturday, January 13, 2018
Darts — To owners of a sand mining operation that failed to make mandated repairs despite a four-month extension. The Pitt County Board of Commissions voted to begin imposition of fines on the owners of Hatcher Mine, which violated a conditional-use permit by digging into a buffer required to separate the mine from surrounding properties. One commissioner noted that the company didn’t seem to think it needed to meet deadlines. Fines may clear the sand from their eyes.
Laurels — To a break in the weather that allowed local road crews to finally dig Greenville and the surrounding area out of the big freeze. After facing snowfall and record low temperatures that made cleanup difficult, this week’s milder days got things back to normal for many local workers and students. In addition to being able to navigate the cleared streets, residents have once again been able to fly out of the Pitt-Greenville Airport. Snow days can be fun, but it’s nice to see the city back on the move.
Darts — To ongoing problems with alcohol and hazing that closed two more fraternities at East Carolina University. The Delta Chi Fraternity closed its chapter indefinitely after an investigation. Tau Kappa Epsilon will close its chapter for four years. In addition, ECU’s Sigma Phi Epsilon was closed in May for similar concerns. About 15 percent of students at ECU are involved in Greek life. Maintaining tough standards on hazing and alcohol are vital to keep them safe.
Laurels — To animal lovers who go the extra mile when the weather gets cold. At Chocowinity Chicken Sanctuary, Kay Evans hustled to maintain thawed drinking water for the birds, insulate enclosures and brought fragile birds inside for the night. Stroke of Faith Farms near Grifton faced similar challenges in protecting three pigs, chickens, donkeys, sheep, rabbits, a dog and cats. Two paws up for those who strive to treat animals with such compassion.
Darts — To city streets with potholes, and a freeze-thaw cycle that is likely to make them worse. Greenville’s Public Works director said new potholes are a result of the ice that permeated the region last week. Water seeping into cracks freezes and expands, damaging the roadway. The city is asking people to be on the lookout and report potholes to Public Works. Here’s hoping repairs are made before too many vehicle alignments go to pot.
Laurels — To upgrades in Pitt County’s emergency radio and paging systems. In June 2016, the commissioners awarded a contract to improve the system the county implemented in 2013. Emergency responders had complained that radio signals and pages weren’t being received in certain parts of the county. After the upgrades, 99 percent of the radio tests and 98 percent of the pager tests were successful. Now all responders can hear us call.
Darts — To the failure of North Carolina lawmakers to draw congressional and state legislative districts that are legal, fair and logical. A federal court on Tuesday ruled the General Assembly illegally gerrymandered the state’s congressional districts to give an unfair advantage to Republicans. The ruling follows a similar judgement against state legislative districts. Democrats did it too when they were in charge. It’s past time to take party and race out of the process.