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3 Rockingham Co. teens charged with murder of 84-year-old man

REIDSVILLE, N.C. — Three Rockingham County teens have been arrested in connection with the murder of a Ruffin man.

According to police, three individuals burglarized a home at 2179 Lick Fork Creed Road in Ruffin on Sept. 2, 2013, where they assaulted 84-year-old Waverly Bourne.

Bourne was hospitalized until his death on Jan. 14.

Kaleb Garrett Dunithan, 18, of Reidsville; Jacob Arthur Adams, 17, of Reidsville; and Nicholas Andrew Lowery, 18, of Ruffin, have all been charged with first degree murder and first degree burglary.

All three suspects were placed in the Rockingham County Jail with no bond and are scheduled to appear in court March 17.

DENR issues violation notices, enforcement recommendations to Duke Energy for coal ash spill

RALEIGH, N.C. – State regulators issued notices of violation to Duke Energy Friday with the possibility of fines for state environmental laws related to the coal ash spill at the company’s Dan River power plant in Eden.

The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued the notices of violation Friday afternoon by electronic and regular mail to John Velte, Duke Energy’s environmental manager. The two separate notices of violation relate to violations of wastewater and stormwater regulations at the Dan River power plant in Eden.

“These are violations of state and federal law, and we are holding the utility accountable,” said John Skvarla, secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Reidsville police investigate larcenies at Walmart, Sheetz

REIDSVILLE, N.C. – Reidsville police said they’re investigating larcenies at a Walmart and a Sheetz gas station.

Police said an unidentified female left the Reidsville Walmart without paying for a vacuum cleaner on Feb. 18.

On Jan. 22, police said an unidentified male left the Walmart without paying for drinks and door locks.

Police said a male and female left the same store with a shopping cart full of items without paying on Jan. 20.

On Jan. 25, police said an unidentified male and female went to a Sheetz, placed items in a purse and then left without paying.

Anyone with any information on these cases, can call Reidsville police at (336) 347-2343.

Aluminum still exceeds surface water quality standards after coal ash spill

RALEIGH, N.C. — Officials said the latest state water quality tests show aluminum in the Dan River near the site of the Eden coal ash spill still exceeds surface water quality standards, but continues to decrease.

Iron concentrations are now within state surface water quality standards at three of the four sampling stations, according to the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Officials said the latest test results come from water quality samples the state agency collected through Feb. 10 upstream and downstream of the coal ash spill site.

Of the 28 metals being tested for near the coal ash spill, officials said iron and aluminum are the two metals at or above surface water quality standards.

Water testing continues after a Duke Energy pipe burst on Feb. 2, spilling more than 80,000 tons of coal ash into the river.

Rockingham Co. farmers concerned about coal ash spill

RUFFIN, N.C. — The massive coal ash spill in Eden is causing concern for farmers who use water from the Dan River to water their crops.

In Ruffin, farmer Michael Powell says he depends on the Dan River to irrigate his 30 acres of tobacco along the river banks.

“We pump like 800 or 900 gallons a minute when we’re irrigating,” Powell said. “It’s quite a few gallons of water that’s pulled out of there.”

It’s water that he and other farmers are now worried they won’t be able to use this summer after a Duke Energy pipe burst on Feb. 2, spilling more than 80,000 tons of coal ash into the river.

“I really didn’t want to believe it to be honest with you,” Powell said.

His farm sits just three to four miles downstream from where the spill happened in Eden.

Powell says irrigation isn’t his only concern but also flooding.

NC Dept. of Water Resources catching fish on Dan River for testing

EDEN, N.C. — A crew with the N.C. Department of Water Resources spent the day on the Dan River catching fish for testing.

Jeff DeBerardinis says checking wildlife like fish is a priority after the coal ash spill into the Dan River at the beginning of the month.

He and Mark Hale collect fish samples by “electrofishing.”

“You basically electrify a field in front of the boat and fish are basically stunned. They float up and roll over and we’ve got a netter up front that will scoop them up,” explained DeBerardinis.

Some fish are left behind alive. Others are taken to a lab where they’re tested for metals like arsenic, lead and iron, found in coal ash.

They’ll either be processed into filets to test what a human would eat I r tested as an entire fish body like what a bird would eat.