As if a winter storm wasn’t enough last week, a small earthquake near the Georgia-South Carolina line shook both states late Friday, rattling residents hundreds of miles away.
The U.S. Geological Survey reports a quake of 4.1 magnitude was recorded at 10:23 p.m. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. On Saturday, South Carolina DOT engineers were out evaluating bridges – standard procedure after a quake. The quake, about 7 miles from Edgefield, South Carolina, was felt as far west Atlanta and as far north as Hickory, both about 150 miles away.
PEDESTRIAN DIES IN HIT-AND-RUN
Police are investigating a hit-and-run accident Saturday night that killed a pedestrian at Alleghany Street and Pebblebrook Drive. Police major crash and homicide investigators were called to the scene around 10:48 pm, where they found the 50-year-old man lying unresponsive in the road. An investigation found that the man was hit while walking across the intersection. The car did not stop, and police have no description or license plate. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.
FAIR REDISTRICTING FORUM TUESDAY
Is there a better way to draw legislative and congressional districts? Supporters of a new “fair redistricting” bill think so, and they’re pushing North Carolina state legislators to end gerrymandering, the current practice that lets the party in power draw boundaries to maximize its election chances.
The N.C. Coalition for Lobbying & Legislative Reform will host a nonpartisan forum on the issue this Tuesday, Feb. 18 in Davidson. Panelists will come from both sides of the political aisle, according to a report from our news partner, DavidsonNews.net. Among them is Harry Taylor of Charlotte. Taylor is helping to promote the “fair redistricting” bill and brings personal experience to the task: He ran unsuccessfully for the 9th Congressional District seat as a Democrat, against longtime Republican incumbent Sue Myrick. She retired in 2012. Taylor calls Myrick “an 18-year beneficiary of the heavily gerrymandered District 9″ and notes that Republicans have held the seat for 60 years.
He thinks ending gerrymandering is critical. “The opportunity and what we’re trying to do is to get people to understand that democracy is actually squashed out of existence when you allow political parties to control who makes decisions and who votes for the things that happen in the state of North Carolina,” he said.
Tuesday’s forum is from 7 to 8:30 pm at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church.
SECOND PIPE LEAKING AT DAN RIVER
Duke Energy says a second pipe under a coal ash dump near the Dan River in North Carolina is not in immediate danger of collapse, despite state regulators’ concerns the pipe could fail and trigger another toxic spill. The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Friday that video taken inside the pipe shows potentially contaminated water leaking in through gaps and then out into the river. Duke says "no immediate action" is necessary. The state has given Duke 10 days to come up with a plan to fix the leaks. The third largest coal ash spill in U.S. history was triggered Feb. 2 when a similar pipe collapsed at the utility’s coal ash dump in Eden. For more on this story read/listen to a Q&A with WFAE reporter Ben Bradford, who has been following the issue.