Lunch Break (3/5/16): Duke Energy cited for (more) violations by state environmental agency


North Carolina's environmental agency issued citations against Duke Energy this morning, ordering the corporation to immediately fix leaks from coal ash ponds that are draining into rivers and lakes throughout the state, including in three locations around Charlotte. Duke will have to report back to the Department of Environmental Quality within 30 days and could face more violations if it's found that water quality standards have been broken. Twelve Duke power plants were cited in all, including Allen Steam Station in Belmont and Marshall Steam Station in Catawba County. (Bruce Henderson, Charlotte Observer) On Wednesday, CL contributor Rhiannon Fionn stopped in Charlotte on her statewide Coal Ash stories to share some stories about how life has been impacted by the presence of coal ash ponds in communities. 

Police are working to find out who was responsible for driving their car into a northwest Charlotte pharmacy to steal cigarettes early this morning. The unidentified suspect drove through the sliding-glass doors of the Rite Aid on Bellhaven Boulevard at around 3:30 a.m., causing extensive damage and knocking the doors off their tracks. The suspect then entered the store and stole cigarettes, reports say, before fleeing in their vehicle. The incident triggered a security alarm and was captured on surveillance cameras, though investigators have not released information on the suspect or the vehicle involved. (WBTV Web Staff) 

Charlotte transportation leaders are meeting today in Ballantyne to discuss how they will forward with the planned I-77 toll lanes, days after a subsidiary of Cintra, the company managing the Charlotte project, filed for bankruptcy following the failure of a similar toll-lane contracted in Texas. Speaking on the controversial project, officials state that they will be reviewing legal options surrounding the $650 million contract with Cintra, but plan to continue the work that's already begun on the project regardless of any contractual changes. (Joe Bruno, WSOC) 

Three teenagers have been arrested and charged in connection to an armed robbery that took place early Thursday morning. The suspects, now identified as Marquese Addison, 17, Ashanti Jackson, 18, and a 13-year old being charged as a juvenile, allegedly entered a 7-Eleven gas station at 5343 Monroe Road at around 3:30 a.m. and robbed the store at gunpoint. A CMPD report released yesterday afternoon did not disclose what property was stolen, but states the suspects left on foot. A K9 unit was later able to locate the teens in a parked vehicle. (Madeline Lemieux) 

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