Wednesday, July 24, 2024

ICYMI – Teacher arrest, sewage spill unreported, water woes, Freeman Park

This week the region was shaken by news that a middle school teacher was arrested. Concern turned to outrage when search warrants revealed the school system knew the teacher had a long history of “inappropriate relationships” with young students. As questions grew angrier, the Board of Education held a press conference that offered no new information, as elected officials declined to answer hard questions. On Friday evening, two local law firms joined the fray.

The contentious relationship between Carolina Beach and owners of private land next to Freeman Park has simmered in court for two years. While there’s no end in sight, there is new information — including confirmation of a rumor that has circulated for some time.

Thousands of gallons of wastewater spilled out into a field. No one informed the public. How did this happen, and why wasn’t public notice required?

Local governments and utilities have known about PFAS in the water for two and a half years. But it wasn’t until a recent study of 44 areas around the country, which showed a Brunswick County school tested highest for the chemicals. Levels have actually even higher in the past, but news coverage of the study (which went national) seemed to have forced the school system’s hand. But, after BCS offered bottled to any school that wanted it, the full potential cost was considered — and BCS walked back its offer.

When FEMA funding came in lower than expected, towns like Surf City had to decide which areas of the beach (and, by extension, which properties) to focus on. That left some homeowners feeling neglected, so now the town is considering expanding its coverage.

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