Duke Energy shareholders meeting expected to attract hundreds of - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Duke Energy shareholders meeting expected to attract hundreds of protestors

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Hundreds of protestors are expected to demonstrate in front of Duke Energy Headquarters this morning, holding signs and demanding environmental protection. 

The planned protest falls the same day as Duke Energy shareholders meet in Charlotte.

Charlotte City Manager Ron Carlee declared the Duke Energy shareholder meeting an "extraordinary event," a title that gives police broader powers than they usually have to search people in the area.

Officials tell WBTV they wanted to be cautious about Duke Energy's meeting because of the heated controversy over its recent coal ash spill, and the fact that the company's coal ash policies have attracted protestors to its shareholder gatherings before.

In a release issued Tuesday afternoon, the city said "The Extraordinary Event designations allows the City to modify its permitting process for activities such as parades or large public gatherings and specifies certain items that are prohibited from being brought into certain boundaries of the event."

But it will not, the city goes on to say, "affect the normal way of life for citizens who are going about their daily activities. For example, residents will be able to walk their dog within the extraordinary event boundaries without fear of arrest."

Duke Energy's shareholder meeting will start at 10 a.m.

It will be held at the O.J. Miller Auditorium at 526 South Church Street.

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