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Fighting For You: Man’s Tires A Mosquito Breeding Ground

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Summer arrives this week, and it certainly feels like it.  The days are longer, temperatures are high and children are out of school.  Guess what else is out: mosquitoes.

One Limestone County homeowner says a lot of the bugs known to carry the West Nile Virus are hatching and staying on his neighbor's property. The homeowner wants the bugs gone, and called WHNT News 19 to ask us to take action.

Darwin Brazier says the mosquitoes are living inside tires on his neighbor's property. He says the bugs are a danger to his young daughter. Brazier has asked his neighbor to remove the tires, and he's also called county, state and local health officials to see what they could do.  All said they couldn't do anything.

Things are about to change.

Darwin Brazier lives on Pinedale Road in Ardmore.

"This stuff started encroaching on my property, so I dragged these telephone poles out here," said Brazier.

The husband and father created a border to make it clear who's creating a neighborhood eyesore.

Brazier is quick to point out he is more concerned about his family's health than his property value.

"The number one thing is I have a small child who can't even come outside to play without being eaten by mosquitoes every day," added Brazier.

Brazier guided the WHNT NEWS 19 camera to the bugs. There were plenty of them. All were living inside more 1,000 tires on Stanley Schult's property.

"I've tried to talk to him. He is not a very personable guy. I guess he is proud of his tires," added Brazier.

"Turn the camera off and get off the property," shouted Schult as WHNT NEWS 19 approached him.

"Hi. I am Venton Blandin with WHNT NEWS 19. I'd like to ask you a few questions,” we said.

“I don’t give a [expletive]. Go on,” replied Schult.

WHNT News 19 tried to explain Brazier's concerns to Schult, but he did not want to talk.

"Why not have a conversation?” asked Blandin.

"There's no conversation because you people put the [expletive] on television. You cut it down the way you want it. You make it the way you want it," added Schult.

Schult held his ground and insisted we stay behind an imaginary line.

"We got a call about two years ago," said Robert Smith, the Environmental Supervisor at the Limestone County Health Department.

Smith didn't mind talking with WHNT News 19 about the pile of water-filled tires.

"It's the ideal, or one of the most ideal breeding grounds for mosquitos," added Smith.

"The way to fix the problem is to empty those tires of water and cover them," added Smith.

Smith provided a copy of the violation notice placed on Schult's door on May 15, 2012. The notice told Schult the pile of tires violates Alabama's public health laws and could spread West Nile Virus.

"I received it. I got the [expletive] under control. Go on," shouted Schult.

"Are you going to act on it?" we asked.

"Go, on," shouted Schult.

"Are you going to act on it?" we repeated.

"It's being taken care of," Schult replied.

"When can you expect it to be done?" WHNT News 19 asked.

"It doesn't have to be done anytime soon," Schult said.

The notice gave Schult 10 days to fix the problem. Schult says there is nothing to worry about. He suggested we call the health department.

"Ok, I will call Robert Smith and find out," WHNT News 19 said.

"You call him. You call him. I have nothing to say to you," Schult replied. "Do not step onto this property. If you walk on, they will carry you off."

Schult did respond to the violation notice in person 10 days after receiving it. The environmental supervisor says Schult has arranged for a pest control company to treat the site to kill the mosquitoes. The supervisor told WHNT NEWS 19 he's working to verify the arrangement and to see how well it will work.

Limestone County Commissioner Gary Daly represents Darwin Brazier's district. Daly says he's noticed the eyesore for several years, but could not do anything about it. Alabama does not allow home rule, which means Limestone County currently can't make its own laws.

Learn more about WHNT News 19's new Fighting For You initiative.

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