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Thursday, 18 October, 2001, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
Hard times in Anthrax Street
Road sign for Anthrax Street
What's in a name? Plenty, say residents
Possibly the least sought after address in America at the moment would be one connected to bio-terrorism.

Small wonder then that residents of Anthrax Street, Fayetteville, North Carolina, want some changes made.

I never did understand why they would name it that

Cami Walker, resident
"I am embarrassed when I have to say my street name, and it's gotten worse," said Karen Williams, who lives in one of seven homes on the street.

The usual jokes have multiplied following reports of the disease in Florida, New York and Washington, residents told the Associated Press news agency.

Cami Walker is supporting a neighbourhood campaign to rename the street.

She said: "I never did understand why they would name it that."

Records show that Anthrax Street was approved in March 1996 - after many people had built homes there - following a request by surveyor Mike Tate.

Mr Tate told local newspaper The Fayetteville Observer that the name came from the 1980s heavy metal band Anthrax.

Unique and different

He said it was suggested to him by one of his employees.

Although he had never heard of the band or the disease he thought the name was "unique and different".

The local Cumberland County Planning Department accepts any name that is not obscene or too long. It must also be unique so that it can be found quickly.

Mike Osbourn, who oversees the naming process, said: "Basically, we try not to judge anybody's submission."

He said that at least half the property owners must agree before the name can be changed, adding: "I'm sure I can convince seven people."

See also:

18 Oct 01 | Americas
Bio-labs face tight security
17 Oct 01 | Americas
Anthrax: Vehicle for spreading fear
18 Oct 01 | Americas
Senate workers line up for tests
17 Oct 01 | Americas
Using anthrax as a weapon
16 Oct 01 | World
Anthrax attack: What to do
16 Oct 01 | Americas
Tracking the anthrax spore
15 Oct 01 | Health
Q&A: Anthrax
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