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Archive for February, 2009

Comments of the Week: February 7-13

Monday, February 16th, 2009

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It is a story that received more than 7,000 hits on our website since it broke. Gerard Altman is accused of beating his mother and her husband to death in their Ogden home. If he is convicted, he could get the death penalty. Here is what one viewer thinks about the idea of capital punishment:

“Why do we kill people, who kill people, to prove that killing people is bad? Also, how do you know that these people didn’t deserve to die? Perhaps this man was abused or worse. I’m not judging either way. Perhaps I’m naive, or maybe I’ve just seen too much.”

Another guest answered that post with this response:

“This country was founded on religious principles, and a lot of people recognize an eye for an eye. We execute murderers as a deterrent. We execute murderers to find some measure of justice and closure for the victims left behind. Even for those who don’t believe in it, there has to be some closure in knowing that the convicted murderer will never kill anyone else’s father, mother, or child”

We did another story this week about how to go about buying foreclosed homes. One visitor on our website had a warning to pass along:

“The properties being auctioned by the county do not have clear title. When bidding $35,000 on a property, not only are you bidding on the actual property, but you may also be bidding on the right to own a $100,000 2nd mortgage lien, $20,000 in personal tax liens, and $5,000 in property tax liens. Do not bid on one of these auction properties before trying to determine what liens are tied to the property”

Switching gears to this week’s i-Love series from the i-Desk. We have taken a look at people trying to find love online. One viewer had this to say about online dating:

“I met my husband online almost 6 years ago. We chatted for 5 months both online and on the phone before we met in person. We’ve been together since. You never know where you’ll meet your significant other. Online worked for me.”

But another web guest still has their doubts:

“What are the chances of your “match” looking like the picture they posted? Get real people, go out and socialize. You have no idea who you are communicating with blindly on the internet, which is why so many sex offenders were found on a large online social website recently. Valentine’s Day is coming, cupid was around before the internet!”

Thanks for all the comments. We always love to know what you think.

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videoThere has been a lot to talk about in the news this week, and you have been commenting on it via our website.

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James Johnson pleads to accessory charge

Monday, February 16th, 2009

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WILSON, N.C. — A man who spent three years in prison before prosecutors dropped a murder charge against him has pleaded no contest to an accessory charge.

The Wilson Daily Times reported Monday that James Johnson issued an Alford plea in connection to the 2004 slaying of 17-year-old Brittany Willis. The Alford plea does not admit guilt but
acknowledges that prosecutors have enough evidence to possibly win a conviction.

A special prosecutor won an indictment last year against Johnson, accusing him of being an accessory after the fact of first-degree murder. Johnson was accused of helping clean the
vehicle of Kenneth Meeks, who was convicted in the killing.

Sentencing is scheduled for later Monday afternoon.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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A man who spent three years in prison before prosecutors dropped a murder charge against him has pleaded no contest to an accessory charge.

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Bald Head Island ambulance catches fire Sunday

Monday, February 16th, 2009

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A fire began early Sunday morning in an ambulance used for transporting patients from Bald Head Island.

The ambulance had been charging over night at the Bald Head Island ferry landing in Southport when witnesses said there was an explosion.

The fire also damaged two other vehicles.

Investigators said the cause appears to be due to electrical problems.

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A fire began early Sunday morning in an ambulance used for transporting patients from Bald Head Island.

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Southport home catches fire and raises questions

Monday, February 16th, 2009

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Fire investigators spent most of Sunday trying to figure out what caused a vacant Southport home to go up in flames. The home was in a remote area, but clues left at the scene say it may have been a popular hang out.

Piles of charred wood are all that is left from Saturday night’s fire. Firefighters were called to the scene around 6:00 p.m. to what used to be a vacant cabin home.

“We got the call and got there as soon as we did, the wind was blowing hard. We had to get all the trucks in here and by the time we got to it, it was fully involved and everything,” described Greg Cumbee, Southport Fire Chief.

A total of sixteen fire departments tackled the blaze. It presented firefighters with a challenge. The cabin sat deep in a wooded area off a dirt road, a mile and a half away from the nearest water source at Southport Elementary School. To ensure the fire would not spread, firefighters shuttled gallons of water to the scene to put the fire out after three hours of burning.

“We had a concern with all the land that is between here and back toward the elementary school. There is a lot of wooded area so we didn’t want that to happen so keep in mind without having a lot of water right here on the scene we had to bring in these brush trucks and they only hold 300 gallons of water at the most,” Cumbee said.

Now investigators from Brunswick County Emergency Management, the sheriff’s office, along with Southport Police and the fire department are trying to determine how the fire started.

Fire investigators said the cabin has been vacant for sometime, but the property it sits on is owned by a private developer. They said recently it’s become a known hang out spot for area teens. The trash spread around the scene suggests someone had been spending time here.

Brunswick County Fire Marshal, Scott Garner said, “There is no power to the structure, it is kind of far out into the woods; we know the weather was clear last night so we do have to look at other sources.”

The next step in the investigation is collecting more evidence and looking for anyone with information to come forward. If you have any information about this fire, contact the fire marshal’s office at 910-253-5383.

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videoFire investigators spent most of Sunday trying to figure out what caused a vacant Southport home to go up in flames.

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Spa day gives cancer survivors time to relax

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Heartfelt support and a caring touch will accompany the free beauty treatments or massages for cancer patients who participate in the 12th annual Pink Ribbon Spa Day.

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