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Archive for February, 2009

Jury selected to hear lesser charge in NC case

Friday, February 13th, 2009

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WILSON — Twelve jurors have been selected to hear evidence in the trial of a man once charged with murder but now facing a lesser charge in the death of a 17-year-old North Carolina woman.

Attorneys finished selecting the main panel of jurors Thursday to hear the case of 22-year-old James Arthur Johnson. The Wilson Daily Times reported that alternate jurors would be selected Friday.

Testimony is scheduled to begin Monday. Johnson was accused in the 2004 kidnapping, rape and death of 17-year-old Brittany Tyler Willis. Johnson was jailed from July 2004 until September 2007, when his bail was lowered. The original charges were dropped in December 2007 and a special prosecutor brought a charge of accessory after the fact of murder a month later.

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

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Twelve jurors have been selected to hear evidence in the trial of a man once charged with murder but now facing a lesser charge in the death of a 17-year-old North Carolina woman.

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Associated poll

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County sniffing for trash solutions

Friday, February 13th, 2009

In New Hanover County, Pandora’s box might be a garbage can.Any talk of trash disposal here tends to uncover the refuse of past decisions and old crises.Last August, county commissioners dove nose deep into the discussion, appointing a five-member board to study the county’s trash management practices and make recommendations for the future.

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Doctors get closer to understanding the common cold

Friday, February 13th, 2009

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Is there a cure for the common cold? Not yet, but doctors are one step closer today thanks to a genetic unmasking of the cold virus.

So far, scientists have uncovered 99 different strains of the rhinovirus, and it is this enormous variety that makes the cold so difficult to beat.

In a new study, researchers decoded the genetics for all of the cold viruses to compare their similarities and their differences. They found that the rhinovirus constantly reinvents itself. One person could contract two separate colds and have them combine to form a new, third virus.

This chameleon-like quality means it is unlikely we will ever have a vaccine to defeat the cold.
But by comparing the different viruses, researchers hope to identify patterns in the way they change. Predicting mutations in the virus will allow doctors to find better ways to thwart it, perhaps with better antiviral medications.

In the meantime, the best way to defeat the cold is to avoid it by getting enough sleep, staying away from those who are sick, and frequent hand washing.

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Is there a cure for the common cold? Not yet, but doctors are one step closer today thanks to a genetic unmasking of the cold virus.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

Tuition increases approved for UNCW, other public N.C. campuses

Friday, February 13th, 2009

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors approved a range of tuition and fee increases for all its campuses starting this fall. At UNCW, tuition will increase $106 (from $2,459 to $2,565) for resident undergraduate students.

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State borrows more money to pay unemployment

Friday, February 13th, 2009

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So many North Carolina residents are unemployed that the state has borrowed $13 million from the federal government to pay their benefits this week.

An Employment Security Commission spokesman said Thursday the money covered two days of payments and that the state may have to borrow again Monday.

The loans are interest-free if repaid by October.

North Carolina last borrowed money for the unemployment insurance trust fund in 2002, when it borrowed 23 times.

In December, the state had an unemployment rate of 8.7 percent; the highest since June 1983.

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So many North Carolina residents are unemployed that the state has borrowed $13 million from the federal government to pay their benefits this week.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

 

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