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Archive for March, 2009

Wave Transit bus drivers suspended for cell phone use

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Several Wave Transit bus drivers are suspended without pay for 10 days for talking or texting on their cell phones while behind the wheel of buses.

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Police emphasize driving violations

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

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Waiting in stop and go traffic; we’ve all been there. It seems like it’s always the worst when we’re a few minutes late for work.

Lieutenant Obbie Blanton said it’s a regular occurrence for morning commuters on Masonboro Loop Road. “I got out here at 7:30 this morning so anywhere between 7 and 7:30 it starts, and then it gets worse between 7:30 to 8:30.”

Lieutenant Blanton said the traffic on Masonboro Loop Road backs up every day right around the morning rush, leaving some drivers looking to save a few minutes by taking a shortcut down Jasper Road, which is in part a private road.

This week the city of Wilmington put up a sign informing drivers it’s illegal to use the road as a cut through, but that hasn’t stopped drivers from using the road to avoid a busy intersection.

Wednesday, Lieutenant Blanton and the Wilmington Police Department set up an information check point. “What we’re trying to do right now is educate the public that this is a violation of law to use private property for the purpose of avoiding a traffic controlled intersection.”

This time those using the short cut were warned, but in the future saving a couple seconds could cost drivers almost 2-hundred dollars in fines.

The DOT is working to solve the problem. Lieutenant Blanton said the DOT is considering putting a traffic light at the intersection.

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videoLieutenant Blanton said the traffic on Masonboro Loop Road backs up every day right around the morning rush, leaving some drivers looking to save a few minutes by taking a shortcut down Jasper Road, which is in part a private road.

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Associated poll

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Buckets’ visit at St. Mary’s a slam dunk

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

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A first grader at St. Mary Catholic School brought one of his tallest friends to school for show and tell Wednesday.

“I ran out of things to bring and everything got boring so now he is here,” said Jack Knott.

Harlem Globetrotter Buckets Blakes stopped by Jack Knott’s first grade class. Jack and his classmates compared shoe sizes and learned how to do a few tricks with the basketball.

“Every time you get around the kids you just get this overwhelming feeling of happiness and joy and you want to share with them what you’ve learned and what you’ve experienced,” explained Buckets.

Knott said having a friend everyone can look up to gained him some popularity around the school. “One of my friends who just was peaking in here was like ‘hi Jack. Jack you’re famous.’”

After he met the class, Buckets put on a show for the entire school. He taught the kids about building good character while showing off some of his skills. “I want to be one of those guys that people remember from the Harlem Globetrotters that made a positive impression, not only on the kids, but families all over the world.”

Cleary, Buckets made a positive impression on Knott and his love for basketball.

Knott was able to bring buckets to school after he won a contest through WGNI radio. His classmates were sure happy he entered.

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videoHarlem Globetrotter Buckets Blakes stopped by Jack Knott’s first grade class. Jack and his classmates compared shoe sizes and learned how to do a few tricks with the basketball.

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Associated poll

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Marine makes bomb threat at ILM

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

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One Camp Lejeune Marine may be facing federal charges after making a bomb threat at ILM last night.

Private First Class Nicholas Hanke was traveling home to Charlotte for nine days on a US Airways flight out of Wilmington.

Officials say he boarded the flight and started threatening the passengers, screaming “this aircraft is going to blow up.”

When flight attendants and the pilot tried to remove him from the plane, he assaulted them, as well as law enforcement officers. Officials say he appeared intoxicated.

“Our warning is, as it’s always been, with the current state of the world regarding terrorism, these are serious matters, these jokes are taken seriously by the airport, by the department of homeland security, and TSA, so our warning is, don’t joke around,” said Gary Broughton of ILM Airport.

The airport rescanned all the baggage on the flight as a precaution, delaying passengers by a little more than an hour.

Hanke is being held at New Hanover County Jail under $5,000 secured bond.

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One Camp Lejeune Marine may be facing federal charges after making a bomb threat at ILM last night.

Officials say he boarded the flight and started threatening the passengers, screaming “this aircraft is going to blow up.”

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Associated poll

More: continued here

Budget cuts the key topic at annual PTA conversations meeting

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

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At Tuesday’s annual PTA conversations meeting with the school board, budget concerns were at the top of the list.

Out of the 65 million dollars the school district receives from the county, more than 3 million dollars will have to be cut from the budget.

The state could potentially cut back 129,000 dollars of their funding by 4.3 percent, forcing New Hanover County schools to go without an additional five million dollars.

“Since we don’t know what our budget will look like for next year. We are looking at multiple scenarios, so we are prepared to make what cuts we get asked to make,” said board member Elizabeth Redenbaugh.

“At this time we don’t know exactly what is going to take place with budget cuts. We are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best,” said board member Donald Hayes.

One proposed reductions on the table could change the starting times for schools. That would help cut down on transportation costs, eliminating 16 buses on the road.

Other proposed cuts go as far as reducing art and athletic programs by ten percent.

Cutting down 25 percent of the nursing staff in schools is also an option.

But, with board members trying to save as many jobs as they can, employees may be seeing cuts in other places.

“If 85 percent of our budget is staff then we will have to get a little bit more creative and maybe not have so many layers in our staff so we have the operating budget. We have 15 percent, and if we are taking about cutting millions out of the operating budget, we are not going to have anything left,” said Stephanie Draybill the PTA council president.

The board has until June to approve the final budget.

By the end of this week, parents will have a chance to send in cost saving ideas directly to the finance department by a link on the New Hanover County school website.

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videoAt Tuesday’s annual PTA conversations meeting with the school board, budget concerns were at the top of the list.

Out of the 65 million dollars the school district receives from the county, more than 3 million dollars will have to be cut from the budget.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

 

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