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Archive for March, 2009

Parent wants others to be aware of seclusion rooms in school

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

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Five feet by seven feet wide, nine feet tall with a small window and padded walls. It is called a seclusion room. Kirsten Findley is troubled by the one found at Carolina Beach Elementary School; her son is in kindergarten. “He said he had very traumatic experience with a teacher. That he was threatened to be locked into a room with the lights off and the door locked,” said Kirsten.

Early this month, Findley said her son was having a bad day at school, and was crying uncontrollably. She said his teacher sent him to an empty classroom to calm down; a classroom for special education students. The seclusion room is inside.

Findley said, “At first I thought that was kind of far fetched. I didn’t really know of a room like that at my school. So, the next day I went to the school to speak to them about the situation.”

The seclusion room is used for some special education students who fall under the Individualized Education Program. After a psychological assessment, parents can agree to allow their children to be placed in seclusion if they are displaying dangerous behavior to themselves or others. It is not intended as a punishment.

New Hanover County Executive Director of Special Education, William Trant said, “That’s a component of a IEP, it’s not for all children. It’s for children with disabilities that may suggest that particular kind of need or that intervention.”

Findley’s son was never actually placed in this seclusion room, though she said it was used to threaten him, which is not what it’s for.

Findley eventually filed a complaint with the school district. School officials replied saying, “The principal has assured me that they will no longer utilize the IBS classroom as an intervention for your son.”

School officials are still investigating the incident and told me they can not discuss the issue further, since it’s a personnel issue. The State Board of Education permits seclusion rooms with strict guidelines and inspections.

The majority of schools in New Hanover County have a seclusion room. Findley said her goal was to make other parents aware such rooms do exist.

Many other states permit the use of seclusion rooms. Officials say teachers who work with special education students undergo intensive training, to learn when using them is appropriate.

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videoHave you ever heard of a seclusion room? A Carolina Beach mom found out about them after her son’s teacher allegedly threatened to put him in one.

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Missing Wilmington woman found in Arizona

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

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The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office has canceled the missing person alert for Karla Ranee Moss-Harrigan.

She was located by law enforcement officials in Arizona during a routine traffic stop. Her family had reported her missing last month. Ms. Moss-Harrigan told officers she did not want to return to North Carolina.

After finding that she seemed to be okay, she was released by Arizona authorities and is no longer considered missing.

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The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office has canceled the missing person alert for Karla Ranee Moss-Harrigan.

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Sheriff’s K-9 accidentally unleashed, bites suspect

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

A suspect under police custody was bitten and sent to the hospital Tuesday after a police dog was accidentally released.

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Local meat cutter proves to be grade A

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

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Getting the right piece of meat can take both a butcher and an artist. One Wilmington meat cutter is trying to prove he’s a cut above the competition.

Bruce Phillips spends most of his days inside the 35-degree meat freezer at Texas Roadhouse. And that’s just fine with him. “You’re pretty much your own boss back here. You don’t deal with all the hustle and bustle that’s out in the kitchen. You work at your own pace in here. You come in, you do your work, you go.”

Phillips trimmed the fat against more than 200 meat cutters to make his way to the semi-finals of the Texas Roadhouse meat cutter competition. There he sliced through 50 pounds of meat including two sirloins, two rib eye loins, and one filet loin.

“Everybody has their own preference, mine is filet, I love to cut filet it’s actually what I normally do the best on,” Phillips said.

Next month, Phillips will travel to San Francisco to compete against five other meat cutters in the finals of the competition.

But winning the title of meat cutter of the year and the $20,000 prize will take more than a few quick cuts. “It’s cutting it, getting it the correct size, getting it the correct weight, and having the least amount of waste,” Phillips explained.

Despite spending most of his day in the meat freezer, Phillips is now worried about staying cool under the pressure. The competition is part of the company’s meat hero program that honors meat cutters who take pride in their job by exceeding Texas Roadhouse standards.

Phillips displays his work in the lobby of the Texas Roadhouse on Eastwood Road. Customers are encouraged to pick out their own steak from the display case. In an average year, Phillips slices more than $1 million worth of meat.

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Getting the right piece of meat can take both a butcher and an artist. One Wilmington meat cutter is trying to prove he’s a cut above the competition.

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NC high school student makes choking game PSA

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

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RALEIGH — A high school sophomore in North Carolina is producing a public service announcement about the dangers of the so-called “choking game” after one of her friends died.

WRAL-TV reported Tuesday that Raleigh Charter High School student Sarah Huck wrote, directed and is producing the PSA. It warns teens against choking themselves or allowing a friend to do
so in an attempt to pass out. The oxygen deprivation is believed to produce a euphoric high.

Huck decided to make the PSA after Enloe High School sophomore Kris Marceno died Nov. 2. The 15-year-old had tied an electrical cord around his neck and attached the end to a bunk bed.

She hopes local television stations will air the PSA, which she plans to complete in May.

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

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A high school sophomore in North Carolina is producing a public service announcement about the dangers of the so-called “choking game” after one of her friends died.

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Associated poll

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