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Archive for March, 2009

Riot breaks out at West Bladen High School

Monday, March 30th, 2009

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Police called what happened at a Bladen County High School Monday “a riot.”

Students at West Bladen High reported that more than 50 people were involved in the fighting that resulted in a number of arrests.

The violence started just after 10:00 this morning, and continued until about noon.

Many left school, fearing it wasn’t over. “I’m tense and it’s scary; this is the most fights we’ve had in one day,” said Jeremy Mills, a senior at West Bladen.

By 12 o’clock, students said six or seven fights involving more than 50 people had already taken place throughout the school.

“There was one boy that got jumped by five boys, and they knocked him on the ground and stomped on him and all kinds of stuff,” said sophomore Nicole Thompson.

About 15 Bladen County sheriff’s deputies responded to what they called a riot. Deputies took 10 people in custody. Charges range from inciting a riot, to assault on a government official.

Parents said this is hardly an isolated incident.

“We’ve had to come and sign them out before, because of gang activity and fighting,” said Dawn Thompson, a West Bladen parent.

Deputies said it’s too early to know if the riot was gang related. No weapons were involved in the incident. Deputies expect several more arrests.

Students said they’re just worried about going back to school. “I do not feel safe,” Jeremy Mills said.

Nicole Thompson added, “There’s no telling what would happen.”

West Bladen never went on an official lockdown, but school employees screened everyone entering and leaving the building.

The assistant superintendent for Bladen County schools declined to comment.

Tonight, members of the Elizabethtown Community will conduct a forum on gang violence.

The forum had been planned in advance, and just happens to coincide with today’s violence. We’ll have more on the discussion tonight at eleven and updated on wwaytv3.com.

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videoPolice called what happened at a Bladen County High School Monday “a riot.”

Students at West Bladen High reported that more than 50 people were involved in the fighting that resulted in a number of arrests.

The violence started just after 10:00 this morning, and continued until about noon.

Story summary image

wbladen150.jpg

Associated poll

More: continued here

Allergies acting up? Don’t blame pine’s yellow haze

Monday, March 30th, 2009

That yellow pine pollen dusting cars and sticking on everything is getting a bad rap. Unsightly and hard to clean? Yes. But responsible for allergy victims’ misery? Not likely.

More: continued here

Brunswick County issues order to halt spending

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Bolivia | A freeze on Brunswick County county government spending enacted by the county commissioners actually should be considered a “frost,” Assistant County Manager Steve Stone said.

More: continued here

Avoiding domestic violence

Monday, March 30th, 2009

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Assistant District Attorney Joy Alford-Brand prosecutes dozens of domestic violence cases each year. “Most people don’t realize how prevalent it is and how many cases we’ve got. We have a pretty good case load,” she said.

The cases she sees are the ones where a victim will already have a protective order or a 50-B order in place. If the offender violates it by either contacting the victim or by causing them more harm, they are subject to arrest and possible jail time.

Protective orders are good for a year, and many times having one can be a matter of life or death for the victim. They can ban an abuser from contact as well as certain locations like a home, workplace or church.

A violation can lead to immediate arrest, and jail time. The problem is, they’re not guaranteed to work. Alford-Brand said in some cases, a protective order can actually increase the chance of a victim being attacked again by 75 percent.

Alford-Brand said even so, a protective order is the only defense one may have to get out of a bad situation. “When a victim has no protection what so ever, then there is absolutely nothing stopping that that defendant that offender from carrying out whatever mission he or she might have. That 50-B order is the only thing we have under our current laws to even protect that victim in the slightest.”

If there is a need, all a victim would have to do is come to the Civil Clerk’s Office and ask for a protective order, which is the first step in protecting yourself from domestic violence.”

“It’s preventable, if we worked more to reduce domestic violence in our community we would save more lives,” Alford-Brand said.

Statistics say ten percent of victims never come forward to report domestic violence.

If you are being abused, or know someone who is, help is out there. You can call the Open Gate Domestic Violence Shelter 24-hours-a-day at 343-0703.

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Story summary

videoAssistant District Attorney Joy Alford-Brand prosecutes dozens of domestic violence cases each year. “Most people don’t realize how prevalent it is and how many cases we’ve got. We have a pretty good case load,” she said.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

Boy reports seeing fireball blazing across sky above Shallotte

Monday, March 30th, 2009

A 12-year-old Illinois boy visiting Wilmington this week was among people in three states who reported seeing a ball of fire flash across the night sky Sunday.

More: continued here

 

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