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Archive for June, 2009

More information on Maisenhelder, indecent liberties charges

Friday, June 12th, 2009

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There is more information about the indecent liberties charges against a Wilmington man who owns and operates an after school program. Incident reports provide more clues about the allegations that lead to the charges.

John Maisenhelder is charged with three counts of indecent liberties with a minor. An incident report from the Wilmington Police Department dates back to April 27th. Another report was made a month later, to the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.

Both list the address of Maisenhelder’s after school program, CAST, as the location of the incident. The alleged incidents are indecent liberties with children.

The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office incident report is dated a month later. John Maisenhelder was accused of “fondling minor children”.

The district attorney’s office said there are three alleged victims. Maisenhelder owns and teaches karate at CAST, an after school program in Wilmington. After an informational meeting for parents Thursday night at the Wilmington Police Department, a parent told WWAY police have video of Maisenhelder inappropriately touching children.

Maisenhelder is in the New Hanover County Jail under a $500,000 bond. The district attorney’s office believes news of the charges against Maisenhelder may bring more allegations from current and former students.

If anyone is concerned, they are urged to call the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office at 910-798-4260.

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videoThere is more information about the indecent liberties charges against a Wilmington man who owns and operates an after school program. Incident reports provide more clues about the allegations that lead to the charges.

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Associated poll

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Are on-board cell phone bans necessary?

Friday, June 12th, 2009

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Hard evidence proving cell phones interfere with aeronautical systems is scarce. All five pilots WWAY spoke with agreed they have never experienced interference with cell phones powered on during a flight. So is the on-board cell phone ban really necessary?

President of Air Wilmington, Bill Cherry, said it is better to be safe than sorry. “We cautiously tell them to turn it off. There is no downside to it, we’ve not seen it or experienced any electronic device interference, but the potential is always there.”

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Communications Commission both oversee the use of cell phones on airplanes. Thousands of feet in the air, the FCC said a cell phone will bounce off multiple towers, using up bandwidth. The FAA said each cell phone used on a flight would have to be approved, and with constantly changing technology, that would be too much of a headache.

The FAA and the FCC both agree lifting the ban is not worth the potential for cell phones to cause interference with communications and navigation. But as technology advances, making a call from your cell phone 40,000 feet in the air, may be a possibility in the near future. “The FAA and the FCC researched this very heavily. This is not a lightly-taken certification. So if they say it’s okay, you won’t have any problems,” added Cherry.

Two years ago, the cell phone ban was lifted on some flights in Europe and has not presented any problems, so far.

About five years ago, the FCC considered lifting the ban in the US, but decided against it. Even if they allowed it, the FAA could still restrict it.

Most airline passengers would probably also agree, a flight full of people talking on their cell phones would be pretty annoying. Not to mention potential for huge roaming charges.

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videoIf you have been on an airplane, you probably know the drill. You buckle up, and turn off your cell phone. WWAY’s Hailey Winslow explains why.

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Associated poll

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Drug Court aims to heal addicts, get them back on track

Friday, June 12th, 2009

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For Gracie Barfoot, the road to recovery has been a long one. Her addiction to opiates landed her in jail for ten long days. A year later, she never imagined she would be clean, and happy. “I would shake, and tremble. I was just so afraid, and it’s just gotten me out of my skin,” she said.

District Court Judge James H Faison III said, “This is a long journey, a long journey, and because of that to see them come through, it’s commendable, and extremely rewarding.”

Barfoot graduated from New Hanover County Drug Court; an achievement that took will power and strength. Drug Court aims to heal drug addicts, in ways the prison system simply cannot.

It costs the taxpayer about $25,000 a year to put a drug offender behind bars, but to put them in Drug Court only costs them about $2,000.

Eighty percent of drug offenders abuse drugs or alcohol. Eighty percent of those people commit new crimes after they get out of prison, proving the system has little impact on recovery. For Gracie, ten days in jail was enough to shake her up, and encourage her to get back on track.

“Don’t quit, don’t give up, because there is always a silver lining on every dark cloud,” Gracie said.

Drug Court is a state funded program. Friday night, state representatives are reviewing the budget. Drug Court is one of the programs they are looking over. Participants and program organizers hope the state continues it’s funding.

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videoIt was not your average day at the New Hanover County Courthouse. Drug offenders were praised and recognized for their hard work in overcoming addiction.

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Associated poll

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Man’s weapon charge dismissed; arrest under investigation

Friday, June 12th, 2009

By Veronica GonzalezVeronica.Gonzalez@StarNewsOnline.com

James B. Lee Jr. thinks his arrest was unwarranted and complained to the sheriff’s office’s that law enforcement officials never identified themselves and used excessive force by pointing a gun.

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Budget vote legal, Topsail Beach attorney says

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Topsail Beach | Topsail Beach won’t need another town budget meeting after all. Town Attorney Rhett Pollock said he determined that a vote Wednesday, in which the mayor broke a tie to approve the budget for the coming fiscal year, was legal.

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