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Archive for June, 2009

Speed a concern in Hampstead on Highway 210

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

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A stretch of road in Pender County continues to concern residents. They say cars fly around the bend as you enter Hampstead on Highway 210, and they want the speed limit reduced before someone else gets hurt.

“So when they come up to the blueberry stand and say I almost got creamed by a car, we say here’s our petition, please sign it,” said Melissa Hendrickson, a concerned resident.

Hendrickson and her family have owned and operated Farmer Mac’s Blueberry Farm for nearly thirty years. Since then, they’ve watched car after car speed along the curve of 210 that intersects with their driveway. They say enough is enough.

“I don’t know what it’s going to take, maybe us saying something on camera, and everybody else realizing what’s going on,” Shawn Hendrickson said.

Highway patrol has no way of tracking accidents that occur in one specific location, but the Hendricksons say they’ve personally witnessed five car crashes, including one fatality.

Not only are they worried about high speeds, but also there are young children who live on Berry Patch Road. At the end of the school day, the bus drops the kids off across the road, so for the kids who live on Berry Patch Road, they have to cross Highway 210 just to get home.”

The Hendricksons have contacted Highway Patrol, and the Department of Transportation. “What I got was they were studying the issue and thanks for calling,” Shawn said.

The family simply wants drivers to be forced to slow down when coming around the curve.

The Hendricksons told us their postal carrier asked to have their mailboxes moved off 210 and onto their driveway, so she would feel safer delivering their mail.

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videoA stretch of road in Pender County continues to concern residents. They say cars fly around the bend as you enter Hampstead on Highway 210, and they want the speed limit reduced before someone else gets hurt.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

Man arrested for making death threats against Gov. Perdue and other leaders

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

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A Raleigh man was arrested Wednesday night for making threats against Governor Bev Perdue and several other leaders.

Angelos Vangelos, age 46, is charged with at least 29 counts of making threats against an executive officer and two counts of making a bomb threat.

According to arrest warrants, Vangelos made death threats against Perdue nine times and also threatened to blow up her home.

Vangelos is in jail under a one million dollar bond.

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A Raleigh man was arrested Wednesday night for making threats against Governor Bev Perdue and several other leaders.

Angelos Vangelos, age 46, is charged with at least 29 counts of making threats against an executive officer and two counts of making a bomb threat.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

Having a baby after forty

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

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According to the centers for disease control, the number of women having babies later in life is growing, but so do the health risks.

The birth rate for women age 40 to 44 has skyrocketed; around the country, it’s up 200 percent from the early 1980s.

Leigh Venters is just one example. “We were just not ready to have children. I think emotionally, mature wise, we were also wrapped up in our careers.”

Venters has a three-and-a-half year old son, Ian. She and her husband were married 18 years before deciding to start a family. “I think you have more patience, I think you’re more mature emotionally, I think you know exactly what you want when you’re older.”

Local OBGYN, Doctor Kelly Hill, says she’s seen an increase in patients classified as ‘advanced maternal age’, or anyone 35-and-up.

There are certain risks associated with these pregnancies.

“When you do wait, and wait till 35 to 40 years of age, several things do go up including still birth miscarriage, diabetes, chromosomal abnormalities, congenital anomalies, diabetes, high blood pressure,” Doctor Hill said.

Proper prenatal care and identifying potential health risks before conception are two ways to combat potential dangers during high-risk pregnancies. “There are so many things that we can do early now to diagnose things now that will make them have a healthier pregnancy, and to make them be educated to have a healthier pregnancy,” Doctor Hill said.

While ‘advanced maternal age’ begins at 35, Dr. Hill says the odds of having a healthy baby are still greater than having a child with health problems, despite the older age.

For Leigh Ventor, the benefits far outweighed any of the potential risks. “I love the smiles that he brings, the joy the pleasure he’s a happy child, he has his moments but he’s just such a gift.”

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According to the centers for disease control, the number of women having babies later in life is growing, but so do the health risks.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

Sewer spills deal in the works

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

By Chris Mazzolini,Chris.Mazzolini@StarNewsOnline.com

Local government officials are negotiating with the Environmental Protection Agency to settle Clean Water Act violations stemming from the massive sewer spills that affected the area a few years ago.

More: continued here

Proposed public healthcare system draws mixed feelings

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

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Wednesday night, President Obama was on WWAY and ABC talking about where he sees the nation’s healthcare system going. There has been a lot of talk about a proposed public healthcare system, which would offer insurance coverage to every American, including those who right now can’t afford it, don’t get it through their employer or from Medicare or Medicaid. As WWAY’s Meghan Packer reports, folks around here have mixed feelings about the plan.

Plantation Building Corporation President/CEO Dave Spetrino just found out his insurance coverage for his employees is going to go up by about 20 percent. “That was one thing I always felt was very important. I felt like giving and providing the benefits of health insurance, at least to the employee and extend those to their family, was good,” said Spetrino.

Anna Toconis is a former business owner and is on the opposite end of the spectrum. “I’d rather pay an employee $25,000 and let them pick their own health insurance than pay them $23,000 and have me pick their health insurance.”

For Spetrino, it is just getting too expensive. He has 30 days to decide what to do. Down the road, he may have the option of government-run, public healthcare. “I never believe that the government is going to do a better job, more efficiently than the private sector,” he said. “I think there’s going to be a lot of pressure on the private sector to really figure out how to do this correctly so we don’t have a nationalized healthcare system.”

UNCW assistant nursing professor, Kae Livsey said, “We can’t continue on the path that we’re on because the costs are killing us.” Livsey broke down some of the basics about public healthcare.

The pros:
Livsey said, “Having a big government program can help contain costs, and that’s really been the case with Medicare, which is our largest government-run healthcare program.”

The cons:
“People say they don’t want government-run healthcare. They’re concerned about what it might mean for taking clients away from the private insurance market,” described Livsey.

Opponents fear high costs, waiting lists, and sub-par care. “Even now, in the private sector, you could make the argument that they’re not doing that great a job in terms of quality,” Livsey said.

Toconis added, “I just don’t think the government’s efficient in running anything. The far fewer encroachment that government has in our lives, the better we are.”

“The challenge is how do you pay for it? Because anytime you increase access, it’s also going to increase cost,” Livsey questioned. And that is a central issue: How do we pay for it?

Some provisions suggested by congressional Democrats would tax high-end health-care benefits. That is something Mister Obama campaigned against when he ran for president.

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videoWednesday night, President Obama was on WWAY and ABC talking about where he sees the nation’s healthcare system going. There has been a lot of talk about a proposed public healthcare system. As WWAY’s Meghan Packer reports, folks around here have mixed feelings about the plan.

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healthcare150.jpg

Associated poll

More: continued here

 

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