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Archive for June, 2009

Burgaw man charged with sexual abuse of 9-year-old girl

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

A man from Pender County is in jail on charges of sexually abusing a 9-year-old girl, officials said.

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Family to post Maisenhelder’s reduced bond

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

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The owner of a Wilmington afterschool program, charged with taking indecent liberties with children, will be out of jail tonight.

Cameras were not allowed in the courtroom Wednesday in order not to identify the alleged victims or their parents, but inside it was standing room only and the majority of people were there to support the accused karate instructor.

“I’m just appalled at the thought at what is going on, and I’m hoping my daughter stays over John’s house tonight,” said Maisenhelder’s neighbor and friend Steven Hertz.

Supporters were relieved a judge ruled to dramatically lower John Maisenhelder’s bond from half a million dollars to $25,000, bond, his family, will post.

“I have four children and I would trust him from now until forever with them. I have this secure feeling that he’s going to be exonerated because we know what they don’t have,” said Alisha Spiknall.

Maisenhelder was arrested last week after investigators searched his home, and afterschool program, called CAST.

The search warrant, according to the prosecution, reveals videotape showing Maisenhelder in what could be inappropriate contact with three young girls ranging from kindergarten aged, to third grade.

Maisenhleder’s attorney responded in a news conference following the hearing. “I have reviewed some of the video tape. Its description in the search warrant from a police detective solely and I fundamentally disagree with what it depicts,” said Woody White.

Inside the courtroom, White argued that at least twenty other children were present, as well as three adults, during the alleged molestation.

As a condition of his release, Maisenhelder will not be allowed to have contact with the alleged victims. He’s not allowed to have access to any place that has kids under 14, and he must wear a GPS tracking device so the DA’s office has knowledge of where he is at all times.

Since the news of his arrest, four more alleged victims have come forward with allegations against Maisenhelder.

Six alleged victims were interviewed today and eight more are expected to be interviewed tomorrow.

Maisenhelder’s friends and family say they have no doubt he is innocent of all the charges.

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videoThe owner of a Wilmington afterschool program, charged with taking indecent liberties with children, will be out of jail tonight.

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Associated poll

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Hospital room makeovers – NHRMC renovates, one floor at a time

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

By Vicky EckenrodeVicky.Eckenrode@StarNewsOnline.com

Workers will move floor by floor to revamp rooms and rebuild floor designs to increase privacy for patients and efficiency for doctors and nurses.

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Judge reduces Maisenhelder’s bond from $500,000 to $25,000

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

By Veronica GonzalezVeronica.Gonzalez@StarNewsOnline.com

WILMINGTON — A 61-year-old karate instructor accused of molesting at least three underage girls could soon be out of jail after a judge reduced his bond from $500,000 to $25,000 during a court hearing Wednesday.

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Teacher reference policies under the microscope

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

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Former Williston Middle School teacher Jessica Wishnask was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a fifteen-year-old student. She resigned from Williston after being suspended twice and managed to move on and teach in another county, partially because New Hanover County schools gave her a good recommendation.

“The problem with this case is that you have a school and a school board that can see the smoke, but can’t smell the fire,” said Duke Lineberry.

Looking from the outside in, former school board chair, and now attorney Duke Lineberry says the school board had no hard evidence to prove Wishnask was having an inappropriate relationship with a student. According to him, the school department simply recommended her based on her abilities as a teacher.

“If an employer makes a recommendation that is not favorable to the employee, than the employer runs the risk that the employee can sue the employer for defamation or slander,” said Lineberry.

Wishnask had been suspended twice with pay while at Williston. That information was available to her future employer if they had asked for it. However, according to Lineberry, the law states a current employer has no obligation to the employee to give them a recommendation in the first place. “Over the years, employers have found out that favorable recommendations may not even be favorable enough to some employees.”

Some even coined Wishnask an example of the term “passing the trash”, recommending an employee teach somewhere else when they may have a troubled past.

But Lineberry says if he were still on the board, he wouldn’t have done a thing different.

North Carolina is also a right to work state, meaning employees have the right to take their skill and find work, anywhere within state lines.

If an employer were to give a bad recommendation, not only are they running the risk of defamation or slander, but also they’re preventing that employee from practicing their trade within this state.

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videoFormer Williston Middle School teacher Jessica Wishnask was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a fifteen-year-old student. She resigned from Williston after being suspended twice and managed to move on and teach in another county, partially because New Hanover County schools gave her a good recommendation.

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Associated poll

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