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Archive for July, 2009

Women’s correctional facility in danger of shutting down

Monday, July 20th, 2009

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Nearly 25 female inmates are in danger of losing the place they call home. “I became a grandmother last night. If I was anywhere else, I wouldn’t have been able to talk to my children and hear my grandson cry. These women, this staff, they care about what happens to our lives,” said inmate Zoritta Wood.

Zoritta looks back on what she calls one bad decision that managed to change her life forever. Dabbling in illegal drugs landed her in prison, and eventually the women’s correctional facility. “When you’re dealing with tragedies, when you’re dealing with things that befall your life, and you don’t know where to turn,” she said.

With more than eighty days left in her sentence, Wood, along with other inmates, are on edge; waiting to find out if the facility will lose funding, and have to shut its doors. “We’re not going to be working together anymore. We’re going to be strung out in different places. It’s not going to be the same, it’s just sad,” said program supervisor Christina Dillon.

The facility that once had 36 inmates now is down to 25. Those spots can’t be filled because they’re frozen in the state’s budget. Zoritta Wood wants legislators in Raleigh to know that this facility saved her. “This program changes women’s lives. It builds futures, not only that but it helps our children.”

And what does the future hold for Wood?

It is looking bright thanks to the support and redemption she said she received at the Wilmington Residential Facility. “I graduated last May with honors and a degree in diesel mechanics.”

Wood hopes to pursue a career in truck driving and mechanics.

The deadline for the state budget has been extended to next week. The facility expects to hear word from Raleigh next Friday, July 31st. If it does close down, the staff members will be placed in jobs similar to what they are in now. The inmates would be transferred to another similar facility in North Carolina.

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videoA few months ago we told you about a women’s correctional facility at risk of shutting down. The Wilmington Residential Facility is a home for women serving criminal sentences, but who also work and contribute to the community.

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Associated poll

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Attorney General Cooper visits Badges for Baseball

Monday, July 20th, 2009

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North Carolina’s top cop took to the mound in Wilmington Monday. Attorney General Roy Cooper visited the Badges for Baseball program at the community Boys and Girls Club.

Badges for Baseball is a crime prevention program. Law enforcement officers volunteer to mentor and coach kids. Cooper said it gives officers a chance to hear what is going on in the communities and kids’ lives. Thirty-six agencies and 16 community organizations participate across the state.

“Where kids used to run from a police car in the neighborhood, now they’re running to it because they know the law enforcement officer and they know that officer is going to be a positive role model in their life,” said Cooper.

New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon and District Attorney Ben David also attended Monday’s event; taking time to meet with Cooper, as well as speak to the kids about staying safe.

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North Carolina’s top cop took to the mound in Wilmington Monday. Attorney General Roy Cooper visited the Badges for Baseball program at the community Boys and Girls Club.

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Associated poll

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Authorities name suspect in Supply burglary

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Supply | The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help finding a man wanted in connection with a burglary last week.Authorities are searching for Rodney Wayne Suggs, 40.A home was burglarized Thursday off Hewett Road, which is off Stone Chimney Road in Supply, according to a statement from Beth Boling of the sheriff’s office.

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Suspected murderer makes court appearance

Monday, July 20th, 2009

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A Wilmington man suspected of murder has turned himself in to authorities. Monday, Leroy Bernard Sampson Jr. made his first appearance in court.

Sampson was quickly ushered into a New Hanover County courtroom to appear before a judge. Sampson is charged with first degree murder for the death of 17-year-old Tyshawn Gause.

Gause was shot and killed just over a week ago at the corner of 8th and Red Cross. It was the first murder the city of Wilmington has had this year.

District Attorney Ben David said Sampson made a good move turning himself in. “Given the seriousness of the charges, it’s an important step to bring it into the courts and take it from off the street. We are pleased that he made the wise choice to turn himself in.”

Sampson will remain in the New Hanover County jail without bond pending a trial.

Along with first degree murder, Sampson is also charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and weapon possession by a felon.

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A Wilmington man suspected of murder has turned himself in to authorities. Monday, Leroy Bernard Sampson Jr. made his first appearance in court.

Sampson was quickly ushered into a New Hanover County courtroom to appear before a judge.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

New Hanover ditches November sales tax referendum

Monday, July 20th, 2009

By Chris Mazzolini,Chris.Mazzolini@StarNewsOnline.com

The New Hanover County commissioners withdrew a one-quarter cent sales tax referendum from the November ballot, and will instead consider putting it before the voters in May 2010.

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