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Archive for August, 2009

Baby has toes chewed off by pit bull

Monday, August 31st, 2009

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An Onslow County couple is charged with child abuse after their 4-month old child had his toes chewed off by a dog.

Deputies say Robie Lynn Jenkins and Tremayne Spillman were dog-sitting for their friend’s pit bull overnight.

Jenkins told authorities she was on medication, and didn’t hear the baby cry out in the night, even though she was sleeping in the same room as him.

She said she discovered his injuries when she was changing his diaper in the morning.

The baby was taken to the hospital, where he may have to have his foot amputated.

Jenkins and Spillman are now facing charges of felony child abuse.

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An Onslow County couple is charged with child abuse after their 4-month old child had his toes chewed off by a dog.

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New Hanover County property owners can expect tax bills soon

Monday, August 31st, 2009

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New Hanover County will send out more than 100,000 property tax bills later this week. With a struggling economy, tax officials said they are more willing to work with property owners to help them meet their obligations.

“We’ll take 5 dollars, 10 dollars, whatever you can afford,” said tax administrator Roger Kelley. “In these times, it is difficult and we don’t want to see anybody to go into foreclosure.”

Property owners are in favor of setting up payment plans, as long as everyone fulfills their obligations.

“Well if they give the property owner an extension, then the property owner’s has to be willing to be able to uphold and pay the taxes when they come due,” said property owner Donna Willetts.

They will have until January 5th to pay their property taxes without any late fees or interest. By spreading the payments out over several months they are confident they will be able to meet the deadline.

Property owner Danyce Dicks said, “I think it will be helpful to the homeowners, it will be flexible, and people will be able to pay it.”

Helping property owners avoid foreclosure helps everyone deal with the tax burden. “We want you to stay in your home, we want you to stay in your business,” said Kelley. “Every time we take a piece of property we’re taking those taxes off the books, which means that everybody else that’s paying taxes is going to have to pick up that difference.”

This year’s tax bills will have a different look and different guidelines for veterans, the elderly, and disabled. For a full explanation of the new changes you can stop by the tax administration office located at the New Hanover County Government Center.

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videoNew Hanover County property owners will find their tax bills in the mailbox next week. Tax officials say dealing with the debt right away can help ease the burden on everyone.

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Will Rex Gore recuse himself from Tabor City shooting case?

Monday, August 31st, 2009

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We are expecting word any day now from the Columbus County district attorney, as to what charges, if any, will come out of a shooting in Tabor City last week.

State Senator RC Soles said he shot a client of his who was trying to break into his home. Twenty-two-year-old Kyle Blackburn told our reporter he was leaving soles property when he was shot.

In the week since that shooting, news outlets locally and across the state have questioned whether District Attorney Rex Gore, a friend and long time political ally of Senator Soles, should recuse himself from this case and ask a special prosecutor to decide what charges are appropriate. Gore has told us he sees no conflict of interest.

We have researched the issue. Here are the criteria for requesting a special prosecutor under North Carolina law:

The General Statute reads, “although there is not always an actual conflict of interest in these cases, it is sometimes better from a ‘public perception’ standpoint to eliminate an appearance of conflict or some suggestion that the matter will not be handled properly. Having a separate independent prosecutorial agency assume responsibility for these types of cases is in the best interest of the proper administration of justice in assuring the public that the case will be handled properly and in the public’s best interest.”

The statute goes on to list examples of cases which fall into this category. One of those examples: “when a local attorney, law enforcement officer, court official, or other public official is investigated or charged, and the district attorney has a personal or professional relationship with that person such that his ability to be fair and impartial will be questioned.”

In this case, Senator Soles is a local attorney and a public official. Rex Gore has both a personal and professional relationship with Senator Soles that dates back more than 20 years. The two were linked together in a federal investigation back in the 1980’s, where prosecutors accused Soles of buying votes to help get Rex Gore elected. Those charges were eventually dropped.

So far, Mr. Gore says he has no intention of stepping aside.

The investigative report from the SBI is expected to be released this week.

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videoWe are expecting word any day now from the Columbus County district attorney, as to what charges, if any, will come out of a shooting in Tabor City last week.

State Senator RC Soles said he shot a client of his who was trying to break into his home.

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Associated poll

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More than $50 million will help highway and bridge projects

Monday, August 31st, 2009

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The governor has announced that more than $50 million will go to highway and bridge projects across the state.

One of the projects includes replacing the bridge over Bear Branch Highway 130 near the Brunswick/Columbus County line. The governor said this will create jobs and help the state’s economy.

In total, 21 contracts were awarded.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, every $1 million spent on transportation creates 30 jobs.

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The governor has announced that more than $50 million will go to highway and bridge projects across the state.

One of the projects includes replacing the bridge over Bear Branch Highway 130 near the Brunswick/Columbus County line.

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Associated poll

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“One Tree Hill” actors leap from Wrightsville Beach bridge

Monday, August 31st, 2009

By Amy HotzAmy.Hotz@StarNewsOnline.com

After a compromise was reached last week, two “One Tree Hill” actors finally got their chance today to jump off a bridge.

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