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Archive for August, 2009

Some vets being denied health care

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

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Health care is a hot topic, especially when it comes to those who have served our country. A local veteran seeking surgery reported to the VA Hospital in Fayetteville says he was turned away over money.

Roddie Jones has been suffering with a hernia for weeks.

As a Navy veteran, he figured he would go to the Veterans Medical Hospital in Fayetteville for treatment, or so he thought.

“They are denying me treatment at the veterans hospital and I never thought for once that a veteran would be denied service at a veterans hospital,” Jones said.

At the hospital, Jones says he was turned away because he wasn’t eligible for care.

His income level from 2008 exceeded the threshold to receive treatment at a reduced cost.

“That’s why I joined the military, so that I would have benefits later on in life when I needed them,” Jones said.

He needs surgery now more than ever since he lost his job back in September.

According to the Veterans Affairs website, to receive health care benefits a vet would have to make less than $41,000 for the year.

Roddie made just above that last year.

We contacted the hospital on their eligibility standards and why a vet could have been turned away. “I don’t know the circumstances involving this individual, again if you have a medical condition that needs to be treated today you would be seen. I can’t answer beyond that,” said Cathryn Zureck the VA Chief Health Administration Director.

The fact of the matter is, the law has restrictions on providing health care for veterans based on their condition in or out of service and their income level.

This past June, the VA tightened restrictions for patients to receive health benefits.

“I don’t think income should be an issue, if I served my country then I should be entitled to the benefits,” Jones said.

There is hope for Jones. A representative from the VA Hospital in Fayetteville told us all he would have to do is apply for the hardship program to readjust his income level.

Unemployment is factored in to be eligible for benefits.

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videoHealth care is a hot topic, especially when it comes to those who have served our country. A local veteran seeking surgery reported to the VA Hospital in Fayetteville says he was turned away over money.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

No charges filed after miscarried infant remains found in Leland

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

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The investigation in the case of infant remains found buried in the backyard of a Leland home is over.

The report came back Thursday from the Brunswick County Medical Examiner’s Office, and it turns out the remains were the result of a miscarriage.

Because there’s no apparent crime here, investigators aren’t releasing the names of the former suspects. No arrests were made.

North Carolina state law says anything under the age of 24-weeks-old isn’t considered a life.

“It’s a horrible part of nature that we don’t like, but we have to work through it,” said Dr. Greg Woodfill of Carolina Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The case surrounding infant remains found buried behind a Leland home is now officially closed.

According to the Brunswick County Medical Examiner’s Office, the fetus was only thirteen or fourteen weeks old and had been miscarried.

In our state, that means the fetus has not developed enough to be considered a “life.”

Initially, the possible charges were concealment of the birth of a child and concealment of death. However, since the state doesn’t consider it a child yet, the charges were dropped.

“The charges of not reporting the birth, or disposing of the body, would not necessarily apply,” said Brunswick DA Rex Gore.

But there have been cases in our area where parents have abandoned a child in an unsafe environment.

North Carolina has what’s known as the safe-haven law. It states that any woman with a baby under seven days old and realizes she cannot care for it, the baby can be brought to a “safe” location like a police or fire station with no questions asked.

The North Carolina State Bar Association says this law enables adoptive parents who can provide and take care of a child, the opportunity to do so.

According to doctors, miscarriages can’t be prevented, but say it is important to receive proper care leading up to and during a pregnancy.

Despite the current woes of the health care system, there are still options like governmental and state funding, for expecting moms who may not have access to proper insurance.

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videoThe report came back Thursday from the Brunswick County Medical Examiner’s Office, and it turns out the remains were the result of a miscarriage.

Because there’s no apparent crime here, investigators aren’t releasing the names of the former suspects. No arrests were made.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

New Ogden treatment plant offers better water

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

By Chris MazzoliniChris.Mazzolini@StarNewsOnline.com

Roughly 17,000 other residents in northern New Hanover County will soon turn their softeners off for good and find better tasting water flowing from their taps.

More: continued here

Man robs Chuck E. Cheese

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

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Wilmington police are looking for a man who robbed the Chuck E. Cheese’s on Oleander Drive.

It happened around 12:00 Thursday afternoon. Police say the robber approached the counter when no customers were around, told the clerk he had a gun, and demanded money.

He didn’t show a gun, but the employee gave him the money and a witness says he left on a bike.

Families who were at Chuck E. Cheese when it happened say they were concerned for their safety.

“What if one of our children had been taken, this fellow would have gotten desperate. You just don’t know, you just don’t know, if he had a weapon, and we were in there having a good time with our children,” said Paula Knox.

The suspect is a black male wearing dark shorts, a blue short-sleeved shirt, and a baseball camp, that possibly has a “Hello Kitty” logo on it.

If you have information, call Wilmington police at 343-3600.

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Wilmington police are looking for a man who robbed the Chuck E. Cheese’s on Oleander Drive.

It happened around 12:00 Thursday afternoon. Police say the robber approached the counter when no customers were around, told the clerk he had a gun, and demanded money.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

Alleged Soles victim explains why he didn’t come forward sooner

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

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Many people in the community have been telling us for months that the behavior with Senator Soles and various young men in Columbus County has been happening for a long time. Today, we are taking a look at why there is no official action has been taken to date.

“He did try to molest me when I was 15 years old,” said Soles’ client, Stacey Scott in August 2008.

Stacey Scott tells NewsChannel 3 there are a lot of reasons he has not come forward before now to talk to authorities about State Senator RC Soles. One of them is money.

“Would you refuse 3, 4 thousand dollars? He just hands it to me, hands it to me, and says, ‘don’t tell nobody where you got this. You can get in a lot of trouble’,” Scott said.

Stacey Scott also said Senator Soles wields a lot of power in Columbus County. He said he did not know if anybody would do anything about it if he did come forward.

“He said, ‘I’ll have you done away with and nobody will ever ask questions. Don’t you know who I am? I’m a senator. I’ve been a senator for 40 years’,” added Scott.

What’s more, Scott did not think anyone would listen to him. He has a criminal record, which is why he was a legal client of Senator Soles. “Nobody is ever going to believe anybody like me with my criminal record. Nobody is going to believe me,” he said. “But RC Soles is not the man he paints the picture to be.”

There is no way for us to know if Stacey Scott is telling the truth. Senator Soles has consistently refused to speak with us about these serious allegations. But Scott’s story meshes with speculation that has gone on in Tabor City for years. We asked the district attorney for Columbus County if his office has ever acted on these accusations.

“We can’t prosecute people because of things we hear out in the community, or things we know are being said, it takes evidence,” said Columbus County DA Rex Gore.

Stacey Scott’s interview with us may have changed the playing field. The State Bureau of Investigation is now looking into these charges of molestation, but DA Rex Gore said it will be an uphill battle. “Sex crimes are difficult to prosecute. It is very seldom that you’ll see cases go to the point where arrests are made and people’s lives are altered, based on one person’s uncorroborated statement.”

Difficult to prove or not, Mr. Gore said Senator Soles close ties to many of those in law enforcement will not hinder this investigation. “I would hope that the public would start with the proposition that the elected district attorneys in this state are committed to doing our job, and our job is to prosecute crime,” Gore said.

We want to repeat that we have been trying to talk with the senator about not only these charges, but also about reports we have done on 17-year-old Allen Strickland. Senator Soles bought the Tabor City teen a house, and gives him a generous allowance. The senator told another news organization it was simply a kind gesture for a good friend, and Allen Strickland tells us there is nothing sexual going on between the two of them. However, there are still dozens of unanswered questions. And we continue, as recently as this afternoon, with our attempts to talk to Senator Soles.

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videoMany people in the community have been telling us for months that the behavior with Senator Soles and various young men in Columbus County has been happening for a long time. Today, we are taking a look at why there is no official action has been taken to date.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

 

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