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Archive for October, 2009

WPD gets technology boost

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

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The Wilmington Police Department has a new piece of equipment helps detect blood alcohol content more quickly. Before they got their new machine, the WPD had to send blood samples to Raleigh to get tested.

Getting results could take months, but now the WPD crime lab can get what they need in just days.

The Wilmington Police Department can now process and analyze blood samples directly from their crime lab instead of shipping the samples to the State Bureau of Investigation in Raleigh thanks to a new technology called a gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer, or “G.C.”

“I basically researched what in Wilmington, what are some of the important things we need help with, we do have a drunk driving problem in this city, so being able to get our DWI results more quickly would be nice, so we can get those cases to trial,” said forensic chemist Bethany Pridgen.

Here’s how it works. Pridgen prepares the blood samples to be analyzed in the GC. The GC heats the blood samples to create vapors, then a needle takes a sample of the vapors and injects it into the instrument where the alcohol is analyzed and a result is determined. Then just to be safe – the process is repeated.

The technology will likely help prosecute cases faster in court.

“What we’re seeing is that while these bad guys are out on bail, they’re committing, and re-offending time and time and time again before their first case is ever heard. So we think this is going to have an impact on that, that we’re going to be able to get these cases in front of the judge much quicker, rather than having to wait for the analysis to come back,” said Chief Ralph Evangelous.

An additional federal grant will give the Wilmington Police Department capability to test controlled substances. That technology should be in place by the end of 2010.

The machine cost $100,000. Wilmington City Council approved the WPD’s request for the money last year.

The Wilmington Police Department is now one of only two local agencies in the state with the ability to perform these tests. The other one is in Charlotte.

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The Wilmington Police Department has a new piece of equipment helps detect blood alcohol content more quickly. Before they got their new machine, the WPD had to send blood samples to Raleigh to get tested.

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Associated poll

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Media day at UNCW

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

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Today was media day for the UNC Wilmington men’s basketball team and that means a chance to get to know the 2009-2010 Seahawks.

Some of the faces are familiar, eight players return from last year. There are also four transfers and two true freshmen.

For head coach Benny Moss, this will be season number four at UNC Wilmington. He’s quite optimistic about a huge improvement from last season’ s seven win campaign.

Midnight Madness takes place this Friday. Don’t wait until midnight to show up. It’ll run from 9:30 pm to 11:00 at Trask Coliseum. The event will feature a dunk contest, a shooting challenge and a got talent contest.

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videoToday was media day for the UNC Wilmington men’s basketball team and that means a chance to get to know the 2009-2010 Seahawks.

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Associated poll

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Is dialysis treatment for kidney failure helping patient’s quality of life?

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

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A growing number of the 400,000 Americans currently on dialysis are over 80 years old.

Though most elderly patients with kidney failure have a limited life expectancy, many doctors assume that treating the symptoms of their kidney failure with dialysis will improve their quality of life, even if it cannot extend their life expectancy. But new research from Stanford University suggests that the opposite is true.

Researchers compared nursing home patients’ ability to care for themselves before and after dialysis treatment and found that the patients experienced a significant decline in their ability to perform simple daily tasks, such as feeding themselves, getting dressed, or brushing their teeth, after starting dialysis.

In fact, in the first year of dialysis, only 13% of the over 3,000 patients they followed maintained the level of functioning they had had in the previous year.

In the future, researchers hope that doctors and patients will take into account all the drawbacks of dialysis treatment for elderly patients, including its effect on their everyday functioning and quality of life.

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Nearly 400,000 Americans with kidney failure are currently on dialysis treatment. Though many doctors assume dialysis will improve elderly patients’ quality of life, new research finds this may not be the case.

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Associated poll

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Wilmington crime lab can now do DWI tests

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

By David ReynoldsDave.Reynolds@StarNewsOnline.com

In the spring of 2008, after a 95-year-old woman was attacked and sexually assaulted at her home in downtown Wilmington, local authorities resolved to act quickly.

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Artists, restaurants team up to help the hungry

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

By Shelby SebensShelby.Sebens@StarNewsOnline.com

Rainy, cold weather makes for a good soup day. And that’s just what the Associated Artists of Southport needed Wednesday for its Empty Bowls fundraiser.

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