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Archive for November, 2009

Police seek help identifying shoplifting suspects who assaulted security officer

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Wilmington | Police are asking for help identifying several people who they say beat a Walmart employee who tried to stop the suspects from shoplifting.The assault occurred at 3:23 p.m. May 25 at the Walmart on Sigmon Road, according to a statement from Lucy Crockett, spokeswoman for the Wilmington Police Department.

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Wilmington police investigating break-in

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Wilmington | Someone broke into a home Wednesday on Long Leaf Hills Drive and stole wedding bands, a high school ring and other jewelry, officials said.

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Inside 911: The job of an operator

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

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“New Hanover County 911. What’s the address of your emergency?”

It is a question 911 operators ask for twelve hours a day. The question is routine, but the answer is always unique. “Every day’s a little different, I guess that is the best way to put it,” said 911 operator Vic Rule.

Most 911 operators say that is what they love about the job; at least according to those who stick with it.

“They say the average life span of a dispatcher is 3 to 5 years. I just made it,” said Christopher Enyart.

Rule added, “It’s always a hard job here of keeping people because of the multi-tasking, the stress, and the hours.”

With constant pressure and just three, ten minute breaks scattered throughout the work day, it is no surprise 911 operators turn over at such a high rate.

“It can eat at a person to sit there and be able to hear someone crying for help and knowing that your hands are kind of tied because you’re behind the scenes,” Rule said.

Enyart said, “One of the most dangerous things you can be here is apathetic. You know you have to care all the time.”

That can be exhausting, especially at New Hanover county 911, one of the busiest centers in the state. Operators take calls for the Wilmington Police Department, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, police at Wrightsville, Carolina and Kure beaches, county fire departments, EMS, and UNCW.

Some operators train for an entire year before taking calls on their own. “The training is very intensive. Anyone who clears training, fully clears training, is highly, highly qualified,” Enyart said.

Still, all the training in the world can not prepare dispatchers for every emergency call. Enyart said, “When I first started here I had nightmares for days, but that’s not uncommon.”

That is why 911 operators work in teams. They say building a family of dispatchers benefits the people on both ends of the phone calls.

“We try to be supportive as much as we can, not just with everyone here, but with the callers we deal with,” Rule said.

For long-term 911 operators, it is those callers that keep them coming back to the job. “You know you go to work everyday and you do something that helps people,” added Enyart.

Last year, New Hanover County 911 operators answered almost half a million calls for service.

Tune in to WWAY at 11 and we will listen to some of those calls and hear first hand what the dispatchers deal with on a regular basis.

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videoIn an emergency we see the police officers, the firefighters, and the paramedics, but we never see the 911 operators who get them there. New Hanover County’s 911 dispatchers say it is a high stress, fast-paced, unpredictable job – and they would not have it any other way.

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Associated poll

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Man fined after spear-fishing grouper off Wrightsville Beach

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

By David ReynoldsDave.Reynolds@StarNewsOnline.com

A man has been ordered to pay a $500 replacement fee after he pleaded guilty to possessing a federally protected fish, caught off Wrightsville Beach this summer, officials said.

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The Droid enters the cell phone market

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

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From emailing to snapping pictures, the functionality of new-aged cell phones is mind-boggling. So how do you know which device is best for you?

There’s the i-Phone, Blackberry, and tomorrow, the Droid.

Many people would agree, the Apple i-Phone currently holds the crown as the most coveted phone on the market.

“You can just consolidate so much, your camera, your laptop, your i-Pod, your media player, everything all into one device that you can carry around in your pocket,” said Webster Gomez of Best Buy.

The Blackberry is also a hot item, especially in the corporate world…

“We basically send and receive a lot of e-mails, I need to have my calendar synced up to my phone when I’m on the go. That’s going to be your typical blackberry user,” said Greg Williams, a Verizon sales rep.

But the competition heats up with the release of Verizon’s new phone, the Droid, in stores Friday.

“Our network is the nation’s most largest and reliable network, so when you take that and put this phone on our network, nothing else is really going to stand up to it,” Williams said.

The Droid is a Motorola phone operating on Google’s Android operating system. It has many of the same characteristics as the i-Phone with a touch screen that rotates when you move it, downloadable apps, and it runs on the same 3-g network.

But unlike the i-Phone, the Droid has a higher mega pixel camera with a flash and zoom, and two keyboards: a touch-screen and a physical one.

So which one is right for you?

Price-wise, Blackberries are generally the cheapest of the three. They can range from 50 to 250 dollars.

The Droid’s 100 dollar rebate makes it the same price as the i-Phone at about 200 bucks.

The Blackberry, i-Phone, and Droid all carry a two-year contract and a separate internet data plan.

Gomez says, no matter which phone you choose, you can’t go wrong. “For your traditional business, I need my e-mail, I need my organization, I need my calendar, things like that, definitely go with the Blackberry. People who want maybe a few more fun features such as the third party applications, maybe having the i-Pod directly on your phone, definitely go with the i-Phone.”

As for the Droid, Gomez added, “Hopefully it’s going to have a mixture of the two, as far as having the serious business capable uses of a Blackberry, but also the fun uses of the touch screen i-Phone.”

If you’re thinking of getting the Droid or any other advanced product with Verizon, be warned; starting November 15th, there will be a 350 dollar early termination fee, but every month you’re on the contract, that fee drops ten dollars.

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videoFrom emailing to snapping pictures, the functionality of new-aged cell phones is mind-boggling. So how do you know which device is best for you?

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Associated poll

More: continued here

 

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