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Archive for November, 2009

Kim Munley reflects on her act of heroism

Thursday, November 12th, 2009


Sergeant Kim Munley sat beside Mark Todd on the Oprah show. Both civilian police officers, and both credited with stopping Major Nidal Malik Hasan’s shooting spree at Fort Hood.

The two received a standing ovation for their heroism. Munley is credited as being the first responder, taking down Hasan while he charged her with a gun in each hand.

“The entire incident was very confusing and chaotic. There were many people outside pointing to the direction this individual was apparently located, and as soon as I got out of my vehicle and ran up the hill is when things began getting really bad and we started encountering fire,” she said.

Had it not been for the bravery of Munley and Todd, many say what happened at Fort Hood could have been worse.

Years ago she was nicknamed Mighty Mouse for her small stature, but courageous attitude after an incident where Munley took down a suspect going for Detective Appler’s gun.

“Luckily I was able to stop that from happening, and Shawn happened to assign me a nickname that stuck with me throughout the years,” Munley recalled.

Now on a national stage, it was a nickname Shaun Appler didn’t think would ever go beyond their patrol car.

“I’m just so proud of her. It’s just a testament to how strong she is. Just a few days ago she took a couple of gun shots and now she’s able to sit up and talk to Oprah,” Detective Appler said.

Kim Munley is still in the Metroplex Hospital, recuperating from gunshot wounds and multiple surgeries.

“I’m doing well. Every day is progress for me and things are getting better day by day and emotionally, I’m just hoping the rest of the officers and the families of the deceased are healing as well,” Munley said.

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videoIn her first television interview since the shooting at Fort Hood, hometown hero Kim Munley Wednesday reflected on the incident that left 13 dead, and 43 injured.

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Oversanitizing: Are you doing more harm?

Thursday, November 12th, 2009


Labels on cleaning products boast claims that they can kill the flu virus or eliminate 99.9% of germs. But some experts say a few germs might be a good thing and keeping a clean house could be what’s getting people sick.

Grace Maiwandi admits she’s become a little more conscious of her cleaning to keep her grandson from getting the flu. Maiwandi soaks his toys in water with a little bleach to kill the germs, but she says some cleaners do more harm than good.

“If you ever try and clean in a bathroom and you put Lysol, I mean the fumes will over power you,” she said.

Doctor Sean Lucas says the while chemical cleaners are effective, but they can cause quite a headache.

“We have lots of people come in because their asthma gets triggered by people disinfecting, cleaning too much,” said Dr. Lucas. “In work place environments, people who have reactions to perfumes, all sorts of scents, especially with cleaning agents.”

According to the hygiene hypothesis, American’s are cleaning themselves sick. Lucas says wiping away all the dirt and germs could actually cause an illness. “Yu don’t see them as much in these third world countries where they’re cohabitating with their livestock, they have animals in the house, they don’t use as many disinfectants and things that we use here in the United States.”

Leaving a bit of bacteria behind could actually be a good thing, especially for kids. Dr. Lucas said, “Definitely you need some sort of bacterial exposure to kind of tweak your immune system to mature it appropriately, but then certainly there’s overkill.”

Maiwanidi says she’ll choose her cleaners carefully, and always be prepared. “That’s why I always carry a little sanitizer in my purse and in my car just to prevent this flu from affecting him at all.”

Dr. Lucas says the best way to prevent the spread of germs is to wash your hands. While sometimes overwashing can cause irritation, simple soap and water should kill the harmful germs and keep you healthy.

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videoConcerns about the seasonal flu and H1N1 have people putting extra emphasis on keeping their homes and bodies clean. But all the disinfectant and antibacterial soaps could actually be doing you more harm than good.

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Murder suspect’s sister testifies against him

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

By Veronica GonzalezVeronica.Gonzalez@StarNewsOnline.com

The why is still a mystery in Dywaune ReShaune Simpson’s slaying more than two years ago, but jurors got closer to piecing together an answer to that question on Thursday when they heard how the paths of the 21-year-old and the suspect in his murder crossed.

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State speaks up for domestic violence victims

Thursday, November 12th, 2009


Over the weekend, the US House of Representatives approved a health care reform bill. The plan would stop insurance companies from denying patients coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

A women’s rights group says eight states, including North Carolina, currently let insurers deny coverage to victims of domestic violence because they are high-risk.

The claim from the Women’s Law Center has forced regulators to check potential loopholes in state law. For victims of domestic violence, the possibility of being denied insurance coverage for what happened to them is just another indignity.

“He would threaten me in front of the kids, he would say he was going to kill me and bury me outside,” said a domestic violence victim who asked to be called ‘Maria’.

It’s a threat many victims of domestic violence have heard before, and yet victims are so scared of their abuser, that the threat may not be enough to make them leave.

Prosecutor Joe Bowman sees it all too often. “Their self-esteem, their self worth and how much courage they have, has been reduced.”

It took ‘Maria’ ten years before she left her abusive husband. “I was scared that if I didn’t, what would he do? He had hit me over the head with a glass bottle.”

But could being a victim actually lead an insurance company to deny health coverage?

The D.C. based Women’s Law Center says yes.

The group named North Carolina as one of eight states that consider domestic violence injuries, whether physical or emotional, pre-existing conditions.

In the center’s study, domestic violence victims were grouped alongside people with illnesses like diabetes, and heart disease.

When we told ‘Maria’ about the claim, she was shocked. “Whenever you are a domestic violence victim, when you’re in it for 6 months, you may be fine, but when you’re in it for 10 years and you have children, you do require counseling.”

“You may be suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome, it’s very typical, from anxiety disorder, you may need to see a psychiatrist, or psychologist. You may need to go through substance abuse, and it costs money,” Bowman said.

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin says the study’s findings have no merit. “When we hear that North Carolina is included on a very dastardly list. First of all, we would combat it immediately.”

Goodwin admits the law may appear a bit fuzzy, but for individual coverage, insurance agencies could face severe disciplinary action if they try to deny a victim coverage for this reason. “North Carolina would never want to be another hurdle to persons that have been abused.”

Goodwin has filed a change with the legislature’s rule review committee to clarify that North Carolina does not discriminate against domestic violence victims.

US Senator Richard Burr says if insurance companies were denying coverage to domestic violence victims, they would find another excuse.
“They would never allow the insurance company to put that on their application, so that’s not a problem today, but the only way to do away with it altogether is to get rid of pre-existing conditions in total. I’m for that,” Burr said.

Burr has the chance to do that when the Senate takes up the House’s reform plan.

‘Maria’ hopes that freedom will give other victims the courage to seek treatment for their injuries and escape their prison of abuse. “I want to make them know that it wasn’t our fault that we were abuse victims.”

If passed, the administrative rule change won’t go into place until March 1, but this is an example of state lawmakers acting on an issue, and working to change it.

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videoOver the weekend, the US House of Representatives approved a health care reform bill. The plan would stop insurance companies from denying patients coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

High school athletes declare where they’ll play compete collegiately

Thursday, November 12th, 2009


A handful of high school athletes from the Cape Fear region made a big leap Thursday by signing their national letters of intent.

As the quarterback of New Hanover High School, Jordan Betts is totally focused on football, but once the season ends Jordan Betts will turn his attention to baseball. Thursday afternoon Jordan signed his national letter of intent to play baseball for the Duke Blue Devils.

“For me it’s just a lot of weight off my shoulders. Now I can focus on finishing my work my senior year and heading to Durham,” Betts said.

At Duke, Jordan will play shortstop or possibly 3rd base.

New Hanover senior Cari Blalock is one of the top high school swimmers in the country. She’ll be taking her aquatic skills to Bayou Country; she’ll be swimming for the LSU Tigers.

“I am so excited to officially be an LSU Tiger. I can now say that I’m going to LSU instead of just saying that I’ve committed and I want to swim there.”

One Wilmington athlete will be staying close to home. Laney softball phenom Tori Sewell will play at UNC Wilmington. She made that official on Thursday. ” I come from an athletic family. I certainly owe a lot to father.”

South Brunswick Cougar Kaitlin Clemmons also plays softball. Next year she’ll be a catcher for Barton College. “I’ve been thinking about playing going to college to play softball since I was little. It means a lot that I’ll be able to go.”

We’ve got one more signing to pass along. Cape Fear Community College basketball standout Cephus Oglesby signed with Towson State today. Towson is in the CAA, which means next year, Cephus will play against UNC Wilmington.

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videoA handful of high school athletes from the Cape Fear region made a big leap Thursday by signing their national letters of intent.

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Associated poll

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News provided by WWAY NewsChannel 3 and the StarNewsOnline

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