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Archive for December, 2009

DA wants death for NC man accused of killing 3

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

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GASTONIA, N.C. — A prosecutor says he wants the death penalty for a man charged with killing three North Carolina women. Two of the women’s bodies were found in South Carolina.

The Gaston Gazette reports Tuesday that Gaston County District Attorney Locke Bell says he plans to pursue the death penalty against 47-year-old Danny Robbie Hembree Jr. of Gastonia.

Hembree was arrested over the weekend and charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of 30-year-old Randi Dean Saldana and 17-year-old Heather Catterton.

Hembree has also been charged with killing 30-year-old Deborah Denise Ratchford in a Gastonia cemetery 1992.

Hembree was jailed without bond. He told a judge Monday he wants to represent himself, but a public defender will still be appointed.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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A prosecutor says he wants the death penalty for a man charged with killing three North Carolina women. Two of the women’s bodies were found in South Carolina.

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Associated poll

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ABC salaries the topic of discussion at heated County Commission meeting

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

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The New Hanover County Commission appoints the ABC Board members, who in turn, hire its employees. Monday night, an ABC Board member admitted that raises for two of its administrators were excessive; especially given the economic climate.

Steve Culbreth, a member of the New Hanover County ABC Board, answered questions from commissioners about salaries of two of the board’s employees. “As we told them, the raise that we gave Mr. Williams at the end of the fiscal year was inappropriate given the fiscal situation,” said Culbreth.

ABC Administrator Billy Williams makes more than $230,000. His son, Brad, pulls in more than $150,000 per year. While the county has required mandatory furlough days for its employees, and has cut positions, the ABC employees got at least a 6% raise last fiscal year.

There are seven ABC stores throughout the county, and according to the board, they are the second most profitable in the state; justifying the substantial yearly pay.

“I think they’re making a good salary, but if not we’ll look in to it,” added Culbreth.

The commission recommended having a yearly meeting to review the ABC Board’s operating procedures.

Some area residents were not happy with that recommendation. Michael Dell said, “We were actually sort of disappointed, or I was disappointed with this meeting.”

Dell is a resident near 17th and Castle streets. ABC purchased that land, but has yet to expand its store that neighbors Dell’s property. Dell, and other nearby residents, would like to see the board re-evaluated.

“I don’t know if the question is with Billy Williams salary. Its that this board, a board which is appointed by the county commissioners, is allowed to just be over-run,” Dell added.

The commissioners will meet with the ABC Board again in ninety days. The commission also recommended the board look at procedures in terms of hiring people who are related.

On another note, Jason Thompson was appointed the new chairman while Jonathan Barfield was appointed new vice chair.

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videoThere was a heated New Hanover County Commission meeting Monday night. Commissioners questioned the ABC Board about six figure salaries that have raised some eyebrows.

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Associated poll

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Sweet staches for charity

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

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Today’s snapshot was sent to us by David Hardin and the Cape Fear Community College’s Sea Devil Stache Society. David is among a group at CFCC growing their best facial hair out for the “Mustaches for Kids” charity.

You can vote on your favorite ‘stache from this group at Java Dog in downtown Wilmington.

For more information on the charity,.you can visit the Mustaches for Kids website.

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Today’s snapshot was sent to us by David Hardin and the Cape Fear Community College’s Sea Devil Stache Society. David is among a group at CFCC growing their best facial hair out for the “Mustaches for Kids” charity.

You can vote on your favorite ‘stache from this group at Java Dog in downtown Wilmington.

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Associated poll

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Agents: NC woman sold moonshine at day care

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

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CHARLOTTE — Authorities have charged a North Carolina woman with selling moonshine out of her day care center.

The Charlotte Observer reports Tuesday that North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement arrested 57-year-old Gwendolyn Brown-Johnson last week at Parkview Community Center in Charlotte.

Agents say children were in the day care center when they sent in an undercover agent to buy two gallons of moonshine.

Brown-Johnson told the paper she was set up by a neighbor. She says she was just holding a package for a man in exchange for $80 and didn’t even know what was in it.

Agents also arrested 82-year-old Ervin Preston Finger and charged him with making the moonshine. Authorities seized more than 80 gallons of moonshine from Finger.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Authorities have charged a North Carolina woman with selling moonshine out of her day care center.

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Associated poll

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Reporter’s notebook – Tidbits from commissioners, ABC board meeting

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

New Hanover County ABC board member Stephen Culbreth faced off Monday against the county commissioners. Here are some leftover comments from that meeting that did not make it into Tuesday’s StarNews.NOTHING TO HIDE

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