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Archive for September, 2011

Topsail Beach tax bills to include budget summary

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

In a split vote during its regular meeting Wednesday night, the town’s board agreed to include an eight-page, 2012 fiscal year budget summary in tax bills.

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State fines Progress Energy in safety review

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

North Carolina officials levied $31,500 in fines against Progress Energy on Tuesday after an inspection of its Sutton power plant in Wilmington revealed nine workplace violations. The review was prompted by the death of a company employee earlier this year.

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Cape Fear Public Authority to issue bonds up to $52.2M for projects

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

The Cape Fear Public Authority Wednesday approved millions of dollars in new bonds for projects aimed at maintaining the area’s water and sewer, including upgrading three wastewater stations in New Hanover County that are over capacity.But the move will likely mean another round of rate increases starting in fiscal year 2013.

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ONLY ON 3: Judge Sasser defends bond policy

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — As you saw ONLY ON 3 last night, in the last four months, hundreds of people in Columbus County, including some with violent charges, have been issued unsecured bonds. The judge responsible for the new bond policy spoke to WWAY this afternoon to defend the policy.

Columbus County Superior Court Judge Douglas Sasser says though it may *seem* alleged violent criminals are running free, the system is running smoothly and according to plan.

“Listen, I live in this community. I have family. I have friends. I don’t want to be unsafe,” Sasser said.

Tuesday WWAY obtained copies of hundreds of unsecured bonds all issued after May 1 in Columbus County. Among the charges are drug trafficking, sexual battery and assault on a child under 12.

“There may well we some charges that you would not normally see an unsecured bond on, but I would say probably take a little closer look and see if there’s some extenuating circumstances,” Sasser said.

Judge Sasser and Judge Jerry Jolly drew up the new bail policy for Columbus and Bladen Counties.

“It was actually just an attempt to bring it back up to date with what these current statutes provide,” Sasser said referring to state laws governing bonds.

Under the policy to issue a secured bond, magistrates must fill out a three-page questionnaire on each defendant, making it a more cumbersome process. Sasser says he does not know of any other districts in the state who have a worksheets for a secured bond, but he says it is beneficial.

“I want them to take the extra step to jot it down in writing and make it available to myself, to the district court judges, whoever could possibly hear this case down the road,” Sasser said.

Sasser said he trusts the magistrates to make the right decision in determining what kind of bond to issue.

“These people aren’t bleeding-heart liberals,” he said. “They’re not trying to turn these some of these people loose on the streets. They’re trying to make this place safer.”

We also spoke with District Attorney Jon David. He said he plans to speak with other officials to see if changes to the bail policy need to be made.

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Leland officer files discrimination complaint after training incident

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

A Leland police officer was shot in the groin area by simulated ammunition during a training exercise, according to her attorney.

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