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Archive for October, 2011

2 arrested with gun at school where teen was shot

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

FAYETTEVILLE, NC (AP) — The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office says two men were arrested after a gun was found in their car on the campus of the high school where a 15-year-old girl was shot two days ago.

Spokeswoman Debbie Tanna says 19-year-old Canaan Wynder and 18-year-old Tristen Gibbs were arrested at Cape Fear High School on Wednesday. Both have been charged with felony possession of a firearm on school property.

Tanna says Wynder told deputies he was dropping his girlfriend off at the school. It wasn’t clear if the men have a lawyer yet.

Investigators haven’t said whether the arrests may be connected to the Monday shooting of Catilyn Abercrombie at the school. Two teenagers have been charged in that shooting.

Abercrombie remains in critical condition at a local hospital.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Photos – Cape Fear Fair & Expo

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

The Cape Fear Fair and Expo opens at 5 p.m. Thursday at Wilmington International Airport.

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FIRST ON 3: Latino Festival owes county money, may lose site

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A long-standing Wilmington cultural event could be in jeopardy because of unpaid bills. The 13th Annual Festival Latino is scheduled for Nov. 12 at Ogden Park, but the non-profit group that hosts the event owes the county money.

New Hanover County Parks Director Jim McDaniel says Amigos Internacional still has not paid its bill for using Hugh MacRae Park for last year’s festival, even though the money was supposed to be paid before the event. McDaniel says because of a billing issue, he agreed to let Amigos International pay after the event, but that bill still has not been paid.

With this year’s festival about two weeks away, the Parks Department says if the group does not pay the approximately $2,500 to cover last year’s event and this year’s by Friday, it will cancel Amigos International’s reservation and let another group use Ogden Park.

Coming up tonight on WWAY NewsChannel 3 we’ll hear from McDaniel and Amigos Internacional Director Lucy Vasquez about the problem that could threaten the festival.

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Governor possibly announcing major movie production here Thursday

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

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Edwards’s lawyers ask judge to throw out charges

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Associated Press

GREENSBORO, NC (AP) — Lawyers for John Edwards worked Wednesday to undercut the federal government’s criminal case against the former presidential candidate before it ever gets to a jury.

Edwards is scheduled to be tried in January on charges that he asked two wealthy campaign donors to provide nearly $1 million in secret payments used to hide his pregnant mistress as he sought the Democratic Party’s nomination for the White House in 2007 and early 2008.

In a hearing to consider five motions seeking the dismissal of the case, lawyer Abbe Lowell said his client knew nothing of the checks, cash and private jets used to fly the woman, Rielle Hunter, across the country and put her up in luxury homes and hotels.

But even if Edwards did know, Lowell told US District Court Judge Catherine C. Eagles, no laws were broken.

“Criminal laws are supposed to be written in Congress,” Lowell said. “They should not be written on the desks of prosecutors who decide after the fact what is to be permissible.”

Edwards sat quietly at the defense table as Lowell called the government’s case “crazy.” Lowell argued there is no statute or precedent in federal law where a campaign contribution is defined as money “provided by a third party to another third party” that never went through a campaign account.

In Edwards’ case, the money was provided by his national campaign finance chairman, wealthy Texas lawyer Fred Baron, and
campaign donor Bunny Mellon, a millionaire socialite who at the time was 98 years old. Both had already given Edward’s campaign the maximum $2,300 individual contribution allowed by law.

Much of the undisclosed money was funneled to Andrew Young, a close aide to Edwards who left the campaign and falsely claimed paternity of the senator’s illegitimate child. Young and his wife invited the pregnant Hunter to live in their home near Chapel Hill and later travelled with her as tabloid reporters sought to expose the candidate’s extramarital affair.

“Whether John Edwards is a candidate for president or a guy down the street, there are a lot of people who don’t advertise
they’re having a sexual affair,” Lowell said.

As an example, he cited former U.S. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nevada, whose parents gave a $96,000 check to his married mistress as “severance” when she left the employment of his campaign. Federal Elections officials later determined the payment was a personal gift, not a campaign contribution.

Prosecutors countered Wednesday that they intend to prove Edwards knew full well about the money paid by Baron and Mellon and that he personally directed its use to support Hunter. He was not a cheating husband trying to hide his affair from his wife, they argued, but a public figure who had built his reputation as a family man desperate to keep his campaign from blowing up.

“We have a candidate who asked two donors for money,” said David Harbach II, one of the federal prosecutors, told the judge.

“That candidate doesn’t insulate himself from liability because someone else cashes the checks.”

It was not immediately clear when Judge Eagles might rule of the motions asking her to throw out the government’s case.

She did rule on a motion from prosecutors questioning whether Lowell had a conflict of interest in the case because he previously represented two potential witnesses in the case when they testified before a federal grand jury.

Eagles ruled that Lowell could continue with the case, though she asked Edwards to stand and answer some questions about the issue.

Edwards, who previously denied his affair on national television, rose from the table, placed his hand on a Bible and
swore to tell the truth.

Eagles asked the former candidate if he understood that by having Lowell represent him, he opened the possibility of a
potential conflict of interest arising at trial that could result in the judge limiting the lawyer’s participation.

“I do understand that,” Edwards said.

The judge then asked whether Edwards wished to talk the issue over with any lawyer other than the four then sitting with him.

An attorney himself, Edwards flashed a quick smile.

“No, I think I’ve talked to enough lawyers,” he said.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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