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Archive for December, 2011

Fire near Echo Farms contained

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Residents near area might notice smoke in the air for a few days.

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Judge blocks NC personal care service rules

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A federal judge has blocked North Carolina’s Medicaid office from implementing rules for personal care services that a lawsuit contends has led more than 2,400 people to lose paid assistance at home for things like cooking,
bathing and dressing.

US District Judge Terrence Boyle issued a preliminary injunction preventing a new policy based on a 2010 state law from being carried out while it’s being challenged in a lawsuit. The people who sued argue the new restrictions treat people living at home differently from those receiving similar services in adult care homes.

Disability Rights North Carolina said the ruling filed Thursday hopefully will force the state to set better policies to help people continue living at home.

A spokesman for the state Medicaid office says it’s reviewing the ruling.

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

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Couple arrested after dog found eating gutted puppy

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

NEWPORT, NC (WCTI) — Deputies arrested two people on animal cruelty charges after finding a dog eating the leg of another.

Carteret County deputies have arrested Gina Marie Alfano, 43, and Kevin John Diers, 52, of 618 East Branch Drive in Newport after investigators found a black dog eating the leg of an eight-week-old puppy that had been previously skinned and gutted.

Deputies and animal control officers responded Tuesday to the home of the Newport couple on Tuesday after a complaint from an anonymous source. Once there, deputies received consent to look in their storage building and were shocked at what they observed.

In was inside the shed where they found the puppy carcass. Further investigation revealed the puppy’s internal organs and meat had been fed to the other dogs.

The remains of the puppy have been collected for further analysis to determine how it was killed. Upon further examination of the shed, another dog was found dead in a cage and was also taken away.

Alfano and Diers were both charged with cruelty to animals and failing to dispose of a deceased domesticated animal. Both subjects each posted a $25,000 bond and were released from the Carteret County Jail.

Both were set to have a first appearance in court on Thursday.

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Va. Tech: Police officer shot near campus

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

RICHMOND, VA (AP) — Virginia Tech says a police officer has been shot, and a possible second victim has been reported at a parking lot near the campus.

Authorities are seeking a suspect.

A campus-wide alert tells students and faculty to stay inside and lock doors.

The shooting comes the same day as Virginia Tech is appealing a $55,000 fine by the Education Department in connection with the university’s response to a 2007 rampage that left 33 people dead.

The suspect is described as a white male wearing gray sweat pants, gray hat with neon green brim, maroon hoodie and backpack.

A message left with the university wasn’t immediately returned. Campus police referred all questions to the university.

A student gunman killed 32 students and faculty and then shot himself on the campus in 2007.

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

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Necropsy done on whale washed up on Carolina Beach

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Crowds lined Carolna Beach today to catch a glimpse of a 15-foot whale that washed up last night. Now scientists are trying to figure out what happened to it.

It’s not every day you get to see a 15-foot whale washed ashore, but Thursday morning the dead animal was a must-see attraction for many at Carolina Beach.

“I’m just like, woah!” Ayla Adamec said as she checked out the whale. “But I did expect this whale to be a little bit bigger because of what you see on TV and everything, but it’s still awesome.”

Someone spotted the 15-foot sub-adult Minke whale near the Carolina Beach Boardwalk Wednesday night.

“The animal could have died of natural causes, disease, parasitism or even potentially shark interaction,” said Paul Barrington from the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.

Barrington says whales are actually pretty common off our shores. He says because many migrate south for the winter, our coast serves as their highway.

“You can almost parallel say the right whale migration pattern to paralleling I-95 up and down the east coast of the United States,” Barrington said.

There were shark bites on the whale’s body, but scientists do not know if sharks fed on the whale before or after it died. They say the great white spotted off the coast last week could be responsible for some of the bites.

“It does look like there is some bigger bites that are probably from those great whites that are out there, but the great white didn’t feed on it all that much. It just nibbled on it,” said William McClellan of UNCW’s Marine Mammal Stranding Program.

UNCW students and professors performed a necropsy on the whale to find out exactly how it died. With the exam over what will happen to the rotting carcass?

“There will be a deep pit dug here,” McClellan said. “The crabs have to have something to eat, too, out here. It end up being crab food in the long run, so it keeps it cycling out here in the environment.”

Barrington says the results from the necropsy should come back in three to four months.

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