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Archive for December, 2011

Wreck closes section of Market Street

Friday, December 30th, 2011

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ONLY ON 3: Victimized store clerk gets shooting lessons

Friday, December 30th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — You may remember the Wrightsville Country Store clerk who shot a robber in November. Having had no experience with a gun, the store’s owner thought it would be a good idea to get Mark Headstrong some training.

“A gun in a person’s hand that is not trained is really more dangerous than somebody trying to rob you,” said Matt Rhodes, a concealed carry instructor in Wilmington.

Storeowner Musa Agil gave his employees guns and now he is paying for them all to get properly trained.

“I think we owe it to them, said Agil. “We owe it to them to give them the tools to protect themselves, not only that but to give them the proper training to use those tools.”

“It’s an amazing experience to learn how to hold a gun and handle it,” said Headstrong.

The Wrightsville Country Store isn’t the only Wilmington business taking this extra step to protect themselves.

“A lot of people have come to me that own businesses from restaurants, to taxi cab drivers, to people that own convenient stores, because they feel at any time they could be robbed,” said Rhodes.

Headstrong says the training has given him the confidence so that next time he finishes the job.

“I’m going to shoot to kill and not to feel mercy on him or whoever,” he said.

With so many armed robberies in Wilmington, Agil says employees should be able to defend themselves.

“I don’t think you really want your employees to be sitting ducks and helpless and defenseless,” he said. “I think it would be a major mistake”.

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NRC will keep closer eye on Brunswick nuclear plant

Friday, December 30th, 2011

ATLANTA, GA (NEWS RELEASE) — The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has determined that fuel oil tank rooms serving the Brunswick nuclear plant’s emergency diesel generators were not properly protected from possible flooding, a finding of “low to moderate safety significance” that will result in increased NRC inspection and oversight of the facility.

The two-unit plant is operated by Carolina Power & Light Co. near Southport, N.C., about 30 miles south of Wilmington.

NRC inspection findings are evaluated using a safety significance scale with four levels, ranging from “green” for very low significance, through “white” and “yellow” to “red” for high significance. The NRC concluded that the violation at Brunswick involved the failure to identify and correct conditions in the fuel oil tank rooms that made them susceptible to flooding during hurricanes is “white,” having “low to moderate safety significance.”

Emergency diesel generators are used to power cooling systems for the reactors if the plant should lose offsite power.

The violation was identified by an NRC inspector and was detailed in a Nov. 29 inspection report. CPL officials did not contest the risk significance of the finding and declined the opportunity to discuss the issue during a Regulatory Conference or provide a written response. In response to the finding, Brunswick officials have installed new sealant material to close the openings on the oil tank rooms, and barriers have also been erected to limit possible wave run-up to the facilities.

The white inspection finding will result in increased NRC oversight at Brunswick, which includes a supplemental inspection.

The final significance letter issued to CPL with more information on the issue is available from the Region II office or via the NRC website at www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. The number to access the letter is ML113610594.

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FIRST ON 3: Powerball tickets going to $2 in January

Friday, December 30th, 2011

RALEIGH, NC (NEWS RELEASE) -– A new version of the Powerball game scheduled to begin on Jan. 15 will provide bigger jackpots and better odds of winning them.

The enhancements, approved in June by lotteries that make up the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), will result in the first price increase in tickets since the game started almost 20 years ago. Beginning Jan. 15, Powerball tickets will cost $2 each. The first Powerball drawing under the new game structure will be on Wednesday, Jan. 18.

The N.C. Education Lottery is part of the Multi-State Lottery Association, which owns and operates Powerball. The changes apply to Powerball here as well as all lotteries offering the game. Powerball is played in 42 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“To stay successful, lotteries must keep their games fresh and exciting and respond to what their players want,” said Alice Garland, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery. “We believe those who play Powerball in North Carolina want to see bigger jackpots and prizes and want a better chance at winning them. The result of these changes should be a more popular game and consequently a better return for education in North Carolina.”

The key changes to Powerball are:

· A bigger starting jackpot. The Powerball jackpot will start at $40 million, rolling at least $10 million each time it isn’t won. Currently, the jackpot starts at $20 million.

· A larger second prize. Players who match the five white balls but not the Powerball will win $1 million, up from $200,000, and those who buy Power Play tickets for an extra dollar, a $3 buy, will win $2 million, up from $1 million.

· Better odds at winning. The odds of winning a jackpot will be one in 175 million, as opposed to the current odds of 1 in 195 million. The odds of winning a prize in the overall game will also get better, moving to 1 in 31.8, down from 1 in 35.

The better odds result from a change in the numbers that can be drawn in the game. The numbers available for the Powerball will be reduced from 39 to 35. Powerball players will still choose their first five numbers from a pool of 1 to 59.

Garland said the changes mean that the Education Lottery’s jackpot games will offer players different price points just like the collection of instant games where ticket prices range from $1 to $20.

For instance, a player who prefers a $1 ticket for a jackpot game could continue buying a $1 Mega Million ticket or a $1 Carolina Cash 5 ticket. Those who like a $2 ticket with the chance at bigger prizes could choose either a $2 Powerball ticket or a $2 Megaplier ticket in the Mega Millions game. And finally those who want to win the biggest Powerball prizes could buy a $3 Power Play ticket.

Lottery players in North Carolina have played Powerball since May 30, 2006 when it became the first jackpot game offered by the N.C. Education Lottery.

From its inception through Dec. 28, 2011, the Powerball game in North Carolina has:

· Produced total sales of $1.13 billion.

· Raised more than $453 million for the education in the state.

· Paid out another $422 million in prizes to players.

· Earned $79.3 million in commissions to lottery retailers.

· Recorded three Powerball jackpot wins for North Carolinians, including Jackie Alston of Halifax who won $74.5 million in November 2006; Jeff Wilson of Kings Mountain who won $88.1 million in June 2009; and Frank Griffin of Asheville who won $141.4 million in February 2010.

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WPD makes cocaine & heroin bust on Castle Street

Friday, December 30th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE) — The Wilmington Police Department’s Narcotic Enforcement Unit has ended a month-long investigation into a cocaine and heroin distribution operation in the city. As a result, three men are in custody today on drug-related charges.

In recent weeks, WPD has received numerous complaints that the occupants of 1216 Castle Street were selling narcotics. Detectives executed a search warrant there last night (Thursday) at the residence of David Benjamin Alston, d.o.b. 8-31-1941.

Upon entering the house, detectives located Alston in his bedroom, packaging cocaine for sale. He was portioning approximately 5 grams of powder cocaine into smaller 0.5 gram baggies.

As detectives continued to search the house, they found 54 bags of heroin, a digital scale and other narcotics packaging material. They also encountered a second person (Williams Walker, Jr., d.o.b. 11-30-1955, of New York City) in possession of heroin that he had purchased from Alston.

Meanwhile, WPD’s SWAT team executed a related search warrant at 702 S. 13th Street, a house that had been linked to the investigation at 1216 Castle Street. During the search of the second house, officers seized a loaded firearm and subsequently charged Jeffrey Jerod Walker, d.o.b. 7-16-1960, of Wilmington with possession of a firearm by a felon.

Here are the charges that resulted from last night’s operation:

David Benjamin Alston

Possession with the Intent to Manufacture Sell or Deliver Heroin

Possession with the Intent to Manufacture Sell or Deliver Cocaine

Possession with the Intent to Manufacture Sell or Deliver within 1000 Feet of a School

Maintaining a Dwelling for Narcotics

Manufacture Cocaine

Possession of drug paraphernalia

$300,000 bond

William (no middle name) Walker, Jr

Possession with the Intent to Manufacture Sell or Deliver Heroin

$100,000 bond

Jeffrey Jerod Walker

Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

$50,000 bond

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