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Archive for December, 2011

UPDATE: State denies charter school application for Virgo; school board reacts

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It seemed that D.C. Virgo Middle School was on the fast track to become a charter school next year. However, as of Wednesday, the North Carolina Public Charter School Advisory Council denied the school’s application for charter status. The NCPCSA says the application was incomplete. New Hanover County School Board chairman Donald Hayes says the denial was a shock but the show must go on.

“It doesn’t really alter our plans,” said Hayes. “Our plans are to open DC Virgo next year as the Urban Prep Academy, and that’s what we will do.”

Hayes says the school board plans to makes some changes on the application for charter status and reapply. He says D.C. Virgo still fails to get the status, the school will still open under the board’s “plan B.”

“It will just alter the management of the school,” said Hayes. “Instead of having a charter board, controlling the school, it would still be one of our schools under the New Hanover County Board of Education.”

In collaboration with the Blue Ribbon Commission, Hayes says he thinks everything will work out fine. He says this does not change the plan to open the school; the board will just adapt the course it will take to get to the final destination.

“Bottom line that I want to make very plain is that it’s not really going to alter what we’re going to do there and it will open next year as the Virgo Urban Prep Academy,” said Hayes. “The management end of it might be a little different but what we hope to accomplish there will be the same.”

The board has not been told why it was denied the charter status yet but should be getting official reasons soon. It plans to discuss the next move at the January school board meeting.

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WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE) — New Hanover County Schools found out today that the fast-track application for the D.C. Virgo Urban Prep Academy Charter School was not approved by the North Carolina Public Charter School Advisory Council. The application passed its initial review yesterday by a sub-committee; however, when the application came before the entire board today, it was denied with the primary reason being concerns about the design of the governance of the proposed charter school board.

“Obviously we are disappointed that it was not approved as a charter school. However, we do not consider this an end of the project. We will tweak what we are doing to fit a public school model and move forward,” said Dr. Tim Markley, superintendent of New Hanover County Schools.

“I value our partnership with the Blue Ribbon Commission and we are committed to making this school partnership work and to opening it in the fall of 2012, Dr. Markley added.

Dr. Markley stated he has not received the official reasoning yet, but he has been informed that they referenced the lack of specificity in board members and definitive bylaws. As a result, the Council deemed the application incomplete. He will discuss options about D.C. Virgo with the New Hanover County Board of Education at their next regular meeting in January.

Dr. Markley remains committed to having community input into the process of re-establishing D.C. Virgo Middle School and he will recommend that NHCS continues to accept applications for the Virgo board with the intent that the board will now become an advisory board instead of a charter school board.

More: continued here

New Hanover News & Notes – Scholarship winners; sheriff’s office receives grant

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

William Bridges, former student of Hoggard High School, was awarded the Isabel Lehto Scholarship from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

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Nourish NC sends food home for the holidays

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

WILMINGTON NC (WWAY) — About 100 happy volunteers were on hand at Murray middle school Wednesday night to help fight hunger over the holidays.

Nonprofit Nourish NC sends food home for kids on the weekend but, with school out for two weeks some kids will miss more than classes. Without school, they also miss out on meals.

Board chair Shannon Thompson says people get together to pack food and more. “With our boxes we are packing stockings that have little treats for the kids as well we are packing fresh fruit and we are also putting little notes in that just say have a great Christmas, merry Christmas, be blessed, things like that. Words of encouragement for the kids as well as food.”

The group packed about 150 boxes Wednesday night. If you want to help Nourish NC feed kids and brighten the holidays, they pack boxes every other Wednesday at Murray middle school and volunteers are welcome.

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Business notebook – TranS1 gets boost from Medicare company

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

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Using social media out of town could make your home target for thieves

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s not just the holiday season. It is also the break-in season according to law enforcement.

The month of December sees a high rate of burglaries year after year, and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office says many times people using social media are making themselves a target for thieves.

So many of us have done it: posting on Facebook or Twitter that we’re excited to leave town soon, but law enforcement says putting up a simple post can grab the attention of crooks looking to target travelers.

“One of the major flaws they can find when they are traveling is posting that in social media; letting people know that you are not at home,” New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Jerry Brewer said. “That can let people know that you are not there, therefore B&Es tend to go up.”

Anyone with a social media page can understand just how easily you can post without thinking about the consequences.

“They’re just posting things spontaneously,” Sharema Williams of Wilmington said. “You know, they’re excited about being out of town and having fun. They are just not paying attention and keeping in mind that not only are you posting for your family, but you are also posting for everyone else to.”

Law enforcement says it is not just what you write on Facebook, but what you post, like pictures, that can give away that you are not in town making you the target.”

“Do it after you’re back,” Sgt. Brewer said. “You can share the same memories, share the pictures, but if you’re posting in real time that you are not in home that is telling thousands of people that you are not at home.”

The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office even has a program to help out vacationers. You can call the office to let them know you’ll be out of town, and a deputy will come by daily to check your home.

So before you post your newest vacation pics, take a second to think who may be checking them out as a way to case your house.

“I think Facebook sometimes gets a bit too personal, that even though you just have friends, other people can sometimes see those post or they can sometimes relay that to other people, and it is just not a great idea,” Caree Varughese of Wilmington said.

Law enforcement also suggests not to use the location feature when posting on Facebook. This lets anyone reading your posts know where you made you were when you sent it.

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