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Archive for January, 2012

First class service returns to ILM

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Flying in and out of Wilmington International Airport just got a little more comfortable. US Airways is now offering first class seating on its flights to Charlotte.

Mike Dugan lives in Virginia, but he regularly flies into Wilmington on business. On his connecting flight from Charlotte to ILM this week, for the first time he flew first class.

“I’m a frequent flyer, and although my company does not allow us to fly first class or pay for those tickets, it is a perk of being a frequent flyer, so when those first class seats are available and we get upgraded at no additional cost, it’s important to the business flyer,” Dugan said.

Business travelers make up more than 70 percent of the traffic at Wilmington International. Getting first class service has been something many of those travelers have asked for. At least, that’s what focus groups have told ilm leaders.

“We basically have the business leaders in to see what we’re doing, what we can do better, what they would like to see, what their wish lists are, and that gives us something to work on with the airlines,” ILM Operations Director Gary Broughton said.

And now, their wish has come true. US Airways flies out of ILM about 15 times a day, and now half of those flights have first class seats.

In the fall, US Airways began pulling their regional jets out of ILM to retrofit them with first class seats. They started reappearing at ILM in mid-December.

“It’s always nice to have a little extra room, and also just to have a bit more space, meals provided, always adds a bit to the quality of your flight,” business traveler Mike Clay said. “Also, just being closer to the front of the plane, it’s easier to get off and make your next connection.”

Right now, US Airways only offers first class seats on the route between Wilmington and Charlotte. We’re told first class seats on the other routes could be offered in the future.

The price of first class seats will vary according to when you travel, but on one random date we searched, a first class seat cost about three times the amount of coach.

More: continued here

Battleship might not be dark at night too much longer

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

“We hope that in the future we will be able to light the ship."

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Rain not enough to dent drought

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Despite a smattering of rainfall, New Hanover County remains in a moderate drought.

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ONLY ON 3: David, Jolly take feud to NC Supreme Court

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — The battle between Brunswick County District Attorney Jon David and District Court Judge Jerry Jolly finally had its day in the state Supreme Court today.

WWAY was the only Wilmington TV station in the courtroom in Raleigh as justices heard arguments from both sides today.

Jolly and David were both there, but it was their attorneys who did the talking.

David’s attorney said Jolly’s administrative order stopping a traffic court program overstepped the judge’s powers. Jolly’s attorney argued that David went too far when he started traffic court in the 13th District without Judge Jolly’s input.

Coming up on WWAY NewsChannel 3 at 6 p.m., we’ll have more from today’s proceedings in Raleigh.

More: continued here

ONLY ON 3: As new mayor opens door to public, Leland issues still unresolved

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — For month’s we’ve been looking at issues in Leland, especially with the town’s police department. Among the biggest was something that happened last winter. Ofc. Sherry Lewis says she was shot in the crotch multiple times by her fellow officers with simulation ammunition in a training exercise. Since then, Lewis and the town of Leland reached a $25,000 settlement, but no one was ever disciplined for shooting her.

It’s a story that sounds eerily similar to an incident involving the East Spencer Fire Department. The town’s chief and his assistant are out after investigators say they used a Taser to repeatedly shock an 18-year-old junior firefighter at a Christmas party.

Part-time Chief Shane Cranfield was fired and Assistant Chief and volunteer firefighter Allen Carlyle have been charged with misdemeanor assault.

Town Administrator Macon Sammons’s letter dismissing Cranfield says one of the main reasons he made the decision is because the incident embarrassed the community.

“It was totally and entirely inappropriate and uncalled for,” Sammons said. “It should never have happened, and it forced our hand. We had to act.”

As questions about the handling of the Lewis situation continue to swirl in Leland, the town’s new mayor is opening her doors to the public. It’s a chance for residents to have their voices heard on any number of issues.

“I’ve always told everyone any time you want to talk, come to me,” Mayor Brenda Bozeman said.

Bozeman inherited a town plagued by issues within its police department. Among the problems are the allegations involving Lewis, reports Police Chief Tim Jayne punched an officer during a Myrtle Beach bachelor party and claims an officer pulled a gun on another officer.

Now Bozeman is opening her doors to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays knowing many will want to talk about Leland PD.

“I do expect it,” Bozeman said. “I’ve had e-mails saying that they wanted to talk to me about it, and that’s fine. Of course, there’s not a whole lot I can tell them until the SBI agent gets through with his case.”

Town residents say that the open door is a step in the right direction.

“I think it’s a very good thing. I think people have got to be able to voice their opinions,” Leland resident Joan Pannullo said. “We’ve been shut out. They close all theses sessions, and I think it’s wrong.”

The biggest difference between the incidents in Leland and East Spencer is that little to nothing has been done about the allegations in Leland.

“They’re saying they have the proof here,” Bozeman said of East Spencer. “What we have, we have different stories from different officers, and that was one other reason for calling in the SBI. We’ve got to find out the truth, and hopefully they can see who’s telling the truth and who’s not.”

Unlike in East Spencer, there has not been any disciplinary action taken yet in Leland. Bozeman says despite not having any answers the alleged incidents have already done their fair share of damage to the town.

“I don’t like it no more than anyone else does, but you hear a lot of ‘You need to fire, you need to fire.” Well, you can’t fire on accusations, you’ve got to have proof,” Bozeman said.

Bozeman will hold open office hours Tuesdays from 1 to 5 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Residents can also make an appointment to see her.

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