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Archive for January, 2012

ONLY ON 3: Where’s D.A.R.E.? Donors to defunct Leland program look for answers

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — More than a dozen local D.A.R.E. programs have been set up in North Carolina, but one in our area has closed-up shop. The D.A.R.E. program in Leland is no longer around, but what has some supporters angry is what was done with the dollars raised.

Take a look at the faces affected by the D.A.R.E. program, and you can easily see why the non-profit has so much financial support from the public. Sources close to the now defunct Leland D.A.R.E. program say more than $70,000 was raised when the program was still around.

Sources say when the Leland Police Department decided to get rid of the D.A.R.E. program, that money did not go back to area kids or D.A.R.E. in general, but to the police department and the town.

D.A.R.E. state board members say it’s up to the agency to decide what to do with the money or anything else bought with the money like the town’s D.A.R.E. cruiser.

“That would be up to them, individual cities, if they raised that money themselves,” NC D.A.R.E. Coordinator Lt. Michael Adkins said. “If we had assisted them with that program then we would ask for that money to be returned to the D.A.R.E. program so we can assist other agencies.”

Though it may be OK to use donated D.A.R.E. dollars on other expenses, those who donated money to the Leland D.A.R.E. program say the town should return it to the non-profit.

“it really makes you sick to your stomach to know that you donated and raised money for this fund, and they just come in and take it, and they do what they want to do with it; right on down to the vehicle that was bought with the money,” donor Johnny Herring said. “It should’ve went to the D.A.R.E. program. It should have went back to other D.A.R.E. programs. They didn’t want it in their town doesn’t mean there’s not other programs out there for this that can be used.”

Herring is not alone. One business owner who donated to the program but does not want to be identified said, “They ought to find another program to donate the money to. People donated the money because it was going to help the kids.”

According to Leland Town Manager David Hollis, the donations for D.A.R.E. were not enough to fund the program, including the pay for Ofc. Sherry Lewis and her supplies. He says that is why Town Council ended it.

As for the D.A.R.E. car bought with donated money, the town says it is now being used as a patrol car for the police department.

More: continued here

Western NC community college campuses being cleared

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

HICKORY, NC (AP) — One campus of a western North Carolina community college is secure and another is being cleared after a staff member reported seeing a man walking through a parking lot with a handgun.

About 1,000 students are on the east campus of Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory. That campus is secure, and police are clearing the main campus, where about 5,000 students attend classes.

The website of Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory says both campuses are closed and that all classes are canceled for Wednesday afternoon and evening.

School President Garrett Hinshaw tells the Hickory Daily Record that it’s possible to get from east campus, where the gunman was reported, to main campus via trails in the woods.

Authorities describe the suspect as a white man in his mid-30s.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

More: continued here

FIRST ON 3: Berger still struggling with removal from boards

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger is still having a hard time getting over the fact that he was not reappointed to various community boards this year.

His fellow commissioners voted him off, because they say his lack of being on time and his dysfunctional personal life are embarrassing the board. Nearly a month after the move, Berger fired off another e-mail this week.

In an e-mail sent early Tuesday morning, Berger again demands a legal explanation from County Manager Bruce Shell to why he was “forcibly under threat of violence and imprisonment, for seeking enforcement of the law regarding removal of dss board members (sic).”

Berger sat on the DSS Board up until last month. Berger was asked to leave the meeting and escorted out by a sheriff’s deputy, but there is no obvious evidence of any threats of violence or imprisonment.

He goes on to write, “Is the county working under a more defined legal interpretation in threatening me with imprisonment, and indicating that my safety and civil rights… are insignificant in the county’s corrupt, unprecedented and dangerous effort to scare and threaten me on pain of physical force… so you could install jonathan barfield (sic) and bully me?”

Shell e-mailed Berger last month and told him that according to both the Sheriff’s Office and county legal staff he had not been removed from the DSS Board but had simply not been reappointed. He tells Berger after this rant that he needs to take up his concerns with his fellow commissioners.

Commissioner Jason Thompson responded to Berger’s latest e-mail.

“This is a waste of staff time. No laws were or have ever been broken… except possibly by commissioner Berger. I believe the board should address all of commissioner Bergers (sic) accusations once and for all,” Thompson wrote Tuesday.

In a follow up e-mail Wednesday, Thompson wrote, “I have asked him for a year now to quit making allegations and provide evidence of… corruption… I am tired of the slander and libel on his part.”

We called Commissioner Berger this afternoon about this latest battle among the commission. He has not yet returned our calls.

More: continued here

D.A.R.E. comes to Wilmington for state conference

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Dozens of officers and D.A.R.E. representatives are in Wilmington this week for a statewide conference.

D.A.R.E. has become a familiar name all over the country, as law enforcement agencies work hard to educate school kids of all ages. Today, these individuals came together to learn about new tools and techniques to educate kids on the dangers of drugs, alcohol and gangs.

Retro Bill, the national spokesperson for D.A.R.E. is one of the highlight speakers of this week’s conference. He shared personal stories about D.A.R.E.’s impact in kids’ lives.

Retro Bill says one of his biggest tips he has for dare officers is the use of visualization techniques to get D.A.R.E.’s message across.

“We all know we live in a visual world,” he said. “Video games, computers, etc. So visualization. And what we hope is the officers leave with new tools of the trade and you know… good hair tips.”

As part of the conference, D.A.R.E. officers and retro bill also stopped by Belville Elementary. More than a hundred kids took part in Retro Bill’s presentation that had everyone laughing.

More: continued here

Public meeting on downtown window signs Thursday

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE) — You are invited to attend a public meeting to provide input and review the results of the recent online survey regarding windown signs downtown. The meeting will be held Thursday, January 19, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm in City Hall, 102 N. 3rd Street. Input from the survey and the meeting will be used to draft recommendations about the city’s downtown sign regulations for City Council’s consideration.

A draft recommendation will be presented for public review at a second meeting on Thursday, February 16 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the same location. A recommendation is expected to be finalized and presented to the Planning Commission in April and the City Council in May. For more information about the city’s sign regulations or the upcoming meetings, call 341-3258 or e-mail brian.chambers@wilmingtonnc.gov. More information is available at wilmingtonnc.gov/windowsigns.

More: continued here



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