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Archive for February, 2012

Panel suggests beach towns develop groin plans

Friday, February 10th, 2012

The panel recommended each community develop its own monitoring plan.

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Police Department investigation continues in Wrightsville Beach; smoking ban, Crystal Pier discussion to come

Friday, February 10th, 2012

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The Town of Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen held a town meeting Thursday night looking for some answers on a police department investigation. The board also discussed the future of Crystal Pier, but answers were hard to come by.

The town has three of its police officers on administrative leave, and the investigation is ongoing

Mayor David Cignotti said he cannot comment on the investigation.

“Currently the chief of police has been working with the town manager and our town attorney, so we will release information as soon as we can,” Cignotti said.

Police Chief Dan House believes the investigation is nearing a conclusion. He also said there is no comment until then.

There was also interest at the meeting in what the town will do about the damaged Crystal Pier, but that, too, will have to wait.

“That will be a public hearing that has been postponed, so we will probably discuss that at the April 12 meeting,” Cignotti said.

The mayor said a proposed smoking ban on the beach will be heard at a March public meeting.

While many issues were down-streamed, the Board of Aldermen announced a surf contest and beach cleanup in March and Surfers Healing autism event in April.

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Judge delays trial of suspect in NC hiker deaths

Friday, February 10th, 2012

ASHEVILLE, NC (AP) — A federal judge has again delayed the death penalty trial of a twice-convicted killer who’s charged with killing a couple from Hendersonville in a national forest.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that Judge Martin Reidinger this week agreed to postpone the trial of Gary Michael Hilton until April 30.

Hilton’s lawyers say they need more time than usual to prepare, because capital punishment cases are fundamentally different from other criminal trials. They say they have to review hundreds of thousands of documents before the trial can start.

Prosecutors say Hilton killed John and Irene Bryant, who vanished while hiking in Pisgah National Forest in 2007.

The 65-year-old Hilton has a Florida death sentence and life in prison in Georgia for killing hikers in those states.

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

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Brunswick Co. leader says ‘large project’ in the works, met with company last week

Friday, February 10th, 2012

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Word of whether Brunswick County will be the new home for Caterpillar is still under wraps, but one county leader has confirmed a big project is currently in the works.

The Brunswick County Economic Development Commission met tonight in Leland.

“We met with the large project last week,” said Jim Bradshaw, the Executive Director of Brunswick County’s Economic Development Commission. “Last Monday we brought in a regional team consisting of Wilmington, Brunswick County and Columbus County.”

Bradshaw cannot disclose whether that large project has to do with Caterpillar, but he did say that Illinois, which is where Caterpillar is based, has shown interest in the area in looking to expand.

“If this lands in Brunswick County, it’s going to help the entire region,” Bradshaw said. “I thought it went really well, and they thought it went really well.”

However, with Continental Tire and several other projects choosing South Carolina, Bradshaw admits its tough to compete.

“We got prepared in Brunswick County by getting the land, the infrastructure in place,” Bradshaw said. “What was needed? We knew what needed to be done, and we’ve done it. Now the challenge is incentives. Where do you draw the line?”

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NC House panel meets to review death penalty, race

Friday, February 10th, 2012

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A House committee examining whether North Carolina laws should change based on evidence of racial bias in death penalty cases is holding its first meeting.

The meeting Friday comes a month after Republicans failed to override a veto by Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue of a bill to essentially repeal the Racial Justice Act. The 2009 law created a new legal method through which a judge who determines race was a basis for a death sentence against someone can reduce it to life in prison without parole.

The first evidentiary hearing involving the Racial Justice Act is going on in Cumberland County.

Most local prosecutors oppose the law as too broad and say it’s leading to more delays in carrying out capital punishment.

The panel can make recommendations by May.

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

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