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Archive for February, 2012

82 whooping cough cases in Alamance County

Friday, February 24th, 2012

BURLINGTON, NC (AP) – Health officials say there appear to be 82 cases of whopping cough in Alamance County.

Officials say the outbreak started in December.

The Alamance County Health Department said Thursday a vaccine will be free for a limited time. The vaccine is usually $35. A communitywide vaccination clinic will be held next month.

Five elementary schools, four middle schools, two day cares and three other people in the county have been affected.

Officials say the illness usually results in a series of five to 15 coughs without a breath between them, followed by breathing difficulty.

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

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Fire displaces dozens

Friday, February 24th, 2012

No injuries reported in blaze at apartment complex near North College Road

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Fire destroys apartment building; resident says all is not lost

Friday, February 24th, 2012

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Several residents are displaced Thursday after a fire emergency responders say engulfed the entire building. Although the building was destroyed, one resident Meridian Village Apartments says not all was lost.

“I don’t have very much left I don’t believe but hopefully there will be some things I can salvage out of there,” said resident Nathan MacDonald.

MacDonald lives in the apartment complex off North Chase Parkway. He says while at work on Thursday he was told his apartment building was on fire. MacDonald rushed home with only one thing on his mind, his dog was inside his apartment.

“I couldn’t get close enough but when I did get here the firemen did have my dog,” said MacDonald. “I didn’t recognize him, he’s a blonde but he came out black.”

MacDonald says as soon as he found his dog, he felt at ease but then he realized his apartment was destroyed. He says he does not have renter’s insurance but hopes the damage is not too extensive. Officials say the fire did not start in his apartment.

“It appears the fire started in the center of the building,” said County Fire Chief Donnie Hall. “Our investigative crews are working right now to determine the cause of the fire.”

Hall says there were no injuries during the fire which destroyed an entire building with twelve apartments. Management of the complex is still working to figure out exactly how many people are now displaced. For now, MacDonald says he’s going to take what he has left and move on.

“I’m going to stay with some friends and family and wait until I can go back into the apartment and get my fire safe and get everything out that I can and just start over,” said MacDonald.

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NC activists gear up for statewide Occupy meeting

Friday, February 24th, 2012

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The Occupy encampments are mostly gone, but
activists in North Carolina say the movement isn’t disappearing
with them.

Organizers are planning what’s called a Statewide General
Assembly in Raleigh this weekend bringing together people from the
15 or so locations around North Carolina where demonstrations
inspired by Occupy Wall Street sprang up in the last several

Activists plan workshops, meetings and a rally at the state
Capitol on Saturday.

Kurt Zehnder is one of the organizers. He says the movement has
already succeeded by provoking discussion about economic inequality
and other issues.

But the visibility of the movement has decreased as many of its
signature encampments have either been dispersed by local
authorities or ended by demonstrators. In North Carolina, Raleigh
is the last city with a round-the-clock camp.

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

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NC town’s former mayor killed in deadly crash

Friday, February 24th, 2012

BELMONT, N.C. (AP) – A South Carolina man is being charged with
leading police on a chase they say ended when his car slammed into
another vehicle, killing two people, including a former Belmont

Forty-one-year-old Lester Norman Jr., of Lancaster, S.C. is
facing several charges, including felony death-by-vehicle, driving
while intoxicated and driving with a revoked license. He’s being
held in the Gaston County jail on $500,000 bond. It wasn’t
immediately clear if he has a lawyer.

The crash killed former Belmont mayor Kevin Loftin and a friend,
Donna Jean Deitz. They were returning from an Ash Wednesday service
when their car was hit.

Belmont Police Chief Charlie Franklin says the chase began when
Norman ran through a DWI checkpoint.

Loftin was mayor of the Gaston County town from 1992 to 1997.

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

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