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Archive for February, 2012

Topsail Beach property owners object to new water tower site

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Commissioners move forward with plan to build tower across from town hall.

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TROUBLESHOOTERS: Answers for renter whose power bill soared

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Power bills tend to go up during winter, but one Wilmington man cannot understand why his bill has tripled when he has essentially turned off his power.

Louis Williams has lived in an apartment at a Wilmington home since May. Until recently, his electric bill has been low, but in January, it was more than $200. In February, it skyrocketed to more than $300, and that’s after he took steps to cut costs.

“Each time it goes up I try to cut back on electrical use, but it’s like the more I decrease my electrical use, the higher my bill goes,” Williams said.

Williams called Progress Energy to find out if there’s a problem with his meter, but there’s a roadblock. The bill is not in his name. His landlord receives the bill for his unit and shows Williams what he owes. He tried to get the account information, but he says she would not give it to him.

“It’s hard for me to take ownership of the problem and try to deal with it myself when I’m not getting any kind of help from her,” Williams said.

We called his landlord, Johnny Mae Pridgen, to try and get answers. Turns out, the power bill is in her grandfather’s name, but he died 26 years ago.

We then contacted Progress Energy. The company is investigating, because an account cannot be in the name of someone who died. Because of that, Pridgen is going to put the account in her name, because Williams is moving in May. But she will give Williams the account information so he can go to Progress Energy’s website and use its free online Home Energy Audit, which will give him a breakdown of his home energy usage to help determine whether something is wrong.

If you think your power bill is higher than it should be, you can check out Progress Energy’s online tool as well.

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FIRST ON 3: Mom says five-year-old son raped by classmate at school

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Tabor City mom says her five-year-old son was raped at school. But it’s who she says attacked the boy that you just won’t believe.

Sherri Loika says her son was sodomized in a restroom at Tabor City Elementary School by a five-year-old classmate. She found out the night it happened after his teacher called.

“She told me that the boys were taking a long time in the bathroom, so she went in to hurry them along, and that’s when she noticed another boy’s penis was on my son’s leg,” Loika said.

But that wasn’t all. When Loika asked her son what happened, he says a different boy raped him.

A doctor examined her son, but Loika says there was no physical tearing or scrapes because of the boys’ ages and their physical development. Wednesday, she says a psychologist confirmed her fear.

“They told me there’s no doubt in her mind that this incident did occur with him,” Loika said.

Since the attack, Loika says her son lays in bed in every morning refusing to go to school.

“He used to get up every morning before the alarm clock would go off and get his clothes on, and he would be ready to go to school,” she said. “Now, all he wants to do is lay there. He doesn’t want to go there.”

Loika claims the school threatened her son with truancy for staying home, even though the school would not remove him from the same class as his alleged attacker. Loika says Superintendent Alan Faulk called her today, finally agreeing to transfer her son to another school.

Faulk did not want to comment because of sensitivity of the situation.

The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office says it referred the allegations to DSS. Under state law a child under six cannot be held criminally liable.

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FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: Marine credited with saving alleged drunk driver who crashed into liquor store

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

BOILING SPRING LAKES, NC (WWAY) — Investigators say a drunk driver is to blame for a fire at a liquor store last night. Meanwhile, a Marine is being called a hero for pulling the driver from the burning truck and building.

“The truck was completely on fire, so I parked my truck, put on the caution lights, and I ran up to the other truck, and there was a guy who was trying to get out of it,” Lcpl. David Shouse, a Marine at MCAS Cherry Point, said.

Shouse happened to be driving through Boiling Spring Lakes on his way home from buying a boat when he saw the fire at the ABC Store on George II Highway.

“I kind of like grabbed his arm, pulled him out of the truck and he landed on the ground on his back,” Shouse said. “About that time I put my arms under his arms and I grabbed his chest area and I pulled him back to the other side of the parking lot.”

The driver, Steven Earley, may be lucky to be alive, but he’s also charged with DWI. Police say he could face more charges as their investigation continues.

The crash set the ABC store on fire. Firefighters say it’s a good thing their station is so close, because the mix of alcohol and fire could have made things a lot worse.

“The potential was definitely there for an explosion, and with the flamable liquids that were inside the building and none of them were damaged,” BSL Fire Chief Chris Grace.

ABC Chairman Marty Kesmodel says the store was closed at the time. He’s happy no one else was hurt.

“Where the truck went through the store is normally where we have a clerk, so yes that could have been tragic,” Kesmodel said.

Shouse says he’s not a hero. He says he was just following his natural instincts.

“I’m just glad he’s OK,” Shouse said of Earley. “As long as he’s OK, everything’s good.”

Police say Earley had some burns and was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center where he was treated and released.

No word yet on when the store will reopen.

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Wilmington man gets prison in heroin sales

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

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