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Archive for March, 2012

‘Kony 2012’ campaign faces generation gap

Friday, March 9th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The international push to find an African warlord is showing the power of social media. Within four days a half-hour film on a charity’s mission to raise awareness has generated 50 million viewers online, most of them young people.

“Kony 2012” is a campaign video that has sparked a wildfire of conversation across the country and around the world.

So we hit the streets to find out who has viewed the viral documentary and who knows the name Joseph Kony. We began with the video’s targeted audience: students.

“It’s all over social networking sites and the Internet,” Joseph Latterner said. “I know there’s this viral campaign, 30-minute video that’s instructional on ways to get involved in the movement.”

Young people in the Cape Fear have even taken to Facebook with their support.

But what about those of older generations? Many of the folks we asked had no idea who Kony is.

“The reason I know about it is because my 12-year-old daughter is very very interested,” Rebecca Blake said.

So who is Kony, and what’s in the viral video? The 30-minute piece is a documentary detailing alleged crimes of Kony, the Lord’s Resistance Army leader in Uganda. Kony is accused of abducting children for decades, making the boys child soldiers and the girls sex slaves.

The video aims to put Kony’s name in every household’s conversation by making his name famous and asking for help from the famous and powerful.

UNCW Public and International Affairs Chair Earl Sheridan says efforts to stop Kony are nothing new.

“He’s been indicted by the International Court for crimes against humanity, and there have been efforts to bring him to justice, but they haven’t been successful,” Dr. Sheridan said.

Not everyone has fallen in love with the “Kony 2012” campaign. Invisible Children, the group behind it, has been criticized for how much it spends on marketing instead of direct aid to Africa.

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Family searching for answers after girl’s death on school bus

Friday, March 9th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The family of a little girl with special needs continues to mourn her death and search for answers. Jamiah batts died on her school bus last month.

“You couldn’t not love her,” Jamiah’s mother Shantelle Colvin said. “She’d make your day. All she had to do was smile, and that was your day. You (were) happy for the rest of the day.”

Colvin says her daughter was a miracle baby. Jamiah had cerebral palsy. She died February 29 after being put on the bus to Rachel Freeman Elementary.

“I feel like there was some neglect,” Jamiah’s great aunt Alfredia McDonald said.

McDonald and Jamiah’s mom and dad, met with an assistant district attorney Friday to get more details about the investigation, but the toxicology reports and autopsy are not complete.

The family has many unanswered questions, like why was not an adult monitor on the bus, and why was there not a camera on board.

In their time of grief, they say they find strength in Jamiah’s smile.

“She is going to be missed,” Jamiah’s father Marvin Batts said. “She won’t be forgotten.”

When the facts are known, Jamiah’s family hopes to make some changes. They even have plans to push for changes in state law about the way special needs children should be handled and monitored on a school bus.

“Someone dropped the ball, and when it comes down to special needs children, there is a lot that you have to consider,” McDonald said.

Although at this time, investigators do not believe the incident to be criminal, the family says they still plan to take legal action.

Jamiah was not living with her parents at the time of her death. Instead she was in a group home.

Her funeral is scheduled for this afternoon.

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NC high court suspends ticket-fixing local judge

Friday, March 9th, 2012

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A North Carolina district court judge who fixed traffic tickets for friends, their friends, or people who knew a court employee is suspended without pay for 75 days.

The state Supreme Court ruled Friday against Winston-Salem-based Judge Denise Hartsfield.

The high court said Hartsfield disposed of at least 82 traffic tickets outside the legal process. The Supreme Court says it’s likely the number is much higher since Hartsfield has been a judge for nine years and made it a habit despite apparently knowing that was improper.

State Bureau of Investigation agents described one case in which a man who knew Hartsfield because she shopped at the drug store where he worked avoided paying a ticket charging him with driving nearly 30 miles an hour over the 65 mph speed limit.

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

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Charlotte lawyer withdraws from Edwards defense

Friday, March 9th, 2012

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A well-known Charlotte defense lawyer has plans to withdraw from the team representing John Edwards in his upcoming criminal trial.

Jim Cooney filed the request in US District Court on Thursday. Cooney has advised Edwards on the case since before the former presidential was indicted in June. Cooney would not comment Friday.

Notice of his departure comes three days after Edwards added two Greensboro lawyers to his defense team who had represented his mistress Rielle Hunter in a lawsuit over ownership of a sex tape.

Edwards faces six criminal counts related to campaign finance violations over nearly $1 million from two wealthy donors used to hide the pregnant Hunter as he sought the White House in 2008. He has pleaded not guilty.

Jury selection is to begin April 12.

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

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Grandiflora Drive tops priority list

Friday, March 9th, 2012

At its Thursday meeting, the Town Council is set to adopt its road priority list

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