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Archive for March, 2012

Group home fined, admissions suspended after girl’s death on school bus

Monday, March 26th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The state has fined the group home that cared for a little girl who died on a school bus last month.

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Cape Fear Respite Home, where eight-year-old Jamiah Batts lived, was fined $10,000. It’s a type-A penalty, and the most severe that can be given. The group home is also not allowed to accept any more admissions until state investigators are satisfied they have fixed the deficiencies.

We are waiting to hear back from Cape Fear Respite Home’s for comment.

Batts, who had cerebral palsy, died February 29 after arriving by school bus at Rachel Freeman Elementary.

More: continued here

SBI: Grooms was drunk, on mephedrone at time of crash

Monday, March 26th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Testimony today focused on test results in the trial of a man accused of hitting and killing two cyclists last year on River Road. Thomas Grooms faces two charges of second degree murder in the deaths of Trey and David Doolittle.

Monday, the jury learned official test results from the State Bureau of Investigation. The jurors also learned what the those results could have meant for Grooms the day of the accident.

Although investigators originally thought the white substance found at the scene was cocaine, the tests showed it was another drug: mephedrone.

Mephedrone was not illegal in North Carolina at the time of the accident, but it is now. Doctors say there are many different effects from the substance, like prolonged irrational behavior that can last for days.

The SBI also said Grooms’s blood alcohol content was 0.13 less then two hours after the Sunday-morning accident. According to a mathematical equation, his BAC was 0.16 at the time of the accident, which is twice the legal limit.

Grooms’s ex-girlfriend testified today, as well. The prosecution thinks her testimony is important to show the jury that although Grooms was never charged with DWI before this accident, he was warned by someone who cared about him that his actions were wreckless and potentially deadly.

The defense has until Tuesday morning to decide if they will call witnesses to the stand. If not, closing arguments begin.

More: continued here

Dredging project aims to fix damage from Hurricane Irene

Monday, March 26th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — With all the jobs in our area that rely on the beaches and waterways, dredging is a big deal.

The Army Corps of Engineers just received hurricane supplement money to start restoring channels damaged during Hurricane Irene.

Ray Bleam has been a dredge captain for 42 years. He says each day and each channel bring new challenges. He’s currently working on our coastal inlets in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

“Really closed ’em up to the point now where to the point where some of them can’t be used for safe navigation,” Bleam said.

Although Irene hit about seven months ago, the Army Corps of Engineers just got federal hurricane supplement money they need; something Bleam says has really set back the work to clear the channels. A channel is pretty much an underwater highway that must be dredged to allow safe access for commercial and private boaters.

“That’s their bread and butter whether they can get out of the inlets or not,” Bleam said. “If they can’t get out, they’re not making money. It’s affecting the economy. Millions of dollars of the economy flows out of these inlets.”

The boats and money can’t flow unless Bleam helps get the sand out. On an average day, about 5,000 cubic yards, or 500 dump trucks full of sand, is dredged out of the channel.

“Dredging in general is valuable to our country and to our infrastructure,” port captain Larry Calame said. “An investment in dredging is kind of like an investment to roads.”

Boaters can check the depth of any channel with a tool on the Army Corps of Engineers’ website.
You can find it at www.saw.usace.army.mil/nav.

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Care facility fined after 8-year-old’s death

Monday, March 26th, 2012

State regulators have fined the facility taking care of an 8-year-old, wheelchair-bound girl who died in February.

More: continued here

Business run by DOT official owes $376,565 in unpaid taxes

Monday, March 26th, 2012

It’s unclear whether debt was disclosed on application for transportation post

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