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Archive for June, 2012

New Hanover County Manager Bruce Shell retires

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Retiring manager honored as county government complex renamed after him

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Booze It & Lose It fires up for the Fourth

Friday, June 29th, 2012

KURE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — State and local law enforcement are out in full force this summer hoping to keep impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel. Today kicked off “Booze It & Lose It: Operation Firecracker” campaign.

Law enforcement has set up multiple check points across the state to keep impaired drivers off the road.

“If you drink and drive, we’re gonna catch you, and when we catch you that’s it,” New Hanover Co. Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Jerry Brewer said.

It’s party season at the beach, and that means many people may choose to drink and drive. All too often, it’s a lethal combination.

“There’s still too many folks that are getting behind the wheel and getting out on our roadways and putting themselves and others in danger, and we’re trying to eliminate that,” said Don Nail, Assistant Director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program.

That’s why law enforcement is cracking down through Operation Firecracker and trying to keep impaired drivers off the road.

Sgt. Brewer says driving drunk is not only dangerous, it’s expensive; much more expensive than the alternative.

“When you make that decision to drive when you’ve been drinking, you’re saying, ‘I would rather pay thousands of dollars than get a taxi or call a friend who hasn’t been drinking,'” Brewer said.

Last year the Operation Firecracker campaign led to more than 1,100 DWI charges across the state.

Officials say new hanover county is one of the worst in the state for impaired driving. They hope they can change that this year.

Last three people died in DWI related accidents in North Carolina during the Fourth of July holiday. This year law enforcement hopes that number is zero.

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Brisson, Hill set to join Republicans to override Perdue’s budget veto

Friday, June 29th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Republicans in the General Assembly will need some help from across the aisle to override Gov. Bev Perdue’s veto of the state budget, and it looks like they may already have half the votes they need from our area.

Rep. William Brisson, a Democrat who represents Bladen and Cumberland Counties, says he will vote to override Perdue’s budget veto for a second year in row.

“I was hoping she wouldn’t veto it,” Brisson said of Perdue. “I was hoping she would let it pass without signing it.”

Rep. Dewey Hill of Columbus County says it is also likely he will cross the aisle to support an override. Hill says Republicans need four Democrats to join them. He says if they can get the other three, he will be the fourth.

Hill and Brisson say the budget plan, which added money for education, Medicaid, mental health and teacher and state employee raises, is a lot better than the alternative, written last year, that the state would be stuck with if the veto stands.

“I think this is the best we could do given the revenue we had,” Hill said.

Hill is retiring after this session, so he’s not worried about the political fallout of voting against his party again. Neither is Brisson, who is up for reelection in November.

“It’s about the people with me,” Brisson said. “I represent all the people. I don’t guess all the Democrats are happy, but the Republicans are the majority. Just to vote no on everything they do would be easy, but then I don’t know why I’d be up there (in Raleigh).”

Hill says he’s not sure what the governor is trying to accomplish.

“Sometimes I wonder about her advisors,” Hill said.

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One dead in Brunswick County house fire

Friday, June 29th, 2012

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Southport considers cannon policy after man claims hearing damage

Friday, June 29th, 2012

SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — The firing of a historic cannon is a tradition in Southport. But after a man claimed he suffered permanent hearing damage from the cannon, the city is considering a new policy for future blasts.

“It’s going to be loud,” said Phil Fravel, a member of the cannon firing team. “We use about eight ounces of powder. We don’t shoot anything out of it, and it does make a noise. There’s no doubt about it that it makes a noise, but any normal person would realize that.”

According to a complaint to the City of Southport, Carlton Allegood of Wilmington says during a Memorial Day visit, standing about 40 feet away, the cannon caused permanent hearing damage.

“He said he put his hands over his ears, and when we fired, the concussion from the gun knocked the hands from his ears, and he became deaf,” Fravel said.

For the past 13 years, this cannon has fired hundreds of times. This is the first time the city has had a complaint, but does that really warrant a new policy?

“Can you be too careful? Not really,” Southport Alderman Ken Karn said. “I think there was room for improvement in some of the policies and procedures.”

Fravel has a different perspective.

“Personally, I just think he’s trying to get money from the city,” Fravel said.

The Board of Aldermen will discuss whether to implement a new policy next month. Until then, the city is confident folks will be cautious

“They make the announcement that the cannon is going to be firing, and if you’re at an event and you know the cannon is going to be firing,” Southport Mayor Robert Howard said. “It shouldn’t be a surprise.”

The firing squad says the cannon will be fired three or four times over the next few days for NC 4th of July Festival.

We called Carlton Allegood this afternoon, but hid not want to comment on his complaint. He did however, appear to hear us just fine on the phone.

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