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Archive for August, 2012

Law enforcement to discuss gangs in NC conference

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

GREENSBORO, NC (AP) — Local, state and federal law enforcement officials are scheduled to meet in Greensboro to discuss ways to battle gang-related violent crime across North Carolina.

The North Carolina Gang Investigators Association is hosting the 2012 Gangs Across the Carolinas training conference in Greensboro beginning Tuesday. Approximately 500 officials are expected to attend.

The conference provides training, information and the chance to share intelligence are law enforcement attempts to recognize and stop violent gang activity at every level.

Also on the schedule is a training session called the Gang Free North Carolina Academy. It’s geared toward educators, social workers, parents and anyone working with juveniles who want to learn how to help law enforcement keep children away from gangs.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Soldier receives 6-month sentence in hazing case

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

FORT BRAGG, NC (AP) — A second soldier accused of driving an Asian-American private to suicide has received a six-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to reduced charges in a court-martial at Fort Bragg.

Spc. Ryan J. Offutt of Greenville, Pa., pleaded guilty Monday to one count of hazing and two specifications of maltreatment in the death of 19-year-old Danny Chen of New York. Authorities say Chen shot himself last year in Afghanistan after being hazed over his ethnicity.

Offutt also will be demoted to private and receive a bad conduct discharge. He faced several charges, including negligent homicide.

Last month, Sgt. Adam Holcomb was convicted of mistreating Chen, but he was acquitted of being a cause of Chen’s death last fall. Holcomb was sentenced to 30 days in a military prison and other penalties.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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UNCW issues tornado warning despite no reported touchdowns

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — It was a scary sight for many who caught a glimpse of the sky over our area this afternoon. The National Weather Service has confirmed that at least one funnel cloud was spotted near UNCW and Wrightsville Beach.

The funnel clouds, though an alarming sight, did not produce any tornadoes. In response, UNCW sent out a tornado warning alert that has students and the National Weather Service wondering if it was warranted.

“It didn’t seem like it affected many of the people because they were still out in the ocean and laying out,” said Colette Blake, a UNCW student.

Around 4:25 p.m. Monday, UNCW issued a tornado warning to faculty and students, alerting them to seek shelter and stay away from windows despite the National Weather Service never issuing a warning of their own.

“It might have been a little premature, but I think it’s better than doing it too late,” says Lydia Strachan, a UNCW student.

About 20 minutes later, UNCW sent another alert giving the all clear. According to a UNCW spokesperson, the university chose to send a pre-scripted tornado warning instead of a custom message to alert students faster. However, some say the confusion and panic may not have been worth it.

“With parents having their students here, they could be freaking out too if they get the emails or see something,” Blake says. “So I feel like they do need to edit their emails before sending them out.”

Fortunately, the storm cell moved off shore and there were no touchdowns or reported damage, just Mother Nature putting on a show.

A forecaster from the National Weather Service says UNCW should not be sending out warnings unless it is first issued by the NWS.

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National Weather Service: Tornado hits eastern NC

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A National Weather Service survey confirms that a tornado touched down in Wilson County last weekend.

A survey conducted Monday showed that a tornado touched down briefly late Saturday in the town of Stantonsburg, about 60 miles east of Raleigh. The weather service reports wind speeds apparently topped out at 100 mph.

There were no injuries reported. Four homes in the town sustained significant structural and roof damage. One of those homes was shifted at least 20 feet off its foundation.

The Wilson Times reported that three homes were declared uninhabitable, including one being rented by Quinton Lofton. He said he and his 4-year-old daughter were preparing to leave the home when the storm struck.

Lofton said he thinks the landlord will probably rebuild.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Before Safe Haven’ hits theaters, it pays off royally for town

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Southport businesses will earn a large chunk of the millions in revenue the film "Safe Haven" is projected to spend in the region during filming. But that’s just the beginning.

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