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Archive for August, 2012

ONLY ON 3: Wilmington workers complain new city phone system not working

Monday, August 13th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Imagine spending one $190,000 on something, but it only works part of the time. That’s the challenge Wilmington city workers are now facing with a new communications system.

The new system, called The Cloud, was implemented as a way to save the city money. Instead it has turned in to quite a headache for city workers.

Every day Wilmington city workers take dozens of calls, but lately they have been noticing a problem. According to city e-mails, city workers say the system shuts down and reboots unexpectedly, it drops important calls, and users experience long audio delays as well as static during storms.

This problem started earlier this year when the city installed a new digital system to streamline workplace communications.

“They are integrating phones with the computers and email, so both of those systems operate off of a hosted environment, which means the city IT department doesn’t have to maintain as many servers as in the past,” Wilmington spokesman Dylan Lee said.

The Cloud was supposed to replace an antiquated system and make Wilmington a progressive 21st Century city.

“These are things that in the long run will save a lot of money in time, as it’s a efficiency measure that allows employees to work quickly,” Lee said. “It will also reduce our fuel cost as far as the number of meetings that people have to go and attend off site.”

Despite the bugs, the city does not view the new system as a failure, but as the future of the city.

“In this day and age we all use a lot of technology that’s new, and often times you have to work on a few bugs with it,” Lee said. “This is a large system that affects a lot of employees, but the problems are not universal. They are intermittent, but we recognize that they are present. Of course we are working to fix those, and it will get resolved.”

The city is under a contract with Genisys Global Networks to help implement and maintain The Cloud for the next three years.

More: continued here

Man arrested after being shot

Monday, August 13th, 2012

A man who arrived with a gunshot wound at a Wilmington hospital on Friday was later arrested.

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Duke Energy CEO committed for Fla. settlement

Monday, August 13th, 2012

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers says he’s committed to a settlement that’s expected to head off future rate increases in Florida.

The head of what’s now the nation’s largest utility, based in Charlotte, N.C., told state regulators Monday in Tallahassee that Duke’s troubled merger with Progress Energy won’t affect the Florida agreement.

North Carolina regulators are investigating a decision by Duke’s board to oust former Progress CEO Bill Johnson only hours after he was handed the top job of the combined company.

Board members said one reason they lost confidence in Johnson was problems with a Progress Energy nuclear reactor at Crystal River on Florida’s west coast.

It’s been out of service since 2009. Rogers said Duke hasn’t yet decided whether to repair it or shut it permanently.

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

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Man dies after contracting flesh-eating bacteria in water near state line

Monday, August 13th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Robeson County man is dead after being exposed to a flesh eating bacteria while fishing near the state line.

Doctors say Charles Curtis Hardin, 56, of Fairmont, died last week after they amputated his leg in an attempt to save his life.

Hardin was fishing in Little River Inlet on the North Carolina-South Carolina line when he cut his leg and rinsed it with salt water, according to his cousin Matt Pittman.

Pittman says Hardin went to the hospital hours after his fishing trip. His doctor said when Hardin arrived at Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton on July 30, the bacteria Vibrio vulnificus was progressing aggressively.

“He was what we would describe as septic,” Dr. Obiefuna Okoye said. “He had low blood pressure, his kidney function had declined, and he had these big blisters on his legs.”

Eventually, Hardin lost his fight against the illness and died.

Experts say the flesh-eating bacteria could literally be anywhere. There’s no way to pinpoint its exact location, so people should take extra precautions if they cut themselves in the water.

“It’s not a reportable disease for the Department of Health,” said Dr. Bill Tynan with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. “There are really no public health interventions that we can employ to prevent this disease.”

Because the bacteria is hard to track, health officials in South Carolina, who monitor Little River Inlet, say the best line of defense is to make sure you clean all cuts thoroughly with soap and antiseptic. But they say there’s nothing they can do to get it out of the water.

Doctors say if you think you have been exposed to the bacteria, the sooner you get medical attention, the better. There is treatment for the bacteria, but the effects of germs may progress quickly.

More: continued here

Transportation secretary updates I-140, Skyway Bridge projects

Monday, August 13th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The state’s top transportation official made a pit stop in Wilmington today to discuss the future of North Carolina roads.

Transportation Secretary Gene Conti met with area leaders at City Hall. He discussed the success and failures of his department as well as the challenges facing the state going forward.

The question that continued to surface throughout the meeting was about the future of the Wilmington Skyway Bridge.

“It would take significant gap funding from the state, and the legislature is going to have to approve that, but we’re still looking at all of the alternatives and continuing to do work,” Conti said. “It’s a major project, and we understand the need to relieve congestion around Wilmington, so we’re going to be focused on finding the right solution.”

Conti also gave city leaders an update on the I-140 bypass. He said construction should be done by 2016.

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