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Archive for December, 2012

BB&T files paperwork to foreclose on Saunders

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

A hearing on the matter is scheduled May 8, after a continuance was granted Dec. 20

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Investigators hope to talk to victim in father/son shooting on Christmas Eve

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

A father and son are recovering after an early morning shooting in Garland.

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Updated indictment filed against ex-NC lawmaker

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Additional charges have been filed against a former North Carolina state legislator accused of theft and money laundering related to federal funds loaned to his company.

An updated federal indictment now accuses ex-Rep. Stephen LaRoque of Kinston of four more charges, raising the counts against him to 12.

Prosecutors now allege the Republican filed false 2009 and 2010 tax returns and hid details about a scheme to benefit personally from loans designed to help rural communities. LaRoque already is accused of funneling $300,000 to another company he owned to help family members.

LaRoque attorney Joe Cheshire said Wednesday the additional charges issued last week were expected, and LaRoque is preparing to defend himself against all counts. Cheshire has said LaRoque is innocent.

A trial won’t begin until at least mid-February.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Lightning strike considered cause of house fire

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

A lightning strike sparked the flames at about 7 am, according to Deputy Fire Marshall Tom Sosebee

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ONLY ON 3: New techniques battling hearing loss in military, civilians

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

BEAULAVILLE, NC (WWAY) — Our military men and women sometimes return home with scars from combat such as lost limbs, PTSD and brain injuries. But the most common injury among our troops is invisible: Hearing loss. But new doctors are using techniques to cure it.

It doesn’t take long to notice war has left a permanent mark on Sgt. Maj. Raymond Mackey. Serving now for 30 years in the Marine Corps, Mackey says growing up, he had no intention to enlist.

“I never felt like I ever really wanted to join the military,” he said.

But Mackey eventually fell into the footsteps of many family members before him, which led to a love for the Marine brotherhood. His service has taken him to 84 countries, even having a first-hand look at the falling of the Berlin Wall and the bombing in Beirut. They are sights and sounds that have been burned into his memory.

“Unless you’ve been there nobody will ever understand,” Mackey said.

His yearning to fight for his country even led him to volunteer to deploy to Afghanistan and serve in the War on Terror. Little did he know, it would be a life-changing decision. An IED explosion in Helmand Province left him a double amputee and suffering from a literally silent wound.

“I felt the heatwave and the lifting of the ground, lifting me up off the ground and into the air. I could see them talking to me but I couldn’t really hear them,” Mackey said.

The explosion caused Mackey to lose 90 percent hearing in his right ear and 70 percent in his left. These days, his daily life is affected by his hearing loss, having to closely watch people’s lips as they talk and blaring his TV so he can he hear what he’s watching.

“I used to be able to listen to two or three conversations at once and understand everything they were saying, and now I have to focus on that one person,” Mackey said.

Mackey is just one of 1.5 million service members who have returned home with hearing loss, according to the Department of Defense Hearing Center of Excellence. A Congressional mandate formed the center to help combat the rise of hearing loss in active-duty military and veterans. The center teamed with the Stanford School of Medicine to make big strides in restoring hearing.

“Imaging technology like CT scans or MRI don’t let us look inside the ear to see what the actual problems are in most cases, so we’re trying to develop new imaging techniques to see what the problem is, and then based on that develop treatments to regenerate the missing cells inside their ear,” said Dr. John Oghalai, a Stanford University doctor whose lab has been working on the research and treatment of blast-induced hearing loss.

The technique involves injecting stem cells into the inner ear, helping to regenerate hair cells lost by damaging noises or explosions.

Mackey also has well-advanced hearing aids.

“They will adjust themselves by themselves,” he said. “You don’t have to twist any knobs or make any special adjustments to where if there’s a whole lot of stuff going on in a room, you can still hear that one person.”

These scientific developments may have been born out of war, but they’re being applied to civilians as well, even helping children born with hearing loss live more normal lives.

For this American hero, he says despite his combat wounds, he still feels a sense of purpose.

“Marines like to use the word motivate. I like to use the word inspire,” Mackey said.

According the Department of Veterans Affairs, the most prevalent service-connected disabilities for veterans receiving federal aid in 2011 were ringing in the ears and hearing loss.

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