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Archive for August, 2013

Police looking for suspects connected to Scotchman robbery

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Officers with the Wilmington Police Department are investigating reports of a robbery Friday morning at The Scotchman near the intersection of Market Street and South Kerr Avenue.

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FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: WBPD releases video of 2011 incident, state cleared officers

Friday, August 30th, 2013

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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Wrightsville Beach has released videos that show what happened inside its police station Nov. 8, 2011, that has led a town alderman’s son to file a federal lawsuit against the town and two police officers.

Adam Mills, son of Alderman Darryl Mills, claims Ofc. Jesse McCubbins and Cpl. Jimmy Rich harassed him after a DWI stop that night and later assaulted him at the police station.

The video shows Mills being belligerent toward the officers, which he admits to in his lawsuit. It also shows one of the officers apparently punching Mills after Mills was slow to comply with the other officer’s orders and continued to call the officer vulgar names.

“Investigations by the Town and by the North Carolina Department of Justice resulted in the determination that the actions of the two officers were not in violation of police department policies and that no criminal charges against the two officers were warranted,” the town said in a statement released with the video today.

Town Manager Tim Owens says the police chief requested the state investigate the incident in 2011.

“The Town believes that a release of the video tape documentation of the events of November 8, as requested by the media, is in the best interest of the citizens of Wrightsville Beach and as such, with the consent of Mr. Mills and his attorney, has decided to release copies of the video,” the town’s statement said.

Mills claims he became belligerent to the officers because they were taunting him about the effect his arrest would have on his father. When Mills disobeyed an officer’s order to stay seated on a bench he claims McCubbins punched him in the face. He then claims the officers slammed him face first into the floor breaking his nose and his left orbital wall.

“This case is about law enforcement’s duty to all of us – to follow basic and standard police practice and policy, and to respect the protections afforded to citizens under North Carolina law and the US Constitution, regardless of the officers’ personal feelings about an individual,” Mills’s attorney Katy Parker said in a statement to WWAY.

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Revised air permit means more time, higher emissions for cement plant

Friday, August 30th, 2013

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A revised air quality permit means Titan America has more time to start construction on the cement plant it wants to build in Castle Hayne and a higher limit for emissions from the proposed facility.

“We are very pleased that the NC Division of Air Quality (DAQ) recognizes the merits of our Carolinas Cement project and has agreed to extend our air permit for an additional 18 months,” Carolinas Cement General Manager Bob Odom said in a statement. “This modification to our air permit does not change the fact that Carolinas Cement will operate within the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), will consistently work to ensure the safety of public health and the environment, and will operate the cleanest, most advanced cement plant in the world.”

The NC Division of Air Quality approved the permit for Titan America/Carolinas Cement Co. and the Portland cement manufacturing facility it plans to operate at 6411 Ideal Cement Road. The revisions also bring the facility’s air permit limits in line with new requirements set by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The Division of Air Quality initially issued an air permit for the proposed cement plant in February 2012, but the permit was set to expire at the end of August 2013 if Titan had not yet begun construction of the facility. Titan has not begun construction. The permit revisions issued Thursday extend Titan’s authorization to construct for an additional 18 months.

In a statement Titan said it requested the extension in April because it could not comply with the construction timeline because of a lawsuit filed by the Southern Environmental Law Center against DAQ.

The DAQ says the revised permit also changes the facility’s limits for particulate emissions in light of recent changes in methods that the EPA allows cement plant operators to use in calculating their emissions. The plant would not actually be changing its emissions controls, but the EPA changed the averaging time for calculating emissions, which results in a higher limit for annual emissions. Under the permit, Titan’s emissions limits are increased by 22 tons/year for fine particles (PM 2.5) and by 10 tons/year for coarse particles (PM 10).

The division held a public hearing on the revised permit on Aug. 5 at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and accepted written comments until Aug. 9. Click here to see the permit, the hearing officer’s report and other documents related to the proposed plant on the Division of Air Quality’s website.

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Farmers, sheriffs try to influence NC veto outcome

Friday, August 30th, 2013

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Farmers and sheriffs are trying to influence North Carolina legislators before they consider a veto next week on a bill involving a federal database to ensure that new employees can legally work in the country.

Gov. Pat McCrory released comments Friday from several sheriffs who want his veto upheld. Lawmakers meet Tuesday to discuss two vetoes.

One bill expands a business exemption to avoid using the E-Verify program by redefining the word “employee” to include fewer temporary workers. Sheriffs cited in McCrory’s release say the bill creates loopholes and will attract more workers in the country illegally.

The North Carolina Farm Bureau and other agriculture groups want the veto overridden. They wrote letters to legislative leaders saying without the bill some crops may not be harvested and farms may close.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Leland officer suspended for arresting video-recording teen

Friday, August 30th, 2013

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By Adam Wagner
Adam.Wagner@StarNewsOnline.com

LELAND, NC (StarNewsOnline.com) — A Leland Police Department officer was suspended for 28 days without pay after arresting a teenager who was video-recording another arrest.

Sgt. John Keel arrested Gabriel Self, 19, on Aug. 18 while Self filmed him questioning a suspect outside the Buy & Go gas station, 9413 Ploof Road S.E.

Self’s arrest spurred Leland Police Chief Mike James to conduct a department-wide workshop about its recording policy to avoid future incidents. Keel will receive additional training.

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