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Archive for October, 2013

Officials call NC State Fair ride malfunction an “isolated incident”

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Five people were injured Thursday night in an accident involving the Vortex, a ride at the North Carolina State Fair. State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said what happened was an “isolated incident” and encouraged people to visit the State Fair for the final weekend.

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Woman faces trafficking charges after deputies seize cocaine, Escalade

Friday, October 25th, 2013

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Bolivia woman faces several drug charges after Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Vice-Narcotics officers pulled her over, seizing over 50 grams of cocaine and an Escalade.

Last night, officers pulled over Sherry Marie Gilbert, 40, on Highway 17 near Calabash. Officers say the arrest comes after numerous complaints from community members sparked a brief investigation.

During the traffic stop, officers seized 57 grams of cocaine and a Cadillac Escalade. Gilbert is charged with trafficking cocaine, possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver the drug, possession of marijuana, along with paraphernalia.

She is being held at the Brunswick County Detention Facility under a $210,000 secured bond.

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Explore With George: NC Festival by the Sea

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Holden Beach, NC (WWAY) — The NC Festival by the Sea is at Holden Beach.

There’s live music, rides, crafts, horseshoe tournaments and it’s the only time of the year that you can walk across the Holden Beach bridge.

WWAY’s George Elliott stopped by to find out more.

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State Fair ride involved in accident not slated for Cape Fear Fair & Expo

Friday, October 25th, 2013

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A ride involved in an accident at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh last night is not scheduled to be part of the Cape Fear Fair & Expo in Wilmington.

Cape Fear Fair & Expo manager Skip Watkins says the Vortex ride involved in last night’s accident has never been to the fair in Wilmington and was not among the rides scheduled to be part of this year’s event, which runs Nov. 1-10.

Watkins said the Cape Fear Fair & Expo has featured another ride called the Vortex, which is also in Raleigh this week. Watkins and State Fair spokesman Brian Long said the two rides are totally different and built by different manufacturers. Long says the only thing they have in common is the name Vortex.

Five people, including a ride operator, were taken to the hospital after the accident last night. At a news conference in Raleigh this morning, Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said the victims asked that their names and conditions not be released. Additional injuries were reported following the accident, which happened as passengers were getting off the ride, which began moving again, Harrison said.

Long said this morning the Vortex in question has been shut down and will not operate again during this year’s State Fair. The Wake County Sheriff’s Office and the NC Department of Labor, which inspects amusement rides, are investigating what happened.

“We have a lot of witnesses to talk to, as we’ve been doing since last night, and it takes time,” Sheriff Harrison said.

State leaders assured the public rides at the fair are safe. Both Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler and Labor Secretary Cherie Berry said they are confident the rides are safe and would feel comfortable putting their children and grandchildren on them.

Berry said her team of inspectors spent more than two and a half weeks inspecting rides at the fair. Tom Chambers, who oversees the inspectors, said safety checks are also done several times a day by ride operators, and state inspectors roaming the fair spot check to make sure those safety checks are conducted and reported.

“This is an isolated thing with one ride,” Chambers said. “The rest of these rides are perfectly safe.”

Chambers said a problem with the ride was reported Monday night, but the problem was a switch for a safety device in a seat. He said the switch was replaced and inspected before the ride reopened.

Rides for the Cape Fear Fair & Expo are owned and operated by Powers Great American Midways of Burgaw. Powers also operates most of the rides at the State Fair, but Watkins said the ride involved in last night’s incident was one of several rides Powers contracts from other operators to fill out the State Fair’s larger slate of attractions. It is unclear whom the operator of the Vortex last night works for, but Watkins says it is his understanding that ride operators typically work for the owner of the ride.

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Pedestrian cited after being hit by car on Market Street

Friday, October 25th, 2013

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Police charged a pedestrian after they say he crossed the road in the middle of Market Street and was hit by a car last night.

A police spokeswoman says it happened around 10:15 p.m. in the 4000 block of Market near Wetsig Road.

Investigators say Geoffrey Jackson, 46, crossed in the middle of the block and was hit by a vehicle heading east. Police say Jackson, who they say appeared to be impaired, is in the hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Officers cited Jackson for crossing outside a marked crosswalk.

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