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Archive for November, 2013

Coudriet: County vacation policy is a guidline

Monday, November 18th, 2013

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The StarNews reported this weekend that New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet is intentionally violating the county’s personnel policy to fatten the compensation of several top department managers.

This morning we went to the County Commission meeting to see what Coudriet and commissioners had to say.

The county’s personnel policy says the standard personal leave accrual rate for all employees is based on “consecutive years of service in New Hanover County.” But several high-level county employees, including Coudriet, are accruing vacation days at a higher rate without county experience to back it up.

Coudriet has worked for New Hanover County for only five years, but he has the vacation time of someone who has been with the county for 15 to 19 years.

“In terms of creditable time in the local government retirement system, I actually have the equivalent of 15-19 years,” said Coudriet, who worked in a couple of other counties before coming here.

But allowing himself and others to accrue vacation time like that goes against the county’s own policy.

“Policy is a guidance,” Coudriet said. “It’s a framework to work within, and certainly I have taken the opportunity with a couple of hires to extend to them at their request the opportunity to earn vacation that is consistent with their time of service in the public sector.”

We asked Commissioner Brian Berger what message that sends to residents.

“I would say don’t trust your county government,” Berger said. “I would say don’t trust government period.”

He says citizens should keep a close eye on their government.

“Because when we don’t, that’s when government abuses of power start taking place, and that’s what we’re seeing here in New Hanover County,” Berger said.

We tried to talk with Commission Chair Woody White and Vice Chair Beth Dawson. They say they would talk about anything on the meeting agenda, but not this issue. Commissioners Thomas Wolfe and Jonathan Barfield left the meeting before we could talk to them. They have not yet returned phone messages seeking comment.


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N.C. State student conducting gator count

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Researchers and residents have long been aware that American alligators dwell en masse along the N.C. coast.

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Concert features piece written just for Chorale

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Cape Fear Chorale invites the public to attend a unique concert event featuring seasonal music

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DA: Man charged in NC fair injuries cooperating

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Authorities say a thrill ride operator arrested following a mishap at the North Carolina State Fair is cooperating with their investigation.

A judge reduced bond for Timothy Dwayne Tutterrow on Monday after Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby described him as “helpful.”

Tutterrow, of Quitman, Ga., was operating the Vortex ride last month when it suddenly spun into motion as people were trying to get out, seriously injuring three people. He has been in jail since his Oct. 26 arrest.

Tutterrow and ride owner Joshua Gene Macaroni are charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of assault on a juvenile with a deadly weapon. Macaroni was not present during the mishap.

Wake County Sheriff’s investigators say the ride was tampered with to bypass critical safety equipment.

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

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New Hanover OKs salary increase for ABC chief

Monday, November 18th, 2013

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