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Archive for December, 2013

Columbus County Sheriff to quit early next year

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Columbus County Sheriff Chris Batten plans to step down from office in early January to take a job with the state.

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Local residents buoy winter tourism

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Off-season marketing of Wilmington focuses on indoor activities

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Wrightsville, Ocean Isle beach nourishment projects move forward

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Contracts awarded to Louisiana-based Weeks Marine

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Onslow County teacher/coach quits after sex crime charge

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

ONSLOW COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — An Onslow County teacher and coach has quit his job after being charged with a sex crime involving a child.

John Tobias Sweeney, 36, of Jacksonville is charged with solicitation of a child by a computer or other electronic device to commit an unlawful sex act. Investigators say the victim was 13 years old and lived in another state.

The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office with help from the FBI arrested Sweeney, a teacher and coach at Southwest High School, at his home without incident early this morning. Sweeney was taken to the Onslow County Detention Center under a $10,000 secure bond. His first court appearance is scheduled for tomorrow.

The school district says Sweeney has been with the school system for 14 years. He has been teaching English at Southwest High School, where he was also soccer coach, since 2006. Before that he taught at New Bridge Middle School.

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FIRST ON 3: BHI ferry moves to dry dock, captain keeping quiet

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Bald Head Island ferry is again on dry land, but off a sand bar. And we’re learning more about the man who was reportedly in charge of the vessel when it ran aground Tuesday.

WWAY has learned the captain was Rodney Melton.

We went to Melton’s house looking for answers. He did not want to do an interview with us, but his wife says he has already talked to the passengers injured in the accident. Cathy Melton did not want to say more.

“All questions are to be directed to the (Bald Head Island Limited) Director of Communications Joyce Fulton, and if you would, please leave,” Cathy Melton said.

Fulton would not confirm if Melton was the captain when the ferry Adventure ran aground Tuesday morning. She did say the captain involved is not on the ferry schedule as the Coast Guard investigates. She could not say, though, if that will continue until the investigation is done.

Melton’s neighbor had only good things to say about him.

“Mr. Melton is a good man, and everyone who knows him thinks he is a good man,” Emery Rahrs said.

Meanwhile, the boat has finally been freed from a sand bar off Southport. Fulton says Thursday morning crews used a tugboat to recover the ferry without damaging the boat. The ferry then traveled without help to dry dock at Wilmington Marine Center.

Fulton says now a complete inspection can be made on the boat.

The Coast Guard investigation into the incident continues.

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