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Archive for February, 2014

Area trees are unlikely to sustain long-term damage from last week’s ice storm

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

The majority of affected trees in the Wilmington area were loblolly pines and live oaks

More: continued here

August hearing set for insurance rate change request

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — Homeowners and insurers will have to wait until hurricane season for a hearing on a proposed change in home insurance rates that would send rates up an average of 25 percent across the state.

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin has ordered a public hearing for Aug. 6 in Raleigh.

Last month the NC Rate Bureau, which represents the state’s insurers, requested the rate change that could send rates up 35 percent for most coastal areas. Some areas, though, including much of Wilmington, Leland and Burgaw, could see a slight decrease if the proposal is approved as requested.

Goodwin, who has publicly opposed the rate proposal, will serve as the hearing officer and determine what, if any, changes should be made. Experts from the NC Rate Bureau will speak on behalf of the insurance companies, while experts from the NC Department of Insurance will represent the public.

Members of the public will not get to speak at the hearing. The Department of Insurance did accept public input last month. The department says it received more than 10,000 emailed or mailed comments, and about two dozen people made comments during a session Jan. 24.

Based on that input, NCDOI experts believe the requested rate increases are not justified. According to a news release, NCDOI’s concerns are:

·The filing uses hypothetical data, rather than actual data, when calculating costs including those for the net costs of reinsurance and trended modeled hurricane loss costs.
·The filing lacks necessary data, documentation and explanations to meet statutory burden of proof for rate increases.
·Old data is used in the filing when more when more recent data should be available and included in the analysis.
The filing is available for public review on the Department’s website.

Click here to view the entire filing.

An average 7 percent rate increase took effect in July. Insurers say they’re trying to catch up on decades of what they call “inadequate” pricing while anticipating potential payments in 2016 and beyond.

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Flu death reported in Pender County

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Pender County says a 49-year-old died last week of complications from the flu. It’s the first flu death in the county this flu season.

To protect the family’s privacy, the county did not release the name, hometown or gender of the person, who died Friday.

The county says the person had not received the flu vaccine this season.

Earlier this week the NC Department of Health and Human Services reported the number of flu deaths this season in the state had risen to 64 through Feb. 8, and flu season is not yet over. Last year 59 people died during the entire season.

Experts recommend everyone six months or older get a flu vaccine.

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Teen jailed for human trafficking, prostitution of a minor

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A teenager is in jail charged with human trafficking.

The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office says “A Safe Place,” a hotline to help identify victims of sexual exploitation in the area, contacted detectives Friday. They identified a minor listed on an internet website advertisement for “adult services.”

According to a news release, after a four-day investigation detectives arrested Drequan Argu Dugar, 19, on four felony charges, including human trafficking, prostitution and promoting prostitution of a minor.

Investigators say Dugar is a validated gang member. He is in the New Hanover County Jail under $3 million bond. He is set to make his first court appearance this afternoon.

The NC Department of Corrections website shows Dugar has served more than a year in prison for crimes including breaking and entering and drug possession. He also has a pending larceny charge in Brunswick County, according to court records.

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Oak Island council mulls moratorium banning larger homes

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

The town council plans to vote on a 90-day moratorium banning any new homes larger than six bedrooms.

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