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Archive for May, 2014

Ashley hoops coach’s firing polarizing school community

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — More than a month ago Ashley High School dismissed its basketball coach. Since then we’ve been getting emails and phone calls from supporters of David Rutledge as well as detractors.

Today this controversy went to a new level when some students walked out of class in protest.

This season was Rutledge’s first as a teacher and boys basketball coach at Ashley. In April administrators dismissed him from his coaching position, and earlier this month they let him know he would not return to the classroom either. It’s a decision that has polarized the school.

“It was precipitated by the false accusations of a couple (of people),” Rutledge said during a phone interview today.

They are false accusation Rutledge says cost him his job.

“He might be a little overbearing, but that’s the way coaches are,” said Nick Saffo, an Ashley parent who supports Rutledge

Saffo came to the school Tuesday morning to watch the coach’s critics protest.

“The people that were here were friends of the people that didn’t get to play,” Saffo said. “That’s the bottom line. Disgruntled parents, helicopter parents, with nothing better to do.”

But one of Rutledge’s students says he bullied some of her classmates.

“He would just get the class to laugh at them,” Kaylie Kirkwood said. “He would say whatever he could to make them feel bad.”

Rutledge denies the allegations, as well as others he says are little more than heresay. He points instead to the dozens of students and parents who attended the May 13 school board meeting to support Rutledge.

“At a time when teacher benefits are lowering and we are losing teachers, we don’t need to lose the good ones, and he is a good one,” Ashley basketball player Trey Williford told the board.

Now Rutledge is out of a job and waiting for an appeal hearing next month.

Rutledge said Ashley administrators told him he was dismissed as coach because he did not deal with high-maintenance parents.

We asked to speak with Ashley’s principal last week about the community concerns. School district spokeswoman Valita Quattlebaum responded in part, “There are some parents who are not happy about some recent personnel changes that have occurred at the school. However, because these are personnel matters, we are unable to discuss them at this time for legal reasons.”

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More: continued here

Fishing line started fight that left girl in coma, boyfriend charged with attempted murder

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — An 18-year-old man is behind bars after police say he beat his 17-year-old girlfriend then dragged her across the ground before strangling her Friday night.

The girl is now in a medically-induced coma, and her alleged attacker is charged with attempted first-degree murder.

“She’s bleeding and on the ground. She can’t walk,” a caller told a 911 operator late Friday night. “It’s her boyfriend, and he’s threatening and screaming at us to get back in the car, so I just need someone to be there.”

A friend says the fight started about something small: tangled fishing line. But police say that argument escalated at Michael Hutton’s home on Northwoods Drive. They say hutton went in the house and started beating his girlfriend Hannah Connaway.

Connaway’s friend was there and tried to stop Hutton, but she says he locked her out.

“I could hear her screaming, and it continued on for about 15 minutes till it moved into the front yard, and then the beating continued,” Claudene Williams said.

Police say Hutton strangled Connaway until she passed out.

One of Hutton’s ex-girlfriends says she has nightmares of what could have happened to her had she stayed in the relationship with him.

“He’s not a good guy, and I’ve forgiven him,” Montgomery Register said. “I’m a Christian 100 percent, and I’ve forgiven him, and I have no grudge against him or his family, but I feel for the people he’s put after me. After I left. After I gained the strength to walk away.”

But Connaway’s friends say it is not about Hutton

“He doesn’t deserve our thoughts,” Sunny Platt said. “She does.”

They say what really matters is their friend’s recovery.

Hutton was taken from a courtroom this afternoon in handcuffs and sent to jail under $1 million bond.

Prosecutors said Connaway is in the hospital in critical condition.

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More: continued here

Friend: argument over fishing line started fight that left girl in coma, boyfriend charged with attempted murder

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — An 18-year-old man is behind bars after police say he beat his 17-year-old girlfriend then dragged her across the ground before strangling her Friday night.

The girl is now in a medically-induced coma, and her alleged attacker is charged with attempted first-degree murder.

“She’s bleeding and on the ground. She can’t walk,” a caller told a 911 operator late Friday night. “It’s her boyfriend, and he’s threatening and screaming at us to get back in the car, so I just need someone to be there.”

A friend says the fight started about something small: tangled fishing line. But police say that argument escalated at Michael Hutton’s home on Northwoods Drive. They say hutton went in the house and started beating his girlfriend Hannah Connaway.

Connaway’s friend was there and tried to stop Hutton, but she says he locked her out.

“I could hear her screaming, and it continued on for about 15 minutes till it moved into the front yard, and then the beating continued,” Claudene Williams said.

Police say Hutton strangled Connaway until she passed out.

One of Hutton’s ex-girlfriends says she has nightmares of what could have happened to her had she stayed in the relationship with him.

“He’s not a good guy, and I’ve forgiven him,” Montgomery Register said. “I’m a Christian 100 percent, and I’ve forgiven him, and I have no grudge against him or his family, but I feel for the people he’s put after me. After I left. After I gained the strength to walk away.”

But Connaway’s friends say it is not about Hutton

“He doesn’t deserve our thoughts,” Sunny Platt said. “She does.”

They say what really matters is their friend’s recovery.

Hutton was taken from a courtroom this afternoon in handcuffs and sent to jail under $1 million bond.

Prosecutors said Connaway is in the hospital in critical condition.

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More: continued here

Smoke from control burn in Brunswick County causing haze in New Hanover

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Burners anticipated the smoke would be visible as far south as Carolina Beach.

More: continued here

CHARGED: Teen accused of beating girlfriend, charged with attempted murder

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Michael Hutton, 18, has been charged with attempted first degree murder after being accused of severely beating his girlfriend Friday night.

More: continued here

 

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