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Archive for June, 2014

Video sweepstakes owner says he operated within the law

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

The business owner charged Tuesday with illegally operating a video gaming parlor near Whiteville says his machines followed the letter of the law – but the district attorney disagrees.

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Investigation claims WPD uses spy gear to snoop on citizens

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Is the Wilmington Police Department using spy gear to trick your cell phone into giving away private info?

That’s what the ACLU and New Hanover County’s Public Defender believe.

The device, called StingRay, lets police turn cell phones into tracking devices sending officers right to who they are looking for, but it might violate your rights.

In an e-mail sent to several attorneys in the area, Public Defender Jennifer Harjo says she was asked to investigate an allegation that the Wilmington Police Department is using StingRay surveillance equipment. She says basically no one knows when it’s being used.

“The public has a right to know when and how law enforcement and the government are conducting surveillance on them,” said Mike Menlo, Communications Director for the ACLU of North Carolina.

Harjo’s e-mail says the makers of StingRay require police departments sign a contract saying they won’t seek a warrant to use the device. This has attorney and state senator Thom Goolsby fired up.

“We live in a world where all government agencies now want to have drones,” Goolsby said. “Apparently they all want to listen on to our telephone calls, and track us. This is ridiculous. This is not what our Constitution is all about.”

Goolsby says as a criminal defense attorney, he is concerned as to why he was not told about this technology.

“I have never seen any of this information listed in any discovery that I’ve received in the criminal cases that I handle,” he said. “I would have expected it to be there. I would have expected a warrant to be there.”

We asked Wilmington Police spokeswoman Linda Rawley about StingRay. She said the department has no comment, and referred us to the FBI. FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch said it’s because the technology is so sensitive and protected that the FBI will not let anyone, including local agencies, talk about it.

While WPD is not talking, documents are, including an invoice that was part of a November 2012 City Council agenda item for money to do maintenance on surveillance equipment. It shows an invoice to Harris Corporation to buy several pieces of equipment including the StingRay.

Harjo is out of town and could not be reached for comment.

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UPDATE: Early morning fire at apartment complex intentionally set

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Multiple fire departments responded to calls of a fire at the Colonial Grand Apartments on Saint Andrews Drive near Carolina Beach Road Thursday morning.

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Big Smo visits Wilmington kids, plays Ziggy’s tonight

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Hick-Hop is coming to Ziggy’s by the Sea tonight.

From “Kuntry Livin'” to the Port City, reality star Big Smo is performing up and down the east coast and stopping along the way to explain to kids the importance of art and following their dreams.

The father of three daughters, Big Smo says he knows how important it is to set goals and never give up on achieving them.

“Just trying to share some knowledge with some younger people that have their own dreams and have their own goals and just try to give them a little fuel to, you know, help them because you can get down sometimes. You can give up,” Big Smo said.

Big Smo performs tonight at Ziggy’s by the Sea in downtown Wilmington. The first 50 people to mention WWAY at the door get in free.

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Enjoy a show at ‘Smokey Joe’s Cafe’

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

True 2 You Productions is performing a show that stands the test of time.

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