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Archive for August, 2014

What is ALS?

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

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WWAY SURPRISE SQUAD: Picks up some lunch tabs

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Surprise Squad made the rounds today!

Most schools haven’t even started yet, but the K&W Cafeteria was a busy spot and we were able to create some smiles and pick up some lunch tabs.

A special thank you to Alan Perry and Perry’s Emporium for helping us make this experience of giving back one that has a special impact every time we head out the door.

Who knows where we will show up next?


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Environmentalists don’t want to lose special use permits to New Hanover development

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Environmentalists say New Hanover County should be able to improve economically without jeopardizing quality of life.

The recent Garner Report recommended the county should get rid of a permit process aimed at protecting air quality. Now the City of Wilmington and the County are coming together to discuss what to do.

“We’re fortunate to live here in an extraordinary place,” Cape Fear Riverkeeper Kent Burdette.

He says whether it is the historic districts or the coastal communities, there are many reasons people continue to move to New Hanover County. It has become the second most densely populated in the state.

“As the space we have becomes less and less, it becomes worth more and more,” Burdette said.

The Garner Report recommended 21 ways to improve economic development in the county, but the North Carolina Coastal Federation says, while there are several controversial items in the report, their main concern is a recommendation to remove a special use permit for businesses that want to move to the area. The current SUP was put in place to protect air quality.

County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield says it is all about balance.

“Balancing the need for jobs in our community in economic development with our fragile environment here,” Barfield said.

Barfield says there are several ideas about the current SUP circulating in the Chamber of Commerce.

“They want to see it either revamped or scrapped,” he said.

No one from the chamber was available for comment, but Burdette says this collaborative effort is important for the future of this county.

“We need a model industrial development process,” Burdette said.

The city and county will start the discussion about all of the 21 recommendations for economic development at a joint public meeting Aug. 26.


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Berger’s next court date delayed until September

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger will have to wait until next month for his next court hearing.

A spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s said today both side agreed to continue Berger’s case until Sept. 9., but would not say what led to the delay. Berger was scheduled to be back in court Tuesday for a hearing on whether he violated his probation.

At a hearing in July Berger’s attorney presented a medical examination claiming Berger was mentally incompetent to help in his own defense. DA Ben David asked for a second opinion.

Berger has been in jail since June after being arrested in Watauga County for allegedly violating his probation for a DWI charge in New Hanover County. He was also charged for violating his probation after Beech Mountain Police say they found him in a home surrounded by dozens of weapons.

Berger is being held in jail under $300,000 bond.

Berger’s four-year term on the county commission ends in December. He did not file to seek reelection.


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Ice bucket challenge goes viral, but what is ALS?

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – The ice bucket challenge is soaking the nation, but what exactly is ALS?

“Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth,” Lou Gehrig said back in 1939.

You probably have heard Gehrig’s famous career-ending speech. Less than two years later, he died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

“Your brain can’t talk to your voluntary muscles and control voluntary reflexes like walking, talking, using your arms, using your fingers, and breathing,” Senior Development Coordinator for the ALS Association Jim “Catfish” Hunter chapter, Megan Johnson said.

The disease affects mostly people between 40-60 years old, but it’s been seen in people as young as 16.

The average lifespan after diagnosis is just 2-5 years.

Johnson says her grandmother was diagnosed in 2006, and died just four years later.

“I promised my grandmother I would keep fighting in her name,” Johnson said.

But raising awareness turned out to be harder than Johnson thought, until now.

“For years we have dreamed about ALS being at the tip of everyone’s tongue, and people knowing what it is, and having heard it, and it’s here,” Johnson said.

Johnson says the national organization has a group meeting to decide what to do with the nearly $42,000, it has raised in just the last three weeks.

So far, they have been able to fund 21 additional research studies.


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