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Archive for August, 2014

Bike, pedestrian projects could face funding challenge

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– Bike paths in Wilmington could lose state funding.

Cyclists say the paths need a lot of improvements, but a new state requirement could delay funding for any of these new projects.

Suzy Linger and her family grew up riding their bikes in Ohio.

“A state that’s bike friendly,” Fred Linger said.

So, when they packed up their bicycles for a trip to Wilmington they were a bit surprised.

“Were there bike paths?” Suzy Linger asked.

After one try on the road they said it just did not feel safe.

“For my daughter especially,” Suzy said. “I think that’s why she only wanted to ride the one time. She didn’t really want to deal with the cars.”

Executive Director for the Metropolitan Planning Organization, Mike Kolzosky says after the city’s planning staff analyzed the current bike paths, they also found a need for more.

“It’s important to point out there is a safety issue,” Kolzosky said. “From 2007 to 2013, there were over 800 injuries and 24 fatalities that have occurred that are bicycle and pedestrian related.”

Suzy’s husband Fred sat out on their porch and saw how easily these accidents happen.

“I saw a number of times where cars pulled out in front of bikers and bikers had to dodge the cars if the car didn’t see them at all.”

Kolzosky says the state now requires a letter of support from local governments if they want state funding.
“A letter acknowledging this local commitment is part of the process.”

Until the city creates more paths, the Linger’s say they won’t be cycling on Port City roads again.

“No. it’s too tense.”

Tonight at 6:30 p.m. city council will discuss whether or not to support the funding.

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Man, grandson killed in Rocky Mount house fire

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

ROCKY MOUNT, NC (AP) — Officials in Rocky Mount say a man and a 5-year-old boy have been killed in a house fire.

Spokeswoman Tameka Kenan-Norman said firefighters were dispatched to a single-story home shortly before 10 p.m. Monday night. When they arrived, they found a house and minivan engulfed in flames.

Kenan-Norman said when firefighters got inside the home, they found the body of 63-year-old Frederick Saseqha. Local media reported that Mike Varnell, assistant fire chief with the Rocky Mount Fire Department, identified the second victim found inside the home as Saseqha’s grandson, Iziaha Crews.

Varnell said the cause of the fire hasn’t been determined and that an investigation is underway.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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TRAFFIC ALERT: Accidents causing slowdowns on Highway 74/76 & Highway 17

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Two traffic accidents on Highway 74/76 and Highway 17 in Brunswick County are causing major slowdowns for motorists Tuesday afternoon.

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Eastbound U.S. 74/76 backed up for miles after Leland accident

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

The wreck involved at least six vehicles.

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ONLY ON 3: Teen prostitution victim says man who solicited her not in courtroom

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The trial is underway for the former Northwest cop accused of paying a 17-year-old girl for a sex act.

In opening statements, prosecutors said Michael Hayes and the girl were getting undressed when three men acting as the girl’s pimps tried to rob him.

Matthew Vaczy was the first witness to take the stand. He says he, Kyle Wolfe and Shawn Conley needed some money, so they came up with a plan. He says they decided to post an ad “selling time” with a girl on Craigslist in order to lure in their victim.

The woman, who is now 19, said after multiple texts discussing fees, she met up with a man, who prosecutors say was then Northwest Police office Michael Hayes.

Vaczy says he and the other men were waiting in the woods to rob Hayes. The woman says he wanted to have sex, so she says she got in the back seat and both started undressing.

Vaczy says Wolfe walked up to the SUV, tapped on the window with his pistol and said he was police. The driver sped off as Wolfe shot at the car three times according to Vaczy. Once they were out of firing range, the woman says the man put his hands around her neck and grabbed the money back from her bra before dropping her off.

In the courtroom, the woman was asked if the man in this incident was sitting in the courtroom. She said he was not. SBI agent Steve Smith, though, said Hayes admitted to committing the crimes.

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