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Archive for September, 2014

Catlin, Jordan square off in first debate

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The fall campaign season is upon us. Tonight, candidates for NC House District 20 met for a debate sponsored by WWAY and WHQR. Rick Catlin and Betsy Jordan squared off in a candidate’s forum and both candidates started off talking film incentives.

“That’s not the way to do business,” said Rep. Catlin, the incumbent republican in the race, “The way to do business is to try to find ways that work for the whole state.”

“I believe that this incentive benefits not just this area,” said Jordan, the democratic challenger, “but all the areas where films are produced.

Catlin did not support the incentives outside of the 1 year extension. Jordan says film is the reason she got into the race.

Talk soon turned to public education.

“Since the republicans have been in charge we have raised public education funding by almost a billion dollars,” said Catlin.

“Is the movement and mentality going on in the legislature one intended to strengthen public education,” Jordan asked, “or one that is intended to weaken it?”

Catlin and Jordan also touched on the economy and the environment.

The two though are very different candidates.

“If I cause controversy,” Catlin said, “it might be that I am doing something right. So I do what I think is right not what I think is politically correct.”

“I just believe it’s time for voters to understand that they matter,” said Jordan, “to step up, to take action.”

Hoping to be elected or re-elected when voters have their say in November.

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UPDATE: NAACP holds memorial for Bladenboro teen

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

BLADENBORO, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina NAACP held a community meeting and memorial service for a Bladen County teen found dead last month.

According to a news release from the NAACP, Lennon Lacy, a student and football player at West Bladen High School, was found hanging from a swing set in Bladenboro Aug. 29. The civil rights group says Lacy’s family has asked the NC NAACP to help with furthering investigation of the 17-year-old’s death.

The SBI confirms it is part of the investigation, but Bladenboro Police have not returned several phone calls from WWAY, including several calls this week. District Attorney Jon David says while the investigation continues and no final conclusions have been reached, so far there is no evidence of foul play.

Lacy’s classmates say that he was a large part of the West Bladen community and it has been difficult without him walking the hallways with them this school year. His friends and family are just looking for closure from continued investigation.

The service for Lacy was held Monday, 6:30-8 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Bladenboro.

The NAACP state leader Rev. William Barber and the NC NAACP Legal Team joined Lacy’s family at the event, which is open to the public.

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UPDATE: NAACP joins memorial for Bladenboro teen

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

BLADENBORO, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina NAACP held a community meeting and memorial service for a Bladen County teen found dead last month.

According to a news release from the NAACP, Lennon Lacy, a student and football player at West Bladen High School, was found hanging from a swing set in Bladenboro Aug. 29. The civil rights group says Lacy’s family has asked the NC NAACP to help with furthering investigation of the 17-year-old’s death.

The SBI confirms it is part of the investigation, but Bladenboro Police have not returned several phone calls from WWAY, including several calls this week. District Attorney Jon David says while the investigation continues and no final conclusions have been reached, so far there is no evidence of foul play.

Lacy’s classmates say that he was a large part of the West Bladen community and it has been difficult without him walking the hallways with them this school year. His friends and family are just looking for closure from continued investigation.

The service for Lacy was held Monday, 6:30-8 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Bladenboro.

The NAACP state leader Rev. William Barber and the NC NAACP Legal Team joined Lacy’s family at the event, which is open to the public.

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More: continued here

NCDOT explains Sunday’s traffic jam in Leland

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Leland traffic is making headlines once again. Unannounced maintenance work led to a big build up of traffic last night. Today the DOT told us what they were doing and why it happened.

Traffic was so slow, some folks were apparently checking Facebook.

Rob Dylan Milteer posted a picture with the caption, “4.1 miles from 3rd street. Been 2 hours for 2 miles of movement. it’s rough out here tonight.”

Another man stuck in the traffic named William O’Johnson wrote, “When i went through there they were painting over the white lines. No other work just painting over the white line.”

Why did the DOT shut down all but one lane of traffic? Well, O’Johnson was sort of right.

DOT construction engineer Jackson Provost says starting work several hours earlier than scheduled on Sunday was a last-minute decision.

“We were striping out some solid lines that we had talked about with the public,” Provost said. “The thought process was that on Sunday the traffic wouldn’t be that bad, and we wouldn’t back traffic up.”

But that is not what happened. The line of cars stretched for miles.

“I’m sorry for that. That was definitely not our intent,” Provost said.

According to information the DOT gave out at a public meeting Tuesday night, lane closures are only allowed after 8 p.m. Provost said what happened Sunday was an exception to the rule.

Click here for the handout from Tuesday’s meeting with the NCDOT in PDF form

He also tells us they would have gotten this done last week if it hadn’t been for the rain. He says they deeply apologize for the inconvenience it caused everyone involved. The repainting of the lines was something he says needed to be done, for the safety of drivers and workers.

The DOT says it is going to do everything it can to prevent this from happening again.

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Money for NC private school vouchers begins moving

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The first of millions of taxpayer dollars in payments have been sent to private and religious schools across North Carolina while an appeals court considers a judge’s ruling that a new scholarship program for low-income public school children is unconstitutional on several levels.

A spokeswoman for the state agency administering the Opportunity Scholarships program said Monday about $1.1 million began going out to 109 private schools last Friday.

State Educational Assistance Authority grants director Elizabeth McDuffie says that was for 568 students. The money was disbursed a week after the state Court of Appeals allowed funds for nearly 1,900 students who qualified for and accepted grants of up to $4,200.

The appeals court blocked the rest of the program pending a decision on whether the program meets the state constitution.

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

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