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Citing safety issues, hospital staff call for delay of move

More than 30 doctors and psychologists from Dorothea Dix Hospital have sent a letter to their bosses protesting the pending move to a new facility in Butner as premature and risky.

Central Regional Hospital, where the bulk of Dix patients and staff will be transferred in little more than two weeks, still has serious safety and staffing problems, the Dix staff members warn.

Signed by doctors representing the entire medical and psychological staff at Dix, Friday's letter is the second of its kind sent to top administrators at the state Department of Health and Human Services. A similar one in May helped prompt administrators to delay the move to the $130 million building in Butner, which partially opened in July with the transfer of patients and staff from nearby John Umstead Hospital.

The new letter warns that current conditions at Central Regional would not pass muster with accreditors or federal regulators.

“We appreciate that you incorporated some of the suggestions we made in our previous letter,” write the doctors and psychologists, some of whom have already worked shifts in the new hospital. “Nevertheless, we believe that serious questions about safety and treatment programs remain. … We urge postponement of the move.”

(Raleigh) News & Observer

Meck briefs

Charlotte

Know a person or group making a difference in your community?

Nominate them for the annual Peace Prize awarded by the Charlotte Area Returned Peace Corps Association. To make a nomination, describe what your nominee has done and include contact information for them and for yourself.

E-mail your nomination to jmurphytw@hotmail.com or send it to Peace Prize, P.O. Box 30151, Charlotte, NC 28230. Deadline is Oct. 25.The prize will be awarded in November.

Jim Morrill

Regional briefs

Berkeley County, S.C. Moncks Corner

Bill Hedden said God was looking over him the day an alligator tore off his left arm as he swam in Lake Moultrie.

Speaking in public for the first time since the accident last September, the 60-year-old Hedden told the Post and Courier of Charleston he wants to maintain his privacy and keep the attention on those who helped him that day.

Doctors said Hedden might have bled to death if not for the quick action of a group of nurses and others who were picnicking at Short Stay Naval Recreational Park as part of last year's Bicol Association of Charleston's annual celebration.

Hedden was the guest of honor at this year's event on Saturday.

Wildlife officers shot and killed the alligator and recovered Hedden's arm, but surgeons couldn't reattach it.

Associated Press

Forsyth County Winston-Salem

State transportation officials have delayed acquiring right of way for the eastern section of the Northern Beltway because two activist groups have filed a lawsuit over the project.

The lawsuit alleges that state and federal highway officials violated state and federal laws in their environmental-impact studies. It asks a federal judge to issue an injunction to stop the project until officials comply with the laws.

Nine years ago, a similar lawsuit helped delay construction on the highway's western section.

Missy Dickens, a staff engineer with the N.C. Department of Transportation, sent a letter dated Sept. 15 to a Kernersville woman who owns property in the path of the highway. Dickens told her the DOT is postponing right-of-way acquisition that was scheduled to begin this month.

A spokeswoman for the DOT wouldn't comment on the lawsuit. A spokesman for the Federal Highway Administration wouldn't comment on the suit's allegations.

An attorney for the N.C. Alliance for Transportation Reform Inc. and the Friends of Forsyth County filed the lawsuit Aug. 13 in U.S. District Court in Durham.

Associated Press

Onslow County Jacksonville

Sir Christopher Rhodes and Lady Lucy Twilley brought medieval times to Jacksonville this weekend.

Rhodes and Twilley exchanged vows as Robin Hood and Maid Marion on Saturday in a medieval-themed ceremony, complete with several guests dressed in period-appropriate garb and Friar Tuck officiating in archaic language.

“I'm having a blast, I know my fiancee is having a blast,” he said.

Rhodes is a longtime fan of Robin Hood. His mother sewed his very first Robin Hood costume when he was in kindergarten.

“My son has always been interested in that era,” said Connie Colley. “I think it's wonderful. What a great way to start your marriage – having fun.”

(Jacksonville) Daily News

Pitt County Greenville

A Greenville high school football player has died after collapsing during a game.

Pitt Memorial Hospital nursing supervisor Irene Singleton told Raleigh television station WRAL on Saturday that Jaquan Waller died after being injured during Friday's game. A cause of death wasn't available.

J.H. Rose High School coach Todd Lipe said in a release that the junior running back was a dedicated player who was well liked by his teammates.

Teammates told The Daily Reflector of Greenville that Waller collapsed on the sideline after he was hit at the line of scrimmage and fumbled. He was taken from the game in an ambulance.

Associated Press

Police digest

Craven County New Bern

Police arrested three New Bern men on murder charges Saturday after a Cherry Point Marine was found beaten to death Sept. 14 at a nightclub on Trent Road.

They are Malcolm Jamal Goodman, 17, of 704 B. St.; Diondre David Johnson, 18, of 1605 Clark Ave.; and Glendon Christopher Fraser, 17, of 2504 New Bern Ave.

New Bern police arrested the men early Saturday. Anthony Norman Gonzales, a 19-year-old Marine, was found dead at 2 a.m. Sept. 14 in a parking lot. Patrons leaving the Palms Entertainment Complex found Gonzales.

All three are in the Craven County Jail with no bail. Each is charged with murder, and additional charges are pending in the kidnapping and assault of Joseph Alan Emile, 22.

Lawmen believe the men assaulted and kidnapped Emile, a member of the U.S. Navy, at the same time Gonzales was killed. Officers are still looking for a fourth suspect, Alexander O'Neal Ellison, 19.

(New Bern) Sun Journal

Durham County Durham

Two defendants accused of fatally stabbing an 89-year-old man last year have been released from Durham County Jail on bond, with one placed on electronic house arrest.

Tory Jarel Nelson, 18, and Stefon Rashad Hinton, 16, are accused in the slaying of Charlie Forest Davis, who reportedly was stabbed 47 times last September.

Durham County sheriff's deputies have described the homicide, which angered the victim's neighbors, as “brutal and senseless.”

(Durham) Herald-Sun

Mecklenburg County Charlotte

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are investigating the stabbing death of a 43-year-old man whose body was found Sunday morning on a Charlotte sidewalk.

Someone called police just after 6 a.m. after finding Brent Raynard Weaver lying in the 100 block of Tyvola Drive.

Investigators spent the day canvassing the neighborhood and interviewing possible witnesses, police said.

An autopsy will help determine around what time Weaver died.

Anyone with information should call 704-432-8477. Victoria Cherrie

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