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  • Pitt County high school's Islamic vocab lesson causing controversy

    Published On: Dec 19 2014 10:29:40 AM CST
    Updated On: Dec 19 2014 12:17:42 PM CST

    Parents are expressing concern after learning that a high school class in Pitt County is teaching students vocabulary using Islamic-themed questions.

    According to Brock Letchworth, the spokesperson for Pitt County Schools, Farmville Central High School has a senior English class that includes the Islamic-themed vocabulary lesson. Parents first notified NewsChannel 12 about the lesson Friday morning.

    Below are some of the questions in a sentence completion exercise:

    21. I imagine myself in the place that I've been reading about. This lesson has been __________ to -- that is, has led to --an imaginary trip to the ancient Islamic world.

    (A) erratic
    (B) pastoral
    (C) quantitative
    (D) astute
    (E) conductive

    25. Mohammed has just finished speaking when I arrive, but I hope the opportunity to hear him will _________. I'd like another chance.

    (A) wane
    (B) recur
    (C) lapse
    (D) commence
    (E) ossify

    26. There are such vast numbers of people who are anxious to spread the Muslim faith that it would be impossible to give a(n) _________ amount.

    (A) zenith
    (B) erratic
    (C) quantitative
    (D) astute
    (E) recurring

    conductive ---> Mohammed, who was familiar with the teachings of Judaism and Christianity, found solitude to be conductive to understanding proper faith. He also found meditation to be helpful.

    zenith ---> The zenith of any Muslim's life is a trip to Mecca. The trip is the highest point of a Muslim's early path because Mecca is considered the Muslim's holy city.

    To view more questions from the first exercise sheet, CLICK HERE.

    To view the second exercise sheet, CLICK HERE.

    In a statement, Pitt County Schools says, "The course is designed to accompany the world literature text, which emphasizes culture in literature."

    Schools officials say they looked into the matter, and learned that the lesson was taken directly from a state-adopted supplemental workbook published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

    The school district's statement continues as follows:

    "This workbook includes a series of weekly vocabulary lessons, and the lessons are used to teach vocabulary in context. Lessons are divided into a trio of topics --including expression, civilization and the environment. This particular lesson was pulled from the civilization section of the workbook.

    "Our school system understands ll concerns related to proselytizing, and there is no place for in in our instruction. However, this particular lesson was one of many the students in this class have had and will have that exposes them to the various religions and how they shape cultures throughout the world."

    Facebook user Dianne Lynn Savage -- who is upset about the vocabulary lesson -- posted a viral video of her reading the questions.

    "They are indoctrinating our children... again," Savage said in her video, urging parents to help stop the lesson.

    You can watch Savage's video by CLICKING HERE. The video already had about 152,000 views on Savage's Facebook page by late Friday morning.

    The Farmville Police Department posted the following message on Facebook:

    "I want to let everyone know that I have seen the video post about Farmville Central High School and it is being looked into by the PCSO [Pitt County Sheriff's Office]. The safety of your children is of the utmost importance to FCHS, the Farmville Police Department, and the PCSO."

  • Pamlico County sheriff identifies 2 men shot in home invasion

    Published On: Dec 17 2014 08:17:28 PM CST
    Updated On: Dec 18 2014 05:58:30 PM CST

    The Pamlico County Sheriff's Office has released the names of the two people shot during a home invasion Wednesday night. But deputies are still looking for two more suspects.

    The home invasion happened at about 8:50 p.m. Wednesday at a home on the 2,000 block of Lee Landing Road in Reelsboro, investigators said.

    According to the Sheriff's Office, three black males entered the home and displayed a handgun. Then, there was an altercation between the intruders and the residents, said investigators.

    Neighbor Janel Kuzminski, who is seven months pregnant, said she was walking to her own home when shots were fired.

    "When I got halfway to my house, they aimed a gun at me and started shooting at me," said Kuzminski. "So I dove into my front door."

    The Sheriff's Office said two people were shot during the altercation-- including one of the intruders, 25-year-old Brian Webb, of New Bern. The other person shot is 25-year-old Martin David Brinson, of Edward, N.C., who is a friend of the tenant.

    The two men who were shot left the home and pleaded for help at two separate residences, according to the people who live there.

    Webb went to 1912 Lee Landing Rd. and sat on the front porch as Mike Holton and his wife called police, Holton explained. Meanwhile, Brinson drove to 1279 Lee Landing Road and asked for help from the man who lives there -- a former New York City police officer. The officer applied pressure to Brinson's wound while waiting for deputies to arrive.

    Both the suspect and the victim were airlifted to Vidant Medical Center. As of Thursday morning, Webb was listed in critical condition and Brinson was stable, said investigators.

    The Sheriff's Office said deputies do not have any information on the other two suspects or their vehicle at this time. Anyone with information is asked to call the Pamlico County Sheriff's Office at 252-745-3101.


    Pamlico County Sheriff Chris Davis told NewsChannel 12 that an apparent home invasion led to Wednesday night's double shooting.

    Davis said there were two shootings on Lee Landing Road in Reelsboro.

    There were multiple crime scenes, according to Davis.

    NewsChannel 12 saw two medical helicopters at the scene.

    Sheriff Davis said more information will be released later in the day.

    No word on victims or any suspects.

    Stay with NewsChannel 12 for the latest.


    Pamlico County Sheriff Chris Davis confirms 2 people have been shot.

    The Sheriff said there is more than one scene on Lee Landing Road in Reelsboro.

    Deputies are currently on scene investigating.

  • Second postal worker arrested for stealing mail

    Published On: Dec 18 2014 07:28:58 AM CST
    cory lewis

    A second postal worker has been arrested in New Bern on embezzlement charges, according to the New Bern Sun Journal.

    Cory Lewis, 38, has been arrested on one charge of felony embezzlement.

    The Sun Journal reports that Lewis allegedly $90 in gift cards and $140 in cash from at least eight residents between September 18 and October 27.

    He was a U.S. postal worker, according to the paper.

    Jail officials tell NewsChannel 12 he is no longer in custody.

    Earlier this month, NewsChannel 12 reported James Fields, another postal worker, was arrested on one count of felony embezzlement.

    Officials say he stole at least $270 in cash and $100 in gift cards between July and October.

  • Jacksonville man hit and killed by SUV

    Published On: Dec 18 2014 04:20:04 PM CST

    Troopers say an SUV hit and killed a pedestrian from Jacksonville Wednesday night.

    According to the Highway Patrol, a Chevrolet SUV traveling north near 1105 Haws Run Road -- southwest of Jacksonville -- hit 47-year-old Eugene Willis Hensley II. It happened at about 10:46 p.m. Wednesday.

    Hensley, of Jacksonville, died at the scene, investigators said. The driver of the SUV refused to be taken to the hospital.

    No charges have been filed. Troopers are still investigating.

  • Friend: Man killed in Beaufort County fire a 'giving fellow'

    Published On: Dec 18 2014 08:29:01 AM CST
    Updated On: Dec 18 2014 05:43:58 PM CST

    Friends say a good man died in a fire that destroyed a mobile home in Beaufort County Wednesday night.

    George Elliot II, 29, was killed in the fire at a mobile home on Sidney Road off Highway 99, southwest of Belhaven, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office. Fire officials said the blaze started just after 11 p.m. Wednesday.

    "Good man; he was a good Christian man… His sisters out there right now just shocked. It just shocked the whole community," said close friend Mark Cordon.

    Investigators said they are looking into what caused the fire.

    Cordon got the news of the blaze from his parents, who live down the street.

    "I said, 'Well, what do you mean?' They said, 'Well, our next-door neighbor, George -- his house blew up,'" Cordon said, recalling the phone call from his parents. "Oh man… I'm still in shock about it all, hasn't really sunk into me, and I raced over here because they said it sounded like a bomb went off."

    Cordon said when he arrived, the sight of the charred home left him speechless.

    "They didn't have to say anything else. You see the damage and it's just unbelievable...There are really no words you can say to, to take this loss," Cordon said.

    Cordon, brought to tears, said Elliot leaves behind a daughter.

    “She's probably 6? Very young; she'll miss her father very much," Cordon said.

    Cordon said he also remembers Elliot’s compassion for others.

    "It's just, he was a very giving fellow, just anything, he'd help you anyway he could... and compassionate for animals. He loves animals, the dog was with him. (The dog was in the house?) Unfortunately, yeah," Cordon said.

    Officials at the scene said an autopsy was being conducted and and they're supposed to have those results in the coming days.

    "He'll be missed. He'll be missed very much, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the Elliot family," Cordon said.


    Investigators have released the name of a man killed in a mobile home fire in Beaufort County Wednesday night.

    George Elliot II, 29, was killed in the fire at a mobile home on Sidney Road off Highway 99, southwest of Belhaven, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office. Fire officials said the blaze started just after 11 p.m. Wednesday.

    Officials said Elliot's body was found inside the home.  An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

    A friend said Elliot went to Northside High School in Jacksonville and is survived by a young daughter.

    The cause of the fire remains under investigation by fire officials, the Sheriff's Office and the SBI.

    NewsChannel 12 is working to get more details from the Sheriff's Office.

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  • U.S. prepares response to N. Korean cyberattack

    Censorship by cyberterrorism has sparked a debate over an appropriate response. The Obama Administration is expected to take action by publicly blaming North Korea for the hack against Sony Pictures and laying out evidence in what it's calling a serious national security issue.

  • 8 children found dead in Australian home

    Eight children have been found dead at a suburban home in the northeastern Australian city of Cairns.