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  • Onslow County couple accused of starving foster children

    By Katy Harris
    Published On: Oct 20 2014 11:24:34 AM CDT
    Updated On: Oct 20 2014 06:13:19 PM CDT

    An Onslow County husband and wife allegedly starved their foster children --just 4 and 5 years old-- by giving them one meal a day, causing them to require hospitalization, arrest warrants say. The suspects are also accused of causing other injuries to the victims.

    The Onslow County Sheriff's Office said 29-year-old Jonathan Earl Savage and 29-year-old Brandi Michelle Savage turned themselves in Friday morning. They face multiple child abuse charges.

    Arrest warrants say the suspects, who live on Batchelor Road about 12 miles southwest of Richlands, were foster parents to a 4-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy.

    According to the warrants, the couple "provided one meal daily to [their foster children]... who became severely chronic malnourished to the point that [they] had to be hospitalized [at Vidant Medical Center]." The warrants say doctors ruled the children's conditions as "deliberate starvation."

    The alleged abuse happened from Nov. 1, 2013 to Aug. 15, 2014, the warrants say.

    "One meal a day. I can't make it off that much less a growing child," said Sheriff Ed Brown. "[The suspects] were getting $750 per month for each child. That is a lot of money to take care of one child and why that money wasn't provided for the food and stuff, at least the food for those children, I don't understand."


    Jonathan Savage is also accused of "deliberately" holding his 5-year-old foster son underwater in the suspect's above-ground pool to teach the child to swim on July 6, 2014, according to the warrants. The incident caused the boy to have seizures, Sheriff Brown said.

    "The person was trying to use tactics to try and get the child to swim and restricted him of the air for too long a period of time, which caused him to start having seizures," Sheriff Brown explained.

    In addition, Jonathan Savage caused non-accidental bruises to the five-year-old's genitals during potty training between June 15 and Aug. 15, the Sheriff's Office said.

    Furthermore, Brandi Savage is accused of causing bruises on her 4-year-old foster daughter's face, the warrants say.

    Sheriff Brown said the foster kids are the biological children of Brandi Savage's cousin. Authorities in Tennessee appointed the suspects as foster parents in September 2013, investigators said. The children are now back in Tennessee.


    Jonathan Salvage is charged with three felony counts of negligent child abuse causing serious bodily injury and one count of misdemeanor child abuse, the warrants say. Meanwhile, Brandi Savage is charged with two felony counts of negligent child abuse causing serious bodily injury and one count of misdemeanor child abuse.

    Jonathan Savage was being jailed under a $100,000 bond while his wife was being held under a $75,000 bond. They made their first court appearance Monday morning.

    Jonathan Savage is a Marine sergeant and a staff member at School of Infantry East at Camp Geiger, a satellite facility of Camp Lejeune, a base official said. Savage is originally from Livingston, Tenn. He enlisted in the Marine Corps on Aug. 25, 2008 as an infantryman and was promoted to sergeant on Aug. 2, 2013, said the base official.

  • NC insurers press for higher homeowners rates

    By Kyle Horan
    Published On: Oct 20 2014 10:17:51 AM CDT
    Updated On: Oct 20 2014 05:31:26 PM CDT

    North Carolina's insurance commissioner is considering a request from companies seeking to increase homeowner's coverage costs by more than 25 percent on average while more firms demand even higher, unregulated rates.

    Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin opened a hearing Monday on the rate increase requested by nearly 100 companies selling homeowners policies in the state. Goodwin's decision is not expected before late this year.

    Staffers in the state Insurance Department headed by Goodwin say the proposal is excessive. A lawyer for the North Carolina Rate Bureau representing the companies say they're asking less than the 41 percent increase needed to cover obligations and make a fair profit.

    Ray Evans, general manager for the Rate Bureau, says insurance companies have needed a increase for a while.

    "What we're seeing is not an insurance industry thing, it's an economic thing," Evans said. "We just do not think we've had the increases that are appropriate over a long period of time."

    Insurers increasingly are telling customers they won't sell coverage unless homeowners agree to pay more than the rate set by Goodwin's office.

    Coastal leaders who attended the hearing said these rates are too much for some people who live in the counties they affect.

    "Somebody came to me and said if insurance rates go up, I'm going to have to drop my insurance," said Jeffrey Hudson, Onslow County Manager. "They were a senior, they were on a fixed income and they said 'I have to make a decision.' Do I have insurance for my home for something that may happen, or do I continue to get the medications and the food that I need on a weekly basis?"

    Evans said the insurance companies haven't had a big rate increase in the past 15 years, and the state is over due for one.


    Listed below are the homeowners insurance rate changes that have been proposed by insurance companies represented by the N.C. Rate Bureau. (The data is provided by the Department of Insurance.)

    Beach areas in Currituck, Dare and Hyde Counties... 35-percent increase.

    Beach areas in Brunswick, Carteret, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender Counties... 35-percent increase.

    Coastal areas in Currituck, Dare, Hyde and Pamlico Counties... 10-percent increase.

    Eastern Coastal areas of Brunswick, Carteret, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender Counties... 35-percent increase.

    Coastal areas in Beaufort, Camden, Chowan, Craven, Jones, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrell and Washington Counties... 8.7-percent increase.

    Western coastal areas of Brunswick, Carteret, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender Counties... 1.9-percent decrease.

    Gates and Hertford Counties... 16-percent increase.

    Bertie, Green, Martin, Pitt and Wayne Counties... 26.2-percent increase.

    Duplin and Lenoir Counties... 35-percent increase.

    CLICK HERE: Full document of proposed homeowners insurance rate changes.


  • Winterville man killed in motorcycle crash

    By WCTI Staff
    Published On: Oct 20 2014 10:05:35 AM CDT

    A man was killed after his motorcycle collided with a vehicle in Winterville, police said.

    On Sunday at about 8:35 p.m., Joshua Montrell Holmes was driving his motorcycle on Old Tar Road, according to the Winterville Police Department. But his motorcycle somehow collided with a vehicle at the intersection of Old Tar Road and Main Street. Police did not say what led up to the crash or who was at fault.

    Holmes, of Winterville, was taken to Vidant Medical Center, where he died of his injuries, said police.

    The wreck is still under investigation and reconstruction, police added. The driver of the vehicle that collided with the motorcycle has not been charged.

  • Heroin bust in Pitt County

    By WCTI Staff
    Published On: Oct 20 2014 12:50:29 AM CDT
    Updated On: Oct 20 2014 05:54:22 PM CDT

    A Greenville man has been arrested after detectives recovered about 2 ounces of heroin, $7,500, manufacturing equipment, and eight guns from his home.

    Investigators say it all started when deputies stopped Meguiel Dwayne Gardner, 43, during a traffic stop on October 16th. During the stop, K-9 deputies recovered approximately 150 bags of heroin from his vehicle.

    Detectives then searched Gardner's home on Hunter's Lane in Greenville, where they found more drugs, guns and cash.

    The Pitt County Sheriff's Office says Gardner is charged with one count of Possession with intent to sell and deliver a schedule 1 controlled substance, two counts of trafficking heroin or opium, and one count of maintaining a dwelling for controlled substance.

    Gardner was taken to the Pitt County Detention Center and where he was placed under a $1,025,000 secured bond.

  • Motorcyclist dies in Onslow County wreck

    By Leland Pinder
    Published On: Oct 18 2014 04:51:49 PM CDT
    Updated On: Oct 19 2014 12:00:18 AM CDT
    Jacksonville, Onslow County -

    The Highway Patrol confirms a driver thrown from his motorcycle and into the back windshield of a car has died.

    Troopers say, 20-year-old Alex Sanderson of Jacksonville, was flown to New Hanover Regional Medical Center after the accident where he was pronounced dead.

    The wreck happened in the parking lot of the Liberty Point Apartments on Yorktown Lane Saturday around 4 p.m.

    Sanderson's passenger was also thrown from the bike. He was taken by EMS to Onslow Memorial Hospital.

    Trooper Micheal Kirk says Sanderson rear ended a Nissan Altima driven by 21-year-old Jose Serrato. There were 3 passengers in the car. One passenger in the back seat was treated at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune for a minor head injury according to troopers.

    The accident remains under investigation, no charges have been filed at this time.

    PREVIOUS STORY: Onslow County deputies along with the NC State Highway Patrol are investigating a wreck involving a motorcycle that sent one person through the back windshield of a car.
    The wreck happened in the parking lot of the Liberty Point Apartments on Yorktown Lane Saturday around 4 p.m.

    Troopers tell NewsChannel12 two men on a motorcycle were traveling at a high rate of speed behind a late model Nissan Altima and rear ended the car. The driver of the motorcycle, Alex Sanderson, 20, of Jacksonville, was thrown from the bike and entered the car through the back windshield. He was transported via helicopter to the hospital.

    The passenger on the motorcycle was also thrown from the bike. He was transported to Onslow Memorial Hospital. No word at this time on the extent of injuries.

    Troopers say at least three people were in the Nissan Altima at the time of the crash. Two in the front seat and one person in the back. A passenger in the back seat, we're told, suffered minor head injuries.

    Stay with NewsChannel12 as we continue to gather details on this accident.

  • Local HS Soccer October 20th, 2014

    DH Conley at New Bern, White Oak at Havelock, and SW Onslow at Croatan!

  • Crane topples over onto Fla. cars, homes

    A huge crane tips over in a Florida neighborhood, crushing a home and several vehicles.

  • Pistorius' sister: 'It's never going to be over'

    Oscar Pistorius is scheduled to be sentenced in the death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Tuesday. Ahead of the sentencing, his sister, Aimee Pistorius, talks about the impact the shooting has had on all the people involved.

  • Recent data breaches making consumers nervous

    High-profile hacks make some shoppers nervous heading into the holiday season.

  • Hannah Graham case: Now death investigation

    After human remains were found over the weekend, public searches for Hannah Graham were canceled so that authorities could focus their attention "on recent evidence," authorities said.