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Archive for February, 2009

Ed Asner discusses evolution, acting at WHQR

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Edward Asner, best known for his TV role as newsman Lou Grant, held court at public radio station WHQR Monday. The subject was acting, and the occasion was Wednesday’s performance of “The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial” at UNCW.

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Wilmington police looking for bowling-alley purse snatcher

Monday, February 16th, 2009

The Wilmington Police Department is asking for help identifying a man who they say grabbed a woman’s purse at a bowling alley last month.

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County to seek proposals for waste disposal plan

Monday, February 16th, 2009

In an effort to end one of the most divisive issues in New Hanover County politics, the county commissioners will request formal proposals from waste companies before deciding the fate of the county’s trash program.

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ABC store funds not going to help students learn ABC’s

Monday, February 16th, 2009

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The city of Southport is feeling the effects of the economic downturn, so much so, that the board of aldermen chose to reallocate funding generated from an unlikely source, its local ABC store.

Since 1957, the city of Southport has been collecting net profits from its ABC store to support three area schools and the local hospital.

But tighter economic times has changed the direction of where that money will go. “A lot of areas of revenues that we depend upon to do our job are down and we need to do everything to offset by spending less or maximizing revenue,” said Southport City Manager Alan Thornton.

The city has been gifting 35 percent of the store’s profits to Southport Elementary, South Brunswick Middle, South Brunswick High School, along with Dosher Hospital.

When you break that down, each school has counted on more than $20,000 a year, and Dosher Hospital got around $13,000.

Now that money will go back into the city’s general fund to offset budget shortfalls, majority from a huge decline in revenues from the sales tax. The money will be used to fund things like the police department, fire and rescue, and city personnel.

For years, the three schools have been using the extra money to help with updating technology, buying supplies, and staff development.

Principal Vann Pennell at South Brunswick High said the loss of thousands will be felt, but knows the city has no choice. “I’m ok with it because I appreciate what they have done in the past. When the economic times get better, I’m sure they will look after us. I completely understand what they are doing.”

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videoThe city of Southport is feeling the effects of the economic downturn, so much so, that the board of aldermen chose to reallocate funding generated from an unlikely source, its local ABC store.

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Associated poll

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City budget retreat looks at tax distribution

Monday, February 16th, 2009

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The city of Wilmington accounts for nearly eighty percent of the county sales and property tax revenue. Wilmington officials say it’s time some of that money started coming back to help the city.

“Nationally, state wide, and at the local level we’re having a very difficult time with the economy,” said Scott Townsend, the Wilmington budget director.

Townsend had his hands full at Monday’s budget retreat. The meeting outlined important projects for the upcoming year, took a look back at 2008 spending, and examined new ideas for increasing city revenue.

“As we have diminished revenue during the year we have to reduce our expenditures to keep a balanced budget,” Townsend said.

For the city, that means looking for new ways to raise money and cut spending. For city employees, that could mean a new work schedule.

In regards to flexing of time, people can move around and work at different hours of the day, a four day work week, which is something we talked about at our last retreat,” said Mayor Bill Saffo.

The city budget retreat comes on the heels of the county’s decision to cut it’s budget by $3 million by June.

City Councilwoman Kristi Tomey said tax distribution needs to change. “I would like to see a fair distribution of sales tax. Annexation is not going to solve that problem. We need to start focusing our attentions on how do we go through the legislation to get that corrected.”

The two sides have yet to discuss a new tax distribution plan. The vote on the final budget won’t be taken until mid-June and it will go into effect July first.

The city also identified projects for the upcoming year, some of which, like the expansion of Independence Boulevard, could benefit from the economic stimulus.

But, of course, it’s too early to know just yet how that money will be dispersed.

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videoThe city of Wilmington accounts for nearly eighty percent of the county sales and property tax revenue. Wilmington officials say it’s time some of that money started coming back to help the city.

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budget150.jpg

Associated poll

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