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Archive for February, 2009

Familiar scene, unique tragedy for widowed firefighter

Friday, February 13th, 2009

The body of a young woman he found lying in the middle of the road was that of his wife, and nothing in his 10 years as a firefighter prepared him for what he was facing.

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Supporters of Titan plant

Friday, February 13th, 2009

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In an effort to bring more jobs to southeastern North Carolina, local business leaders have come together to support a controversial new cement plant in Castle Hayne.

Carolinas Cement, a Titan America subsidiary, has been a source of heated debate in our area. While opponents have been very vocal in voicing their opinions, supporters have been harder to come by, until now.

Bob Warwick is heading a group of Wilmington business leaders called the Coalition for Economic Advancement. “A city either grows or it dies. There’s not such thing as sitting still,” Warwick said.

The group launched newjobsforwilmington.com. The not-for-profit website supports bringing new jobs like the 160 Carolina Cement plans to provide to the area.

Carolinas Cement has said it would train local students to fill many of the positions at the plant.
Members of the group Stop Titan counter the plant could result in more lost jobs than it will provide.

“One of the reasons is nobody else is going to want to move in if there’s a big heavy polluting cement plant out in the corner of the county,” said one member Joel Bourne.

The website newjobsforwilmington.com lists several reasons for supporting Carolina Cement, one of which says the members of stop titan don’t live in the area.

But don’t tell that to Joel Bourne. “This is my house Mr. Warwick, I live in Bayshore. I’m a resident of Wilmington.”

Carolina Cement is beginning the environmental permitting process that would allow them to start construction on the new facility. The plant would provide 1000 jobs for two years during the construction phase.

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videoCarolinas Cement, a Titan America subsidiary, has been a source of heated debate in our area. While opponents have been very vocal in voicing their opinions, supporters have been harder to come by, until now.

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Associated poll

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Portion of ABC sales will no longer go to Southport area schools

Friday, February 13th, 2009

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For more than fifty years, a portion of sales from the Southport ABC liquor store has gone to three area schools, and Dosher Memorial Hospital. That is about to change.

Thursday night the Board of Aldermen voted to allocate 100 percent of the store’s funds to the city, citing the move will prevent a tax hike in this tight economy.

Concerned Southport Elementary School parents said they do not want to see their children’s school lose the $25,000 it has been receiving from the store.

“It gives the children of the school more supplies, different things in the school that we can use to better the children’s education,” said concerned parent, Sam Sharp.

Although all the money from the ABC store will now go to the city’s general funds, board members said when budget time comes they will give some money to Southport Elementary.

Aldermen has not decided just how much money that will be.

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For more than fifty years, a portion of sales from the Southport ABC liquor store has gone to three area schools, and Dosher Memorial Hospital. That is about to change.

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Associated poll

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Help scientists this weekend by tracking birds in our area

Friday, February 13th, 2009

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This weekend, all you will need is some patience and maybe a pair of binoculars to help with scientific research.

The Great Backyard Bird Count begins Friday and runs through the 16th. Count the birds you see in your backyard, and make note of their species. The information will help scientists study the population and travel patterns of our area birds.

“We hope more people will get interested in the birds and maybe develop a backyard habitat to attract more birds; putting feeders out to support them through the winter,” said Steve Emslie a UNCW professor.

To report your findings go to birdsource.org/gbbc.

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This weekend, all you will need is some patience and maybe a pair of binoculars to help with scientific research.

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Associated poll

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The ghosts that haunt Wilmington

Friday, February 13th, 2009

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Just beyond the tangled, Spanish moss, inside a historic brick Wilmington home walks a ghost named George.

“A young man was hung at the gallows, and was buried before he had passed away, before he was dead,” described Chip Hemingway, an architect for BMH.

Ghost Walk Tour guide, Lewis Musser said, “Ever since then, it’s been as haunted as can be, and remains so to this day.”

The building was built in the mid-1800s; once a hanging ground where mischievous criminals were hung at the gallows, now it is a space where the spirits have come to stay.

“I’ve seen an old lantern burning in there, when there is no one around,” Musser said.

Across the street below the Bellamy Mansion, is a spot Lewis calls the dungeon. “Step up to the velvet rope ladies and gentlemen, have a little gander, talk about, ‘We’ll leave the light on for you’.”

Another famously haunted spot is the place to be for pool players and bar flies, Orton’s pool hall. “People have taken pictures down that dark gloomy hallway, and find shadowy figures that can’t be explained in there,” said John Scott, also part of the Ghost Walk Tour.

The pool hall used to be a fancy hotel, until it burned to the ground in 1949. Tales say all the guests and staff made it out alive, but after sifting through the rubble they found the remains of two people inside the space; one was 25-year-old tug boat hand, William Stevens.

“After the fire, folks came to the police and began to ask, ‘what happened to the old man we saw in the fire’. A lot of people saw an old man walking back into the smoke, and wouldn’t leave, and seemed disoriented,” described Scott.

Orton’s workers said they have heard William’s ghost opening and closing a back door in the wee hours of the morning, while they are closing down.

Scott said, “That perhaps is responsible, those two deaths, for some of the strange occurrences that go on here in the Orton’s pool hall, and across the hall at Longstreet’s Pub as well.”

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videoWWAY took a tour of some of the more popular haunted spots around Wilmington with Ghost Walk Tour Guide Lewis Musser.

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Associated poll

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