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Archive for March, 2009

“About four” Wave Transit drivers suspended without pay

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

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A handful of Wave Transit bus drivers have been suspended for using their cell phones while behind the wheel.

The general manager of Wave Transit Operations would not confirm exactly how many were suspended, nor would he release their names.

Wave Transit would only say “about four” drivers have been suspended without pay for 10 days.

The majority were suspended for a second offense. Until they are back on duty, part-timers will pick up the routes.

Wave Transit said riders will not be affected by the suspensions.

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A handful of Wave Transit bus drivers have been suspended for using their cell phones while behind the wheel.

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Using online marketing to target the right customers for your business

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

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The internet works differently than traditional media. Unlike billboards, television or print media which are used or seen by the consumer, internet businesses need to be wherever their potential customers are.

So how do internet businesses keep up with consumers?

“There is opportunity out there, the question is how do you appeal in the right way to customers,” asked Thom Porter. Porter is a UNCW professor who specializes in internet marketing. He said businesses are cutting back spending right now, but not necessarily in the right places.

“Companies pull back too much on the marketing side. Marketing will often be the first thing that companies get rid of and in my experience, sometimes it takes money to make money,” said Dr. Porter.

So how do you take advantage of the marketing dollars that you have?

One way is to use the World Wide Web. “The internet provides very significant opportunities for small businesses to in a fairly cost-effective way, market their businesses,” added Porter.

Dr. Porter said small online businesses should take advantage of what’s called pay-per-click advertising. Through Google, MSN, or Yahoo you can purchase keywords and create text ads that appear in search engine results. Every time a potential client clicks on your ad, you pay a predetermined fee.

Dr. Porter said, “You could set aside a $500 budget for online and drive in quite a bit of appropriate traffic because that traffic is based on people actually typing in that keyword sequence that you’ve specified.”

There are also free options. Many of us still have not given in to the social networking scene, but it is a way to promote your business quickly and efficiently.

By creating a Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter page for your business, and getting people to follow your work, you could drive quite a lot of traffic to your site.

“So become a little bit more sophisticated because if they don’t, their competitors are going to be doing that, they’re going to be losing their customers,” Porter said.

So whether you pay money to market your business online or use social-networking sites for free, the key for any business using the internet is to have a strong web presence.

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videoThe internet has changed the way we do business. Some companies that once needed buildings to sell goods now use the internet exclusively.

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Former GE Hitachi CEO Andy White goes west in Trilliant move

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Andy White, who was succeeded as CEO of GE Hitachi by Jack Fuller in February 2008, first moved on to head of GE New Energy Ventures. Now White heads Trilliant Inc., in Redwood City, Calif.

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House Bill 88 to give parents choices about sex education for their children in school

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

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A newly proposed bill could change the way students learn about sex in the classroom. House Bill 88 may eventually give North Carolina parents a choice about what their kids are taught in sex education classes.

One area school district has already given parents options, and it seems to be going over well.

Before students even enter health class in New Hanover County, parents have the first say.

When it comes to sex education, this permission slip is key. Parents can either opt to have their students learn the traditional abstinence until marriage curriculum or a more comprehensive sex ed lesson plan. They also can choose not to take sex ed at all.

“It helps with their values. I think it gives them a better choice of what fits their family and it gives them the opportunity to talk to their kids,” said Kiersten Wildeboer the New Hanover County Health Director.

New Hanover County parents have had the choice of how they want their students to learn about sex since 1993. Before, students only received a comprehensive lesson, which focuses on sexually transmitted diseases, contraceptives and their failure rates.

Abstinence-only promotes the safest way to avoid teen pregnancy and STDs, and that is by not having sex until marriage. “I’d rather them get the specific information, updated information and correct information through these programs than on the street,” Wildeboer added.

Wildeboer said the need for sex education is apparent when you look at teen pregnancies across our area. In 2007, New Hanover County reported more than 300 teen pregnancies, while both Brunswick and Columbus counties reported just over a hundred.

When, and if, House Bill 88 passes, the choice for parents in Brunswick County will remain an abstinence-only curriculum.

“We are waiting and seeing what happens at the state level. I’m sure it will have some impact here at the local level,” said Joyce Beatty, the Brunswick County Executive Director of Personnel.

All sex education classes in our area begin at the middle school level. Across the state, about a dozen school districts offer comprehensive sex education.

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videoA newly proposed bill could change the way students learn about sex in the classroom. House Bill 88 may eventually give North Carolina parents a choice about what their kids are taught in sex education classes.

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Associated poll

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Poor third quarter earnings announced by Smithfield Foods

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

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Smithfield Foods, the leading pork processing plant in the country, just released their third quarter earnings. It looks like the economy is hitting them hard.

In the third quarter, Smithfield netted a loss of more than $100 million. Last month, the company announced it would close six plants across the country, including the Elon plant. This means around 160 employees will lose their jobs by the end of the year.

Many other employees will be offered transfers to other plants, which means the Tar Heel plant in Bladen County might see some growth down the line.

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Smithfield Foods, the leading pork processing plant in the country, just released their third quarter earnings. In the third quarter, Smithfield netted a loss of more than $100 million.

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Associated poll

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