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Archive for March, 2009

Get Real, Get Tested raising HIV awareness

Friday, March 27th, 2009

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More than 33,000 North Carolinians are living with HIV, and that number is growing every year. A statewide public health campaign is working to raise awareness and offer free testing.

Nineteen-year-old Chris Cromartie makes it a point to get tested for HIV every year. “It’s good to know you don’t have HIV or AIDS, so I just do it just to do it.”

Cromartie got a free HIV test at the New Hanover County Health Department Friday as part of the ‘Get Real, Get Tested’ campaign. It’s a statewide effort that offers free testing and education about HIV and AIDS

The continued increase in HIV cases shows education is needed.

“We’re seeing an average of 1800 to 1900 new cases of HIV being reported each year,” said campaign coordinator Holly Watkins.

Of the state’s 100 counties, New Hanover County ranks 11th for newly diagnosed HIV cases.

Sharema Williams, who oversees HIV education at New Hanover County’s Health Department, said 50 to 60 new cases are reported each year. Not only does she invite people to come by for information and testing, but she and her team are going door to door to raise awareness. “We still have that stigma, which we will probably always have that stigma. Individuals would rather not know their status because they figure it’s still as a death sentence,” Williams said.

Williams reported that those with HIV and AIDS are living longer than ever before thanks to medications and for those being proactive and getting tested, like Cromartie, it’s a weight off their shoulders. “It’s good to know you don’t have it and it’s bad to know if you do have it and you’re not getting tested and you still know you have it, but it’s always safe to get tested.”

The New Hanover County Health Department always offers free HIV testing. The Get Real, Get Tested campaign is continuing tomorrow; they’ll be at the New Hanover Community Health Center on Fourth Street from 9:00am to noon.

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More than 33,000 North Carolinians are living with HIV, and that number is growing every year. A statewide public health campaign is working to raise awareness and offer free testing.

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Associated poll

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Information technology jobs predicted to be in higher demand

Friday, March 27th, 2009

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UNCW information technology students got some encouraging news Thursday evening as their industry is projected to have the third highest growth rate in North Carolina over the next decade.

Professor Tom Janicki said he hopes to expand information technology in Wilmington by helping his students secure jobs here once they graduate. “We have really established a connection with the information technology companies in the Wilmington area, and as a result they know the quality of our students and they come to us saying ‘give us good interns’ and we’re able to place our students for paid internships and then they get good paying jobs when they graduate. That’s the real reward.”

UNCW held an IT fair on Thursday, which drew 300 students, industry professionals, and others curious about the field.

“Knowing about the job security especially in the current market and economy it probably would be a good thing to consider, especially because of how many people are losing their jobs,” said Chloe Keating who is considering a degree in technology.

Another perk of the field is a big paycheck. Some entry-level salaries can start at $45,000 a year with a bachelor’s degree.

“I think a lot of incoming freshmen are really unsure of what they want to do and knowing that this would be a steady job and a steady paycheck would be definitely a career that a lot of people would consider,” said student Kimmy Keaton.

Doctor Janicki said he encourages anyone with an interest in the internet, computers or even video games to consider pursuing a career in IT.

In the next ten years, the Department of Labor projects, five out of the top ten paying jobs will be in information technology, and 23,000 new IT jobs will be needed in North Carolina alone.

Senator Julia Boseman recently introduced a bill in the state legislature that would give a 15% tax credit to video game producers in North Carolina, so there may soon be more perks for those considering entering the field.

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UNCW information technology students got some encouraging news Thursday evening as their industry is projected to have the third highest growth rate in North Carolina over the next decade.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

Weather doesn’t deter fishermen on Surf City Ocean Pier’s opening day

Friday, March 27th, 2009

“If you’re a fisherman and you get to go out to fish, any day is a good day to go fishing,” said Michael Lewis of Goldsboro.

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Designs for CFCC additions get unanimous approval

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Revamped design plans for expansion at Cape Fear Community College play musical chairs with the original layout in order to save time and cash, after a unanimous vote of approval at the Board of Trustees meeting Thursday.

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N.C. unemployment highest on record

Friday, March 27th, 2009

North Carolina’s unemployment rate jumped a full percentage point in February, to 10.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday. Only Michigan, South Carolina and Oregon had higher rates, the bureau said.

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