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Archive for March, 2009

Independent Container Line docks in Wilmington

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

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Three weeks ago, the Port of Wilmington welcomed Maersk Tangier, the world’s largest container shipping company.

For the second time in less than a month, trucks lined up at the port to welcome a new company to Wilmington.

Independent Container Line has served North Atlantic trade for the last 24 years. Now, each week one of its ships will call the Port City home.

“It’s our capability to provide the level of service in a cost effective manner and that’s what we do,” said Tom Eagar of the NC Ports Authority.

ICL’s partnership with Wilmington means about $1 million in additional wages for port employees.

The partnership could also have a larger ripple effect. “The more assets we have coming to North Carolina will help us increase that international trade figure and that in turn is important to companies in North Carolina, which is important to jobs.”

Luring new businesses to the Port of Wilmington hasn’t come cheap. The Ports Authority said they plan to spend more than $190 million over the next few years in port improvements. But additions like these new cranes were instrumental in luring ICL to the area. “Without these investments, I really think that we wouldn’t be here,” said ICL CEO John Kirkland.

Kathy Neal said from 2007 to 2008, international trade brought almost $250 billion to the Tar Heel state.

With ICL, that money will come in the form cargo varying from automotive parts to household goods.

ICL will have four ships serving the Port City, a different one arriving each week. The company handles five percent of the north Atlantic trade and reaches more than 250 million Europeans.

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videoThree weeks ago, the Port of Wilmington welcomed Maersk Tangier, the world’s largest container shipping company.

For the second time in less than a month, trucks lined up at the port to welcome a new company to Wilmington.

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NHC school budget the topic at a work session Thursday night

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

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The New Hanover County School Board has a tough task ahead of it. A work session starts at 5:30 p.m., to discuss the school district’s budget.

The finance committee will give its recommendations for next year’s budget. Board members will be able to ask questions and make their own recommendations.

One proposal generating a lot of discussion is changing around the bus system, to save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, but it would also make the high school start time earlier at 7:00 a.m.

“I don’t want to see high school students going to school that early and I don’t want to see elementary school students going to school that early,” said Elizabeth Redenbaugh of the NHC School Board. “That means they would have to get to the bus stop, the earliest projected time is 6:00 a.m., but that’s ridiculous.”

Redenbaugh said one option she wants to explore, would include cutting some staff, and salaries, from the athletics department.

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The finance committee will give its recommendations for next year’s budget. Board members will be able to ask questions and make their own recommendations.

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Federal funds will help Wilmington with energy efficiency

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

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The City of Wilmington is going to see some federal dollars.

Thursday, the Department of Energy announced that it will give North Carolina more than $58 million for projects aimed at promoting energy efficiency and conservation. A media release said the money will help create jobs and cut energy bills.

The City of Wilmington will get more than one million dollars of this money. A spokesperson for the city said it is too early to know where the money will go.

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The City of Wilmington is going to see some federal dollars. Thursday, the Department of Energy announced that it will give North Carolina more than $58 million for projects aimed at promoting energy efficiency and conservation.

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Looking back at the 1984 Red Springs tornado

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

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The largest and most devastating tornado outbreak in the Carolinas in the 20th century happened March 28th, 1984 when 22 tornadoes killed 57 people, 42 here in North Carolina; 800 more were injured.

The path of one deadly twister went right over the town of Red Springs on the edge of Robeson County.

For most people it was just an ordinary day in Red Springs, but Bill McFall knew otherwise. “That morning, about 10am, I looked at my barometer at home and it was dropping and I got to telling people in town that something bad was gonna happen. By that night it was down to 284 and I never have seen it down that low before or again.”

The weather quickly deteriorated around sunset.

“We were having storms, lightning and thunder, and suddenly I had this very eerie feeling,” explained Red Springs citizen Terry Powers.

At the same time, Fran Ray was at the Baptist church, working with the youth group. The girls in her group started noticing the weather taking a turn for the worse. “They said ‘Ms. Ray, something is happening outside’. And then all of the sudden it just started hailing terrible. I mean the sky just lit up with hail. And we realized some seriously was going on outside.”

Everyone moved to the hallway, away from all the windows. They did it just in time.

Around 7:30pm the F4 tornado touched down in the little town of Red Springs.

They lost a lot of trees that night; many of them were over 100 years old, and a big part of the area’s landscape.

Every substantial building in Red Springs sustained F1 or F2 damage. When all was said and done, 500 homes were damaged, more than 300 people were left homeless, and one person was killed.

Mayor George Paris said he’s glad it wasn’t more. “For a church that had numerous people in it and was destroyed for only one child to be killed that was a miracle in itself.”

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videoThe largest and most devastating tornado outbreak in the Carolinas in the 20th century happened March 28th, 1984 when 22 tornadoes killed 57 people, 42 here in North Carolina; 800 more were injured.

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Computer worm could infect millions

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

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Security experts are racing against time to try to stop a computer worm from infecting millions of computers. The worm is supposed to strike on April first.

The worm is called “Conficker C” and it could be one of the most damaging computer attacks we’ve seen in years.

Conficker first surfaced in 2008 and infected nine million computers. Since then it’s become more powerful and complicated than ever.

Exactly what will happen if the worm attacks is unknown. Experts say it could steal personal information, wipe out hard drives, or con computer users into buying phony software.

To keep your computer safe, be sure your anti-virus software is up to date. Microsoft offers a free service scan at safety.live.com.

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Security experts are racing against time to try to stop a computer worm from infecting millions of computers. The worm is supposed to strike on April first.

The worm is called “Conficker C” and it could be one of the most damaging computer attacks we’ve seen in years.

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