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Archive for March, 2009

Home sales showing signs of rebounding

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

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Home sales nationwide unexpectedly rose 4.7 percent in February, but they were down more than 40 percent compared to February of 2008.

In Wilmington, home sales increased by a 4.9 percent margin compared to January of this year.

Robin Hackney of Signature Homes says any positive news is worth celebrating and she believes she knows one of the reasons for the sales increase. “People are getting a little more confidence, but they’ve also put incentives in place. There’s an $8,000 tax credit. It says first-time home buyers, but the description of a first time homebuyer is anybody in the last three years that’s not owned a home.”

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Home sales nationwide unexpectedly rose 4.7 percent in February, but they were down more than 40 percent compared to February of 2008.

In Wilmington, home sales increased by a 4.9 percent margin compared to January of this year.

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Associated poll

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Senior center needed, but not finished yet

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

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Construction on a new senior center in Southport is nearly four months behind schedule, but the need for senior services in Brunswick County is here now.

Every day, the Southport Senior Center provides services to dozens of area seniors. However, the facility it’s housed in not big enough to handle the increased amount of seniors looking for assistance. That’s why the opening of their new facility can’t happen fast enough.

“We have limited space and limited activities as to what we can do here,” said Southport Senior Center Manager Shelly Behnken.

Soon, limited space will be a thing of the past when the doors open to a new $2.5 million facility at Highway 211 and Highway 87.

After years of planning, opposition and construction delays, the new senior center is expected to open in July, nearly four months behind schedule.

The Southport Senior Center and eight other facilities throughout Brunswick County are all part of Brunswick Senior Resources Incorporated, a non-profit agency that aids area seniors. Programs offered include meals on wheels, prescription assistance and wellness programs.

Behken said a new expanded facility will encourage more seniors to take advantage of their services. “I think it’s going to bring in a lot of seniors that haven’t previously tried to come here, because we haven’t been able to reach everybody’s interest.”

Brunswick Senior Resources Inc. is funded primarily through the county.

Brunswick Resources officials are looking to generate funds from the people it serves by becoming more self-sufficient, meaning instead of collecting donations like the facility does now, seniors already on fixed incomes may have to begin paying for help.

If they have to start charging, the fee will be nominal, only a dollar or two for each class or service.

The new Southport Senior Center is also expected to employ around 40 part time seniors.

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videoConstruction on a new senior center in Southport is nearly four months behind schedule, but the need for senior services in Brunswick County is here now.

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Associated poll

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Drowning victim Robert Brown remembered for originality

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Local artist Robert Delford Brown, 78, accidentally drowned before his body was found in the Cape Fear River, sheriff’s deputies have said.

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Cape Fear Pride Whiteville: Founder James B. White

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

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Historians say there is not a single picture of the town’s founder in existence, but we can still get an image of who he was.

Gariel Bell of Central Middle School introduces us to James B. White.

Who is James B. White you may ask? For starter, his full name is James Bunberry White, “Bunn” for short. He was born December 31st 1774 to Bridget and James White, and had four siblings. There were raised on the black river at Glen Etive Plantation in Bladen County.
Mr. James B. White grew to be a millwright by trade and would later gain 10,000 acres in Bladen County. In 1806 and 1807 he was a member of the House of Commons for the state. Later in 1808 he became the first Senator of the new county of Columbus.
White was allowed to sell land for the town of the Whiteville and moved his homestead to the current Walgreen’s drug store location. He would build a mill on Pine Log Rd. and flood most of the land behind what is now Central Middle School for a millpond. Also, White was a slaveholder in 1810.
James Bunberry White died of an epidemic of yellow fever on October 1st 1819. He was later buried his childhood home on the lands of the Glen Etive Plantation.

Our Cape Fear Pride team hits the road for Whiteville again this week. This Friday we’ll be live from Whiteville High School, spotlighting education in the area. Meghan Torjussen, Steve Rondinaro and Chris Philips will be live in Columbus County during our evening newscast for some hometown fun.

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videoHistorians say there is not a single picture of the town’s founder in existence, but we can still get an image of who he was. Gariel Bell of Central Middle School introduces us to James B. White.

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Associated poll

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Taxi permits more expensive to acquire

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

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Getting a taxi permit in the city of Wilmington is going to take a few more steps, which will ultimately cost the cab driver more money, but may make our streets safer.

Getting a taxi permit in the city used to consist of paying $15, and getting a statewide criminal background check. Now, the police department wants to make sure those driving the public around are clear of any criminal or drug history.

Taxi drivers aren’t happy because this new permit is going to cost more.

The first step is a drug test conducted by Mobile Medical Lab off Carolina Beach Road, which costs $35. Next, fingerprints are taken at the police station for not only a statewide background check, but a national one conducted by the FBI. That’s another $18. And finally, a taxi permit, which is the cheapest step at $15.

That adds up to almost $70 dollars. Some taxi drivers said that’s an entire day’s pay.

“The police department is requiring us to have background checks, drug tests, and everything else, which are good things, cause you don’t want the public out there in a cab with someone that’s going to hurt them, we don’t have a problem with that, it’s the financial part of it,” said taxi driver Sarah Pendergrass.

City council voted to crack down on permit requirements in order to make it tougher for just anyone to drive the public around in the city. These new measures came into effect February 3rd. Now in order to obtain, or renew a taxi permit in the city, everyone must go through these steps.

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Getting a taxi permit in the city of Wilmington is going to take a few more steps, which will ultimately cost the cab driver more money, but may make our streets safer.

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Associated poll

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