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Archive for March, 2009

Battle over tax incentives for North Carolina film industry

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

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Wilmington is the kind of place where our local streets and buildings commonly turn into TV and movie sets. Cape Fear Community College regularly appears on One Tree Hill. Just how busy those sets are is important to our local economy and just how busy they’ll be depends upon what’s going on in Raleigh.

Right now, there’s an incentive war going on among states trying to get a piece of the movie and TV business. Some are offering 25, 30, and even 40% tax breaks. It makes North Carolina’s 15% pale in comparison and presents a tough choice for state legislators in a tight economy.

“You don’t want to get to the point where the incentives are greater than the money that’s going to get produced for you,” said Representative Bonner Stiller.

Senator Julia Boseman sponsored the bill in the senate that would raise the tax break to 25%. “I think given the economic situation this is absolutely the right time.”

But a competing bill sponsored by Senator Phil Berger would leave the incentive at 15% and put further artistic and financial controls on producers.

Boseman’s not sure how this will play out. “I’m really happy that one of the appropriations co-chairs has signed on to the bill. We’ll just have to battle it out in the back.”

To that end, the state’s film industry is doing its homework in order to back up its case with hard numbers.

The local film community contends that this is one of those times that you have to adjust to stay in the game.

Both competing bills are currently in committee and have not been scheduled for debate.

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videoWilmington is the kind of place where our local streets and buildings commonly turn into TV and movie sets. Cape Fear Community College regularly appears on One Tree Hill. Just how busy those sets are is important to our local economy and just how busy they’ll be depends upon what’s going on in Raleigh.

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Associated poll

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Several dogs test positive for distemper at Brunswick County Animal Shelter

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

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For the next couple of weeks, no dogs will be adopted from the Brunswick County Animal Shelter.

Several dogs staying at the shelter have tested positive for distemper, a highly contagious disease caused by a virus.

The shelter will decide in two weeks whether to start allowing dog adoptions again. All services for cats, including adoption, will still be available.

If you have questions about distemper, call Brunswick County Animal Services at 910-755-6434.

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For the next couple of weeks, no dogs will be adopted from the Brunswick County Animal Shelter.

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Associated poll

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Belle no, they won’t go! Avoiding Azalea

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

The N.C. Azalea Festival begins Wednesday, and while many residents of Southeastern North Carolina can’t imagine not celebrating it, others go out of their way to avoid the crowds, out-of-towners and what some call “the insanity.”

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Gov. Perdue’s first meeting in Wilmington scheduled for Wednesday

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

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Bev Perdue will be in town Wednesday for the first time since being elected governor. She is scheduled to hold a town hall meeting on education at Cape Fear Community College’s North Campus. It is the fulfillment of a campaign promise, sort of.

“I have said to folks here that we will hold the first town hall meeting, I’m going to do four a year, at least, and my first town hall meeting will be in mid-January here in the Wilmington/New Hanover area,” said Perdue.

It was a promise then Lieutenant Governor Bev Perdue made in Wilmington on October 23rd; her final visit to the Port City before her election to the state’s highest office. And it is a promise Governor Bev Perdue did not fully honor.

According to her press office, after taking office January 12th and a visit to Washington, DC two days later, Perdue made ten public appearances in January, getting no closer to Wilmington than Goldsboro on January 23rd. But political analyst Ralph Kornegay said fudging on promises is part of elected office.

“It’s not just a matter of saying, ‘I promised to do it. I’m going to run and do it.’ somebody else is saying, ‘Excuse me. You can’t, because you’re scheduled to do this. You can’t, because you have to pay attention to this. You can’t, because you have to work with this group. You can’t, because…’ and suddenly, they’re put into a position of having to go against what they promised,” he said.

But Perdue has made a habit of slighting our area. Twice last year she skipped candidate’s forums in Wilmington where she would have been open to public questions, but made campaign visits within a day of each event which were campaign-controlled photo ops.

Since taking office the governor has made 50 public appearances across North Carolina, rarely straying far from I-85, including events Tuesday in Greensboro, Durham and Raleigh. The closest she came to our area was a February 27th visit to Camp Lejeune to welcome President Obama.

Kornegay said given the current problems facing the state, there are certainly bigger issues for the governor to worry about than keeping a promise to voters in southeastern North Carolina; a region he said lacks political gravitas. “We don’t have any clout. That’s the secret. We don’t have any clout.”

A Cape Fear Community College spokesman said the governor’s staff first contacted the school about the governor’s visit last week, at least two days after WWAY requested from the governor’s press office a list of the locations of the her public appearances since taking office.

If you would like to take part in the governor’s town hall meeting, it is from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon in the BB&T Auditorium at Cape Fear Community College’s North Campus.

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videoBev Perdue is scheduled to hold a town hall meeting on education at Cape Fear Community College’s North Campus. It is the fulfillment of a campaign promise, sort of.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

Here Now: After 62 years, class ring finds way home

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

This story is so far-fetched, you might think it’s an April Fool’s Day hoax. I wouldn’t blame you. It stretches over six decades and involves a couple of coincidences.

More: continued here

 

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