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Archive for April, 2009

Man in custody after shots fired at Sixth and Red Cross streets

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

A man was reported to be in custody after somebody fired shots about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday near the intersection of Sixth and Red Cross streets in downtown Wilmington, according to New Hanover County 911.

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Hampstead venue sounds like fun to some, nuisance to others

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

The owner of a closed plant nursery on U.S. 17 is asking Pender County to allow him to operate an outdoor venue for twice-monthly events such as concerts, carnivals and rodeos.

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Marino on money: April 29

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

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Helping a child or grandchild with college expenses can be a worthwhile investment. Certified financial planner Ross Marino discusses a popular plan to start saving.

Now or later?

That is the first question to answer when you want to help a child or grandchild pay for college.

Next question is whether you want to keep control of the money. To start now, you can place money in an account, which can be used for college. A popular choice is a 529 plan.

Go to www.cfnc.org for information about the North Carolina 529 plan. For state residents, you may be eligible for a state tax credit when making contributions. A 529 isn’t for everyone.

The biggest advantage of a 529 plan is the opportunity to receive tax-free withdrawals. If the money is used for qualified college expenses, you may withdraw the earnings tax-free. However, if you don’t use the money for college, there may be tax and penalties due.

Here is how it works. If you withdraw the money and not use it for college, you will pay tax on the earnings, and pay a 10% penalty. Keep in mind, you did not pay tax on the earnings while the money was growing. If you had invested the money elsewhere, you probably would have paid tax on the earnings. So I don’t look at the tax as a negative. But the 10% penalty is certainly a negative. Investors need to consider the risks and expenses associated with 529 plans. They are not appropriate for everyone.

You may also open a savings account and start saving money now. If you do not need to have control of the money, you could gift the money to your grandchild, or open a custodial account for them. There are limits to how much you can gift without generating taxes, but that may not be the biggest risk. When a student applies for financial aid, all of his or her assets are considered –meaning, any money gifted to your grandchild is considered available for college, and that could limit the amount of financial aid they receive.

You may be better off opening an account yourself, and setting aside the money you want to gift.

Or, when your grandchild goes to college, you can pay the college directly.

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Helping a child or grandchild with college expenses can be a worthwhile investment. Certified financial planner Ross Marino discusses a popular plan to start saving.

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Associated poll

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Illegal immigrants guilty of sex offenses

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

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Guilty pleas Wednesday for two illegal immigrants, charged with sex offenses in Pender County.

Octavio Paz Rojas pled guilty in Pender County Superior Court Wednesday to two counts of indecent liberties with a child. The 22 year old admitted to sexually assaulting a 13 year old girl. Rojas admitted to being in the US illegally, and will be deported to Mexico after serving a 1 1/2 to 3 year sentence.

Isidro Garcia Gazca plead guilty to unrelated sex offenses. He was sentenced Wednesday to 12 to 15 years in prison. Detectives say he sexually abused 3 girls, aged 7 to 14. Gazca will also be deported to mexico after serving his sentence.

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Guilty pleas Wednesday for two illegal immigrants, charged with sex offenses in Pender County.

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Associated poll

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Judge orders county to release names of laid-off workers

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

A superior court judge has ordered New Hanover County to immediately provide the Star-News with the names of the 27 employees who were laid off in March.

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