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Archive for April, 2009

Flower launch honors those who help children

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

The 5th annual Flower Launch was held Tuesday evening along the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington.

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New Hanover sales tax increase proposed to ease budget problems

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

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New Hanover County Commissioners are proposing a sales tax increase to help deal with budget shortfalls. They hope voters will approve the increase this November so they can ease budget problems caused by the struggling economy.

Poor retail sales and revenue from county fees have already forced New Hanover County to layoff employees and delay projects.

“Realizing that county services are cut way back, we’ve got to find a way to bridge the gap so to speak,” said New Hanover County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield.

North Carolina has a state sales tax of 4.5 percent.

Counties add to that, to raise money for the local government. In all five of our area counties, the sales tax is 6.75 percent.

New Hanover County Commissioners want to ask voters to approve a one-quarter of a percent increase.

If approved, New Hanover would be the eighth county in the Tar Heel State with a 7.0 percent sales tax and would be just one-quarter percent behind Mecklenburg County for the top spot.

Storeowners said they don’t think it will impact sales at the cash register. “Nobody’s going to stop and say no I’m not going to buy that because it’s seven percent,” said Mary Ellen Golden of Golden Gallery.

But they’re worried it could make getting people into the store more difficult.

“I feel like an increase in taxes would possibly cause tourism to slow down, and that’s what this town is based on,” said Port City Pottery Owner Pam Grenough.

The county is dealing with a $12 million budget deficit for the 2009-2010 fiscal year that takes effect in July.

Officials say the increase would raise almost $7.5 million a year, but that could change with the economy. “Our citizens demand and expect a certain level of service that has to be paid for and the sales tax is the fairest way to do that,” said Commissioner Jason Thompson.

Some county residents said they’re not opposed to increasing the tax, as long as it’s the last resort.

“First thing are we fiscally responsible and if we’re sure of that and there’s no other choice, then that’s what we have to do,” said Tom Barber of Wilmington.

Most commissioners said they hope a sales tax increase will prevent property tax increases in the future.

Even if residents approve the sales tax increase in November, it won’t take effect until April of 2010.

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videoNew Hanover County Commissioners are proposing a sales tax increase to help deal with budget shortfalls. They want to ask voters to approve a one-quarter of a percent increase.

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Associated poll

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Witness testifies that Robert Marshall was shot in pot robbery

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

First-degree murder defendant Joseph Terrell Gregory, 18, hatched up a plan to “score some licks” or rob marijuana from people, one of his four co-defendants testified on Tuesday at his trial.

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Marino on Money: April 21

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

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This week, Marino on Money addresses the question of how our government manages its money.

Q: Who do we borrow from?

A: The majority of the money our government borrows is from foreign investors, or foreign central banks. We do this because our economy does not generate enough tax revenue to pay all of our bills. Our government needs to borrow money, just like we would borrow money. Our government runs a deficit. The Congressional budget office expects the deficit to be roughly $1 trillion dollars this year. Meaning, our government will spend $1 trillion more than we make in 2009. They also estimate we’ll spend $9.3 trillion more than we make in the next 10 years. Scary.

So, how do we borrow all of this money? Investors, like foreign central banks will loan money to us for a period of time. We pay them interest, and eventually we must pay back the principal. The national debt is now over $11 trillion. We are paying interest on it, and eventually, we need to pay it back. We borrowed the money for a specific period of time. We will need to repay it. How are we going to do that? There are a couple of possibilities. We will look at those tomorrow.

Ross Marino will be answering questions on our 5 o’clock news every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

If you have a question, visit our Marino on Money page.

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videoThis week, Marino on Money addresses the question of how our government manages its money. Ross Marino will also discuss who the US borrows money from?

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Associated poll

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The Carousel Center for Abused Children Fundraiser

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

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Every year, to support the Carousel Center, local VIPs and elected officials put their egos aside and put on the performance of their lives. This year’s show, Vegas and More, will be held on April 25, 2009 at Thalian Hall and it promises to be a night you will not forget.

Imagine community “celebrities” entertaining all of us by taking on the persona of famous Las Vegas personalities or shows. Our favorite politicians as The Blue Man Group, or some of our school board as Elvis impersonators…the possibilities are endless.

Tickets are on sale now at the Thalian Hall box office. You can buy them online, in person or over the phone at 910-343-3664.

For more information you can visit the Carousel Center for Abused Children website.

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Every year, to support the Carousel Center, local VIPs and elected officials put their egos aside and put on the performance of their lives. This year’s show, Vegas and More, will be held on April 25, 2009 at Thalian Hall.

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Associated poll

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