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Archive for May, 2009

City Council votes to change election process, draws some opposition

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

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Election time in Wilmington is an exciting time, traditionally, because of run-offs. For years, Wilmington elections have been in October of odd numbered years, to allow time for run-offs in November. That is going to change.

City Council voted Tuesday to change the city’s election method to what’s called non-partisan plurality. It will change election time from October to November and eliminate run-offs. In other words, the top vote getters win, period.

Former Elections Chair and new council member Margaret Haynes proposed the idea, and was backed by all of her fellow council members except Ron Sparks. “The current procedure, I think, is the fairest way to deal with the large number of people who actually run for office,” he said.

Sparks won in a run-off in 2007, but said that is not the reason he does not support the new method. He said, “The unknowns are not helped by this change in the rules. This change in the rule helps the known politicians and the known people.”

Haynes said the new method will increase voter turnout and save the city at least $75,000 this year. Still, that does not sway Sparks. “The amount of money that we spend in a run-off is not critical if you end up getting, excuse the phrase, the wrong person in.”

The change is final and come November, the top vote getters take all. Council members up for re-election in November are Jim Quinn, Margaret Haynes and Earl Sheridan, as well as Mayor Bill Saffo.

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videoWe are still quite a few months away from the next election for Wilmington City Council and mayor, but when that time comes, things will run a little differently.

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Associated poll

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Study: N.C. has second-highest rate of children at risk of hunger

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

The study shows that in 11 states, more than 20 percent of children under 5 are at risk of going hungry. Louisiana has the highest rate, with just under a quarter of children at risk, followed by North Carolina.

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Man reports stabbing on Market Street

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Wilmington police are investigating a stabbing Wednesday on Market Street.

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Pender pork producers feel heat from virus

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Pork industry spokesmen have rushed to reassure the public that it’s safe to consume pork, worried that the H1N1 virus, commonly called swine flu, will hurt demand for their products.They say the scare has already lowered the price growers are paid for pork.

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Local business can look forward to more cruise ships in Wilmington

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

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Local businesses will get another boost, with four cruise ships docking in Wilmington. Three American Cruise Line ships will arrive in May; the first on Sunday. A fourth ship from American Canadian Caribbean Line will arrive in June.

These small luxury cruise ships carry around one-hundred passengers and will dock along downtown Wilmington’s riverfront near the visitor information booth.

A cruise line study estimates that each passenger spends an average of $123 per US port-of-call visit.

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Local businesses will get another boost, with four cruise ships docking in Wilmington. Three American Cruise Line ships will arrive in May; the first on Sunday.

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Associated poll

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