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Archive for May, 2009

Saunders given thirty day extension

Friday, May 29th, 2009

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Brunswick County commissioners have just agreed to give a local developer 30 more days to make good on a promise to install roadways and infrastructure in a number of major developments.

Mark Saunders, who is the developer for communities like Sea Watch and Ocean Ridge Plantation, missed the original deadline.

That’s put property owners in a bind since their lots aren’t worth much without roads, water and sewer.

County commissioners had originally planned to call in bonds that insured the infrastructure, so they could build it themselves, but they’re giving Saunders one last chance to finish what he started before they get involved.

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Brunswick County commissioners have just agreed to give a local developer 30 more days to make good on a promise to install roadways and infrastructure in a number of major developments.

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Associated poll

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Beaches to be safer in Fort Fisher

Friday, May 29th, 2009

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It looks like Fort Fisher is going to have lifeguards this season after all.

Last weekend the stands on the south end of Pleasure Island were empty due to lack of funds for salaries. Today, state parks and recreation confirmed that there is now money to hire four lifeguards and a supervisor.

A parks and recreation spokesman said there will be guards on duty as soon as they find the right people for the jobs.

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Last weekend the stands on the south end of Pleasure Island were empty due to lack of funds for salaries. Today, state parks and recreation confirmed that there is now money to hire four lifeguards and a supervisor.

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Associated poll

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Airlie art a tribute to Minnie Evans

Friday, May 29th, 2009

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Minnie Evans used wax crayons, vibrant colors, and mystical creatures in her art, and what better way to remember her at Airlie Gardens than with a chapel made from glass bottles?

Virginia Wright-Frierson designed and built the bottle chapel. It was a year-long project that had her braving the outdoor elements.

Five years later, she looks back fondly on one of her most precious pieces of artwork.

“I still get a sickening feeling, even though I loved it, recalling the heat, and the cold and difficulties,” said Wright-Frierson.

The chapel has withstood hurricanes, tornados, and tropical storms. Every time Wright-Frierson visits Airlie Gardens, she takes a walk around to check on her masterpiece. “It scares me to look for damage,” she said.

With only a few bottles cracked here and there, the beauty of the chapel lives on, just like the legend of Minnie Evans.

“As you come closer and closer, and walk around the spiral pathway leading inside, there are so many details that we all worked so hard on,” Wright-Frierson said.

Mixed among thousands of glass bottles donated by the community, Wright-Frierson put in some pieces that remind her of family and friends.

And at the entrance to the chapel, there is a glass hand, representative of Minnie Evans watching over her cave of colors.

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videoMinnie Evans used wax crayons, vibrant colors, and mystical creatures in her art, and what better way to remember her at Airlie Gardens than with a chapel made from glass bottles?

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Associated poll

More: continued here

The future of businesses on Front Street

Friday, May 29th, 2009

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With Kingoff’s Jewelers moving from it’s downtown location there will be one more empty property on Front Street this fall. Other business owners in the area say it’s part of a regular trend.

“There are a lot of empty store fronts here, there always are, businesses come and go, retail establishments come and go,” said downtown business owner Meredith McCahan.

John Hinnant of Wilmington Downtown, Inc. said the key to keeping downtown business alive is focusing on other stores just like Kingoff’s. “What we’ve got to do is nurture the mom and pop and keep trying to attract small businesses downtown.”

But business owners already located downtown say they’re not getting the attention they deserve. “A lot of the other retail merchants may be following suit. We may be following Kingoff’s and leaving downtown,” McCahan said.

One major impact on the decision to stay or go is road improvements planned for the city’s vision 2020.

The necessary roadwork could put a big strain on business.

“I’ve been real concerned that we’re going to shutdown during the busy holiday shopping season,” Hinnant said.

If retailers wait for the road repairs they could reap some big benefits.

“It’ll be a more attractive environment, more attractive for shoppers it will also be more attractive and inviting for investors,” Hinnant said.

It’s not a mass exodus for downtown businesses. Hinnant said Britt Motorsports has agreed to open a new clothing store at one of the vacant locations.

Businesses have also expressed interest in other available spaces, but many of the buildings require landlord repairs before anyone can move in.

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videoWith Kingoff’s Jewelers moving from it’s downtown location there will be one more empty property on Front Street this fall. Other business owners in the area say it’s part of a regular trend.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

Many students absent from Gregory and Snipes amidst H1N1 concerns

Friday, May 29th, 2009

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Gregory Elementary School and Snipes Academy are still on high alert after four students were confirmed to have the H1N1 virus.

The cases were confirmed yesterday by the New Hanover County Health Department. Today, dozens of concerned parents kept their children home from school.

Snipes and Gregory each had more than 100 students absent from class.

The four students with H1N1 have been required to stay home for a minimum of seven days, but officials could not pin point just how long those students have already been out of school.

As of last night, classrooms and buses had all been cleaned with disinfectant.

The health department says there is no need right now to close Gregory or Snipes, unless more cases are discovered.

“We feel very confident that our health department would tell us that they would want us to close the schools, since they have not done so we want to abide by that and we certainly want our children to be in school. We understand parents who say they don’t want their child in school and who are afraid and we don’t want to penalize those parents and those children,” said Dr. Rick Holliday, the assistant superintendent for support services.

Administrators are still working to determine who else might have been exposed to H1N1.

There is no word yet as to how the four students contracted the virus.

Administrators will be holding a parent informational meeting at Gregory Elementary School next week. Parents of Snipes students are invited to attend as well.

Health department officials will be on hand to answer any questions or concerns parents may have regarding the flu cases. The meeting is at 6 p.m. on Monday.

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Gregory Elementary School and Snipes Academy are still on high alert after four students were confirmed to have the H1N1 virus.

The cases were confirmed yesterday by the New Hanover County Health Department. Today, dozens of concerned parents kept their children home from school.

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Associated poll

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