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Archive for May, 2009

Troubleshooters: Dr. Hot Tub finds himself in hot water

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

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Back in October, Polly Harman ordered a new hot tub cover from Dr. Hot Tub. She paid Gordon Smith almost $300 in advance, but after 2 months went by with no cover and no word from Dr. Hot Tub, she got concerned. Polly made repeated attempts to contact him, but said she never got a reply to her calls, e-mails or letters. So, she took him to court.

“I filed with New Hanover Small Claims Court, and when I was in there, I looked up, and saw that there were other judgments against him, so I was not the first person who he didn’t respond to,” said Harman. “That seems to be his method of business.”

Polly said when the court date came, Gordon Smith was a no-show. That is when she called us, and we called Dr. Hot Tub. After a number of calls and e-mails from WWAY, Gordon Smith finally delivered the hot tub cover to her house.

No sooner was that resolved than we got a complaint from another customer of his, Darrell Markovitch, who paid $500 upfront for parts and a repair that have yet to happen. We contacted Dr. Hot Tub again. He said a family emergency had him tied up, and then he stopped returning our e-mails. Polly said she’s not surprised. “He takes money, and then if he feels like providing the service or the product, he does, if not, you don’t hear from him. He doesn’t answer e-mails, phone calls, nothing. He just leaves you hanging.”

We tried to visit Gordon Smith in person, but the physical location of his business is a mystery. The only thing listed on his website is a PO Box.

Last weekend, the Wilmington Star News ran an article about Dr. Hot Tub, featuring even more angry customers.

One more note: Dr. Hot Tub has a failing grade with the Better Business Bureau.

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videoIn this week’s Troubleshooters Report, we have a heads up about a businessman who has customers all over our viewing area complaining. We first started receiving complaints about him about six weeks ago, and things have snowballed since then.

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Associated poll

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NC school system to replace teachers with recruits

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

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CHARLOTTE — Officials in one of North Carolina’s largest school districts plan to use 100 new Teach for America recruits to replace experienced teachers who are being laid off.

The Charlotte Observer reported Thursday that the recruits lack teaching experience and credentials. A teacher advocate says the decision in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system is a slap in the face.

Superintendent Peter Gorman says the Teach for America workers will bump teachers who aren’t performing well enough.

Teach For America is a national nonprofit organization that recruits college graduates for two-year teaching assignments.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Officials in one of North Carolina’s largest school districts plan to use 100 new Teach for America recruits to replace experienced teachers who are being laid off.

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Associated poll

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New Hanover County Dangerous Dog court in session

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

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Dangerous Dog Appeals Court was in session in New Hanover County Wednesday night. Two cases were on the docket, but one had an abrupt ending.

“He decided he did not want to be on camera, so he walked out. I told him the decision for his dog being potentially dangerous would be upheld and he said it didn’t matter and he left, so he now has the option of appealing his decision to superior court if he chooses to,” said Judy Evonko of New Hanover Animal Control.

It turns out Travis Rivenbark has been on the news recently for other reasons. Last month, Wilmington Police charged Rivenbark with felony hit and run and habitual DWI after a hit and run on Wrightsville Avenue.

The other Dangerous Dog Appeals Court case involved a Dutch Shepherd mix named Bengal and a Dalmatian mix named Leyla. They are both accused of attacking Kathy Richardson’s 9 pound dog.

Medicals bills are over $600, so far. Dionne Howe owns the attacking dogs; Joyce Bradley is the presiding panelist.

“I think if Leyla had not come when she was called, it would have been a whole lot worse. It was bad enough, and you said you had a hard time getting him back in. I’m not telling you how to do things, but that’s the bad thing about retractable leashes. You don’t have a lot of control,” said Bradley.

The volunteer panelists had a hard time sifting through the case, but in the end they ruled Leyla to be not guilty, and Bengal guilty. Thus, Bengal must adhere to the rules and regulations of being a dangerous dog.

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videoDangerous Dog Appeals Court was in session in New Hanover County Wednesday night. Two cases were on the docket, but one had an abrupt ending.

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Associated poll

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High risk of rip currents through 8 p.m.

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

The National Weather Service in Wilmington warns of a high risk of rip currents through 8 p.m. along the coasts of Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties.

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Get Healthy – Ability garden, energy medicine, behavioral health

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

The Cooperative Extension’s Ability Garden will hold its 10th anniversary celebration 1-3 p.m. Friday at the arboretum.Bryce Lane, host of “In the Garden,” will be the guest speaker.Reserve a space to attend by contacting Gary Levesque at 798-7670 or glevesque@nhcgov.com.

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