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Archive for May, 2009

Troubleshooters: Dr. Hot Tub find 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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Smoking ban draws mixed reviews from local bar and restaurant patrons

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

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A very close vote in the State House Wednesday means big changes for North Carolina smokers. A 62 to 56 vote approved banning smoking in bars and restaurants in the Tar Heel state. The news was met with mixed reactions in Wilmington bars.

“I feel it should be up to the owner of every establishment to make that call,” said Theresa Welch. “I very much strongly believe in that.”

Curtiss Pulliam, a smoker, said, “I think smoking goes along with beer drinking and I don’t even think I’d come to the bar if I couldn’t smoke in it.”

North Carolina will join 31 other states and the District of Columbia, which, by the end of this year, will have similar laws. Under the new law, smokers could get fined up to fifty dollars if they don’t put out their butt after being asked.

“I never thought I’d see it come to the bars,” added Pulliam.

“It’s a decision that I make when I walk into an establishment that sells alcohol, because I know there’s going to be smoke. But from a food standpoint, I’d rather not have it in the restaurant,” said non-smoker Ron Moncovich.

Adam Iannucci, a smoker, said, “Secondhand smoke is hazardous to people who are non-smokers and they shouldn’t have to endure the secondhand smoke, but in the same sense, as tobacco as such a cash crop that founded North Carolina, we have to pay respects to that.” In fact, last year North Carolina farmers produced 686 million dollars worth of tobacco. That is almost half the value of the country’s output.

Governor Perdue has ten days to sign the bill, which she enthusiastically endorsed. It would go into effect January 2nd.

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videoMany never thought they would see this day come on Tobacco Road, but it is here. Smoking will be banned in North Carolina’s bars and restaurants.

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Fatal crash claims another West Brunswick student

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

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A second West Brunswick high school student has died after a car crash last week.

The highway patrol tells us 17-year-old Caleb Hawkins had been in intensive care at New Hanover Regional Medical Center since the accident.

Jacob Moseley died at the scene while three other students in the car survived. The accident happened early Friday morning on Royal Oak Road, just north of Shallotte, two weeks before graduation.

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A second West Brunswick high school student has died after a car crash last week. The highway patrol tells us 17-year-old Caleb Hawkins…

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Associated poll

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Bill to delay Titan plant permits stalls

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

On Thursday morning, a bill seeking to delay permits for cement plants until September 2010 was scheduled to be considered by the North Carolina Senate. But the bill, introduced by Sen. Julia Boseman, was never put to a vote.

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Forced annexation scrapped, but Oak Island will still grow

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

The Oak Island Town Council has agreed to take in more than 3,000 acres and sanction a large mixed-use development along the new entrance to the island. But it abruptly dropped an effort to annex mainland territory leading to the current bridge.

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