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Archive for June, 2009

Eaton Elementary turns into wax museum

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

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With only two days left before summer vacation, kids at Eaton Elementary were showing off before the year is up.

Students in Ms. Abernathe’s third grade class dressed up as famous historic figures and created a “wax museum” of their own on Wednesday.

The catch….you have to push their button before they talk. Each student made a board and memorized speeches about their character.

Parents had a chance to walk around and hear what the kids had to say.

“I chose Neil Armstrong I think this is a really good topic, because it’s easy and really interesting,” said third grader Evan Gray.

Walt Disney, Henry Ford, and Rosa Parks were a few of the characters in the wax museum.

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With only two days left before summer vacation, kids at Eaton Elementary were showing off before the year is up.

Students in Ms. Abernathe’s third grade class dressed up as famous historic figures and created a “wax museum” of their own on Wednesday.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

It’s back to home surf for globe-trotting turtle

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

By Gareth McGrathGareth.McGrath@StarNewsOnline.com

The rehabilitation of Willamena the sea turtle, which spanned two continents, two years and included a trans-Atlantic flight, was anything but typical.

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Troubleshooters: Local auto dealer drives off with woman’s deposit

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

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In this week’s Troubleshooters Report, we talk with Wilmington woman who put $1,000 down on a used car at a local dealership. When she went back to get the car, she found it had been sold to someone else, and her salesman no longer worked there. When Pamela Pickett asked for her money back, Wilmington Nissan said no.

“I liked the car, we test drove the car, and then he told me that other people may want the car, so he told me to put $300 down to hold the car, and that’s what I did,” described Pamela Prickett.

It sounds like a typical experience for someone going through the ordeal of buying a used car, but Pamela Pickett’s experience was anything but typical. After making 3 separate payments totaling a thousand dollars in cash on a 95 Honda Accord, Pamela went to Wilmington Nissan to pick up her car. But Leon Burwell, the salesman who had taken Pamela’s down payment, was a no-show.

“The other salesman came up to me and said, ‘You know, that car you were talking about, has been sold.’ He said we sold that car 3 days ago,” Pamela said.

The dealership did a little research, and realized Leon Burwell had pocketed Pamela’s money. Even though she had receipts on Wilmington Nissan letterhead, the managers told her to take this up with the salesman, Mr. Burwell, because they were not giving her a refund. Pamela added, “I was very upset because they laughed. They thought it was funny when I was talking to them, and I said, ‘Well I don’t have a thousand dollars to give away like that’, I told them I just wanted my money back.”

According to a Wilmington Police report, Leon Burwell admitted to taking Pamela’s money, and they have taken out warrants for his arrest. But attorneys we talked to said Wilmington Nissan still shares some liability.

“Even though the dealership is taking a hard line, saying we’re not responsible for the wrongful acts of this employee, who is now gone and has criminal charges against him, there is a relationship created there, and there are potential causes of action for that customer,” said attorney Chad Hogston.

Hogston said Pamela has two legitimate legal claims against Wilmington Nissan. The law considers an employer responsible for the actions of their employee, if the employee wrongs a customer within the scope of their employment. While the dealership might not be responsible if, for example, an employee was dealing drugs on the clock, they could be liable if he committed fraud under the guise of a car deal. Secondly, Pamela may have a claim against Wilmington Nissan for negligent hiring, since Leon Burwell has a criminal record for fraud. But Hogston said above and beyond the legal arena, it just makes sense for the dealership to make things right with Pamela.

“I would think that you want to make the customers happy. And we’re not talking about a heck of a lot of money here, so because of that, the $1000, I think, is worth making the customer happy. The intangibles are huge there,” said Hogston.

The owner of Wilmington Nissan did not want to talk on camera. He is standing firm that the dealership did not do anything wrong, and they are not responsible for Leon Burwell’s actions.

Furthermore, he questions whether the money actually changed hands at the dealership. Pamela insists it did, and the receipts and police report support her version of events. Since hiring an attorney to fight for $1000 would be cost prohibitive, small claims court may be her only option for recovering her money.

One take away point to keep this from ever happening to you: don’t pay in cash, because it makes it a lot easier for someone to pocket your money.

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videoIn this week’s Troubleshooters Report, we talk with Wilmington woman who put $1,000 down on a used car at a local dealership. When she went back to get the car…

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Associated poll

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Film incentive rally set for Thursday

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

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Film industry insiders say it’s a “reel” problem…North Carolina’s lack of a competitive film incentive. That’s why film crews from across the state are getting ready to rally in Raleigh, to show legislators why upping the current incentive from 15% to 25% is vital to keeping the film industry alive in North Carolina.

With spray paint in hand, Dan Brawley, with the Cucalorus Film Festival, is setting the stage for Thursday’s film incentive rally at the state capital.

Each of his cardboard cutouts he’s painting will represent a crewmember that lives in North Carolina, but has to work in other states.

“I think we counted somewhere around 250 people who are living in Wilmington, whose families live here, who’ve been here for years and years, but forced to go to Georgia and Louisiana to make a living,” Brawley said.

That role fits Bruce Stultz. He’s been a part of the local film industry since 1985, but he and his wife often travel elsewhere to work. “My wife just got back from a job in St. Louis. She was there for five months, it looks like one of the other of us will have to go out of town to work again,” Stultz said.

It’s faces like his legislators will see at the rally, everyday people who depend on films in order to make a living.

Hundreds of people from across the state will be there, wearing their “25 to survive” buttons. They’re urging lawmakers to increase the film incentive to 25 percent in an effort to keep productions from going to other states. Case in point: the Miley Cyrus movie.

“States like Louisiana, Georgia are offering 30%, Michigan is offering 42% so we’re just not competitive right now,” Brawley said.

Stultz believes it’s simple economic development; that if lawmakers vote for the increase, the state will see a return right away.

People from our area will be leaving tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m. for the rally.

It begins in Raleigh at 9:00 a.m. Right now, both the House and Senate’s film incentive bills are sitting in committee.

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Film industry insiders say it’s a “reel” problem…North Carolina’s lack of a competitive film incentive. That’s why film crews from across the state are getting ready to rally in Raleigh, to show legislators why upping the current incentive from 15% to 25% is vital to keeping the film industry alive in North Carolina.

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Associated poll

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Burgaw window decorations

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

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North Carolina’s Blueberry Festival is still two weeks away, but there’s already a blue tint in Burgaw.

Some businesses are competing for the best blueberry window design.

Wednesday, three judges including WWAY’s Joe Mauceri ranked 12 local businesses on their blueberry pride.

The displays were judged on their blueberry theme, creativity, and overall visual appeal, but organizers say the decorations do more than just show community spirit.

“When tourists are here during the Blueberry Festival, they want to see anything blueberry. So, it really generates traffic into the business as well. When you go around to some of these businesses it’s unbelievable what some of them do,” said Dopnna Best-Klingel of the Burgaw Chamber of Commerce.

Decorations included everything from clothing to full window paintings.

The winners of the competition will be announced at the Courthouse Square on June 19th, the day before the festival.

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North Carolina’s Blueberry Festival is still two weeks away, but there’s already a blue tint in Burgaw.

Some businesses are competing for the best blueberry window design.

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burgaw150.jpg

Associated poll

More: continued here

 

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