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Archive for June, 2009

Blueberry Festival set for Saturday

Friday, June 19th, 2009

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There are plenty of ways to enjoy blueberries, but on a June weekend in the Tar Heel State there’s only one place that enjoys them the most. For the last six years Burgaw has been home to the North Carolina Blueberry Festival.

“Blueberry industry in North Carolina started in Pender County… A guy from New York came down and bought one thousand acres of land to grow blueberries on, paid one dollar an acre for it,” Wayne Batten, festival chair, explained.

So Burgaw decided it was only natural for the town to host a festival. The event has become so popular that each year, 20,000 to 30,000 blueberry lovers pack this small Pender County town.

Even though it takes place in Burgaw, the North Carolina Blueberry Festival extends far beyond Pender County. That’s why farms like Blueberry Hill in Bladen County have been festival supporters since the berry beginning.

“We see it as an asset to us as far as promotion of our product on a local level, a state level, and a national level,” said Chris Barnhill.

It’s good for business too. With so many visitors eager to try different blueberry products, Blueberry Hill workers can’t pack the berries fast enough.

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videoThere are plenty of ways to enjoy blueberries, but on a June weekend in the Tar Heel State there’s only one place that enjoys them the most. For the last six years Burgaw has been home to the North Carolina Blueberry Festival.

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Raid leads to twelve arrests surrounding prostitution ring

Friday, June 19th, 2009

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A large prostitution raid Thursday night in Brunswick County has put twelve people behind bars.

According to Brunswick County deputies, the Sun Spa massage parlor near Longwood employs three women who have allegedly been engaged in illegal activities for months now.

“We have had numerous complaints about these establishments, and it’s our goal to shut them down,” said John Ingram.

Inside the Sun Spa were rooms containing beds, massage oils, and condoms. Deputies allege these women charged men anywhere upwards of a hundred dollars for sexual favors. More than $16,000 in cash was found at the location. Money was hidden in exit signs, and behind wooden wall panels.

In a coordinated bust, Brunswick County detectives along with SWAT teams hit three other locations off Highway 17 in the southern part of the county.

Two strip clubs, and one other massage parlor were targeted in the raid. There were 12 total arrests and more than $50,000 was seized.

The operation was organized by the Brunswick Sheriff’s Department, but area agencies like the Shallotte Police Department helped out as well.

Deputies had been planning the raid for quite sometime. They sent undercover officers to scope out all four locations before they received warrants to enter and search the properties.

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videoA large prostitution raid Thursday night in Brunswick County has put twelve people behind bars.

According to Brunswick County deputies, the Sun Spa massage parlor near Longwood employs three women who have allegedly been engaged in illegal activities for months now.

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NC unemployment rate hits new high

Friday, June 19th, 2009

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North Carolina has hit a dubious record. Our unemployment rate hit 11.1 percent in May, hitting a new peak since the state started such measurements more than 30 years ago.

The state’s jobless rate a year ago was 5.9 percent.

The State Employment Security Commission said Friday the number of unemployed North Carolinians topped 500,000, an all-time high.

After a long run in which government was one of the safest places to work, the sector shed 4,000 employees in May.

Manufacturing continued to suffer as companies cut 3,800 workers.

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North Carolina has hit a dubious record. Our unemployment rate hit 11.1 percent in May, hitting a new peak since the state started such measurements more than 30 years ago.

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Kids get lessons in layups and education

Friday, June 19th, 2009

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One local basketball camp is teaching kids the importance of balancing athletics and education. Elementary and middle school boys and girls took part in the Believe to Achieve Camp at the Martin Luther King Center in Wilmington.

Many of the counselors at the camp were college basketball players who taught kids the importance of a college education. And of course, the kids learned a little about basketball too. “I learned how to do a defensive slide, a layup, how to keep your academics up and make sure you stay in school,” said Kalin Smith.

Friday Mayor Saffo stopped by the camp to talk a little about his education. He said everyone who participated in the program was already a winner.

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One local basketball camp is teaching kids the importance of balancing athletics and education. Elementary and middle school boys and girls took part in the Believe to Achieve Camp at the Martin Luther King Center in Wilmington.

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Summer camp is all business

Friday, June 19th, 2009

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A unique summer camp at UNCW doesn’t involve canoeing or campfire songs.

Kids between the ages of 11 and 16 have spent the week on campus in UNCW’s Young Entrepreneurship Program.

From catering to fashion to sporting goods to medicine, the kids spent the week creating businesses and putting together plans to make them succeed, right down to the financing and marketing.

“I think kids learn an awful lot at this camp. It really changes lives,” said UNCW Chancellor Rosemary Depaulo.

In addition to business, the kids learned a lot about leadership this past week. With their eye on the future, they’ll be far less likely to run into trouble in present.

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videoA unique summer camp at UNCW doesn’t involve canoeing or campfire songs. Kids between the ages of 11 and 16 have spent the week on campus in UNCW’s Young Entrepreneurship Program.

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