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Archive for July, 2009

Rains cause floods around New Centre

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

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The rain has subsided, but it’s still the talk of the town. Flooding caused all sorts of problems in Wilmington Monday night.

Stranded drivers were left wading through the streets and people were forced out of their apartments near College and New Centre. Crews have busy been all day assessing the damage and cleaning up.

“About an hour-and-a-half into the storm, water on Racine was up to my waist and cars were getting stuck left and right,” said Carter Smith.

Up the street, Sandra Privette had to clear debris from her property. “We looked like we had waterfront property, and you needed a row boat or a canoe just to get around.”

Privette says debris is the cause of the problem flooding on along Racine and New Centre drives.

What is it about these roads that cause them to flood at any sign of rain just over a few inches? That’s the question residents in this neighborhood say they want an answer to.

Officials say to begin with 6-and-a-half inches of rainfall in just two hours topped the threshold for the drainage system.

Flooding is also an issue when debris clogs the drains.

“As a result the water didn’t really have anywhere to go. It’s a relatively flat area it doesn’t run off very quick and six-and-half inches of rain does not absorb into the ground very quickly,” said Warren Lee of NHC Emergency Management.

Just last May, a downpour flooded Racine leaving cars stranded then, too.

The city is responsible for clearing debris along roadways and drains within city limits. Clearing private property is the responsibility of the owner.

Workers are still inspecting the drain system to make sure everything is running properly and assessing the damage. Once complete, the county could apply to the state’s rainy day fund for financial help.

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videoThe rain has subsided, but it’s still the talk of the town. Flooding caused all sorts of problems in Wilmington Monday night.

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Associated poll

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Perdue wants legislators to increase film incentives

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Increasing the tax break film companies can receive is among the items Gov. Beverly Perdue has included in a letter to legislators that she hopes will break the budget negotiation logjam.

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Small businesses make sizable impact

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

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Small businesses provide most of the jobs, services, and entertainment throughout the country, but when it comes to business in our area, small is relative term.

A small business can employ up to 500 people in any industry imaginable. That’s why struggling small businesses are a big deal.

“The small businesses, not only in this community but across America, are the backbone of the economy the majority of businesses are small businesses,” said Connie Majure-Rhett of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce.

According the Small Business Administration, small businesses represent 99.9 percent of all business in America. They account for 80 percent of new jobs and employ half of U.S. workers.

With a maximum of 500 employees working in a small business, they’re the rule, not the exception.

“We’ve only got a couple of industries here which are considered to be large, which is GE, Corning, those kinds of stuff,” said Don Spry of the US Small Business Administration.

Many people are well aware of the retail stores and restaurants that qualify as small businesses, but their services are endless.

“They provide everything from your doctor and your lawyer, to your plumbing, to your little grocery, to your caterer, to your dog walker,” Majure-Rhett said.

Still, starting a small business can be tough.

According to the SBA, more than 30 percent of businesses fail in the first year and within seven years nearly, 70 percent of small businesses close their doors.

But given the economy, keeping business on track can be even more difficult. “They are dealing with much less liquidity in their business, a demand loss in their business, also for extension to capital or access to capital,” Spry said.

“Now is the time for a business to be as good as it’s ever been, make sure that their name is even farther out front than it’s ever been,” said Majure-Rhett.

The SBA has several support systems to teach small businesses to do just that.

Score and the Small Business Technology Development Center provide education to help small business owners succeed.

“Having the strategic and operational expertise to move forward in this new demand level, reduced demand level, is really key for businesses,” Spry said.

While some small business owners choose to stay small, others like PPD, grow into large businesses.

Over the next few weeks we’ll focus on different small businesses to see how they’re dealing with the economy to make sure their small business can have a big impact in the future.

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videoSmall businesses provide most of the jobs, services, and entertainment throughout the country, but when it comes to business in our area, small is relative term.

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Associated poll

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Wilmington officials shield thousands of e-mail messages from public

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

By Patrick GannonPatrick.Gannon@StarNewsOnline.com

During the past year, 18 top Wilmington officials sent or received more than 36,000 e-mails marked as “private” and shielded from public view.

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Sheriff’s office wants to question murdered man’s roommate

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

By David ReynoldsDave.Reynolds@StarNewsOnline.com

New Hanover sheriff’s deputies are looking for a man they want to question in connection with the killing of a 20-year-old in January.

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