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Archive for July, 2009

Construction set for Village Road

Friday, July 31st, 2009

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Business owners along a main road in Leland are worried their businesses may be disrupted by road construction.

Friday Governor Bev Perdue announced 29 million dollars in Federal recovery funding for road projects across the state. One mile of Village Road in Brunswick County will be graded and paved beginning as early as August 31st, with the completion date set for June of 2011.

Perdue says that these projects will stimulate economic growth by creating and maintaining jobs. Business owners along Village Road are not so sure. Dr. Gil Cromshaw owns a practice on Village Road. He says, “I’m deeply concerned that when it does start its going to take a very very long time and its going to be very disrupted to the businesses here on Village Road.”

Dr. Cromshaw’s chiropractic firm has been located on Village Road for 15 years. And he says he has seen a definite increase in traffic during that time. Cromshaw says he just hopes the project stays on schedule.

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Governor Bev Perdue announced $29 million in Federal recovery funding for road projects across the state. One mile of Village Road in Brunswick County will be graded and paved beginning as early as August 31st, with the completion date set for June of 2011.

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Associated poll

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A day at the beach an economic trend

Friday, July 31st, 2009

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The evidence of day trippers can be seen in packed parking lots at Wrightsville Beach.

“You can just tell that the areas that were somewhat sparse are now filling up,” said Mayor Steve Whalen.

Taking a day trip may be the new trend in cutting down on expenses, without foregoing family fun. Angela Huggins took a day trip to Wrightsville Beach, from Raleigh.

“It’s just an easy drive from Raleigh for the day and you don’t have to worry about hotels and the expenses and bringing all the food and everything for a week,” she said. “You can just come for the day and enjoy it and come back home.”

Town officials say beaches are still packed everyday of the week, but revenue from the room occupancy tax from hotels and rental properties is down.

What is up – is parking meter revenue. Mayor Whalen says that’s an indicator that people may be leaving the beach at sunset, instead of parking for the night at a hotel.

Many say a day trip is a small but effective way to leave all the hassles of everyday life behind.

“We got our vacation cut this year, pay cuts and everything else so we are tuning down the family vacation this year,” said David Nicklaw, who visited Wrightsville Beach from Boone.

You may not be able to clear the calendar for a week anymore.. but you might want to try it for a day.

Visitors say the water, recreation, good food and shops will keep them coming to Wrightsville Beach. A lot of them agreed that they can only afford to stay for a day.

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Family budgets aren’t going as far as they used to, and neither are families when it comes to taking vacations.

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Associated poll

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From homeless, to head of the class

Friday, July 31st, 2009

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Each student at Friday’s CFCC graduation rehearsal has a different story of how they got to this point. Thirty-nine year old Lorie Pacheco’s is particularly inspiring.

“I lived on the streets for two an a half years. I didn’t think anybody was ever going to help me again,” she said.

For 2 years, Pacheco spent long nights studying to become a paralegal. Those nights were spent in a homeless shelter. After bouncing from town to town, and living on the streets, Pacheco eventually found help in Wilmington. She found a temporary home at First Fruit Ministries, a women’s transitional housing shelter.

A roof, a warm bed and plenty of encouragement gave her what she needed to go back to school.

“Those are the outcomes we want for everybody that comes here,” said First Fruit resident director Donna Venezia. “Whether it’s a simple ‘I want to get my GED’ to ‘I want to go all the way, a Master’s degree.'”

Pacheco said heading back to school did come with some apprehension.

“I was a little nervous at first because there is a stigma attached to the homeless. Homeless doesn’t equal stupid or lazy, it’s just a circumstance, and you can overcome it,” she said.

It’s a message Pacheco has passed on to many women back at the shelter. Five others have since enrolled at Cape Fear Community College.

“What your age, what your circumstance, there is help and don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

600 students including Pacheco graduated Friday at the Schwartz Center. Pacheco already has a job lined up at Hagar & Associates law firm. She plans on getting her Bachelor’s degree, and then applying to law school. She’s had luck personally as well. Pacheco gets married Saturday.

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The pressures of college could make anyone think twice. For one student at Cape Fear Community College, pressure of everyday life added on top makes graduation day mean so much more.

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Associated poll

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Cash for Clunkers running out of gas

Friday, July 31st, 2009

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A billion dollars doesn’t go as far as you might think. Funding for the federal government’s Cash for Clunkers program is near empty, but it could get some refueling next week.

Dealers and drivers throughout the U.S. have loved the Cash for Clunkers program. At Jeff Gordon Chevrolet in Wilmington, about 20 clunkers that have qualified for the government rebate have been recycled. One of them belonged to Linda Quinonez.

“It wasn’t just a matter of getting the full amount for the clunker, the car had been discounted and we got a great deal on it so we couldn’t be happier,” she said.

In fact, car buyers throughout the country have been turning in their road warriors for up to $4,500 dollars in rebates so fast that the government has used up the billion dollars it set aside for the program.

Friday, that caused confusion for people trying to take advantage of the incentives.

“They said that there was a possibility of it being suspended, they weren’t sure, but they think today could be the last day we could take advantage of it,” said car shopper June Bonser.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve a bill that would put an additional $2 billion dollars into the program’s tank.

The government says they will honor trades through the weekend, as they wait for the Senate to vote on the $2 billion dollars.

All of the local care dealers WWAY spoke with say they’ve seen an increase in traffic on their lots thanks to the program. Some say they have been having problems finding clunkers that meet the requirements. Still, many drivers whose cars aren’t meeting the requirements have decided to leave the lot with a new car.

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The government’s cash for clunkers program has done exactly what it was designed to do: sell new cars and get gas guzzlers off the road. The program has been so successful that, like many of the clunkers traded in, the program is now broke.

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Associated poll

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Tabor City arson investigation heats up

Friday, July 31st, 2009

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On Wednesday, 17 year old Allen Strickland’s Tabor City home went up in flames while he was sleeping inside.

Strickland escaped with minor injuries, and the State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the fire as a suspected arson.

Strickland told WWAY’s Ann McAdams that State Senator RC Soles gave him tens of thousands of dollars in cash to build the house just a few months ago. WWAY obtained a copy of the deed, and it is in Allen Strickland’s name, prepared by Sen. Soles law firm.

Some of our viewers have asked how a 17 year old can legally hold the deed to a piece of property. Strickland doesn’t live with his parents, and if he’s been legally emancipated from them, attorneys we’ve consulted say it could give him the legal right to own property, even though most people can’t have property in their name until they’re 18.

We’ve been unable to confirm that Strickland has been legally emancipated by the courts. The Columbus County Courthouse has no emancipation decree in his name, but it’s possible that it was processed in another jurisdiction.

Insurance adjusters visited the burned-out house Friday to survey the damage. While much of the frame remains standing, the inside of the house suffered heavy smoke and fire damage, and it could be a total loss.

We put in another call to Sen. Soles Friday for comment on this story. Once again, we did not get a return call.

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A story we’ve been following out of Columbus County continues to unfold. On Wednesday, 17 year old Allen Strickland’s Tabor City home went up in flames while he was sleeping inside.

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Associated poll

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