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Archive for July, 2009

Local company makes big donation to Packages from Home

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

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Our Packages from Home initiative got a big boost Thursday. Employees at Victaulic in Leland collected boxes full of items to send to the military men and women overseas. Thursday they brought their donations to the WWAY lobby.

They dropped off items ranging from magazines to razors, crossword puzzles to cookies. They said they were honored to be able to give back. “We at Victaulic have decided that this is one of the many ways that we can give back to our troops and our community. The troops have done so much for us, so this is just a small way that we would like to give back to them,” said Tara

You still have a week left to drop off items to send to the men and women serving overseas. WWAY is of course a drop-off location, along with the Big Talker FM, and a number of other businesses around the area.

For a list of locations, and some suggested items to donate, visit our Packages from Home page.

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Our Packages from Home initiative got a big boost Thursday. Employees at Victaulic in Leland collected boxes full of items to send to the military men and women overseas. Thursday they brought their donations to the WWAY lobby.

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Associated poll

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Wanted: kids about to begin school

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Do you have a child about to enter kindergarten? For the next two weeks, the StarNews is accepting applications for The Class of 2022, a project following 12 local kindergartners from their first day of school through high school graduation.

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As minimum wage goes up, will hours go down?

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

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Friday’s wage increase will be the last of three increases that started in 2007, when minimum wage was $5.15 an hour. Since then, minimum wage has increased by $2.10; a 40 percent increase for the lowest paid workers.

Carlos Simpson is a minimum wage employee. “I feel like it’s about time. I have bills. My phone bill is about to kill me and I can’t pay it anymore. I need this raise,” he said.

Seventy cents per hour may not seem like much, but for full-time minimum wage workers like Simpson, the increase will mean almost $30 more in their weekly paycheck. “That could be a haircut or some gas. That could be anything. I might go to the club twice in one week, you don’t know,” Simpson said.

Minimum wage going up is good news for those who have a job, but experts say the increase could ultimately make more people wind up at the unemployment office. “As the rates go up, the employees who get to keep their job are happy, but overall, either they get less hours, which impacts them, or they lose their job,” described Sara Raleigh of Wilmington SCORE.

At small businesses like Coastal Cupcakes, the additional 70 cents per employee, per hour, adds up quick. A company with ten employees will pay almost $300 more per week. For the month, the payroll will increase by more than a thousand dollars. For Coastal Cupcakes, it means they can not hire the additional employees they need.

“Right now, this is the max number of employees that we can afford to have at this time, at this rate,” said Coastal Cupcakes co-owner Kristen Beckmeyer.

But Beckmeyer said she will take every step to avoid parting with an employee. “Before laying anybody off our first reaction would be to decrease hours. We as the owners would come in and work more hours,” she said.

While minimum wage workers will see more money in their pay checks, the increase won’t help restaurant workers. The minimum wage for servers and bartenders is $2.13, and it will stay that way.

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videoFriday, millions of workers around the country will get a raise. But that could actually be bad news for some employees.

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Associated poll

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Annexation bill passes House, might meet resistance in Senate

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

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The way North Carolina cities and towns go about annexing land could be changing. A bill is making its way through the legislature, offering some big changes to the state’s annexation laws.

House Bill 524 passed its third reading Thursday. Now, it’s onto the Senate.

It would make it more difficult for cities to annex. The major changes proposed in the bill include giving residents a chance to vote before being involuntarily annexed. It would require signatures from 15% of residents in the city and the proposed annexed area to get a referendum on the ballot.

The bill also suggests a tighter timeline of three years for cities to get services up and running in annexed areas.

Representative Danny McComas said this shouldn’t affect the Monkey Junction annexation, since it’s already been approved. Some Monkey Junction residents have filed suit against the City of Wilmington over the recent annexation.

Representatives McComas and Carolyn Justice both say they’ve already heard that the bill will be met with some resistance in the Senate.

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A bill is making its way through the legislature, offering some big changes to North Carolina’s annexation laws.

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Associated poll

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Whats Happening: July 24-26

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

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It is time for kids to get messy. At the Wilmington Children’s Museum Friday, kids can swim in pools of mud or make mud pies as they learn about “magic mud.” Make sure the kids wear a swim suit or old clothes, and bring a towel. It begins at 10:00 a.m. and ends at 2:00 p.m. Toddlers can get there at 9:00 a.m. Admission is $8.

If you love the blues, you will love this weekend. It is the 14th Annual Cape Fear Blues Festival. The three day event includes a blues cruise, a blues workshop, concerts and an all-day blues jam. The blues cruise is at 7:30 Friday night onboard the Henrietta. Tickets are $49. Or you can head to the free Downtown Sundown Concert Series – it begins at 6:00 p.m. with a blues band. There is a post cruise party at the Rusty Nail at 9:00 p.m. Saturday, a free blues workshop begins at 11:00 a.m. at Finkelstein Music. At noon, head to Greenfield Lake Amphitheater for a concert featuring multiple acts. Tickets are twelve dollars. And on Sunday, a free all-day blues jam begins at 12:00 p.m. at the Rusty Nail.

A biking adventure gets underway Saturday. A mountain biking open house runs from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Grab your mountain bike and head on up to the Blue Clay Trails. Guides will lead you through the trails and explain the history of the park. The cost is free.

Celebrate the watermelon Saturday. The North Carolina Watermelon Festival gets underway in Fairbluff Friday and Saturday. Arts and crafts booths open Saturday at 9:00 a.m. The festival parade begins at 11:00 a.m. A watermelon eating/seed spitting contest begins at 3:00 p.m. The day ends with the watermelon festival pageant at 7:00 p.m.

You can always find out what’s happening by going to our Community Calendar page.

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videoFor once, you can tell your kids to go play in the mud – and a festival this weekend is expected to draw blues fans from across the region.

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Associated poll

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