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Archive for August, 2009

NC residents embrace tax-free weekend

Friday, August 7th, 2009

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Many folks in our area started the weekend off by saving some money. It’s the first day of the tax-free shopping weekend, and shoppers say it came at just the right time.

It’s back to school time and that means time to hit the shops.

Usually, back to school shopping can be a nightmare, but for the Grady family, it was a great shopping experience. The Gradys picked this weekend not only to stock up on school supplies and clothes, but to save a bundle when it came time to pay.

“I think I saved about 30 to 40 dollars, which is a lot, being that gas prices are real high, and food prices are real high, 40 dollars is a lot of money,” said Elicia Grady whose kids go to school in Brunswick County.

At Staples in Monkey Junction, families were stocking up on binders, but checking out the electronics too.

Tax-free shopping applies to clothing, supplies, computers and accessories.

It doesn’t apply to some large ticket items like cars, TVs and items over 3,500 dollars.

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videoMany folks in our area started the weekend off by saving some money. It’s the first day of the tax-free shopping weekend, and shoppers say it came at just the right time.

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Associated poll

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NC film industry gets good news

Friday, August 7th, 2009

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There was a major victory for North Carolina’s film industry. A bill increasing the state’s film incentives from 15 to 25 percent passed the Senate Friday after passing the House last night. All it needs now is the Governor’s signature.

It has been a long-fought battle for members of Wilmington’s film community, and tonight, they’re breathing a sigh of relief.

The lots at Screen Gems studios have been pretty quiet recently leaving everyone from set builders to caterers who work in the film and television industry feeling uneasy.

“For me personally, I mean I haven’t worked since December of last year and that was in South Carolina,” said Philippe Gallichet of Cinema Catering.

Philippe and Phyllis Gallichet run Cinema Catering. Business is so slim, they’ve considered taking it to other states. But not anymore, now that film incentives in the Tar Heel state are increasing to 25 percent.

Thanks to One Tree Hill, some are working, but the tax boost is expected to help many more.

“It’s going to be great to get all the local people who work in the industry back home again,” said Bill Vassar, vice president of Screen Gems.

It’s also great news for filmmakers like Dan Brawley, who says there’s a renewed energy within the film community. “A little bit of boost to the morale of the film crew who live here in Wilmington, ’cause I think we’re all anticipating that there’s going to be a big surge of production next year.”

The bill needs Governor Perdue’s signature to become law, and she has expressed her support of this issue.

The film incentives would take effect in January.

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videoThere was a major victory for North Carolina’s film industry. A bill increasing the state’s film incentives from 15 to 25 percent passed the Senate Friday after passing the House last night. All it needs now is the Governor’s signature.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

Traffic concerns driving people crazy in Leland

Friday, August 7th, 2009

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A string of accidents along a major highway has police stepping up patrols. For drivers on Highway 17 in Leland, the problem may just be getting used to more cars on the road.

It’s called the “super street”. A portion of Highway 17 in Leland was designed to make room for the growing population in north Brunswick County.

“This is new, it hasn’t been here three years, so all these people and all this growth in the Leland area, it’s different,” said Courtney Flowers.

It seems some drivers are having trouble navigating the roadway. Three severe accidents took place within the last month between Wal-Mart and Waterford.

Leland Police Chief Tim Jayne says the accidents don’t have a common cause, but traffic through the corridor increases during the summer months. He hopes increased patrols will help prevent another accident in the future.

“What we need people to realize is you need to slow down, you need to pay attention to signs and the lights that are available for your safety, and keep a safe travel distance between you and the vehicles in front of you,” Jayne said.

But drivers say police patrols aren’t the problem; they say the roadway is just confusing.

“Having to go down and turn around, that’s one bad thing, and two I don’t think there are enough lights,” said William Holland.

Department of Transportation engineer Alan Pope says it’s not fair to compare total number of accidents because there are so many more cars on the road, but the crashes haven’t increased.

Still, with more drivers on the road it can’t hurt to use a little extra caution. “Just because they’ve got a red light doesn’t necessarily mean someone is going to stop,” Pope said.

But keep that in mind and maybe the accidents will.

Chief Jayne says the weekends are the busiest for the roadway thanks to Brunswick beach visitors.

To help with the congestion, Leland police will step up their patrols Thursday through Monday.

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videoA string of accidents along a major highway has police stepping up patrols. For drivers on Highway 17 in Leland, the problem may just be getting used to more cars on the road.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

Hundreds in Monkey Junction protest health care proposals

Friday, August 7th, 2009

By Vicky EckenrodeVicky.Eckenrode@StarNewsOnline.com

Frustration with Congress’ health care reform plans ran high Friday morning during a rally in Wilmington that drew hundreds of area residents.

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Another local bank issued a cease and desist

Friday, August 7th, 2009

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Another bank with local ties is under scrutiny by federal regulators. Woodlands Bank has branches in Wilmington and Southport.

The bank is based in Bluffton, South Carolina. A spokesperson confirms the bank has been issued a cease and desist order, mandating the bank change the way it operates.

Among other things, Woodlands Bank has to come up with a new business plan, and increase capital by the end of the year. The company is “absolutely confident” this will happen.

Customers should not see any changes.

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Another bank with local ties is under scrutiny by federal regulators. Woodlands Bank has branches in Wilmington and Southport.

The bank is based in Bluffton, South Carolina.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

 

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