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Archive for August, 2009

Whats Happening: August 7-9

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

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Now is the time to stock up on your school supplies, clothing and computer supplies. This weekend only, you can buy all these items without paying a sales tax. North Carolina’s Sales Tax Holiday begins Friday and ends Sunday.

This weekend, relive the music of the golden days with the musical, Smokey Joe’s Cafe. It features forty songs, including Hound Dog, Love Potion #9 and Stand by Me. Performances take place at City Stage at Level Five Friday through Sunday. Shows start at 8:00 p.m., except Sunday performances, which are matinees and begin at 3:00 p.m. Tickets cost 25 and 27 dollars.

Do you need to get rid of any old or broken electronics? There is an electronic recycling event on Saturday. It runs from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the Environmental Management Department. It is located at 3002 Highway 421 North in New Hanover County.

It’s come down to this Saturday, the winner of the Boardwalk Blast Battle of the Bands will be announced in Carolina Beach. Several bands performed for the title the past few weekends. It begins at 1:00 p.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. at the boardwalk gazebo.

The Ruffian Foundation takes care of feral cats in the area. The sanctuary is holding a fundraiser Sunday night at Katy’s Restaurant in Wilmington. It begins at 6:00 p.m. and ends at 9:00 p.m. A five dollar donation is requested at the door.

On Sunday, there is a fundraiser for the family of Sergeant Ed Kramer, the National Guardsman who was killed in Iraq earlier this summer. There will be a variety of games, music and food. It begins at 2:00 p.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m.

If you are in the mood for theater, don’t miss Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man. It runs for the next two weekends at Brunswick Community College’s Odell Williamson Auditorium. Performances Friday and Saturday night are at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, the show starts at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are 15 dollars for adults, ten for students and six dollars for children under twelve.

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

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videoAfter weeks of competition, the Battle of the Bands wraps up this weekend. Plus, there is a fundraiser for the family of a fallen soldier. WWAY’s Marcy Cuevas tells us What’s Happening.

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Deputies drop the donuts, and the pounds too

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

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Being a police officer or sheriff’s deputy can be a very physically demanding job and for local law enforcement, the days of glaze could be a thing of the past. “I mean it’s an old wives tale. I mean I like doughnuts and all, but you won’t ever catch me at a Krispy Kreme in a uniform, I know that,” said Deputy Efrain Granda of the NHC Sheriff’s Office.

New Hanover County Sheriff’s Deputies are getting in shape for their fall fitness test, an assessment the department started last year to combat declining health among law enforcement.

To help deputies pass their assessment, the Sheriff’s Office has a 24 hour gym and on trainers on staff.

Deputies say the extra workouts help them build teamwork within the department. “If you have to fight somebody, if you have to chase somebody, they’re not going to be as confident as if you walked up there and you were in great shape and you presented yourself in a great manner,” said Brian Sellers.

The Sheriff’s Office isn’t alone.

The Wilmington Police Department has a physical fitness test for all new hirers.

Applicants must complete all of the tasks in less than 7 minutes and 20 seconds to be eligible for the job. New deputies take a similar test.

With the fall physical assessment around the corner for the deputies, Sheriff McMahon said he is working on an incentive program for those who make the most progress. He hopes it will encourage all of his employees to live a healthy lifestyle.

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videoBeing a police officer or sheriff’s deputy can be a very physically demanding job and for local law enforcement, the days of glaze could be a thing of the past. One deputy said, “You won’t ever catch me at a Krispy Kreme in a uniform, I know that.”

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Farmers using internet for marketing

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

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The NC Department of Agriculture is encouraging food producers to market their products on social sites like Facebook and Twitter.

A local grower who blogs about her blueberries says it’s really helping business.

Melissa Hendrickson has been growing blueberries on this family-owned farm in Hampstead since 1985. Sales have been steady, but Hendrickson has found a new way to broaden her blueberry business-by blogging.

“About 40 percent of our customers are not from this area so I thought you know we really need to have a web presence because if folks are trying to decide what they’re going to do on their vacation,” she said.

Hendrickson says she has seen 25 percent more visitors to the blueberry farm since she started blogging last year.

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture is encouraging small-business food producers like hers, to market their products through social media.

“It is relatively inexpensive and they have some good control over what their message is and it is a form of interaction with their customer base,” said Annette Dunlap of the Department of Agriculture’s marketing division. “It’s just a terrific tool for small business people and in this case small food business people to let people know about their products but also know about themselves, tell their own story.”

Hendrickson writes weekly blog entries to keep people interested in Farmer Mac’s Berries year-round.

It is now the off-season, which makes finding topics to blog about very difficult. Melissa said they have to get creative. “In the off-season, we focus on things like changes that we’re making on the farm, or changes to the animals we have on the farm, or recipes, or how to choose good blueberries in the grocery store.”

Now that Farmer Mac’s has an internet presence, there’s no turning back.

“I’m absolutely sold on having a website or a blog; from here on out we’ll always have one because it has made a noticeable and real difference in the way we market our blueberries,” Hendrickson added.

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videoThe NC Department of Agriculture is encouraging food producers to market their products on social sites like Facebook and Twitter.

A local grower who blogs about her blueberries says it’s really helping business.

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Associated poll

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Marino on Money: August 6

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

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This week we have been reviewing ways to obtain your first credit card so you can establish credit. Just like getting a good job, lenders require experience. The lenders want to see some credit history. If you do not have credit history, they want to see a history of fiscal responsibility. This can be proven by showing stability. They consider employment, residence, bank accounts, and utilities. If these factors are not enough to obtain some credit, there are three other ways.

First, your local bank may offer a credit line, using your checking or savings account as collateral. This is a secured credit line. Meaning, you have money on deposit at the bank to guarantee the account. Credit lines are reported to the credit agencies, so this will help.

Next, try a secured credit card. It functions in the same way as a secured line of credit. You must deposit an amount of money equal to the credit limit. Again, the money is collateral for the account. Like a line of credit, your transactions using secured credit card are reported to the credit agencies. This will help you establish and build credit.

And lastly, and I do mean lastly, is a 90 days same as cash, or similar offer. This type of loan carries a little less risk for a lender than a credit card, so they may be more willing to offer this to you. Because it is a loan, it should be reported to the credit agencies. Be sure to read the fine print and confirm whether or not it is reported. Like a credit card, this type of arrangement carries significant risks, so be careful. If you do not pay off this type of loan in the designated time period, interest will be charged retroactively. Meaning, you will be charged interest from the day you received the loan. Even worse, the interest rate is extremely high. Again, I would consider this as a last resort only.

If you have a financial question for Ross, you can use the Marino on Money page.

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videoThis week, Marino on Money has been focusing on establishing credit. But not everyone has an easy time getting approved. Financial Planner Ross Marino has some tips in today’s Marino on Money.

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Protecting yourself against loan scams

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

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With more homeowners facing foreclosure due to the economy, the attorney general is working to protect consumers from loan scams. Since 2007 foreclosure scam complaints have risen drastically.

As part of the crackdown Roy Cooper filed suit against two California based companies. The companies promised North Carolina homeowners protection from foreclosure if they paid an up front cost. Attorney General Roy Cooper said that is the first sign the offer is probably a scam.

“If somebody wants up front money from you to help you with your debts, or to help you fight foreclosure, then smell a rat because they are in violation of the law right there and you can tell they are not on the up and up,” Cooper said.

Other signs a company might be trying to scam you:

They guarantee they can prevent foreclosure or stop creditors from coming after you.

Also you should not stop paying your mortgage at a company’s request.

If you are facing foreclosure, Cooper said it is worth trying to renegotiate with your lender for a better rate.

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With more homeowners facing foreclosure due to the economy, the attorney general is working to protect consumers from loan scams. Since 2007 foreclosure scam complaints have risen drastically.

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Associated poll

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