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Archive for August, 2009

Pender County sees rise in student numbers, while hiring freeze stays

Friday, August 21st, 2009

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Even with the school year about to start next week, board members in Pender County are still crunching the budget to save jobs.

Eleven teacher assistant positions and a number of teaching positions are still vacant due to a hiring freeze. Administrators want to fill them, because 200 more students have enrolled in the county; equivalent to about 8 to 10 teaching positions. With less money in the budget class sizes will have to go up.

“We are probably going to look at the teachers first because of our class-size inadequacies. Once we do that, if there are any emergency funds available we are going to try to bring some of those teacher assistants back,” said Pender County School Board Chair Tom Roper.

The district now has to figure out how to serve 8,000 students, with only 383 teachers.

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Even with the school year about to start next week, board members in Pender County are still crunching the budget to save jobs. Eleven teacher assistant positions and a number of teaching positions are still vacant due to a hiring freeze.

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Associated poll

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Dredging causes erosion along Bald Head Island, residents fear more with Hurricane Bill

Friday, August 21st, 2009

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Parts of Bald Head Island are slowly being eaten away. Unfortunately, the beach is being broken down by the human hand. Officials say people are the main reason why Bald Head has lost more than a hundred feet of beach and dunes.

“We’ve lost hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of sand, in a short amount of time, this isn’t sea level rise. This is an impact caused by human beings, and we need a human solution,” said Executive Director of Bald Head Conservancy Suzanne Dorsey.

Bald Head resident Bob Helgesen said, “You could physically watch the beach cascade away, and break off, into the channel. And they would go down and take another bite, and the same thing would happen.”

About ten years ago, the Cape Fear shipping channel was relocated closer to the island. The Army Corp of Engineers has been dredging that channel to allow the ships to pass and to renourish beaches like Oak Island.

Officials from Bald Head blame the Corp, and the dredging, for the loss of more than a hundred feet of beach. The ships pass, creating waves that eat away at the shoreline, while destroying natural habitat and nesting ground located within the dunes.

“Because of the perpetual dredging out there, that ultimately will take away the whole part of the island,” added Helgesen.

Experts say with Hurricane Bill threatening our coast, they may lose an additional 10 to 20 feet of dune.

Nestled in these dunes are living habitat and nesting ground for sea turtles. With the threat of wave swells reaching ten feet, experts are concerned the storm will endanger the life on this island.

Maureen Dewire of the Bald Head Conservancy said, “When we do get high tides, and high waves and the water sits over that nest for too long a period of time, the eggs will drown, it will kill the entire egg.”

Experts believe the solution would be to move the channel farther away from the island, so the constant dredging does not affect the beach as much as it does now. But state and federal officials say doing that, would be too expensive.

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videoHurricane Bill has Bald Head Island residents and officials concerned. Even though Bill may stay far off our coast, the storm churns up the water and the massive swells can erode the beach.

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Associated poll

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Hurricane-related heavy surf prompts beach closure

Friday, August 21st, 2009

By Gareth McGrathGareth.McGrath@StarNewsOnline.com

Worried about over-wash conditions, Carolina Beach officials planned to close the undeveloped north end of Carolina Beach – known as Freeman Park – Friday evening and keep it closed until the threat from Bill had passed.

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Oak Island attorney, former magistrate indicted in fraud case

Friday, August 21st, 2009

By Shelby SebensShelby.Sebens@StarNewsOnline.com

An Oak Island attorney and former Brunswick County magistrate is facing money laundering and mail fraud charges after a federal grand jury in northern New York indicted him earlier this month.

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Audi, Volkswagen recall thousands of vehicles

Friday, August 21st, 2009

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There is a major auto recall involving Audi and Volkswagen. The two are recalling 16,000 cars that can suddenly develop a potentially deadly transmission problem.

Some drivers call it the Flash of Death; when the park, reverse, neutral and drive lights suddenly flash on and off, signaling their transmission has gone haywire and they have no acceleration.

“This is a classic safety hazard. It’s only a matter of time before we have consumers being killed,” said Clarence Ditlow of the Center for Auto Safety.

The recall affects any 2008 or 2009 Volkswagen Jetta, Eos, GTI or R32 with a direct shift gearbox transmission. Plus, 2009 Audi A3, TT and TT Roadsters that contain the same direct shift gearbox transmission.

Volkswagen said they have not had any reports of crashes or injuries reported as a result of the problems that triggered the recall.

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There is a major auto recall involving Audi and Volkswagen. The two are recalling 16,000 cars that can suddenly develop a potentially deadly transmission problem.

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Associated poll

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