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Archive for August, 2009

Oak Island barber wanted a trial, not plea deal

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

By Shelby SebensShelby.Sebens@StarNewsOnline.com

A Brunswick County jury on Monday found Timothy Ray Dobbs, 49, guilty of trafficking hydrocodone out of his barber shop.

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Teaching assistants left out of Pender budget

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

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There will be some noticeable absences when Pender County Schools start up next week.

The school district does not yet have a finalized budget, but School Board Chair Tom Roper said TAs currently are not budgeted for.

Eleven teaching assistants will not be reporting for the first day of school. Including benefits, each is a roughly $40,000 a year position.

Roper said they will know more about the budget by the end of the week. There’s a special budget meeting at 2:30pm Friday at Topsail High School. It is open to the public.

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There will be some noticeable absences when Pender County Schools start up next week. The school district does not yet have a finalized budget, but School Board Chair Tom Roper said TAs currently are not budgeted for.

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Associated poll

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Cloudy water creates conundrum for divers

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

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The problem can’t be seen from above the surface – but SCUBA divers know it’s there.

Diving is not only a hobby for local marine enthusiasts, its also big business in the Cape Fear Region. But recently, Mother Nature has made it tough to enjoy the coastal waters. The water is extremely cloudy for this time of year, and business and pleasure divers alike don’t know why.

“It looks like a sewer out there, it really does,” says diver Jim Radle. “It’s three feet of visibility at best at one hundred feet, and traditionally that’s where you get your best visibility’s offshore.”

Dave Smithey agrees. He’s an owner at Cape Fear Divers in Carolina Beach. He says the cloudy water extends miles offshore, and up and down the coast.

“The report has been the same. Whether it be eighteen miles out or forty miles out you got that poor visibilty after about seventy feet or so,” Smithey says. “So it seems to be consistent. We’ve called other dive shops in the area up through Hatteras and Myrtle Beach and we’re getting the same reports.”

The problem for dive shops comes down to not being able to sell what you can’t see.

“Scuba diving, its all about being able to see. And if you can’t see anything, its just kind of a waste of time and money,” says Jim Radle.

Smithey says the low visability has hurt his business a bit.

Jeremy Eaton owns and operates Dive Quest SCUBA. The company has been dealing with the limited visability for about 2 weeks. Employees are now preparing divers for less than perfect conditions.

Eaton says “We haven’t had to cancel any trips, we just make the customers aware that the visibility is not as good, we can’t explain why its like that. We hope its going to clear up. They just want to dive!”

As for culprit behind this murky water? The exact cause is unclear. Some theories include algae blooms, or increased runoff from the Cape Fear River due to rain. But without samples from below its too hard to say.

UNCW marine expert Dr. Carmelo Tomas agrees that its too hard to tell what exactly is causing the decrease in visibility. The next time the divers head out, they’ll bring back a few samples of the water for testing at the University’s Center for Marine Science.

In the meantime, divers are hopeful that as Hurricane Bill passes offshore, currents coul stir things up and clear things out, so they’ll once again be able to enjoy the view under the sea.

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videoA murky situation off the Carolina coast has some local divers concerned.

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Associated poll

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Dress codes may be a more affordable way to shop

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

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Shopping for new clothes is typically part of the routine for going back to school. For some parents in our area, it’s a bit easier when your school has a uniform policy.

Shecole Stokes and her daughter Shania are hunting for everything back to school from uniforms to school supplies. “I have to have a bargain, I’m a bargain shopper,” Stokes said.

Stokes says her money can go a bit further, because Burgaw Elementary School requires their students to wear uniforms. “That’s really good for a budget, doing the uniforms and I’m really grateful for that. We can take five uniforms and we can be good for a couple months when you find quality.”

And for once, the child sees the bright side to wearing one. “Sometimes you can put your own style into uniforms,” Shania said.

The required polo shirt and khaki pants at Target cost about twenty dollars.

Stokes says uniforms are not the pricey part. She says every year the supply list for school keeps getting longer, and therefore, more expensive. “Sometimes it runs to $70, $60. That’s why we have to shop from store to store getting different supplies.”

As long as Shania gets her Hannah Montana folder, she’ll be ready to start the 5th grade.

For all the parents who haven’t gone shopping for uniforms yet, here’s a list of schools requiring them….

In Brunswick County..Belville, Lincoln and the new Town Creek Elementary.

Pender County has Burgaw Elementary and Middle, as well as Rocky Point and Cape Fear Elementary Schools.

The list for New Hanover’s elementary schools is a little longer. You can go to their web site, or the site for any of the school districts for more information…

New Hanover
NHC Dress Code

Brunswick
Brunswick County Dress Code

Pender
Pender County Dress Code

Columbus
Columbus County Dress Code

Bladen
Bladen County Dress Code

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videoShopping for new clothes is typically part of the routine for going back to school. For some parents in our area, it’s a bit easier when your school has a uniform policy.

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Associated poll

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Stevenson Auto expands

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

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It’s an impressive feat in this economy; a local car dealer is expanding. The Stevenson franchise opened its newest dealership this week and plans for future expansion are on the horizon.

“We’re going to continue to grow, we’re a very progressive organization, we want to grow,” GM Pat Koballa said.

Stevenson Auto owns 14 other franchises, including three in the Wilmington area.

But the new Mazda dealership is unlike any other.

“This is state of the art, I mean you go inside and you can’t even believe you’re in a car dealership, and the service department looks like just something, well in the 21st century,” said Debra Roberts.

From its bright exterior to the flashy displays, it’s already drawing plenty of attention. Windows into the service shop allow drivers to check-up on the mechanics, while the car gets a check-up of it’s own.

Bobby Clemmons said, “I like the coffee and the video games, it’s a nice little touch, it makes it less unbearable just to sit around.”

“Customers are the most important things, ultimately there the ones who are helping us make the decision to expand, and we try to take care of them as best as possible,” Koballa said.

Plans for the new dealership started in 2006 when the economy was better.

Having the opening coincide with the cash for clunkers program helped business get off to a fast start.

“The timing was certainly an issue and timing wasn’t perfect, but we’ve been working on this project for several years now and things finally came together,” Koballa said.

“I think a lot of people will enjoy just dropping by to look around, if nothing else,” Roberts added.

Maybe they’ll find the time to take a quick spin.

Stevenson Auto isn’t done expanding just yet. Now that the Mazda dealership is open, the company plans to make over the facilities at its Kia dealership. Once the Mazda move in is complete, the company will have hired ten new employees.

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videoIt’s an impressive feat in this economy; a local car dealer is expanding. The Stevenson franchise opened its newest dealership this week and plans for future expansion are on the horizon.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

 

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