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Archive for August, 2009

Pender County teaching positions jeopardized by cuts

Monday, August 17th, 2009

By K.J. WilliamsCitydesk@StarNewsOnline.com

Pender County Schools may not regain 10 teaching positions as expected since the state has asked the school system to return $1.26 million in funding by Sept. 1.

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Brunswick Commissioner airs frustration with property tax system

Monday, August 17th, 2009

By Shelby SebensShelby.Sebens@StarNewsOnline.com

Speaking from his own experience having trouble paying property taxes, a Brunswick County commissioner attempted to change the collection system.

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Police search for Subway robbers

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Authorities are looking for two men who robbed the Subway restaurant near the intersection of 17th and Dawson streets Monday night.

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Dealers haven’t received reimbursements, but still praise Cash for Clunkers

Monday, August 17th, 2009

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Consumers cheered the government’s Cash for Clunkers program by trading in hundreds of thousands of their gas-guzzlers, but when it comes to getting reimbursed for the trade-in’s, dealers say the program has stalled.

Car dealers handed out billions of dollars in vouchers to get the economic engine started again, but waiting for funds from the government has some dealers putting the brakes on car buying incentives.

At Bob King’s Volkswagen dealership the cash for clunkers program helped sell about 30 cars that would still be on the lot.

“Out of those 30 deals, we’ve been paid on one so far and we’re hoping to see quite a bit of that money come back to us,” said Jason Wallace of Bob King.

At Fairway Ford, it’s a similar story; ten clunkers, lots of paperwork, and no refunds for the dealer.

“If they reject it, we go to the back of the line and have to start over again. So we really have no idea what the time table is we don’t know if our paperwork is correct, so we really don’t know where we stand,” said Hugh Highsmith of Fairway.

Dealers fueled the government incentives expecting to be reimbursed, but with so many sales the government can’t issue the rebates fast enough.

“The original billion dollars was supposed to generate 250,000 sales, and initially they had 225 people processing those claims,” Highsmith said.

In all, dealers are waiting on hundreds of millions of dollars in rebates, but despite the kinks dealers are still calling the program a success, at least for now.

“With the exception of the time frame for getting our money, I think it has been a very positive program,” Highsmith said.

But with the government in the driver’s seat, dealers say they expected a bumpy ride.

“I think we had an idea just in previous dealings with the government that it wouldn’t be as smooth as indicated,” Wallace said.

While a few rebates have started to roll in, many are being rejected because the paperwork wasn’t filled out correctly.

Some dealers have stopped offering the Cash for Clunkers incentive until they’re reimbursed for the first round of rebates.

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videoConsumers cheered the government’s Cash for Clunkers program by trading in hundreds of thousands of their gas-guzzlers, but when it comes to getting reimbursed for the trade-in’s, dealers say the program has stalled.

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Associated poll

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Watching out for H1N1 as students head back to school

Monday, August 17th, 2009

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A few months ago, it seemed like every day a new case of H1N1 was discovered in a school. Now as public school is set to reopen, schools are on high alert.

Even before the first school bell rings, health officials are preparing for the worst. H1N1 may rear its ugly head once again.

“There is a lot of speculation that it could be worst, the second round but we won’t know that until it gets here,” said Janey McCumbee of the NHC Health Department.

If and when it does, officials say they want students, parents, and schools to be ready.

As of the last public health release, there had been 12 cases of H1N1 confirmed in New Hanover County alone.

“We probably had a hand full of kids in every school with H1N1 that hadn’t been tested and it was an odd time of the year for the flu, but it was a novel virus,” McCumbee said.

The younger generation, those aged 6 months to 24-years-old, are most at risk.

“It is so easily to be spread just keeping kids from school is not going to stop the spread of it,” said Fred Michael, the Brunswick County Deputy Health Director.

The Center for Disease Control will no longer be reporting individual cases, since the virus is not as dangerous as once thought.

Schools won’t be shutting down when H1N1 arises, unless enough cases are reported that would interfere with the daily function of school.

If an outbreak does occur, health departments in our area fully stocked with the antibiotic Tamiflu for treatment.

Currently, a vaccine is being tested in clinical trials, which could be available as soon as October.

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videoA few months ago, it seemed like every day a new case of H1N1 was discovered in a school. Now as public school is set to reopen, schools are on high alert.

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Associated poll

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