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Archive for September, 2009

Carolina Beach celebrates amusing summer

Monday, September 7th, 2009

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With this year’s addition of amusement rides, there was lots of fun to be found in Carolina Beach this summer. It was part of a larger effort that’s working to revitalize the boardwalk.

The bright lights and glow of amusements rides on the boardwalk has become a symbol of revitalization in Carolina Beach.

“You know, just a few years ago locals wouldn’t come down here, I wouldn’t bring friends and family here when they visited. It was pretty dismal,” said Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wilcox.

But this year, an effort to restore the family fun atmosphere of the past got a boost when amusement rides arrived at the boardwalk.

About fifteen temporary rides have called the boardwalk home for the summer months, the first rides on the boardwalk in over ten years.

As the summer unofficially comes to a close, town officials and business owners can agree that having rides like this one here has been an investment in fun that’s really paid off.

“You know, the locals that have lived here for years are now able to come down here and walk around in a clean, attractive, friendly environment and have an ice cream or some doughnuts, listen to some music, play some bingo, its just been great to see the locals come back,” Wilcox said.

In fact, even in this economy, the boardwalk has been home to many success stories in business this summer. Wilcox added, “Many that I’ve talked to and at least half of them, not even on the boardwalk, in the business district, have had their best year since they’ve been in business.”

Town officials say they plan to welcome the rides back to the boardwalk next summer for an even longer stay, starting before Memorial Day.

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videoWith this year’s addition of amusement rides, there was lots of fun to be found in Carolina Beach this summer. It was part of a larger effort that’s working to revitalize the boardwalk.

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My Reporter – What’s the history of Long Leaf Mall?

Monday, September 7th, 2009

Talk about ups and downs. Long Leaf Mall, at Shipyard Boulevard and South College Road, Wilmington, has had plenty of both during its 37-year history.

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Favorite authors can be met at the North Carolina Literary Festival

Monday, September 7th, 2009

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If you like to read, you may have a chance to meet some of your favorite authors this weekend, when more than a hundred come to the Tar Heel State for the North Carolina Literary Festival.

Books are often turned into movies. Take “Big Fish” for instance. The 2003 film, starring Ewan MacGregor is the brainchild of author Daniel Wallace. You could say he got lucky and reeled in a big one with this book, since it was his very first novel.

“I never ever thought that would happen, the book doesn’t read like a movie so I never considered that,” said Wallace. “It was never an ambition of mine. But of course after it became a

Wallace spoke at the New Hanover County Library recently. He was in town for an “Authors on the Road Tour” to help promote the upcoming North Carolina Literary Festival.

“You get to go places that people don’t have an opportunity to see you all the time, you do tours after book is published, you don’t always come to all places you don’t like to go,” Wallace said.

The festival gets underway later this week in Chapel Hill. More than a hundred authors will be there, many of whom are very recognizable.

Martin Armes said, “On Thursday evening the highlight is going to be John Grisham and Kathy Reichs will appear at Memorial Hall.”

Readers will get to meet some of their favorite authors during book signings. The festival is also working hard to get more children involved, to spark their interest in reading at an early age.

“It’s the bedrock of our society in so many ways in term of quality of life and job creation, etc,” said Armes. “It gets down to core. That’s why so important to add this year the children’s component to get our children interested in reading and writing.”

If you are interested in going to the festival, it begins Thursday and ends Sunday. All events take place at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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videoIf you like to read, you may have a chance to meet some of your favorite authors this weekend, when more than a hundred come to the Tar Heel State for the North Carolina Literary Festival.

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Associated poll

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Car stolen from NASCAR drivers home

Monday, September 7th, 2009

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Police in Cornelius have released surveillance video of a car theft two weeks ago. The thieves took a car belonging to Denny Hamlin, one of NASCAR’s rising stars.

Video shows two men taking the black Lexus LS 460-l from the driveway. They were followed by a woman driving the car in which they had arrived.

A neighbor said the burglary was especially brazen, considering the car was taken from the very back of the cul-de-sac, which is surrounded by expensive homes with a lot of security.

Police hope releasing the video will help them find the people responsible.

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videoPolice in Cornelius have released surveillance video of a car theft two weeks ago. The thieves took a car belonging to Denny Hamlin, one of NASCAR’s rising stars.

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Associated poll

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Atmosphere Academy: Math and Weather

Monday, September 7th, 2009

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Remember when you were in elementary school and you had those crazy math problems about trains? You know, if train a leaves and station traveling at x speed, how long will it take to catch up to point a, etc. In the 1920’s, a British meteorologist named Lewis Fry Richardson tried to do the same type of thing with weather systems. Since the atmosphere is a physical system, it can be represented mathematically.

Think about Physics 101. According to Newton’s basic laws of fluid motion, if a force is applied to the atmosphere, it should accelerate. Sounds like the premise for forecasting the movement of low and high pressure systems, doesn’t it? Richardson was on to something, but he was also in over his head.

You see, the atmosphere has many more variables to consider besides just pressure forces. You have gravity, friction, electrical forces, and thermal variation. And through the years, new equations were needed to take these variables into account. From the ideal gas law to the basic principles of thermodynamics, meteorology is full of equations.

Accurately forming equation models that represent every part of the atmosphere is simply impossible for our human minds to comprehend. For hurricane prediction alone, there are more than a dozen different models, each examining a different set of data. That’s why some models handle certain situations better than others. We need the processing power of the most advanced computer systems in the world to run these models, and even then, the computer’s solutions are only approximations. That’s why meteorologists still err on the forecast, every now and then.

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videoWhen it comes to forecasting, especially hurricane forecasting, computer models are invaluable. But what is a computer model? Class is in session, in the Atmosphere Academy.

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