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Archive for September, 2009

Wilmington security executive pleads guilty to child pornography charge

Monday, September 28th, 2009

By Veronica GonzalezVeronica.Gonzalez@StarNewsOnline.com

The maximum penalty for the charge is up to 30 years of imprisonment followed by up to a life term of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

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Pitching in to clean area beaches

Monday, September 28th, 2009

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Cleaning up area beaches, it’s a big deal. In North Carolina, it’s the Big Sweep, a local event that has global connections.

“Big Sweep started in coastal North Carolina about twenty years ago, and now its part of the International Coastal Cleanup, which happens in about 100 countries. So we have about 400,000 volunteers who participate throughout the world. So people who are participating in Wrightsville Beach, Kure Beach, we’re all doing something that’s happening throughout the world,” said Jennifer O’Keefe.

Locally, hundreds of people have been involved in cleaning up the coast, including WWAY’s Hailey Winslow. “We’re out here by Johnnie Mercer’s Pier which is the most popular, but also the dirtiest part of Wrightsville Beach. The most common thing that we’re finding is cigarette butts.”

In fact, you wont believe how many of these are in the sand. “Last year we found 3,585, and that was just in a two hour period at a few locations,” O’Keefe said.

It’s a big effort that gets people young and old to lend a helping hand, and shows them how to take care of our environment.

“You can tell when you talk to some of the children that are here. I think they’re enthusiastic about it, and it gives them a chance to find out why its important to keep our beaches clean,” said David Cignotti.

All in all, the Big Sweep continues to be a great way to get involved and keep our beaches beautiful.

Big Sweep began as a beach sweep in 1987 and is now an annual statewide event.

If you missed this past weekend’s Big Sweep, you can pitch in this coming Saturday at Holden Beach.

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videoCleaning up area beaches, it’s a big deal. In North Carolina, it’s the Big Sweep, a local event that has global connections.

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Associated poll

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Italian Festival celebrates Italian American heritage

Monday, September 28th, 2009

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Paisan or not, everybody was Italian this weekend in Leland. Over 6,000 people flocked to the Cross Creek Commons to take part in the inaugural Cape Fear Italian Festival and celebrate the Italian-American heritage.

The event featured all the things Italians do best; food, music, and fun.

“Everybody’s having a good time, they’re shopping, eating, listening to great music, the Marine band is about to go on here. Looking great!” said Mike Forte.

Visitors indulged on old Italian favorites from meatballs subs, pizza, cannolis, and sausage and peppers

Music in the air provided a festive atmosphere with a wide selection of great music from the US Marine Corps band, the Wilmington Big Band, the Brunswick Big Band, and Bonita Laserna. These and others entertained and delighted the crowds all weekend long.

There was fun to be had with rides and slides for the little ones, while the big boys took to the bocce court.

Many enjoyed a casual game, but pride was on the line as Leland Police Chief Tim Jayne took on Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous. The match was hard fought, with Chief Jayne taking an early lead, but Chief Evangelous pulled out a hard fought victory.

The event was honored with the presence of a very special guest as US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, of Italian decent, paid a visit to the festival.

“Best Italian festival in all of North Carolina. Best food and everything else,” said Sal Marindo.

The first year event covered expenses despite Saturday’s rain.

The Italian Festival committee will be making a donation to the Brunswick Community College scholarship fund.

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videoOver 6,000 people flocked to the Cross Creek Commons to take part in the inaugural Cape Fear Italian Festival this weekend.

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Associated poll

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Man accidentally let free from Brunswick jail

Monday, September 28th, 2009

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Brunswick County sheriff’s deputies are on the look out tonight after a prisoner was accidentally released from the county jail.

A little after 8:00 Sunday evening, Rosher Rodriquez-Aguilar was let go by authorities.

According to the Sheriff’s Department, Rodriguez-Aguilar had been planning the release for at least two weeks and stole another inmate’s identity.

He was booked in mid-September under a failure to appear warrant and being held under bond, and an immigration and customs enforcement detainer.

Authorities say Rodriguez-Aguilar may be in northern Brunswick County or New Hanover.

He’s not considered a threat to public safety.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 800-642-6379.

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Brunswick County sheriff’s deputies are on the look out Monday night after a prisoner was accidentally released from the county jail.

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New building makes Dreams come true

Monday, September 28th, 2009

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The Dreams Center for Arts Education offers free classes in the arts. However, the 70 kids a week plus volunteers and staff, need more space than what they have at their building at Sixth and Ann, that they must already share with another group.

Dreams will lease an old bus garage from the city for one dollar a year, giving them ten-thousand more square feet.

“What you see now is an empty shell, but what you will see are dance studios and art studios and a fabulous community space,” said Dreams Executive Director Tracy Wilkes.

Dreams’ move into the building at Tenth and Fanning is part of the city’s effort to revitalize the north side of downtown.

“It will bring, as the arts do, beauty and joy and light to a neighborhood that is really in need,” Wilkes said.

After looking for a new facility for about five years, it’s a dream come true.

“We learned to make an adjustment and just acclimate to the environment, but at the same time, knowing that a new building is coming, we’re very excited,” said Dreams teacher Sai Collins.

Students are excited as well. “You don’t usually get a chance at school to express yourself and you need to let out your emotions some how,” said Doria Schmidt.

They expect to have renovations begin on the new facility in March.

Dreams is holding a fundraising event October 9th at 6:00 p.m. at the Burney Center at UNCW.

You can find more information by calling Dreams at 772-1501.

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videoThe Dreams Center for Arts Education offers free classes in the arts. However, the 70 kids a week plus volunteers and staff, need more space than what they have at their building at Sixth and Ann, that they must already share with another group.

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Associated poll

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