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Archive for September, 2009

Birds of a feather, rest together

Monday, September 28th, 2009

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On a long drive, we all need our rest – to eat, to sleep, to recharge our batteries. Migrating birds are the same way, flying thousands of miles from north to south, they can’t make it without their rest. They flock by the thousands to our shores, the perfect rest area on the migration highway.

”Areas like this habitat where you have these sandy shoals adjacent to an inlet, you have these little tidal creeks full of small animals for them to eat. So this is their rest area on I-95. It’s where they can recharge their batteries, they have to bulk up to increase their fat reserves, and sleep, and rest,” explained Andy Wood of the Audobon Society.

But these habitats are fragile, and if they were to vanish, so too would some of the birds.

As humans continue to develop on the shorelines and try and prevent erosion, hardening the shorelines here would really harm the habitats for these birds.

“As habitats change, with human activity, building houses, or manipulating inlets with hardened structures, when you loose these sand flats you’re taking away their dinner table. This is their banquet place, and also you’re taking away their resting place. So imagine you’re driving from Maine to Florida but you get no rest stops. You get no place to fill up your tank, you’re not going to get very far,” Wood said.

When these birds are here to rest, it’s important to keep your distance and give them their much needed down time.

“What can we do to help the birds? Leave them alone. Bring your binoculars to the beach – look at them from a distance, don’t chase them, let them rest,” Wood explained.

Think of it as somebody waking you from a needed slumber after a few hundred-mile run, you’d be cranky too.

Dozens of species of birds will be flying through our skies and landing in our inlets over the next several weeks as October is the peak time for birds to stop over and pay a visit to Wilmington.

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videoOn a long drive, we all need our rest – to eat, to sleep, to recharge our batteries. Migrating birds are the same way, flying thousands of miles from north to south, they can’t make it without their rest.

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Associated poll

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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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Associated poll

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