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Archive for September, 2009

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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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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Hampstead enjoys Spot Festival

Monday, September 28th, 2009

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Hampstead was the spot to be this weekend as the seafood community celebrated the 46th Annual Spot Festival.

It’s a gathering that has grown tremendously and become synonymous with the town of Hampstead.

Thousands of people flock to the festival each year which features, live music, fun, and food.

But for those who may not know, what exactly is a spot?

“Well a spot is a tasty little pan fish. It’s very important to this community because we’re the seafood capital of North Carolina. So every year we get together and celebrate the spots. The firemen cook them and serve them. Its just something that’s grown from years ago to something huge,” said Sheila Rodney, the Spot Festival chair.

The festival is the town of Hampstead’s primary fundraiser and is entirely non-profit.

Proceeds go to benefit the fire department of Hampstead as well as the Topsail school systems.

Despite the rain on Saturday, organizers were pleased with the turnout on Sunday and are marking it down as a success.

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Hampstead was the spot to be this weekend as the seafood community celebrated the 46th Annual Spot Festival.

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Students mourn loss of fellow Seahawk

Monday, September 28th, 2009

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UNCW students are mourning the loss of a classmate after Friday afternoon storms turned deadly at Wrightsville Beach.

“I sent him a text message actually, once it started raining, asking him how the beach was jokingly cause it started pouring, and I never got an answer, and then I found out what happened,” said Chris Hetem.

It was a somber day on campus Monday as students returned to class and learned about what happened to their friend.

Eighteen-year-old John Edward Sackett III, known to friends as JT, was a freshman from Annapolis, Maryland.

He was killed when lightning hit near the Oceanic Pier while he was swimming.

“He had one of those smiles, it’s just contagious, everybody loved him,” said Austin Willoughby.

Friends stopped by the student center to sign a memorial book and share stories. They painted the “rock”, a popular meeting place on campus, in his honor.

They shared stories and memories about their friend…

“We played mud volleyball a lot when it rained, we had our own team, we were going to be the Spicy Hors d‘oeuvres, but we kinda forgot, to sign up,” said Willoughby.

“His girlfriend, they haven’t been together very long, but he told me that he loved her, and he just hadn’t said it yet, he was just waiting for the right time, but he was never able to say it…so I actually called his girlfriend yesterday and told her that he said that to me,” said Hetem.

Willoughby added, “I just really miss him, he was an awesome kid.”

The cause of John Sackett’s death is still pending.

Funeral arrangements are still being finalized in Annapolis.

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UNCW students are mourning the loss of a classmate after Friday afternoon storms turned deadly at Wrightsville Beach.

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