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Archive for September, 2009

Local counties see fall in unemployment

Friday, September 25th, 2009

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There is encouraging news on the job front. There was a downtick in unemployment for our local counties in August.

New Hanover County led the regional rebound with a half point drop from July to nine percent.

Pender County was down four-tenths to 11.1 percent.

Brunswick County was down a tenth to 10.6 percent.

Columbus County dropped half a point to 12.8 percent.

Bladen County was down four tenths to 12.3 percent.

Overall, unemployment was down in ninety counties.

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There is encouraging news on the job front. There was a downtick in unemployment for our local counties in August.

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Associated poll

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Coast Guard wraps up parasailing hearing

Friday, September 25th, 2009

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After 61 exhibits and nine sets of testimonies, Coast Guard investigators now have a better idea of what happened on August 28th. It started as a fun day of parasailing, and ended with two women dead.

The only person to testify at the Coast Guard hearing on Friday gave an inside look at the parasailing industry. Arrit McPherson, the president of the Professional Association of Parasail Operators, spoke to investigators by phone for more than an hour. He said there are no standards offering training in the activity, and it is not really regulated.

He also commented on a main point brought up in the investigation – weather. “The most important determination that’s on my mind is weather. Weather generally dictates whether or not we’ll operate,” said McPherson.

Many question why the crew took the boat out on August 28th. There was a small craft advisory in effect when the rope holding Lorrie Shoup and Cynthia Woodcock in the air, snapped. The crew members said they did not know about the advisory.

“If it’s clearly inclement weather, I’m not comfortable with it, so I won’t go. I believe it is a judgement call,” added McPherson.

The victim’s daughter-in-law, Tyisha Woodcock said, “I just think they could have done a better job.” She said she is angered and hurt by what she learned during the hearing. “I even feel sorry for the captain and the boating company and for the mate. I mean it’s not something that they set out to do, but I feel that they slacked.”

Lead investigator from the US Coast Guard, Lt. Chester Warren said, “All you can do in a situation like this is look at all the facts, consider the witness testimony, analyze the equipment and you kind of let the facts speak for itself.”

Investigators will write a final report from this hearing, and pass it along to Coast Guard headquarters. From there, it could go onto other federal agencies for safety recommendations.

There are no criminal charges against anyone involved in the accident.

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videoThe Coast Guard wrapped up the final day of its hearing looking into a deadly parasailing accident in Ocean Isle Beach last month.

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Associated poll

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Local broker’s suicide leaves questions about his finances

Friday, September 25th, 2009

By Veronica GonzalezVeronica.Gonzalez@StarNewsOnline.com

On July 17, Atlantic Beach police went to check a duplex that a local stockbroker and well-known radio personality had rented after his car sat in the driveway without moving for a few days.

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Editor’s Note – ‘Grape of wrath’ loses battle with boy, 11

Friday, September 25th, 2009

By Robyn TomlinStarNews Executive Editor

I’ve yet to meet a mother of boys who doesn’t have a collection of ER and urgent care experiences. We’ve had more than our fair share, but this was a new one for me.

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Carolina Beach adds some visual appeal

Friday, September 25th, 2009

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The Town of Carolina Beach hopes your first impression of Pleasure Island is a little more visually appealing. Friday morning, town leaders held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly landscaped Entryway Enhancement Project.

The town added live oaks, crape myrtles, roses and other greenery to the area from the base of the Snow’s Cut Bridge to the intersection of Dow Road and Lake Park Boulevard.

Carolina Beach Mayor Bill Clark said, “There’s no doubt here at Carolina Beach what we’re trying to do is do everything we can to enhance and improve our image and how we look to our visitors as they come over the bridge.”

The total project cost a little more than $200,000.

Town manager, Tim Owens said grant money from the North Carolina Department of Transportation paid for 75 percent of it. The town picked up the tab for the rest.

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The Town of Carolina Beach hopes your first impression of Pleasure Island is a little more visually appealing. Friday morning, town leaders held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly landscaped Entryway Enhancement Project.

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Associated poll

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