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Archive for September, 2009

Remembering Floyd ten years later

Monday, September 14th, 2009

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Ten years later, the memories from Hurricane Floyd are fresh in the minds of those on Oak Island. Over a foot of rain was only half the battle, as storm surges as high as fifteen feet devastated the shores.

“Water, water, water… wettest hurricane I think I can ever remember. I don’t ever remember seeing so much water come at one time and just stayed here. It presented us with a few problems that we weren’t normally accustomed to,” said Mayor Vereen.

The high surf and raging waves were powerful enough to bring down two of the island’s piers. Tommy Thomes used to own the Long Beach Pier. “Watched the end of the pier fall, and about a third of the pier fall by 7:00 or 8:00 that night. Then the next morning we went back and the entire pier was gone,” Thomes said.

A decade later, Thomes now works at the Oak Island Pier. For him the future is clouded with the uncertainty of living on Mother Nature’s doorstep. “Oh, I look forward to it. It’s like everything else, it’s a challenge and it’s interesting. We just don’t want to see anybody get hurt, and if people are smart enough to leave when they should, then generally we can survive.”

Since Floyd, Oak Island has benefited from dune and beach renourishment as well as public works projects that hope to keep the island as safe as possible from future storms.

“God brings what god brings and so we have to put up with it. We’re visitors here and he isn’t,” Vereen said.

The Oak Island Pier is hopefully ready for any future storm. The pier underwent a $150,000 reinforcement this past spring.

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Ten years later, the memories from Hurricane Floyd are fresh in the minds of those on Oak Island. Over a foot of rain was only half the battle, as storm surges as high as fifteen feet devastated the shores.

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Associated poll

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Wilmington crash injures two, shuts down College Road

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Wilmington | Two people were injured and taken to a hospital after a multi-car crash about 6 p.m. Monday on South College Road at Bragg Drive.South College Road was shut down north of Bragg Drive at 6:30 p.m. as police investigated the crash.

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Less passengers, means less flights for many airlines

Monday, September 14th, 2009

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The economic crunch has grounded air travelers throughout the country. Now major airlines are grounding their planes.

“I think what the airlines are doing now is matching capacity with demand,” said ILM Director of Operations, Gary Broughton.

Airlines measure capacity in “seat miles”. That is the number of miles flown times the number of seats on a plane. Through the end of the year, the Air Travel Association predicts airlines will only offer 12.5 billion seat miles; the fewest since the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001.

Airlines say they are cutting flights to deal with the declining demand. In Wilmington, passengers say some flights have more empty seats than others.

Cutting back flights is something directors at ILM are used to dealing with. Most of the airlines add flights for the busy summer travel and scale back in the fall.

“It’s fairly well seasonal, we see it every year. Once the vacation season’s over, schools are back in and there’s just less travel over all,” added Broughton.

“Fewer travelers may mean fewer flights, but it also means less of a wait in line, and passengers we spoke with say they are more concerned with the price of a ticket than they are with the number of people on the plane.

“The less flights, the more likely the price is going to go up, the higher the price, the less flyers,” said traveler Rita Scull.

With fewer flights in the air, maybe more of them will stay on time.

Some airlines have been hit harder than others by the decline in air travel. Discount airlines like Airtran and Southwest have faired better, and Jet Blue plans to increase the number of seat miles they offer by the end of the year.

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videoIf you are planning to travel by plane in the near future, you might want to book your flight as soon as possible. Airlines are offering fewer flights, which could make finding a seat a bit more difficult.

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Associated poll

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Legal issues questioned involving internet cafes

Monday, September 14th, 2009

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Internet cafes have been around since the early nineties, but recently, they’ve found a new way to lure people… with cash.

Some internet cafes are offering sweepstakes where customers can gamble for cash payouts. There’s a gray area when it comes to the legality of these establishments.

“We’ve been worried since day one… they’ve been after us, they’ve tried to shut us down,” said Internet Café and Sweepstakes manager Ben Korb.

Law enforcement is putting some new aged-internet cafes under the microscope.

“You can get on the internet, you can fax, you can copy, you can do whatever you want to in terms of business services, but most people come in and play the games, which are sweepstakes games, like bingo, or lottery, or Powerball,” Korb said.

Customers who win walk out with cash prizes. The biggest jackpot so far at the Internet Cafe and sweepstakes in Leland is $4,000.

But the legality of this type of gambling is still not clear.

“If there are some narrow exceptions that allow it, of course we’re going to allow them to peacefully exist while that is on the books, but we have real concerns with the violence that’s associated with illegal video gambling or gambling. We’ve had several homicides in our district over the last several years related to this activity,” said New Hanover and Pender District Attorney Ben David.

Manager Ben Korb says he has a business license and his services are legal. “It’s legal the same way Publisher’s Clearing House is legal, the same way Powerball is legal, because it’s all predetermined and whenever you hit the button, if it’s your turn to win you win.”

While Korb’s business isn’t within District Attorney Ben David’s jurisdiction. There are several similar cafes in New Hanover and Pender counties.

“I’m hopeful that we’ll have some clarification soon from higher courts on this issue, because it’s one that affects many communities,” Korb said. He added his business helps boost the economy by creating jobs and potentially providing income for winners.

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videoInternet cafes have been around since the early nineties, but recently, they’ve found a new way to lure people… with cash.

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Associated poll

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Local man vying for national attention with H1N1 commercial

Monday, September 14th, 2009

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A local man is hoping to win big in a nationwide contest about stopping the spread of H1N1.

This commercial was made by Leland resident, Chris Cymbalak. He is one of ten finalists vying for $2,500 and the chance to have their commercial air across the country.

The US Department of Health and Human Services is sponsoring the YouTube based contest.

Viewers get the pick the winner by voting for their favorite.

Cymbalak, a freelance videographer, said the idea just came on a whim. “Honestly a friend of mine we just put it together in like a day,” said Cymbalak. “We just said listen, I think we can do this. It’s thirty seconds and its not too hard. The hardest part was just going from location to location.”

You can vote for his commercial, called “be aware of the invisible” and view the other finalists by going to www.youtube.com/usgovhhs

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A local man is hoping to win big in a nationwide contest about stopping the spread of H1N1.
He is one of ten finalists vying for $2,500 and the chance to have their commercial air across the country.

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Associated poll

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