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Archive for October, 2009

One of three injured in fatal wreck has been released

Monday, October 12th, 2009

By David ReynoldsDave.Reynolds@StarNewsOnline.com

Wilmington | One of three young people who were seriously injured in a crash that killed a 16-year-old last week was released from the hospital on Monday, officials said.

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Three men in custody for connection to Chadbourn fire

Monday, October 12th, 2009

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Three men are in jail in connection with a Chadbourn tire warehouse fire that burned for two days last month. One of the men charged with starting the fire, also helped put it out.

Witnesses say they saw three men near Carolina Tire Sales and a fourth driving a red car before a fire destroyed more than 30,000 tires and burned the warehouse to the ground.

Now police believe they have three of those men in custody. Investigators say 19-year-old Daniel Scott is one of three men they’ve arrested for the September 21st fire at Carolina Tire Sales. They say Scott was a volunteer firefighter, but was paid by the hour when fighting a fire.

“Normally when you have folks that are firefighters, you don’t think of them as also being involved with this type of activity,” said Chadbourn Town Manager Stevie Cox.

Scott turned himself in to Columbus County deputies Friday along with his brother, 18-year-old Michael Clamp. Their surrender came a day after police arrested 20-year-old Richard Turner for setting the fire.

“It’s a relief, I think, especially to the people that live in the immediate area because it was a bit of discomfort to wonder who did it and why they did it,” said Valory Freeman who lives near the fire.

While many people are shocked that a firefighter is charged in the crime, they’re still confident in the rest of the fire department.

“You just can’t say that all firemen are bad because they put their lives on the line to help you,” Freeman said.

“In all professions, there’s a likelihood of having somebody that may not necessarily play within the rules as well as others,” Cox added.

Columbus, Brunswick, and Horry county fire departments all helped fight the fire, which lasted two days.

Chadbourn Police partnered with the SBI and ATF in their investigation, which continues.

Town manager Stevie Cox said the fire cost the town more than $70,000. The town will apply for federal aid and insurance reimbursement to cover some of the expense.

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videoThree men are in jail in connection with a Chadbourn tire warehouse fire that burned for two days last month. One of the men charged with starting the fire, also helped put it out.

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Associated poll

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Incentives for Titan plant up for debate

Monday, October 12th, 2009

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A computer plant closure is raising questions about financial incentives for the proposed Titan cement plant here New Hanover County.

Dell got more than $300 million in incentives from the state to open a plant in Winston-Salem a few years ago. Last week’s announcement that the plant is closing is reopening the debate on the effectiveness of incentives.

Using taxpayer dollars to provide incentives to corporations is a hot topic.

“In this specific case with titan, it was a complete waste of our future tax dollars. Not only that but it has tied our commissioners’ hands,” said Doug Springer of Cape Fear Riverkeeper.

New Hanover County has promised Titan a $4.2 million incentive package over seven years. Commissioners say these tax breaks are needed to compete.

“They’ve been very successful. GE is here, but GE could have moved other places. Corning, Vista, Verizon, because they’ve got incentives,” said Bill Caster.

These tax breaks will only be granted as long as the company employs 160 people and builds the nearly half-billion-dollar facility as promised.

“The plant’s got to be built. They’ve got to hire the people, and they start going the first year they’re going to pay certain big bucks,” Caster said.

In the past, the county has gotten its money back from certain companies who haven’t complied.

“Corning at one point, we gave them an incentive and they didn’t meet the incentive, didn’t meet the requirements. They told us that. And then we didn’t pay the incentive,” added Caster.

Even with these benchmarks, some say incentives, in this case, are unnecessary.

“It’s completely unnecessary. They had already determined that they were coming here, and we have the documentation to prove that,” Springer said.

There is a public information hearing tomorrow on the campus of UNCW at 6:30 pm for those concerned about the potential impacts of the Titan plant.

A larger public hearing will be held to debate both sides of the issue on October 20th.

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videoA computer plant closure is raising questions about financial incentives for the proposed Titan cement plant in New Hanover County.

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Associated poll

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New protections sought for Wilmington’s old buildings

Monday, October 12th, 2009

By Patrick GannonPatrick.Gannon@StarNewsOnline.com

In the past five years, more than 20 historically significant buildings have been demolished in the Central Business District. A couple more, including the Una Luna building, could come down soon.

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Update on victims involved in MLK Parkway accident

Monday, October 12th, 2009

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We have updates on the condition of several people injured during a fatal car accident on MLK Parkway.

A stolen Subaru slammed into a pick-up truck at an extremely high rate of speed…

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Associated poll

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