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Archive for October, 2009

Middle school redistricting forum draws packed house

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Eighty-four people signed up to speak at tonight’s public forum on new middle school redistricting lines in the New Hanover County school district. Each speaker is allowed 3 minutes. The meeting started shortly after 7 p.m. The forum is the third of three forums on the topic, and is the first for parents of students attending schools in…

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Former Wilmington resident dies in helicopter crash

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

By David ReynoldsDave.Reynolds@StarNewsOnline.com

Capt. David S. Mitchell, 30, died Monday in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan, one of two helicopter crashes that killed U.S. troops this week, according to Sgt. Sean McGinty of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing in San Diego, Calif.

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Early voting numbers down

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

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Early voting ends Saturday and as expected, numbers in our surrounding counties are down significantly from last year.

Oscar and Jane Grant are taking one last look at the candidates before they cast their votes. They decided to take advantage of early voting to avoid the lines on Election Day.

The Grants say they want to make sure to vote in this election because they feel strongly about certain issues like taxes and the annexation in Monkey Junction. But they don’t necessarily agree with each other.

“We have different views, but we each voice our own opinions,ā€ Jane said.

Election workers tallied absentee ballots turned in from walk-in and mail-in voters. So far, Bladen County has just 51 votes; Brunswick totaled 1,050 ballots; Columbus has a little more than 160; 1,206 people have voted in New Hanover County; Pender has brought in 273 votes.

Election officials say this is what they expected.

“It’s not unusual for municipal elections to have a low turnout. Municipal elections just don’t tend to bring in the interest that your presidential and mid-term elections do,ā€ said Bonnie Williams, the NHC Elections Director.

Election officials expect numbers to jump in the next few days as early voting wraps up. They encourage everyone to voice their opinion.

“This is the way that the voter is able to speak through the electoral process is through the ballot,ā€ Williams said.

North Carolinians interested in taking advantage of early voting must be in line at their local board of elections office by 1:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Mail-in ballots must be received by the Board of Elections by 5 p.m. on Monday, November 2.

Election Day is next Tuesday.

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videoEarly voting ends Saturday and as expected, numbers in our surrounding counties are down significantly from last year.

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Associated poll

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Marino on Money: October 27

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

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Are health insurance premiums continuing to rise?

In some cases yes, in others no. Families saw the biggest rise in premiums. For a full year of coverage, the average family will pay over $13k according to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The average employee pays about $3,500 towards that bill, and the employer pays the remainder.

This is an increase of 5% over last year. While it is not as bad as some increases earlier in the decade, it is still disturbing. Here is why.

While the average cost for family coverage increased 5%, the average worker saw their wages increase 3.1%. Meaning, once again, health insurance costs increased faster than income growth.

There is some good news. Premiums for individual coverage remained the same.

Other costs related to health care have also increased. In 2006, only 10% of covered workers had a deductible of $1000 or more. In 2009, 22% of covered workers have a deductible over $1000. Not only have insurance premiums increased, but the amount of money a worker pays out of pocket has also increased.

Based on these numbers, Iā€™d imagine the health care debate will continue for some time.

If you have a financial question for Ross, you can use the Marino on Money page.

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videoAs the economy remains stagnant, it seems prices continue to go up. Health care is no exception. In Tuesday’s Marino on Money certified financial planner Ross Marino explains why the health care debate may be around for some time.

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Associated poll

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Incumbent Saffo says record proves he gets things done

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

By Patrick GannonPatrick.Gannon@StarNewsOnline.com

Holding the line on taxes and adding jobs, as well as replacing aging fire stations around Wilmington among top priorities.

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