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Archive for October, 2009

Leland candidates talk about the future of the town

Monday, October 26th, 2009

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Leland is a hub of growth and development in Brunswick County, the fastest growing county in the state. The election for mayor next month could go a long way to shaping the town’s future.

For challengers Bob Boynton and Frank Bullara, the race for Leland mayor is about the future.

“I think a lot of people want to be more progressive and get things done,” Boynton said.

Each man is a native New Yorker. Boynton moved to Leland last year after ten years in New Hanover County and many years in Florida before that.

Bullara came to Leland four years ago after falling in love with the town during a vacation at Magnolia Greens. He and his wife opened Bugsy’s Cigars last year and, he says, got active in the community. “The golf tournament for the police department, the Cape Fear Italian Festival to benefit the community; to bring people into the community.”

Bullara says a big issue facing Leland is a battle over control of the town’s water. He says the solution is better communication. “Let’s sit down at the table and come up with a common thread that we can move forward with that benefits Leland.”

Boynton wants to improve the town’s infrastructure, connecting communities along Highway 133 to US 17 with help from the Cape Fear skyway project. “It’s 10 years off, but we want to move ahead with it, and the anticipation of the skyway in place will help the neighborhoods, help the construction of the roads.”

Bullara and Boynton are challenging incumbent Mayor Walter Futch, who declined an interview for this story, saying, ‘I don’t really need it, and I have other things going on.’

That has his two opponents questioning his commitment to the election and the job.

“He’s either not interested in staying mayor, or he thinks this is a done deal, and he’s got it in the bag and it’s a done deal and he don’t even have to go,” Bullara said.

Boyton added, “One thing he said at the VFW was his best qualification for being mayor was that he was the mayor, and I couldn’t really see where that said anything.”

Voters will say everything when they head to the polls November third. But you don’t have to wait until November third; early voting continues through Saturday at the County Board of Elections Office.

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videoLeland is a hub of growth and development in Brunswick County, the fastest growing county in the state. The election for mayor next month could go a long way to shaping the town’s future.

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Associated poll

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Family believes victim shot over long time dispute

Monday, October 26th, 2009

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Family members say a man walked into Harry Lee Tate’s house Saturday night and put a gun to his daughter’s head, asking for her father. When Tate appeared, the man shot him in the chest.

Juliet Tate Newton says her brother Harry Lee Tate was murdered Saturday night by a man who walked into his unlocked house.

“When he turned around he was facing this guy, standing there with a gun to his daughter’s head, and he pushes the child out of the way and shoots my brother in the chest,” Juliet said.

Family members believe the murder started with a dispute two years ago over a mail truck Tate sold to the man they believe killed him.

They say Harry and his wife saw the man at the store over the weekend, but didn’t exchange words.

“This is a very small community, a close-knitted community, the family is very devastated,” Juliet said.

The Tate family grew up on a farm in Willard. A street is named after Harry’s great-great grandfather. The family never imagined something like this would happen here.

Harry’s cousin Jimmy Tate is the Chair of the Pender County Board of Commissioners.

He says it’s taking too long for authorities to make an arrest. “We don’t want this to turn into a racial war at all but we are trying to work with law enforcement officers and make sure that an arrest is made as soon as possible.”

Pender County sheriff’s deputies have interviewed several people but are holding off making an arrest until they are certain they have the right man.

Tuesday would have been Harry Tate’s 59th birthday.

“His children, his wife, my mom, we had already talked about what we were going to do for his birthday just last week, and he won’t be here, and it’s hard, it’s very hard,” Juliet said.

An autopsy today confirmed Tate died from a shot to the chest. We will let you know when an arrest has been made.

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videoFamily members say a man walked into Harry Lee Tate’s house Saturday night and put a gun to his daughter’s head, asking for her father. When Tate appeared, the man shot him in the chest.

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Associated poll

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German visitors dock in the Port City

Monday, October 26th, 2009

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A big group of German tourists came to town today. They arrived for the second year in a row on the Aida Aura cruise ship, and that means an economic boost for the Wilmington area.

“It’s a very nice place here, very nice people,” said Martan Selbelbergan, a German visitor.

It may have not been Chamber of Commerce weather along the Cape Fear River Monday, but the dock at the State Port of Wilmington was a welcome sight for passengers of the Aida Aura.

“Wilmington is known to the German guests as the third famous movie city is the U.S. right behind California and New York,” said Sebastian Scheuberuteiner, cruise ship club director.

Monday, more than a thousand passengers and crewmembers stepped off the luxury cruise liner, and took Wilmington by storm. They filed onto tour busses, taxis and bikes to explore our city for the second year in a row.

Florian Alfelvach was excited to practice his golf swing at Magnolia Greens in Leland. “We’ve been told that it’s a really good course; it is 27 holes, and it would be really nice, and I would love to see it today.”

Aside from hitting the links, the rest of the passengers planned on eating and shopping at restaurants and businesses.

According to an international cruise ship study, each passenger is expected to spend a little more than $100 a day, at various ports.

For small businesses struggling to get by, the visit from Germany is a much-needed economic boost.

“The total economic impact could be upwards of $450,000, which is a welcomed addition to our local economy,” said Connie Nelson of the Visitors Bureau.

Wilmington is one of the first stops on the Aida Aura’s trip to the U.S., and if the passengers enjoy our city as much as they did last year, the cruise company hopes to bring a different German ship back next year.

The crew and passengers took extra germ-fighting precautions to ward off the H1N1 virus; as everyone filed on and off the ship, they were encouraged to use hand sanitizer.

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videoA big group of German tourists came to town today. They arrived for the second year in a row on the Aida Aura cruise ship, and that means an economic boost for the Wilmington area.

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cruiseship150.jpg

Associated poll

More: continued here

No storms, but rips take a deadly toll in 2009

Monday, October 26th, 2009

By Gareth McGrathGareth.McGrath@StarNewsOnline.com

Officials are holding a rip-current workshop Tuesday at the Wilmington International Airport to discuss, among other things, forecasting and outreach efforts.

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Update – Easley campaign took scores of unreported flights

Monday, October 26th, 2009

By Gary D. RobertsonAssociated Press

Unreported flights and alleged falsified repair payments through the campaign would appear to be campaign finance law violations. Easley personal attorney Thomas Hicks of Wilmington challenged Campbell’s testimony under cross-examination.

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