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Archive for November, 2009

Fears surround Front Street construction

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

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Wilmington City Council has some big plans for improving downtown, but some business owners are worried they will not be around by the time the work is finished.

“As a small business owner, in this economy, I’ve had enough challenges this year,” said owner of Daughtry’s Old Books, Gwenyfar Rohler.

Front Street construction improvements were originally scheduled to start in October, but downtown business owners said they would not survive the mess during the holiday season.

Rohler said, “I found the city of Wilmington very receptive when I talked with people and explained my concerns.”

The start date has since been pushed back to January, with the project expected to take six to eight months to complete. The city will install new sidewalks, lights, and traffic signals, while CFPUA will install new water and sewer lines.

City of Wilmington spokesperson, Malissa Talbert said, “The whole point is to get visitors downtown and then to get them into the businesses for our merchants.”

But owners say they are skeptical of the timeline.

“January through April is not going to be as critical a time for us, but I am concerned about them staying on schedule,” added Rohler.

Owner of Momentum Surf and Skate, Hunter Ford said, “I’m concerned that they’re going to get in and they’re not going to get the bid in on time and they’re not going to start the project until the second or third week of February, and then they’re going to take ten months to do it.”

To help keep the work on track, the contract includes plans for 16-hour work days and a $2,000 a day incentive if construction is finished early.

“Once you get started, you want to get in and get out as quick as you possibly can,” Talbert said.

Business owners hope that is the case, but they can’t worry about it too much – They have got a business to run.

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videoWilmington City Council has some big plans for improving downtown, but some business owners are worried they will not be around by the time the work is finished.

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Associated poll

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2 home-invasion break-ins investigated in Silver Lake area

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

New Hanover County | Residents at two homes in neighborhoods off of Carolina Beach Road either had someone break into their homes Tuesday afternoon, or try to, officials said.Trouble began at 2:03 p.m. when Robin Roberts, 38, was awakened by a banging on her front door at 118 B Yulan Drive.

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Brunswick County purchases refurbished gas chamber

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

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“As good as new” doesn’t quite cut it for animal rights activists. There was confusion as to whether a gas chamber recently purchased by the Brunswick County Animal shelter was “new.” Turns out, it was refurbished. Before the chamber arrived at Brunswick County it belonged to a shelter in Reidsville. But it was sent back to the manufacturer in between.

New or used, animal rights activists say this gas chamber should never have been purchased by the Brunswick County Health Department.

Animal Rights activist Margarete O’Leary says “my concern is that they didn’t even consider switching to euthanasia by injection, which is the preferred method, of all the major Humane societies.”

Instead, the county chose to replace their old gas chamber with a refurbished one. But not before putting the issue on the agenda at a recent county commissioners meeting. Brunswick County Health Director Don Yousey says, “If people had concerns about that agenda, they could have asked to have it pulled off the agenda, and it could have been discussed.”

“There was nothing in the paper, nothing in the media or on the news to say ‘oh by the way this is going to be on our agenda.’ So it left it up to the individual citizens to go online and see what’s happening,” says O’Leary.

Twelve thousand dollars later, the chamber was purchased from a manufacturing company called Cutting Edge Fabrication. The chamber used to reside at a shelter in Reidsville. Cutting edge replaced some parts, and say they reviewed it with a fine tooth comb before selling it to Brunswick County.

According to the manufacturer, the county’s decision to purchase a “refurbished” model saved them more than 20 thousand dollars. The deal included a year-long warranty to replace any faulty parts.

“Now that they have the chamber, they made the decision, and now it’s their responsibility to make sure that it is up to specs, as much as possible. The company has warrantied it, that’s the best you can do to assure safety of the employees and the proper euthanasia of the animals,” says O’Leary. Yousey says, “The newest state law requires that we have all the state inspections, and to make sure that it meets all the state requirements.”

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Before the chamber arrived at Brunswick County Animal Control, it belonged to a shelter in Reidsville. It was sent back to the manufacturer in between.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

Former sheriff Hewett goes to work for developer Saunders

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

By Shelby SebensShelby.Sebens@StarNewsOnline.com

A little more than a month out of prison, former Brunswick County Sheriff Ronald Hewett has a job. Hewett is working part-time for Coastal Cos., a large development company in Brunswick County run by Mark Saunders, company spokeswoman Nita Hill said.

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Topsail student died from H1N1 virus, Pender health official says

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

By Vicky Eckenrode and Veronica GonzalezStaff Writers

The 16-year-old student died Nov. 6 at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

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