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Archive for September, 2011

Foreclosure rates in Wilmington increase

Monday, September 12th, 2011

WILINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE) — A new housing report out indicates foreclosure rates in the Wilmington area are on the rise.

These figures, coming from CoreLogic, show foreclosure rates up in June 2011 – over two and a half percent.

While that’s up almost a full percent from this same time last year, the Wilmington rate is actually lower than the national foreclosure rate.

That rate still sits at almost three and a half percent.

The report also says homeowners are having trouble keeping up with their house payments.

The local mortgage delinquency rate is over five and a half percent, more than it was at this time last year.

More: continued here

FIRST ON 3: Asian Needle Ant becoming a growing problem in Carolinas

Monday, September 12th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A growing species of ant is invading the Carolinas and could have a more dangerous sting than the fire ant or honeybee.

Pest experts say the reason Asian Needle Ants are becoming more and more prevalent in North Carolina the past couple of years is because they can nest just about anywhere. Unlike other ants the Asian Needle Ant affects other native ants in the region as well.

Pest experts say although it is not yet in the top three in terms of ants by population in our state, it very well could be in the near future.

One of the biggest concerns with the Asian Needle Ant in particular is its sting.

“It does have a very painful sting, and a lot of people do have allergic reactions to those, but most people that are noticing them are coming across them working in their yards, in mulch areas, turning of railroad ties or logs or something like that,” NC Pest Management Association Board member Kristin Dodd said. “They will inadvertently come in contact with this ant, and before you know it they will have them on their arms or ankles.”

One good thing is that the Asian Needle Ant is not as aggressive as fire ants.

Experts say the majority of stings happen when people try and wipe the insect off them. One tip is to not use your hands when trying to get them off of you. Use a leaf of cloth instead.

Experts also say that this ant has the ability to spread so quickly because it live in various locations, including the forest or even under sidewalks.

More: continued here

Hearing in Zahra’s stepmom’s case moved by judge

Monday, September 12th, 2011

NEWTON, NC (AP) — A hearing in the case of a North Carolina woman accused of killing her 10-year-old disabled stepdaughter has been postponed after attorneys spoke with the judge.

Lawyers appearing in Catawba County Superior Court Monday said they had spoken with Judge Timothy Kincaid, who agreed to move the hearing to Wednesday morning.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers for 43-year-old Elisa Baker wouldn’t explain the reason for the delay.

Kincaid was to choose a venue for the trial of Baker, who’s charged with second-degree murder in the death of her stepdaughter, Zahra. Zahra’s case captured attention around the world after the little girl with a prosthetic leg disappeared last fall.

Authorities say Baker dismembered Zahra’s body to cover up her killing. She could face up to 30 years in prison if she’s convicted.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Carolina Beach discovers $135,000 water and sewer billing error

Monday, September 12th, 2011

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WILLARD H. KILLOUGH III / ISLAND GAZETTE) — Town Manager Tim Owens says the billing department recently discovered customers were not billed enough for water and sewer services. The Town raised rates in their 2010/2011 fiscal year budget, but didn’t adjust the rates in the billing system. That means some customers paid lower rates. Owens noted that, “It is estimated that the billing error for a typical residential dwelling unit that uses 6,000 gallons of water a month paid $36 less during FY10/11 than originally scheduled.”

The Town Council will consider how to cover the estimated $135,000 loss at their meeting scheduled for Tuesday September 13, at 6:30PM at Town Hall. Owens is recommending a $3.00 per month increase for water and sewer service.

Owens explained in a memo to Council, “Upon reviewing our water and sewer billing for the FY11/12 budget, it was discovered that the variable rate for water and sewer usage above the fixed standard 3,000 gallon minimum was inadvertently not changed to the new rate for the billing cycle in FY10/11. This carried over to 1 billing month in this current budget year. The new standard 3,000 gallon flat rate was changed as proposed in the FY10/11 billing cycle and did carry over to the current budget year.”

Owens explained, “The error was identified by our new water and sewer billing clerk as she was reviewing and becoming more familiar with our system. This error continued despite a number of checks and balances that should have prevented it from happening.”

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE STORY: http://www.islandgazette.net/news-server1/index.php?option=com_content&v…

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Court of Appeals to hear Oak island land case

Monday, September 12th, 2011

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