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Archive for October, 2011

NASCAR’s NC roots help drive economy

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

CHARLOTTE, NC (WWAY) — Some of the greatest drivers in the world will converge on Charlotte Motor Speedway Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on WWAY and ABC. The Bank of America 500 is the only NASCAR race on a Saturday in the Sprint Race for the Cup.

“This is the mecca of NASCAR,” ESPN analyst and former NASCAR driver Ricky Craven said. “It’s the hub. You know that. You are aware of that when you come to this race in May or All-Star weekend, the fall race, and it has a different feel. The drivers appreciate being able to race here, and they recognize the history.”

Greats like Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhart Jr. will be on the track for the Bank of America 500 Saturday night.

Carl Edwards enters the race with a slim lead in the Sprint Cup standings. With only a handful of series events left, this race could go a long ways in determining NASCAR’s champion.

As important as this race is to the drivers, it may mean even more to the Charlotte area and its economy.

“You look at the majority of teams, they are all within 50-100 miles of Charlotte, and so as an industry there is thousands of people employed in this region,” said Patrick Perkins, VP of Marketing for Hendrick Motorsports, one of the sports leading ownership teams.

A 2004 study by UNC Charlotte says the total economic impact of the motorsports industry on North Carolina’s economy was a little more than $5 billion and generated nearly 25,000 jobs.

Charlotte now features not only the raceway but also the NASCAR Hall of Fame, furthering the relationship between state and sport.

“We’ve had great response nationally and internationally, and, of course, great response from in the area,” NASCAR Hall of Fame Executive Director Winston Kelley said. “We’re the second highest attended sports hall of fame in North America in our first year of operation with around 274,000 people who have come to the hall of fame.”

Though that number may sound big, it’s far less than was hoped for the $200 million, publicly-funded museum that’s lost money since it opened last year. Still the state and industry leaders hope the hall and speedway can be an economic engine well into the future.

More: continued here

New store brings old feel to downtown Wilmington

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — There’s an old saying “If you hold onto it long enough, it will come back in style.” A new shop in downtown Wilmington is banking on the clothing karma, hoping these classics make their way to the Wonder Shop and then to your closet. At the Wonder Shop, that’s not just the business plan, but the inspiration for the store itself.

The Wonder Shop racks are packed with staple pieces – a flashback or flash forward, depending on how you look at it. Shop owner Kelsey Gibbs says she loves giving new life to clothing that may have been worn and forgotten but is reappearing in similar styles on the runway. And the best part? She says she’s not running out of these vintage pieces any time soon.

“I wanna give old clothes a happier home instead of tucked in the back of someone’s closet,” Gibbs said. “Bring them out again. Style them current. And they look great. And nobody knows they’re old.”

Gibbs says she has been collecting vintage items for years and decided it was time to share her style with Wilmington.

She says the Wonder Shop has a special tie to the Port City, too, and she’s excited to help revitalize downtown while honoring its history.

“I found this gorgeous early ’60s tailored suit with a mink collar, and it had ‘Wonder Shop Wilmington, NC’ written in it, and I just thought that’s a great name,” Gibbs said. “I did some research, found out more about it, and ever since then I knew that would be the name of the shop, and I really wanted to honor that name in Wilmington, and I’m selling vintage, and that’s what they were selling, so it just fit.”

After finding out more about the 1940s dress shop that was located at 33 North Front Street, Gibbs says she tried to stay true to the character of the original store. When she found a spot across the street from the original store at 22 North Front Street, she says she knew she was home.

“This was the only place I wanted to be, for sure,” she said. “The historic vibe, the kinda creative artsy feel of downtown was perfect for the Wonder Shop.”

Gibbs says the Wonder Shop is really creating a link to the past. She says several people have come in who remember the original Wonder Shop and are excited to see a piece of downtown’s history reborn.

Gibbs says she thinks shopping at her store is an experience the whole family can enjoy together while reminiscing on times passed.

More: continued here

WFD says morning fire was arson

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Fire Department says a house fire early this morning was intentionally set. It happened before 5:30 a.m. at 508 Anderson Street.

Firefighters contained the fire to the interior of the house. They say damage estimates are about $20,000 to the structure and $2,500 to contents.

No one was home when it happened, and there were no injuries.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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Foul play not suspected in death of Shallotte man

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

The Shallotte Police Department does not suspect foul play in the death of 19-year-old John Gavin Lane, according to a news release.

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Candidate profile: Joshua Fulton

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Election Day is less than a month away and WWAY wants you to meet your candidates for Wilmington City Council. Today we sat down with Joshua Fulton, who describes himself as a fiscal conservative.

As one of the leading non-incumbent candidates for Wilmington City Council, Fulton’s name and face can be seen all over Wilmington. But who is he?

“I was born in Massachusetts. I went to NYU for undergrad, stayed there for about eight years,” Fulton said. “I was an auditor for AIG. I was a math teacher in the public schools, and I came down here a little over two years ago to go to grad school”

Fulton is not only a graduate student at UNCW, but a teaching assistant as well. He says his previous work experience will be a great asset if elected.

“Being an auditor is possibly the best experience you can have to be a city council member, because you have to look at budgets, and you have to make independent decisions about what makes a sense in the budget and what doesn’t,” Fulton said.

The 31-year-old says he has never run for public office, but he felt like now is the time to get involved with the high unemployment rate and other issues that have become problems.

“I think our tax burden is a big problem,” Fulton said. “I think our zoning code are to elaborate, there are big obstacles to starting business in Wilmington. Water and sewer rates seem to be spiraling higher and higher.”

As a candidate ulton has received significant attention, both good and bad. Most recently the website www.therealjoshuafulton.com has surfaced, which says it exposes Fulton’s true motives.

“It’s a hateful thing,” Fulton said of the site. “I’m surprised by it. I was not enthusiastic or happy about it at all, but and at the same time brushed it off. I think it’s just a little thing I’m not to concerned about.”

Concerned or not, Fulton did address some of the website’s claims.

“When you hear stuff like that when they’re questioning whether you can even support yourself… I do make enough money to support myself otherwise I would be in the streets. I teach to classes at UNCW in the creative writing department. I’m also working part-time this campaign season and then I go out and campaign,” Fulton said.

Fulton says despite what distractions may be out there he hopes the voters of Wilmington will see that it’s time to elect someone who is willing to work.

“I don’t see them putting in the effort, and that has big ramifications when it come to city government.”

In the coming week’s WWAY will introduce you to the other Wilmington City Council candidates. Tomorrow we’ll profile Napier Fuller.

More: continued here



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