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Archive for October, 2011

Defense lawyer will not help Edwards at trial

Monday, October 10th, 2011

By MICHAEL BIESECKER
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A key member of the legal team defending John Edwards will not represent the former presidential candidate at his upcoming campaign finance trial following questions about a potential conflict of interest.

A motion filed by federal prosecutors says Raleigh defense lawyer Wade Smith will withdraw. The move comes after prosecutors questioned whether Smith had a conflict of interest due to a 2009 conversation with a financial advisor for Bunny Mellon, a wealthy socialite who provided the bulk of nearly $1 million used to support Edwards’s pregnant mistress as he ran for president in 2007.

According to the government, Smith told Mellon’s advisor Edwards knew the money was intended to help him. That appears to conflict with statements by Edwards that he knew nothing of the payments.

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

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CFCC partnership brings new bachelor degree program to Wilmington

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Residents and students will have a chance to learn about the area’s newest bachelor degree offerings on Wednesday at Cape Fear Community College.

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GE-Hitachi chips in money from golf tourney to United Way

Monday, October 10th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A big-name Wilmington company is working to help some worthy causes.

GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy presented a $30,000 check today to the united way from the annual GE United Way Golf Tournament.

GE-Hitachi and GE Aviation employees are loyal contributors to the annual United Way campaign. They aim to raise a total goal of $515,000 for the Cape Fear Region.

“The employees feel great, as you can see by the turnout,” GE-Hitachi CIO Tim Mellitt said. “We have the number one contributor of the community to the United Way. We raise over $500,000 in our goal, which is over 20 percent of the campaign, and the team gets excited about contributing the pledge and as well as giving their time.”

The United Way of the Cape Fear Area gives back to local non-profit programs that serve those in need right here in our community.

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Local leaders yet to hear from beach bus planner

Monday, October 10th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The idea of a Wilmington to beach shuttle may be ready to roll again. An entrepreneur from New York wants to hit the gas on a private beach bus not run by New Hanover County. Beach town leaders say they are open to hearing the idea, but so far, they have not received any official proposal.

A local newspaper recently reported that Dwayne Nelson wants to start a private bus run from Wilmington to Wrightsville Beach and Pleasure Island. We tried to get in touch with Nelson, but could not find any information for him or his company Port City Tours.

In a newspaper interview, though, Nelson said he plans to move to Wilmington in November and hopes to have his 60-passenger coaches up and running by spring. However, local leaders say Nelson has not approached them with his idea.

“It would be my suggestion that he make sure that this is something that the community wants and would be well-received by the community,” Wrightsville Beach Mayor David Cignotti said.

Cignotti said a lack of communication with the beaches was what led to the downfall of the Wave Transit beach bus plan. He said it’s better to consult the citizens before making a plan than to make a plan and present it to them.

Carolina Beach Town Councilman Dan Wilcox said this is the first he’s heard of the beach bus plan.

“Most of the residents I’ve talked to are OK with it as long as they are not paying for it directly,” Wilcox said.

He thinks a bus between beaches would be good for tourists and residents, but says including Wilmington could also have advantages.

Wilcox, Cignotti and leaders from Wilmington say there are permits needed for a project like this. They say they’re not making Nelson jump through hoops. They just want to be thorough and make sure they are benefiting their residents.

“Our town has always been a public beach,” Cignotti said. “On the other side, it’s a very very popular beach that sometimes in the summer, like on weekends, I think we’re probably at full capacity. I don’t think we can take more people and preserve our quality of life.”

Wilcox said, “We’re very business-friendly, and if it’s a good idea, then we’d be glad to take a look at it.”

Wave Transit recently proposed adding bus services to the beach’s by taxing each car owned in New Hanover County.

The private bus plan would be reportedly be funded solely through rider fares.

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Communities in School gala benefits students

Monday, October 10th, 2011

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Making a difference in the life of a child. That’s what you can do during the Communities in Schools 10th Annual Benefit Gala for Children.

It’s the biggest fundraiser of the year for the organization. There will be a live auction, silent auction, a band and plenty of food. Fourteen restaurants are taking part to give folks a little taste of Brunswick County.

All the proceeds helps communities in schools provide the tools students need to excel.

“We go into the schools with volunteers, we mentor, we have teen court, peer court, anything we can do to make a child succeed,” CIS’s Joan Madsen said. “That’s our main aim, to help a child succeed in life, stay in school and succeed in life.”

The gala is October 27 from 6 to 10 p.m. at Sea Trail Golf Resort and Convention Center in Sunset Beach. Tickets are $100 per person. You can call (910) 457-3494 for more information.

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