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Archive for October, 2011

‘Project Soccer’ looks like loss for NC as SC Gov. plans announcement tomorrow

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — “Project Soccer” has been kicked back and forth between the Carolinas for months, but it seems the Palmetto State has scored.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley plans a major economic development announcement tomorrow in Sumter County. Word among North Carolina lawmakers is that officials from Continental Tire will announce their decision to build a factory south of the border, but what does losing this huge deal mean for our future?

Rep. Dewey Hill (D-20th District) says losing this deal will be a huge wake-up call to state legislators. He says he hopes they go after future deals more aggressively. Rep. Danny McComas (R-19th District) agrees and says something needs to change.

“We’re not leaving any stone unturned,” McComas said Wednesday. “We’re going to do everything we can to make sure we provide the jobs we so badly need in southeastern North Carolina.”

But “Project Soccer,” the code name for Continental Tire’s newest manufacturing plant, would provide our area with hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in investments. The company is believed to be considering land near the Brunswick-Columbus County line for the factory.

“The decision has not been made as of yet, so we’re still at the table, and we’re still doing everything we can to make it happen,” McComas said.

If South Carolina lands this deal, it will be the second tire plant to pump up the Palmetto State’s economy in a month. Bridgestone Americas is planning to expand its plant in Aiken by adding 850 new jobs to the area.

So why is it so hard for us to compete?

“We need to offer these industries an opportunity to come in so they’ll bring all of these other support industries,” McComas said. “If we are able to do that, we could certainly reduce our corporate tax rates and have a snowball effect.”

McComas says South Carolina put more cash incentives on the table, while North Carolina wanted to pay out its incentives over time. He says the problems lie within state government.

“You’ve got the governor, you’ve got the House, you’ve got the Senate, and we all need to get together and find a way to make it happen,” McComas said.

According to a South Carolina newspaper, “A state economic development board that approves incentive packages is set to meet at 10 a.m. on Thursday. They only item on the agenda is ‘a confidential economic development project’ in Sumter County.” Sumter is the other location Continental is believed to be considering.

Despite what lawmakers have told us, a spokeswoman for Continental Tire says she does not know of any announcement scheduled by company officials.

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Senate’s GOP leaders hampered incentive for plant, Dems contend

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Fingers are already pointing as the two states await final word on where Continental will build its plant and bring 1,400 or more jobs, signaling the start of a blame game that could linger until the 2012 elections, when Gov. Beverly Perdue and current state lawmakers seek re-election.

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Roger Bacon Academy speaks out about future Virgo charter school

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

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Diligence snags 1.5 tons of cocaine in Caribbean

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Diligence seized almost 3,000 pounds of cocaine on its latest patrol in the Caribbean Sea, according to a Coast Guard news release.

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ONLY ON 3: Belville mayor charged with sexual battery

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The mayor of one Brunswick County town is out of jail after being arrested this afternoon for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman at his home. This is not the first time Belville’s mayor has been publicly reprimanded recently for his actions.

Deputies arrested Belville Mayor Jack Batson today after a woman told the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Batson touched her inappropriately at his home.

According to the arrest warrant, the victim said Batson put his hand under her shirt and touched her breast over the weekend.

The sheriff’s office says the victim originally filed a report that the 70-year-old pushed her on to a bed and grabbed her at his home. After investigating, the sheriff’s office found that the incident was not a felony and had the victim file a warrant with the magistrate.

Deputies arrested Batson Wednesday afternoon for sexual battery. The mayor left jail under a $2,500 unsecured bond.

We tried to catch up with batson as he left jail, but he said he had no comment at the time, but would possibly talk after “I get my head together.”

Last month the Belville Town Council censured Batson for his relationship with a town employee. The censure said although Batson was not physically involved with the woman, the relationship was distracting and unprofessional.

We tried to speak with Belville Council members Wednesday about Batson’s arrest. We got in touch with a few members, including Mayor Pro Tem Mike Allen. Everyone we spoke with said it was they first they were hearing of the arrest, and they did not want to make a comment until they had more information.

The Brunswick County Court Clerk’s office says Batson should be in court tomorrow for his first appearance.

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