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Archive for October, 2011

Wilmington officials suspend enforcement of sign rule

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

The Wilmington City Council decided Tuesday to suspend enforcement of a regulation that restricted the number of signs businesses can have in their storefronts windows.

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Tony Blair tells Greensboro audience America needs to stop self-doubt

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — The British leader who led his country
to war in Iraq and peace in Northern Ireland has told a North
Carolina audience that the United States is experiencing
self-doubt, not decline.

Tony Blair said Tuesday in Greensboro that Americans should stop
wanting the world to love them. He urged the U.S. to keep a stiff
upper lip and remember that its values of freedom, democracy and
rule of law are what the rest of the world wants.

Blair is the leading peace envoy representing the U.S., European
Union, United Nations and Russia as they work for a settlement
between Israel and the Palestinians. Blair says the details of a
peace deal can be worked out, but the hard part will be getting the
two sides comfortable living side by side.

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

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Wilmington City Council suspends sign ordinance enforcement for 30 days

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington sign ordinance has drawn a lot of attention recently as violation notifications have started hitting businesses. Now some Wilmington City Council members are rethinking their positions on that ordinance.

City Council voted Tuesday night to suspend enforcement of its sign ordinance for 30 days.

That will give business owners time to voice their complaints and council time to make any changes to the ordinance if necessary.

“We’re listening to the citizens,” said Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo. “We want to hear what they have to say. We’re going to go back out there and take a look at this thing and hopefully come up with something that makes sense.”

The ordinance was adopted in 2008 but many retailers just became aware of it after receiving tickets.

“A lot of people were very upset when they received violation notices,” said Chris Andrews, a representative of the Downtown Business Alliance. “(Business owners) realized the impact that it could potentially have on their business, being able to promote their business.”

For merchants the big issue with the ordinance is that only 10% of their windows can be covered. Many of them argue that hurts the effectiveness of store advertising.

If after 30 days time the council deems it necessary, they could alter the ordinance and up that percentage.

Mayor Bill Saffo says they will revisit the issue but that downtown does have an improved look.

“There was a lot of old posters, there was a lot of old signs that had been up in some windows for quite some time according to what some of our staff had shared with us, but it does look better,” said Saffo.

Some members of City Council were concerned that downtown will have a cluttered look if too many posters are allowed.

In the end they decided they will need to hear more from stake holders before anything in the ordinance is changed.

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Two people wanted in connection with a weekend murder

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Brunswick County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for a man wanted for a weekend murder in the Longwood community. Detectives have warrants for Alfred Lamont Butler, 36, for first degree murder, possession of firearm by felon and discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling.

Investigators say Butler shot and killed Sherman Aundo Daniels, 54, at a home on Carlon Road just before noon Sunday.

Butler, who is also known as Hakeem Ahmad Muhammad or Peanut, could still be in the Longwood community or in Horry County, SC.

Deputies are also looking for Johntoria R. Walton, 26, for accessory after the fact and aiding and abetting Butler. Deputies believe she may be with the suspect at this time.

There’s a $500 reward for information on where Butler is. Contact the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office at (910) 253-2777 and ask for Detectives Kyle Jones or Tony Caison if you have any information on this case.

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Sink or swim for Crystal Pier

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — It’s sink or swim for a pier at Wrightsville Beach. The Crystal Pier off the Oceanic Restaurant faces a dilemma: be repaired or be demolished.

“We’ve had a few concerns over the past few years, especially when a storm would be near, and they have been working with us, the owner and the engineers, so we feel like this problem will be resolved one way or the other,” Wrightsville Beach Director of Planning and Parks Tony Wilson said.

The Crystal Pier already has a section that is closed to the public. That section is either going to be removed or repaired after a report by Andrew Consulting engineers.

“I hate to see it come down, but if it’s a safety issue then we certainly wouldn’t want anybody hurt,” beach visitor Vicki Shaw said.

The decision is not in the hands of the town of Wrightsville Beach. Instead it will come from the owner of the pier.

Lou Moshakos, president and owner of LM Restaurants, owns the Oceanic Restaurant, but leases the property from Monica Watson. Moshakos says that they are reviewing the engineering report now and should have a decision in the next few days.

For people who like going to the restaurant, they just hope it wont affect their view.

“I enjoy going to the restaurant there at the Oceanic and sitting outside,” Donald Shaw said.

The Town of Wrightsville Beach has not discussed a time frame for when the decision must be made.

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