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Archive for October, 2011

After the deluge, first shot of cold fall air will blow in

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

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‘Hometown Hall of Famer’ Jurgensen honored at alma mater

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A football legend born and raised in the Port City was recognized today during a special ceremony at his alma mater.

Before he was named to the NFL’s 1960s All-Decade Team, before playing 18 seasons with the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles and before he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, Sonny Jurgensen started his gridiron career as a quarterback for the New Hanover High School Wildcats.

“I started as a freshman at New Hanover, being on the knee, on the ground throwing the football, learning how to throw the football, learning the motion and what you’re supposed to do,” Jurgensen recalled Tuesday.

More than half a century after his high school career ended, Jurgensen was honored again by his alma mater Tuesday as a “Hometown Hall of Famer.” In 2007 the field here Legion Stadium was named after Jurgensen and fellow Wildcat quarterback and NFL veteran Roman Gabriel.

Tuesday two of his high school teammates presented a plaque dedicated to Jurgensen. The living legend says out of all his awards over the years, this one hits especially close to home.

“This is very special, because this is where it all started,” Jurgensen said. “To come back here to Wilmington, this is where, like these young men that are on the team here at New Hanover, this is where they are getting their introduction to taking a part and participating in a team sport.”

Jurgensen got a chance to give the current Wildcats advice on how they can accomplish their dreams.

“It’s how badly do you want it? What commitment? What passion do you have to be the best that you can be? And that’s what I did,” he said.

After playing his college ball at Duke, Jurgensen was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and won three NFL passing titles. He still does color commentary for Redskins games on the radio in Washington.

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ONLY ON 3: $2M Leland fire station sits empty, seldom used

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — A shiny new fire station sits on NC 133 in Leland. It actually opened as a fire-police-rescue station nearly four years ago, but there is not much going on there.

“The station is not manned from a police or fire standpoint, either one, and a lot of that has to do with the economy being what it is,” Leland Fire Chief John Grimes said.

Grimes admits the fire station is relatively empty. That was not the plan when it opened in February 2008.

“It is set up that whatever point the economy comes back around and the funding comes back enough to we can place career personnel in that station,” Grimes said.

Grimes says the department gets money from fire fees homeowners pay annually. New construction adds to that fund, but without new homes being built the money just isn’t there. So why build it in the first place?

“The town did some annexation and determined they needed to provide some additional fire protection,” Leland Town Manager Bill Farris said.

Chief Grimes says the fire station was necessary to improve Leland’s fire rating from a seven to a six.

The land was donated, but even so, there’s a $2.2 million fire station with two engines not being used that often.

“It’s very easy to justify,” Grimes said. “I can speak personally for myself, the change from a seven to a six was $200 for me. If you looked at how many homes are in the Leland area that was covered by that station, I can guarantee you that those monies, in one year, would come really close to paying that station and those engines, and we’re talking three years now. It’s already paid for itself in savings to the taxpayers.”

It’s estimated it would cost about $450,000 a year to fully staff the fire station. The fire department says it does not have that kind of cash, and unless the town pays it, it looks like the station will remain empty at least until the economy turns back around.

Chief Grimes says his department does use the fire station to run its junior programs. Plus, it was staffed with paramedics and firefighters during Hurricane Irene, which is the plan during times of natural disasters.

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Obama on NC, VA bus tour: ‘I’m the president’

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Associated Press

JAMESTOWN, NC (AP) — President Barack Obama says he’s touring Republican areas of North Carolina for a simple reason. “I’m the president,” he says.

Visiting Jamestown on Tuesday to continue pressing his ideas for creating jobs, Mr. Obama said he’s not the president of Democrats or the president of Republicans. He says he’s the president of all Americans who are going through tough economic times together.

Added Obama: “We don’t need a Republican jobs act or a Democratic jobs act. We need to put people back to work right now.”

Senate Republicans blocked Obama’s jobs bill last week. Obama says lawmakers will now break up his $447 billion jobs bill, a package of targeted tax cuts and direct spending proposals, and vote on the individual components.

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

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Appeals court confirms murder conviction in Wilmington officer death case

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

The N.C. Court of Appeals confirmed Tuesday the murder conviction of a man whose refusal to stop during a police pursuit, authorities say, led to the death of an officer in another part of town.A New Hanover County jury convicted Anthony Pierce last year of second-degree murder after a 2009 incident that left a Wilmington police officer dead as he rushed to join the chase.

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