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Archive for November, 2011

Film on Lejeune water comes to Wilmington, Jacksonville

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Jerry Ensminger and the movie about him are coming back to where the story began in July 1983.

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Veterans remember during ceremony at National Cemetery

Friday, November 11th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Hundreds of patriotic Americans gathered at Wilmington’s National Cemetery today. It was in part a chance to mourn and a time to honor veterans and active service members.

‘Never ever forget what they have done for this nation,” Vietnam veteran Bill Ebersbach. “Some of them gave everything. That’s what these people are. These are my comrades. They went before. We’ll preserve that forever.”

The Veterans Day Remembrance Ceremony was an emotional and moving event for all in attendance. Veterans like Ebersbach visited with students from Wilmington Christian Academy sharing their stories.

Ebersbach spent 10 years in the Marines and was wounded in Vietnam. He says he wants current service members to be better received than he was.

“The feelings of the country at that time were very anti-military, they were very anti-war,” he said. “The idea of the returning serviceman was not an honor at that point and since that time it has been the mission of those men and women that came home from Vietnam to make sure that that attitude never ever prevails again. We will remember our fallen, and our servicemen from today.”

Also on hand were members of the American Star Mothers. The group consists of those who have lost a child serving in the military, like Vivian Scharver. Her son died while serving in Granada.

“The importance of honoring veterans is so you never forget,” Scharver said. “After all, they died and are serving for us so we can stand here and be free. Every day we should thank a veteran.”

Marines from Camp Lejeune were there to present the colors and end the ceremony will a rifle volley.

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Leland leaders look at changing town’s sign rules

Friday, November 11th, 2011

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — The Town of Leland is making changes to sign laws and the permitting process for signs. The Leland Sign Committee has been working over the last several years to try and simplify advertising for business owners. Today was another step in the process.

The Sign Committee primarily kept two things in mind when making changes: the Master Plan of Leland and small business owners.

“If you’re not user-friendly and business-friendly to them, it’s going to be difficult to get people to come here,” business owner Dennis Walsh said. “I think that the town is taking the right role in putting the ordinances in place, reviewing them and making them user-friendly.”

Walsh owns Charlie MacGrooders, a bar and restaurant on Village Road. He’s been there about five years and says he’s happy with the town and the customers, but not so thrilled about the placement of his current roadside sign.

“We are trying to make things as accessible to them as possible,” Sign Committee chair Allison Engebretson said. “We understand that it’s a hard economic time. We really want to expand as much square footage to them as we can, so we’ve tried to allow more signs.”

Engebretson said the ordinance does not allow for bigger signs but more of them. She said economic development is key to Leland’s growth.

Keeping the town modern and appealing to the eyes is also a concern. Walsh agrees with keeping signs current and uniform and hopes the new rules will help his business.

“We are creatures of habit, and we’ve also become, I don’t want to say a lazy society, but if you pass it, your thought is, well, I’ll find another one,” Walsh said.

Engebretson said, “We have allowed more flexibility for the Town of Leland. We’ve incorporated more signs into the ordinance, specifically more signs that don’t require a permit.”

There is no final word on when business owners will have to update their signs. Some board members suggest as far off as five or ten years, which Walsh thinks is too much time. He said marketing is crucial to business, so a new sign would be an investment and an upgrade and something business owners should make a plan to pay for.

Leland leaders will talk about the sign rules again December 5 at 6:30 p.m.

Click here for a look at the sign ordinance in detail.

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ONLY ON 3: D-Day veteran remembers day that changed history

Friday, November 11th, 2011

HAMPSTEAD, NC (WWAY) — There are many stories and many heroes on this Veterans Day, but World War II veterans are, sadly, a dying breed.

Bill Pepe was in one of the most infamous battles of the war.

“On D-Day I found myself on Omaha Beach,” Pepe said.

Pepe was front and center for some of the most fierce fighting of the war on June 6, 1944.

“I hit the beach at 8:30. I think the initial wave was at 7:30. You might call the situation controlled chaos,” he said.

Pepe says the battle did not go according to plan, and the men on the ground had to fight for themselves. He does not try to remember the war, but some things he cannot forget.

“Indescribable carnage, and the sounds; mostly screaming, people dying,” Pepe said. “You could hear guys calling for their mother. Mostly everybody when he dies calls for his mother.”

Pepe says the German army hit the US with heavy casualties, especially American officers.

“That beach was won primarily by green fighting kids who had never seen combat before,” Pepe said.

Pepe went into war as an engineer and was highly decorated for his efforts. He returned home to a successful career.

Pepe and his wife live in a comfortable home in Hampstead, but memories of fighting are never far away.

A flag flies in front of Pepe’s home. At the base is a plaque memorializing his son, who gave his life fighting for our country in Viet Nam.

Pepe is proud to have served his country and done his job to secure our freedom. He has put many of his memories on his website. http://wpepe.110mb.com/

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Rash of crashes with pedestrians claims several lives

Friday, November 11th, 2011

New Hanover County is No. 2 for pedestrian crashes in state.

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