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Archive for December, 2011

ONLY ON 3: Tired of CFPUA, some customers digging wells

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s no secret that the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority has had its issues in the past three years.

Rate increases and the authority’s tier structure have many customers up in arms about the authority. It’s to the point some folks have decided to take getting water into their own hands.

“Just an astronomical increase in the bill. Astronomical,” customer Paul Buren said.

Right now, Buren’s water bill is about $100, but last summer he paid bills seven and eight times that to CFPUA because of watering his lawn. The extra water use moved his household into CFPUA’s third tier, which increased his rates even more.

“They’ve shown absolutely no concern with rising rates, and it’s only going to get worse,” Buren said.

Buren has decided to take action. In the spring, he’s having an irrigation well put in.

Buren says he’s not the only one in his neighborhood digging a well. Since May, seven people now have their own supply of water.

And Buren’s neighbors are not alone in their decision. According to well-digging companies, since CFPUA started in 2008, irrigation wells have been popping up all over New Hanover County.

“More and more people are having wells drilled,” said Jim Cornette, president of ARM Waterworks. “Their payoff is generally one summer where they’ll drill a well, a good water quality water supply well, and pay it off in one summer, so it’s a good investment for these folks.”

Cornette says his crews are only drilling wells for customers with large yards who need more water for irrigation.

Meanwhile, Buren says something needs to change within the CFPUA.

“They’re going to have to do away with the tiered structure, or there is going to be significant changes with that leadership,” he said.

We contacted the CFPUA to see what it had to say. So far a spokeswoman has not returned our call.

More: continued here

Online videos inspire over-the-top Christmas light displays, website in our area

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Christmas spirit is catching on, but not just any ordinary Christmas spirit. We’re talking about the type of Christmas spirit that has some families transforming their homes into living light displays.

Videos are making their way from e-mail to e-mail. Families are transforming their homes into spectacles. These light shows can even be found right here in the Cape Fear.

You probably recognize Ross Marino as WWAY’s resident financial expert, but he and friend Bryant Lester are also the producers of this creative display on Brevard Drive. They hope their creation will become a youtube sensation.

“Every year I’ve added a few string of lights and always enjoyed it,” Marino said. “This year, about a month and a half ago, I saw one of those YouTube videos and watched the animation and just thought, ‘I got to do that.’ I brought it up to a friend at work. He said, ‘I’m in,’ and away we went.”

The first step was finding out the type of equipment they need; like computer software that lets you program the action with the song. The other main piece to any light display is this controller box. You can find both online.

“Each cord coming out of the top and the bottom represents a channel, and when you looked at the Light-o-Rama computer program, you actually saw different fade-ins and fade-outs and different symbols,” Marino said. “Those run each of those channels.”

All those wires are everywhere on Marino’s property, but they each have a purpose.

So you might think how many hours of work did it take to get here? Marino and Lester estimate about 50 to 100 hours combined.

Lester says one of the most difficult parts was learning the software.

“I can probably teach somebody now everything it took me in 12 hours in one hour,” Lester said.

But one question remains: is all the work worth it? Marino says its worth every smile.

“I’ve noticed two types of reactions. One group of people say it’s great, they love it, they giggle and laugh. Then there is the second group that I think are junkies at heart. We hear cheering and clapping. They just sit outside of the house and watch and crank up their stereos and dance inside their car. Its just a lot of fun,” Marino said.

Marino and Lester are far from the only people in town putting up light displays like this. In fact, there’s a whole website devoted to them http://www.WilmingtonChristmasLights.com.

More: continued here

Voices of Conscience – Greiner aids deveopmentally disabled

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Fran Greiner’s volunteer work benefits the developmentally disabled and their families.

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Parents nit-picking over bump in head lice cases

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

School districts have differing policies for students with lice

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New Voter ID Resolution Passed

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — There’s a new local fight to require voters to show a photo identification before casting a ballot.

At Monday night’s Brunswick County Commission meeting, commissioners adopted a resolution to ask lawmakers to revisit the idea. Over the summer, Governor Bev Perdue vetoed a bill that would require voters to show their ID. Republican lawmakers were unable to garner enough votes to override that veto. Now, Brunswick County commissioners want it brought back to the table.

“Our board, by adopting that resolution, just suggested that they would like to see the veto override approved for HB351 or our delegation to sponsor a new bill,” said Brunswick County Manager Marty Lawing.

Lawing says there were different stragies discussed around the state as far as getting local bills passed for each county. He says the Attorney General said there would likely be some constitutional issues that would come up if that happened.

More: continued here

 

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