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Archive for February, 2012

Film Commission says incentives making big impact on local economy

Monday, February 27th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Some big bucks from the film industry spilled into our local economy last year. In fact, productions spent more than $100 million in our area. But how is the money really spent, and is it staying local?

The magic of filmmaking is seen frequently on the streets of Wilmington.

Stephen Thompson spent nine years on “One Tree Hill.” Just because the curtain has fallen on that show, does not mean he’s now twiddling his thumbs.

“It’s been insanely busy,” Thompson, a director of photography said. “I’ve gotten calls for three shows in the past week. If they all come in I’ll be busy all year. Everybody’s going to be busy all year.”

For now, Hollywood East is living up to its name. The Wilmington Regional Film Commission says productions spent $113 million in our area last year.

Film Commission head Johnny Griffin says that money is all spent locally. Money spent outside the state is not counted.

“Typically about 60 percent of what they spend is on local labor, people they hire, local crews they employ, and about 40% is on goods and services, everything from things they purchase — lumber, paint, set dressing, furniture — things they rent — automobiles, hotel rooms, equipment. So it’s money they spend with local vendors,” Griffin said.

Where do those numbers come from? The productions themselves. They fill out a form anticipating how much money they will spend. The final numbers are figured much later.

“Once the film is completed, before they can file for the incentive, they actually have to go through an audit with the state, and once they go through the audit with the state, those figures are finalized,” Griffin said.

And that could take a couple of years.

Griffin says the state’s 25-percent film incentive is driving our the show business in our area right now. Not having a competitive incentive is what led productions away from us to other states.

More: continued here

Hill, Justice say increased pensions no factor in leaving legislature

Monday, February 27th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A few of the Cape Fear’s most prominent legislators are not seeking re-election, but they will get bigger than pensions than if they’d left office earlier.

Representatives Dewey Hill and Carolyn Justice have served 30 combined years in the state house. They are among a group of lawmakers stepping away with special pension perks.

A law passed last year lets lawmakers to add an expense allowance to their base salary. That increases the amount of pensions they can or will get at age 65.

That means 65-year-old Justice (R-16th District) will get more than $10,000 a year.

Hill (D-20th District), 86, will get more than $20,000 a year.

Both say the demands of the job are much more than any part-time job. They insist the change in pensions had no impact on their decisions to leave office.

“I had no idea it was going to be changed to ($10,000),” Justice said. “No, it has nothing to do with it. It’s what I said to begin with. When I said it way back then, you vested at five. I could have retired at five and had it.”

Hill said, “I made up my mind a year ago that I was going to retire at the end of this session. I didn’t announce it, but I made that up. It’s just time to move on.”

Both representatives said they went to Raleigh not for the money, but to make a difference for the state and their districts.

More: continued here

Etheridge hasn’t yet filed for governor

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — As the number of official candidates for North Carolina governor continues to climb, one high-profile competitor has been relatively quiet as the deadline approaches.

Former US Rep. Bob Etheridge announced his bid Feb. 2, a week after fellow Democrat and Gov. Bev Perdue said she wouldn’t seek a second term. Etheridge has formed a campaign committee but had yet to file his candidacy papers with the State Board of Elections as of Monday afternoon. The 2½-week filing period ends at noon Wednesday.

Etheridge didn’t immediately return a call to his Harnett County home Monday seeking comment. A longtime Etheridge campaign fundraiser said the campaign would be back in touch.

Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and state Rep. Bill Faison are the other leading candidates for the May 8 primary.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

More: continued here

Spill forces lane closure on S. College Road for hours

Monday, February 27th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Department of Transportation crews are working to clean up a spill that has forced a lane closure on S. College Road in Wilmington, according to New Hanover County Dispatch.

Dispatch says the call came in around 11:45 a.m. in front of Best Buy. No word on what the spill is or how long it will take to clean up other than “a few hours.”

More: continued here

First house listed at more than $3 million sold since 2010

Monday, February 27th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE) — Intracoastal Realty reached a significant sales milestone this month, with the $3.15 million sale of 14 Southridge Road on Wrightsville Beach, NC. This is the first sale over $3 million in Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender counties since October 2010 and the first $3 million-plus sale on Wrightsville Beach since September 2009, according to local MLS data.

The nearly 5,000 square foot home is one of Wrightsville Beach’s premier oceanfront estates, with fantastic views of the Atlantic Ocean and a host of luxurious amenities. Intracoastal Realty agents represented both the buyer and seller of the property. The sales team of Angie Pool & Associates marketed the property, and Susan Keck of Bobby Brandon’s team negotiated the sale on behalf of the buyer.

The last $3 million-plus home sold in the area was Intracoastal Realty’s Margaret Barclay’s Piper’s Neck Road listing on Figure Eight Island, which sold for $3,495,000 on October 25, 2010. The last sale above $3 Million on Wrightsville Beach was Intracoastal’s Mark Bodford’s Parmele Blvd listing, which sold for $3.2 Million on September 15, 2009.

“The recent uptick in the sale of high-end properties is a potential indicator for a recovering real estate market,” said Jim Wallace, CEO of Intracoastal Realty. “We’re encouraged by the resurgence and think it bodes well for a recovering market.”

According to the Wilmington MLS, five properties have sold for $1 million or more since January 2012. During the same period last year, only one property sold for over $1 million.

Intracoastal Realty is the area leader in selling luxury properties. In 2011, Wilmington MLS data showed that Intracoastal Realty sold 41 properties in excess of $1 million, while the second place company sold eight.

More: continued here



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