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Archive for February, 2012

Thompson changes course, will run for re-election

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Jason Thompson is not done running for office after all. The first-term New Hanover County Commissioner changed his mind this morning and announced he will run for re-election despite saying earlier that he would not run.

Thompson made the announcement when he called into Chad Adams’s morning show on The Big Talker FM. He said a lot changed in the past 24 hours, and he feels this is the best decision for the county.

“There is a lot of stuff up in the air, and I just thought the citizens and the employees and, you know, everybody could benefit from some stability,” Thompson said. “If it required a little bit more sacrifice on my part, I was willing to do it.”

While he and Jonathan Barfield are running for re-election, if they lose, it would leave Brian Berger as the commission’s only incumbent. Thompson feels a rookie board would not be best now, as there are so many other changes taking place within county management.

Thompson said there’s two big things that need to be worked on.

“We are going to have to get our solid waste, you know, landfill, incinerator division settled, and we’re going to have to build a relationship with the city that’s better than the one that we currently have,” Thompson said.

Thompson told WWAY he started reconsidering his decision not to run after fellow commissioners Rick Catlin and Ted Davis decided to run for the North Carolina House of Representatives. Now, he says their decisions and his will potentially benefit New Hanover County.

“The relationship I have with them now is going to be crucial when they win, and we can do a lot for the county at the state level, so that had a lot to do with my decision,” Thompson said. “I think we are going to get a lot more done than we have in the past.”

Thompson said he was not going to run because he wanted to step away from public life. This morning he said part of what led him to run after all is that his 13-year-old son is a “political junkie.”

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House immigration panel hears from employers

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina lawmakers considering the state’s response to illegal immigration are hearing from representatives of businesses that have often hired cheap labor.

The House Select Committee on the State’s Role in Immigration Policy is sorting through the hot-button issue in this election year. The committee hears Wednesday from representatives of the home building, construction and farming industries.

It’s the legislative committee’s third meeting since it was created last year.

Critics complain that it hasn’t yet invited input from immigrant advocates.

The Pew Hispanic Center estimates North Carolina ranks ninth in population among the states with what it calls 325,000 unauthorized immigrants, defined as foreign-born citizens of other countries who aren’t legal immigrants.

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

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MyReporter finds out about Winnie of Winnie’s Tavern

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Winnie Swanson touched three legendary Wilmington eateries before her death in November 2008.

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Commissioner Jason Thompson to file to seek re-election

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

New Hanover County Commissioner Jason Thompson will seek re-election to the county board

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JUST ADD HOPE: Jazz musicians impact Wilmington, world

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington is full of arts, culture and music. Several internationally renowned jazz musicians were born and raised right here in the Port City. We spoke with one of the Heath Brothers and one of their friends and fellow musicians about the impact they’ve had on the world of music and Wilmington.

“It adds spice. It spices up our lives,” jazz musician Jimmy Heath said. “Music is life, and life is music.”

Those words are certainly true Heath. He has been performing ever since his father gave him a saxophone for Christmas when he was a little boy. Jimmy and his older brother Percy, who has died, were born and raised in Wilmington and both played in the Williston High School marching band. They moved up north shortly after and the third brother and musician, Tootie was born.

“Percy, even though he is deceased is and was one of the greatest bassists. Jimmy is, I consider, one of the top notch composer, arrangers and of course players in the last 50 years or so. Of course Tootie is one of the great drummers in the modern era,” friend and fellow musician Joe Chambers said.

Chambers is a professor of music at UNC Wilmington, a big fan of the Heath Brothers and also a friend who learned from them and played with them.

Jimmy and Tootie will be back in the Port City soon, not only to play with Chambers and put on a show but also to receive keys to the city because their career began here, and they are now considered jazz royalty. Jimmy says he’s proud of all their accomplishments, but this is extra special.

“They all are well-appreciated, and it’s always special to go where your roots are,” Heath said.

“It’s an uplifting and joyous feeling,” said Chambers, who credits the Heath Brothers with inspiring him to get into jazz.

Jimmy believes the joyous and spontaneous music is the most profound form of democracy.

“If you’re playing in a symphony orchestra, one person controls the whole set, the conductor. To me, that is more imperialist than democratic,” Heath said. “Jazz, each one of the members of the group is allowed to speak their musical expressions.”

Jimmy and Tootie plan to bring their form of democracy and of course spice to the Port city on March 10.

For more information about the Heath Brothers and how you can get tickets to the March show, visit the Cape Fear Jazz Society’s website.

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