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Archive for May, 2012

Lanes on Isabel Holmes Bridge to close next week

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

RALEIGH, NC (NCDOT NEWS RELEASE) — The NC Department of Transportation will close lanes in each direction on the Isabel Holmes Bridge on U.S. 74/76 in New Hanover County beginning Monday for a bridge inspection.

One of the two northbound lanes across the Cape Fear River will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, May 21, and Tuesday, May 22, and again from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, May 23.

One of the two southbound lanes will be closed at noon on Wednesday, May 23, and remain closed until 3 p.m. The southbound lane also will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, and Friday, May 25.

A lane of traffic in either direction will remain open for the duration of the inspection.

NCDOT reminds motorists to watch signs for merging traffic, stay alert and obey the posted speed limit.

For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit www.ncdot.gov/travel or follow NCDOT on Twitter at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a smartphone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type “m.ncdot.gov” into the browser of your phone.

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Wilmington City Council to consider budget plans tonight

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A ballpark proposal is not the only big thing on Wilmington City Council’s agenda tonight. Council will also begin looking at next year’s budget.

According to a city spokeswoman, Council will get a presentation on the recommended 2012-13 budget and take the first of two votes on the plan.

Highlights according to the city:

-A hold-the-line budget that maintains core services but does not include any significant increases for new or enhanced services;
-Proposes a 3-cent tax increase that would provide dedicated funding for needed maintenance and infrastructure, such as street and sidewalk repairs and paving, which have been put on hold during the economic downturn. If approved, the funds would be put into a separate account to pay for a five-year maintenance plan that could not be used for anything else. According to the 2012 Citizen Survey, maintenance and infrastructure needs are the top priority for city residents.
-According to data from the 2011 New Hanover County property revaluation, even with the increase, 50% of property owners would still pay the same or less in taxes because of decreased property values.
-Includes funding for 13 police officer positions previously funded through a federal grant as well as a 2-percent pay raise for employees.
-Does NOT include any proposed funding for a baseball stadium in Wilmington; any such proposal is expected to come on the heels of a completed feasibility study by the city’s baseball management consultant in mid-June.

City Council is expected to hold a public hearing on the budget at its June 5 meeting. A second and final vote should come at the June 19 council meeting.

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Edwards campaign finance chairman paid mistress

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Associated Press

GREENSBORO, NC (AP) — Records introduced at John Edwards’ corruption trial show his campaign finance chairman paid the candidate’s mistress a $9,000 monthly cash allowance.

Wealthy Texas lawyer Fred Baron is one of two political supporters who gave nearly $1 million to help hide Edwards’ pregnant mistress Rielle Hunter as he sought the White House in 2008. The money was used for private jets, stays at luxury resorts and a $20,000-a-month California rental mansion.

Evidence introduced Tuesday shows Baron was also making regular deposits in Hunter’s checking account. The money totaled $74,000 in 2008. Baron died of cancer in October of that year.

Edwards has pleaded not guilty to campaign finance violations stemming from the money used to support his mistress. He faces up to 30 years in prison.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Back Then – Port City gets ration books in 1942

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Looking back at stories from the StarNews archives.

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NC disability rights group files federal complaint

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A disability rights group has filed a federal complaint charging that North Carolina children in private psychiatric facilities did not receive proper educational services.

The nonprofit Disability Rights NC is asking the US Department of Education to investigate.

The complaint filed last week with the federal agency follows an investigation by the nonprofit group and law student from the University of North Carolina who interviewed patients at a treatment facility in Charlotte. The group’s previous complaints have resulted in changes at a North Carolina school for the deaf and at facilities for adults with mental illnesses and the elderly.

The Associated Press left messages for officials with the US Education Department and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services that were not immediately returned Tuesday morning..

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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