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Archive for July, 2012

Lightning strike sparks house fire

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

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ABC Board shares increased profits with local government

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — More booze in New Hanover County means more money in local government coffers.

New Hanover County’s Alcohol Beverage Control Board saw a more than six-percent increase in sales in the last fiscal year. The ABC Board will distribute more of its profits to local governments than in the year before. Year-end figures also show large increases in retail sales as well as in liquor sold to bars and restaurants.

At today’s ABC board meeting, members found out year-end total sales grew to more than $33.4 million. Net income for 2012 after expenses and legislative distributions, was $2.55 million. That’s 13 percent higher than last year. Meanwhile Operating expenses dropped more than three percent.

The ABC Board approved additional profit distributions to New Hanover County, Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. Because of what the board called an exceptional year, this year’s disbursement will total $1.9 million. That’s up from $1.5 million a year ago. The county and municipalities will share the additional $400,000.

About 70 percent of all ABC sales come from its eight retail locations, with the rest from bars and restaurants. Retail sales have grown modestly, reflecting a weak economy. In 2011, lower priced product had accounted for much of the sales growth, but CEO Dan Sykes says consumers have recently begun trading up to premium brands. He also reports New Hanover County’s growing tourism trade and favorable weather helped surpass overall state trends this year.

ABC officials also credit better customer service for the increase in profits. Historically, all bars and restaurants in New Hanover County were serviced from the 17th Street location. However recent changes approved by the ABC board allow designated commercial customers to now purchase liquor from the Carolina Beach and Porter’s Neck ABC stores.

Sykes credited the ABC’s 41 full time and additional part time employees with improving sales and helping the system run efficiently. He also credits the combined city/county Downtown Task Force with sharply curtailing late evening disruptions and an overall increase in security for downtown patrons. Recognizing the success of the task force, the ABC Board will continue a $180 thousand contribution for a second year. The task force made 54 alcohol related arrests in the past month.

Major cost efficiency improvements were accomplished in product handling, order processing, budgeting and internal controls. Upgrading computer hardware and software has significantly improved purchasing, inventory and accounting controls.

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ONLY ON 3: HOA targets woman who blew whistly on condo racoon problem

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

CASWELL BEACH, NC (WWAY) — A Brunswick County woman says after she came to us with a story about a raccoon infestation, she became the target of her condo’s home owners association. Now she is trying to figure out how to keep her home while the original problem is still unresolved.

Susan Prater called WWAY in May complaining about raccoons in her attic and walls at Oak Island Beach Villas in Caswell Beach. After our story aired, Prater was told her two dogs broke the HOA’s rules, and they had to go. Prater found a new home for her dogs, but was then told she had to find a new place to stay.

“Within an hour and a half (of finding a place for the dogs), the owner of my condo received another letter, an advisory notice, stating if she did not formally disassociate herself with me, they were going to file a lawsuit against here,” Prater said.

Prater says she is sure the HOA did this in response to the media attention she attracted.

According to a report from the Brunswick County Health Department, the condo complex does have a raccoon problem. Prater says if the management would have just addressed the problem instead of ignoring it, none of this would have ever been an issue.

“This all started because the owner wanted something done about the raccoon issue,” Prater said. “Had she continued the fight, we wouldn’t be here today. This would be taken care of. She dropped the ball in the middle of it and then threw me under the bus in the process.”

We tried to talk to the condo’s owner, Ginger Harper, as well as the HOA and a representative from CAMS Property Management. No one returned our calls.

Prater went to court today to fight the eviction and won, because the judge said there were no grounds for her to leave.

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Cooler, wetter weather should help critters of Greenfield Lake

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

City workers have manually oxygenated the lake to try to help

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Hoggard principal leaving for new job in Scotland County

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Hoggard High School’s principal has accepted a new job in Scotland County. The Laurinburg Exchange reports the Scotland County School Board last night approved hiring Dr. Pam Baldwin as the county’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction.

Baldwin has not yet returned calls to confirm the move.

In a statement, New Hanover County Schools Superintendent Dr. Tim Markley congratulated Baldwin on her new job.

“We are sorry to see her leave our district, but opportunities such as this one do not come along very often,” Markley said. “She has been an excellent principal at Hoggard High School and has implemented several positive changes for the school. We wish her well in her new position.”

Baldwin started as principal at Hoggard in spring 2011. She is the school’s first female principal.

Baldwin made history a few months earlier. In December 2010 she became one of the first African-Americans to earn a doctorate from UNCW.

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