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Archive for August, 2012

Carolina Beach passes beach smoking ban pending new state legislation

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — A smoking ban on the sand at Carolina Beach was approved Tuesday night, but with a few stipulations from town council.

According to the town’s attorney, current state statute does not allow the town to outlaw smoking at the beach. Because the beach does not fall under the state’s definition of public grounds, council cannot legally enforce a ban.

Council voted 4-1, passing a beach smoking ban with an effective date, pending a change in state law. Mayor Ray Rothrock was the only one not to vote in favor of the ordinance. Residents spoke out both for and against the ban during a public hearing.

“They can’t enforce it so like I said it’s a waste of time and I’m telling you right now the legislature in North Carolina is not going to pass this because they know it’s going to be violating individual rights,” said Frederick Fisher, who lives in Carolina Beach.

“I think they did show us tonight that they are in support of smoke free beaches and that this ordinance that they passed will help reduce litter and smoke from our beach,” said Ethan Crouch, a member of the Surfrider Foundation. “So we’re really excited.”

If the state ends up passing legislation that would allow the town to enforce a ban, it would be historic. Carolina Beach would be the first to ban smoking on a beach in North Carolina.

Also at Tuesday night’s meeting, town council was considering putting limitations on the number and sizes of patriotic and decorative flags allowed on properties.

In the end, council members decided the patriotic flags can stay. However, decorative flags will have new restrictions, only one being allowed every 50 feet instead of the old rule of every 25 feet.

Business owners were split on the decision. Some saying too many flags can serve as an advantage to businesses and others saying it is their right as an American to display flags as they please.

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Oak Island residents want independent audit

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Residents question costly wastewater project

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NC State Health Plan OKs new outside contracts

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The health insurance plan for North Carolina state employees, teachers, retirees and their family members has decided to diversify its outside contracts, which state officials say will save more than $20 million annually.

The State Treasurer’s Office announced this week the State Health Plan’s trustee board approved awarding some of the contracts to someone other than Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina – the state’s dominant health insurer.

Blue Cross won the contract to keep processing claims and to offer a provider network to health plan members. But the board awarded contracts to other firms for eligibility and enrollment services and to manage the program that offers insurance coverage for laid-off workers.

The contracts begin in July 2013 and last 3½ years.

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

8/14/2012 7:16:38 PM (GMT -4:00)

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Stained glass artist opens studio, offers classes

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Gail Anastasio recently opened a working studio and gallery featuring arts and crafts by local artisans.

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Carolina Beach approves smoking ban

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Town will wait to hear from legislature on effective date

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