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Archive for August, 2012

Call 211: Service gives information about nonprofit help

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

United Way is aiding the community by providing free, confidential, round-the-clock referral for health and human services with the telephone number 211.

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As Isaac approaches Gulf Coast, volunteers prepare here

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Thankfully it looks like Hurricane Isaac has spared our part of the country, and local volunteers say they are ready to head down to the Gulf Coast if needed.

“My car is packed, and I’m ready,” Red Cross volunteer Janet Decou said.

Decou is one of more than 100 Red Cross volunteers in Wilmington on standby to help out in the wake of Hurricane Isaac.

‘As soon as we knew that there was something brewing down in the Atlantic, we went straight to work,” Red Cross spokesman Autumn Mihm said.

Tuesday morning, one Red Cross volunteer from Wilmington deployed for Louisiana to be a government liaison in the response headquarters.

Decou now volunteers as an emergency response vehicle driver, but seven years ago she responded to New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit.

“It was the most terrible storm I had ever seen in my whole life,” she said. “It was nothing that you would ever want to go and see again.”

Since then, the Red Cross has tweaked how it responds and prepares for similar storms.

“Every time that there’s a disaster, we just learn more and more,” Mihm said.

Technology also plays a larger part in the effort. The organization’s new free mobile Red Cross Hurricane app helps prepare you for a storm, find shelters close by and even alert loved ones that your safe.

Decou is grateful Isaac looks nothing like Katrina.

“Anything after Katrina is kind of easier, and we learn from every hurricane,” she said.

Duke Energy has released 420 contractors to go to the Gulf. Some of them have already left. The power company has not sent any of its own employees yet. It is waiting to assess damages before deploying workers.

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FIRST ON 3: New Hanover Co. approached with stadium plan; Ripken denies involvement

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A baseball stadium built without using taxpayer money. WWAY was first to uncover that’s an idea one group has brought to New Hanover County.

One city councilman calls it a rumor, while the county confirmed a group did approach it with this idea.

Cal Ripken’s name is once again linked to baseball in the Port City. A source involved in the discussion told us the Hall of Famer’s company Ripken Design is interested in building a stadium. It would be privately funded using public infrastructure, such as sewer.

County Manager Chris Coudriet confirmed all but the name.

“Baseball is a hot topic in our community. We did have an organization approach us a county government and say here’s an idea that could be considered,” Coudriet said.

Right now, the city is in talks with Mandalay Baseball Properties to build a taxpayer-funded stadium for an Atlanta Braves minor league team. The cost of the stadium and land could reach $37 million if voters in Wilmington pass a bond referendum in November.

The city had considered Ripken Design to do a feasibility for a ballpark, but it chose another company when Mandalay objected to Ripken’s involvement.

If news of a private stadium is true, it would throw a major wrench in the city’s plans. But Councilman Kevin O’Grady does not seem too concerned about this latest twist.

“What’s the source of the funding? That’s unidentified,” O’Grady said. “What’s the location? What about the infrastructure needs? I mean, if it exists at all, it’s nothing more than an idea.”

But if someone is willing to build a stadium for free, why wouldn’t City Council pursue it? Mayor Bill Saffo says he would be delighted to talk with the Ripken group about its idea.

Residents opposed to using taxpayer dollars to build a stadium say it’s a no brainer.

“If there’s a glimmer of hope that someone would come in and do this for us, then they should pursue it,” said Scott Harry, the leader of a group of business owners opposed to the tax-payer stadium plan.

Late this afternoon a PR person for Ripken Baseball said in an e-mail: “Ripken Design has spoken with the county through a mutual acquaintance while we were doing a facility assessment at UNC Wilmington. These conversations with the county were only in regards to the process of building a county-owned stadium.”

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Divided board fires Brunswick DSS director

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Connelly’s efficiency efforts cut client waits, but burdened workers

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Teachers book to share beach images

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

A University of Guam graduate with a degree in marine ecology, Daniel Norris has spent the past 15 years teaching biology at Cape Fear Community College

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