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Archive for January, 2013

Authorities still searching for suspect in surf shop robbery

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Tsunami Surf Shop in Surf City was robbed early in the morning of Jan. 12 at approximately 3:12 a.m. Reportedly, the suspect stole about $700 and merchandise from the store, and authorities are still searching for him.

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Carolina Farmin’ considers expansion; future of current site unknown

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

The company will be getting out of the general grocery business – detergent, canned goods and the like – over the next few weeks, a spokeswoman says.

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WDI has ideas for the future of Water Street Parking Deck

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

The future of the Water Street parking deck is still unclear, but Wilmington Downtown Inc. is already drawing up plans for what they want to see in that location.

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ONLY ON 3: Rescuers describe saving man from sinking car

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — An elderly man is lucky to be alive after driving his car into the waterfront last night in Southport. And it’s all thanks to three young men who did not hesitate to jump in the water and free him from the sinking car.

It all happened in a matter of seconds. Southport Police say around 10:30 p.m. Monday, a car driven by 77-year-old Jaochin Wallrath came barreling down Howe Street ripping by Southport Waterfront Park with no sign of stopping.

“It came straight ahead, struck the bulkhead and became airborne and went into the water,” Southport Police Chief Jerry Dove said.

C.J. Bryant, 18, was out with his girlfriend and his brother at the waterfront when he noticed something strange.

“We heard an engine rev up real loud, and we just happened to turn around and see a car that nearly hit my car,” Bryant said. “It went over the speed median and straight into the water.”

Bryant and his brother Cameron took off, toward the car.

Jacob Puskas, 16, was the first to reach the water. The trio worked together to free Wallrath, who was unconscious as the waters were rising.

“The first thing I did was grab the door to see if it was unlocked,” Cameron Bryant said. “It wasn’t. I noticed the car was drifting and asked Jacob to help me push the car back to a safer location.”

“We swam out there, pushed the car back and busted the doors open to get him out,” Puskas said.

“The water was way over my head but I knew I had to do something, or this guy would have possibly drowned or froze to death,” C.J. Bryant said.

The young men pulled Wallrath to the shore. Within minutes, they watched as the car slipped beneath the water’s surface.

Cameron Bryant, 20, serves in the US Navy. He said some of his training kicked in as he moved toward the victim

“As I ran, I took off my sweatshirt, because combat training tells us to take off our shirts because, that’s the first thing they can grab on to drown you,” he said.

Emergency crews arrived on scene as Wallrath regained consciousness.

The three rescuers say they just did what they felt was right by saving his life.

Wallrath showed his gratitude.

“He said thank you as soon as we got him up to the land,” Puskas said.

Wallrath is listed in good condition at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

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MARKING HISTORY: Blockade runner Modern Greece

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

FORT FISHER, NC (WWAY) — The local history throughout the Civil War is well documented, but a certain, less talked about piece of the past is now being showcased through a new highway marker.

At Fort Fisher, there’s an abundance of history to tour whenever we’d like on land, but under the waves of the Atlantic Ocean there’s another type of history that you don’t see.

It was a ship on a mission: Help the Confederacy by delivering desperately-needed supplies. The Modern Greece was a British owned blockade runner, that was none too successful.

On June 27, 1862, the vessel headed for Fort Fisher, but was quickly spotted by federal forces and was bombarded by fire. To make sure the supplies wouldn’t fall into Union hands, Fort Fisher opened fire to sink the ship to the ocean floor, where it would lie untouched for another 100 years.

In 1962, Navy divers took to the sea and started to recover artifacts by the thousands. That idea – to excavate important shipwrecks just off the coast – was the start of a new science for North Carolina.

“It was the site that created underwater archaeology in North Carolina when it was first examined and excavated 50 years ago,” NC Underwater Archaeology Branch Director Billy Ray Morris said.

Now, the Underwater Archaeology Branch operates out of Fort Fisher and restores artifacts like these from the Modern Greece.

“Once they come up off the bottom, if they don’t get put in the hands of a professional conservator in a laboratory such as we have here, they’ll go away, they’ll fall to pieces. They can take years and years,” Morris said.

To recognize the importance of this wreck, not just to history, but to the establishment of this science, a new highway marker was dedicated at a ceremony at the fort Saturday. This way, new generations will come to know that there’s plenty of history to be found under the sea.

So far 11,000 artifacts have been recovered from the Modern Greece through the program.

The new highway marker will be installed this week on S. Fort Fisher Blvd. in Kure Beach.

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