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Archive for June, 2013

Business owners: Parking, weather, construction slowing sales downtown

Friday, June 28th, 2013

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Tourist season usually ushers in a new crowd of out-of-towners looking to spend a few bucks in downtown wilmington. But business owners say profits are down.

“I think it has to do with this weird weather we’ve been having this year,” Hardwire Tattoo owner Justin LaNasa said. “It took a while to warm up, and now it’s raining like crazy. And then it rained. Also, I feel that the gas prices has something to do with tourists not wanting to travel real far.”

LaNasa and other downtown business owners say parking is also to blame for slugging sales in the central business district.

“The little bit of money (the city makes) off parking is damaging the merchants, and that’s what keeps the bars and restaurants and the night activity high and the day activity less, because people don’t want to pay that parking fee when they could go somewhere else,” LaNasa said.

Earlier this year the city increased rates in its parking decks and changed the way it charges to park in them. Records show that about 2,700 fewer cars parked in city decks in May compared to the same month last year. Revenue is down in comparing those months, too, by nearly $2,700. But one tourist we spoke with says that’s not the cause of the slump in business.

“I don’t believe it’s the parking rates. They’re more expensive in other towns,” tourist Vern Moody said. “I mean five dollars for a day is, to me, reasonable.”

He says the economy is the real culprit.

Jade Edens, who works, at Penders Café disagrees. She says it is the parking.

“I think it’s the cost, and I think there’s not been enough on-street parking,” she said.

Business owners we spoke with say that although things are slow right now, with 4th of July just around the corner, and the weather clearing up, they’re hopeful that business will pick back up again, too.

Business owners say other factors affecting sales may be downtown construction and the fact they’re seeing more in-state visitors and fewer out-of-state tourists.

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CFCC instructor no longer with college after falsifying records

Friday, June 28th, 2013

A Cape Fear Community College instructor is no longer with the college after he falsified records

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TRAFFIC ALERT: Port City Bridges expect to go up Friday afternoon

Friday, June 28th, 2013

According to the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge tender, a barge is leaving the Port City causing both the of Port City Bridges to go up.

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NC House defeats 75 mph speed limit study

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A slowed-down effort to consider raising the maximum speed limit on some North Carolina highways to 75 mph has reached a stop sign at the legislature.

The House voted down a measure Thursday that would have directed the Department of Transportation to study raising the 70 mph speed limit on some interstates and other roads. DOT would then report to a legislative panel and propose a pilot for up to four roads. The full General Assembly would still have had to approve the pilot.

The bill failed 44-64 after several legislators were worried about safety and didn’t see a good reason to consider raising the limit.

The House last week derailed an earlier version of the Senate bill to give DOT the power for 75 mph roads without a study.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Future now unclear for Franco movie filming in NC

Friday, June 28th, 2013

WINSTON-SALEM, NC (AP) — The future of a new James Franco movie scheduled to begin filming in Winston-Salem appears to be in doubt after a casting call was canceled.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports that Phil Newsome of Altair Casting and Production Services LLC in Winston-Salem sent an email message saying there would be no auditions and no filming for “The Garden of Last Days.” No other details were available.

While a message on an answering machine at the casting agency urged callers to show up on Sunday, a link on the website said “The movie has been pulled.” A phone call seeking additional comment wasn’t immediately returned Thursday.

Altair was to hold an open casting call Sunday for the film, which was scheduled to be shot in the Winston-Salem area starting July 10.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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