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Archive for October, 2013

Food Stamp recipients to see benefit adjustments

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (NEWS RELEASE) — Food stamp recipients will see additional changes to their benefit amounts in coming months, with an increase in October followed by a decrease in November.

The program’s annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will provide an increase in the amount of benefits program recipients see, effective October 1, 2013. But reductions will follow, a result of the loss of funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was put in place in 2009. The part of the law that allowed increases was limited to five years, expiring November 1, 2013.

The decision for the reduction is based solely on federal requirements and the local office has no control over the amount of reductions.

“In other words, people will see an increase in benefits in October, but then see a reduction in November,” said Cathy Lytch, Director of Social Services. “We know this reduction will create a hardship, which is why we want people to be aware that there will be a decrease, so they can plan ahead.”

Brunswick County Social Services administers the Simplified Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps. The program has seen several changes recently, including an online application system called ePASS, available at epass.nc.gov, which is tied to the new NC FAST computer system.
Food stamp benefits are issued automatically on an EBT card monthly. The system will determine the reduction amount for each case. Brunswick County’s Social Services office will not be involved with processing the October increases or November decreases.

Recipients are encouraged to call the EBT call center at 1-866-719-0414 on their benefit issuance date to find out how much is on their card.

“We want people to realize it is not a glitch in the system, nor a decision made locally,” Lytch added.

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Robbers get nothing after holding up Leland diner owner

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — A Leland restaurant owner was held up at gunpoint last night, but the crooks got away with nothing, police say.

Leland Police say two black men wearing dark-colored clothes and bandanas confronted Bharat Jethawa, owner of Shirley’s Diner at 112 Village Road around 9 p.m. Police say one of the men had a pistol and demanded Jethawa hand over his money. When Jethawa explained that he had no money, the suspects ran off.

Police asked the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit for help tracking the suspects, but could not find them.

Later in the night, men with a similar description approached workers at the Pizza Hut on Oleander Drive in Wilmington, but workers were able to get back inside safely and lock the door, and the suspects left.

There’s no word yet if the two incidents are connected. They are the latest in a string of robberies the last couple of months that have targeted restaurants in Wilmington and Leland at night.

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Amazon.com raises free shipping minimum to $35

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon.com customers will need to spend more money on the site in order to qualify for free shipping.

The online retailer raised the minimum order size needed for free shipping to $35 from $25. The change, made Monday, comes ahead of the busy holiday shopping season.

Amazon.com Inc. is pushing customers to sign up for its Amazon Prime service, which costs $79 a year. Members receive free two-day shipping on millions of items on the site.

In a post on its website, Amazon.com Inc. says that it’s the first time it has increased its free shipping minimum in more than a decade.

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

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Students, public benefit from products, services sold at schools

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

To get a degree, they’ve got to learn how to build a boat. To build a boat, they’ve got to have money to buy supplies.

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Transportation director hopes video shows dangers of boarding a school bus

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

The transportation director in Brunswick County showed a video taken in 2008 to county leaders earlier this month of a child in West Virginia who was nearly hit by a car while he was trying to get on the bus. Watch the RAW video inside.

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