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Archive for June, 2014

UPDATE: Wilmington approves $30,000 for fireworks show

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington City Council approved a $30,000 budget Tuesday night for the 4th of July fireworks show.

The city will contribute $20,000 to the annual display, and two sponsors will each donate $5,000. The city is still looking for more donations to continue the pyrotechnic display for years to come. That’s something that might not be easy considering what happened this year when the city tried to find funds.

More than 40,000 people come downtown each year to enjoy the Independence Day fireworks. The city budgets $30,000 for the yearly event with costs intended to be covered by a big name business.

Unlike last year, this year’s strategy was to encourage local businesses to contribute. But, downtown business owner Mark Scharaga, and several others, said they were not asked to chip in.

“No, we have not been asked at all,” Scharaga said. “If I had the advertising budget of a larger business, I think it’s definitely one of those things that you should be involved in.”

The city is using the $10,000 it planned to spend this year along with $10,000 from next year’s budget to make up for this year’s lack of funding. But, the options for next year aren’t good if the city doesn’t get more donors. Wilmington might have to host a smaller display, or none at all. That doesn’t sit well with downtown business owners like Scharaga.

“I think it would be insane if they don’t have it. You know? I mean, it’s a tradition to have it. I mean, they’ve had it every year since I’ve been here,” Scharaga said.

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Thousands evacuated after ammonia leak at Tar Heel plant

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

TAR HEEL, NC (WWAY) — Smithfield Foods says it is working with local emergency agencies to determine the cause of an apparent ammonia leak at its packing plant in Tar Heel in Bladen County, a company spokeswoman said.

An employee tells us there was an ammonia explosion, which caused workers to have burning eyes and made it hard to breathe. Witnesses say there was a plume of smoke, and then workers started choking.

Around 11 a.m. about 2,400 workers were evacuated from the world’s largest pork processing plant after a water tank knocked off the valve of an inactive ammonia tank.

Those workers were the first shift. The second shift of about 2,400 workers will not come to work today.

About eight or nine people went to the hospital for observation. The company is not sure if that’s because of exposure to the ammonia or from heat exhaustion while they waited outside.

The incident is still under investigation.

A Smithfield representative said safety is a priority.

“Things do happen, but if you’re properly trained, and properly prepared, which we were, and we are, we’re prepared to handle what happens and especially with the support we receive from the agencies in the area,” Smithfield’s Dennis Pittman said.

The company won’t know when things will be back up and running until at least tomorrow. Still no word on if workers will be paid for missed shifts.

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NBC’s Brian Williams raps “Baby got Back”

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

NBC's Brian Williams raps “Baby Got Back” in video created by Tonight Show Host Jimmy Fallon.

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Effort aims to improve dental health of children

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

The Delta Dental Foundation seeks applications from nonprofit organizations to help fund dental education initiatives

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Galleria shopping center in lawmakers’ hands

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The future of the old Galleria shopping center is now up to the General Assembly. Both the Wilmington City Council and Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen approved an inter-local agreement to annex the property Tuesday night.

It stipulates that Wilmington py $7,200 a year in property taxes for four years and then $30,000 a year to Wrightsville Beach for 25 years.

A new developer to trying to fill the property with stores and apartments. Now, a lawmaker must submit a bill to make it a done deal.

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