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Archive for October, 2014

Fire department merger on the horizon?

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Should Wilmington and New Hanover County merge their fire departments? That was the question a new report hoped to answer. It is a report weighing the pros and cons of a possible merger between the two departments.

Talk of a merger took public input today at 2 separate meetings. Among the things discussed were whether taxes would go up because of a merger and what about insurance rates? The answer is unclear.

Members of the public were encouraged to attend and ask questions. Some did too, with most folks making it clear that they want their city and county departments to remain separate.

“At the end of the day I’m open to the idea of coordinating services for cost efficiency,” said Owen Wexler, a Wilmington resident.

“I wanna make sure that we have the fire department that we want and not something like the utility authority,” said Cathy Shipman, referring to the CFPUA merger.

This was the only day for the public to speak out before a decision is made on which direction to head with the merger.

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UPDATE: Fire Chief sounds off on consolidation project

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Two separate meetings were held to discuss fire department consolidation Wednesday night. The meetings stem from a recent study that looks at combining the Wilmington Fire Department and New Hanover County Fire Rescue.

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Accident sends 1 to the hospital

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — One person was sent to the hospital tonight after an accident in Murrayville. It happened off of Gordon Rd. at the intersection of Harris Rd. and Ivanhoe Rd.
State troopers say a car collided with a motorcycle. The driver of the motorcycle was taken to the hospital. No word on his condition or whether charges will be filed in connection with the crash.

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One hurt in crash involving car and motorcycle in New Hanover County

Thursday, October 30th, 2014
The driver of a motorcycle is in the hospital after a car collided with his motorcycle at the intersection of Gordon Road and Harris Road in New Hanover County.

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EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE: The Employee of the Half-Century

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

***SEE GEORGE’S VIDEO TONIGHT ON WWAY AT 11***

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — WWAY is celebrating 50 years and believe it or not, there is an employee at WWAY who has been here the entire time. George Allen is our Extraordinary Person of the Week. What he’s done for this station and the community makes him the “Employee of the…Half-Century”.

The year was 1964. WWAY would sign on for the first time in the Cape Fear on October 30th. At the time, old school was the new school and in school was a local boy about to graduate. “I was a student in high school,” George Allen told Daniel Seamans. “It was my senior year in high school and my brother was the first salesman(at WWAY), and he got me a job.”

His brother would land him a part time job. A young George Allen would think, at the time, that he’d work a little bit while he finished school. But a little bit turned into a lot.

“We were building sets, painting, constructing new sets at the time in the production crew,” George said. “I was running camera and whatever needed to be done.” Immediately, George would establish himself as a go-to guy and a do it all employee.

“First of all, it was all live,” George said. “We did have 16 millimeter film. Tape didn’t come until the 70’s.”

From filming, to a little dabble in reporting, directing, and eventually, George even held the title of Operation and Production Manager.
He was around when the broadcast tower went down after a military jet hid a guidewire.
“The jet flew back to Maryland,” George remembered. “And the tower was in the road at Boiling Spring Lakes, so that was a major catastrophe. We were off the air for a week.”

His goal to become General Manager was derailed during one of the many changes in ownership he’s witnessed where new management was brought in.
In order to stay with the station, George would need to wear yet another hat. The hat of a salesman. He commands that position at this very moment.

“Obviously I liked it, but I really did. But yeah, 50 years is a long time. But it’s been a good job. I’ve watched the city grow, the tv station grow, it’s been a lot of fun,” George said of his 50 years at WWAY. “I’ve had opportunities to go other places but my home is Wilmington. I’m a native. I’ve got deep roots here. I love the beach, so why would I want to leave it?”

George Allen, my friend, I speak for all our colleagues when I say we’re glad you didn’t leave it. Your dedication to helping build this station since the very beginning in 1964…is “Extraordinary”.

Sidenote: I first met George when I came to Wilmington in 2003 to join the team as a morning anchor. He was one of the first people I met and right off the bat I found he was the nicest guy in the building.
You rock, George.
-Daniel

If you know an Extraordinary Person, send me an email with their storyline at dseamans@wwaytv3.com

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