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Members of Wilmington's film and music communities gathered over the weekend to mourn the passing of Edgar "Eddie" Blakely III. WHQR's Megan Williams attended the memorial service and has more...

Blakely?s eulogy was punctuated several times by laughter, as friends shared stories, played music, and remembered a man described as a "centrifugal force" in the film community.

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Wilmington, NC – Blakely's eulogy was punctuated several times by laughter, as friends shared stories, played music, and remembered a man described as a "centrifugal force" in the film community.

More than 200 mourners attended Sunday's memorial service at Screen Gems Studios, which followed a fundraiser at the Bella Festa nightclub the night before. Among his many hats, Blakely did booking and promotion for the Bella Festa and worked with the Cucalorus film festival.

Burgaw, NC – Judge Benjamin Alford's ruling strikes down a 201-year-old ban on cohabitation in the state. Lawyers for both sides are expected to officially sign the ruling in the next few days.

North Carolina's chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union brought the lawsuit on behalf of a former Pender county emergency dispatcher, Debora Hobbs, who quit her job in 2004 after sheriff Carson Smith demanded she either marry her boyfriend or stop living with him.

Wilmington, NC – Congressman Mike McIntyre says he hopes legislation to help alleviate poverty in southern states will hit the House floor this fall.

The measure creates the Southeast Crescent Authority that helps boost economic development in the poorest southeastern states and their most distressed counties.

McIntyre says SECA is modeled after the Appalachian Regional Commission. And says the measure is gaining attention and momentum on Capitol Hill.

Wilmington, NC – New executive director Mark Kesling comes to the Children's Museum from a private school in Indianapolis, IN, where he was Technology Director. Kesling arrives in Wilmington next week and officially starts work in early August.

The museum's been hunting for a new director since last fall. The board's first hire, announced in February, was let go after four days.

Founded in 1997, the Children's Museum opened in its new location on Orange Street in late April.

Wilmington, NC – Players and fans from across the country brave this week's heat and humidity as Wilmington hosts the 2006 U.S. Amateur Soccer Association's Veterans Cup.

Sweaty fans guzzle water and slop on the SPF at Wilmington's Veterans Park and they're just sitting on the sidelines.

Nearly 2,000 players will battle the heat on the field this week, but most are keeping their spirits as high as the temperatures.

Wilmington, NC – Just about a year ago, Governor Mike Easley signed a state budget that authorized North Carolina's first film incentive package. The deal gave productions a 15% tax rebate on dollars spent in North Carolina on goods, services and labor.

New Hanover County Democrat Senator Julia Boseman sponsored the legislation.

Wilmington, NC – Wilmington City Council hopeful Pat Delair has filed her candidacy for a special election that will take place on October 10th.

This marks the second time Pat Delair has signed on to run for a seat on the City Council.

Delair came in fourth last year in a three-seat Council race and was overlooked in last month's appointment of a replacement for Bill Saffo.

She says her campaign will focus on bringing community voices into the political debate and says she will not be tied down by special interests.

Burgaw, NC – Oral arguments were heard Monday in Pender County superior court in a lawsuit filed by the North Carolina American Civil Liberties Union.

Emergency dispatcher Deborah Hobbs was living with her boyfriend in 2004 when Sheriff Carson Smith advised her that this did not comply with a 200-year-old state law making it a criminal offense for unmarried couples to cohabitate.

The ACLU filed a case on Hobbs's behalf last year.

Wilmington, NC – A program promoting carpooling in Wilmington will get thousands of dollars from the state to encourage alternative forms of transportation.

With the help of new state funding, Wilmington Cape Fear Breeze program hopes to get more drivers using alternative transportation.

Breeze coordinator Lawless Bean says the program has a comprehensive website offering a carpool database.

Wilmington, NC – Police at Wrightsville Beach are cracked down on littering and drinking alcohol on the beach.

Town officials past measures last week giving police authority to make random sweeps to enforce littering laws and check for alcohol consumption, which is prohibited on the beach.

Town manager Bob Simpson calls excessive littering a brewing problem that came to a boil after the 4th of July weekend.

Wilmington, NC – The U.S. Maritime Administration retired the two ships. The Cape Lobos left the region Friday. The Cape Lambert will follow in early August.

The ships are part of the government's Ready Reserve fleet. They're known as roll-on, roll-off' vessels: ramps in the stern allow them to load and unload vehicles. But the ships can't handle the latest generation of tanks. Instead of upgrading, they're going into retirement in Beaufort, Texas. The ships may still be called up for emergencies.

Wilmington, NC – The Pender County Sheriff's Department has landed a water patrol vessel on loan to boost patrols on county waterways.

For the next four months deputies will be able to pull out the Jet Ski for law enforcement during busy weekends.

Major Keith Hinkle with the Pender County Sheriff's Department says the department usually turns to coastal law enforcement and Pender County Rescue squads during emergencies and sometimes on deputies' grab their own boats.

Wilmington, NC – The state has lifted its swimming advisory for a stretch of the Cape Fear River.

The Division of Water Quality issued a swimming advisory a week ago for the Cape Fear River from Wilmington to Keg Island.

The advisory came after a sewer pipe broke in Wilmington near the river. All in all nearly 4.8 million gallons of wastewater spilled from the River Road sewage pipe, half of that into the Cape Fear River.

Wilmington, NC – The crowd filled every available space in the Council chambers, and lined the balcony. Everyone from family members to aggrieved firefighters turned out for the transfer of power at last night's City Council meeting.

Wilmington, NC – Broadhurst's two-and-a-half years as mayor officially come to an end at tonight's City Council meeting. Looking to the future, Broadhurst said he expects the council to continue functioning efficiently, and not just in terms of shorter council meetings.

Bald Head Island, NC – Scientists hope to fit four of Bald Head's nesting loggerheads with data transmitters to learn more about where the turtles travel, and the potential hazards they face. For the next year or more, the transmitters will send back signals as the turtles range north and south through the seasons.

According to sea turtle researcher Dr. Michael Coyne, there has long been debate about whether or not commercial fishing has an impact on the loggerheads.

Southport, NC – Officer John Michael Szendry was the first back-up on the scene after Darrell Wayne Maness killed Boiling Springs police officer Mitch Prince in January of 2005. Szendry was also fired on by Maness, but was uninjured.

After the murder, Szendry left the force on extended medical leave. Southport Chief of Police J.V. Dove says Szendry committed suicide in his home last Friday.

Dove nicknamed Szendry 'the Crusader' and described him as a committed officer before the night of Prince's murder.

Southport, NC – Marching bands, beauty queens, and several fleets of Shriners in their miniature cars kicked off the parade. But the crowd that came to cheer them on was smaller than in past years. Southport chief of police J.V. Dove blamed the reduced attendance on high gas prices, the mid-week holiday, and competition from the tall ships in Beaufort.

Wilmington, NC – Wilmington City officials say two-million gallons of wastewater have spilled from the River Road sewer pipe break.

About a million gallons of that has been captured at the site and pumped into tankers.

The pipe broke at River Road and Shipyard Boulevard, right at the Port of Wilmington's facility entrance.

Repair crews were going to start repair work Tuesday night, but the city says that plan was scratched because more equipment is needed.

Wilmington, NC – Former Marine and Wilmington resident Ilario Pantano was cleared of murder charges last year, after his high-profile Article 32 hearing at Camp LeJeune.

Now he is promoting his book about his life and the events that led to that hearing.

WHQR's Catherine Welch caught up with Pantano to talk about his book,Warlord: No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy, and life after the Marines.

Wilmington, NC – Strong rip currents are keeping lifeguards at Wrightsville beach busy. And the National Weather Service has issued another warning about powerful rip currents for again today.

A large southeast swell, southeast onshore winds and a new moon are the ingredients for powerful rip tides.

In Wrightsville Beach, lifeguards have rescued more than 50 people since Thursday. Dave Baker is Director of Ocean Rescue at Wrightsville Beach.

Wilmington, NC – Marva Mapson Robinson has been thrilling audiences across the country with her soprano renditions of classical, spiritual and gospel classics. WHQR's Sam Burke caught up with her to talk about her life and music.

Wilmington, NC – Wilmington's oldest black Baptist church is one step closer to preserving its historic sanctuary.

Members of Central Missionary Baptist Church will cut the ribbon Thursday night on its restored manse.

The plan is for Central Baptists' congregation to use rental income from the house to fund the restoration of their own 100-year-old building.

The church suffers from water and termite damage.

www.nhcs.k12.nc.us

Wilmington, NC – The final map prioritizes student proximity to their schools, except in the case of two downtown elementaries. Snipes and Freeman would otherwise have become predominantly African American. Under the plan, they'll turn into magnet schools focusing on arts and foreign language, with only 40% of their students coming from surrounding neighborhoods.

Wilmington, NC – The number of violent crimes in North Carolina went up last year while property crimes dropped.

North Carolina's Attorney General has released last year's crime statistics showing that crime overall rose a fraction of a percent with violent crime up by 3.7%.

The crime rate last year in both Pender and New Hanover counties is lower than it was in 1995, while Brunswick County has seen its crime rate nearly double since then.

Wilmington, NC – Brunswick Community College is looking to start up a baseball program as a way to get more men enrolled in college.

Campuses across the country are seeing more women than men enrolled in college. It's a trend found at Brunswick Community College where president Stephen Griener says men make up 30% of the college's student body.

Wilmington, NC – The Cape Fear River Watch Board of Directors has passed a resolution saying it does not support the Sims-Hugo Neu recycling facility and landfill planned for Brunswick County.

The Cape Fear River Watch says it voted on the matter to make clear that it does not, and has never, supported the idea.

Sims-Hugo Neu wants to build a facility that will take in shredded chunks of automobiles and appliances then pick out embedded recyclable items such as copper and glass.

Wilmington, NC – The coastal town of Kure Beach is looking to a bill in the state senate to preserve its beach-town charm.

Senate Committee approved legislation Wednesday that locks in the town's 35-foot building limit,protecting it from future changes.

Kure Beach Mayor Tim Fuller says the building limit has shaped the town's character during the 60 years that it's been on the books.

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