Wilmington, NC – The Wilmington-side of the Isabel Holmes Bridge may soon lose a long-standing feature - the orange barrels blocking off one of its turn lanes.
North Carolina's Department of Transportation closed off the innermost left turn lane coming from downtown more than a year and a half ago. DOT assistant engineer Wanda James says a confusing traffic light configuration was leading drivers in that lane to make illegal left turns.
Wilmington, NC – Attempts to reverse the declining populations of grouper and snapper along the Carolina coast got a boost Thursday.
The South Atlantic Regional Fishery Council voted to create eight permanent protected areas for the fish, stretching from North Carolina to Florida. The largest refugee is 55 nautical miles offshore from Southport and covers about 127,000 acres. A shipwreck in that area is a rich location for breeding-age grouper.
Wilmington, NC – Leftover oyster shells have gone from trash to treasure as a state-run recycling program finds itself competing with landscapers for the shells.
The idea is to increase North Carolina's oyster population by dumping tons of used shells into coastal waters to form reefs for young oysters. The shells are considered the best anchors for sprat and key to reverse the state's dramatically declining oyster numbers.
Wilmington, NC – The Oak Island Town Council voted yesterday to cut taxes and increase service rates. Mayor Johnnie Vereen says the new budget cuts the tax rate from 33 cents to revenue neutral 12.45 cents per $100 valuation. He says beginning August 1st Oak Island's base water, sewer and garbage rates will increase. On a related note, Vereen says representatives from Smithville Township have voted to lower the Dosher Hospital tax from 4 to 2 cents.
Wilmington, NC – New Hanover County property owners unhappy with their new tax values have started the process of appealing those decisions.
New Hanover County commissioners will hear individual appeals to the property tax revaluation through the summer, starting this week with 44 cases from Figure Eight Island and working their way down the county.
Wilmington, NC – South Carolina is now the fifth state to reject the federal Real ID Act.
The act sets national security standards for driver's licenses and identification cards. But South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford calls those standards a costly federal mandate and signed legislation to prevent the Real ID Act from kicking in at the end of 2009.
The governor's spokesperson Joel Sawyer says the Real ID Act would have cost South Carolina $25-million up front and $11-million annually.
Wilmington, NC – Aspriring Scorseses and Spielbergs from nearly a hundred schools in eight countries will be in town this weekend for the Scene First film festival.
Organizers claim this is the first-ever student film festival with a national scope. However, there are other competitions for student film makers, such as the international Tau festival in Israel, the First Take festival in Canada, and the University Film and Video Association's touring festival, Frame.
Wilmington, NC – Last year, North Carolina fishermen brought in a total catch worth more than 70 million dollars, according to the Department of Marine Fisheries. But the fish houses that buy and ship that bounty are rapidly disappearing from the coast.
Wilmington, NC – A Federal Grand Jury is interested in the election campaign of Brunswick County Sheriff Ronald Hewitt, according to a subpoena made public Monday by the Brunswick County Attorney's Office.
The four-page letter subpoenas numerous financial documents, including phone records and personnel documents relating to Hewett's election campaign.
Wilmington, NC – Bar patrons in downtown Wilmington this weekend may have noticed a few more police officers on the streets. It's part of a new program to step up late-night policing.
Two Front Street bars are paying the Wilmington Police Department to station uniformed officers in front of their clubs on certain nights -- outside the Liquid Room on Tuesdays and Thursdays and City Limits Saloon on Saturdays. Officers stay of the bars unless called inside.