Local News

  • Ash man dies in ATV accident

     An Ash man died Friday night, April 11, in an ATV accident.

    Anthony Haynes, 49, was riding the ATV with his friend, William Cribb, who lost control of the ATV and flipped into a pond, pinning Haynes below the water just after 6:20 p.m.

    Haynes drowned and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the N.C. Highway Patrol.

    Haynes’ death was ruled accidental and no charges will be filed, the highway patrol said.

  • County proposes water rate increases

    BOLIVIA — Brunswick County Manager Ann Hardy said county water rates require adjustment as the utility department faces $10 million in infrastructure needs in the next 10 years.

    That is why Hardy recommends a retail customer rate increase by $1 a month.

    During an April 9 budget workshop, Hardy noted the retail rate has not increased since 1999 and block rates have stayed the same amount since 2002.

    She also recommended increasing irrigation rates for usage tiers greater than 6,000 gallons per month

  • Commissioners explore BCC funding options

    BOLIVIA — Brunswick Community College could see a different funding method than in past years when the county board of commissioners decides on a new budget.

    After Brunswick County resident James Moore questioned whether the county is putting too much taxpayer money into the community college last fall, the administration reviewed the funding method for the upcoming 2014-15 fiscal year.

    Moore said the county’s funding formula, based on the county’s tax base and debt obligations, became over-generous because of a miscalculation.

  • Brunswick County unemployment numbers fall in February

    After three months of unemployment rate increases in Brunswick County, the rate fell in February to 8.0 percent.

    According to unemployment numbers released through the North Carolina Department of Commerce Labor and Economic Analysis Division, unemployment dropped seven-tenths of a percentage point from 8.7 percent reported for January 2014.

    Brunswick County hit a low of 7.7 percent unemployment in October 2013, which was the culmination of a yearlong decrease in unemployment numbers.

  • Training heats up airport certification course for fire departments

    OCEAN ISLE BEACH — The fireballs Ocean Isle Beach firefighters and members of other Brunswick, Pender and Onslow county fire departments were facing last Thursday were part of their training.

    Firefighters working toward their certification for handling airport and airplane emergencies got out of the classroom and met at the OIB airport for some live action drills.

    “It gives it a little more reality with the flames and the heat associated with it,” Brunswick County Fire/Rescue Coordinator John Winders said.

  • Two dozen town boards support county sales tax referendum

    Two dozen municipal boards have endorsed Brunswick County’s referendum for a quarter-cent sales tax increase.

    On Feb. 24, county board members voted 4-1 to add the voter referendum for the sales tax increase to the May 6 primary election ballot.

    Since then, County Manager Ann Hardy and staff have attended meetings of town boards and civic groups to present information on the reason the tax increase is needed: for school facility improvements and beach renourishment and dredging.

  • No Fourth of July fireworks for second summer in Calabash

    CALABASH — For the second year, there will be no Fourth of July fireworks show in the Seafood Capital.

    Town commissioners voted 4-1 last week not to have the celebration that previously took place for four consecutive summers through 2012.

  • Sunset Beach mulls UDO changes

    SUNSET BEACH — Town council is debating whether it should implement new landscaping requirements for homeowners.

    Discussion about this and other Unified Development Ordinance amendments ensued Tuesday, April 15, at a joint meeting of Sunset Beach Town Council and the town planning board.

    Town councilman Wilson Sherrill said he doesn’t think it’s appropriate for the town to tell a private property owner what can be done with landscaping on one’s “own private dirt.”

  • Customers get friendly fast-food service at 'Alice's restaurant'

    On a blasé, so-so Monday, the joyful voice of Alice Sapp electrifies the dining room at Wendy’s restaurant in Shallotte.

    “Hey, gentlemen, how y’all been?” Alice greets a group of men clad in matching pale-blue shirts at the front order counter inside the sunny eatery at Whiteville and Bridger roads.

    Alice knows the ATMC security employees by name as she takes their orders, rattling off a list of possible side dishes they might like.

  • Survivor recalls horror of 9/11

    BOLIVIA — Joe Dittmar remembers where he was and what he was doing Sept. 11, 2001.

    The Philadelphia native was one of only seven survivors out of 54 insurance executives attending a meeting that horrific morning on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center’s South Tower in New York City.