Local News

  • Beacon plant columnist solves mystery of rare South Carolina plant

    John Nelson, The Brunswick Beacon plant columnist, quizzes readers on mystery plants each week.

    He also likes a good mystery and was recently recognized as one of two botanists to discover a new species of plant.

    The long process of confirming a rare type of hedge nettle, called Stachys caroliniana, came to fruition when Nelson, curator of A.C. Moore Herbarium at the University of South Carolina, and Doug Rayner, a professor at Wofford College, published a paper on the plant in a botany journal.

  • Homeowners’ insurance rates to decrease in Brunswick County

     Homeowners in Brunswick County can breathe a sigh of relief after the state’s insurance rates regulator announced last week he wouldn’t increase rates for homeowners.

    In fact, Brunswick County homeowners can expect their homeowners’ rates to decrease in 2015 despite the state’s insurance commissioner announcement last week that a “zero overall change” would take place for homeowners in the Tar Heel State.

  • Leadership group distributes 100 free turkeys in Southport

     SOUTHPORT — Thanks to a local leadership group, 100 families in and around the Southport area will enjoy a free turkey dinner for the holidays.

    The Brunswick County Black Leadership Caucus held a turkey giveaway Friday, Dec. 19, at the Southport Wal-Mart on North Howe Street.

  • Winnabow man accused of firing pistol, choking woman at school bus stop

     A Winnabow man is accused of assaulting a woman and firing a gun at a school bus stop near Town Creek Elementary School.

    Fifty-four-year-old David Michael Costin was arrested Dec. 15 after he choked the woman and fired a .380 Lorcin pistol near the bus stop, which is considered educational property, warrants show.

    He faces charges of discharging a firearm on educational property, assault by strangulation and assault on a female.

    Costin also is accused of striking a man above his left eye with the pistol.

  • Longwood man sentenced to 35 years in state prison

     BOLIVIA — A Longwood man awaiting trial on a second-degree murder charge was sentenced to more than 35 years in state prison in Brunswick County Superior Court Friday, Dec. 19.

    Judge Gale Adams sentenced Alfred Lamont “Peanut” Butler, also known as Hakeem Muhammad, to between 35 and 48 years in the N.C. Department of Correction following Muhammad’s conviction Friday afternoon.

    A jury deliberated for about two hours before returning six guilty verdicts for various drug violations, including selling and delivering cocaine.

  • Friends run Calabash stained-glass shop after owner's passing

    CALABASH — Wielding a soldering iron and needle-nose pliers, Judy Rodriguez toiled over repairing a broken bowl of stained glass fruit.

    It’s a craft she learned years ago from the best — her late teacher and friend, Pati Lewellyn, longtime owner of Reflections Stained Glass studio and shop, who died last January after an illness.

    Nearly a year after Lewellyn’s passing, Rodriguez is one of three friends who have pitched in to keep the Calabash business going.

  • Former prosecutor charged with forging court document

     A former assistant district attorney representing Brunswick, Bladen and Columbus counties faces criminal charges.

    Randy Lemay Cartrette, 40, of Whiteville, was arrested Dec. 16 by agents with the State Bureau of Investigation agents, according to an email from SBI spokeswoman Teresa West.

    Cartrette faces charges of misdemeanor common law forgery and misdemeanor obstruction of justice. He is accused of forging a July 8 document to recall an order of arrest for one of his clients. He was incarcerated briefly but released after posting $10,000 bail.

  • Florida doctor faces sex crimes charges in Brunswick County

     A children’s doctor from Miami is accused of sexually assaulting a child in Brunswick County after being arrested in Brunswick County last week.

    Sixty-two-year-old Robert Kemp Crockett turned himself into the Brunswick County Detention Facility on Wednesday, Dec. 17, after warrants for indecent liberties with a child, second-degree sexual offense and statutory rape were issued for his arrest.

    Crockett was incarcerated and released on the same day after posting $50,000 bail.

  • Community brings tidings of great joy to animal shelter

     SUPPLY — The animals at the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Animal Protective Services shelter are already having a Merry Christmas because of a charitable group of givers from all across Brunswick County.

    People from different parts of the county came together at the sheriff’s office animal shelter off N.C. 211 in Supply and donated toys for dogs and cats, pet food, cleaning supplies, treats and many other goodies for the shelter staff and the pets to enjoy this holiday season and beyond.

  • Traffic debacle sparks confusion, frustration

     CIVIETOWN — Civietown Fire Chief Mark Hewett has begged the state for years to place a stoplight at N.C. 130, Shell Point and Civietown roads.

    Construction is finally under way for the stoplight, but the timing couldn’t have been worse, he said.

    The closure of Gray Bridge Road for bridge replacement began Dec. 15 and is expected to last four months, the N.C. Department of Transportation said. In the meantime, motorists on Gray Bridge Road must travel down N.C. 130 and take the detour road, Shell Point Road.