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Local News

  • Employees placed on leave after first-grader found asleep on school bus

    Two Brunswick County Schools employees in the transportation department have been placed on leave after a sleeping student was left on a school bus unattended Wednesday morning, May 13.

    District spokeswoman Jessica Swencki said bus driver Evelyn Miller and bus monitor Roswitha Delts are on paid administrative leave after leaving a Virginia Williamson Elementary School first-grade girl on the bus Wednesday morning at Cedar Grove Middle School.

  • Shallotte man arrested on drug charges

    Agents with the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office Drug Enforcement Unit have arrested a Shallotte man who faces several drug charges.

    Joe Junior Bell, 34, of Hale Swamp Road, is charged with trafficking heroin, trafficking MDMA, possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver heroin, manufacture, sell or deliver MDMA, maintaining a dwelling house used for keeping and selling heroin and MDMA, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

  • Three charged with killing Leland mother of two

    Three people are accused of fatally shooting a 26-year-old Leland woman who was reported missing more than two weeks ago.

    Detectives arrested 31-year-old Michael Jesse Williams of Whiteville and 18-year-old Kayla Turner of Leland and charged each with murder, first-degree kidnapping and robbery with a dangerous weapon in the death of Alicia Marie Deans, a mother of two who was reported missing April 28, Columbus County Sheriff Lewis Hatcher wrote in a Friday, May 15, news release.

  • Detectives seek information about Southport trailer theft

    Detectives with the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office are asking for the public's assistance regarding the larceny of a trailer in Southport.

    Deputies were called to Sykes Welding at 8168 River Road at 6:15 a.m. Thursday, May 14, about the theft, which happened sometime between 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, and 6 a.m. Thursday, according to a news release. The trailer is homemade (no manufacturer), 4 feet by 8 feet and red with black diamond plate flooring. It contained a blue Miller Trail Blazer welding machine and a stainless steel diamond plate toolbox.

  • Revenue neutral tax hike on Holden Beach likely

    HOLDEN BEACH — Town Manager David Hewett intimated Holden Beach taxes will go up half a percent in the budget he will propose to commissioners June 1.

    At the end of their regular meeting Tuesday, May 12, in town hall, resident Lou Cutajar asked if town taxes are going to increase by half a percent.

    “Tax values (of property) on the island are down 3 percent,” Hewett said. “To get the same revenue, you’ve got to charge 13.2. It was 12.7.”

  • Detectives investigate missing Leland woman’s death as suspicious

    WHITEVILLE — Detectives with two sheriff’s offices are investigating the death of a Leland woman, whose body was discovered Wednesday, May 13, in rural Columbus County, as suspicious.

    Alicia Marie Deans, 26, who had been missing since April 28, was found dead in a wooded area off John Coleman Road. Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram and Columbus County Sheriff Lewis Hatcher announced the sad news Thursday afternoon, May 14, at the Columbus County Board of Commissioners Chambers in Whiteville.

  • Budget, annexation move ahead in Carolina Shores

    CAROLINA SHORES — Town commissioners have given preliminary approval to the town’s proposed 2015-16 budget and final approval on annexation and economic-incentive measures.

    Action on these items came at the town board’s monthly meeting last Thursday, May 7.

    The town’s $1,410,600 balanced budget for fiscal 2015-16 does not raise taxes or fees and in fact represents a 3 percent tax cut because of the drop in assessed values countywide, Town Administrator Jon Mendenhall noted in his monthly report.

  • Jaguar's Lair mediation at impasse

    Mediation between the town of Sunset Beach and developer of Jaguar’s Lair has hit an impasse following a meeting last week.

    Town Administrator Susan Parker issued a news release following the May 6 pre-litigation mediation session between members of the town’s mediation team and representatives of Jaguar’s Lair developer Coastal Companies.

  • A few comments as Sunset Beach unveils budget

    SUNSET BEACH — A handful of residents had comments as town staff outlined details of a recommended $5,833,278 budget for fiscal 2015-16 calling for a 5½ cent tax rate increase.

    Sunset Beach Finance Director Bonnie Schwerd presented an overview at Sunset Beach Town Council’s monthly meeting Monday night.

    The rate increase, if approved, will go up from 11½ cents to 16 cents per $100 of valuation.

  • Town Creek Park reopens after renovation

    After a year and a half of renovations, Town Creek Park has reopened.

    The park upgrade, which began in October 2013, was intended to be a yearlong, $5.3 million project — if construction delays could be avoided.

    Although weather delays extended the work by another half year, the project stayed on budget coming in at about $5.4 million, parks and recreation director Aaron Perkins said.

    “Weather backed us up in the fall and winter. That was a big thing,” he said.