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Local News

  • Leland fire department announces probation to end in June at town acquisition follow-up meeting

    LELAND — Town and volunteer fire rescue department officials hosted a drop-in for residents May 3 to answer questions about the department becoming part of the town.

    But the fire department also used the meeting to announce its state probation period was coming to an end.

    The North Carolina Department of Insurance State Fire Marshal’s Office put the LVFRD on probation May 17 for not meeting minimum response requirements.

  • Leland projects could raise tax rate above 20 cents

    Leland officials are considering a tax rate above 20 cents to begin capital improvement projects that have come up in budget talks.

    The town board held a budget workshop May 3, their last before staff make the budget presentation at the town’s regular meeting May 18.

    Once the budget is presented in May, a public hearing for residents’ input will be held June 1.

    The board ended an April 5 budget meeting directing town staff to look at what a 20-cent tax rate could pay for off the capital improvement list.

  • Leland Economic Development Committee seeks to replace two members

    The Leland Economic Development Committee will lose two of its three members when their terms expire in June.

    Chairman David Sink said the LEDC vice chairman Richard Allison and committee member Paul Stiegler would not seek another term when their appointments end June 30.

    The LEDC organized in 2016 with a seven-member committee serving staggered initial appointments so four members would serve three-year terms ending with the 2018 fiscal year and three members serve two-year terms ending with the 2017 fiscal year.

  • HB 398 offers county half-cent tax option on prepared food, drinks

    While Brunswick County officials wait to see if Senate Bill 126 is approved and redistributes sales taxes, House Bill 398 remains in play and could offer a small source of beach and waterway funding.

    Rep. Frank Iler of Oak Island filed HB 398 on March 16. The bill would allow Brunswick County commissioners or municipal board members to levy a prepared food and drink tax up to one-half percent of the sales price at restaurants or groceries and stores where food is prepared, such as a grocer’s deli.

  • Leland man accused of making meth in home

    A Leland man is accused of making meth in his home.

    Tyler Justin Demas, 33, of Blueray Drive was arrested May 3 after a joint investigation by the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office’s Vice-Narcotics Unit and North Carolina Community Corrections.

    Demas was charged with two counts of possessing or distributing a meth precursor, manufacturing methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

  • 79-year-old man accused of sex crimes with child

    A 79-year-old Southport man is accused of sex crimes involving a child younger than 16.

    Rubin Smith Curtis of Long Beach Road was arrested May 3 and charged with two counts of indecent liberties with a child.

    Warrants show one of the incidents took place between Oct. 1 and 31, 2013, and the other between Feb. 1, and May 1, 2014.

    Curtis was booked in the Brunswick County Detention Facility on May 3 and released the next day on $50,000 bail.

  • Leland man accused of possessing child pornography

    A Leland man is being held on $3 million bail after authorities discovered child pornography in his possession.

    Michael Hunter Cook, 34, of Cottagefield Lane was arrested at his home May 3 after a joint investigation between the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, sheriff’s office spokeswoman Emily Flax said.

  • K-3 class sizes to change under HB 13

    BELVILLE — North Carolina public schools, including those in Brunswick County, will see a reduction in class sizes for grades K-3 come fall, though not as drastically as first expected.

    Signed by Gov. Roy Cooper on April 27, House Bill 13 is touted as a compromise that continues reducing elementary school class sizes over the next two years while addressing local concerns about special subject-area teachers in the classroom.

    Brunswick County Schools will begin to phase in the mandatory class-size reductions in grades K-3 during the 2017-18 school year.

  • Residents pay to fix spillway road damaged by Hurricane Matthew

    SUNSET BEACH — Months after being washed out by Hurricane Matthew, a spillway and road in the Sunset Lakes community have been repaired and vehicles are once again able to cross after residents pitched in to have the work done.

    At a recent homeowners meeting, residents paid tribute to outgoing chairman Kyle Canady as well as residents Lee Gushman and Mike Welsh for their efforts having the roadway and spillway repaired.

  • Holden Beach squirrel gains national fame eating ice cream

    HOLDEN BEACH — This is the story of a squirrel who loves to eat ice cream and keeps coming back for more.

    But it’s not just a wild squirrel tale — Putter is a real, live gray squirrel who lives in a tree at Fantasy Isle Ice Cream & Mini Golf on the Holden Beach causeway.

    She recently gave birth to two babies and achieved national fame for her ability to hold a tiny squirrel-sized cone between her front paws and devour the treat made especially for her until it’s all gone.