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Local News

  • 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.

  • Victaulic to lay off 133 Leland plant employees

    Pipe company Victaulic will lay off 133 employees from its Leland plant, according to a report filed with the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

    Brunswick County Economic Development Commission Director Jim Bradshaw said Victaulic makes an easy to install fire suppression product at the plant, which is in the Leland Industrial Park.

    Two of the Leland plant operations — manufacturing of rubber gaskets used in sprinkler head systems and pressfit operations — will move from Leland to another Victaulic facility.

  • Persons of interest sought in store break-in

    Detectives with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying five people in a breaking/entering and larceny that happened Monday, April 14, in Supply.

    Two women and three men are considered persons of interest in the crimes that occurred about 3 a.m. Monday, April 14, at the Holden Beach Quick-n-Easy at 2685 SW Holden Beach Road.

    Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Ryan Newman at 880-4866.

  • Supply man faces murder charge in woman’s death

    A Supply man is charged with murder after one of the people he is accused of shooting during the weekend died, according to the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office.

    Members of the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit arrested 36-year-old William Calvin Steward after they said he fired a rifle into an occupied vehicle Friday night, April 11.