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Local News

  • Local tourism conversion rate up to nearly 30 percent

    Nearly 30 percent of people who sought information about vacationing on the Brunswick Islands went through with their plans, according to a recent conversion study by Smith Advertising for the Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority.

    The previous conversion study in 2007 found 11.7 percent of inquiries resulted in visits. In the latest study, the number jumped to 29.7 percent, and half the visitors visit within two months of planning their trips, according to the results.

  • Former Leland police officer convicted for robbing Supply grocery store

    BOLIVIA—A former Leland police officer was convicted last week of robbing a Supply grocery store.

    Brett Hilburn Hobbs, 31, of Leland, was convicted Wednesday, Jan. 27, of felony larceny and felony possession of stolen goods, assistant district attorney Chris Thomas said.

    Superior Court Judge Thomas Lock sentenced Hobbs to five to six months in the N.C. Department of Corrections.

    Thomas said jury selection for the case began Monday, Jan. 25, and the jury returned the guilty verdict around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27.

  • VIDEO INCLUDED: Church giveaway wows crowd of 300 showing up for free items

    BY LAURA LEWIS

    STAFF WRITER

    About 300 people braved a cold rain Saturday to receive free clothes, household items, toys, furniture and even breakfast during the first Great New Year Giveaway at First Baptist Church of Shallotte.

    “We’re just so excited,” said event organizer and church member Dianne Tripp, standing amid the crowd browsing tables and racks filled with free items and clothing in the church’s large gymnasium and sanctuary.

  • Carolina Shores sign under scrutiny between town, POA

    BY LAURA LEWIS

    STAFF WRITER

    CAROLINA SHORES—A POA board member expressed concern the town will not take full responsibility for maintaining a town-owned sign in front of the POA clubhouse.

    “I’m distressed,” said Peter Gulliver, speaking at town commissioners’ monthly workshop Monday about the brick-and-wood Carolina Shores sign on POA property at the corner of N.C. 179 and Country Club Drive.

    “Obviously, you wanted to absolve yourself of responsibility except for the piece of wood [on the sign],” he said.

  • Rescheduled Stew Cook-Off this weekend

    The Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce is hoping the weather holds out Saturday for the second annual Brunswick Stew Cook-Off.

    After being postponed last week due to inclement weather, the chamber moved the event to 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, at Rourk Woods in Shallotte.

    “Currently the forecasts are not showing we are going to have rain, so we’re going to move forward with the event,” Megan Masser, events director for the chamber, said at press time Tuesday.

  • Interim superintendent gets $1,000 monthly supplement

    Les Tubb will receive a monthly supplement of $1,000 to serve as the interim superintendent of Brunswick County Schools.

    The Brunswick County Board of Education approved Tubb’s contract Friday evening at a specially called meeting. Tubb, who officially began his duties as interim superintendent Monday, is contracted to serve in the position until June 30, or until the board names a new superintendent.

  • Former Calabash EMS chief charged with embezzlement

    BY LAURA LEWIS

    STAFF WRITER

    Former Calabash Volunteer Emergency Medical Services Chief J.P. Knott was arrested Friday morning and charged with felony embezzlement.

    Knott, 43, of Ocean Isle Beach, was released on $10,000 bond.

    He was charged by the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office in connection with his employment at the Calabash Volunteer EMS station, Sheriff’s Detective Vince Saponaro said.

    Saponaro declined to disclose how much money is involved in the financial discrepancies.

  • One-car accident lands car in ditch, results in charge

    A Shallotte teen has been charged with reckless driving to endanger after a one-car crash Monday afternoon sent his car into a ditch on Arnold Street in Shallotte.

    Bryan Wayne Murdaugh II, 18, of 5080 North Side Drive, Shallotte, was traveling south on Arnold Street off Smith Avenue in his mother’s car, a 1994 Ford, at about 3 p.m. Monday.

  • Natural vegetation at center of backyard battle between property owner, town

    Ocean Isle Beach property owner Jane Oakley remembers the day her neighbor’s lot was leveled and cleared in the mid 1990s.

    “I knew there were nesting birds, there were baby bunnies and there was a momma raccoon who had little kits,” Oakley recalled. “I got so upset, I came out here and literally stopped the bulldozer and said, ‘What are you doing? There are baby things here.”

    The bulldozer operator told her the homeowner wanted the lot cleared, and if she didn’t move, he was going to call the police.

  • Lewis donates land to Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter

    Local businessman Louie Lewis has donated 7.35 acres to Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter for a new 20,000-square-foot inpatient hospice facility just off Old Ocean Highway in Bolivia.

    “I’ve been blessed, and it is nice to share our blessings with others. Lower Cape Fear Hospice has been great to the community and this brings me great joy to be able to do this,” Lewis said.