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Local News

  • Still no arrests in death of 3-year-old boy

    SHALLOTTE —What happened to 3-year-old Jaronn Ladale McAllister?

    The little boy from Shallotte was pronounced dead at Brunswick Novant Medical Center around 9 a.m. March 1, shortly after being dropped off by a man who was reportedly babysitting him.

    That man, Montey Andrea Murray, ultimately fled from the hospital, sparking a multi-agency, high-speed police chase from a Shallotte neighborhood north on U.S. 17.

    Today, Murray, 26, and Jessie Lamont Holt, 34, are in jail but neither have been charged with Jaronn’s death.

  • Sex offender wanted for stealing dog

    A registered sex offender is wanted by the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office and the Shallotte Police Department. On Tuesday investigators with Shallotte obtained a warrant for the arrest of Johnny Ray Longworth, 48, address unknown, Shallotte.

    He is a suspect in a breaking and entering and larceny on Shallotte Avenue on March 9. During the incident a 46-inch LCD television and a Jack Russell terrier were stolen from the residence.

  • SUNSHINE WEEK Judicial sunshine: Access to courts and court documents in North Carolina

    For docket and calendar information for district and superior courts in North Carolina, visit www.nccourts.org. Select Brunswick County on the drop-down menu. District court dockets as well as criminal and civil superior court calendars are available online.

    For information, cases, calendars or opinions for the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court, visit www.ncappellatecourts.org.

  • SUNSHINE WEEK FOIA: Shining the light on (part of) the federal government

    The Freedom of Information Act: It sounds so powerful, as if muttering the term will grant you immediate access.

    Unfortunately, that is not always the case with Freedom of Information Act, more commonly referred to as FOIA.

    FOIA is to the federal government what the state’s public records law is to North Carolina, with several exceptions, that is.

    The president, most notably, is exempt from FOIA. So are his cabinet and immediate staff.

    So is Congress, both House and Senate. Even the Supreme Court is exempt from FOIA.

  • SUNSHINE WEEK Ocean Isle Beach woman fights for First Amendment

    Editor’s note: Ginny Quaglia is the first recipient of The Brunswick Beacon’s Citizens’ First Amendment Award. Quaglia was selected for the inaugural award from nominations the Beacon received from community members for her commitment to the First Amendment, freedom of information and the public’s right to know.

    Four years ago Ginny and Joe Quaglia retired from Pittsburgh and built their retirement home in Brunswick County.

  • SUNSHINE WEEK How to make a public records request and what to do if you’re denied
    1. First, it’s important to identify the correct agency that is the custodian of the information you’re seeking. It’s also important to be specific about exactly what it is you are seeking.
  • SUNSHINE WEEK The true cost of public records: What agencies can (legally) charge for public documents

    Reporter’s note: Here’s a public records tip. When requesting public information—especially when requesting extensive information—request as much information as possible electronically. Have the custodian of the record e-mail you the information. If they say they cannot e-mail you, provide the custodian with a blank CD or portable drive to upload the information.

  • SUNSHINE WEEK N.C. Open Meetings Law governs how and why boards can retreat to closed sessions

    If members of a public board in North Carolina would like to meet in closed session, they must have a good reason.

    And that reason must be one of nine exemptions to the North Carolina Open Meetings Law.

    The law also requires board members to disclose the nature of their retreat to closed session, including citing the specific provision to the law that allows the board to enter into a closed session.

    There are nine exemptions to the North Carolina Open Meetings Law—all other business must be conducted in the open.

    No exceptions.

  • SUNSHINE WEEK Campaign finance reports at all levels of government are public record

    Since we’re in the middle of a heated presidential primary election season, political commercials have inundated TVs, radios and online radio stations.

    If you want to know who’s paying for those ads (and bankrolling your favorite or least favorite candidate), all you have to do is ask—it’s public record.

    That’s right, campaign finance reports, which detail who’s giving money to whom, and who’s spending money on what, are public record, available for public inspection.

  • SUNSHINE WEEK Property of the people: What records are public in North Carolina

    What do property tax records, a sex offender registry and campaign finance reports have in common?

    No, it’s not the beginning of a political joke. They’re all public records, and, as such, they belong to the people, not the government.

    Public records are property of the people, and the law requires the public have full access to these records, regardless of the form in which they appear—paper, electronic or other.