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Local News

  • Stalking Bruce: one Holden Beach couple’s vacation this year is rocking out to Bruce

    HOLDEN BEACH— “You can’t start a fire without a spark.”

    The famous Bruce Springsteen lyrics resonate well with one Holden Beach couple. Ken and Peggi Papaj decided to go on tour with “The Boss” this year for his “Wrecking Ball” tour. The album, Springsteen’s 17th studio album, was released March 5, and the tour began on March 18 in Atlanta. The Papajs were there.

  • Hot weather creates issues for county’s homeless population

    Homelessness isn’t a part-time problem.

    Last winter area civic and religious groups united to work on finding a solution to providing temporary shelter to the homeless population in Brunswick County. They created a system of rotating shelter during the cold winter months.

    But with temperatures reaching the 100s this summer, the issue of homelessness hasn’t gone away. If anything, the need for a year-round shelter in the county has come to the forefront again as dangerous heat enveloped the county in late June and early July.

  • Fro-yo back at the forefront of frozen treats

    LELAND—Frozen yogurt is back at the forefront of frozen treats.

    After a surge to the top of the dessert business in the 1990s, frozen yogurt shops, like most non-necessity business ventures, were scaled back during the economic downturn. But these days it seems you can find a frozen yogurt shop on nearly every corner or shopping center.

  • County receives $2.1 million in 911 center consolidation grant

    BOLIVIA—Brunswick County Emergency Services Department has received a $2.1 million grant.

    The grant, awarded through the N.C. 911 Board, is for consolidation of the county’s emergency communications, including merging the county’s central communications and the Oak Island Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).

    “We are consolidating the Oak Island 911 PSAP into Brunswick County central communications PSAP,” Brunswick County Emergency Services Director Anthony Marzano said.

  • County adopts $25 reservation fee for picnic shelters

    BOLIVIA—Beginning Aug. 1, residents will have to pay a reservation fee to use picnic pavilions at five of the county’s parks.

    Brunswick County commissioners approved the fee—$25 for four-hour increments—at their last meeting Monday, July 2. Parks and recreation director Jim Pryor said he hopes to have the program up and running by Aug. 1.

  • Commissioner re-raises raise issue to no avail

    Staff Writer

    BOLIVIA—Brunswick County Commissioner Marty Cooke has once again re-raised the raise issue to his fellow commissioners regarding raises for county employees.

    But at the last county commissioners’ meeting July 2, Cooke was only able to raise support from one commissioner, Charles Warren, and his motion to re-address the issue of employee raises failed two votes to three.

    The 2012-2013 county budget, which took effect July 1, did not include any merit or cost-of-living increases for Brunswick County employees.

  • Man involved in K-9’s death sentenced to federal prison

    RALEIGH—A man who was arrested in connection with the death of a Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office K-9 has been sentenced in federal court.

    According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Jamie Gonzalez-Lopez, 33, of Mexico, was sentenced to 135 months, or more than 11 years, in federal prison for narcotics charges. Gonzalez-Lopez previously pleaded guilty to possessing and distributing more than 500 grams of cocaine.

  • Drought conditions return to state for first time since May

    Drought has returned to North Carolina for the first time in more than a month, due to below normal rainfall and record-breaking temperatures.

    Brunswick County is listed as abnormally dry. Water supply sources are being monitored for diminished capacity. Impending drought conditions are possible.

    Conditions in 17 counties, including Mecklenburg and Wake, grew worse this week as moderate drought returned to parts of central and southwestern North Carolina.

  • Stevens takes on official role as president of Brunswick Novant Medical Center

    BOLIVIA—Shelbourn Stevens is a hands-on leader.

    Since being named interim president of Brunswick Novant Medical Center in March and after formally accepting the promotion in June, Stevens says transitioning from senior director of operations to hospital president has been “seamless.”

    But you won’t find him chained to his desk.

    “You’ll find me out in the units,” Stevens said about his leadership style.

  • Town officials—past and present—break ground on new Leland Town Hall

    LELAND—Though it’s only 23 years old, the town of Leland is about to move into its second official home.

    Town officials—past and present—gathered last Friday, June 29, behind the town’s current town hall, to break ground on a new $9.9 million town hall.

    The 44,000-square-foot, two-story facility will house the town’s administration and police departments. Town hall will also feature a 3,000-square-foot council chambers, with room for 175 people to attend town meetings.