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Local News

  • What you would have missed: Former sheriff's federal charge, e-mails, settlements, closed session chaos and a parent-principal feud

    Though he is now serving a 16-month federal prison sentence, former Brunswick County Sheriff Ronald Hewett’s federal obstruction of justice charge became public May 10, 2008—when The Beacon broke the story.

    U.S. District Court docket information is public record, and on May 8, 2008, the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed USA v. Ronald Hewett in North Carolina’s Eastern District Court.

  • County commissioners enact purchasing freeze

    BOLIVIA—As of 3 p.m. Thursday, barring any emergencies, all county purchase orders were frozen.

    To avoid tapping into the county’s fund balance to stay out of the red for the remainder of the fiscal year, county commissioners froze all purchase orders from county operating and capital outlay funds. The only allowable exception is for emergencies or for equipment repairs needed to continue services.

  • Congress responds to records requests with the law on their--not our--side

    They’re elected officials. They run taxpayer-funded offices.

    But members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation aren’t subject to the N.C. Public Records Law or the Freedom of Information Act.

    The Beacon requested information from three members of Congress—U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr and U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan.

  • Commissioners nix take-home vehicles for county employees

    BOLIVIA—County commissioners approved a vehicle policy on Monday that forbids many county employees from commuting in county vehicles.

    The policy, which excludes all sheriff’s deputies, was approved after a committee made the vehicle policy recommendations to commissioners.

    But at least four county employees will receive an annual stipend for commuting.

  • Local woman beset with illness, loss after helping solve carjacking

    SHELL POINT—Shawna Jackson never experienced so much drama in such a short period of time.

    Within a matter of a couple of weeks, she helped local law enforcement agencies solve a carjacking in Shallotte, came down with serious food poisoning that has kept her out of work and had her money stolen when her boyfriend left town in the middle of the night.

    It’s more than anyone should have to undergo, but this single mother of three is hanging on.

  • A closer look at county closed sessions

    The following are excerpts of county commissioners’ closed session meeting minutes furnished to the Beacon after a reporter made a public records request for them.

    March 2, 2009

    •Chairman Sue called the closed session to order at 7:49 p.m. pursuant to NCGS 143-318.11(a) (1) and (a) (3) to prevent the disclosure of privileged information and to consult with the attorney to consider and give instructions concerning a potential or actual claim, administrative procedure or judicial action.

  • Two suspects wanted for drug trafficking

    Agents with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit are seeking two suspects wanted for drug trafficking.

    Garbiel Dominique Hankins, 23, and Rodrick Recirda Bryant, 26, both of 1235 Clay Branch Road, Supply, are wanted for multiple drug charges, including trafficking in cocaine.

    According to Sgt. Steve Lanier, Hankins is on pre-trial release for pending drug, driving while impaired and flee/elude arrest charges. Drug agents searched the Clay Branch Road home last Friday after a weeks-long investigation of Hankins and Bryant.

  • Crime reports are public

    The Brunswick Beacon requested crime statistics from the Shallotte Police Department for 2007 and 2008.

    Officials provided the statistics, broken down by category, on the same day they were requested.

    According to administrative assistant Linda Moses, the public is welcome to request incident reports and other public documents and can view them in the office.

    According to N.C. General Statute 132-1-4, the following information is public record:

  • Shallotte Police: 2008

    Incidents

    Rape: 1

    Robbery: 6

    Aggravated assault: 6

    Aggravated assault with sexual motives: 2

    Burglary-forcible entry: 90

    Burglary-non-forced entry: 28

    Larceny-purse snatching: 1

    Larceny-shoplifting: 13

    Larceny from a motor vehicle: 64

    Larceny-auto parts and accessories: 4

    Larceny-from buildings: 67

    Larceny-from coin-operated devices: 6

    Larceny-all others: 57

    Motor vehicle theft-automobile: 10

    Motor vehicle theft-truck: 2

  • Shallotte Police: 2007

    Incident/investigations 2007

    Rape: 4

    Robbery: 7

    Aggravated assault: 3

    Burglary-forcible entry: 71

    Burglary-non-forced entry: 10

    Larceny-shoplifting: 12

    Larceny from a motor vehicle: 31

    Larceny-auto parts and accessories: 5

    Larceny-from buildings: 75

    Larceny-from coin-operated devices: 1

    Larceny-all others: 58

    Motor vehicle theft-automobile: 16

    Motor vehicle theft-truck: 1

    Motor vehicle theft-all other motor vehicles: 1

    Simple physical assault: 9