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Local News

  • New traffic pattern in Shallotte

    SHALLOTTTE—The Smith Avenue extension project, now at least three months past its projected completion date of December 2010, is reportedly 72 percent complete, according to a progress report published on the N.C. Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT) website.

    This weekend a new traffic pattern emerged in Shallotte.

  • Mandatory direct deposit could save enough for one teacher position

    BOVLIA—If Brunswick County Commissioners adopt a less than revenue-neutral tax rate, Brunswick County Schools could receive less county funds than expected.

    According to figures provided by Brunswick County school officials, an estimated $1.5 million less in county dollars brings the school system’s estimated shortfall to about $7 million for the 2011-2012 fiscal year. 

  • Technology increasing too quickly for school infrastructure

    BOLIVIA—As more technology becomes available to Brunswick County Schools, the closer the school system is to reaching its power limit.

    During the Brunswick County Board of Education operations committee meeting Tuesday, Leonard Jenkins, technology director, said 75 to 80 percent of classrooms are equipped with 21st Century technology equipment—laptops, document cameras, LCD projectors and interactive writing tablets.

  • Funding for multimedia equipment steers school system away from TVs

    BOLIVA—The Brunswick County school system is moving away from the use of TVs in the classrooms.

    Instead, computers will soon be able to function as TVs, eliminating the need for any future TV purchases.

  • Staggered school start times could save system $500,000

    The bells may ring at different times next year at Brunswick County schools.

    In an effort to reduce a $6 million budget deficit, Superintendent Edward Pruden has proposed staggered start times for elementary, middle and high schools.

    “We’re having to take a look at everything very carefully, and we’re trying to identify ways that we could save substantial amounts of money without impacting the classroom,” Pruden said Monday afternoon.

  • Warren a no-show at censure hearing

    BOLIVIA—Brunswick County Commissioner Charles Warren was a no-show at his censure hearing Monday evening.

    But, as they say, the show must go on, and commissioners unanimously approved censuring Warren.

    The censure hearing was to determine if Warren was in violation of the county’s code of ethics—which they determined that he was—for not stepping down as chairman of the county’s Department of Social Services Board.

  • County administration looks to cut costs to balance $6 million-plus budget shortfall

    BOLIVIA—Could a four-day workweek be in Brunswick County employees’ future for the upcoming fiscal year?

    Though Brunswick County Manager Marty Lawing called the proposal “pretty radical,” commissioners seemed to like the cost-saving measure when Lawing presented the measure at commissioners’ two-day budget retreat last week.

    Lawing said converting to a four-day workweek would save the county in energy costs, and employees on rising fuel costs.

  • Countywide curbside recycling up in the air

    Countywide curbside recycling in Brunswick County is still up in the air.

    Brunswick County officials had hoped one of the county’s legislative delegates would have introduced a local bill allowing the county to levy a solid waste and recycling fee by Wednesday, March 30, the deadline to enter a local bill in the General Assembly.

  • Commissioners discuss reduction in force, employee compensation

    BOLIVIA—Brunswick County Commissioners have begun to discuss a less-than-desirable method to balance the county’s budget—employee layoffs.

    For the past several budget years, the county has employed a reduction of force through attrition policy, meaning most positions are not filled once someone retires or resigns. Many vacant positions have been eliminated, but the county has been able to avoid active layoffs, Brunswick County Manager Marty Lawing said at Friday’s budget retreat.

  • County considers changing to self-insured

    In an effort to combat rising healthcare costs and to take advantage of the county’s wellness program, Brunswick County Commissioners are considering switching to a self-insured plan for employee healthcare coverage.

    Brunswick County Human Resources Director Debbie Barnes told commissioners at their two-day budget retreat last week to keep their current plan with Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the county would have to absorb an $860,000 or 9.3 percent increase.