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Local News

  • County pay-hike proposal looms over salary study presentation

    Brunswick County commissioners and staff won’t know what a proposed new salary structure will look like until consultants present it at a workshop Tuesday, Jan. 8.

    But the numbers will immediately be held up to commissioner Marty Cooke’s proposed across-the-board 5 percent salary increase, which is estimated to cost $2.5 million annually.

    County manager Marty Lawing said it’s best to separate the two issues to do what’s best for the county.

  • Leland police retire police dog, make plans for new officers

    Most police officers receive a pat on the back when they retire, but few get a pat on the head.

    But Gretchen, Leland’s 6-year-old Belgian Malinois police dog, appreciated the gesture while Mayor Brenda Bozeman read her retirement recognition at the town meeting Dec. 20.

    Gretchen served Leland for four years, working drug enforcement and other public service tasks before health issues cut her career short.

  • Brunswick school system intends to keep deputies in elementary schools

    Sheriff’s deputies will remain at local elementary schools through the new year.

    Additional security was added at Brunswick County elementary schools just days after a gunman opened fire in a deadly rampage at a Connecticut elementary school Dec. 14.

    School officials said then the county’s elementary schools would have a sheriff’s deputy on site until further notice. Area middle and high schools already had school resource officers (SRO) assigned to them.

  • Decisions ahead for Brunswick County computer upgrades

    Brunswick County officials are trying to decide if they should hire a consultant to determine if big changes are needed for the county’s computer system or if they should do a do-it-yourself upgrade.

    County manager Marty Lawing told commissioners at the Dec. 17 meeting the staff sent out a request for proposals and received three commissioners could consider.

    But before any contract talks took place, the board discussed merits of doing the technology update in-house.

  • Canine Angels in Connecticut

    Rick Kaplan and his team of Canine Angels service dogs couldn’t stay away.

    One week after the Dec. 14 shootings by a lone gunman who killed 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Kaplan and his Carolina service dogs traveled more than 700 miles north to see what they could do to help.

    Kaplan was accompanied by his current team of nine certified service and therapy dogs—Zoe, Bobo, King, Leroy, Ryder, Abbi, Diva, Freddie and Junior.

  • Sunset Beach administrator gets good review, raise

    SUNSET BEACH—On his fifth anniversary with the town, Sunset Beach Town Administrator Gary Parker has received a favorable review along with a 1 percent merit raise.

    The decision came following a closed session of Sunset Beach Town Council at the end of its Dec. 11 meeting.

    The raise increases Parker’s annual salary to $116,195.04.

  • New year, some new schedules for local meetings

    Calabash
    Calabash Board of Commissioners meetings are at 6 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at town hall on Persimmon Road. The next meeting is next Tuesday, Jan. 7.
    Agenda copies are available on the town website at www.townofcalabash.net.

    Carolina Shores
    With the launch of the New Year, the Carolina Shores Board of Commissioners will meet an hour earlier, at 2 p.m. instead of 3 p.m.
    The board has regular monthly meetings on Thursdays.

  • Realtor collecting items for soldiers

    SUNSET BEACH—Local Realtor Fred Thorne is striving to do more than just drum up business in his hometown.
    He’s also collecting items for soldiers.
    His real estate office in the Village Center in Sunset Beach is a collection site for Step Up for Soldiers, a joint project by We the People of NC and area media organizations.
    Thorne, owner of Fred Thorne Realty, says the effort involves collecting donated items and money to ship to the U.S. military stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq. It has been conducted for the past few years.

  • Sunset Beach: Bustling businesses line Queen Anne Street in Village Center

    SUNSET BEACH—With wheels in motion for a new merchants association, local Realtor Fred Thorne says things are looking up along his little stretch of commerce.
    For the first time, all the shops along Queen Anne Street in the Village Center are rented, Thorne said at a Dec. 5 meeting to discuss formation of a town-wide merchants association.

  • Foreclosure filed on Saunders' properties

    BB&T Bank has filed a foreclosure motion against developer Mark Saunders and several of his Brunswick County companies The bank charges Saunders defaulted on nearly $4.5 million in loans.
    On Dec. 20, a continuance for the case against Saunders’ MAS Properties and Eastern Carolinas Construction and Development was granted for May 8 in Brunswick County Superior Court.
    The action by Branch Banking and Trust Co. cites loans dating back to 1997.