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Local News

  • Brunswick home sales up slightly in December

    Existing home sales in Brunswick County inched up again in December 2008, from 110 in November to 114 in December.

    Sales were up 41 percent over December 2007, when only 81 houses were sold, according to the most recent report from the N.C. Association of Realtors.

    The average cost of a house in Brunswick County decreased slightly between 2007 and 2008, going from $260,306 to $253,488.

    The association also reported buyers spent $25,897,600 on houses in December 2008, up from $21,084,771 in December 2007 and up from $25,536,204 in November 2008.

  • Man arrested for Winnabow woman's 2002 death

    Wilmington police have arrested a suspect in the 2002 murder of Vicki Robbins Brendle, 32, of Winnabow, a police department spokesperson announced Wednesday.

    Brendle was killed at 8 a.m., Sept. 28, 2002, at the intersection of the 1100 block of South Front Street.

    Last Wednesday, Wilmington detectives obtained a warrant for James Thurnan Daughtie, also known as James Daughtie, 25.

    Daughtie currently is in prison on unrelated charges and is due for release in 2010. He now faces the new charge of first-degree murder in Brendle’s death.

  • Cooking for credit

    BOLIVIA—Days before Valentine’s Day, the wafting aroma of freshly baked cakes and brownies can be smelled throughout the halls of Brunswick County Academy.

  • Sunset Beach police arrest Texas fugitive

    SUNSET BEACH—Local police have arrested a man wanted in Texas on a habitual DUI charge.

    Michael Joseph Schoolcraft, 50, was taken into custody Feb. 13 by Sunset Beach police, who found him at a residence in Sea Trail after being advised by the Lampasas, Texas, Sheriff’s Office.

    Sunset Beach police placed a fugitive warrant on Schoolcraft, who was taken to the Brunswick County Detention Center to await extradition to Texas.

    Sunset Beach police also investigated:

  • Local students send valentines around the world to Ugandan students

    Dozens of valentines made their way to western Uganda last week, postmarked from Brunswick County.

    The valentines, sent to a primary school class, may have only been made from colored paper and stickers, but they meant more to the Ugandan students than the American students may ever know.

    Martha Myers, assistive technology facilitator at Brunswick County Schools, first heard of the children in Uganda from her son, Eric Myers, and his girlfriend, Kelly Damberger, who are both serving in the Peace Corps and teaching in local schools.

  • Local restaurant owners staying afloat thanks to loyal customers

    SHALLOTTE—Despite the economic downturn, loyal customers at The Purple Onion restaurant at the corner of Main and Cheers streets apparently haven’t given up their favorite breakfast and lunch treats.

    Business at the popular restaurant in Cheers Plaza remains steady, owners Andrew Bland and wife Terry Bland said recently, with little change over last year at this time.

    Even in the middle of winter, it’s often difficult to get a table at the restaurant, which serves what the Blands call “classic American food.”

  • Novant Health, Brunswick Community Hospital report financial losses

    SUPPLY—Brunswick Community Hospital has a clean financial bill of health, hospital spokesperson Amy Myers says.

    While the hospital’s parent company, Novant Health, has reported a financial loss this year, Myers said Brunswick’s facility is in a unique situation with the growth Brunswick County has experienced.

    The hospital’s operating cash flow has decreased from -$1.3 million in 2007 to -$2.9 million in 2008, but Myers said Novant budgeted for losses for the first five years of its operations in Brunswick County.

  • Dare County’s insurance hearing request dismissed

    RALEIGH—Dare County’s request for a hearing before the N.C. Commissioner of Insurance has been dismissed.

    In a Jan. 29 ruling, the request was dismissed because of “lack of subject matter jurisdiction,” the order reads.

    “And because the petitioners’ request for hearing failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted,” the order continued.

  • Anticipating budget shortfalls, county commissioners look to cut spending

    BOLIVIA—County commissioners are looking for ways to reduce spending after county finance director Ann Hardy told commissioners the county is looking at a budget shortfall of close to $8.5 million this fiscal year.

    Hardy projects a $2.2 million budget shortfall in ad valorem tax revenue, even with what the tax collection department has deemed a “best-case scenario” of a 96 percent collection rate. A 98 percent collection rate was budgeted for this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

  • Pregnant woman rescued from boat stranded off Bird Island

    SUNSET BEACH—Town firefighters swam through chilly waters in the wee hours to rescue a pregnant woman from a stranded boat last week.

    The 22-year-old Myrtle Beach, S.C., woman, identified only as “Ashley,” was rescued in the inlet about 50 feet south of Bird Island, around 2 a.m. Feb. 11 by a fire department rescue team.

    Sunset Beach Fire Capt. Kevin Dempsey, who took part in the rescue, said the woman was eight months pregnant.