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Local News

  • County commissioners to continue budget talks Monday

    BOLIVIA—The upcoming fiscal year’s budget will be the topic of a specially called county commissioners workshop Monday afternoon.

    County commissioners are scheduled to meet at 4 p.m. Monday in the county commissioners’ chambers in Bolivia to continue discussing the fiscal year 2009-2010 budget. Commissioners will continue with their regular meeting at 6:30 p.m.

  • Relay for Life raises more than $325,000 for cancer research

    For Theresa Clifton of Whiteville, the Brunswick County Relay for Life is a personal crusade and a celebration of life.

    The sister of this year’s honorary chairperson, Gloria Childress, Clifton has been attending and participating since her sister was diagnosed in 2003. In 2006, she herself was diagnosed.

    The cancer treatments did not stop her commitment to the cause.

    “I come every year,” Clifton said Saturday morning, as she tried on a sun hat for sale in one of the team’s tents. “It means a lot to me.”

  • Shallotte department certified in light rescue, continues training

    The Shallotte Fire Department has met the “high professional standards” to be certified as a light rescue provider from the N.C. Association of Rescue and Emergency Medical Services Inc.

    The certification means the department is recognized as providing services such as vehicle extrication and first-responder services to stabilize patients at accident scenes until paramedics arrive.

  • Man lying in road dies after being struck by car

    A Brunswick County man died early Saturday morning after being struck by a car while lying on a road near Holden Beach.

    According to 1st Sgt. A.E. Morris of the N.C. Highway Patrol, Jodie Eugene Ruff, 52, of Supply, was lying partially on Rural Paved 1139, which is 3.5 miles west of Holden Beach. He was struck in the head by the rear right tire of a 2003 Toyota passenger vehicle driven by Lena Beaver, 68, of Clemmons.

    Morris said at about 1:23 a.m., Beaver swerved to avoid Ruff, but her rear right tire struck him in the head. Ruff died on the scene.

  • Prescription trafficking 'epidemic' hits Brunswick County

    Drug agent Israel West says an epidemic is sweeping through Brunswick County—a dangerous cycle of prescription fraud, diversion and trafficking.

    West, an agent with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit, says a recent boom in prescription pill fraud has become an epidemic. Nearly 75 percent of cases drug agents work involve prescription medication.

    “It’s literally an epidemic—comparable to the crack epidemic of the ’80s,” he said.

  • Commissioners slash capital spending, agree to tap into fund balance to keep jobs

    BOLIVIA—An $8.4 million budget deficit looming over commissioners’ heads ignited passionate debate, which hasn’t been on display since the board assembled after the November election.

    After receiving a bleak budgetary forecast, county commissioners slashed future capital expenses, OK’d dipping into fund balance, and agreed to make more cuts to balance next year’s budget in hopes of leaving county employees’ jobs and paychecks intact.

  • Commissioners OK additional funds for drug court, domestic violence programs

    BOLIVIA—Arlington Johnson spent the last 20 years of his life on a perpetual drug binge—with no job, no car, no driver’s license—teetering on the brink of society.

    But six months ago, after being arrested for the first time during his decades-long binge, he entered Brunswick County’s Drug Treatment Court—a move he said saved his life.

    On Monday night, Johnson was before county commissioners, asking for the continued support of drug treatment court, started by Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis in July 2008.

  • Judge rules in favor of department of insurance

    It’s official—Brunswick County homeowners will see a nearly 30-percent increase in their homeowners’ insurance bill when they renew their insurance policies.

    A battle between the North Carolina Department of Insurance and coastal homeowners and representatives has been waging since last December, when former N.C. Insurance Commissioner Jim Long approved a 29.8-percent rate increase for Brunswick, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender and Carteret counties.

  • Developer, public officials among delinquent taxpayers

    Mark Saunders’ development dynasty includes large-scale luxury developments like Ocean Ridge and Seawatch at Sunset Harbor. It also includes a hefty tax bill.

    According to the Brunswick County Tax Department, Saunders owes more than $1.3 million in county property taxes on 37 accounts, each of which includes multiple land parcels and a $3.2 million share in an airplane. Saunders’ May 6 tax balance was $1,313,094.

  • Former mayors blast current leader in Carolina Shores

    CAROLINA SHORES—Two former mayors spoke out against recent actions by Carolina Shores Mayor Stephen Selby, charging he is going beyond his role and interfering too much with town staff.

    Former Carolina Shores mayors Dan Mann and Jack Elliott spoke at Tuesday’s monthly commissioners meeting amid a full-house crowd of residents, many of them supportive of Selby.