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Local News

  • Baber guilty of first-degree murder in drive-by shooting death of Calabash man

    BOLIVIA—After deliberating for less than one hour, jurors convicted Matthew Lee Baber of the first-degree murder of James Murdock in a 2008 drive-by shooting.

    Jurors also found Baber guilty of felony firing into an occupied vehicle.

    Jurors found Baber guilty of first-degree murder on the felony murder rule, meaning they found him guilty of murder while in the commission of felony.

    The verdict came after four days of testimony in Brunswick County Superior Court.

  • Forensic neuro-psychologist testifies for defense in first-degree murder trial

    BOLIVIA—Dr. Antonio Puente, a forensic neuro-psychologist took the stand Monday morning as the first and only witness for the defense of Matthew Baber, who is on trial for first-degree murder.

    In the fourth day of testimony in the first-degree murder trial in Brunswick County Superior Court, Puente testified Baber had “diminished capacity” the night prosecutors said he shot and killed 28-year-old James Murdock with an AK-47 assault rifle on May 8, 2008.

  • Pathologist testifies in third day of drive-by shooting murder trial

    BOLIVIA— It likely took James Murdock less than five minutes to bleed to death on May 8, 2008, when he was shot and killed while sitting in the front seat of a friend’s minivan.

    On Friday, the third day of testimony in the first-degree murder trial of Matthew Baber, accused of killing Murdock by shooting him with an AK-47, pathologist William Kelly testified as to the cause of Murdock’s death.

  • Severe storms possible this afternoon

    Severe storms are expected across the area this afternoon.

    According to The Weather Channel, a cold front will move through the region Friday. As it mixes with warm, humid air here, storms will likely result. The main threat will be damaging wind. There is a chance for isolated tornadoes.

    A tornado watch has been issued for Brunswick County. It will be in effect until 8 p.m. Friday.

    Check back later for follow ups as they are available.

  • Witness testimony continues in second day of drive-by murder trial

    BOLIVIA—Twenty-seven-year-old Elliot Simmons took the stand Thursday in the state’s case against Matthew Lee Baber, charged with first-degree murder in the drive-by shooting death of a Calabash man.

    Simmons, along with Baber, was initially charged with felony murder for his role in the May 8, 2008, death of James Murdock, 28, who was gunned down while sitting in the front seat of a friend’s van.

  • Nuclear reactor manually shut down at Brunswick Nuclear Plant

    SOUTHPORT—Reactor 1 at the Brunswick Nuclear Plant was manually shut-down Thursday afternoon.

    According to Ryan Mosier, corporate communications for Progress Energy, the plant experienced an electrical fault on a “component not associated with the nuclear operations” at about 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

  • Vehicle vs. logging truck stalls traffic on U.S. 17

    A vehicle and a logging truck have collided on U.S. 17 near N.C. 211. All northbound traffic is being rerouted. One southbound lane is open. The wreck occurred on U.S. 17 near Lewis Salvage. Crews are on scene for clean up.

    Check back later for details as we have them.

  • First day of drive-by shooting murder trial under way in Bolivia

    BOLIVIA—Bones. Jimmy. Dread.

    James Murdock went by many names during his 28-year life.

    On Wednesday morning, the first-degree murder trial began in the state’s case against Matthew Lee Baber—charged with killing Murdock in a May 2008 drive-by shooting.

    After brief opening arguments Wednesday morning in Brunswick County Superior Court, assistant district attorney Lee Bollinger began the state’s case with the testimony of Tina Watts.

  • Closed after 36 years in Shallotte: 1976—2012

    SHALLOTTE—The doors closed and locked for the last time to customers at 1 p.m. Monday.

    By 5 p.m. the sign on Main Street was gone.

    After 36 years, Hardee’s is no longer a fast food restaurant open in Shallotte.

    There were tears as friends said goodbye to one another, customers hugged employees and final notes of music were played. For many local residents who gathered daily at the fast food chain, it was a day of reminiscing and sadness.

  • Calabash commissioner complains meeting was too coordinated

    CALABASH—Town commissioner Jody Nance says the last town meeting was too organized for his taste.

    At the town board of commissioners’ last monthly meeting Feb. 14, Nance says the meeting went along too smoothly, with little discussion or input until he intervened.

    He said each commissioner, other than himself, took turns bringing forth new business, with little discussion prior to the board taking action.