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Local News

  • Calabash keeps 'the property' for appraisal under wraps

    CALABASH—What property is the town of Calabash eyeing for appraisal and possible purchase?

    That’s what The Brunswick Beacon asked after three town commissioners emerged from a closed session last week and voted to direct interim administrator Kelley Southward to pursue appraisal of “the property.” Commissioner Mary Knight cast the only "nay" vote.

  • A look at North Carolina’s Open Meetings Law

    You, as a member of the public, have a right to attend an open meeting.

    It’s the law.

    As defined in North Carolina General Statute 143-318.10, official meetings of public bodies are open to members of the public.

    A public body is defined by N.C.G.S. 143-318.10 as “any elected or appointed body, committee, commission, board or other group that is composed of two or more members who are authorized to exercise legislative, policy-making, quasi-judicial, administrative or advisory functions.”

  • It's Arbor Day on Friday in Carolina Shores

    CAROLINA SHORES—The town is having an Arbor Day celebration at 1 p.m. this Friday, March 18.

    The event at Carolina Shores Town Hall, 200 Persimmon Road, will include a tree planting and short ceremony with a second-grade class from Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary School.

    For more information, call town hall at 575-4877.

  • Gazebo draws objections in Carolina Shores

    CAROLINA SHORES—As a town committee investigates costs, a resident questioned why the town wants to have a park and gazebo.

    Resident Jim Parsch, speaking at the town board of commissioners meeting last Thursday, said it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money.

    He said he doesn’t believe people are going to use the facilities and that it ought to be something that’s put on the ballot and voted on.

  • An overview of public records laws in North Carolina

    Reporter’s note: To view the public records law, chapter 132 of the North Carolina General Statutes, visit the North Carolina General Assembly website, www.ncleg.net, and click on “general statutes” under the shortcuts listing on the right.

    What do property tax records, a sex offender registry and campaign finance reports have in common?

  • Campaign finance reports at all levels of government are public record

    If you want to know who’s bankrolling your favorite (or least favorite) candidate, all you have to do is ask—it’s public record.

    That’s right, campaign finance reports, which detail who’s giving money to whom, and who’s spending money on what, are public record, available for public inspection.

    You just have to know where to look.
    Here in Brunswick County, campaign finance reports for county and municipal candidates are kept at the Brunswick County Board of Elections, Building H, at the county complex in Bolivia.

  • The true cost of public records: What agencies can (legally) charge for public documents

  • How to make a public records request and what to do if you’re denied
    1. First, it’s important to identify the correct agency that is the custodian of the information you’re seeking. It’s also important to be specific about exactly what it is you are seeking.
  • The true cost to be governed: A look at the total (and hidden) county personnel costs

    There are numbers, and then there are the real numbers—how much something really costs.

    In honor of Sunshine Week, the national initiative organized by the National Association of News Editors focused on freedom of information and the public’s right to know, The Brunswick Beacon is shining the light on the true cost to be governed at the county level.

    We requested information about the true cost to fund Brunswick County personnel and commissioners—from salaries to benefits, from clothing allowances to car stipends.

  • 2011 values sent to property owners

    If you haven’t already done so, check your mailbox.

    You might find your 2011 property values waiting for you.

    The 2011 countywide property revaluation is complete, and Brunswick County Tax Administrator Tom Davis said Brunswick County’s value dropped 29 percent, down from $30.9 billion in 2010 to $22 billion in 2011.

    Bolivia, Leland and Northwest fared best in revaluation, with drops of 5 percent, 10 percent and 9 percent respectively.