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Local News

  • New senior center to be staffed by those 55 and older in need of jobs

    Jim Russell, director of Brunswick Senior Resources Inc., wants to employ people 55 and older in the new Southport Senior Center, slated to open in July.

    It’s another way of supporting the mission of the nonprofit agency, which has seen its share of older people in need.

    “The mission of BSRI is to help people 55 and [older] sustain their independence,” Russell said recently. “The need for employment is always there. It’s just more noticeable now.”

  • VIDEO INCLUDED: Students find success at Transition Academy

    BOLIVIA—The Transition Academy began with the idea of refreshing the eighth-grade curriculum throughout the entire year, but students had so much success, they completed the eighth-grade courses during the first semester.

    All students are now first-semester ninth-graders.

    Josue Ramirez missed 146 days of school last year. He used to be a self-proclaimed partier.

    “Sometimes I make it to school, sometimes I won’t,” he said of his previous attendance record.

  • VIDEO INCLUDED: Transition Academy in jeopardy

    BOLIVIA—Because of state and local shortfalls in education funding the Eighth-Grade Transition Academy is at risk of losing its funding source.

    At the Brunswick County Board of Education’s budget retreat earlier this month, administration said the program might be eliminated due to the loss of at risk funds, which will be cut by a half-million dollars.

    The Transition Academy has five teachers, one counselor and a principal, positions that were supposed to be filled by transfers, not new hires.

  • Wake County judge orders a stay on Beach Plan deductibles

    RALEIGH—Coastal counties may have won this battle, but the war is far from over.

    On Friday, March 20, Wake County Superior Court Judge William Pittman ruled in favor of a group of coastal counties and municipalities, enacting a stay on the Beach Plan and FAIR Plan deductibles and surcharges.

    But there is no mention in Pittman’s order of a stay of the 29.5 percent increase to homeowners’ insurance rates set to take effect May 1.

  • Health department gives a record number of Golden A awards

    The Environmental Health Food and Lodging Section of the Brunswick County Health Department presented the 10th annual “Golden A” award to 118 local food establishments recently at a ceremony in Bolivia.

    Included in the list are 29 “Platinum A” awards for restaurants and other establishments that have earned the “Golden A” five consecutive years.

  • Sheriff’s office warns residents of paving scheme

    A Greenville man has been arrested for a paving scheme, and the sheriff’s office is warning residents about the scam.

    Anthony Shawn Stanley, 27, has been operating AJ’s Paving out of Greenville. According to Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Detectives Capt. Gene Caison, Stanley paved a driveway of an elderly Carolina Shores man with inferior material. The driveway was also paved thinner than agreed, Caison said.

    Sheriff’s detective Tommy Cole charged Stanley with obtaining property by false pretenses March 4, Caison said.

  • Officer down motorcycle ride to benefit local public safety departments

    The Fourth Annual Officer Down Ride is set for 11 a.m. Saturday, April 11, at the Carolina Coast Harley-Davidson/Buell at 6620 Market St., Wilmington. The ride continues to Beach House Harley-Davidson on U.S. 17 in Shallotte.

    Proceeds from the ride benefit the Officer Down Fund. The fund serves sheriff, police, fire, EMS and volunteer departments in Brunswick, New Hanover, Pender, Columbus, and Bladen counties.

  • County commissioners enact purchasing freeze, discuss other cost-saving measures

    BOLIVIA—To avoid tapping into the county’s fund balance and to stay out of the red for the remainder of the fiscal year, county commissioners have frozen all purchase orders from county operating and capital outlay funds.

    The only allowable exception is for emergencies or for equipment repairs needed to continue services.

    County finance director Ann Hardy and county manager Marty Lawing presented commissioners with cost-saving options at the last of their three-day budget retreat last week in Bolivia.

  • Commissioners uphold schools' funding agreement

    BOLIVIA—The question of whether the county would continue its current schools’ funding agreement weighed heavily on the faces of school board members on the last day of commissioners’ three-day budget retreat.

    But commissioners approved continuing the current 36.5 percent funding agreement with one major change to the agreement—the schools would now share the county’s deficit.

  • Revenue collector projects 94 percent collection rate for real property taxes

    BOLIVIA—When it’s charted on paper it becomes clear—the county’s revenue collections are down, way down.

    Brunswick County Revenue Collector Ken Perry said the best-case scenario for revenue collection of taxes on all real property excluding motor vehicles is a 94 percent, more than 3 percent less than last year.

    The motor vehicle collection rate, which is always lower than the real property collection rate, is projected at 85.4 percent.