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Local News

  • “American Pickers” spend the day digging in Varnamtown

    VARNAMTOWN—If you’ve ever driven by it, you know why they stop—plain, old-fashioned curiosity. Last week The History Channel’s “American Pickers” spent the day indulging their curiosity.

    Along Stone Chimney Road, there is a jail cell, police cars, the Brunswick County “Crackhead Express,” dummies hanging by nooses. Sometimes there are coffins and caskets. These are just the exterior to Dale Varnum’s world. The sign outside says it best: “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”

  • Hanukkah is here: Let your light shine

    ST. JAMES—On Tuesday at sundown candles around the world will be lit in honor of the start of Hanukkah, also called the Festival of Lights.

    This year a large group will gather in St. James to celebrate the start of the holiday.

    “There isn’t a synagogue in Brunswick County,” explained Esther Eisenstein, who grew up attending the neighborhood synagogue in New Jersey. She and her husband Marv moved to Brunswick County in 2001 to retire and at first found the adjustment to be difficult.

  • Community challenged by $1 million Hospice donation

    Monday was a big day for the Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation Closer to Home campaign.

    That’s because there is a $1 million check waiting to be cashed.

    The State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation, funded solely by credit union members, announced a challenge grant of $1 million to the Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation Closer to Home SECU Hospice House Capital Campaign, as the two groups become partners.

  • Three out of four potential megaport sites are in the region

    ST.JAMES—If they listen to feedback of the audience, the answer is “No.”

    Last week the North Carolina Maritime Strategy study team heard local input from the public about proposed uses and locations for North Carolina ports.

    During a more than four-hour meeting with more than 300 people in attendance, the public interacted with researchers to find out details about the study. During the public comment time, more than 50 people registered to speak—only one spoke out in favor of a megaport in Brunswick County.

  • Three out of four potential megaport sites are in the region

    ST.JAMES—If they listen to feedback of the audience, the answer is “No.”

    Last week the North Carolina Maritime Strategy study team heard local input from the public about proposed uses and locations for North Carolina ports.

    During a more than four-hour meeting with more than 300 people in attendance, the public interacted with researchers to find out details about the study. During the public comment time, more than 50 people registered to speak—only one spoke out in favor of a megaport in Brunswick County.

  • Shallotte board can’t satisfy business owners’ requests

    SHALLOTTE—Some local business owners want the town’s board of aldermen to show more “speed and enthusiasm” about re-opening portions of Holden Beach Road.

    At the board of aldermen’s regular December meeting, the board began a discussion but recessed until Dec. 15 to host a workshop focused on finding a more immediate solution to business owners’ needs on Business 130.

  • New Year's Eve bonfire planned in Calabash

    CALABASH—Plans are in the works for the town to host a public New Year’s Eve bonfire and celebration in the Seafood Capital.

    Announcement came at the town board of commissioners meeting Dec. 13.

    Festivities are scheduled to launch at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, in the Hurricane Fishing Fleet parking lot next to the Calabash River.

    “It will be a very festive occasion where people can come together,” newly sworn-in Calabash Mayor Mary Knight said at the meeting. “We’re going to have fellowship and food.”

  • 'Pearl gates' not so heavenly for adjacent property owners

    CALABASH—Sandy and John Melahn don’t mind golfers—just the ones who keep driving past their house.

    For the past few years, ever since global positioning systems came into vogue, the Calabash couple has felt victimized by lost golfers constantly going down their dead-end road, Carlyle Street, then turning around on their property.

    The problem, they say, is GPS systems and some online mapping services are erroneously directing golfers down the street as a thruway to the adjacent Pearl Golf Links.

  • Hats off to a legend: Popular eatery gets ready to close Thursday

    CALABASH—It’s cold and dark at 6 a.m., and traffic along Thomasboro Road is just starting to stir.

    Inside Granny Allyn’s Country Kitchen, its lighted signs beckoning like a beacon in the December dark, laughter rings out.

    Longtime restaurant owner Brenda Dixon, coffee in hand and sporting a hat decorated with snowmen, is already in joking mode as she and an employee wait for breakfast customers.

    It will be the last Friday they have to rise in time for the country-style restaurant’s 5 a.m. opening.

  • Beacon investigates: A look at DSS open meetings, public records violations

    Brunswick County commissioners on Monday scheduled a hearing on Jan. 17 to determine whether there is just cause to remove commissioner Charles Warren from his role on the county’s social services board.

    Warren claims the hearing was scheduled because commissioners are “racists.” Brunswick County Commissioners Chairman Bill Sue said it was because of Warren’s actions while serving as DSS chairman.