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Local News

  • Second night court debuts at Brunswick County courthouse

    BOLIVIA—Brunswick County Superior Court, like almost every other state agency, is feeling the harsh side effects of the economic downturn.

    The courts are crowded and understaffed, and staff they have is overworked.

    But Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis says she won’t ask county commissioners to build new courtrooms in this economy—not while there are open courtrooms—even if it is after 5 p.m.

  • South Carolina man sentenced to 14 years for wire fraud

    RALEIGH—A South Carolina man convicted of defrauding hundreds of customers in a furniture store scam he ran out of Calabash has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison.

    According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Henry Rayford Privette Jr., 55, of Johns Island, S.C., was sentenced to 168 months, or 14 years, in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.

    Privette was also ordered to pay $1.1 million in restitution.

    He was convicted in U.S. District Court on Aug. 13, 2008, for 10 counts of wire fraud.

  • County unemployment rate up again; more laid-off workers enrolling at BCC

    Brunswick County unemployment rate continued its upward climb in December, topping out at 9.9 percent, according to the state Employment Security Commission.

    Eli Smith, manager of the local ESC office, said his office took about 492 claims during that month, the most he can remember in a month.

    Smith said people are still looking for work “across the board,” in industries from construction to retail to manufacturing.

  • County approves financing plans for Calabash, Sunset Beach sewer

    BOLIVIA—Brunswick County commissioners have approved financing for sewer systems for Sunset Beach and Calabash, giving customers 10 years to pay the assessments in installments.

    Those who pay their full assessments within 30 days will receive a 5 percent discount, as recommended by county finance director Ann Hardy, who presented the proposed agreements for approval at Monday night’s commissioners’ meeting.

    According to Hardy, county utilities director Jerry Pierce anticipates awarding four contracts for the Sunset Beach project.

  • Calabash merchants demand 'people's rights' regarding UDO

    CALABASH—Despite what town officials say, a pending Unified Development Ordinance draft will hurt local businesses, merchants claim.

    “The town should be representative of the people,” local restaurateur Jeff Sisk said last week following a Jan. 27 hearing that drew a standing-room-only crowd of business owners opposed to the draft as it’s written.

    “They shouldn’t impose their philosophy or opinions unless it’s done by the people,” he said, standing outside his family’s Sunrise Pancake House on Beach Drive.

  • Carolina Shores nixes sheriff's contract with Calabash

    CAROLINA SHORES—Town commissioners on Tuesday voted against contracting with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office to provide additional law enforcement protection for Carolina Shores and Calabash.

    The unanimous vote at the specially called meeting came after all five commissioners voiced concern about the minimal annual cost of $150,000 for an entry-level officer, which the two towns would split if both approved such a contract.

  • Town Creek redistricting brings up fears about transportation, traffic and ride times

    LELAND—Traffic and transportation were among parents’ major concerns at last Wednesday’s public forum regarding redistricting lines for Town Creek Elementary School, which is set to open in fall 2009.

    Cristie Ledlord has three children in Brunswick County Schools, one of which may be affected by redistricting lines. Her son currently attends Belville Elementary School, but would be redistricted to Town Creek if the board of education chose scenario three.

  • Searcher believes remains found in S.C. are missing woman

    Authorities have recovered a human skull and bone fragments off a rural road in Horry County, S.C., believed to be connected with the disappearance of a woman who was abducted and brought to Brunswick County in November 2002.

    The possible remains of Alice Donovan of Galivants Ferry, S.C., have been sent to a lab in Columbia, S.C., for DNA testing. They were discovered last week by a voluntary search group with the CUE Center for Missing Persons in Wilmington.

  • Facing mastectomy, 37-year-old shares story

    SHALLOTTE—The breast pain came on suddenly last September, alarming 37-year-old Angie Sutton with its persistence.

    In November, Sutton, director of advertising for The Brunswick Beacon, was diagnosed with Stage 0 ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a “non-invasive” cancer of breast milk ducts that does not spread to surrounding tissue.

  • UDO draws objections from Calabash business owners

    CALABASH—A standing-room-only crowd, consisting mostly of local business owners, turned out Tuesday night to register complaints about the town’s pending Unified Development Ordinance.

    The gist of their argument is the draft UDO imposes rules over the town’s core commercial district that don’t fit in with Calabash, such as banning roof signs, requiring uniform design and dictating colors buildings can be painted.