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Local News

  • Troopers target teen drivers in 'Operation Drive to Live'

    SHALLOTTE—State troopers will be targeting teen drivers this week as part of the statewide initiative “Operation Drive to Live,” to reduce traffic collisions involving teenage drivers.

    Beginning Feb. 23 and continuing until March 1, state troopers and other local law enforcement agencies will amp up patrols, especially around area high schools, from 6 a.m.-5 p.m. each day.

    Traffic collisions are the leading cause of teenage deaths in North Carolina, trooper J.L. Reeves explained, adding 125 teens were killed on North Carolina highways in 2008.

  • BCC celebrates Black History Month

    Brunswick Community College held its Black History Month celebration on Thursday, Feb. 19. Student ambassador Shanta Vaught opened the event by reading ‘Phenomenal Women,’ a Maya Angelou poem. The BCC Faculty and Staff Choir performed several vocal selections and lead the crowd in singing of ‘Life Every Voice and Sing—The Negro National Anthem.’ A drumming and dance performance by the Wilmington Drummers and Dancers performed several numbers and explained how African natives perform them.

  • Commissioners hurl accusations of inappropriate conduct

    CALABASH—Town commissioner John Melahn has accused fellow commissioner Forrest King of disrespectful and abusive behavior at a town meeting.

    Melahn made the accusation at a heated Feb. 11 meeting continued from commissioners’ monthly meeting the night before.

    Melahn charged King violated “respect for process” in the town ethics policy for town officials and acted in an abusive and threatening manner at commissioners’ Feb. 3 agenda meeting.

  • Brunswick home sales up slightly in December

    Existing home sales in Brunswick County inched up again in December 2008, from 110 in November to 114 in December.

    Sales were up 41 percent over December 2007, when only 81 houses were sold, according to the most recent report from the N.C. Association of Realtors.

    The average cost of a house in Brunswick County decreased slightly between 2007 and 2008, going from $260,306 to $253,488.

    The association also reported buyers spent $25,897,600 on houses in December 2008, up from $21,084,771 in December 2007 and up from $25,536,204 in November 2008.

  • Man arrested for Winnabow woman's 2002 death

    Wilmington police have arrested a suspect in the 2002 murder of Vicki Robbins Brendle, 32, of Winnabow, a police department spokesperson announced Wednesday.

    Brendle was killed at 8 a.m., Sept. 28, 2002, at the intersection of the 1100 block of South Front Street.

    Last Wednesday, Wilmington detectives obtained a warrant for James Thurnan Daughtie, also known as James Daughtie, 25.

    Daughtie currently is in prison on unrelated charges and is due for release in 2010. He now faces the new charge of first-degree murder in Brendle’s death.

  • Cooking for credit

    BOLIVIA—Days before Valentine’s Day, the wafting aroma of freshly baked cakes and brownies can be smelled throughout the halls of Brunswick County Academy.

  • Sunset Beach police arrest Texas fugitive

    SUNSET BEACH—Local police have arrested a man wanted in Texas on a habitual DUI charge.

    Michael Joseph Schoolcraft, 50, was taken into custody Feb. 13 by Sunset Beach police, who found him at a residence in Sea Trail after being advised by the Lampasas, Texas, Sheriff’s Office.

    Sunset Beach police placed a fugitive warrant on Schoolcraft, who was taken to the Brunswick County Detention Center to await extradition to Texas.

    Sunset Beach police also investigated:

  • Local students send valentines around the world to Ugandan students

    Dozens of valentines made their way to western Uganda last week, postmarked from Brunswick County.

    The valentines, sent to a primary school class, may have only been made from colored paper and stickers, but they meant more to the Ugandan students than the American students may ever know.

    Martha Myers, assistive technology facilitator at Brunswick County Schools, first heard of the children in Uganda from her son, Eric Myers, and his girlfriend, Kelly Damberger, who are both serving in the Peace Corps and teaching in local schools.

  • Local restaurant owners staying afloat thanks to loyal customers

    SHALLOTTE—Despite the economic downturn, loyal customers at The Purple Onion restaurant at the corner of Main and Cheers streets apparently haven’t given up their favorite breakfast and lunch treats.

    Business at the popular restaurant in Cheers Plaza remains steady, owners Andrew Bland and wife Terry Bland said recently, with little change over last year at this time.

    Even in the middle of winter, it’s often difficult to get a table at the restaurant, which serves what the Blands call “classic American food.”

  • Novant Health, Brunswick Community Hospital report financial losses

    SUPPLY—Brunswick Community Hospital has a clean financial bill of health, hospital spokesperson Amy Myers says.

    While the hospital’s parent company, Novant Health, has reported a financial loss this year, Myers said Brunswick’s facility is in a unique situation with the growth Brunswick County has experienced.

    The hospital’s operating cash flow has decreased from -$1.3 million in 2007 to -$2.9 million in 2008, but Myers said Novant budgeted for losses for the first five years of its operations in Brunswick County.