Local News

  • Brunswick County drops to 37th among fastest-growing counties

    Brunswick County has dropped from 28th to 37th on the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest list of 100 fastest-growing counties in the United States.

    Census Bureau numbers released Dec. 23 show Brunswick County with an estimated population of 103,160, an increase of 30,017 residents or 41 percent from 2000 to 2008. The estimate base for April 1, 2000, showed a population of 73,143.

    Census Bureau tallies estimate the top 100 counties’ growth rates through July 1, 2008.

  • Health department polls county staffers about going smoke-free

    The Brunswick County Health Department is in the midst of tallying results of a survey of county employees to determine if county property should be smoke-free, in the wake of the new state law banning smoking in restaurants and bars.

    The state’s new no-smoking law goes into effect Jan. 2.

    Right now, smoking is not allowed inside county offices and not within 50 feet of the health department due to state law.

  • Calabash EMS undergoing 'positive' changes

    CALABASH—Calabash Emergency Medical Services has a new chief and other changes in the works.

    Former Calabash EMS secretary Melissa Artz is serving as acting chief of the department since former chief Jeff Oxnard recently took a personal leave of absence.

    “Basically she is filling out the rest of Jeff Oxnard’s term,” Troy Thorup, board secretary and spokesman for Calabash EMS, also known as Station 29, said this week.

    The position will be up for re-election in June.

  • VIDEO INCLUDED In their own words: Drug Treatment Court participants talk about their journeys to recovery

    Danny Grissett thought he was going to die.

    Imprisoned by his addiction, he saw no freedom from it, no way out. To him, life was no longer worth living.

    “What drugs and alcohol done for me, it just took me down a spiral—down, down, down—and I hit the bottom, and so it got to the point I was just totally unhappy,” Grissett said. “I got to that point where I thought life wasn’t even worth living. I just got to that point where I didn’t see any way out. I thought I was going to die.”


    LONGWOOD—The previous night had been hectic.

    From 11:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., there were three calls that pulled volunteers with Grissettown Longwood Fire Department out of their beds and had them responding to emergencies in the cold, dark December hours.

    A medical call, a structure fire and standby backup assistance for a vehicle rollover with neighboring Waccamaw Fire Department kept them running until early morning.

    For Michael Leonard, it was all in a night’s work.


    Can a former party planner find success with a nonprofit to aid Brunswick County’s homeless animals?

    When it comes to organizing fundraisers for Paws-Ability, Janie Withers has the details in the bag—in bookoodles of financial “gift bags,” no less, to aid dogs and cats.

    Less than three years ago, the energetic Ocean Isle Beach resident launched the nonprofit to aid existing animal shelters, animal rescue groups and pet needs in Brunswick County.

  • VIDEO INCLUDED TRAILBLAZERS: Sister Maria Theresa Orbegozo

    SHALLOTTE—In the vestibule of St. Brendan Catholic Church, a statue of St. Brendan the Navigator beckons those into the comforting arms of the church.

    “All are welcome in this place,” the sign behind the statute reads. And across the hall, another sign, “Todos son bienvenidos aqui.”

    Like most churches, all are welcome at St. Brendan.

    Much like the saint for which the church was named, Sister Maria Theresa Orbegozo is navigating the way for the St. Brendan’s Hispanic population.

  • Craft, antique store to open in renovated furniture store

    People driving along Main Street in Shallotte have no doubt seen the changes to the former furniture store beside Burger King.

    The previously yellow building has been completely renovated with barn-red siding, new roof and a larger parking area.

    The recently sold High Point Furniture Outlet is now on its way to becoming a new business in town, Nona’s Place, which will feature the work of local artisans and craftspeople as well as “shabby chic” antiques.

  • Health department used CDC-recalled vaccines before they lost potency

    The Brunswick County Health Department recently received word from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that 13 lots of H1N1 nasal spray manufactured by MedImmune have been recalled for potency reasons.

    According to health department officials, Brunswick County received 500 doses of one of the lot numbers Oct. 4, and the vaccine was given Oct. 20. The health department does not have any doses of the recalled lot number left, and all the doses were administered before losing their potency, according to a department news release.

  • ATMC donates computers, accessories to volunteer center

    ATMC recently donated personal computers and accessories to the Brunswick County Volunteer Center.

    The cooperative donated a laptop, 27 desktop computers, 10 monitors and numerous keyboards, mouses and cords.

    The computers will be used for the Computers for Kids project, an all-volunteer project that provides refurbished computers to students whose families cannot afford them. The computers are presented to middle school and high school students at all Brunswick County schools.