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Local News

  • The Brunswick Beacon looks back: 1967-1971

    Editor's note: This is the third in a yearlong series reflecting on the history of The Brunswick Beacon. Each month we will bring readers a glimpse into the past.

    Back in Brunswick County 45 years ago, the New Year kicked off with bang when a car was hit by a train.

  • Candidate filing under way for 2012 election

    BOLIVIA—Candidate filing for the 2012 election is under way. Filing began at noon Monday, Feb. 13, and ran until noon Wednesday, Feb. 29.

    The 2012 primary election will be Tuesday, May 8, and the General Election will be Tuesday, Nov. 6. 

    As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, the following candidates have filed for office.

    County commissioners

  • New DSS chair says board will ‘move forward’ and ‘serve community’

    BOLIVIA—In their first meeting since former chairman Charles Warren was removed, members of the Brunswick County Board of Social Services got back to business Monday.

    Last week Brunswick County commissioners voted four votes to one to remove Warren from the DSS board for, among other things, removing fellow board member Pat Sykes and a Beacon reporter from a December 2011 DSS board meeting.

    Commissioners also voted four votes to one to appoint former DSS board member Elsie Peterson, whose term expired last year, as Warren’s replacement.

  • Man gets life, no parole for drive-by shooting murder

    BOLIVIA—Life in prison. No possibility for parole.

    On Monday evening those were the words 28-year-old Matthew Lee Baber heard as he was sentenced for the first-degree murder of James Murdock.

    After deliberating for less than an hour, jurors convicted Baber, of Sunset Beach, of the first-degree murder of Murdock, 28, from a May 8, 2008, drive-by shooting.

    Jurors also found Baber guilty of felony firing into an occupied vehicle.

    Superior Court Judge Christopher Bragg sentenced Baber to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

  • Baber guilty of first-degree murder in drive-by shooting death of Calabash man

    BOLIVIA—After deliberating for less than one hour, jurors convicted Matthew Lee Baber of the first-degree murder of James Murdock in a 2008 drive-by shooting.

    Jurors also found Baber guilty of felony firing into an occupied vehicle.

    Jurors found Baber guilty of first-degree murder on the felony murder rule, meaning they found him guilty of murder while in the commission of felony.

    The verdict came after four days of testimony in Brunswick County Superior Court.

  • Forensic neuro-psychologist testifies for defense in first-degree murder trial

    BOLIVIA—Dr. Antonio Puente, a forensic neuro-psychologist took the stand Monday morning as the first and only witness for the defense of Matthew Baber, who is on trial for first-degree murder.

    In the fourth day of testimony in the first-degree murder trial in Brunswick County Superior Court, Puente testified Baber had “diminished capacity” the night prosecutors said he shot and killed 28-year-old James Murdock with an AK-47 assault rifle on May 8, 2008.

  • Pathologist testifies in third day of drive-by shooting murder trial

    BOLIVIA— It likely took James Murdock less than five minutes to bleed to death on May 8, 2008, when he was shot and killed while sitting in the front seat of a friend’s minivan.

    On Friday, the third day of testimony in the first-degree murder trial of Matthew Baber, accused of killing Murdock by shooting him with an AK-47, pathologist William Kelly testified as to the cause of Murdock’s death.

  • Severe storms possible this afternoon

    Severe storms are expected across the area this afternoon.

    According to The Weather Channel, a cold front will move through the region Friday. As it mixes with warm, humid air here, storms will likely result. The main threat will be damaging wind. There is a chance for isolated tornadoes.

    A tornado watch has been issued for Brunswick County. It will be in effect until 8 p.m. Friday.

    Check back later for follow ups as they are available.

  • Witness testimony continues in second day of drive-by murder trial

    BOLIVIA—Twenty-seven-year-old Elliot Simmons took the stand Thursday in the state’s case against Matthew Lee Baber, charged with first-degree murder in the drive-by shooting death of a Calabash man.

    Simmons, along with Baber, was initially charged with felony murder for his role in the May 8, 2008, death of James Murdock, 28, who was gunned down while sitting in the front seat of a friend’s van.

  • Nuclear reactor manually shut down at Brunswick Nuclear Plant

    SOUTHPORT—Reactor 1 at the Brunswick Nuclear Plant was manually shut-down Thursday afternoon.

    According to Ryan Mosier, corporate communications for Progress Energy, the plant experienced an electrical fault on a “component not associated with the nuclear operations” at about 7 p.m. on Wednesday.