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Local News

  • Legal counsel advises board parents can only ‘opt out’ of sex education classes

    BOLIVIA—Legal advisers for the Brunswick County Board of Education say schools cannot opt out of recent state-mandated reproductive health and safety education curriculum, despite the wishes of several board members.

    Last month, board members Catherine Cooke and Shirley Babson wanted the board to pass a policy requiring parents to opt in if they wanted their middle school children to take part of the state-mandated curriculum, which will be added at the start of the 2010-2011 school year.

  • Ports chairman says NCIT not possible without support from state, feds

    The chairman of the N.C. State Ports Authority says the N.C. International Terminal project planned for the Southport area cannot go forward as long as the state legislature and the area’s representative in Congress are against it.

    That’s the main reason the authority announced last week the project has been placed “on hold,” board of directors chairman Carl Stewart said.

  • VIDEO INCLUDED: Tractor enthusiasts, church members planning Farm Days in September

    LELAND—Dale Ward and his father, Lloyd, have “day jobs” as owners and operators of Affordable Towing here in their hometown, but their passion is restoring old tractors.

    In their neighborhood off Lanvale Road, the Ward family has several tractors in various states of repair, including a nearly complete 1951 John Deere, which will soon be ready to make the rounds at tractor shows.

  • Federal money appropriated for local beaches and inlets

    More than $22 million in federal funds have been appropriated for beaches and inlets in southeastern North Carolina, as well as the Intracoastal Waterway and the Wilmington Port.

    “Our coast is the lifeline for economic growth in our region,” U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre said in a press release. “Federal support is critical to enhancing and protecting the economic and environmental treasure of our coast.”

  • First sea turtle nest hatching on Ocean Isle Beach

    OCEAN ISLE BEACH—The first sea turtle nest of the 2010 season is hatching on Ocean Isle Beach.

    The nest, near the Concord Street beach access, began hatching Sunday night, Gloria Hillenburg, coordinator of the Ocean Isle Beach Turtle Patrol, said. Baby loggerhead sea turtles emerged about 8:30 p.m. Sunday, and were still hatching as of Tuesday afternoon. Hillenburg said 70 turtles had left the nest so far.

  • Tubb named CTE director of the year by state association

    As director of Brunswick County Schools’ career technical education (CTE) program, Les Tubb said he’s the person who takes the blame whenever things don’t go well.

    When things go well, he prefers to pass the credit on to his staff.

    And even after being named the North Carolina Career Technical Education Administrator of the Year by the North Carolina Association of Career and Technical Education during the state conference Monday, Tubb took the opportunity to once again highlight his staff and the program’s accomplishments.

  • Brunswick Community College tuition increases 13 percent

    BOLIVIA—Tuition for the fall 2010 semester at Brunswick Community College has increased $6.50 per credit hour for North Carolina residents—a 13 percent increase compared to this time last year.

    Non-North Carolina residents will pay an extra $7.20 per credit hour for the 2010 fall semester. In-state residents paid $50 per credit hour in fall 2009.

    Liz McClean, director of marketing for BCC, said all tuition increases are determined by the state.

  • Deficit in school budget ‘not as bad’ as anticipated

    BOLIVIA—Brunswick County school officials think the final budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year will not be as bad as anticipated.

    The district’s preliminary budget included about $4 million in state reductions, which included a discretionary reduction and another estimated three percent reduction. Freyja Cahill, executive finance officer, said the state opted to use lottery money to help save teacher jobs throughout the state, and the three percent reduction is not set to take place this fiscal year.

  • Local officials say they'll continue push for terminal groins

    Mayor Debbie Smith said the east end of Ocean Isle Beach “has had a problem on and off for many years,” and more than a dozen homes have been relocated due to continual erosion of the beach strand. She can only recall one that was truly lost due to erosion.

    “It gradually went away,” she said.

    To help save the east end and beaches along the coast in similar situations, Smith has been vocal in supporting Senate Bill 832, which would allow currently banned terminal groins from being built in inlets to help combat erosion.

  • Towns, residents struggle with erosion, looking for solutions

    Thirteen years ago, Eli Gold and his wife, Claudette, had a plan. They purchased the last house on East Third Street in Ocean Isle Beach and planned to retire there full-time once their daughter went to college.

    They never dreamed their retirement plan would be at risk of one day being swallowed by the sea.

    Thirteen years ago, the Golds’ house was behind four other houses. Third Street extended beyond their property line, and the town’s infrastructure was intact.

    Over the years, “the erosion eventually won,” Eli Gold said.