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Local News

  • Sweepstakes places back in business

    CALABASH—Monday morning, several patrons were already seated at Internet Café and Sweepstakes to log onto computers and play assorted games.

    Manager A.J. Freeman said business is brisk at the establishment in the Vision Square center, especially in the afternoons.

    She said the business re-opened after shutting down for 10 days.

    Such sweepstakes establishments, where people buy computer time to play games and receive credits, temporarily shut down after a new state law banning them went into effect Dec. 1.

  • Census takers sought in Brunswick County

    Wanted: Thousands of census takers.

    “Pay is good, hours are flexible, and work is close to home.”

    So says information posted on a U.S. Census Bureau Web site seeking people to do field work for the 2010 Census.

    That includes positions needed in Brunswick County, which is part of a regional search seeking qualified applicants for 15,000 jobs in both Carolinas as well as Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky.

  • Brunswick sees slight increase in November home sales

    Brunswick County had a 12 percent increase in existing home sales in November 2008, up to 110 from 98 the previous year. The number of homes sold dropped 31 percent compared to October, when agents sold 159 homes.

    That’s according to recent statistics from the N.C. Association of Realtors, which reports Rocky Mount was the only other region in the state to post an increase between November 2007 and November 2008, going from 59 to 69 homes sold.

  • Insurance rates to increase on the coast

    Homeowners’ insurance rates are expected to increase nearly 30 percent in coastal counties, according to the rate schedule recently approved by the N.C. Insurance Commissioner.

    The rates are set to increase 17.5 percent in beach towns and 28.9 percent on the mainland.

    That’s not as much as the 70 percent and 50 percent hike in those areas the N.C. Rate Bureau had requested, but it will affect homeowners, according to local officials.

  • Christmas shoppers on the lookout for deals in tough economy

    SUPPLY—At the Dollar General store near Holden Beach just a few days before Christmas, Eloise Wright looks for bargain-priced toys for her grandchildren’s presents.

    She also plans to visit the food section to get enough dry goods to make their favorite cookies, still with her eye on saving money.

    “They’ve got 25 percent off on a lot of toys right now,” Wright said, scanning the aisle.

    “Things are tighter right now. I really need to be more frugal.”

  • Former officer not guilty of assault

    Published at 6:40 p.m. Wednesday, Dec.17

    After deliberating for about an hour and a half, a Brunswick County Jury returned a not guilty verdict for a former Holden Beach Police officer charged with assault.

    Just after 5 p.m. Wednesday, Brannon Gray, 24, was found not guilty of assault inflicting serious bodily injury, a felony, as well as two possible misdemeanor assault charges a jury could have found him guilty of had the state not met the burden of proof for the felony conviction.

  • Study of bike, pedestrian paths continues in Sunset Beach

    SUNSET BEACH—Planning board members have agreed to continue tweaking a proposed bicycle and pedestrian plan.

    “I don’t think it’s ready for us to agree to anything to [forward] to council,” board member Bob Perry said at the Dec. 18 meeting.

    No alternatives have been outlined, and no cost estimates given for such a “Share the Road” program, he said.

    The board discussed possible details and concerns about establishing such paths on the island and mainland. Concerns also were expressed about safety.

  • Commissioners mull housing options

    After discussing eliminating the county’s director of public housing position in closed session at their Dec. 15 meeting, commissioners have voted to keep the position for the next fiscal year.

    County staff recommended commissioners eliminate the position in the next fiscal year’s budget, and asked commissioners to consider a new senior-level position responsible for housing development in the county’s planning and community development department.

  • Drug agents arrest Ocean Isle Beach man for trafficking

    Agents with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit have arrested an Ocean Isle Beach man for trafficking illegal prescription medication.

  • Sewer grants not granted; land buy initiated in Calabash

    Grants for future sewer in Calabash have been rejected it was learned, while town commissioners took steps to buy land for expansion at a specially called meeting Dec. 18.

    Commissioners learned at the meeting two individual Rural Center for Support Grants of $500,000 each were not approved. The town applied for one of the grants, while Brunswick County applied for the other to help offset the cost of future sewer in the seafood capital.

    The governments have until Jan. 2 to file “intents to re-apply” and until Jan. 15 to actually re-apply for the grants.