Local News

  • Coast Guard transports injured man from BHI

    The Coast Guard took an injured man and two EMS personnel Saturday, July 9, from Bald Head Island to Southport.

    Watchstanders at Station Oak Island received a request from the Bald Head Island Fire Department at about 1 a.m. for transport of the 35-year-old man who suffered a head injury.

    Station Oak Island watchstanders notified Sector North Carolina in Wilmington and launched a 29-foot Response Boat-Small crew. The crew picked up the man and the medical personnel at 1:27 a.m.

  • Swimming alert lifted in Brunswick County

    A water quality swimming alert issued Tuesday, July 5, in Brunswick County was lifted Thursday, July 7, after testing.

    According to a North Carolina Environmental Quality news release, samples of water were taken at the public beach access at 48th Place West in Oak Island on July 5. The results of the initial sample showed the site had exceeded the single-sample maximum standard of 104 enterococci per 100 milliliters of water for 48th Place West, which is considered a Tier 1 high usage, or heavily populated, site.

  • Shallotte police seek Big Lots robbers

    Shallotte police are looking for two people who robbed Big Lots employees at gunpoint Thursday night, July 7.

    No one was injured.

    Brunswick County sheriff’s deputies responded to an armed robbery call at 9:30 p.m. at Big Lots at 4600 Main St., town spokeswoman Rachel Johnson said in a news release.

    Employees were walking to their cars after closing when the robbers, both dressed in black from head to toe and holding a handgun, forced them back into the store and into the area where the safe is.

  • Dare to Care for Children delivers toys to pediatric clinic

    Leland officials helped a local businessman provide more than a dozen bags of toys to a Wilmington pediatric clinic June 30.

    Skip Wittkofsky, with the help of his granddaughter, Haven Wittkofsky, Mayor Brenda Bozeman and councilman Bob Corriston delivered 13 large bags of toys to New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Nunnelee Pediatric Specialty Clinic.

    Claire Parker, New Hanover Regional Medical Center media relations coordinator, estimates Wittkofsky provided the clinic with a stockpile of more than 1,000 toys for patients in need.

  • Helicopter tours begin at OIB airport

    OCEAN ISLE BEACH — The name is Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Helicopter Tours, for the time being, but helicopter tours have arrived in Ocean Isle Beach.

    Sam Groome, owner of Air Florida Helicopter Charters in Orlando, Fla., has opened the new business at the Odell Williamson Municipal Airport at 6070 Beach Drive.

  • OIB approves 2016-17 budget with no tax or fee increases

    OCEAN ISLE BEACH — Ocean Isle Beach officials approved on the 2016-17 town budget following a public hearing Wednesday, June 29.

    “The key here is no tax increase, no increase in water and sewer fees,” Mayor Pro Tem Dean Walters said. “That shows fiscal responsibility and restraint.”

    No comments were made during the budget public hearing.

    The town board voted unanimously, 5-0, to approve the budget, which Town Administrator Daisy Ivey first presented to commissioners at the June 14 regular town meeting.

  • County unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent in May

    Brunswick County’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 percent in May, down from 6 percent in April.

    The year-to-year unemployment rate is down 1.6 percent. The unemployment rate from May 2015 was 7.1 percent.

    Unemployment numbers are released through the North Carolina Department of Commerce Labor and Economic Analysis Division.

    The NCDOC reported North Carolina’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.7 percent in May from 5 percent in April.

  • World War II letters share OIB veteran’s thoughts during the war

    A World War II veteran’s letters, one written in the hours leading up to D-Day and another from July 4, 1944, provide a window into a soldier’s mindset during the war.

    Dr. Bazil Geckler Jr. lived in Ocean Isle Beach, until his death at 93 on Nov. 23, 2014.

    Jencie Varnam, the caregiver for the Bazil and Louise Tripp Geckler from 2004-2014, is the executor of his estate who found the letters while clearing a home Geckler owned in his home state of Illinois.

  • Leland man arrested twice in three days on drug charges

    The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office arrested the same Leland man on drug charges twice in three days last week.

  • Red Cross issues emergency call for blood donations

    The American Red Cross has issued an emergency call for blood and platelets, urging all eligible donors to give now to replenish an extremely low summer blood supply.

    Blood donations have fallen short of hospital needs for the past few months, resulting in about 39,000 fewer donations than what’s needed, as well as a significant draw down of the overall Red Cross blood supply.