Local News

  • Groundbreaking launches sewer project in Sunset Beach

    SUNSET BEACH—The town’s new sewer project officially launched Friday with a groundbreaking on the Sunset Beach mainland.

    Town and county officials took part in the ceremony at the corner of Oyster Pointe and Oyster Bay drives.

    That was the site chosen for the groundbreaking, but it’s not necessarily where the actual digging will begin, Sunset Beach Town Administrator Gary Parker said this week.

    A contractor at a pre-construction meeting Friday said he isn’t sure where the project will start.

  • Family of parasail accident victim files response to 'limit of liability' claim

    Representatives of the estate of one of two women who died in a parasailing accident on Ocean Isle Beach in August have filed a claim in U.S. District Court. They are seeking damages against the parasail business owners beyond the $100,000 limitation the owners have requested.

    On Nov. 3, David Woodcock, administrator of the estate of Cynthia Diane Collins Woodcock, answered the previous limitation of liability action filed by Ocean Isle Beach Watersports, owner of the boat Tied High and the parasailing equipment, and N.C. Watersports, which leases the equipment.

  • Leland pastor charged with attempted rape, sex offenses on child

    While detectives with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Special Crimes Unit were investigating claims a Leland man sexually abused a child, he was serving as a pastor at Olive Branch Church.

    Detectives didn’t know whether he still served as a pastor since his arrest Nov. 3, but James T. Johnson, 45, of 9120 Green Loop Road, Leland, has been charged with attempted first-degree rape of a child, two counts of first-degree sexual offense of a child and three counts of indecent liberties with a child, according to detective Candi West.

  • Commissioners OK temporary impact fee deferment

    BOLIVIA—Brunswick County Commissioners at their Nov. 2 meeting approved an interim deferment of water and sewer capital recovery and transmission recovery fees until a certificate of occupancy is issued.

    County manager Marty Lawing said the fee deferment was “in the name of stimulating the economy,” which he said would create more jobs and get people back to work.

  • Progress Energy selected for $200 million Smart Grid grant

    The U.S. Department of Energy has accepted Progress Energy’s $200 million Smart Grid grant application, as part of the federal stimulus package.

    The $200 million grant application proposes to use grant funds, combined with $320 million in matching dollars from Progress Energy, for several system and equipment upgrades in the Carolinas and Florida.

    The goal is to control voltage levels and facilitate a more efficient flow of electricity across power lines, according to a news release.

  • Shallotte Park going to the dogs; commissioners OK Bark Park at Shallotte Park

    If you build it, the dogs will come.

    At least that’s what Brunswick County Parks and Recreation officials and local canine organizations say about the future Bark Park at Shallotte Park.

    At their Nov. 2 meeting, county commissioners OK’d moving forward with converting a section of the county-run Shallotte Park to a dog park.

  • Commissioners approve Lockwood Folly no wake zone

    BOLIVIA—Boaters along the Lockwood Folly River may soon have to slow down.

    At their Nov. 2 meeting, Brunswick County Commissioners approved four no wake zones along the Lockwood Folly River.

    The commissioners’ request now goes to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission for final approval, county attorney Huey Marshall said. Commissioners were petitioned by residents along the Lockwood Folly River, mainly waterfront property owners in Winding River.

  • Sign theft continues struggles between St. James, neighbors

    ST. JAMES—Last month, the town clerk took down signs protesting St. James’ decision to annex property along Midway Road.

    Now the protestors who put the signs up—property owners in the area to be annexed—have pressed charges as they continue their legal battle over what they say is “taking away our private property rights.”

    According to a sheriff’s office report, three signs belonging to Midway Corner Group were found at town hall in clerk Josann Campanello’s possession.

  • Tracking H1N1: As flu seasons merge, health department in good shape, deputy director says

    With early December marking the onset of flu season, and H1N1 influenza going into its seventh month, county health officials say they’re ready for whatever December brings.

    While H1N1 vaccines remain lagging compared to earlier Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates, Michael said the health department expects an additional 600 vaccines this week, and said the vaccination process is running smoothly.

  • Mercer University tennis coach charged with DWI while driving team van

    WILMINGTON—A university tennis coach was arrested Oct. 31, charged with driving while impaired after he was stopped during a Booze It and Lose It checkpoint near downtown Wilmington.

    Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Team Sgt. Billy Caulk said 49-year-old Nick Keith Stutsman was driving the Mercer University tennis team’s van when he was stopped at the checkpoint around 12:15 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 31, on Market Street near the intersection of 15th Street.