Local News

  • New Year's Eve bonfire planned in Calabash

    CALABASH—Plans are in the works for the town to host a public New Year’s Eve bonfire and celebration in the Seafood Capital.

    Announcement came at the town board of commissioners meeting Dec. 13.

    Festivities are scheduled to launch at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, in the Hurricane Fishing Fleet parking lot next to the Calabash River.

    “It will be a very festive occasion where people can come together,” newly sworn-in Calabash Mayor Mary Knight said at the meeting. “We’re going to have fellowship and food.”

  • Longwood family loses home in early-morning fire

    LONGWOOD—In the fleeting moments it took for their house to go up in flames, Frances and Nathaniel Stevenson lost everything.


    And it was just before Christmas.

    Around 2 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 20, a fire began at the Stevenson’s home, a single-wide mobile home at 1652 Ward Road in Longwood, Grissettown-Longwood Fire Department Chief Tal Grissett said.

    When Grissett and crews from Calabash and Waccamaw fire departments arrived, the home was completely engulfed in flames.

  • County moves forward with upset bid process for hospital

    BOLIVIA—Brunswick County commissioners have agreed to move forward with the upset bid process for selling the old Brunswick Community Hospital facility.

    Last month commissioners decided a “reasonable” purchase price for the 35-year-old hospital and 32 acres of land was in the $2.5 million range. But commissioners only received one bid during the 45 days bids were solicited and, at $500,000, it was considerably less than what commissioners hoped they’d get for it.

  • Statewide unemployment rates drops to 10 percent in November

    Unemployment across the state dropped in November.

    According to the Employment Security Commission (ESC) of North Carolina, unemployment dropped to 10 percent in November across North Carolina. Statewide unemployment in October was 10.4 percent.

    Total nonfarm jobs grew slightly by 3,800 jobs in November with the private sector gaining 4,600 jobs.

    The public sector shed 800 jobs.

  • Commissioners revise retiree benefits policy

    BOLIVIA—Brunswick County commissioners have revised a policy, which previously allowed for someone who worked for the county for as little as one year to retire with full health benefits.

    At their Dec. 19 county commissioners meeting, Brunswick County Human Resources Director Debbie Barnes presented commissioners with two options to revise their policy, describing it as “very generous.”

    Previous policy

  • SBI investigating officer shooting

    LELAND—Agents with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation are investigating a shooting that involved a Brunswick County Sheriff’s deputy.

    Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Del Routh said sheriff’s deputies responded to a call about an assault with a deadly weapon in progress around 10:17 p.m. Dec. 26.

    When deputies arrived at the home at 377 Lansan Lane near Leland, Routh said deputies encountered Cassey Thomas, 43, who was “in the process of attempting to stab her husband,” Timothy Thomas, 48.

  • Inmate death deemed apparent suicide

    An inmate who was found dead at the Brunswick County Detention Center died of an apparent suicide, sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. Del Routh said.

    Routh said Steven Allan Myers, 21, of Cary, was found dead in his cell Dec. 23. Routh said Myers was alone in his cell at the time of his death.

  • New Sunset Beach mayor reined in by council vote

    SUNSET BEACH—Two weeks and two days after his Dec. 5 swearing-in, new Sunset Beach Mayor Richard Cerrato is being reined in.

    At a special “urgently called” meeting Wednesday, Sunset Beach Town Council unanimously voted “that the authority of the mayor not be expanded at this time beyond that granted by the laws of the state of North Carolina.”

    The action came at the end of an intense, hour-long meeting, during which all five town council members spoke out about Cerrato’s behavior over the past two weeks.

  • “American Pickers” spend the day digging in Varnamtown

    VARNAMTOWN—If you’ve ever driven by it, you know why they stop—plain, old-fashioned curiosity. Last week The History Channel’s “American Pickers” spent the day indulging their curiosity.

    Along Stone Chimney Road, there is a jail cell, police cars, the Brunswick County “Crackhead Express,” dummies hanging by nooses. Sometimes there are coffins and caskets. These are just the exterior to Dale Varnum’s world. The sign outside says it best: “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”

  • Hanukkah is here: Let your light shine

    ST. JAMES—On Tuesday at sundown candles around the world will be lit in honor of the start of Hanukkah, also called the Festival of Lights.

    This year a large group will gather in St. James to celebrate the start of the holiday.

    “There isn’t a synagogue in Brunswick County,” explained Esther Eisenstein, who grew up attending the neighborhood synagogue in New Jersey. She and her husband Marv moved to Brunswick County in 2001 to retire and at first found the adjustment to be difficult.