Local News

  • 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.

  • Shallotte sets hearing on new sidewalk regulations

    SHALLOTTE—Under proposed new sidewalk regulations, the town of Shallotte would no longer require sidewalks to be built on all improved property. Instead, sidewalks would only be allowed in a newly created “sidewalk district” in the central areas of town.

    Tuesday night, the board of aldermen scheduled a public hearing for the proposed amendment to the portion of the town’s unified development ordinance (UDO) for the board’s February meeting.

  • Former police officer acquitted on assault charge

    BOLIVIA—Brannon Gray, a 24-year-old former Holden Beach police officer on trial last week for assault, looks forward to putting the past year behind him and moving forward with his life.

    On Wednesday, Dec. 17, a Brunswick County jury acquitted Gray on an assault charge stemming from a November 2007 incident where prosecutors say he used excessive force while on duty. He was accused of assaulting David King.

    A Brunswick County grand jury last January indicted Gray on one charge of assault inflicting serious bodily injury.

  • Record crowd turns out for annual Christmas distribution

    SHALLOTTE—Vehicles jammed the street as a line of people waited to receive food and toys at Brunswick Family Assistance’s annual Christmas distribution Dec. 17.

    It looked like a record turnout, BFA board member Locke Newlin observed as about 25 BFA volunteers bustled about assisting people and handing out food and toys.

    Last year, the nonprofit aided about 400 families, including 900 children.

    BFA program manager Linda Turner ascertained the crowd was at an all-time high.

  • Lights of Christmas

    A sign welcomes light-gazers to drive in and take a closer look at the annual holiday lights display at the home of Billy and Reba Lefler on the Shallotte side of the bridge at Jennies Branch on N.C. 179. Fewer people are coming to see the display because the road has been shut down for bridge work. The Leflers said they still plan to keep the display up through mid January and will have even more lights next Christmas. ‘Christmas is a big thing in our family,’ Reba said. ‘We try to do this every year.’ 

  • More holiday events planned through Christmas Day

    Holiday events continue in coming days in Brunswick County and the surrounding area, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services. The schedule includes:

    •Nights of a Thousand Candles, 3-10 p.m. Dec. 18, 19, 20, Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, S.C. Thousands of lights sparkle from live oak trees and illuminate garden paths as musicians perform, carolers sing and visitors experience the enchantment. Non-member tickets are $15 for adults and $6 for ages 6-12. (843) 235-6000 or 1-800-849-1931; www.brookgreen.org.