Local News

  • Water, water everywhere, but no drop to waste

    BOLIVIA—Twenty-five percent of the county’s water customers are using 75 percent of the county’s water and utilities director Jerry Pierce wants to curb the water waste.

    At a county commissioners’ budget retreat last week, Pierce presented water conservation rate options to commissioners. If approved, Pierce said the tiered rate structure would be implemented to encourage conservation of one of the county’s most precious commodities—water.

  • Benefit planned for wreck survivor

    A head-on collision less than a mile from her home left Esterlane Ballard with injuries so severe doctors amputated her left leg and were barely able to save the right.

    Ballard spent 21 days in the hospital and underwent six surgeries after the wreck. To help with the financial responsibility and to show support to Ballard, her family will host a benefit day from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, June 13, at Rourk Gardens in Shallotte.

    The wreck

  • Play continues at Oyster Bay course in face of pending lease foreclosure

    SUNSET BEACH—It’s business and golfing as usual at Oyster Bay Golf Links despite a pending foreclosure sale of the course’s management lease.

    Oyster Bay is one of five Grand Strand courses managed by the Legends Group being foreclosed on by General Electric Capital Corp.

    A foreclosure sale for the Oyster Bay lease is set for June 25. The lease was supposed to run through 2032.

    Larry Young of Legends Group is not contesting the foreclosures because of inability to make payments and an estimated debt of $50 million,

  • Setback increases approved for Sunset Beach island business district

    SUNSET BEACH—The town planning board has approved increasing rear and side-yard setbacks for businesses that abut residential property in the beach business district.

    The amendment in the BB-1 zone on the island increases rear-yard setbacks to at least 25 feet when “a business abuts an existing residential dwelling use or any area zoned residential.”

    The minimum rear-yard setback in the commercial zone otherwise is not less than 5 feet.

  • Economy contributes to project stalls in Sunset Beach

    SUNSET BEACH—Several business ventures in town have stopped or are showing signs of a flagging economy.

    A new building across from town hall stands empty, at the site of what was supposed to have been a future Cape Fear Bank at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Pineview Drive.

    Town building inspector Jeff Curtis said last week the building erected by Generation Builders seemed to be headed for foreclosure.

  • Calabash commissioners adopt 'whittled' budget for next fiscal year

    CALABASH—Town commissioners on Tuesday night approved a balanced $1,008,720 budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

    “We have taken the knife out and whittled as much as we could to get the budget down,” said town commissioner Forrest King, who serves as finance officer for the board.

    Even though the town is collecting revenue from two areas it didn’t have in the past, the budget had to be reduced. Last year, commissioners approved a $1,022,950 budget for the current fiscal year.

  • No Port Southport sets environmental forum for June 25

    SOUTHPORT—No Port Southport, a citizens’ group formed to fight the N.C. Ports Authority’s plans to build an international terminal in the Southport area, has scheduled a meeting to address the public’s concerns about the terminal’s possible environmental impacts.

  • Summer program to provide kids' meals at 16 sites

    Sixteen churches, schools and nonprofits across the county will host a federal summer feeding program for children as well as kid-friendly activities for the participants.

    The food is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Brunswick Family Assistance (BFA) is organizing the project. It’s the second year the nonprofit has participated in the program, and director Joe Cannon said he’s expecting an even busier year.

  • Businesses starting to smart from delayed bridge project

    Kelly Beeler is definitely feeling the effects of a bridge project not yet finished.

    Beeler, owner of Pro Tee golf practice range on N.C. 179, said it was bad enough when a detour for bridge replacement work at Jennies Branch cut off traffic past his business at the end of November.

    But now that the project has extended past the May 15 deadline, he said it’s about to put him out of business. For the first time in his 20 years in business, Beeler has had to apply for unemployment and is struggling to support his family with a second job.

  • Existing home sales: Local agencies see increases in sales, interest

    Existing home sales in Brunswick County during April were up over the previous month as well as last year’s April sales. Some local Realtors say the market may have turned the corner, as sellers are starting to meet buyers’ prices.

    According to the latest report from the N.C. Association of Realtors, agents sold 141 homes in April, compared to 124 in March and 137 in April of 2008.

    The average cost of a home is still lower than last year—$223,328, down from $276,308.