Local News

  • Life inside prison walls: Trying to survive to keep the dream aliveVideo included

    “I have never seen anything like this before. It was crazy at first,” Dee Hill said of serving time in a state prison. “Besides that night [he was arrested and charged], it’s probably the scariest thing I’ve ever had to do.”

    Events that take place inside prison walls are unlike anything he’s ever seen.

  • Victim now ‘at peace’

    As part of his plea agreement, Dee Hill cannot have any contact with the victim of the crime, Lillian Hickman. But if he had the chance to tell her anything, it would be he regrets the situation ever happened.

    “I apologize for everything,” he said.

    Hickman said since the incident, she keeps doors and windows locked and is more conscious of her surroundings.

    “There was a lot on my mind,” Hickman said. “But I’m fine now.”

  • Organization aims to take kids off the streets, out of trouble Video included

    After Dee Hill’s arrest, his mother, Brenda Hazel, was motivated to find a way to reach out to the youth of Brunswick County.

    Speak-N-Out was formed as a way for at-risk students to get involved in arts and entertainment activities while building life skills. SPEAK—Successful, Positive Expressions of Arts and Knowledge—is a nonprofit program for students ages 8-18.

  • Prosecution, defense spar over the man behind the badge

    Who is Ronald Hewett?

    His attorney says the man who served Brunswick County as sheriff for 14 years is a family man—a man of character and integrity.

    But assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis Duffy argued in federal court Monday there are two Ronald Hewetts—the public persona, who shook everyone’s hands and never shied from a TV camera—and the man who existed within the walls of the sheriff’s office.

    The U.S. Attorney’s Office argued Hewett used deputies as his personal work force, stifled investigations and harassed employees.

  • Attorney: Substance abuse treatment needed

    Ronald Hewett is on the road to recovery, and his attorney wants him to stay on that path while serving his 16-month prison sentence.

    After being sentenced in federal court Monday afternoon, Hewett’s attorney Douglas Parsons asked that U.S. District Judge W. Earl Britt recommend Hewett serve his time in a federal facility in Butner, and specifically, that Hewett participate in an intense substance abuse program, “so that he may continue on the course he’s on.”

  • Shallotte planning board OKs plans for childcare center expansion

    SHALLOTTE—The planning board on Tuesday approved the site and landscaping plans for expansion of Kids Connection Child Care Center on Old Shallotte Road.

    Owners Joe and Grey Memory, along with Phil Tripp of Tripp Engineering explained that the center would be adding 5,400 square feet to the building, making room for 75 additional children.

  • Southport man killed in weekend wreck, driver charged with his death

    SOUTHPORT—A Southport man was killed late Saturday when he was struck by an on-coming vehicle on N.C. 133.

    Just before 10 p.m., Arthur Bentley Hart, 42, of Southport was driving south on N.C. 133 just north of Southport when Omar Perez, driving in the opposite direction, veered into Hart’s lane and struck him.

    According to C.C. Albritton of the N.C. State Highway Patrol, Perez was driving about 55 mph when he traveled left of center and collided with Hart.

  • Planning board approves UDO amendments

    BOLIVIA—Members of the Brunswick County Planning Board on Monday approved text amendments to the county’s Unified Development Ordinance.

    Board members approved forwarded the following amendments to county commissioners for their final approval:

    •To amend the summary of notice and public hearing requirements for appeal of administrative decisions and nonconforming use certificates.

    •To require the recordation of a special exception permit prior to review of final plats.

  • North Carolina garners national attention as a key battleground state

    WILMINGTON—With Sen. John McCain’s recent rally in Wilmington, and an Obama/Biden visit all but imminent, North Carolina is garnering national attention as a key battleground state in this year’s presidential election.

    Brunswick County GOP Chairman Frank Iler, who attended McCain’s Wilmington rally Monday afternoon, said the senator’s visit excited members of the Republican Party and brought attention to North Carolina on the national stage.

  • County tax administrator resigns

    Tom Bagby has resigned as Brunswick County Tax Administrator.

    According to county attorney Huey Marshall, Bagby resigned as tax administrator Friday, Oct. 10.

    Bagby, who made an annual salary of $81,390, had served as the county’s tax administrator since April 10, 2006.

    When reached at home Tuesday, Bagby said he was surprised when commissioners asked him to resign as tax administrator.

    “I resigned at the request of the board,” Bagby said. “I was notified Tuesday (Oct. 7) by the board.”