Local News

  • House, Senate pass healthcare overhaul; Obama signs bill Tuesday

    After what President Barack Obama called “a century of striving,” Congress passed sweeping healthcare legislation, which Obama signed into law Tuesday.

    On Sunday evening, members of the U.S. House of Representatives passed the historic measure 219 votes to 212 votes, with all 178 House Republicans voting against it.

    Thirty-four Democrats, including U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., crossed the aisle and also voted against the bill.

  • School works to eliminate 'high risk' safety, security concerns

    According to data released by Brunswick County Schools officials, most safety and security features at each of the county schools are operating at a moderate to low risk.

    Data released at an operations/safe schools committee meeting last Thursday details all security features that were of prior concern along with current status and any ongoing activities.

    Most of the items listed as moderate security risks have been budgeted for in the upcoming 2010-2011 capital outlay budget funding request, which was approved by board members last week.

  • Gang awareness presentation teaches warning signs, prevention

    A Brunswick County student drew a six-pointed star on his bookmark as part of a classroom assignment. The teacher, thinking it was the Star of David, asked the student if he was Jewish.

    “He looked at her like she was Greek,” Deputy Jason Fennell of the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, said.

    But the star was representation of the Crips gang. The sixth-grade student, Fennell said, was a validated gang member.

  • Beacon news team wins state press awards

    The North Carolina Press Association has honored the news team of The Brunswick Beacon with community journalism awards.

    The Beacon was among the top award-getters in its division for community newspapers with a circulation of more than 10,000 at the press association’s winter convention on March 18.

    In its division, the Beacon won second place in general excellence.

  • SUNSHINE WEEK: What it takes to be a poll worker

    With 23 precincts in Brunswick County, many poll workers are needed each election season to help voters with their voting experience.

    Greg Bellamy, elections director, said the number of poll workers needed in Brunswick County varies depending on the type of election and the candidates running. Compared to a similar primary election season in 2006, Bellamy anticipates needing 165-170 poll workers for this May’s primary election.

    “It’s based on a projection of how many voters that we think will come to the polls,” Bellamy said.

  • VIDEO INCLUDED: Home and Garden Show brings out shoppers, browsers

    The weather couldn’t have been more fitting for a show about sprucing up homes and gardens Saturday and Sunday.

    West Brunswick High School was the site of the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Brunswick Island’s Home and Garden Show last weekend, where a variety of vendors ranging from gardeners and landscapers to roofers and builders displayed their wares and made business connections.

    Chamber president Cathy Altman didn’t have a final number but said the chamber was “very happy with the turnout Saturday and Sunday.”

  • VIDEO INCLUDED: Family Tree Nursery emphasizes local products, hometown feeling

    WINNABOW—It took some help from family members, hard work, faith and a lot of loan-shopping, but Bob and Christina Cappiello finally opened their dream business here in December.

    Family Tree Nursery on Old Ocean Highway isn’t a typical garden center. With its spacious, colorful interior combined with its collection of plants, flowers, seeds, fertilizer as well as local arts, crafts and wine, it attracts attention of hard-core gardeners and shoppers looking to support the local economy and find unique products.

  • VIDEO INCLUDED: Dancing With the West Brunswick Stars

    Last week at West Brunswick High School, teachers were the ones taking notes from their students.

    West Brunswick High School Dance Team members choreographed and taught routines to teachers and administrators for Dancing With the West Brunswick Stars, a fundraiser to benefit the dance team.

    Spanish teacher Millie Venegas and student Sarah Naylor won the judges’ choice award with their performance to Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie.”

  • Unaffiliated voters will have to select a political party for May primary

    The fastest-growing group of voters in Brunswick is not Democrat, Republican or Libertarian.

    It’s unaffiliated.

    According to Greg Bellamy, director of the Brunswick County Board of Elections, the number of unaffiliated voters in Brunswick County has been climbing for several years. Brunswick County has 75,580 total voters, with 19,628 of those being unaffiliated. Statewide there are 1,398,585 unaffiliated voters. But according to Bellamy, these numbers are always changing.

  • School board members approve first phase of capital outlay project

    At a finance committee meeting Tuesday night, members of the Brunswick County Board of Education voted unanimously to approve Phase I of the district’s capital outlay projects for the 2010-2011 fiscal year. The projects total $1,108,600.

    Because of uncertainties in funding sources, the project list was divided into two parts, Freyja Cahill, executive financial officer, said. School officials ask money for Phase I be appropriated during the 2009-2010 school year so work can begin when school is not in session.