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Local News

  • School board members’ raise found unlawful, voided

     BOLIVIA — An attempt by the members of the Brunswick County Board of Education to increase their own pay has raised more questions than it has salaries.

    On Aug. 28, the board held a special called meeting to adopt its budget for the 2015 fiscal year, and one line item included a raise in the salaries for Board of Education members.

    Two weeks later, board attorney Rick Green determined that, based on statutory review, sole authority to adjust local school board salary and expenses rests with the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners.

  • District has disappointing test scores

     BOLIVIA — When the state released its 2013-14 test scores last week, Superintendent Edward Pruden described Brunswick County Schools’ results in one word: troubling.

    Pruden and other school officials released the information to the media Wednesday, Sept. 3, but the results were embargoed until the state made the data public the next day.

    While the number of schools in the district that exceeded the state’s growth status increased from three to five, the schools that didn’t meet growth status increased from six to 10.

  • Leland man indicted on sex crimes with children charges

     A Leland man arrested in July in Idaho has been indicted by a Brunswick County grand jury on several sex crimes, including indecent liberties with a child.

    Fernando “Flaco” Vargas-Julio was indicted by a grand jury in early August on charges of indecent liberties with a child, crimes against nature and first-degree sex offense with a child.

  • Leland man pleads guilty to robbery, kidnapping

     A Leland man will spend between 12 and 16 years in state prison after pleading guilty to common-law robbery and kidnapping during which two men were killed.

    Twenty-one-year-old Jalani Lamar Smith pleaded guilty Sept. 2 to four counts of common-law robbery and two counts of first-degree kidnapping, New Hanover County Superior Court records show.

    Judge W. Allen Cobb Jr. sentenced Smith to serve two consecutive prison terms of 73 to 100 months.

  • Community seeks ways to implement Project Lazarus

     BOLIVIA — Two months after Wilkes County native Fred Brason came to the region to talk about Project Lazarus, community leaders gathered in Bolivia two weeks ago to discuss the possibilities of implementing the program in Brunswick County.

    Project Lazarus is a secular public health nonprofit established in 2008 in response to extremely high drug overdose death rates in Wilkes County, which was four times higher than the state average at the time.

  • Shallotte man dies in traffic accident

     A 19-year-old Shallotte man died in a traffic accident Wednesday, Sept. 3, after his vehicle struck a tree near N.C. 130.

    Austin Rowell was traveling east on Empire Road in Supply about 3.5 miles outside of Shallotte when he ran off the road in his 2001 Ford pickup, N.C. Highway Patrol Sgt. E.C. Harris said.

  • Touchdown: Former Carolina Panther visits Supply Elementary

     SUPPLY — Think about your typical physical education class in elementary school. Now consider how it pales it comparison to what students at Supply Elementary School experienced Sept. 5 while participating in “Football Friday” with former Carolina Panthers running back Nick Goings. 

  • Sunset Beach to mull twin lakes options

    Sunset Beach Town Council will review alternatives proposed by town staff for maintenance of the twin lakes on Shoreline Drive West at its monthly meeting Monday, Sept. 8.

    The town does not own the lakes and is not legally responsible to maintain the lakes for stormwater retention.

    Town staff has developed three options and recommends one of those options — to allow full cost of maintenance to revert back to the property owner or conservation group and encourage them to apply for available grants.

  • Auditorium director loses house, dogs in weekend fire

    A house fire Saturday afternoon in the Ash area has left a couple without a home.

    Waccamaw Fire and Rescue Chief Jason Coveyou said smoke was pouring from the house at 3829 Ash Little River Road upon his department’s arrival at the fire reported at 4:41 p.m. Sept. 6.

    Passersby who noticed smoke coming from the house on their way to Myrtle Beach, S.C., reported the fire.

  • Oak Island man wins $10,000 in N.C. Education Lottery

    An Oak Island man is among people who have won money in the North Carolina Education Lottery this month.

    Todd Leonard was the winner of $10,000 in the Millionaire 7’s.

    Since Aug. 28, players in N.C. Education Lottery games ottery players won more than $16.8 million playing instant games and more than $6.5 million playing draw games. Sixteen prizes awarded were worth between $10,000 and $50,000, said Chris Bushnell, spokesman for the N.C. Education Lottery.