Local News

  • State unemployment rate still trails national numbers

    North Carolina’s unemployment numbers fell to .7 percent behind the national unemployment rate, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

    The state’s August unemployment rate is up to 6.8 percent, the most recent month the NCDC has collected information, with a .3 percent increase from July 2014.

    The U.S. labor force unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent in August.

  • Tents under scrutiny in Sunset Beach

    SUNSET BEACH — Beach cabanas and how to regulate them are still a hot topic as town council scrutinized the summer beach season at a monthly workshop Monday.

    Three island residents, Ann and Gordon Bokelman and John Corbett, urged council to continue to allow tents at Sunset Beach, the last of area beach towns that still does so.

    Ann Bokelman said Sunset Beach is a popular, family-friendly beach that enables the needed protection from the sun.

    “Our grandchildren need it,” she said. “Quite honestly, all of us need it.”

  • Calabash Commissioner Emily DiStasio dies

    Calabash commissioner and Mayor Pro Tem Emily DiStasio has died.

    DiStasio, 83, died at approximately 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23, at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, according to a press release issued Wednesday morning by the town of Calabash.

    DiStasio moved to Calabash from New York in the mid 1990s after retiring from a career with IBM.

  • Oceanfront pools dunked in Sunset Beach

    SUNSET BEACH — Citing “disturbing and threatening” emails he has received, Sunset Beach building inspections director Sandy Wood says the subject of oceanfront swimming pools has been removed from future town planning board agendas.

    In an Aug. 27 email to Sunset Beach Town Council and members of the Sunset Beach Planning Board, Wood wrote the decision to remove the matter “at this time” was made after consulting town administrator Susan Parker and planning board chairwoman Carol Santavicca.

  • Veterans group raises funds for Sunset Beach memorial

    You’ll see them at their table, handing out literature and enlightening the public about their effort to build a veterans memorial in the new Sunset Beach Town Park.

    Dollar by dollar, the Committee to Honor America’s Veterans is advancing closer toward its goal to raise enough money to have the planned memorial under way next year.

    “We received our 501(c)(3), which makes us a tax-exempt nonprofit” dating back to when the group was formed a couple of years ago, said veteran and committee first vice chairman John Corbett of Sunset Beach.

  • Garland's Fresh Seafood celebrates milestone anniversary

    VARNAMTOWN — Jackie and Nicky Varnam are well versed in this bit of family lore:

    On Oct. 1, 1954, Nicky’s dad, Wesley Garland Varnam, opened his new shrimp and seafood depot on the docks of the Lockwoods Folly River in historic Varnamtown.

    Two weeks later, on Oct. 15, Hurricane Hazel aimed a direct hit on the coastal Carolinas, wiping out the fledgling seafood business and everything in it, as well as most things outside it up and down the coast.

  • Grand jury hands down indictments in sex crimes

     A Brunswick County grand jury returned true bills of indictments against several people accused of sex crimes during a Sept. 8 session in Superior Court.

    A prosecutor is required to present the case to a grand jury that decides whether there is enough evidence to charge the accused with a crime. An indictment is a formal accusation of a crime.

    The following were indicted for alleged sex-related crimes:

  • Southport project continues, completion expected soon

     SUPPLY — Members of the Brunswick Community College Board of Trustees expect the completion of the long-awaited Southport campus renovation in the coming months.

    Vice chairman Bobby Long announced at their Thursday, Sept. 18, meeting that the project is back on track for completion.

    A contract was signed July 28, the same day the notice to proceed was issued, and projected constructed time is three months to completion. Work is under way in all phases of the project.

  • Bank robber remains at large

     SHALLOTTE — Investigators are searching for the man who robbed a Shallotte bank Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 17, in Shallotte.

    Shallotte police received the report of the robbery at First Community Bank, 4949 Main St., at 2:18 p.m., Chief Rodney Gause said.

    Nobody was injured during the robbery, Gause added. There were no customers inside the bank at the time of the robbery. Three employees were inside the building during the incident.

  • Community partners enhance Southport Elementary garden

     SOUTHPORT — While students have traditionally learned lessons in science in the classroom, students at Southport Elementary can now learn in their very own science habitat.

    At a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday, Sept. 19, Southport Elementary School Principal Randy Horne welcomed representatives from Brunswick Nuclear Plant and Lowe’s Home Improvement to the school to unveil the latest additions to the center as well as a new sign to greet students and other visitors on the fence in front of the science habitat.