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Local News

  • First responders testify in Vassey trial

    By Lindsay Kriz

    Staff Writer

    BOLIVIA — “I’m here to kick ass and take names.”

    Two first responders testified Friday former Southport police sergeant Bryon Vassey said those words upon arriving at the Boiling Spring Lakes home of schizophrenic 18-year-old Keith Vidal, whom he shot to death more than two years ago.

  • Leland police arrest man accused of sex crime against child

    A Wilmington man accused of sexually assaulting a girl turned himself in to Leland police Wednesday, April 20.

    Stephan Keaton, 52, is charged with second-degree sex offense, according to a police department news release.

    A warrant shows the crime happened April 1 and was reported to police the next day.

    Keaton was booked at the Brunswick County Detention Facility on $100,000 bail and released the same day.

  • Elections board to hear primary protest May 4

    BOLIVIA — Brunswick County Board of Elections agreed to hold a full hearing on Alan Lewis’ protest of the March 15 primary election results in the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners District 4 Republican primary.

    The hearing was scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 4 at the Board of Elections office.

  • Officers testify in ex-cop’s manslaughter trial

    By Lindsay Kriz

    Staff Writer

    BOLIVIA — It took a moment for Brunswick County Sheriff’s Deputy Samantha Lewis-Chavis to compose herself before she described watching 18-year-old Keith Vidal die.

    “I watched Mr. Vidal’s eyes go from black, just like somebody suffering from a mental illness (has), to a normal color and I watched death come into his eyes,” she said, tears streaming down her face. “You could see the innocence in a person, a scared look. I watched his eyes go to death and he fell to the ground.”

  • Officers testify in ex-cop’s manslaughter trial

    BOLIVIA — It took a moment for Brunswick County Sheriff’s Deputy Samantha Lewis-Chavis to compose herself before she described watching 18-year-old Keith Vidal die.

    “I watched Mr. Vidal’s eyes go from black, just like somebody suffering from a mental illness (has), to a normal color and I watched death come into his eyes,” she said, tears streaming down her face. “You could see the innocence in a person, a scared look. I watched his eyes go to death and he fell to the ground.”

  • Leland officers need help identifying woman in break-in

    Leland police are asking for the public’s help to identify a woman involved in a vehicle break-in.
    Officers received a report of a motor vehicle break-in Jan. 15 at 2013 Olde Regent Way where many items were taken, according to a news release. The next day, the victim learned three unauthorized checks totaling about $2,800 had been cashed from his account.
    Anyone with information about the white woman with dark hair and glasses pictured in a surveillance image provided by Leland police is asked to call Detective Felicia Garnes at 332-5005.

  • Second day of Vassey trial hears testimony from shooting witness

    By Lindsay Kriz

    Staff Writer

    BOLIVIA — “It was the frickin’ loudest Taser I’ve ever heard.”

    This was the first thought Boiling Spring Lakes Police Cpl. John Thomas had upon hearing the gunshot Bryon Vassey fired, killing 18-year-old Keith Vidal more than two years ago.

  • Wildfire burns 20 acres near Whiteville Road in Shallotte

    SHALLOTTE — A woods fire burned 20 undeveloped acres behind New Beginnings Community Church and ATMC offices on Whiteville Road on Wednesday afternoon.

    North Carolina Forest Service spokesman Brian Haines reported two bulldozers were able to plow a fire line to keep the fire from spreading.

    The fire started west of Ruby Way NW, where Shallotte Fire Department trucks and the Forest Service protected ATMC buildings that extend along Ruby Way as well as several manufactured homes further down the road.

  • Couple escapes Shallotte house fire

    Crews from the Shallotte and Ocean Isle Beach fire departments responded to a fire at 5065 Northside Drive about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 19.

    Homeowner Ray Whitley said he and his wife, Tabitha, who lived at the residence for the past three years, were in the house when they heard a series of pops and then more than one smoke alarm went off inside the house.

    Ray Whitley suffered a burn on his head when he tried to fight the fire with an extinguisher before he and his wife escaped with their pets.

    The cause of the fire has not been determined.

  • Mountain biking league for students organizes

    LELAND — Mountain biking enthusiasts are blazing a trail for a racing league for students in northern Brunswick County.

    Mike Long, director of the North Carolina Interscholastic Cycling League, part of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), hosted the first organizational meeting April 9 at the Leland Port City Community Church (PC3) offices.

    Don Brown, PC3 Leland campus pastor, is a member of the North Carolina NICA board.