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Local News

  • County unemployment for January nears 7 percent

    The Brunswick County unemployment rate increased to 6.9 percent in January.

    Unemployment numbers have increased for Brunswick County each month since September’s rate dropped to 4.9 percent; October hit 5.2 percent, November reached 5.8 percent and the rate rose to 6.1 percent in December.

    A year-to-year comparison showed Brunswick County’s unemployment rate was 7.7 percent in January 2017.

    Unemployment numbers are released through the North Carolina Department of Commerce Labor and Economic Analysis Division.

  • Belville to keep 9-cent tax rate for 2018-19

    BELVILLE — Belville officials have until June 30 to work out the 2018-19 budget, but decided March 17 to keep the tax rate steady for the upcoming year.

    “I don’t have any (interest) in increasing the tax rate. Plus I don’t think we need to, unless I’m missing something,” commissioner Noreen Slattery said.

    “I think we’re in good shape,” commissioner Joe Breault added.

    Commissioners increased the town tax rate last year to 9 cents per $100 of valuation, increasing property tax revenues to $156,600.

  • Leland annexes land, tackles other issues

    LELAND — Leland Town Council members annexed a small piece of land into the town at the March 15 meeting to bring in a new medical office.

    They approved the preliminary site-specific plans for the SMP Medical Office Building on U.S 17 between Grandiflora Drive and Benton Brown Way NE, east of the Walgreens and agreed to update the Magnolia Greens master land use plan for the new medical office in December.

  • State superintendent visits Union Elementary School

    SHALLOTTE —State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson visited to Union Elementary School on Friday to present a ceremonial check of funds available through the North Carolina Read to Achieve Program.
    Under this state law, third-graders who are not reading at grade level by the end of third grade will receive special help, including summer reading camps and other interventions that will make sure they can read well enough before doing fourth grade work, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction website.

  • Bolton woman faces prescription drug charges

    A Columbus County woman is accused of conspiring to sell prescription drugs illegally in Brunswick County.

    Jamie Michele Pridgen, 22, of Pauline Lane in Bolton was arrested March 15 and charged with conspiracy to sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance, possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

  • Couple charged in Leland lottery ticket theft

    Leland police arrested two people accused of stealing lottery tickets from a gas station earlier this month.

    Davette Rae Artemisio, 30, of Carolina Beach Avenue in Carolina Beach and JonMichael Joseph Laurie, 27, of Seaview Road in Wilmington each face a charge of larceny from the person and felony conspiracy.

    Police said Laurie entered the Exxon station on Ploof Road followed by Artemisio on March 8 when the tickets were stolen, then left in a blue Dodge truck with damage to the front end.

  • Leland man dies in fall at construction site

    A 32-year-old Leland man died after falling at the Wilmington construction site where he was working Friday afternoon.

    Ramero Felipe fell from a six-story scaffold at the Cape Fear Apartments on Chestnut Street at 2:15 p.m., North Carolina Department of Labor spokesman Jason Tyson.

    The fall appears to be accidental, Wilmington police spokeswoman Jennifer Dandron said.

    A preliminary investigation shows Felipe was installing brick veneer to the front of the building before falling the six stories between the building and the scaffolding, Tyson said.

  • Man charged in Oak Island break-ins

    Oak Island police arrested a man they said was caught breaking into a home and a vehicle Friday.

    Kenneth Vernon Lee, 29, is charged with breaking and entering and larceny after breaking and entering.

    Citizens called 911 to report someone breaking into a vehicle at the Norton Street beach access. Police who responded discovered the break-in at a McGlammery Street residence.

  • Shallotte man sentenced on federal drug, firearm charges

     A Shallotte man will spend at least six years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

    Senior United States District Judge W. Earl Britt sentenced 27-year-old Freeman Hankins Jr. to 75 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release.

  • Man sentenced in Sunset Beach armed robbery

    A Wilmington man will spend at least 13 years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts each of common law robbery and second-degree kidnapping in the armed robbery of Sunset Beach’s Hardees last fall.

    Judge Gregory James Bell sentenced 46-year-old David Ashley Bates to between 164 and 240 months in the North Carolina Department of Correction with credit for time served.