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Today's News

  • Ocean Isle Beach director wins award

    The Cape Fear Council of Governments has named Justin Whiteside the 2007 Outstanding Planning Director of the Year.

    Whiteside said he received the award during an awards dinner last month.

    “I haven’t been doing this that long,” he explained.

    Whiteside began working for Ocean Isle Beach nearly five years ago. He started as a code enforcement official and CAMA local permit officer. Two years ago, he was promoted to planning director.

  • More space needed for ABC store

    The ABC Store in Ocean Isle Beach is too crowded, town commissioners argue.

    The store’s lack of storage was discussed during the board of commissioners’ monthly meeting last Tuesday.

    Planning director Justin Whiteside said at the current building, on Causeway Drive, popular liquor is purchased in bulk when its on sale. The current facility does not provide enough storage to do so. With the summer season approaching, Whiteside presented several options for the board to consider.

  • Shallotte firefighters enjoy move into long-awaited new building

    SHALLOTTE—Firefighters have moved into the town’s long-awaited new fire station—a modern facility far removed from the old one-room station that held the growing fire department for nearly 40 years.

  • Town of Shallotte to adopt new sewer transmission fee policy

    SHALLOTTE—Town aldermen have decided to revise the sewer transmission fee policy that developers have been complaining about for months.

    Last Wednesday, the board instructed town administrator Paul Sabiston to prepare a resolution to be adopted at next week’s pre-agenda meeting. The new policy would require developers to pay $60,000 for 60 units at the time they request preliminary plat approval and another $60,000 when they start the next phase.

    “It prevents somebody with 200 units asking to pay for 10 now and the others later,” Sabiston explained.

  • Plans unfolding for new continuing care facility in Sunset Beach

    SUNSET BEACH—Plans are under way for a new continuing care retirement community, the first of its kind in Sunset Beach.

    Sea Oats at Sunset is planned for a recently annexed and zoned 64.25-acre tract on the east side of N.C. 904, at 1435 Seaside Road, local agent Hugh Munday of Century 21 Sunset Realty said.

    Its setup will be similar to that of a college campus, offering options in retirement living, according to information provided about the future facility.

  • Property-clearing under way for new Sunset Beach bridge

    SUNSET BEACH—Tree-clearing has begun in preparation for construction of a new Intracoastal Waterway high-rise bridge.

    The 65-foot-tall span will eventually replace the town’s aging one-lane pontoon bridge connecting the mainland to the island.

    Joe Blair, division construction engineer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation, said the contractor for the $32 million project is clearing the right-of-way for alignment of the new bridge.

    English Construction Co. of Lynchburg, Va., started work about two weeks ago, Blair said.

  • Golf still running its course at Carolina Shores Country Club

    CAROLINA SHORES—On a cool March morning last week, the parking lots at Carolina Shores Golf & Country Club were filled with out-of-state cars.

    With business like that, residents who live along the scenic, undulating 18-hole course seemingly have little to worry about when it comes to the course’s future.

    This also is the time of year when the golfing is good, course general manager Ricky Lyons said.

    “This month is busy for every golf course,” Lyons said Monday. “We take advantage of every bit of business we can get.”

  • The light at the end of the tunnel: The outlook for FOI

    With higher temperatures and March sunshine, it really seems like our long Minnesota winter is coming to a close. This brings us a sense of optimism and hope.

    And it’s a metaphor for the future of freedom of information. I believe it is no coincidence that James Madison, drafter of the First Amendment, was born on March 16.

    This year, for the first time in a long time, there seems to be a real prospect that transparency in government could be restored.

  • Easter traditions provide lasting memories of childhood

    Growing up in a devout Catholic household, we celebrated holidays in many more ways than just going to church.

    On Sunday nights during the Christmas season, we’d light our own advent wreath and read passages from the Bible.

    On Friday nights during Lent, we’d attend the Stations of the Cross and follow it by attending the parish fish fry.

    We’d always have to give up at least one of our favorite treats during Lent, and our parents made sure we stuck to it.

  • Sunshine Week is about your right to information

    Last week I sounded a bit like a broken record here in the Beacon newsroom.

    “It’s not about us, it’s about the public,” I said repeatedly; so much so that a co-worker pointed it out to me.

    But it was an important point I had to make.

    In preparation for our Sunshine Week issue, we visited 19 different local agencies throughout the county making public records requests at each agency.

    Last week, we called every agency we visited to make a public records request.