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Today's News

  • Traffic accident delays Shallotte Middle's afternoon release

    SHALLOTTE—A nearby traffic accident kept Shallotte Middle School students on school grounds a few minutes longer than usual this afternoon.

    According to SMS principal Paul Price, a wreck occurred just after 3 p.m. about five miles from the school. The school's front lawn was used as a landing pad for a helicopter called in for medical assistance. Some students were already on the buses, Price said, and the rest were kept inside the school until the helicopter took off and cleared the scene.

  • New program at detention center offers inmates GED certificate

    BOLIVIA—Chrissy Skeens looks forward to the day she no longer calls the Brunswick County Detention Center home.

    Skeens, a mother of six, has been in the detention center for the past eight months. Though her trial isn’t scheduled until June, she expects to be released on house arrest later this week.

    When Skeens is released, she said she’s ready to continue her work toward receiving a GED, which she began last week while she was an inmate at the detention center.

  • Just what’s included in the stimulus plan? It depends on whom you ask, and when

    OK, so it turns out trying to research what’s included in the stimulus plan isn’t as easy as conventional wisdom would suggest.

    At more than 700 pages, news networks and other media outlets have their teams devouring the bill—dedicating hours upon hours to attempt to find what any of the $819 billion would actually stimulate, besides the sod at the National Mall.

    Of course, depending on who you ask and when, that also changes things quite a bit.

  • Second night court debuts at Brunswick County courthouse

    BOLIVIA—Brunswick County Superior Court, like almost every other state agency, is feeling the harsh side effects of the economic downturn.

    The courts are crowded and understaffed, and staff they have is overworked.

    But Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis says she won’t ask county commissioners to build new courtrooms in this economy—not while there are open courtrooms—even if it is after 5 p.m.

  • South Carolina man sentenced to 14 years for wire fraud

    RALEIGH—A South Carolina man convicted of defrauding hundreds of customers in a furniture store scam he ran out of Calabash has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison.

    According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Henry Rayford Privette Jr., 55, of Johns Island, S.C., was sentenced to 168 months, or 14 years, in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.

    Privette was also ordered to pay $1.1 million in restitution.

    He was convicted in U.S. District Court on Aug. 13, 2008, for 10 counts of wire fraud.

  • County unemployment rate up again; more laid-off workers enrolling at BCC

    Brunswick County unemployment rate continued its upward climb in December, topping out at 9.9 percent, according to the state Employment Security Commission.

    Eli Smith, manager of the local ESC office, said his office took about 492 claims during that month, the most he can remember in a month.

    Smith said people are still looking for work “across the board,” in industries from construction to retail to manufacturing.

  • County approves financing plans for Calabash, Sunset Beach sewer

    BOLIVIA—Brunswick County commissioners have approved financing for sewer systems for Sunset Beach and Calabash, giving customers 10 years to pay the assessments in installments.

    Those who pay their full assessments within 30 days will receive a 5 percent discount, as recommended by county finance director Ann Hardy, who presented the proposed agreements for approval at Monday night’s commissioners’ meeting.

    According to Hardy, county utilities director Jerry Pierce anticipates awarding four contracts for the Sunset Beach project.

  • Calabash merchants demand 'people's rights' regarding UDO

    CALABASH—Despite what town officials say, a pending Unified Development Ordinance draft will hurt local businesses, merchants claim.

    “The town should be representative of the people,” local restaurateur Jeff Sisk said last week following a Jan. 27 hearing that drew a standing-room-only crowd of business owners opposed to the draft as it’s written.

    “They shouldn’t impose their philosophy or opinions unless it’s done by the people,” he said, standing outside his family’s Sunrise Pancake House on Beach Drive.

  • Carolina Shores nixes sheriff's contract with Calabash

    CAROLINA SHORES—Town commissioners on Tuesday voted against contracting with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office to provide additional law enforcement protection for Carolina Shores and Calabash.

    The unanimous vote at the specially called meeting came after all five commissioners voiced concern about the minimal annual cost of $150,000 for an entry-level officer, which the two towns would split if both approved such a contract.

  • Board hears parents concerns regarding Cedar Grove redistricting

    SUPPLY—The Brunswick County Board of Education had a public forum Tuesday to discuss the redistricting options for Cedar Grove Middle School and heard the same concern several times from several parents—they do not want individual elementary school classes broken apart and sent to different schools.

    Scenario 1 include 310 students from Shallotte Middle, 110 from South Brunswick Middle, 96 from Virginia Williamson Elementary, 69 from Supply Elementary and14 from Bolivia Elementary.