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Today's News

  • Brunswick County drops to 37th among fastest-growing counties

    Brunswick County has dropped from 28th to 37th on the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest list of 100 fastest-growing counties in the United States.

    Census Bureau numbers released Dec. 23 show Brunswick County with an estimated population of 103,160, an increase of 30,017 residents or 41 percent from 2000 to 2008. The estimate base for April 1, 2000, showed a population of 73,143.

    Census Bureau tallies estimate the top 100 counties’ growth rates through July 1, 2008.

  • Trailblazers exemplify giving back to community

    Each of their stories started with an idea or an interest, and from there they started changing lives.

    This week, the Beacon launches “Trailblazers,” a feature that takes a closer look at some of the people who are changing lives in Brunswick County and beyond.

    Trailblazers replaces “Most Interesting People,” and while it kicks off this week with 10 profiles, it is scheduled to run all year long with a new Trailblazer featured once a month in Tidelines.

  • Health department polls county staffers about going smoke-free

    The Brunswick County Health Department is in the midst of tallying results of a survey of county employees to determine if county property should be smoke-free, in the wake of the new state law banning smoking in restaurants and bars.

    The state’s new no-smoking law goes into effect Jan. 2.

    Right now, smoking is not allowed inside county offices and not within 50 feet of the health department due to state law.

  • Calabash EMS undergoing 'positive' changes

    CALABASH—Calabash Emergency Medical Services has a new chief and other changes in the works.

    Former Calabash EMS secretary Melissa Artz is serving as acting chief of the department since former chief Jeff Oxnard recently took a personal leave of absence.

    “Basically she is filling out the rest of Jeff Oxnard’s term,” Troy Thorup, board secretary and spokesman for Calabash EMS, also known as Station 29, said this week.

    The position will be up for re-election in June.

  • VIDEO INCLUDED In their own words: Drug Treatment Court participants talk about their journeys to recovery

    Danny Grissett thought he was going to die.

    Imprisoned by his addiction, he saw no freedom from it, no way out. To him, life was no longer worth living.

    “What drugs and alcohol done for me, it just took me down a spiral—down, down, down—and I hit the bottom, and so it got to the point I was just totally unhappy,” Grissett said. “I got to that point where I thought life wasn’t even worth living. I just got to that point where I didn’t see any way out. I thought I was going to die.”

  • VIDEO INCLUDED: TRAILBLAZERS: Michael Leonard

    LONGWOOD—The previous night had been hectic.

    From 11:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., there were three calls that pulled volunteers with Grissettown Longwood Fire Department out of their beds and had them responding to emergencies in the cold, dark December hours.

    A medical call, a structure fire and standby backup assistance for a vehicle rollover with neighboring Waccamaw Fire Department kept them running until early morning.

    For Michael Leonard, it was all in a night’s work.

  • VIDEO INCLUDED TRAILBLAZERS: Janie Withers

    Can a former party planner find success with a nonprofit to aid Brunswick County’s homeless animals?

    When it comes to organizing fundraisers for Paws-Ability, Janie Withers has the details in the bag—in bookoodles of financial “gift bags,” no less, to aid dogs and cats.

    Less than three years ago, the energetic Ocean Isle Beach resident launched the nonprofit to aid existing animal shelters, animal rescue groups and pet needs in Brunswick County.

  • VIDEO INCLUDED TRAILBLAZERS: Sister Maria Theresa Orbegozo

    SHALLOTTE—In the vestibule of St. Brendan Catholic Church, a statue of St. Brendan the Navigator beckons those into the comforting arms of the church.

    “All are welcome in this place,” the sign behind the statute reads. And across the hall, another sign, “Todos son bienvenidos aqui.”

    Like most churches, all are welcome at St. Brendan.

    Much like the saint for which the church was named, Sister Maria Theresa Orbegozo is navigating the way for the St. Brendan’s Hispanic population.

  • Don't let winter's cold temperatures deter inshore fishing

    Inshore fishing right now is limited to those species that stick around during the cold months, but fishing for them has been good lately

    As usual in the winter, action is taking place in three distinct phases during the day: early morning and late afternoon for speckled trout and redfish, and nighttime for black drum. In addition, the hours just before and after low tide are often effective times.

  • The First Tee makes its mark in 2009; must meet new challenges in 2010

    Although The First Tee of Brunswick County is fewer than five years old, it has received high marks from its national office in St. Augustine, Fla.

    Chapters of The First Tee are ranked according to their scope and performance, and I’m proud to say that our local chapter has received the “Ace” level designation, the highest rank possible. That is awesome, and a true testimony to the level of commitment by our kids, volunteers, paid staff, donors and community at large.