http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/todaysnews/rss.xml en Retiring BFA director Fred Stephens proud of agency teamwork http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/retiring-bfa-director-fred-stephens-proud-agency-teamwork <img src="http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/sites/www.brunswickbeacon.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/a_fred5.jpg" alt="Fred Stephens, outgoing executive director of Brunswick Family Assistance, stands outside the nonprofit’s Shallotte office in Twin Creek Plaza on Main Street. Stephens officially retires from his leadership role Thursday, June 30, to spend more time with family. But he still plans to be around to help out with BFA programs." title="Fred Stephens, outgoing executive director of Brunswick Family Assistance, stands outside the nonprofit’s Shallotte office in Twin Creek Plaza on Main Street. Stephens officially retires from his leadership role Thursday, June 30, to spend more time with family. But he still plans to be around to help out with BFA programs." align="left" hspace="6" width="102" height="85" /><p> Fred Stephens&rsquo; first three years with Brunswick Family Assistance started out the way many retirees settling here involve themselves with the nonprofit community help agency: By volunteering.</p> <p> &ldquo;I was a food pantry volunteer,&rdquo; recalled BFA&rsquo;s 73-year-old executive director who is officially retiring this Thursday, June 30.</p> <p> &ldquo;I worked every Friday morning and packed boxes of food,&rdquo; Stephens said of his initial work that launched seven years ago at BFA headquarters in Shallotte.</p> Legislature abolishes Brunswick County Coroner’s Office http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/legislature-abolishes-brunswick-county-coroner%E2%80%99s-office <p> The General Assembly has abolished the Brunswick County Coroner&rsquo;s Office.</p> <p> Members of the House voted late Tuesday afternoon, June 28, to pass Senate Bill 215, which state Sen. Bill Rabon of Southport filed March 10, 2015. The Senate passed the bill Sept. 17.</p> <p> Legislative librarian Jane Basnight said because this is a local bill, it does not have to go to the governor&rsquo;s office to be signed into law.</p> County, towns take interest in beach access court case http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/county-towns-take-interest-beach-access-court-case <p> Brunswick County and some of its municipalities are supporting Emerald Isle in a state Supreme Court case to protect public access to North Carolina beaches.</p> <p> Emerald Isle beachfront property owners have sued the town over access to beach property in the &ldquo;dry sand,&rdquo; or between the highwater mark and the dunes.</p> <p> While the property owners lost a superior court decision and an appeal, they are taking the case to the state supreme court to be heard later this year.</p> Tax distribution bill not part of state budget update http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/tax-distribution-bill-not-part-state-budget-update <p> A Senate bill that could cut Local Option Sales Tax revenues for Brunswick County and its municipalities did not make it into the budget the two branches of the general assembly are finalizing.</p> <p> County commissioners reviewed Senate Bill 846 during a budget workshop May 31 and voted unanimously for a resolution opposing changes to LOST distribution, which County Manger Ann Hardy reported could cost the county $2.4 million annually.</p> <p> SB 846 would allow collection and redistribution of sales tax monies to counties other than where the tax is originally collected.</p> Former Sheriff John Carr dies at 88 http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/former-sheriff-john-carr-dies-88 <img src="http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/sites/www.brunswickbeacon.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/john_carr_davis.jpg" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" width="113" height="85" /><p> John Carr Davis, who served as Brunswick County Sheriff from 1983 through 1994, died on his birthday Monday, June 27. He was 88.</p> <p> According to a sheriff&rsquo;s office Facebook post, Sheriff John Ingram, Chief Deputy Charlie Miller and many others began their law enforcement careers under Davis&rsquo; leadership.</p> Iler seeks to delete Palm Cove from de-annexation bill http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/iler-seeks-delete-palm-cove-de-annexation-bill <img src="http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/sites/www.brunswickbeacon.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/a_sb_mtng3.jpg" alt="Carmel Zetts of the Sunset Beach Turtle Watch speaks at Monday night’s Sunset Beach Town Council meeting." title="Carmel Zetts of the Sunset Beach Turtle Watch speaks at Monday night’s Sunset Beach Town Council meeting." align="left" hspace="6" width="110" height="85" /><p> SUNSET BEACH &mdash; State Rep. Frank Iler has requested removal of Palm Cove from legislation authorizing de-annexation in Sunset Beach.</p> <p> As Senate Bill 875 continues to stall in the House Committee on Rules, Calendar and Operations in Raleigh, Iler has requested removal of the east end island development in accordance with an agreement approved last week by town council to let Palm Cove have swimming pools, Sunset Beach Mayor Ron Watts said at Monday night&rsquo;s town board meeting.</p> Elections board works on relocating two voting sites http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/elections-board-works-relocating-two-voting-sites <p> BOLIVIA &mdash; The Brunswick County elections board decided to combine two Election Day polling places into one and relocate another polling site to a new building at the same facility during its June 20 meeting.</p> <p> Board members voted to move voters from the Belville 3 precinct that had voted at Leland Middle School to the same site as the Belville 2 precinct at the Leland Cultural Arts Center (LCAC).</p> Leland approves 2016-17 budget with tax rate increase http://www.brunswickbeacon.com/content/leland-approves-2016-17-budget-tax-rate-increase <p> LELAND &mdash; Leland officials approved the 2016-17 budget, including a 3.18-cent tax increase, at a special meeting Thursday, June 23.</p> <p> The budget for 2016-17 totals $10.6 million, up from $8.4 million in 2015-16.</p> <p> The tax number on a Leland home valued at $212,000 with the proposed tax rate of .1833 would generate $388.60 compared with $321.18 at the .1515 tax rate. Leland had kept its tax rate at .1515 per $100 of property value since 2012-13.</p>