Local News

  • Martin Cooke nominated for empty commissioners seat

    Brunswick County resident Martin Cooke has been nominated to fill the county commissioners seat left vacant by the death of long-time commissioner David Sandifer.

    Cooke was nominated for the District 2 post Thursday night by the Brunswick County Republican Party.

    County commissioners now have the task of appointing Cooke to the seat. If appointed, Cooke will fill the role until December.

  • Governor's debate draws four Republicans, one Democrat

    WILMINGTON—Four Republican gubernatorial candidates squared off last Thursday night at the Stand Up and Vote Candidates Forum.

    But only one Democrat showed up for the event.

    Democratic candidates Bev Purdue and Richard Moore were no-shows, despite being invited, forum host Curtis Wright said.

    Col. Dennis Nielsen, the lone Democrat, took the stage alone to answer questions from the debate panel and from audience members.

  • Officers cleared in inmate's death

    District attorney Rex Gore has found no “inappropriate conduct” by two detention officers related to the death of inmate Senaca Marrell Vaught.

    Vaught, 32, died while in custody at the Brunswick County Detention Center on Jan. 23 after a brief struggle with detention officers Karl Scoggins and Dustin Riddle.

    Vaught was pronounced dead at 10:14 p.m. Jan. 23.

    Around 9:30 p.m., Scoggins and Riddle responded to Vaught’s solitary observation cell because he was kicking the door. When the two officers responded, Vaught charged at them.

  • Child Abuse Prevention Month shines light on Brunswick's statistics

    April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and although agencies like Brunswick County Smart Start are working to ensure people know what to do to prevent abuse, the numbers of reported cases are rising each year.

    Before the month began, Smart Start employees placed blue ribbons on trees planted on the Brunswick County Courthouse grounds in 2004 in memory of children in North Carolina who died as a result of abuse in 2002.

  • What can Brunswick County do to encourage entrepreneurs?

    Brunswick County’s business and economic development leaders learned at last week’s entrepreneurial conference that nurturing small business owners is a key to a vital economy.

    So what can they do to encourage business start-ups as well as support existing businesses?

    “Entrepreneurs are like fish: If you box them in, they won’t grow. They need support,” said Leslie Scott of the Rural Economic Development Center at the conference.

  • Democratic Party to nominate sheriff May 10

    The 30-day clock to appoint a new sheriff began ticking last Tuesday when former sheriff Ronald Hewett resigned.

    Members of the Brunswick County Democratic Party Executive Committee are set to cast their ballots May 10 for the county’s next sheriff.

    The group will meet at 10 a.m. at the party headquarters, Old Ocean Highway, between Supply and Bolivia.

    County commissioners will then appoint the Democrat’s nominee as sheriff.

    Since Hewett’s suspension March 27, county coroner Greg White has been serving as sheriff, per state law.

  • Commissioner walks out of fire department meeting

    CALABASH—The board chairman of the local fire department says he was surprised when Calabash commissioner Cecelia Herman walked out of an April 15 meeting.

    But Herman said she was tired of an hour-long grilling by board members about why her town is questioning finances and has not committed to a budgetary donation to the Calabash Fire Department for the upcoming fiscal year.

  • Resident says town was 'sneaky' about voting districts

    CAROLINA SHORES—A Village at Calabash resident claims the town has been less than open about a proposal to do away with the town’s two voting districts.

    Walter Goodenough said this week the town did not notify anyone about an April 16 meeting in which commissioners met briefly to approve a public hearing for 6 p.m. Monday, May 5, to consider the matter.

    He said commissioners also scheduled the public hearing on a night when the Village has its POA meeting.

  • Carolina Shores P&Z board to OK serving as board of adjustments

    CAROLINA SHORES—Planning and zoning board members have indicated they will approve serving a dual role as the town’s board of adjustments when the need arises.

    At the April 16 workshop, board member Jonathan Miner said he has a better understanding about what the six-member board is being asked to do.

    “At last month’s meeting, this issue was brought up at the workshop, and there was gross misunderstanding on our part about what was being requested,” Miner said.

  • Holden Beach man takes property value appeal to Raleigh--and wins

    A Holden Beach man, who appealed his property value and lost at the local level, has taken his appeal to the state and won.

    John Lennon, who owns a second-row home on Holden Beach, said his property value, valued during the 2007 countywide revaluation at $842,950, was too high.

    Lennon wrote an appeal letter to the Brunswick County Tax Department, arguing his property value was too high, but nothing changed. Then he went before the board of equalization and review, only to be denied a second time.