Local News

  • Calabash commissioners fire town administrator

    CALABASH—Town commissioners have voted to fire town administrator Donna Prince “without cause.” They will buy out the remainder of her contract, which was to expire in November.

    The unanimous vote came Feb. 20 following a specially called, closed meeting attended by the town’s five commissioners, Mayor Anthony Clemmons and attorney Mark Lewis.

  • Former manager arrested in Sea Fine Art Gallery thefts; some art recovered

    CALABASH—The former manager of a local art gallery has been arrested and charged in connection with a break-in and theft of art from the gallery.

    Russell J. Brassard, 72, of 222 Beachwood Drive, Calabash, was charged with felony breaking and entering and larceny on Feb. 19, two days after the reported break-in at the closed Sea Fine Art Gallery in the Harbor Court complex in downtown Calabash.

    Brassard was slated for a first court appearance last Thursday and has a trial date of March 25, according to the Brunswick County criminal clerk of court office.

  • Calabash appoints interim clerk

    The Calabash Board of Commissioners have appointed deputy town clerk Kelley Southward as interim town clerk, according to Mayor Pro Tem Forrest King.

    Southward will serve as interim clerk until the board either chooses her permanently for the job or someone else is hired.

    She replaces Donna Prince, who served as both town administrator and town clerk before she was fired “without cause” last week. (See related story on the front page.)

  • Town hall financing contract moves to local government commission

    HOLDEN BEACH—The town’s financing contract for the town hall and police department expansion project has been forwarded to the local government commission for approval.

    Town manager David Hewett said the financing contract forwarded to the commission was awarded to BB&T.

    The terms of the $4 million financing contract are 3.81 percent for 20 years, Hewett said. No residents spoke during the public hearing, which was required by the local government commission. The commission is slated to review the financing contract March 4, he said.


  • Cooke Realty to sponsor Iditarod team; Marty Cooke travels to Alaska

    Six patients from Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital will participate in the ceremonial start of the Iditarod this weekend, and two local men are helping them with their journey.

    Marty Cooke and Stuart Cooke of Cooke Realty are sponsoring Wounded Warriors and helping them make the trip to Alaska become a reality.

    Although neither enlisted in the military, the Cooke brothers are involved in many military organizations and have formed many connections with military leaders.

  • Shallotte considers getting involved with affordable housing program

    SHALLOTTE—Town aldermen say they are interested in following the county’s lead by starting an affordable housing initiative in town.

    At last week’s board retreat, aldermen asked town staff to research the possibilities of applying for grants, obtaining property and ways to structure an affordable housing program based on what other towns have done.

    Alderman Alan Lewis brought up the subject during the daylong session at the Purple Onion Annex on Cheers Street.

  • Shallotte may farm out taxing duties to county

    SHALLOTTE—With the town rapidly expanding its corporate limits and state law requiring more complicated software, it’s become quite a chore to keep up with collecting property taxes.

    The Town of Shallotte is considering adopting a plan that would allow the Brunswick County tax office to send out the bills and collect the taxes for a fee. Aldermen and the county tax collector say the move will pay for itself.

    Brunswick County Revenue Collector Ken Perry said the service is being offered for several reasons, not the least of which is customer service.

  • Shallotte OKs $15,500 payout to architects

    SHALLOTTE—After meeting in closed session Tuesday night, town aldermen have voted to pay an additional $15,500 to the architects who designed the new fire station.

    During the monthly pre-agenda meeting, the board of aldermen heard from Jim Stewart of Stewart Cooper & Newell Architects that the building on Wall Street is nearly complete. It is awaiting inspection from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    He also informed the board that his firm had submitted several bills to the town that had not been paid.

  • Aldermen seek Sunnyside estimates

    SHALLOTTE—Town aldermen want to know how much it will cost to finish the long-expected renovations on Sunnyside School so they can discuss it and possibly include it in the town’s 2008-2009 budget.

    Aldermen met with members of the Save Old Sunnyside Committee at last week’s board retreat at The Purple Onion Annex in Shallotte. They asked committee members to bring back estimates for completing renovations for all the uses planned for the building—a meeting room, a historical museum and a replica of an old classroom.

  • Mandatory sewer discussed in Sunset Beach

    SUNSET BEACH—Planning board members are discussing a sewer use ordinance with the county.

    If approved, it would include a requirement for mandatory connection for all private wastewater treatment systems in town.

    “It’s very good to have for environmental concerns, and it addresses the practicality of funding the system,” town administrator Gary Parker said.

    North Carolina statute allows private users to continue to use their septic tanks.