Local News

  • Ketchum arrested in Wilmington, accused of murder


    Police have arrested a Wilmington man who was wanted on a first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of a Leland man Monday, Jan. 6.

    James C. Ketchum, 44, of 321 Hooker Road, was arrested about 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8, in the death of Jason R. Anderson, 33, of 107 Townsend Lane Unit H, according to a news release from the Leland Police Department.

  • SBI probes officer’s fatal shooting of schizophrenic teen

    An investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation is expected to determine whether a Southport police officer was justified in shooting a schizophrenic 18-year-old inside his Boiling Spring Lakes home Sunday afternoon, Jan. 5.

    The family of Keith Vidal believes the officer, Bryon Vassey, should face criminal charges for his death.

    Mark Wilsey Sr. said the family called Boiling Spring Lakes police for help because they wanted to admit Vidal to a mental health hospital. He said those law enforcement officers were familiar with their son and his condition.

  • Help sought with ID in Supply store break-in

    Detectives are asking for the public's assistance in identifying a person of interest in an early Sunday morning break-in.

    The break-in occurred at Carolina Country Store on Mount Pisgah Road in Supply, according to a Brunswick County Sheriff's Office news release.

    The person of interest is shown in surveillance footage taken from the store.

    Anyone with any information about the person is asked to call Detective Brandi Harris at (910) 253-2777.

  • Oak Island Coast Guard crews rescue sailboat off Bald head Island

    Coast Guard crews out of Oak Island retrieved a disabled sailboat stuck in heavy waves and high winds Thursday night.

    PA1 Brandyn Hill of the Coast Guard 5th District public affairs office reported Friday that five people were trapped on the boat overnight.

    Trevor Miller contacted Coast Guard Sector North Carolina Command Center from the Emmanuel, a 63-foot sailboat, at approximately 9:15 p.m. Thursday, requesting assistance.

    The sailboat lost power approximately 30 miles southeast of Bald Head Island.

  • Fake bomb threat temporarily clears Leland Middle School

    A bomb threat called into Leland Middle School left staff and students out in the cold for about an hour Friday.

    Emily B. Flax, public information officer for the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office, said the threat was reported at Leland Middle School about 11 a.m.

    Flax said school administrators evacuated the students and deputies responded, searched the grounds, determined there was no threat and returned the students to class.

  • 'The Color Purple' to remain in AP curriculum

    BOLIVIA — Alice Walker's novel, “The Color Purple,” will remain an instructional resource for 11th and 12th grade Advanced Placement courses, and the Brunswick County Board of Education will be taking a closer look at policies addressing selection of instructional materials and parental inspection and objection of these materials.

    These decisions came after a special called meeting Friday morning, which included a presentation from Brunswick County Commissioner Pat Sykes, who originally issued the formal book challenge.

  • Men and Women United for Youth and Families offers education and employment assistance for Brunswick County

    Men and Women United for Youth and Families (MWUYF) will start their second year assisting high risk youth in Brunswick County schools in 2014.

    But Randolph Keaton, director of MWUYF, wants to remind county residents the non-profit organization also offers employment training to Bladen, Columbus and Brunswick County residents out of their office in Delco.

    MWUFY began working with the county high schools to help students receive educational/employment training as part of a program funded by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA).

  • District court docket for the week ending Dec. 18-20

    The following cases were adjudicated over three days of District Criminal Court on Dec. 18, 19 and 20 in Bolivia.

    Codes: PG, pleaded guilty; PNG/NG, pleaded not guilty, found not guilty; PNG/G, pleaded not guilty, found guilty; BCDC, Brunswick County Detention Center; NCDOC, North Carolina Department of Correction.


    Wednesday, Dec. 18

    Judge Jerry A. Jolly presided over the following cases with prosecutor Quintin McGee and courtroom clerk Courtney Graham:

    Aimee Marie Adams, PG speeding 70/55.

  • Looking back on a busy 2013

    Not all of the news of the past year was good. Not all of it was bad. Much of it, however, sets the framework for this year and the years beyond.

    When the Beacon’s newsroom staff members sat down together to decide how to recap the top stories in Brunswick County for 2013, we initially considered making a top 10 or 20 list.

    But after we reviewed the headlines of the past year, we realized that would be impossible. There were just too many big stories to shoehorn into a tidy inventory.

  • Sunset Beach politics play out over course of year

    Politics in Sunset Beach was one of the biggest stories in Brunswick County in 2013, and it appears that will not change in 2014.

    Since his November 2011 election and subsequent December 2011 swearing-in, outspoken Sunset Beach citizen-turned-mayor Richard Cerrato continued to rankle council members and town staff alike.

    Now that Cerrato’s tenure as mayor has ended, Terry Johnson — with whom Cerrato campaigned and who is the newest member of the town council — is voicing concerns about how the town’s government is operating.