Local News

  • Ocean Isle officials consider budget ideas for 2014-15

    OCEAN ISLE BEACH — Ocean Isle Beach officials reviewed ideas that could become budget items at a daylong budget retreat March 13.

    Town Administrator Daisy Ivey said the staff is interested in putting a bill pay option online for taxes and water and sewer bills in the next budget year.

    She said the idea of going paperless could also come to the town board.

    “We want to research a paperless agenda in 2014-15. We would provide you with laptops with all the (agenda) information included,” Ivey said.

  • Changes affect 2014 primary election voting

    Brunswick County residents have several options for voting in the May 6 primary, but election law changes have added specific requirements voters should be aware of.

    The changes affect absentee voting, one-stop voting and polling places for in person voting on Election Day, Nov. 4.

    In North Carolina primary elections, registered voters can only vote for their declared party.

  • Commissioners add premiums, cut spouse coverage from county insurance plan

    BOLIVIA — Brunswick County commissioners approved a $1.5 million insurance plan for employees for 2014-15.

    But it will be the last year spouses can be added to the county plan.

    Spouses already under the insurance plan will be grandfathered in, but those who are not signed up with the program by July 1 will be excluded.

    The new insurance plan also added a yearly premium for employees, their spouses and children.

  • State unemployment rate continues to drop

    North Carolina’s unemployment rate has continued to fall in 2014, maintaining a trend from 2013.

    Unemployment in the state reached a low of 6.9 percent in December 2013 and fell another .2 of a percent in the new year to 6.7 percent.

    In January 2013 the unemployment rate for North Carolina was 8.8 percent – 2.1 percent higher than at the start of 2014.

    The number of people employed in North Carolina increased 17,407 from December 2013 to January 2014, reaching a total employment number of 4,356,090.

  • Leland breaks ground on cultural arts building renovation

    Leland officials “broke ground” on the town’s future Cultural Arts Center March 14.

    In 2010, the town bought the unfinished 18,000 square foot building that sits off U.S. 17 on 1212 Magnolia Village Way, behind P.T.’s Olde Fashioned Grille near the Magnolia Greens development.

    So the building is complete, but the interior is unfinished. The only structural change to the existing building will be a redesigned entrance.

  • Southport man pleads guilty to human trafficking charge

     A Southport man pleaded guilty to human trafficking of a minor in Brunswick County Superior Court on Monday, March 17.

    Superior Court Judge Claire V. Hill sentenced Shawn Christopher Conley to serve a minimum of 80 months — more than six years — and a maximum of 108 months in the North Carolina Department of Correction, according to a release from the district attorney’s office.

  • High school theater groups perform at play festival

     SUPPLY — Theater arts departments from three county high schools took the stage March 13 for a one-act play festival, and they didn’t disappoint.

    The third annual festival, held at Odell Williamson Auditorium, featured acts from West, South and North Brunswick high schools.

  • Shallotte man indicted, accused of sex crimes involving children

     A Shallotte man accused of sex crimes involving children has been indicted by a Brunswick County grand jury.

    Christopher Lewis Green, 29, of Shallotte Point Loop, has been indicted on one count each of crime against nature, second-degree sex offense and indecent liberties with a child.

    The incidents allegedly occurred between Oct. 17, 2011, and June 17, 2012. Deputies arrested Green on July 14, 2013.

  • District releases calendar for 2014-15 school year

     The Brunswick County Board of Education has adopted the 2014-2015 traditional school calendar. 

    Next year’s calendar provides a compromise for people who did not feel students should be in school at sites used for polling places on Election Day and those who felt the 10-week instructional stretch after the winter break needed to be broken up by a teacher workday March 13, 2015, according to a Brunswick County Schools news release. The new calendar meets both of those requests.

    The calendar was approved March 11.

  • Leland man accused of human trafficking, sex crimes

     A man wanted in Leland on a human trafficking charge has been captured by federal authorities in Texas.

    Raul Antonio Cortez, 46, is incarcerated at a Midland, Texas, jail on warrants from Leland charging him with human trafficking and sexual assault. The Leland Police Department received a report in December that claimed Cortez sexually assaulted a teen boy in Leland.

    Cortez, who lived on Lanvale Road off U.S. 17 before he disappeared, left town before Leland police could detain him.