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Today's News

  • SUNSHINE WEEK Ocean Isle Beach woman fights for First Amendment

    Editor’s note: Ginny Quaglia is the first recipient of The Brunswick Beacon’s Citizens’ First Amendment Award. Quaglia was selected for the inaugural award from nominations the Beacon received from community members for her commitment to the First Amendment, freedom of information and the public’s right to know.

    Four years ago Ginny and Joe Quaglia retired from Pittsburgh and built their retirement home in Brunswick County.

  • SUNSHINE WEEK How to make a public records request and what to do if you’re denied
    1. First, it’s important to identify the correct agency that is the custodian of the information you’re seeking. It’s also important to be specific about exactly what it is you are seeking.
  • SUNSHINE WEEK The true cost of public records: What agencies can (legally) charge for public documents

    Reporter’s note: Here’s a public records tip. When requesting public information—especially when requesting extensive information—request as much information as possible electronically. Have the custodian of the record e-mail you the information. If they say they cannot e-mail you, provide the custodian with a blank CD or portable drive to upload the information.

  • SUNSHINE WEEK N.C. Open Meetings Law governs how and why boards can retreat to closed sessions

    If members of a public board in North Carolina would like to meet in closed session, they must have a good reason.

    And that reason must be one of nine exemptions to the North Carolina Open Meetings Law.

    The law also requires board members to disclose the nature of their retreat to closed session, including citing the specific provision to the law that allows the board to enter into a closed session.

    There are nine exemptions to the North Carolina Open Meetings Law—all other business must be conducted in the open.

    No exceptions.

  • Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office drug report

    Agents with the Brunswick County Vice Narcotics Unit made several arrests last week. The vice narcotics unit is made up of drug agents with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, the Oak Island Police Department and the Shallotte Police Department. The following suspects were charged:

  • There’s nothing like beating a dead horse to celebrate Sunshine Week, First Amendment

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

    No finer words have since been written, and I doubt they ever will.

    There’s a reason our founding fathers made this particular amendment the First Amendment.

    It is for what American men and women have fought and died for more than 230 years.

  • SUNSHINE WEEK Campaign finance reports at all levels of government are public record

    Since we’re in the middle of a heated presidential primary election season, political commercials have inundated TVs, radios and online radio stations.

    If you want to know who’s paying for those ads (and bankrolling your favorite or least favorite candidate), all you have to do is ask—it’s public record.

    That’s right, campaign finance reports, which detail who’s giving money to whom, and who’s spending money on what, are public record, available for public inspection.

  • Brunswick County Sheriff's Office crime report

    Brunswick County Sheriff’s deputies investigated the following incidents last week, which are taken directly from sheriff’s office incident reports:

    •Larceny, forgery and fraud on Channel I in Ocean Isle Beach; suspect stole mail from victim’s mailbox and forged a stolen check.

    •Breaking and entering and larceny on Holden Beach Road in Shallotte; suspect stole medication from victim’s vehicle.

  • Brunswick County Sheriff's Office ACE roundup

    The ACE Team is a support unit whose primary functions are traffic enforcement and assisting in the apprehension of drug traffickers in the county.

    From March 5-11, ACE deputies set up checkpoints Cedar Hill Road, Mount Misery Road, Blue Banks Loop Road, No. 5 School Road and Northwest Road.

    ACE deputies conducted 31 traffic stops and issued 52 total charges and citations, including five driving while impaired (DWI) charges.

    The following suspects were charged:

  • SUNSHINE WEEK Property of the people: What records are public in North Carolina

    What do property tax records, a sex offender registry and campaign finance reports have in common?

    No, it’s not the beginning of a political joke. They’re all public records, and, as such, they belong to the people, not the government.

    Public records are property of the people, and the law requires the public have full access to these records, regardless of the form in which they appear—paper, electronic or other.