Today's News

  • Commissioners discuss reduction in force, employee compensation

    BOLIVIA—Brunswick County Commissioners have begun to discuss a less-than-desirable method to balance the county’s budget—employee layoffs.

    For the past several budget years, the county has employed a reduction of force through attrition policy, meaning most positions are not filled once someone retires or resigns. Many vacant positions have been eliminated, but the county has been able to avoid active layoffs, Brunswick County Manager Marty Lawing said at Friday’s budget retreat.

  • County considers changing to self-insured

    In an effort to combat rising healthcare costs and to take advantage of the county’s wellness program, Brunswick County Commissioners are considering switching to a self-insured plan for employee healthcare coverage.

    Brunswick County Human Resources Director Debbie Barnes told commissioners at their two-day budget retreat last week to keep their current plan with Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the county would have to absorb an $860,000 or 9.3 percent increase.

  • Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office ACE Roundup

    The Aggressive Criminal Enforcement (ACE) Team is a support unit, whose primary functions are traffic enforcement and assisting in the apprehension of drug traffickers in the county. The ACE team conducts driving while impaired and driver’s license checkpoints, as well as street-level investigations on controlled substances.
    The ACE team works with the sheriff’s office K-9 Enforcement Team and Drug Enforcement Unit to apprehend narcotics suspects as well as saturating hot spots where criminal activity is reported.

  • DSS members ask for, but refuse to participate in, meeting with commissioners

    BOLIVIA—First, they asked for the meeting with county commissioners.

    But now, members of the Brunswick County Board of Social Services refuse to attend the meeting they requested—unless, that is, they can bring their terminated attorney Gary Shipman to the meeting.

    Assistant county manager Steve Stone, who serves as the county’s liaison between the DSS board and the county administration, said Shipman could attend the public meeting, but commissioners would not entertain Shipman being part of the meeting.

  • Value of Sunset Beach park property goes up more than 50 percent

    SUNSET BEACH—While most property values went down, county valuation of a 5.22-acre waterway site being eyed for a future park by town officials has increased by more than half.

    Just across the street, the value of a 1.1-acre waterway site where the town’s future boat ramp is be built went down, from $1.5 million to $1.4 million, according to county tax records.

  • Sunset Beach to consider public records policy, request form

    SUNSET BEACH—Town council is scheduled to consider a proposed public records request policy, including a “request form” that is not required by state statutes, at its upcoming monthly meeting Monday, April 4.

    A proposed policy up for consideration was “tweaked” in conjunction with the town attorney from a policy “in another local government in North Carolina” and is based on state statutes, according to information prepared by town administrator Gary Parker.

  • Longwood man cited for out-of-control fire across state line

    CALABASH—A Longwood man has been cited for an out-of-control trash fire that broke out last week in Little River, S.C., and spread across the state line into North Carolina, endangering homes in the Carolina Shores North community.

    James M. Saunders of Longwood was ticketed by the South Carolina Forestry Commission.

  • Calabash advised to release minutes

    CALABASH—Town attorney Mark Lewis has recommended the town release March 8 closed-session meeting minutes having to do with property acquisition.

    In a March 22 letter to town clerk/interim administrator Kelley Southward, Lewis wrote town commissioners “inadvertently became involved in a brief discussion of a matter more appropriately delineated for closed discussion” during their March 8 meeting. He cited North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(5) having to do with property acquisition.

  • The Kindred Spirit mailbox

    I admit it. I have caught the fever—spring fever that is. I sit at my desk rolling around story ideas that will take my feet to the sand. Anything I can do to make the workday happen on the shoreline is exactly what the doctor has ordered. Last week, I had the opportunity to walk out to the Kindred Spirit mailbox on Bird Island to write a story for an upcoming “Island Living” special section of the Beacon.

  • Shallotte Crime Report

    The Shallotte Police Department investigated the following incidents and made the following arrests last week. All information is taken directly from police incident and arrest reports.

    •Dedriana Bryant, 16, of 7638 Victory Drive, Longwood, was arrested for shoplifting from Walmart after pushing a shopping cart with $258.52 worth of items from the business.