Today's News

  • Streetscape beautification mulled in Sunset Beach

    SUNSET BEACH—Town council mulled landscaping and color at a specially called meeting last Friday to review a report by the town streetscape committee.

    Tim Cate, a Sunset Beach resident and landscape designer who serves on the committee, advised council to prioritize areas it wants to do.

    “The first step is to make it look nice [at] the entrance to the bridge,” town councilman Bob Bobinski said at the March 11 meeting.

  • FOIA: Shining light on a limited part of federal government

    The Freedom of Information Act: It sounds so powerful, as if muttering the term will grant you immediate access.

    Unfortunately, that is not always the case with Freedom of Information Act, more commonly referred to as FOIA.

    FOIA is to the federal government what the state’s public records law is to North Carolina, with several exceptions, that is.

    The president, most notably, is exempt from FOIA. So are his cabinet and immediate staff.

    So is Congress, both House and Senate. Even the Supreme Court is exempt from FOIA.

  • The true cost to be governed: A look at commissioners’ compensation

    Though they ditched the $50-per-meeting fee many residents thought was wasteful back in September, just how much does it cost for county commissioners to govern Brunswick County?

    In honor of Sunshine Week, the weeklong celebration of freedom of information and the public’s right to know, the Beacon requested extensive information pertaining to costs associated with county department heads and county commissioners.

  • Calabash leaders OK with siblings on P&Z board

    CALABASH—Town commissioner Jody Nance says he did nothing improper last week when he voted for his sister to serve on the town planning and zoning board.

    Mayor Anthony Clemmons, whose brother chairs the P&Z board, says the same thing on Nance’s behalf.

    Nance said Monday he didn’t feel it necessary to announce at commissioners’ March 8 meeting that Sonia Climer is his sister prior to voting for her to serve one of three vacancies on the P&Z board. The vote for Climer was 3-2, with Clemmons casting a tie-breaking vote.

  • Calabash keeps 'the property' for appraisal under wraps

    CALABASH—What property is the town of Calabash eyeing for appraisal and possible purchase?

    That’s what The Brunswick Beacon asked after three town commissioners emerged from a closed session last week and voted to direct interim administrator Kelley Southward to pursue appraisal of “the property.” Commissioner Mary Knight cast the only "nay" vote.

  • A look at North Carolina’s Open Meetings Law

    You, as a member of the public, have a right to attend an open meeting.

    It’s the law.

    As defined in North Carolina General Statute 143-318.10, official meetings of public bodies are open to members of the public.

    A public body is defined by N.C.G.S. 143-318.10 as “any elected or appointed body, committee, commission, board or other group that is composed of two or more members who are authorized to exercise legislative, policy-making, quasi-judicial, administrative or advisory functions.”

  • It's Arbor Day on Friday in Carolina Shores

    CAROLINA SHORES—The town is having an Arbor Day celebration at 1 p.m. this Friday, March 18.

    The event at Carolina Shores Town Hall, 200 Persimmon Road, will include a tree planting and short ceremony with a second-grade class from Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary School.

    For more information, call town hall at 575-4877.

  • Gazebo draws objections in Carolina Shores

    CAROLINA SHORES—As a town committee investigates costs, a resident questioned why the town wants to have a park and gazebo.

    Resident Jim Parsch, speaking at the town board of commissioners meeting last Thursday, said it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money.

    He said he doesn’t believe people are going to use the facilities and that it ought to be something that’s put on the ballot and voted on.

  • An overview of public records laws in North Carolina

    Reporter’s note: To view the public records law, chapter 132 of the North Carolina General Statutes, visit the North Carolina General Assembly website, www.ncleg.net, and click on “general statutes” under the shortcuts listing on the right.

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

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

    If you want to know who’s 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.

    You just have to know where to look.
    Here in Brunswick County, campaign finance reports for county and municipal candidates are kept at the Brunswick County Board of Elections, Building H, at the county complex in Bolivia.