Today's News

  • Budget increased; takes over fire department

    OCEAN ISLE BEACH—Town commissioners approved the budget for the 2008-2009 fiscal year Tuesday.

    The $11,932,798 budget includes a 1-cent increase to 9 cents per $100 of valuation.

    Earlier this month, Mayor Debbie Smith said the town did not want to propose a tax increase, but with increased costs and budget shortfalls facing the town, there was no other option.

    One of the new costs facing the town is the takeover of the Ocean Isle Beach Fire Protection Association, effective July 1. The town will assume a $198,000 deficit when it takes over the department.

  • NO PARKING: Parking at OIB boat ramp costs man $170

    OCEAN ISLE BEACH—Ray Blanchette knows he did the wrong thing when he parked his car in the off-limits Intracoastal Waterway boat ramp parking lot one recent Saturday night.

    The Sunset Beach retiree knows it for a fact, because state wildlife officer Charles Hinson handed him a ticket imposing a $50 fine, plus $120 court costs.

    Blanchette said he parked in the off-limits lot for about 30 minutes while he walked over to the nearby Ocean Isle Fishing Center to check on tournament results. When he returned to his car around 8:30 p.m., Hinson gave him a citation.

  • Ocean Isle Beach to have Fourth of July parade

    Ocean Isle Beach will celebrate Independence Day with its sixth annual Fourth of July Parade, sponsored by the Ocean Isle Property Owners Association.

    Parade chairman Lynda Eagle said individual streets such as Scotland, Richmond and Laurinburg used to have their own Fourth of July parades. Having one parade for the entire town was an event the property owners association decided it would like to sponsor, Eagle said.

    The parade now draws both locals and visitors, as more than 700 people participated in the parade last year and even more lined the streets and watched.

  • Judge dismisses 'spot zoning' lawsuit against Town of Shallotte

    A judge has ruled in favor of the town of Shallotte and dismissed a lawsuit filed by two Shallotte Point residents who protested a rezoning that would allow condominium development near their home.

    Husband and wife Chris Musi and Pam Sabalos, who live on Riverbend Drive, filed suit last year against the town of Shallotte, claiming the town’s rezoning of land on the street for the proposed Holden’s Landing condominium project was “arbitrary” and amounted to illegal “spot zoning.”

  • HUD dismisses Cardinal Pointe complaints; resident vows to fight on

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has dismissed a complaint by a Cardinal Pointe resident who claimed she received unfair treatment from managers of the Shallotte apartment complex.

    The complainant, Amy Bass, said this week she plans to file for reconsideration and is also consulting with state disability rights officials about other options.

  • Town of Shallotte celebrates firefighters, new fire station

    SHALLOTTE—Firefighters stood at attention in the truck bay of the new fire station Thursday, receiving commendations from their chief and town staff.

    It was the first-ever achievement ceremony for the Shallotte firefighters and Fire Corps members, but it won’t be the last, officials say.

    Fire chief Paul Dunwell, Mayor Pro Tem Buddy Kelly and town administrator Paul Sabiston honored all the firefighters—full- and part-time, volunteers and paid staff—with achievement certificates.

  • Shallotte adjusts budget, discusses traffic

    SHALLOTTE—Aldermen have approved allowing the town administrator to amend the 2007-2008 budget up to $5,000 to balance the outgoing spending plan as necessary.

    The board met Tuesday evening for its pre-agenda meeting, during which they also approved final tax releases for fiscal year 2007-2008.

    In other business, the board heard from town administrator Paul Sabiston about possible traffic options for the new Food Lion planned for South Willis Drive and Sellers Street.

  • Boat ramp closes

    Sunset Beach’s island boat ramp has closed.

    The privately owned boat access on the island causeway was to remain open through summer, but was closed last week to make way for construction of the new $32 million, 65-foot-tall Intracoastal Waterway bridge. It should be complete by the end of 2010.

    Boaters may use the boat ramp at Ocean Isle Beach as an alternative.

    The town of Sunset Beach has been negotiating the possible purchase of property for a boat ramp on the mainland side of town near the current pontoon bridge.

  • Sunset Beach meeting June 30

    Sunset Beach Town Council will have its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, June 30, to vote on the town’s proposed budget, which takes effect July 1.

    No new tax increase is being projected for the 2008-2009 fiscal year budget.

    The tax rate for the proposed $5,785,436 budget is 9.5 cents per $100 of valuation, compared to the current 11.5 cents.

    The new, lesser rate is expected to cover all of the town’s projected operating anad maintenance expenses and capital expenditures while returning $200,000 to the fund balance.

  • Newseum exhibits remind visitors of journalism's importance

    The little girl stood on her tiptoes staring at the empty, hollow, cutout eyes of a white KKK hood.

    Around it, surrounded in a glass case at the Newseum, placards, documents and photographs detailed the story—in the words and images of journalists—of the Civil Rights Movement in America.

    “Mama,” the little girl asked, turning her head away from the display, “do they still kill people just because they’re black?”

    Her mother looked down and back up at the historical items on display.