Judge declares mistrial in Belton murder trial

WILMINGTON – Superior Court Judge Doug Parsons declared a mistrial Thursday in the first-degree murder trial of Davis Ray Belton. Belton was charged with killing his wife at their Wilmington home last year. After deliberating for several days, jurors told Parsons they were unable to come to a unanimous verdict Thursday, leading Parsons to declare […]

Bald Head Island begins search for new public safety chief

Following the resignation of its public safety chief, the Village of Bald Head Island is taking steps to install a new leader who will oversee a department of roughly 20 first-responders. The new recruit will fill a vacancy created after Bald Head Island Department of Public Safety Chief Jerome “Chip” Munna Jr., while on suspension, […]

New law prohibits felons from drawing state retirement checks

A new North Carolina law prohibits felons – specifically those who commit felonies while holding public office – from drawing retirement from the state’s various public retirement pools. State Sen. Thom Goolsby, R-New Hanover, said the bill’s passage was in response to North Carolina’s history of political corruption. Lawmakers unanimously approved the bill in the […]

Wilmington’s spending on baseball proposal at $168,000 so far

WILMINGTON – Roughly $168,000 in public money has supported the exploration of minor league baseball in Wilmington as city officials continue to negotiate final costs for the proposed stadium. In the breakdown, most of it—$106,000—went to National Sports Services (NSS), the Topeka, Kan., group the city hired to determine the idea’s feasibility. The scenario pursued […]

SABLE replaces helicopter with surplus transfer

A military surplus transfer has afforded area law enforcement agencies a helicopter valued at $280,000 for crime-fighting. The 1968 Bell OH 58C Kiowa, an ex-Army helicopter transferred—not purchased—from Pitt County, will join the fleet of the Southeastern Airborne Law Enforcement Unit, or SABLE, which the Wilmington Police Department (WPD) operates with partners including the New […]

City may soon decide parking deck’s fate

The fate of downtown Wilmington’s two-level Water Street Parking Deck could surface later this month, though Wilmington City Council members are not aligned on whether to move ahead with demolition, or acting to extend the deck’s life another three to five years. Either option will cost money, but as the future use of the property […]

First day of school in New Hanover, Brunswick counties passes smoothly

LELAND – In one first-grade classroom, students were learning to sharpen their pencils, where to put away their pencil cases and where to stow their book bags. Sixth-graders were learning an aptly-titled lesson, “How to survive sixth grade,” written by seventh-graders who know a thing or two about sixth grade. And at North Brunswick High […]

Brunswick DSS board appoints new interim director at emergency meeting

BOLIVIA – Two days after firing agency director Patty Connelly, members of the Brunswick County Board of Social Services appointed Neil Walters as interim director. Walters, who previously served as interim director for the agency in late 2010 and into early 2011 while longtime director Jamie Orrock was placed on leave and eventually fired, began […]