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Today's News

  • Commissioners back efforts to combat rising insurance costs

    BOLIVIA—County commissioners on Monday agreed to support Dare County and the town of Nags Head in their efforts to combat rising homeowners’ insurance costs. However, local officials opted not to put a dollar amount on their support.

    Officials with Dare County and Nags Head have asked all coastal counties and municipalities to support their efforts to fight a recently approved insurance rate increase they believe is targeting coastal counties, county manager Marty Lawing said.

  • County unemployment rate jumps to 13-year high

    Brunswick County’s unemployment rate jumped from 7.1 percent in October to 8.8 in November, the highest rate in Brunswick since November 1995.

    Officials say they don’t expect the rates to stabilize until the next tourist season.

    All 100 North Carolina counties saw an increase in unemployment in November, according to the N.C. Employment Security Commission, which released its latest report Tuesday.

  • Brunswick native awarded Meritorious Service Medal

    U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Tom Blandino, a graduate of West Brunswick High School and now stationed in Korea, has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.

    Blandino was awarded the medal for “outstanding service to the United States as Military Working Dog Trainer and Handler,” for the Fourth Security Forces, Fourth Mission Support Group, Fourth Fighter Wing, and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

  • Fennel is a classic flavoring for fish, soups and vegetables

    Fennel is a perennial, aromatic plant indigenous to the Mediterranean and southwest Asia that grows to a height of 4-5 feet.

    Savored by the ancient Greeks, it has been utilized throughout history to treat an assortment of physical maladies, including keeping witches at bay during medieval times. Perhaps this is how fennel pollen, an expensive spice still popular in Italy, came to be known as the “Spice of Angels.”

  • Despite the advice of garden gurus, beer is better in the fridge—not on the lawn

    Garden gurus like Jerry Baker often suggest there’s nothing better for your lawn than a brewski.

    According to them, beer contains vitamins and minerals for better growth and has beneficial microorganisms that will help develop great roots. This recommendation has always sounded bogus to me, but, believe it or not, someone finally did a scientific study to find out if a bit of beer builds a better lawn.

  • Lowering energy cost: Consider firewood for home heating

    Many residents in the Cape Fear region are looking for ways to lower energy costs and may supplement their energy needs for heating by using firewood.

    January and February are typically our coldest months for the winter. I am always looking for some good information to pass along to clients when I came across this information on firewood from John Church from the Rockford Extension Center, affiliated with the University of Illinois.

  • Hollies are durable, popular in North Carolina landscapes

    (The following information is provided by Bob Westerfield, Cooperative Extension Service horticulturist with the University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.)

    Perhaps no landscape plant is more durable or comes in as many shapes and sizes as the holly.

    Hollies come in more than 300 recognized varieties, with more introduced each year. They belong to the genus Ilex, which is native to every continent except Antarctica.

  • Everyone struggles to achieve balance in life

    As I marched determinedly through Walmart many months ago, an intriguing book title caught my eye. “Eat, Pray, Love” was its command. Thinking it was another of the many spiritual books on dieting and knowing I’d not follow through, I continued my trek through the store. Groceries purchased and placed in my various tote bags, I drove home. But the book title sang in my head, a mantra that impelled a future trip to the library so I could peruse the writing at my leisure.

  • Get in shape with county’s 2009 fitness schedule

    Now is a great time to launch a new shape-up program with the Brunswick County Parks and Recreation Department’s 2009 spring fitness schedule.

    A variety of classes are slated throughout the county, kicking off this month and continuing in coming weeks. They range from Zumba fitness and Aido Shokai JuJutsu martial arts to cardio and strength training and dance classes.

    For more information or to register, call 253-2670.

    The schedule and fees are as follows:

  • Carolina Shores exploring expansion options at recycling center

    CAROLINA SHORES—Town commissioners have decided the town may have to become a leader in initiating recycling efforts.

    Town administrator Linda Herncane said at a Monday workshop town staff seeks guidance from commissioners about what direction the town should take for its recycling center.

    Assistant town administrator Amanda Chestnut said there is room for adding composting.

    “It would depend on the expansion of operations and how much debris we have, if you want to get into doing it at all and if so how big of a site,” she said.