Area News

Pender jury to hear Columbus sheriff’s lawsuit Feb. 11

By DEUCE NIVEN tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com      With a 30-day clock ticking on a lawsuit brought by former Columbus County Sheriff Lewis Hatcher against currently installed Sheriff Jody Greene, and others, a jury trial date has been set for Feb. 11, most likely in Burgaw.      Wake County Superior Court Judge A. Graham Shirley made clear that the law,…

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Hatcher hearing set for Friday, commissioners hire a lawyer

By DEUCE NIVEN tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com      A Wilmington lawyer has been hired to represent Columbus County Commissioners in a lawsuit brought by former Sheriff Lewis Hatcher seeking to return him to his post as appeals in the November 2018 general election wind their way through the process.      A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for 11 a.m.…

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Water leak forces TC court cancellation this week

By DEUCE NIVEN tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com      There will be no District Court session in Tabor City, those scheduled to appear there this Friday getting an eight-week reprieve thanks to a ruptured water line, Columbus County Clerk of Court Jess Hill said Monday.      All cases calendared for Tabor City this Friday have been rescheduled for Friday, March 15,…

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Askew will face death penalty trial in Trooper Conner’s murder

     Prosecutors plan to pursue the death penalty against Chauncey Askew for the shooting of Trooper Kevin Conner.      Superior Court Judge Douglas Sasser ruled against defense attorney Richard Miller’s request for an additional continuance of a Rule 24 hearing Friday, The News Reporter in Whiteville reports. After a grand jury indictment, a Rule 24 hearing is…

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Complaint seeks to return Hatcher to sheriff’s post

By DEUCE NIVEN tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com      Jody Greene “is a Usurper of authority and is unlawfully holding the Office of Sheriff of Columbus County,” a complaint filed by former Sheriff Lewis Hatcher on Friday says.      Hatcher, with attorney’s Oscar Blanks and Heath Nance, filed the complaint, demanding a jury trial, in Columbus County Superior Court on Friday…

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TCFD Chief

Jeff Fowler took the oath of office as the new chief of the Tabor City Fire Department Wednesday morning, with Columbus County Clerk of Court Jess Hill officiating. Fowler was flanked by stepdaughter Elizabeth Strickland and his wife Tonya, holding the Bible. (Deuce Niven, TLT)

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TC liquor vote still unsettled

By DEUCE NIVEN tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com      Protests focusing on the still unsettled race for Columbus County Sheriff have also left the future of liquor by the drink in Tabor City in limbo, a North Carolina Board of Elections spokesman said Monday.      Certificates of Election have not been sent in the sheriff’s race, or for the mixed drink…

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Former Fire Chief Jerry Watts dies

By DEUCE NIVEN tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com      Former Tabor City Fire Department Chief Jerry Wayne Watts died Tuesday morning, Jan. 1, at McLeod Loris hospital, where he had been taken following a sudden illness. He was 84.      Watts served the TCFD for 48 years, just 18 when he joined the department his father and four other men had…

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Man shot dead outside Williams Road home

By DEUCE NIVEN tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com      A Chadbourn area man appears to have been shot dead outside his home, prompting a homicide investigation by the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office.      Deputies responded to the Williams Road home of Dennis Jerome Smith Jr. just after 8 p.m. Saturday. Smith, 29, was outside the home, dead of an apparent gunshot…

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Hatcher says he’s ready to be sheriff, if called

Update, 5 p.m.      Lewis Hatcher says he’s ready to serve again as Columbus County Sheriff, if called upon, as a State Board of Elections spokesman said he should not have been replaced early this month, at least not yet.      Hatcher, Thursday afternoon, said he’s keeping a close eye on a state elections investigation that began…

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