Topsail Beach

Doug Medlin

The Town of Burgaw had three open seats on its Board; all three incumbents won re-election:  Vernon Harrell, Red Robbins, and Bill George, will serve another four years. 

In the Town of Surf City, which stretches into Onslow County, the fiercely-fought battle between long-time incumbent Mayor Doug Medlin and current City Council Member Jeremy Shugarts ended with Mayor Medlin easily winning the seat again  with 67% of the vote.

Town of Burgaw

In the Town of Burgaw, Pete Cowan won the mayoral seat after Incumbent Eugene Mulligan ran for a Commissioner seat.  Cowan easily held off two challengers with 63% of the vote.  Mulligan did not win a seat on the Board.  Instead, Incumbents Jan Dawson and James Murphy kept their seats on Burgaw’s Board of Commissioners.

Surf City’s Town Council will have Teresa Batts for another term.  Jeremy Shugarts picked up the second open seat. 

Area beach-goers planning to hit the waves this Fourth of July weekend can rest easy in one respect. Three Cape Fear-area beaches have fetched high marks on this year’s report card from the Natural Resources Defense Council, or NRDC—an environmental watchdog group that grades beaches based on water quality. Out of 3500 coastal and Great Lakes beaches, only 35 were deemed “superstars”—and this elite grouping counts sections of Wrightsville Beach, Sunset Beach, and Topsail Beach.

The National Flood Insurance Program is working its way out of bankruptcy following Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy--but its plan involves sharp premium increases for coastal property owners. This population includes more than 17,000 North Carolinians--many of whom stand to have their flood insurance rates triple this year. Coastal community leaders are busy voicing their concern to federal and state legislators. To strengthen their argument at the federal level, leaders from communities such as Topsail Beach plan to band together across North and South Carolina’s coast.

More than 20 dead pelicans have washed ashore along the southeastern North Carolina coast in the past few weeks. 

Topsail Beach residents will have two mayoral candidates on the ballot next week: incumbent Howard Braxton and Commissioner Buck Taylor.

WHQR’s Michelle Bliss reports both candidates agree that protecting the town’s natural resources with a long-term beach renourishment plan is crucial for attracting tourists, but they suggest different strategies for growing the town’s central business district.