The N.C. Department of Insurance on Tuesday announced a settlement agreement with homeowner insurance companies that allows an overall statewide average rate increase of 7 percent, varying by territory and form, beginning July 1.


Insurance rate increase

The N.C. Department of Insurance on Tuesday announced a settlement agreement with homeowner insurance companies that allows an overall statewide average rate increase of 7 percent, varying by territory and form, beginning July 1.

But some homeowners in Southeastern North Carolina will see a much bigger spike, with rates on Onslow, Pender, New Hanover and Brunswick county barrier islands increasing by nearly 20 percent — the biggest increase anywhere in the state. The change, for example, will push the annual insurance bill for a beach house valued at $150,000 from $2,342 to $2,806.

Mainland areas of the three counties will see an 8.6-percent increase. That would push the insurance bill on the same house to $1,754 from $1,616.

Other factors will affect the actual rate increases individual homeowners will receive. Those will vary, depending on your insurance company and, for example, the number of policies you might have with an agency.


Dune line restoration

Surf City’s dune line is almost fully restored despite the lack of cooperation from Mother Nature.

Bulldozers have been busy pushing sand since Jan. 7 to restore the town’s dune line, more than 31,000 linear feet of which was damaged late last fall by the storm surge from a powerful nor’easter.

The storm washed away upwards of 15 feet of sand from some areas of the town’s dune line, pulling vegetation planted to protect the dunes onto the beach and exposing sandbags placed between the ocean and N.C. 50 on Topsail Island.

Plans are to begin planting vegetation on the repaired dunes in June or July, officials said.

Officials said there is a possibility the town can do another push to protect the dunes. The town would have to complete another project before the start of sea turtle nesting season, which begins in mid-May.

The current project cost $104,000. The last time the town had to pay to restore the dune structure was in 2010.


Soccer coaches

SurfCityYouth Soccer is seeking coaches.

There are an expected 30 teams made of players from ages 3 to 10 in Surf City Youth Soccer, which is seeking about a dozen more coaches who can give two to three hours a week.

All soccer coaches take an online training course and receive information on the game and league philosophy. The league will hold a pre-season Field Day clinic March 9 beginning at 9 a.m. to finalize teams and introduce coaches. The final day for regular registration is also March 9.

For information, call 910-328-4887 or e-mail at


‘Art in Action’

Friday, March

Artists will be featured at work March 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. and March 9 from noon to 4:30 p.m. during Art in Action at Art Exposure

There will be artists working in oil, watercolor and pastel, as well as a lampworking, quilting and ceramic artist demonstrating hot glass bead making, fabric art and hand-building with clay. There will also be a book signing featuring a local children's writer and the illustrator during the event, which is open to the public.

ArtExposure is located just south of N.C. 210 at 22527 Highway 17 in Hampstead. For information, call 910-330-4077.


VFW Post 9983 HollyRidge

VFW Post 9983 is hosting multiple events this month.

Karaoke Nite will be held March 16. Music starts about 5 p.m. for those who’d like to sing or be entertained by the performances.

Concealed Carry Classes are scheduled for March 9 and 23. To register for the March 9 class, visit; register for the March 23 class at

Post 9983 is located at 188 Hines Stump Sound Church Road, one mile north of HollyRidgeat the flags. The canteen is open from 3 to 8pm daily with extended hours for non-profits needing meeting space.

For more information, call 910-329-1881.


Chocolate fest

Chapel by the Bay Youth Group will host a Chocolate Fest & Talent Show Fundraiser March 9 at 7 p.m. in the Church Fellowship Hall. There will be a variety of chocolates to sample while enjoying the talents of those who perform. The public is invited. The church is located in Lanier's Campground, SurfCity. Proceeds benefit the Summer Youth Camp.


Barbecue fundraiser

A barbecue fundraiser will be held on March 9 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the TopsailBaptistChurch, 18885 U.S. Highway17 North, to benefit an area family that lost nearly everything in a fire.

Barbecue plates, with all the trimmings, will be served along with baked good and soft drinks. Tickets will be available at the door, and the cost is $8 per plate. Area bands will perform starting at noon. Proceeds benefit Hampstead residents Bud and Judy Hinnant, whose home was destroyed in a Feb. 1 fire. The Hinnants, who did not have insurance, lost most of their possessions, three dogs and two cats in the devastating fire.

Monetary donations can be made via checks payable to HampsteadUnitedMethodistChurch, with a notation “Hinnant Family,” and mailed to HampsteadUnitedMethodistChurch, 15395 Highway 17 North, Hampstead, NC28443.

For more information, visit or email


Book signing

A Wilmingtonauthor will be signing copies of her book this weekend at a Burgaw shop.

Author Marilyn Bowen will be at The Book Cellar, 106 West Courthouse Burgaw, on March 9 from 10 a.m. to noon signing copies of her adventure saga “Siblings and Secrets.”


Historical Society of TopsailIsland

Harry Warren, director of the N.C. Museum of Forestry in Whiteville, will be the guest speaker at the March 14 meeting of the Historical Society of Topsail Island.  He will present a program on “Why We Are Called Tarheels,” discussing the significance of naval stores such as resin and tar and of the overall economic and cultural value of our forests throughout the region’s history. 

A meal catered by the Beach Shop and Grill featuring corned beef and cabbage will begin at 11:30 a.m. at a cost of $10. Reservations for lunch must be made by March 9 by contacting Jane Combs at 910-328-2327 or  The meeting will begin after lunch at the AssemblyBuildingin TopsailBeach; visitors as well as society members are welcome. 


Youth instructional volleyball

Kim Warrick will be directing the Instructional Volleyball program for Surf City Parks & Recreation in a six-week program that opens with a free Open Clinic on March 18 at 6 p.m.

The a training course, for players ages 9 to 14 who will be trying out later for their school team,   will run each Monday April 8 to May 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Surf City Community Center gymnasium. Registration is limited to 20 participants. The cost is $50. Register online at or in the Parks & Recreation office at 201 Community Center Drive.

For more information call 910-328-4887 or e-mail 


Town retreat

The Holly Ridge Town Council is making plans for its annual retreat

The retreat, which will be held on March 16, will begin at 8 a.m. with council members meeting with town staff for a tour to see ongoing projects. A quorum is expected. The Town Council Retreat will be held in the HollyRidgeCommunity Center, located at 404 Sound Roadin HollyRidge, beginning at 10 a.m.

For information, call 910-329-7081.


Phlip Phlop Bar Hop/ Scavenger Hunt

An upcoming scavenger hunt will benefit the Alzheimers Association.

The Toes In the Water Parrot Head Club of Topsail will host the second annual Phlip Phlop Bar Hop and Scavenger Hunt on March 16 from 1 to 6 p.m..

Register in advance for $25 per person. Day-of registration is $30.

All proceeds will be donated to The Alzheimers Association - Eastern Carolina Chapter

For information or to register, visit


Power Plant

Learn in detail about the Battleship North Carolina’s eight Babcock & Wilcox boilers, four sets of General Electric turbines and reduction gears, steam and diesel powered service turbo generators, along with electrical distribution, water distillation and steering mechanisms during an upcoming program.

The power plant program, scheduled from noon to 6 p.m. on March 16, is for ages 16 and up and is limited to 40 participants. It is not appropriate for those who have difficulty climbing narrow ladders or over knee-high hatches. Cost is $65 or $60 for Friends of the Battleship or active military. Registration and payment are due by March 14. For information or reservations, call 910-251-5797.


Cape Fear Community College

Cape Fear Community College is coming to Surf City. The public is invited to learn more about the new Cape Fear Community College campus being built in Surf City at an open house for the public on March 16 at 9:30 a.m. at the Surf City Visitor Center.   


Topsail Beach anniversary

The Town of Topsail Beach hosts its 50th Year Kick-Off Anniversary Celebration on March 19. A dinner will be held that evening at 6. at the Assembly Building to begin the festivities for the 50th Year Celebration of Topsail Beach. Dinner is $5.



The first "Greater Hampstead Business Raffle" to benefit the Pender County Humane Society is now underway.

More than 20 area businesses have donated more than $500 in goods and services to be raffled off at Goin' Postal Hampstead on March 23 to benefit the Pender County Humane Society, a no-kill animal.

Tickets are $3 each or two for $5 and all money goes directly to PCHS.

For information or to purchase tickets, call 910-270-6184 or email


Spring Craft Show

The Hampstead Women’s Club will host a Spring Craft Fair March 23 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its facility, located at 14435 Hwy 17. All types of crafts, jewelry, baked goods and work by local artisans will be featured. Admission is free.

For more information, contact Jordan, the Hampstead Women’s Club facility manager, at 910-270-9549.


Car wash fundraiser

Chapel by the Bay Youth Group will hold a car wash fundraiser on March 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 601 New River Road, SurfCity, to benefit the Summer Youth Camp.


Bible study/ prayer meeting 

There will be a non-denominational Bible Study and Prayer Meeting on March 26 at 232 Everett Drive(in ChadwickShores) at 7 p.m.  The Rev. David Stahl — an international Bible teacher, multi-book author and founder of Beholding His Glory Ministries — will share part seven of a nine-part series on prayer. Snacks, cake and coffee provided. RSVP by March 19 at 910-741-0489. 


Easter Egg Hunt Carnival

The Battleship North Carolina is gearing up to host an Easter Egg Hunt Carnival.

The spring event, to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 29, features continuous games and egg hunts every 20 minutes, a petting zoo and a slower paced hunt area for kids who need a less stressful environment or for children with special needs who choose a slower paced environment.

Admission is $5 per person; kids 2 and under are free.

For information, visit


Yard sale

Operation Topcat is seeking donations for its annual yard sale.

The sale will be held on April 20 at the Mini Storage on the Green on U.S. 17 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The rain date will be April 21.

To donate, call Cookie at 910-200-0612 or Suzy at 910-526-4775 for arrangements. All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, and 100 percent of all funds are used for the medical care for stray and feral cats in our area. 

For more information, email


Quick-start youth tennis

SurfCityParks& Recreation will offer Quick Start Tennis for ages 4 to 10 from March 22 to May 4. Players will participate in U-11, U-8 and U-6 instructional divisions on youth size courts. The U-6 division will play Friday nights at 5:30 while the other groups will play Saturdays beginning at 9 am. The cost is $35 per player and all sessions will last approximately one hour. Basic equipment will be provided as needed

SurfCityParks& Recreation will hold a “Meet & Greet” for participants and families on March 16 from 9 to 11 am. This event is open to players, parents, volunteer coaches and other interested parties. 

Registration will continue through March 22.  Register for Quick Start Tennis and other Parks & Recreation sports programs at


Adult softball league

The Surf City Adult Softball League is coming this spring. Practices start on March 11, and games begin April 2.  The league should conclude by Memorial Day weekend.

The league plays in a coed format (two women must be on the field) and games will be played under modified ASA rules. Fees are $400 per team or $40 for individual players who will be placed on teams. Players must be at least 16 years old.

Deadline for signup is March 22 or until the league is full.  The league will purchase shirts for teams that need them for an additional $10 per player.  Signup online at  or  through  the Community Center office, 201 Community Center Drive.  For more information, call 910-328-4887 or e-mail


Teen basketball

Registration is underway for SurfCityParksand Recreation’s teen basketball league.

The coed age groups for full-court play are Under - 15 for ages 12 to 14 and Under- 18  for ages 15 to 17 (18 year-olds may play if still in high school). Cost is $40 per player or $300 for a complete team of up to 10 players. Fee includes uniform shirt.

Games are held on Saturday afternoons in the Surf City Community Center Gym. The league season is March 23 through May 11.

Register through March 16 or until teams are full online at or at the community center, 201 Community Center Drive off J. H. Batts Road on the mainland.

For information, email or call 910-328-4887


Easter services

FaithHarborUnitedMethodistChurchis making plans for the upcoming Easter Passion Week. A Communion Service will be held at 7 p.m. in the church sanctuary on March 28. The Church will be open on Good Friday with a Stations of the Cross prayer service at noon. Following the service, the sanctuary will be open for prayer.

An Easter Carnival will be held on March 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Easter Sunday will be celebrated with three services on March 31: Sunrise Service at 7 a.m. at SoundsideParkin SurfCityand services in the sanctuary at 9:20 and 11 a.m.

The church is located on the mainland side of the swing bridge in SurfCitywith services at 8 a.m. and 9:20 a.m. For more information, call 910-328-4422 or visit


Kiwanis golf tournament

The Kiwanis Club of Topsail Island Area is teeing up its 2013 golf tournament.

The tournament will be held on May 4 at North Shore Country Club, on N.C. 210 in Sneads Ferry. Tee time is 8:30 a.m., and the format will be Captain’s Choice.

This year’s tournament is the 27th year of the Topsail Kiwanis classic, which supports club projects that benefit youth in the greater Topsail area.

Tournament business sponsorships are $250.  Entry fees are $75 per individual and $300 for each team of four. 

For information, contact Rick Benton at 910-604-3835 or Randy Cox at 910-328-6728.


Surf City Parks and Recreation

All classes and events take place at Surf City Community Center, unless otherwise noted, at 201 Community Center Drive (off J.H. Batts Rd. on the mainland).  Center hours are Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

n Adult Tap Dance (beginner): Tuesday, 9 to 10 a.m.

n Advanced Bridge: Monday, noon to 4 p.m.

n Alcoholics Anonymous: Sunday 10 to 11 a.m.; Wednesday 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.; Thursday noon to 1 p.m.

n Basketball (open play for 18 and older): Thursday, 6 to 7:30 p.m.

n Beginning Bridge: Wednesday, 1 to 4 p.m.

n Cape Fear Community College GED Course: Monday and Thursday 5:50 to 9 p.m. Free. Call 910-362-7349 to register.

n Cheer Tumbling (ages 9 and up): Monday, 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. 

nSTARTS MARCH 16 Kettle BellClass: Saturday, 8:15 to 9: 15 a.m.

n Lego Club (ages 5 to 10): Friday, 3 to 4:30 p.m.

nOpen Senior Basketball (ages 55 and up): Mondays, 10 a.m.

nOpen Adult Indoor Soccer: Tuesday, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

nOpen Adult Basketball: Thursdays, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

nOpen Adult Volleyball: Fridays, 6 to 8 p.m.

n Personal training: flexible schedule. Call 910-548-2964 or email

n Pi-Yo: Saturday, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

n Power Yoga: Thursday, 7 to 8 p.m.

n Preschool Playtime: Wednesday, 10:30 to 11:15 a.m.

n Quilting: Tuesday, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

n Readers’ Theater (ages 12 to adult): Monday, 7 to 8 p.m.

n Scrabble: Tuesday, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

n Soccer (open play ages 16 and older): Tuesday, 7:30 to 8:45 p.m.

n Special Seniors Group: Tuesday and Thursday, 1:30 to 3 p.m.

n Strengthening & Conditioning, Thursday, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

n Tae kwon do: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

n Tai Chi: Tuesday, 6 to 7 p.m. and 7 to 8 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to noon

n Tumbling: (ages 3 to 5) Monday, 3:30 to 4 p.m.; (ages 6 to 8) Monday, 4 to 4:30 p.m.; (beginner) Wednesday, 3:30 to 4 p.m.; (advanced) Wednesday, 4 to 4:30 p.m.

n Yoga (gentle): Sunday, 10 to 11 a.m.; Monday, 7 to 8 p.m.; Tuesday, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.; Wednesday, 6:15 to 7:15 p.m.

n Zumba: Tuesday, 6:45 to 7:45 p.m.; Wednesday, 7:15 to 8:15 p.m.

For more information, to register or inquire about teaching a new class, call 910-328-4887, email or visit



The DixonElementary CHEW! (Children Healthy Eating on Weekends) Program assists children in the community by providing backpacks filled with child-friendly, easy to prepare meals throughout the weekend. CHEW! needs donations to stock and maintain a supply of non-perishable food items that will provide nutrition for approximately 40 students each weekend. For more information or to donate, contact Kim Nelson, school social worker, at 910-327-2392 or


Mama J’s Helping Hand

Mama J’s helps people in need by providing them with food, clothing, household goods and baby items like diapers, wipes, formula and clothing. Mama J’s also helps people who are struggling with everyday issues and welcomes them to come in and talk. Call Mama J’s at 910-327-1302 for an updated list of specifics that are needed. Mama J’s Helping Hand is located at 2205 Hwy. 172 in Sneads Ferry. For more information, email



The Baby FAST program in Pender County — designed to strengthen family relationships; build connections with families, schools, churches and the community; improve babies’ development and well-being; and reduce in-home stress — is seeking assistance. For more information and to help, contact Melanie Gatton at or 910-777-8244.


Science fun at the Library

Elementary students are invited to Zoom with Fetch @ your library for weekly hands-on science activities. The hour-long group activity is facilitated by Terri Strong in Hampstead on Wednesdays at 4 p.m. Ann Mendenhall oversees the Burgaw session at 4 p.m. on Thursdays.

The activities, which are tested beforehand, encourage teamwork, group discussion and exploration. Books on each topic are recommended during the sessions. Written instructions and materials are provided free of charge. For more information, call 910-259-1234, 910-270-4603 or visit one of the branches.


The Friends of the Library

The Friends of the Library in Hampstead has board openings and welcomes any visitors to come and see what the organization is about at its monthly meetings, held on the first Friday of each month. For more information, call 910-270-4603.


VFW Post 9983 HollyRidge

Post 9983 is located at 188 Hines Stump Sound Church Road, one mile north of HollyRidgeat the flags. For more information, call 910-329-1881.



Stump Sound No. 733 Masonic Lodge in Sneads Ferry meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month.

Members meet at 6:30 for a meal, and Lodge begins at 7:30 for qualified Masons.

The Lodge is located at 151 Charles Creek Road, Sneads Ferry. The mailing address is PO Box543, Sneads Ferry, NC  28460.

For information, contact lodge secretary Bob McLaughlin at 910-938-0930.


Sneads Ferry Bingo

Come play bingo on Monday nights at the SneadsFerryCommunity Center, located at 126 Park Laneoff of Sneads Ferry Road. Building opens at 5:30 p.m. Early Birds start at 7 p.m., Regular games follow with a $300 payout progressive game, 50/50 Bonanza game and ends with a Jackpot game, which pays according to attendance. Smoke-free, refreshments available, free coffee. Proceeds support the community through the Sneads Ferry Community Council. For more information, call 910-327-3335 or


Boy Scout Troop 937

Boy Scout Troop 937 in Sneads Ferry meets every Wednesday at 7 p.m. at FirstUnitedMethodistChurch, located at Lakeside Driveand N.C. 172. For more information, contact Harvey Hoopes at 910-327-0069 or


New RiverGardenClub

New River Garden Club meets the fourth Thursday of every month. Membership is open to all who would like to share a love of gardening, community service and conservation. For more information, contact Tommi Allen at 912-660-5274 or


Hampstead Marine Corps League

The Hampstead Detachment 1321 of Marine Corps League meets the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the TopsailSeniorCenterlocated next to Pender Pines Nursery. New members, both Marines and FMF Navy corpsman, are welcome.


Sneads Ferry Extension

The Sneads Ferry Extension and Community Association meets the third Thursday of the month from 1:15 to 3 p.m. at the SeniorCitizensBuildingon N.C. 172. Learn about various issues for the community and well-being, do some crafts, work the concession stand at Sneads Ferry Monday Night Bingo (the club’s fundraiser for a scholarship to a deserving student at Dixon High). For more information, contact Ida MacNamara at 910-327-0718 or


Sneads Ferry Beautification Committee

Sneads Ferry Beautification Committee meets the first Wednesday of the month at 10 a.m. through May at the New River Plantation Clubhouse in Sneads Ferry (off N.C. 172). The objective is to continue to beautify Sneads Ferry. Currently the group maintains several plant beds and the banners throughout the community. New members, volunteers and guests are always welcome. For more information, contact Claire Wunder at 910-327-2435.


Hampstead Women’s Club

The Hampstead Women’s Club is a nonprofit organization that donates thousands of dollars annually to area schools and other worthwhile organizations. This is made possible through the members who volunteer daily to process donated goods and sell them at the Hampstead Thrift Shop. General meetings are held the second Wednesday of the month at 10 a.m. at the HampsteadCommunityBuilding, 14435 Highway 17. Membership applications are available at the Hampstead Thrift Shop.


Faith Harbor UMC

Celebrate Recovery invites the community to join together every Saturday night for a meal, worship and small group ministry. Meals are served at 6 p.m. followed by worship and group gatherings. FaithHarborUnitedMethodistChurchinvites the community to worship and celebrate every Sunday. The church is located on the mainland side of the swing bridge in SurfCitywith services at 8 a.m. and 9:20 a.m. For more information, call 910-328-4422 or visit