WILMINGTON — An excavation is subtly shifting the story of colonial Brunswick Town, on the west bank of the Cape Fear River.
For the fifth summer in a row, East Carolina’s Archaeology Field School is working at Brunswick Town-Fort Anderson State Historic Site, off N.C. 133 between Wilmington and Southport.
In past summers, student archaeologists have dug at the old waterfront, in the vicinity of colonial merchant William Dry’s wharf, and have uncovered a bakery oven, said site manager Jim McKee.
This summer, however, the school is unearthing a probable tavern.
“We’ve uncovered a lot of bottle glass, pipe bulbs and stems, a lot of drinking vessels and stoneware — the kind of stuff you’d find at a tavern,” said Charles R. Ewen, an ECU professor of anthropology and supervisor for the project.
Dating the 15-by-25 foot structure has proved elusive, Ewen said, but he guesses it could have been active from the 1740s to the 1760s.
The tavern is a bit of a surprise, McKee noted, since it does not appear on Claude Joseph Sauthier’s 1769 map of Brunswick Town. Ewen speculates that it might have burned down before the map was drawn. An Irish halfpenny, dated 1766, found at the tavern site might suggest how late the building was there.
The tavern is rather unusual in other ways. Unlike most buildings in the town, its short side faces the street while its long side faces the river, McKee said.
Also, the foundations are built of brick — unlike almost every other structure in Brunswick Town, where foundations were built of ballast stone.
Settled by South Carolina planter Maurice Moore in 1726, Brunswick Town became port of entry for Southeastern North Carolina and prospered during the Colonial era as a shipping point for “naval stores” — tar, pitch and turpentine. Brunswick Town was burned by British soldiers in 1776.
WHITSETT — A 4-year-old died after a single-car crash Sunday, and her mother, who was driving, is charged in the girl’s death.
Sara Lindsey Mcglynn, 35, of Whitsett, was northbound in a 2014 Chrysler minivan on N.C. 61 near Homeview Road in Guilford County, the Highway Patrol said in a news release.
About 6:30 p.m., the minivan traveled off the road to the right and Mcglynn overcorrected, crossing the center line and running off the road to the left, according to the release.
The minivan struck a concrete drainage ditch and then a concrete wall at the drainage pipe for a private driveway. It came to rest on the southbound shoulder.
The girl, Madeline Fichack of Whitsett, was sitting on the passenger side of the second row and was improperly restrained, according to the release. She was taken to Moses Cone Hospital, where she died, authorities said.
Mcglynn and two other passengers, Madeline’s 2-year-old and 8-year-old siblings, suffered minor injuries and also were taken to the hospital.
Mcglynn is charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, having no operator’s license, child restraint violation, driving left-of-center and reckless driving.
Troopers said drug impairment is suspected and are awaiting toxicology test results.
RALEIGH — A inmate in Columbus County has filed a federal lawsuit arguing his prison violates his constitutional rights by banning BET and other cable TV channels aimed at African-American viewers.
Maurice Williamson, who is serving a 12-year-sentence as a habitual felon at Tabor Correctional Institution in West Tabor City, sued N.C. Director of Prisons Kenneth Lassiter and other state officials in U.S. District Court in Raleigh.
His complaint said black inmates in Tabor City submitted a petition in April asking that BET be played on prison televisions but have been denied the privilege. Networks such as TNT, AMC and Fox Discovery are allowed but geared toward white audiences, he said, which amounts to “an advantage or favor ... to some and not others.”
He asks “that black networks be granted and treated no different than they treat the other networks.”
On its website, the state Department of Public Safety says medium-custody inmates like Williamson share one television in each dorm wing, which houses 32 people. Programs are chosen by inmates and approved by staff.
In a response to a grievance Williamson filed in April, DPS staff said BET is forbidden because of “graphical content and violence,” which applies to other banned channels.
“The channel being banned has nothing to do with any of the classifications in which you speak,” wrote Michael B. McPherson in April. “Furthermore, there would be a valid complaint by others if the (BET) channel was offered due to it not being for all audiences and just a specific race.”
Another DPS staffer, Patricia Alston, dismissed Williamson’s April grievance because complaints only apply to food, clothing and medical care rather than a privilege such as television.
But in his lawsuit, Williamson argues that plenty of programs now allowed — “American Horror Story” or “Breaking Bad” — are just as graphic as anything aired on BET.