Today's Features

  •  PE-can vs. pe-CON … that age-old pronunciation issue just won’t seem to go away.

    I’m an adherent to the former pronunciation, although there are those in my family who like it the other way, which is OK. (After all, there are more important and divisive issues — like how to eat grits.)

  •  When it’s hot outside and you’re entertaining guests, or just hanging around with your better half, the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven and spend more time in a roasting kitchen than you have to.

    While your outside grill is occupied with the main course, you can have some make-ahead appetizers ready to go. Just pull these special dishes out of the fridge and serve cold or warmed slightly. And don’t forget to have plenty of cool beverages on hand during these hot, summer days of August.


  •  A new University of North Carolina Tar Heel Alumni Club is forming in Little River, S.C.

    The organizational meeting for the new Coastal Tar Heel Carolina Club will be Aug. 25 at Julian’s Sports Bar, 2551 U.S. 17 in Little River, S.C., just inside the South Carolina border. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.

    New members can join a committee to help organize events and activities that connect local Tar Heels with each other and back to the university.

  • Brunswick County has long savored its homegrown tomatoes.

    It was just a matter of time before MaterFest came to be.

    The first local festival celebrating the delectable red fruit/culinary vegetable of summer is thus scheduled from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. this coming Saturday, Aug. 6, in Shallotte’s new Mulberry Park at 123 Mulberry Street.

  • Kernersville-based Legacy Motown Revue launched on the Fourth of July, 2010, to the delight of Motown-loving audiences everywhere, including the summer concert one coming up this Friday night, Aug. 5, in Ocean Isle Beach.

    Since touring with Bill Pinkney’s Original Drifters as music director and pianist, Revue bandleader Stan Stigall had dreamed of starting a tribute to the legendary groups he grew up listening to.

  • It’s all self-explanatory.

    Brunswick Little Theatre’s latest production, “Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) is a musical about musicals.

    It’s described as a hilarious satire of musical theater and is being presented for its second and final weekend Aug. 5-7 at the BLT Theatre at 8068 River Road in Southport.

    One story develops into five different musicals, each written in the distinctive style of a different master of the form, from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Stephen Sondheim.

  •  I eat lettuce right out of the bag. Since people know I teach and write about food safety, quite often they ask me about re-washing pre-washed bagged lettuce. I don’t and neither does Dr. Ben Chapman, the NCSU state specialist in food safety.

    Chapman said in a recent post to barfblog.com, a daily food safety blog he writes with Dr. Doug Powell, there’s really not much you can do, safety-wise, to bagged lettuce once it’s in your home. If there’s pathogenic E. coli, Listeria or Salmonella there (or others) you’re stuck with it.

  •  Helping pets find forever homes is one of my proudest passions. I began working with my local Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) shelter as a teenager and continued throughout my undergraduate studies. I’ve been blessed to work with some of the most devoted, compassionate and caring folks on the planet.

  •  I always loved a hymn written by John Foley, SJ. Originally released in 1975, Earthen Vessels was the second album from the St. Louis Jesuits and was most popular in the ‘70s and ‘80s — the heyday of my life as a professional religious educator. Its message, taken from 2 Corinthians 4:7, formed me early in my ministry. It continues to provide me with a vision and goal which deepens as I age.

    The words offer all a great reminder of who we are, as inspired humans, flawed but faithful. For those unfamiliar with the hymn, the refrain is:

  •  By Linda Arnold


    If you’re in a funk right now, you’re not alone.


    I’ve talked with a number of folks who are undergoing major challenges. And the recent rash of natural disasters, global events and political divisiveness doesn’t help.

    Maybe you’re stuck in a rut at work. Or having relationship or health issues. That creeping feeling of despair starts out in one area and, the next thing you know, it’s sinking into other parts of your life.