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Today's Features

  •  When I was kid growing up, I remember the commercials for spinach featuring “Popeye the Sailor Man” with his pronounced muscles attributed to his eating of spinach. Spinach may have provided Popeye with superhuman strength, but its real life potential is far less lofty. In fact, its nutritional reputation is somewhat inflated.

  •  One of my favorite CDs (I know, so ‘80s) is a compilation of hits by The Temptations. While few singers will ever come close to matching the skill and emotion of David Ruffin, I will have to disagree with him when he painfully intones “I wish it would rain.” We’re about 4.5 inches above normal for the year, so let’s leave the gloom behind for a little Katrina and the Waves “Walking on Sunshine” action. How’s that for an obscure 1980s song reference?

  •  In last week’s column, I talked about the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). These are nutrition and health recommendations for all Americans over the age of two from the US Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The DGA committee looked at the typical American diet and the latest research in nutrition. They identified eating strategies that promote overall health and helps prevent chronic disease. It is estimated that two-thirds of all chronic diseases can be prevented by lifestyle changes, specifically diet and exercise.

  •  Every year during late spring and early summer, I get the same question from many pet parents: “Can my dog or cat get sick from ‘kissing bugs?’” The short answer is, “It’s extremely rare, but, yes, and you can get it, too.” The longer answer is, “Yes, but it’s really rare and incredibly complicated. There’s a little more to Chagas disease we need to discuss.” Let’s discuss kissing bugs, Chagas disease, and the potential threat they pose to dogs, cats and people.

  •  By Linda Arnold

    As I’ve been reflecting on this Father’s Day, I see lots of cases of happy family connections. I also see examples of strained relationships — and situations of raw emotions stemming from lost family members.

    Fathers and sons

  •  Pender County is hosting its 13th annual North Carolina Blueberry Festival this weekend Friday, June 17, and Saturday, June 18, in historic downtown Burgaw.

    Attracting more than 30,000 people annually on the third Saturday in June, the festival provides an opportunity for people to enjoy a full day of family entertainment, while experiencing the southern hospitality of a small town. More than 20 events ranging from entertainment to a car show, a street fair, recipe contest, barbecue cook-off, a 5K run and special exhibits are staged by more than 100 volunteers.

  • The Sea Notes Choral Society will present its annual patriotic concert, “American Patriot,” featuring guest soloist Rodney Axsom, next weekend.

    Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 25, and 3 p.m. Sunday, June 26, at Odell Williamson Auditorium on the campus of Brunswick Community College in Bolivia.

    Admission to the concerts is free. Anyone in need of assistance in being seated is asked to call the auditorium at (910) 755-7416 at least one week in advance.

  • Durham-based artist Tony Alderman will present a showing of his series of paintings, “Varnamtown: An Aging Life,” on June 17 and 18 in Varnamtown Town Hall at 100 Varnamtown Road SW.

    The paintings depict the traditional North Carolina fishing culture of Varnamtown.

    The show will open with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 17, and continue through Saturday, June 18, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  •  By John Nelson

    Allow me to brag a bit on my hometown. I live in Columbia, S.C., which is our state’s capital. It’s a reasonably big city, as Southern cities go, one that features plenty of history. Our city is filled with friendly people, tree-lined streets, great food, tons of theater, music, a big university, and of course, lots of politics, if that’s your thing.

  • Brunswick Little Theatre presents “Stop Kiss” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 17, 18, 24 and 25, and 3 p.m. Sunday, June 19 and 26, on the BLT Main Stage at 8068 River Road SE in Southport.

    “Stop Kiss” tells the story of Callie and Sara — two twenty-somethings in New York who find themselves unexpectedly in love. After being brutally attacked during their first kiss, the two find their lives transformed in a way neither could have foreseen.