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Today's Features

  • BIG Sweep is sweeping and cleaning up Calabash on Saturday, Oct. 4.

    Volunteers interested in donating time to help clean up the community for two hours will gather at Calabash Community Park, 868 Persimmon Road, starting with registration and a welcome from 9:30 to 10 a.m.

    Litter pickup from 10 a.m. to noon will again include roadside and river cleanup, if anyone with a boat is interested. After helping out, BIG Sweep participants will be treated to lunch and prizes in the park from noon to 12:30 p.m.

  • I almost missed the Beacon announcement, “Church sponsors ‘A Day of Hope’ benefit,” in the Aug. 21 Religion Briefs section. Hubby Dear noticed it, called it to my attention, and sharply announced: “Put this on our calendar. We’re going ... and bring the checkbook!” Then, it caught my eye and my heart.

  • Matthew and Kristin Dowdy of Ocean Isle Beach are the parents of a daughter, Olivia Jane Dowdy, born at 8:41 p.m. Aug. 31 at New Hanover Memorial Hospital weighing 7 pounds, 14 ounces and measuring 20 inches in length.

    Maternal grandparents are Mitchell and Mary B. Williamson of Whiteville.

    Paternal grandparents are Rick and Christine Dowdy of Jamestown.

    Great-grandparents are Jane E. Bullard and Margaret Smith.

  • By John Nelson

    Plant Columnist

    One nice thing about being a botanist is that there is always something to talk about at the dinner table, even if you are a total carnivore ... after all, where does meat come from? This week’s edible mystery plant fits the bill quite nicely, and offers another slant on the wonderful sunflower family.

  • Ever watch a YouTube that makes you laugh out loud? Then after you laugh you think, “Wow, that was really stupid. And really dangerous.” The more you think about the footage, the guiltier you feel for watching the stupid thing in the first place and the more lethal outcomes you dream up. I just had that reaction after watching the latest video from Polish prankster S.A. Wardega called “Mutant Giant Spider Dog.” Funny, stupid and more than a little risky.

  • The North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the first North Carolina Rice Festival this coming weekend, Sept. 20-21, at The Brunswick Riverwalk at Belville, 580 River Road in Belville. The festival will include a rice cooking contest, arts and crafts, commercial vendors, children’s entertainment zone, youth art contest and, of course, an adult beverage tent.

  • In researching materials for our upcoming Heart Healthy cooking classes, I found a great handout that addresses those things that trigger people to overeat. It is part of a program developed by North Carolina Cooperative Extension called “Give Your Heart a Healthy Beat.” The ideas in the handout are so good, I have to share. I think we’ve all heard (or said) some of these at one time or another. If you’re trying to trim down, locate your problem area, etc., maybe there’s a tip here that can help you.

  • By Sam Marshall

    Horticulture Agent

    Looking for a more cost-effective way to fertilize your lawn or garden? Did you know that almost 75 percent of discarded materials in North Carolina can be composted? Ever considered using earthworms to help you accomplish this task? Composting with earthworms, or vermicomposting, is a highly effective way of turning food and yard waste into nutrient-dense fertilizer that can boost plant health and increase flower and fruit production.

    What is vermicomposting?

  • Animals and animal groups will highlight an adopt-a-thon at a local pet store this Saturday and Sunday in Shallotte.

    The Petsense “Forever Home” National Pet Adopt-a-thon is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, both in and outside the local Petsense store in Shallotte Crossing Shopping Center.

    The event will take place rain or shine, store manager Gail Monat said.

  • Brunswick Little Theatre will hold auditions for “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” on Sept. 20 at its new facility at 8068 River Road in Southport.

    The play, written by Barbara Knowles, tells the story of the challenges faced by a couple when they are forced to cast the Herdmans, the most awful kids in the community, in the annual church Christmas play. Hilarity and mayhem rule as the Herdmans and the Christmas story collide. This play has been described as an American classic and is a holiday staple in theaters across the country.