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Today's Features

  • By John Nelson

    Plant Columnist

     

    Poison ivy isn’t “evil.” (Neither are spiders or hurricanes.)

    Some plants do cause problems, of course. Poison ivy is a “problem” plant for humans, in that it causes lots of people to break out in allergic reactions, sometimes severely. And yet poison ivy is, in fact, a widespread native species, providing wildlife food for a variety of critters. It is a common component of many natural ecosystems and has been here in our landscapes a lot longer than we humans have.

  • At least nine local men are in the lineup of contenders dragging themselves to the Womanless Beauty Pageant on Friday, Aug. 22, for a night of fun and fundraising.

    The Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce’s annual event, when ordinary men transform into questionable beauties for the night, will unfold from 6 to 9 p.m. at Brunswick Community College’s South Brunswick Islands Center, 9400 U.S. 17 in Carolina Shores.

  • Sand hands will be getting creative Labor Day weekend when the Ocean Isle Beach family sand sculpture contest gets under way.

    The annual competition is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30, behind the community center at 44 E. First St. in Ocean Isle Beach.

    Rules and applications are available at the Museum of Coastal Carolina at Ocean Isle Beach or by emailing Pam Batchelor at pbatchelor123@gmail.com.

    Participants can also register on the beach the day of the contest. 

  • Pantastic Steel is scheduled for a makeup summer concert at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21, in Calabash Community Park.

    The Wilmington-area steel band was previously scheduled to perform there June 26, when the concert was canceled because of inclement weather.

  • The Imitations got their start back in the summer of 1995.

    Three friends — Mike Merritt, Mike Miller and George “Buster” Hobbs — were just having fun and showing off their musical skills.

    Within months, they added a fourth member, George Willetts.

    Tony Creech joined the group, adding expertise on soundboard.

    Many shows later, The Imitations have entertained thousands and recorded three CDs — “Back to Carolina,” “Starrin’ ” and “For Real.”

  •  It was the last day of our Connecticut trip, the climax to an emotional five days that included the final memorial service for our daughter, Jeannine. I suspected it would be a roller coaster ride soaring upward with faith and trust only to descend into a pit of sadness. This was the service where family and longtime friends arrived to mourn our loss while rejoicing in Jeannine’s — and heaven’s — gain. Despite my best efforts to prepare for it, my heart broke and tears flowed with grand abandon.

  •  Humans are very good at coming up with mental images of what various objects around them ought to look like. It is a basic way of bringing order into the chaotic world in which we live. For instance, when you think of the word “flower,” you generally have a reasonably well-defined notion of what a typical flower looks like: sepals, petals, stamens and pistils, even if you don’t know all the parts like a botanist. This week, we have a plant that offers us something that looks like a flower … or is it?

  •  Cheryle Jones Syracuse

    Family and Consumer Science Staff

    NC Cooperative Extension

    Brunswick County Center

    When talking nutrition these days, one of the buzzwords — actually, four words — is high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). It’s the subject of lots of discussion and questions among both consumers and those in the nutrition and health professions.

  •  Do you know what the most popular, edible pod bean is in this country? It’s green beans, otherwise known as snap or string bean. Not only are green beans a popular home-garden vegetable, they are also plentiful at our local farm markets and produce stands during this warm season.

    I remember my aunt pulling the “string” on these beans, noticeable when you snapped off the ends. The “snapping” noise is the reason for its other nickname.

     

  •  Announcement is made of the forthcoming marriage of Ashley Victoria Bourland and Colin Regan of Charleston, S.C. The bride-elect is the daughter of Jimmy and Melody Bellamy of Shallotte and granddaughter of Grace Stone of Ocean Isle Beach and the late Hubert and Ophelia Bellamy of Shallotte. She is a graduate of West Brunswick High School and received a Bachelor of Science in business operations and marketing from UNCW. After a fall wedding, the couple will reside in Charleston, S.C., where she will continue working with the family business.