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Today's News

  • Property-clearing under way for new Sunset Beach bridge

    SUNSET BEACH—Tree-clearing has begun in preparation for construction of a new Intracoastal Waterway high-rise bridge.

    The 65-foot-tall span will eventually replace the town’s aging one-lane pontoon bridge connecting the mainland to the island.

    Joe Blair, division construction engineer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation, said the contractor for the $32 million project is clearing the right-of-way for alignment of the new bridge.

    English Construction Co. of Lynchburg, Va., started work about two weeks ago, Blair said.

  • Golf still running its course at Carolina Shores Country Club

    CAROLINA SHORES—On a cool March morning last week, the parking lots at Carolina Shores Golf & Country Club were filled with out-of-state cars.

    With business like that, residents who live along the scenic, undulating 18-hole course seemingly have little to worry about when it comes to the course’s future.

    This also is the time of year when the golfing is good, course general manager Ricky Lyons said.

    “This month is busy for every golf course,” Lyons said Monday. “We take advantage of every bit of business we can get.”

  • The light at the end of the tunnel: The outlook for FOI

    With higher temperatures and March sunshine, it really seems like our long Minnesota winter is coming to a close. This brings us a sense of optimism and hope.

    And it’s a metaphor for the future of freedom of information. I believe it is no coincidence that James Madison, drafter of the First Amendment, was born on March 16.

    This year, for the first time in a long time, there seems to be a real prospect that transparency in government could be restored.

  • Easter traditions provide lasting memories of childhood

    Growing up in a devout Catholic household, we celebrated holidays in many more ways than just going to church.

    On Sunday nights during the Christmas season, we’d light our own advent wreath and read passages from the Bible.

    On Friday nights during Lent, we’d attend the Stations of the Cross and follow it by attending the parish fish fry.

    We’d always have to give up at least one of our favorite treats during Lent, and our parents made sure we stuck to it.

  • Sunshine Week is about your right to information

    Last week I sounded a bit like a broken record here in the Beacon newsroom.

    “It’s not about us, it’s about the public,” I said repeatedly; so much so that a co-worker pointed it out to me.

    But it was an important point I had to make.

    In preparation for our Sunshine Week issue, we visited 19 different local agencies throughout the county making public records requests at each agency.

    Last week, we called every agency we visited to make a public records request.

  • Coupon scam teaches difficult lesson

    One night I logged into my e-mail account to find 923 messages; 922 of them were junk.

    My mom said she never wanted to be that popular. But, I am thanks to a little faux pas I committed a few weeks ago.

    There I was, minding my own business, checking my 14 e-mails when something in the subject–line caught my eye. It said, “Free coupons and baby gear.”

    I couldn’t resist, so I clicked on it. The message showed a cute little smiling baby, along with the brand names Huggies, Johnson & Johnson and Gerber.

  • Some issues to consider when choosing the next president

    I am not a paid political pundit or an elected official, but I am a political observer who has studied the platforms of the remaining presidential candidates.

    After studying those platforms, I am convinced some of the most brilliant minds go unheard because society is more impressed with those who have money, prestige and status than they are with those who have common sense.

    The question every voter should ask during this election year is which presidential candidate will protect the physical safety and the economic plight of America regardless of race, color or creed?

  • Open government is good government

    The early leaders of our country held widely divergent views on many topics, but their writings reflect a common appreciation of the importance of the right to know.

    These leaders recognized that in order for the new democracy to survive, public access was essential. As James Madison wrote: "[A] people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

    Sunshine Week celebrates the people's right to access the records and proceedings of their government and continue a centuries-old tradition of public access in America.

  • Sunshine Week: It's about your right to know

    The Beacon’s recent adventure into examining how local agencies respond to open records requests was eye-opening.

    On our part, we learned the value of understanding, in very specific terms, exactly what it is we are looking for. Because wording among agencies may vary, we learned how important it is to clearly explain what it is we need.

    We learned it’s important to have a good understanding of the public records law before going into an agency and to be prepared, at any time, to explain that to the individuals who have the records we want.

  • District Court Docket

    The following cases were adjudicated over four days of District Criminal Court on March 5, 6, 10 and 11 in Bolivia.

    Wednesday, March 5

    Judge Marion R. Warren presided over the following cases with prosecutor Cathi Radford and courtroom clerk Michelle Warth:

    Cynthia Lewis Allison, speeding 64 in a 55 zone, remit costs.

    Hector Hugo Avila, improper equipment, costs.

    Angela Reba Baird, speeding 75 in a 55 zone, paid.

    Donald Henderson Baker, improper equipment, costs.

    Dennis Ralph Baldwin, expired/no inspection sticker, voluntarily dismissed.