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Today's News

  • Lights of Christmas

    A sign welcomes light-gazers to drive in and take a closer look at the annual holiday lights display at the home of Billy and Reba Lefler on the Shallotte side of the bridge at Jennies Branch on N.C. 179. Fewer people are coming to see the display because the road has been shut down for bridge work. The Leflers said they still plan to keep the display up through mid January and will have even more lights next Christmas. ‘Christmas is a big thing in our family,’ Reba said. ‘We try to do this every year.’ 

  • Can you speed things up? I'm on major deadline!

    Calabash commissioners recently made a brilliant decision to start their monthly meetings an hour earlier—6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m.—because their sessions have been running so late.

    One commissioner said he liked to get home early enough to tell his kids good night.

    That sounded like a good plan to me, since commissioners meet on Tuesday nights, which are major deadline nights for the Beacon newsroom.

  • More holiday events planned through Christmas Day

    Holiday events continue in coming days in Brunswick County and the surrounding area, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services. The schedule includes:

    •Nights of a Thousand Candles, 3-10 p.m. Dec. 18, 19, 20, Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, S.C. Thousands of lights sparkle from live oak trees and illuminate garden paths as musicians perform, carolers sing and visitors experience the enchantment. Non-member tickets are $15 for adults and $6 for ages 6-12. (843) 235-6000 or 1-800-849-1931; www.brookgreen.org.

  • Early morning roundup nets 54 arrests

    Dawn had yet to break, but they had already hit the streets.

    With more than 80 arrest warrants to serve, work started early on Operation First Step, a Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office countywide drug suspect apprehension campaign.

    Operation First Step, an eight-month narcotics investigation, became a reality on a mild December morning with an army of law enforcement officers.

  • Merry Christmas

    Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services are scheduled throughout Brunswick County and the surrounding area this week.

    •Candlelight Christmas service, 5 p.m. Dec. 24, Bethel United Methodist Church, 3909 U.S. 17 Business, Bolivia. Come dressed as you are. Brief Christmas service to include singing Christmas carols, a message and communion. For more information, call the Rev. Mark Murphy at 617-3245.

    •Christmas Eve candlelight service, 5 p.m. Dec. 24, Seaside United Methodist Church, 1300 Seaside Road SW (N.C. 904), Sunset Beach. 579-5753.

  • Locals step up to help toy run

    The 16th annual Brunswick County Motorcycle Enthusiasts Toy Run provided some Christmas presents and a lot of goodwill once again this year.

    Despite difficult economic times, local volunteers stepped up and helped make Christmas special for Brunswick County children and families in need.

    Following the successful poker run portion of the event, each rider took a child in need of Christmas presents shopping at Walmart and spent $100 on each child, organizer Jerome Munna said recently.

  • Best and worst of the year: From screaming to singing

    It’s that time of year again folks, and I don’t mean Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa.

    I’m talking about the time of year when people who write smarty-pants newspaper columns, blogs and magazine articles like to haul out their “best and worst of the year” lists.

    I, of course, am not immune to this trap, mainly because I’m one of those who loves reading these lists.

  • If you do the crime you might do the time

    Crime does not pay

    —1935 Radio Program

    One of my old FBI associates recently wrote a letter to the editor in which he mentioned structured sentencing. That triggered my mind into the reminiscing and reflection modes. Here are my thoughts.

    My jail time

    I served about seven months in the Los Angeles County Jail—not as an inmate, but as a deputy sheriff.

  • Couple’s events raise money for families in need

    Eleven years ago, Michelle Griffin and her husband, Charles Griffin, threw a Christmas party for their friends in their home on Ocean Isle Beach. But it wasn’t just any holiday party—each guest was to bring an unwrapped toy to be donated to needy children.

    Since then, the party has grown and now attracts much of the Ocean Isle Beach community. To accommodate the large crowd, the party has now moved from the Griffin’s home to Sharky’s, a restaurant at Ocean Isle Beach.

  • West volleyball players make all-conference team

    Three West Brunswick High School volleyball players are on the Mideastern All-Conference team.

    Anna Hart and Carly White were selected to the first team.

    Hart, a senior, was nearly perfect in serving, completing 97 percent of her attempts. She averaged 10 kills per game, three digs per game and five blocks per game.

    White, a junior, averaged 10 kills and five blocks per game.

    Kenzie McDuffie, a junior, was MEC honorable mention. She completed 93 percent of her serves. The setter averaged 27 assists per game and two digs per game.