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Columns

  • Time again to be identified by the T-shirt I wear

    Somewhere in the depths of my closet, I’ve buried a comfy gray T-shirt I haven’t worn in a long time. It hasn’t seemed appropriate to wear it in public in Brunswick County — not because it’s ill-fitting or ratty, emblazoned with profanity or promoting a potentially controversial issue, but because I’ve been so happy here at the helm of the Beacon newsroom.

  • Heat is on for thermostat control and coolness

    On one side of the region is my octogenarian mother’s house in the mountains of Tennessee, where Ma seems to be enjoying summer and isn’t enduring nearly as many seasonal hot flashes as the rest of the family who converged there for her birthday party earlier this month.

    This July, in addition to a present, I brought my own portable electric fan to donate to the cause and told her to please keep it forever.

  • You decide: How can a business stay afloat?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    Operating a business is tough. Meeting payroll, hiring qualified workers, attracting buyers and complying with regulations are just a few of the challenges faced by business owners. Statistics show 44 percent of new businesses shut down within three years. Opening a business is no guarantee it will be a success.

  • Moving this summer? Protect yourself by planning ahead

    By Attorney General Roy Cooper

    Guest Columnist

    Moving is hard work, and many of the millions of Americans who move between May and September hire professionals to help. If you’re planning to move this summer, learn what steps you can take to make sure it goes smoothly.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina House of Representatives, the speaker appointed the committee to negotiate the budget, we passed a bill to make amusement rides and zip lines safer, and we continued discussing the differences between the House and Senate budgets.

  • District 8 Senate update

    By Sen. Bill Rabon

    Guest Columnist

    Editor’s note: The Beacon has tried for 16 weeks to reach Sen. Bill Rabon by phone and email for comment about Senate Bill 215, which lists him as the bill’s primary sponsor and calls for the state “to abolish the office of coroner in Brunswick County.” Senate Bill 215 was reported favorable to the Senate’s standing committee on health care and re-referred to the Senate Judiciary I Committee on March 31.

  • Need to reform welfare system

    By Congressman David Rouzer

    Guest Columnist

    In 1996, a Republican-led Congress and a Democratic president signed a welfare reform bill that required recipient’s work. It was a good bill that helped move millions off welfare and into productive jobs.

  • Bragging rights and a policy update

    My two-year anniversary at the helm of the Beacon newsroom was two weeks ago. With it came a renewed sense of pride in all we have accomplished as a newspaper thanks entirely to our small but mighty staff, coworkers who I’m fortunate to call friends.

  • How do I become eligible for Medicare because of disability?

    By Jennifer Prince Sherman

    Guest Columnist

    The services of SHIIP, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Program of the North Carolina Department of Insurance, are not only for people 65 and older. SHIIP also provides free counseling about Medicare to people on Medicare because of a disability.

    Before you can receive Medicare because of a disability, you must apply, be approved and have received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for a period of time.

  • Freedom to offend and be offended

    After a wild whirlwind of national events the past few weeks, I needed some time to process everything before trying to convey my thoughts in these columns. It was a little strange not being in the thick of it all as I once was when I worked in daily newspapers, but I feel there are no less important issues here in Brunswick County that need my attention — and yours. And it’s no less fascinating to see how national events affect our own neighborhoods and daily lives.