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Columns

  • Rooting for the underdogs and undercats

    The 51-year drought of no national titles for any of my three Cleveland sports teams continues with the Cavaliers’ loss in this year’s NBA finals.

    My hometown is desperate for a winner and disappointed by the outcome of the six-game series, which ended in Cleveland on June 16. Even with about 30 seconds left in that last game, the team came back to within two possessions of tying the score and never gave up.

  • ECU researchers track North Carolina sharks

    By Eric Johnson

    Guest Columnist

    The news this summer of several shark attacks on the North Carolina coast came as a surprise to many marine scientists. Severe shark attacks are extraordinarily rare; far more people are killed by cows each year than sharks.

    But while attacks are unusual, sharks are more common than most people realize. North Carolina waters are a rich environment for the apex predator.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina House of Representatives, we voted not to concur with the Senate version of the budget, we passed a major Medicaid reform bill and we had another outstanding page from Brunswick County.

  • District 8 Senate update

    By Sen. Bill Rabon

    Guest Columnist

    Editor’s note: The Beacon has tried for 15 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.

  • What I know about the Charleston shooting

    Last Wednesday night, I was checking in with some of my friends on Facebook when I saw posts indicating something bad had happened near Charleston, S.C. Many of my friends are former colleagues who still live and work in South Carolina, where I’d spent most of my career.

  • You decide: Can we remake ourselves?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    Some say the next several decades will be the “age of remakes.”

    I don’t mean old films that have new versions produced, nor do I mean personal style remakes –– like new clothes and a new hair fashion –– although most would agree I certainly need the latter. Instead, I mean an “occupational remake,” where a person literally restructures what he or she does to earn a living.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina General Assembly, the House passed a gun rights bill after much debate; we passed a bill improving the Voter ID system for 2016; we passed a bill benefitting our local government’s health plans; and the Senate passed its version of the state budget.

    The weather in Raleigh last week continued to be very hot outside with record temperatures and humidity. The debate on such issues as the gun rights bill and the budget kept temperatures inside at a high level, also.

  • District 8 Senate update

    By Sen. Bill Rabon

    Guest Columnist

    Editor’s note: The Beacon has tried for 14 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.

  • Swamp park adventures, part II

    To bring you up to speed, two weeks ago a few of my Beacon coworkers and I were granted a preview of a zip line course at Shallotte River Swamp Park, which had its official grand opening last Friday. My colleagues completed the entire 10-line course, while I managed to finish 1¾ of it, having gotten myself stuck on my second effort because of vertigo, short arms and a sudden panic attack.

  • Telling the story of Calabash Volunteer EMS

    By Troy Thorup

    Guest Columnist

    How do you tell a story that is almost 35 years long, one that is written in not words, but the countless hours of selflessness given by so many over the years? One that tells the story of a community coming together, to stand watch over their neighbors in a time that predates our current county-based EMS system? How do you summarize the contributions of so many over the decades? You can’t.