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Columns

  • 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.

  • You decide: Can we remake ourselves?

    Some troubling news about North Carolina’s economy made the headlines recently. Numbers for an economic concept called gross domestic product, or GDP, were released for 2014. While North Carolina’s GDP increased in 2014, it rose much less than in the nation. The comparison was a 1.4 percent gain for the state versus a 2.2 percent improvement for the nation. Does this mean it’s time to worry about the state’s economic rebound?

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina House of Representatives was noted for our passing a continuing resolution to keep the state government running, passing an adjournment resolution authorizing a week off from the session and July 4th celebrations many of us were involved in.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • ONDBEAT: Calabash & Co. could celebrate new, improved riverfront

    Along one portion of the waterway is Sunset Beach with its recently opened 5.22-acre town park where residents have been debating its pros, cons and costs for the last five-and-a-half years.

    Apparently, it sometimes costs a couple million greenbacks to preserve a smidgen of green space.

    Just down the river is Calabash, where town leaders seem divided on the merits of improving access to their own riverfront in North Carolina’s Seafood Capital.

  • 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.