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Columns

  • What makes news and why is no secret

    Pssst! You! Yes, you!

    Look closer! I want to tell you something — the secret to keeping your name out of the Beacon.

    Ready? OK, here you go: Don’t do anything newsworthy.

    Nothing amazing. Nothing unusual. Nothing generous. Nothing humble. Nothing heart-wrenchingly brave. Nothing monumentally stupid.

    Basically, don’t do anything anyone would care to read about.

    Disappointed? Well, if you expected more, I’m sorry. But honestly, it’s that simple.

  • It pays to beware of scam artists

    Charlatans have plagued society throughout most of human history. While their methods have evolved with modern times, their goal remains unchanged: to swindle as much money as they can from honest people. Their victims, unfortunately, include many Brunswick County residents.

  • Where is your happy place?

    By Miranda Michelle Parkstone

    Guest Columnist

    There are many places I could regard as my “happy place,” but there is only one certain place where I am most content. This place would be at the beach — Sunset Beach, specifically — right at the beginning of summer. Because vacationers generally do not begin their retreats to the beach until early August, crowds are typically rather thin at this time of the season.

  • Ads, news are two different branches of the same newspaper tree

    It happens once about every two or three weeks: I get a message on my voicemail here at the office from someone who wants to “put an ad” in the Beacon. Trouble is, I’m not in the ad department; I lead the Beacon’s news department. And ads and news items are two very different things.

  • Caffeine overdosers unite: There's a lot to learn in the middle of the night

    Free coffee on National Coffee Day this past Monday, Sept. 29, must’ve been caffeinated bliss for addicts who don’t have to be mindful of overdoing it.

    All a coffeeholic had to do was venture up U.S. 17 for a free or reduced-price fix every five or so miles. And that’s just in consideration of all the Kangaroo stores and Mickey D’s dotting the roadside.

  • No matter the theme, fall festivals are funnel cake havens

    Funnel Cake Festival.

    Why hasn’t anyone come up with that yet?

    We are on the cusp of fall festival season and no matter what the theme of each weekend’s gathering may be, the one thing everyone keeps an eye out for at these events is the funnel cake booth.

    I’ve already witnessed it firsthand the last two weekends.

    When a funnel cake is spotted out in the open, it always turns heads as folks try to retrace the steps of the lucky people in possession of funnel cake to determine its place of origin.

  • We must never forget

    By Frank Richardson

    Guest Columnist

    They walk among us and we often don’t notice. They have a special day in their honor and we often forget. We’re talking about National POW/MIA Recognition Day which is always the third Friday in September. 
In Brunswick County there are a lot of veterans of our nation’s services but there is a special breed within that number: those who were held prisoner of war. A good number of those are back, but there are many still missing in action.

  • Prescription drug assistance for low-income Medicare beneficiaries

    By Jennifer Prince Sherman

    Guest Columnist

     

    Do you ever have difficulty paying for your prescription drugs? Do you have limited income and assets? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions and you are a person with Medicare, Extra Help may be available for you.

  • Try to make time for community events, other important activities

    Have we had one of the soggiest summers here in recent history? I’ve only been here a little longer than a year, but I don’t remember it being quite this rainy last year. Not that I mind; I love water, even when it falls from the sky. But still, it seems like it’s been awhile since I’ve heard anyone drop the dreaded d-word — drought — and I wonder if local lawn and garden care services are having a banner year.

  • A career first and having the last word

    Even though I’ve been in journalism for 20 years or so, I can still remember every first experience I’ve had in my career.

    I remember the first misspelling of my last name — Torak — and most of the rest, such as Turok (like the video game), Tork (like the Monkee), Took (like the past tense verb), Tonorock (like, well, I have no idea), Clark (like not even close) and — my favorite — Sock (like the article of clothing).