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Columns

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • How to take the perfect fireworks photo

    After a dozen years of striving to capture just one good picture of fireworks — on Independence Day or another, lesser fireworks-friendly event, say a baseball game or demolition derby — this year I finally mastered the proper technique and I thought I would share it with our readers.

    Here it is: Put the damn camera away, break out whatever suitably smart phone you have on you, switch on that tiny little camera, aim at the fireworks and mash away on the button.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.