• April showers bring … May showers

    There’s an old saying, “April showers bring May flowers,” but as I sat here in the office last soggy Saturday night, it occurred to me the saying should be updated for this year: “April showers bring May flowers — and more showers.”

  • District 17 House update

    Last week in the General Assembly, we passed a record number of bills because of the crossover deadline; we had several controversial bills, including Sunday hunting and school boards suing counties; and we had two marathon sessions, one lasting until after 2 a.m.

  • District 8 Senate update

    By Sen. Bill Rabon

    Guest Columnist

    Editor’s note: The Beacon has tried for two months 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.

  • If we save it, they will come

    By Camilla M. Herlevich and Dan Ryan

    Guest Columnists


    It’s not surprising that the most innovative tech company in the world, Apple, is shaking up the conservation community with its bold decision to invest in 36,000 acres of American forests. Apple’s news release cites a commitment to ensure a steady supply of sustainably harvested timber for its paper and packaging needs.

  • Mother’s Day memories from a lucky son

    By Mike O’Hare

    Guest Columnist


    Anna Jarvis, from Grafton, W.Va., had the great idea for Mother’s Day and President Woodrow Wilson established it as a national holiday in 1914. Thanks Anna, because Mother’s Day has given me some great memories.

    The day before Mother’s Day, Dad would buy a corsage for Mom to wear to church on Sunday. We’d try to hide it in the refrigerator behind something; I’m pretty sure she saw it most years but acted surprised anyhow on Sunday morning.

  • Making our county a community

    Last week, I had the privilege to represent the Beacon at the General Federation of Women’s Clubs-South Brunswick Islands’ “A Night of Benevolence — Caring for Our Community” at Shallotte Presbyterian Church.

    I have to admit I hadn’t planned on attending — it took place April 27, the night before our production day when deadlines for the week’s next edition bear down on us — but the group’s president, Cindy Hewett was insistent. I’m glad I went.

  • ONDBEAT: 'HOA Wars' author shines floodlight on gated communities

    Robert Stern knows the intricacies of living in a gated community.

    After all, he resided and served on the board in one of those exclusive enclaves ruled by a homeowners association (HOA) back in Henderson, Nev. Locally, Stern owns another house in Ocean Ridge Plantation, another HOA-POA community.

    A few years ago, through his HOA residency and involvement in the Silver State, Stern found himself embroiled in legal battles with what he deemed power-hungry board members who summoned their lawyer when he questioned their modus operandi.

  • District 17 House update

    This week we debated and passed at least two very controversial bills on judicial elections and abortion; we passed a record number of bills out of committees and directly onto the House floor; and we put in the longest days of the session so far, going more than 14 hours.

    The week started off in Raleigh very warm, but turned cooler as the days went on. The attitudes of the legislators were also hot and cold, depending on whether our bills were getting passed.

  • Why have some states recovered faster?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    The economic world doesn’t treat everyone and everything equally. We clearly see this in the ongoing debates about income inequality, CEO pay, the minimum wage and taxes. Another way we see this is in economic geography. For example, in North Carolina, for several decades we have watched urban counties adding jobs and incomes at a much higher rate than rural counties.

  • Lack of ‘uber’ clarity is an editing error

    One night last week, when I was checking in with my dad to let him know I was on my way home from work, he offered his usual critique of that week’s Beacon. More often than not, my parents start by reading my column because they’re my parents, then read the rest of the editorial page.

    As most readers know, our staff writers write a weekly column on a rotating basis. Now that my folks have met each of our reporters in person, they make a point of reading their columns, too.