• Help trick-or-treaters stay safe

    By Roy Cooper

    Guest Columnist

    Halloween is an exciting time for many children and families. Planning trick-or-treat routes and checking costumes and candy carefully are the keys to celebrating Halloween safely.

    It’s also important for homeowners to take some simple steps to help keep trick-or-treaters safe.

    Tips for trick-or-treaters

    Stick to neighborhoods children know well and visit only well-lit houses.

  • Lots of reasons to give and ways to show thanks
  • Some suggestions for aiding flood recovery efforts

    Trying to keep tabs on my friends back in the Palmetto State was a challenge as Hurricane Joaquin brushed the Carolinas’ coast, preceding an unusual weather phenomenon akin to aiming a giant fire hose across South Carolina and along its North Carolina state line Oct. 2-5. Even though you can count me among the folks who were stuck inside their homes for a few days, I think it’s safe to say the situation in Brunswick County was nowhere near as dire as it was, and has been, for our neighbors to the south where the death toll stands at 19.

  • Making ‘Sunshine Week’ every week

    By Kevin M. Goldberg

    Guest Columnist

    The 10th Sunshine Week ended about six month ago, on March 21. This annual celebration of open government was created by the American Society of News Editors with a grant from the John L. and James S. Knight Foundation.

  • Can we resolve our tax issues?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guset Columnist

    Taxes are always part of discussions about government and public policy, and taxes were clearly a hot topic in the recent session of the North Carolina General Assembly. Debates occurred about taxing services, lowering income tax rates, implementing incentives for business and energy expenditures, and dividing public revenues between urban and rural counties. Legislation was passed for some of these items, but I can assure you there will be more discussion and debate in future sessions.

  • Fight fraud by guarding your Medicare number

    By M. Lee Millman

    Guest Columnist

    Health care fraud drives up costs for everyone in the health care system. Fraud schemes often depend on identity thieves getting hold of people’s Medicare numbers.

    So guard your Medicare number. Treat it as you would a credit card.

    Follow these important steps to protect yourself from fraud:

  • When it’s time to speak up, know how to play the game

    I have attended a number of public comment sessions recently and I have come to realize some public comments are better than others.

    No, I do not mean one person’s issue is better or more important than another. Anyone who is passionate about an issue that affects the masses should be encouraged to get up and speak about it to his or her elected officials and representatives.

    But some people know how to present their concerns better than others.

  • District 8 Senate update

    By Sen. Bill Rabon

    Guest Columnist

    Early Wednesday morning, Sept. 30, the Senate adjourned after a long and successful session. During this session, the Senate passed crucial legislation that will foster growth and success for the future of our state. We have cut millions in taxes for North Carolina families and small businesses, remodeled our inefficient and ineffective Medicaid program, and increased funding for public education. Here are some more highlights of our accomplishments this session:

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina House of Representatives, we passed some major bills concerning the bond issue, farm issues, banning sale of aborted baby body parts, judicial elections and sanctuary cities; we were in session around the clock Sept. 29-30; and we adjourned the 2015 session early Wednesday morning, Sept. 30.

  • Is another recession around the corner?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    Much of the economic news has been rather gloomy recently. There have been wild swings in the stock market, with multi-hundred point losses on some days. The Chinese economy may be in freefall, while Europe is dealing with thousands of refugees from the war-torn Middle East.