• Changes to Medicare Part A and B

    By Jennifer Prince Sherman

    Guest Columnist

    Every year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reevaluate the costs for Medicare Parts A and B to determine if changes need to be made to deductibles, co-pays and out-of-pocket maximums.

    SHIIP, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program, is available to North Carolina’s Medicare beneficiaries, their families and caregivers to help them understand how the coming changes will affect them in 2016.

    Part B: Medical insurance

  • You decide: Should North Carolina borrow money to build?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    North Carolinians are being asked to consider a big mortgage for the state. Totaling $2 billion, the mortgage would allow the state to build a variety of projects, including university and community college facilities, water and sewer infrastructure and recreational offerings.

    There are two key questions for voters to ponder: First, is mortgage financing appropriate? Second, are the projects worthy?

  • Major crime plus national notoriety equals front-page news

    After another mammoth Powerball drawing, it’s a good time to address the Beacon’s coverage of its most famous Brunswick County winner and her boyfriend.

    Go back to July 2014, when a high-speed chase led to the arrest of Kevin Jermaine Hankins of Supply in what was then the largest seizure ever of heroin — more than 8,000 bindles, or doses — in Brunswick County.

  • Father Time, New Year’s baby, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    By Terri Niland

    Guest Columnist

    Less than two weeks ago, a high school friend of mine and I continued our long-standing New Year’s Eve tradition. We touched base at 11:55 p.m., chatted for a few moments, wished one another a Happy New Year while the Crystal Ball in Times Square dropped, and then went to sleep.

  • HBPOA issues response to editorial on ordinance

    I am the president of the Holden Beach Property Owners Association (HBPOA) and I am writing in response to the Jan. 7 editorial on the Holden Beach noise ordinance in order to clarify statements about the actions of the HBPOA.

    At our membership meeting April 4, 2015, a motion was made and unanimously passed to recommend that the town of Holden Beach consider adopting Brunswick County’s noise ordinance, since the county’s ordinance was more specific and called for measuring noise decibel levels to determine if there is excessive noise.

  • A year in review from Congress

    By Congressman David Rouzer

    Guest Columnist

    At the outset of my first year serving in Congress, I laid out three main priorities to focus on in order to help make America prosperous at home and strong abroad while also addressing the unique needs of the 7th Congressional district.

  • Guest columns, letters, different viewpoints always welcome

    Let me call your attention this week to Tom Myers’ guest column on the opposite page. In it, he offers a concise and thoughtful response to last week’s editorial about Holden Beach’s revised noise ordinance.

    It marks at least the third time since I’ve been at the helm of this newspaper’s newsroom — and, as such, the writer of the editorial opinions of our editorial board — we’ve been able to publish a guest column (beyond a 300-word or less letter to the editor) responding directly to a position taken by the Beacon.

  • Reflecting on ‘paws-’abilities after 10 years

    By Janie Withers

    Guest Columnist

    As I sit on my porch enjoying a warm December day, I reflect on how Paws-Ability got its start and how far we have come.

  • You decide: Will the economy improve in 2016?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    This is the time of year when economists shine — or at least they try to. The early weeks of a new year are always the period when I receive the largest number of speaking requests.

    Even if people know my colleagues and I have cloudy (some say foggy, with hot air) crystal balls, they still want to know what we’re thinking about the future. I often tell my audiences to take what I forecast and then expect the opposite to happen. I usually get a mixed reaction of laughs and a nodding of heads.

  • Being on national TV is no ‘snap’ for the awkward

    Over the holidays, one of the most fascinating cases I covered as a cops reporter during my 17 years at the (Florence, S.C.) Morning News was featured on the Oxygen television network true crime show, “Snapped.”

    Other cases I covered have been featured on national TV shows before, but this is the first time I was interviewed about any of them. In October 2013, producers for the show came to our offices here in Shallotte to talk with me for the episode, which focused on the November 2004 disappearance of Randy Bratschi.