• Needy children ask Santa for little

    By The Rev. Donna Phelps

    Guest Columnist

    At this time of the year, our hearts turn to Christmas, to family and friends gathering around meals, fellowship and giving gifts around the Christmas tree. Yet for some children that is not a possibility.

    For children who do not have a stable home, getting a bed of their own or a pair of glasses so they can read is far more important than a doll, a bike or a computer game.

    Reading the Santa wish lists of children whose families were or have been homeless made me cry.

  • Sound the alarm — it’s time for a safety check

    Anyone who knows me, even in passing, knows I’m not a morning person. In fact, I’m not sure I should be considered a person early in the morning because of how useless I tend to be at that time of day. When I know I have to be up and at ‘em early in the morning, like to go to an out-of-town training session, it’s almost impossible for me to get any sleep the night before because I’m afraid I’ll oversleep. It’s worse now that I have vertigo and can’t bolt out of bed the way I used to when I was running late.

  • Now that Clemsoning has been eliminated, can Clemzinning go next?

    I’m in a pretty, pretty, pretty good mood. My Clemson Tigers just won the ACC Championship game and are on the way to the playoff game for the national title.

    And since I had to live through nine years of bad football, then 10 years of just OK before the start of a seven-year climb to good, I am going to enjoy it by spilling a couple hundred words talking about my alma mater’s success.

  • Steer clear of their cast

    By Mike DeFranco

    Guest Columnist

    The combination of swimming and fishing at the beach has become a very real and dangerous threat at many North Carolina beaches.

    Three of the five shark attacks occurring in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties this past summer were within very close proximity to their respective piers and popular fishing areas. Baitfish and chum are exactly what attract sharks, and adding swimmers into this environment creates a tragic scenario of mistaken identity.

  • You decide: Should we modify or end the Federal Reserve?

    Few institutions generate more mystery and controversy than the Federal Reserve, or “Fed” for short. It has already become a topic in the current presidential campaign. Some see the Fed as absolutely necessary to the function and protection of the financial system. They credit the Fed’s strong actions in 2008 and 2009 as preventing another Great Depression.

  • Some holiday programming notes

    The holiday season is in full swing here in Brunswick County, what with all the festive events taking place now through the end of the year. It’s overwhelming — almost too much to keep up with.

  • On Campus at Brunswick Community College

    Every fall, Brunswick Community College (BCC) welcomes student athletes on campus. Hailing from North Carolina, South Carolina, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and as far away as Maine, Colorado and California, these students come to BCC to continue their education while playing a sport on the collegiate level. While at the college, however, these individuals generate campus spirit, excellence in the classroom and support for our community at large.

    Campus spirit

  • Seeing the bright side through the Browns

    It’s after midnight, just a few minutes into Tuesday, and I’m pushing my column deadline harder than I have in a long time. I blame my beloved Cleveland Browns for this.

    See, they got my hopes up and threatened to push their Monday Night Football game at home into overtime against the Baltimore Ravens (who I despise except for their general manager Ozzie Newsome, a Pro Football Hall-of-Famer tight end for my Browns who’s still my childhood hero).

  • Shop local on Small Business Saturday

    By Gregg Thompson

    Guest Columnist

    Every year, Gallup asks people how much confidence they have in various institutions. The results aren’t surprising. Only 8 percent had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress. Big business scored 21 percent. That’s no better than TV news.

    Small business, on the other hand, came in second with 67 percent of respondents considering it trustworthy. Only the U.S. military scored higher.

  • You decide: How can North Carolina use economic trends?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    As I travel the state giving presentations about the economy, there’s one common trait I find regardless of where I am: People are anxious about the economy.

    Although there’s been economic improvement since the Great Recession, I sense uneasiness among many people about how long the gains will last. Many believe the economic future is no longer in their hands and it is subject to forces and actions beyond their control.