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Columns

  • No summer vacation from allergies

    The other week, I took my youngest cat, Mimi, to the vet for an overdue dental cleaning. As friendly as she is, she, like her two older brothers, gets frightened when I take her away from our home for any reason.

    At the veterinarian’s office, Mimi doesn’t throw a hissing, growling and spitting tantrum like her 14-old-brother Linus or cower in her carrier, trying to shrink into a tiny ball, like her 14-pound brother Pepper. Her defense mechanism of choice is to try to shed as much of her plush coat as possible at one time without going bald.

  • You decide: Is there a winner in the investment boxing match?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    Like many, I mourned Muhammad Ali. I watched Ali rise through the ranks of boxing’s heavyweight division and admired his skill and tenacity. Of course, I was also sad to see him in pain in the latter years of his life.

    Boxing is popular to some, in part, because it is a one-on-one competition where it’s easy to determine who is responsible for the win and the loss.

  • Tranquility, fulfillment found in lawn mowing

    Thanks to staff writer Brian Slattery, my not-so-secret secret was revealed last week to our readership: I enjoy yard work.

    Specifically, I love mowing the lawn.

  • We have been Mark Twained by Laura Lewis

    Here in the Beacon newsroom, Laura Lewis is our Mark Twain.

    While most of you know she is a very good writer, that, however, is not what I meant.

    It’s better than that.

    Laura has run a scam this summer that Tom Sawyer would be proud of.

    Now before I go any further, I'll admit upfront I did go back and double-check that I meant to say Tom Sawyer and not Huckleberry Finn.

  • Who and what matters

    When someone dies violently because of another’s actions, their killer may not be convicted or even charged with a crime; in fact, they may suffer no punishment at all — or at least none others can see.

    When this happens repeatedly in similar circumstances, it looks like a pattern. The more it happens, the more outrage there is. And it spreads like a bad game of “Telephone” where neither direct communication nor comprehension among all those affected can occur.

  • Just a breath away

    By Jennifer Hulon

    Guest Columnist

    The weekend of Oct. 2, 2015, a storm system of epic proportions stalled over South Carolina, drenching the entire east coast of the state with massive amounts of rain. This same weekend, 14-year-old Andrea Kelly and her twin sister, Courtney, arrived in Little River, S.C., from their home in Sanford to visit their father, Bobby Kelly.

  • You decide: Where does the state economy stand at mid-year?

    Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    The economy is one of the top issues in this year’s elections, all the way from state and local races, to the major contest of the year: the presidential election.

    So it may be helpful to make a mid-year assessment of the economy, how it’s been doing and identifying the important issues. And to do so I’ll stay right here at home in North Carolina and then let you decide whether we’re on a good track or not.

  • Submit common acreage information just once

    By Bobby R. Etheridge

    Guest Columnist

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency requires farmers and ranchers participating in our programs to submit an annual report on all cropland use on their farms. Crop insurance agents for providers approved by the USDA Risk Management Agency also require these reports to ensure accuracy with your premiums and when you file claims.

    Yet for years, farmers and ranchers have entered the same basic common information from their acreage reports at these two different places.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina House of Representatives we passed the 2016-17 state budget, we had a flurry of state and local bills that passed and some that didn’t, and we adjourned the session for 2016.

  • Summer is for the birds

    The other day, as I was getting ready for work and feeding my three cats their breakfast, I heard an extraordinary volume of chatter outside my front door.

    I wasn’t alarmed, because it sounded to me like the barn swallows who make their summer home in my neighborhood just had a lot to say that morning, and I went about my business.